How to Measure Translation Performance?

How to Measure Translation Performance?

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When you enter the global marketplace, you need to start tracking specific performance indicators. With all of the technology available nowadays, it’s a bit easier to track and measure these, whether it’s planning the budget for website translation or calculating the translation ROI.

One could easily say that good translation is accurate, of high-quality, and cost-efficient. However, this leads us to the next question: how can you make sure that every translation will be exactly like this? One of the most effective ways is to measure the translation performance.

The translation performance metrics include effort, pace and quality and today we will discuss all of these. To find out how to measure translation performance, just keep on reading!


The effort is defined by the number of times a translator has to edit a segment. A project manager can keep track of a translator’s effort by generating a translation history report. This report will show each time a segment was edited. The calculation is pretty simple here: the more we minimize the effort, the more we increase the speed of the translation.


The pace of translation is indicated by measuring the time spent by the translator in generating the translation. Each translator has their own productivity output – which is usually between 2000 and 3000 words per day; although this number may be higher, depending on the working hours a translator will invest in the project, or lower, depending on the complexity of the text.


The translation quality is the most demanding of the three elements for measuring translation performance. Evaluating the translation quality involves a person who is native in the target language, and is specialized in the field of the matter translated. At Text United, this task is handled by the In-Country Reviewer – a person assigned to monitor the translation.

Apart from the two standard processes in a translation – the translation itself and the proofreading – the third person is able to preview the translated content and approve and reject particular solutions for translatable segments.

By reading the ICR‘s comments in each affected translated segment, the translator and proofreader are able to correct the translation. This workflow assures the highest quality possible.


The metrics of quality

Quality refers to whether the translation is acceptable or not. In general terms a high-quality translation has to be:

  • Accurate – Reflects the same meaning and context of the text as the source material
  • Effective – Has the same intended effect on the reader as the source material
  • Appropriate – Meets the project parameters (such as the use of certain terminology)

There are different quality levels that could be desired for a given translation. Important documents require publication quality, meaning they need to be perfectly polished. Other materials, like websites, may require a different quality of translation, such as Machine Translation + Human Review.

High-quality translation will take more time and effort from the translator than the lower quality translation, while lower quality translation that involves only machine translation and a human translator will often be around 30-40% cheaper (depending on the language combination that is used in a project).

Translation Quality at Text United

At Text United we have different methods to evaluate translation performance and quality. Our project managers will evaluate and monitor translators and their progress to ensure improvements for each project. Each translator has to meet a certain experience level and pass translation tests before starting to work on Text United projects.

Additionally, you can ensure that your translation quality is excellent by measuring it with the Translation Quality Assurance check.



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