Standards-Based Structured Translation Specifications

Translation Parameters

The following list of parameters is adapted from ASTM F2575: Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation. It contains 21 parameters that describe various aspects of translation projects.

A. Linguistic work product parameters [1–13]

A.1. Source-content information [1–5] (much of this can be inferred by examining the source content)

  1. textual characteristics
    1. source language (including locale information, such as UK vs. American English)
    2. text type (class to which a text is assigned based on its function, format, or the specific intention of the author with respect to the target audience, e.g. annual report)
    3. audience
    4. purpose (Skopos in Functionalist translation theory)
  2. specialized language
    1. subject field
    2. terminology (terms marked in the source text [e.g. ITS], without target-language equivalents)
  3. volume (i.e., size or length in words, characters, or some other unit)
  4. complexity (e.g., written by a non-native of the source language? Text embedded in graphics?)
  5. origin (e.g., the source text is itself a translation)

A.2. Target content requirements [6–13]

  1. target language requirements
    1. target language (including locale, e.g. Canadian French)
    2. target terminology (project-specific bilingual terminology)
  2. audience (especially as it differs from intended audience of the source content)
  3. purpose (especially when it differs from the purpose of the source content)
  4. content correspondence (assumes a degree of accuracy appropriate to type of content correspondence: full segment-by-segment translation vs. summary; overt vs. covert [localization, transcreation, etc.]; MT-HT spectrum; etc.)
  5. register (from formal to familiar; tone used in addressing audience)
  6. format (file and modality [file: Word, InDesign, etc.]; [modality: document, subtitles, etc.])
  7. style (within the baseline of a level of fluency appropriate to audience and purpose)
    1. style guide (e.g. Chicago Manual of Style or a company guide)
    2. style relevance (is a high degree of readability important in this case?)
  8. layout (margins, headings, etc.)

B. Process tasks [14–15]

  1. typical tasks (note: if post-editing is involved, it falls in 14b, not 14c)
    1. preparation
    2. initial translation (MAHT using tools, HAMT post-editing, or raw machine translation)
    3. in-process quality assurance (revision [bilingual], review [monolingual], proofreading)
  2. additional tasks (e.g. third party review, terminology check, software testing, or back translation)

C. Project Environment [16–18]; Relationships [19–21]

  1. technology (is any particular technology to be used in the project?)
  2. reference materials (translation memories, termbases to supplement that in 6b, etc.)
  3. workplace requirements (e.g. security measures, safety concerns)
  4. permissions
    1. copyright (who holds copyright for target text, translation memory, etc.?)
    2. recognition (does the translator’s name appear in the published translation?)
    3. restrictions (on the use of materials, such as translation memory, after the project, etc.)
  5. submissions
    1. qualifications (expected or required qualifications of provider)
    2. deliverables (the target content in the specified format, updated termbase, etc.)
    3. delivery method (email, sFTP, etc.)
    4. delivery deadline(s)
  6. expectations
    1. compensation (typically, cost)
    2. communication (channels and mode among stakeholders)