It is unrealistic for an agency to have resources for checking every translation that it handles particularly since translation is such a cost led business. Thus, the responsibility for translation quality control usually lies with the translator unless agreed otherwise even though the agency is responsible directly to its customer for the quality of the deliverables. The purpose for which the translation is made will determine the level of quality control. In extreme cases back translation is made into the source language is to compare this with the original text but this is usually prohibitive in terms of time and cost. It would be better to ensure that an appropriate translator with the right skills is engaged from the outset.
Quality control of outsourced translation ?
The level of and responsibility for quality control needs to be discussed and agreed clearly with the customer. Ultimately the company is responsible for the quality of the services provided to customers but it is unrealistic to expect to have in-house resources to check every translation that is supplied – what is the obligation of agencies that offers ‘all subject all languages’ in their advertising? Apart from competence in the language combinations provided in-house, there has to be total reliance on the skills of the freelance contracted for an assignment. Checking by a second person can be offered but the cost of this has to be factored into the agreed project cost.