Two pairs of eyes see more than one pair. Imagine what three pairs of eyes can see. All your translations are viewed by no less than three pairs of eyes before they hit your digital doormat. Why do we do that? Who do those eyes belong to? And what are the benefits to you? Marcia van Rooijen, our Operations Manager, explains.
Closing your eyes to mistakes? We don’t do that. Marcia started as a project manager and worked on translations and revisions. She has since become Operations Manager and directs the project managers, the Vendor Management team and the Quality Assurance team. She also develops procedures for project management, for hiring new internal and external translators and for quality control.
Marcia: ‘I support the teams, I manage them and I correct them. Do people need training and coaching? Then they get it. Actually, I do everything I can to ensure that the work we do is done really well.’ What comes in handy is that Marcia is also responsible for handling complaints, so she immediately sees what went wrong and how we can prevent this in the future. When asked why the 3-person approach is so important, Marcia replies: ‘I’ve been working in the translation industry for about 15 years and I’ve seen the best, most experienced translators make the simplest of mistakes. Purely because they no longer saw it.’ By looking at a text again, you do spot those errors.
The 3-pairs-of-eyes principle; how does it work?
The 3-pairs-of-eyes principle is exactly what you think it is; 3 persons working on your translation. The first one is the translator, the second one the reviewer (also referred to as revisor), and the third your project manager. Marcia explains how it works: ‘First, the translator starts working on your text. He or she translates the document from one language to another. It’s then up to the reviewer to check the translation. Do the source and target text match? Does the text sound good? Is it grammatically correct? The reviewer always performs a number of standard quality checks.’ But that doesn’t mean we’re finished. For those quick at figures; so far we’ve only had 2 pairs of eyes. The last pair of eyes belongs to your project manager.
Your project manager knows you best. That’s why he or she does the final check. Is the final layout as intended or is there something that needs to be corrected? ‘The project manager also ensures that texts translated into multiple languages are consistent. We find it important that the same procedure is applied to every language and every document.’ Your project manager will then check whether all your instructions have been properly implemented.
‘Despite the 3-pairs-of-eyes principle, we do expect a good end quality from all parties involved. The translator should not assume that the reviewer will correct any errors and should simply check his/her own work properly,’ Marcia stresses. ‘If something was unclear to the translator or if he or she wants additional checks, we will of course pass this on to the reviewer.’
What is the big advantage of this extensive quality control?
Many (cheaper) translation agencies work without quality control. Some work with a quality control system that consists of two pairs of eyes. As already mentioned; more eyes will simply see more. We offer you this extensive quality control because we want to deliver the very best quality. Euro-Com is ISO 9001 certified, which ensures that we’re always working on increasing customer satisfaction. The certificate is not granted lightly. The requirements are strict and comprehensive. Among other things, it requires us to meet high quality standards. What is your advantage? Top-notch translations. Error-free and entirely according to your wishes.
We also get a lot of feedback this way. ‘We believe that you can only learn from feedback. That’s why we’ve adopted a structure in which everyone is open to comments and remarks from others. We see it as an opportunity to grow. We always share feedback from the reviewer with the translator and the project manager shares the findings with the team.’
Let’s talk about increasing customer satisfaction: We’re changing to a system where the reviewer must provide feedback on the translation as standard. ‘This takes place automatically in our project management system. Thus, the feedback is officially registered. We also ask our project managers to assess our regular translators on other aspects of quality. Is someone reliable and punctual? Is he or she really open to feedback?’ Marcia adds. This is good news because someone with a lot of positive feedback will get a higher score in the system. The same score determines the allocation of new assignments. ‘If several translators meet all preconditions, the job will go to the one with the highest score.’ This means that your text really does end up in the hands of the very best translator.
’If the translators are that good, why is it necessary to check their work?’
‘Why don’t you have the text translated by a “better” translator?’ is a question we’re sometimes asked. Just like: ‘If your translators are that good, why do you need that extra check?’ Anyway, checking a translation is important. ‘Even if a translator is that good, experienced and highly educated, he or she is just a human being. Just like you and me. When I write a text, I can read it several times and still find errors. Or realise at a later stage that the sentence, if slightly changed, would have sounded better. It could also happen that you misinterpret a sentence in the source text. Nobody’s perfect.’
Good to know, according to Marcia: ‘We expect the same from all our translators and reviewers. The requirements that the ISO standard imposes on them are the same. We try to assign our translators both tasks as much as possible, so that they gain and retain sufficient experience.’
Put it to the test?
Are you curious about our quality? Feel free to request a free test translation of up to 300 words maximum. Or would you like a quote right away? It’s free, without obligation and will drop in your digital mailbox within 2 hours.