Language Processes for Korean Translation: A Case Study

If you thought that when referring to a language process, we are talking about one’s cognitive ability to process language using memory, attention, and other cognitive functions together – you’d be right. However, the term language process also has a different application that is specifically applied in the translation industry.

This industry is quite broad and it involves numerous intricate sub-processes to ensure a smooth translation flow and a high-quality, accurate output for the client. If you would like to know more about what the language process is in the translation industry, what its critical elements are, and find out how this works in practice through a 1-StopAsia case study, this post is for you.

What does the language process mean in the translation industry?

Every translation company in the translation industry offers translation (and localization) services. While this may be a common feature of these organizations, perhaps that is where the similarities end. This is because the language process involved and used in each organization is completely different from the next. For example, a language process at 1-StopAsia will involve the translation itself, editing, proofreading, quality assurance and control, feedback from the client, as well as remedial steps to ensure that any errors are picked up and addressed during the next phase of the translation process so that they are either minimized or eliminated altogether.

As such, the language process followed at 1-StopAsia is specific and particular and we take great pride in our ability to offer each of our clients the highest levels of assurance in the quality of our translation and localization services.

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But what happens when things go wrong? In one instance of our continued self-evaluation and external assessment by clients for the Korean language, we noticed areas where we could improve. Take a look at the brief outline of our case study below.

Case study: Dealing with negative translation feedback & improving the Korean language process

We had been dealing with a major client since around 2018, offering translation services in Korean in a highly specialized field. However, after careful evaluation by the client, it was discovered that the translations received could be of better quality. Because of our intense commitment to client quality assurance, we immediately launched an internal investigation into the language process utilized for the client and identified areas for improvement, which together with discussions with the client, improved the overall quality of our output.

The process can be broken down into the following three areas:
Enhancing Korean Translation Processes - A Case Study

  • Critical elements: the critical elements in a language process were mentioned earlier. However, what was not mentioned was the inclusion of natural language processing (NLP) in the workflow. At 1-StopAsia, we make use of both NLP and human translators to ensure the quality of the output, depending on client specifications. As part of natural language processing, issues related to natural language parsing tend to arise.The latter concept refers to machine or software programs that determine similar phrases that go together and which also identify the subjects and objects in a sentence. As can be imagined, due to imperfections in machine learning, some errors do crop up. And as such, we were faced with a challenge, which we outline in more detail below.
  • The challenge: as part of the translation challenge and negative feedback that we received for the Korean language, it was identified by the client that there were spelling, grammatical, and readability errors in some of the translations, translators did not follow the client’s list of terminology, and most of the errors identified were human-made and could therefore be prevented.
  • The solution: to ensure that we gave the client complete satisfaction with our quality assurance process as part of our translation service, we embarked on a remedial plan which would seek to resolve the client’s concerns.
    • As such, we either created or received from the client a list of glossary terms in Korean, which helped us determine how certain words would and should be best used in the context of the client’s translation documents.
    • Furthermore, a style guide in the Korean language was developed to help translators achieve greater levels of consistency.
    • Next, a list of the terms not available in the glossary was compiled with the client’s support to help streamline the translation process and ensure greater quality of translation output.
    • We also evaluated the human translators behind the projects committing the errors, removed them from our list of desirable translators for the Korean language, and ensured that the client was not exposed to further similar errors from the same pool of Korean translators as they had been in the past.
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The final outcome for the client was a satisfactory one as we were able to take their feedback on board as part of our quality assurance process and ensure greater accuracy in both of our processes and of our commitment to high-quality output.

Key takeaways

At 1-StopAsia, we understand that mistakes with translations can happen. After all, we are humans working together with machines and neither is perfect.

However, what can help streamline translation processes is to ensure a proper feedback loop between the client and us to ensure improved processes and workflows and greater quality of the final translated product.

Because of our serious commitment to quality assurance and in resolving our clients’ negative feedback, we were able to improve our internal process and strengthen it for the benefit of both this client and clients who request translation work from us in Korean in the future.