5 Ways to Maintain Consistency in Translation

5 Ways to Maintain Consistency in Translation

No doubt that maintaining consistency in translation is very important. Having different translations for the same source word at different places in one translated text might not only cause confusion but might also make the translated text look unprofessional. A translation company may assign the translation project to one translator to avoid such inconsistency, but this might not work for all translation projects.  A professional translation company will adopt more efficient ways to assure consistency, including but not limited to creating a glossary, using translation memory, proofreading and so on.

Here are five ways to assure consistency in translation:

  1. Set a Glossary

One way to ensure consistency is to set a glossary for your project. Create a glossary of commonly used words that every translator, working in the project, can access and update. The glossary might consist of terms related to an industry, a product, a service, a business or even words that that are commonly used throughout the content. Definitely, adhering to this glossary will increase consistency and save both time and money. The terms and words of the glossary will then be added to a translation memory to use during the project. Remember that without this glossary, the translators can potentially use different target word for the same source word leading to the inconsistency of the final content.

  1. Use a Translation Memory (TM)

Translation Memory is a database which stores texts and corresponding translations. TM helps translators to ensure consistency from not only the terminology level but also the sentence level, sometimes the paragraph level. While translating using a CAT tool, the program progressively saves each original sentence and the corresponding translation. In this way it creates a database of translated expressions. For each new translation project, a check is performed to determine any similarity between the new content and the translated phrases already in the TM. When there is a match, the previously approved translation is used.  This can lead to increase quality and consistency and decrease the project time and cost.

  1. Allow Translators Communication

Sometimes, several translators have to deal with one translation project. So, there must be communication among translators who are translating the same tasks. Because different translators may give different expressions for the same words or sentences. Communication allows translators to discuss some uncertain words, phrases or sentences to produce a final high-quality translation and of course to maintain consistency.

  1. Include Proofreading  

Proofreading is the most critical step of the translation process. It’s not just about checking grammar and making sure there are no spelling errors; it ensures that the essence of the text is conveyed clearly, the most appropriate words are used and the content follows any style guides and thus maintain consistency of the text.

  1. Perform In-context Review 

Clients put their trust in translation companies or translators to ensure that they are able to mirror the original document and transmit the intended messages into the target language. The translated text must make sense in its context. During the in-context review step, the text is reviewed in context to fix any errors. Then the text goes to the final check. This process assures a high level of consistency and quality.


Following the above steps will help you maintain consistency in your translation project.  

Now, share with us other ways that help to maintain consistency in translation.

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