Our QA Specialist Nikolina Škof shares her Ciklopea story, some details on her job and how her professional and academic experiences blended into one.
Internship and beginnings
My Ciklopea story began when I got interested in machine translation and computer-assisted translation during my studies and applied for an internship program. The recommendation for Ciklopea came from my teacher and mentor dr sc Sanja Seljan, who had a long-established collaboration with the company and stated numerous positive experiences, so I didn’t hesitate to take that opportunity.
The internship was completed to mutual satisfaction and I continued working at Ciklopea while I was still a student. With the final year of my graduate studies our collaboration extended to my thesis – it would be about CAT or computer-assisted (or aided) translation.
Thesis and continuation
My mentor and I negotiated a thesis topic that would be closely related to my job and defined it as “The impact of digital resources and tools on translation quality in computer-aided translation”. I had full support from Ciklopea in using the tools and skills that I acquired in the company.
The thesis aim was to explore the impact of digital resources and tools on translation/localization quality output in computer-assisted translation. The research was performed on sample texts from a specific domain in English and in Croatian, and included the processes of text alignment and automatic term extraction in a CAT tool, as well as running quality assurance in several dedicated QA tools.
Translation quality assurance included checking of terminology consistency according to the previously rendered result of automatic term extraction, as well as grammar, translation consistency, interpunction, numbers, quotation marks and spaces in accordance with the target language orthography. QA tools analysis showed the translation quality is greatly improved with their use and actual error correction.
Applying the knowledge in real life
Although computer-assisted translation quality assurance is still new and largely unexplored area, it develops and becomes more sophisticated with the CAT tools development, either as an integral part of CAT software or in the form of standalone applications, and they significantly help the translation quality controller perform his or her task of final quality check in a translation / localization project.
The importance of quality assurance has grown with the workload increase, technological requirements and the need for fast language solutions. All these factors consequently increase the possibility for human errors in translation process. Quality assurance primarily relates to the quality assurance process within a specific translation project, but it also includes a number of additional processes such as considering quality from the earliest project phases to its completion, and application of the same methods on other tasks for the same client or for the same type of translation.
All available QA tools provide a type of saving different settings in the form of profiles or check groups that can be reused in similar projects. Application of QA tools thus enables the consistency of language quality on a wide range of projects and language pairs – and, working as a full-time quality assurance specialist at Ciklopea – I can see this happening every day.