Link checking: The importance of reviewing translation in context

When it comes to building surveys and translating them into multiple languages, link checking is a crucial step in the quality assurance process. Link checking involves a human linguist reviewing translated content in the context of the survey platform, checking for accuracy and consistency, especially when content is being manipulated behind the scenes.

Curious how link checking supports survey translations, and where it fits into standard translation workflows? Here’s an overview of this process, and how it supports the QA process.

Validating Piped Content for Quality Assurance

Piped content involves the assertion of content into various parts of a survey. Inserting individual attributes into a rating question, for example, may position the content to observe a different set of grammar rules compared to the original, source content. 

At times, the linguist will need to adjust the translation in the translated file—a need that was not apparent in the original translation step. 

Providing Another Layer of Error Identification

A number of small errors can be created during the survey translation and localization process. When the translation context is viewed in full, a human reviewer might identify, for example, gender inconsistencies between the male-female orientation of languages such as Spanish, where masculine and feminine nouns and pronouns are commonplace.

This QA process can also identify errors resulting from uploading the wrong file, or an older version of a file in translation. Link checking provides a valuable layer of double-checking that reduces error rates in the end product of these surveys, resulting in less revision, faster survey deployment, and better results from the survey data you collect.

Recently, one client asked us to proofread their survey and perform a link check. Through this process we discovered that the rating scales had been improperly translated. If the survey had launched without any link checking, the resulting data would have been rendered unusable—a huge expense would have been incurred to re-contact the respondents, resulting in a frustrated end client.

A Consultative Approach to Quality Assurance

Some market research clients question why link checking is done after translations have occurred, instead of taking place as part of the initial translation service. Where surveys are involved, link checking is conducted post-translation because certain file or programming formats—such as Excel—don’t allow content to be translated in chronological order.

In these formats, survey questions and answers may be physically separated, making it difficult to understand translation context. As a post-translation process, link checking allows linguists to easily review these translations in context, and identify issues that need to be resolved. 

Some of these issues, such as visual issues related to extra spaces or misalignment of text, may require programming intervention and additional link check review. This is another reason to place link checking after translation workflows: The process can review and validate the presentation and visual experience of surveys, in addition to the accuracy of the text itself.

Find out how link checking fits into our larger translation QA processes—contact us today.

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