Why (and How) to Outsource Language Quality Assurance
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Why (and How) to Outsource Language Quality Assurance

Why (and How) to Outsource Language Quality Assurance

The dream of entering new foreign markets is often tempered by the realities of localizing your products and services for local consumers and partners. One of those realities is that you have to protect and extend your brand’s reputation without sacrificing the linguistic quality that your domestic buyers have come to associate with your brand.

While an in-house solution provides some sense of brand integrity, it generally comes at a high infrastructure price. This is because the more languages and locales you try to support, the greater your costs will be to replicate your domestic language quality assurance (LQA) processes, technologies and teams across all markets.

What are the factors that make this such a challenge? And, more importantly, how can you outsource language quality assurance to reduce overhead, boost time-to-market and maintain your brand?

Lack of knowledge

Entering a foreign market can be scary for the inexperienced. Your company will not understand a target market as well as your domestic one because of:

  • Its “foreign” language, colloquial nuances and industry-specialized terminology.
  • The human resources: trying to find, evaluate, retain and train local linguists who can capably “transcreate” your brand for local consumers.
  • The technical requirements: everything from the varying character sets to the document sizes to the currency symbols to the hardware configurations.

It’s no wonder, then, that all this required expertise creates language quality control nightmares and the need for expert oversight.

The need for speed

In an aggressive marketplace, quality assurance is additionally challenged by time-to-market demands. Beyond the initial knowledge acquisition, staffing requirements and related infrastructure needs, strong processes can bring your localization program’s quality controls in line with your already established procedures. When setting up these processes, however, you have to consider:

  • How can you automate the language quality assurance process to keep time-intensive manual oversight to a minimum?
  • How do you build in human checks and tests that can verify both terminology and in-context placement?
  • How agile can you make these processes so that terminology, formatting or other localization errors reported through end-user feedback can be quickly fixed in the next iteration of the product or service?

Bang-for-the-buck outsourcing

Local market knowledge and fast market entry are two significant demands driving many brands to outsource their language quality assurance processes. Another is, of course, the expected return on investment. In looking to expert language service providers (LSPs) in target markets, companies are seeking to reduce the costs of entering a new market.

So, how do you outsource language quality assurance with maximum ROI?

  • Expect, at a minimum, a language service provider with qualified, native-speaking professionals in your target market.
  • If your industry terminology requires domain expertise and regulatory oversight (e.g.: the pharmaceutical industry), seek out a provider with either in-house subject matter experts or a strong network of linguistic experts for your industry in the target market. Make sure to create assets for them to use during their work.
  • Review the LSP’s established error-management protocols and infrastructure to understand how their quality reporting matches your own specific, domestic procedures—and whether they’re willing to customize to them.
  • Check to see that they can help you build a linguistic feedback loop that works for your internal employees.

Don’t stop there

But there is much more to language QA than just QA. Which is why RWS Moravia has structured our linguistic quality assurance services to accommodate clients at every stage of localization maturity. This suite of à la carte (but holistic) language quality services can both help companies quickly resolve tactical issues and combine to create a more proactive quality management solution. The RWS Moravia LQS suite includes six core services:

  • Translation Reviews, ensuring translations are as good as possible by reviewing grammar, spelling and terminology;
  • Diagnostic Assessments, analyzing content to assess overall linguistic program quality, zero in on linguistic quality issues in previously translated projects and identify root causes;
  • Linguistic Asset Creation, creating and managing each client’s style guide, terminology database and translation memory;
  • Dedicated LQA Reviewer Programs, assigning and managing dedicated reviewers to provide a variety of linguistic quality assurance activities to optimize efficiency and drive improvements;
  • Dashboards and Analytics, aggregating program data to generate actionable insights for the entire localization program; and
  • LQA Program Design and Management, establishing holistic quality governance throughout the localization effort by defining baseline quality measurement criteria and implementing customized processes and client-specific solutions.

By choosing to partner with a language service provider already skilled in independent LQA services, you can maintain your brand image while delivering quality products and services to consumers worldwide at a fraction of the cost of going it alone. For many successful global brands, there is no smarter choice.


For more information about how to outsource language quality assurance, don’t hesitate to contact us