Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Simple QC Technique for Bilingual Files

One of the most insidious kind of errors happens when a negation is translated in the affirmative, or vice-versa. Insidious because sometimes such errors are difficult to spot, as the sentences that contain them, on their own, probably still make sense.

However, when translating using an environment, such as TM program, which produces bilingual files, there is a simple quality control technique that, while not 100% effective, still helps avoiding this type of errors. The following example works for the English-Italian language pair, but it could easily be adapted to other languages:

  1. Once the translation (or editing) is complete, search for word "not" throughout the bilingual file
  2. For each occurrence of the word found, check the corresponding Italian segment, to make sure that the negative meaning is preserved
  3. Once completed the search for the English "not", repeate the search for the Italian "non", so as to make sure that a negative meaning has not cropped where the English instead has an affermative sentence

Of course this is not 100% foolproof, but it can be improved by adding other relevant words (such as "cannot", "failed", "impossible", etc.) to the search.

1 comment:

DigitalMax2K said...

One can also use "the" to search english text in bilingual files. However, please note that you need to give a space in front and after "the".