QA can be either linguistic or technical.
Linguistic QA focuses on achieving the quality targets set for the translated text to ensure that the linguistic quality of the final document is of a high standard — and in particular meets the criteria defined by the customer — so that it is easy to read and understand by the target audience.
Technical QA, on the other hand, applies to the technical aspects of a translation or localisation project. For example, if the document must conform to a specific layout, the QA process will involve ensuring that the layout requirements are met — e.g., the target layout matches the source layout — and meet the customer’s specifications. In the case of software localisation, technical QA will entail ensuring that the localised version of the software is ready for market; that the testing/compilation/debugging phases have been properly carried out; that the future users of the software will be comfortable with the software in the target language, etc. Other localised e-content material, such as help files, web sites, Flash animations1, etc., also require a technical QA phase to ensure that the content performs as expected, is free of bugs (or at least contains an acceptable level of non-critical bugs), matches the original layout, is easy to use for the target audience, etc.
- 1. Graphic animations created using Adobe Flash, for instance, and viewable with the Flash Player plug-in.