How we work


Quality Assurance

Quality assurance
Our work is carried out in accordance with DIN EN ISO 17100, the European quality standard for translation services, and we are committed to ensuring linguistic and technical quality based on these guidelines.

Background processes
In the backdrop of our day-to-day business, we work continuously on reviewing and improving our team, working processes and tools.

The skills and qualifications of our team of specialist translators are constantly monitored. It is essential to correctly assess the strengths and weaknesses of our translators in order to choose the right person for each individual order and thus guarantee the best end product. The feedback from our clients and our translators themselves and the quality checks performed by a second native-speaker specialist translator are incredibly important in this sense.

During internal audits, our project managers check the process workflows in different projects on a random basis. The focus is particularly on analysing the requirements of the project and establishing relevant processes. Working processes can change due to special requirements, such as specific technical terminology, special guidelines on linguistic register or reference material and standards. We adapt to requirements and thereby learn to constantly question and improve our processes across all projects.

As well as the specialists who work on our translation projects, our work of course also involves our tools. Along with constantly updating our software as standard, we are always looking to test new tools and integrate them in our working processes. We are flexible and open to our clients who wish to work with their own tools and regularly research new software that enters the market.

Pre-translation processes

We clarify in dialogue with our clients what their priorities are and what projects they have planned. Was there another translation provider with whom the client was not satisfied before we made contact? Are new languages required? Has demand increased and can no longer be met in house? Are there branches abroad with whom we should discuss glossaries?

During the quotation phase, the texts are analysed and workflows are established in dialogue with our specialist translators, the client and if necessary with technicians and graphic designers.

On this subject, please also read our notes on project preparation.

Project management
Following detailed analysis of the project parameters and linguistic, technical and content-related criteria of the texts, we follow a defined model for project management. We are willing to adapt this model to the special requirements of the client or the individual project.

Find out more about our general workflow here. The workflow describes how the work of specialist translators, project managers, graphic designers and proofreaders interlinks in consultation with our clients.

QA stages
At Cerebro AG, we primarily work with the CAT tool (computer-assisted translation tool) Trados. Read here how Trados works and the advantages of this software for translations.

When a project is assigned, the native-speaker specialist translator receives the following from us:

  • The source files in their original format.
  • The SDLXLIFF files for the translation: content that will not be translated has already been hidden in these files.
  • The client TM (translation memory) containing previous translations for the same client.
  • The glossary in termbase form. Terms from the glossary are automatically marked in the source file and the relevant translation is shown.
  • The style guide or other special instructions for the client that are relevant for the translation.

The project manager receives from the specialist translator the completed translation in bilingual SDLXLIFF format and the updated termbase.

QA stage 1:
We check the bilingual SDLXLIFF files with QA software in QA stage 1. The following potential errors are identified: spelling, grammar, inconsistencies in the source and target text, deviations from the glossary, number and punctuation errors and missing translations.
The project manager checks the errors shown in the QA report and sends it to the translator with comments. The revised XLIFF files are returned to the translator with the commented report.

QA stage 2:
The translator corrects their translation in SDLXLIFF format based on the report and sends the revised version back to the project manager.

QA stage 3:
The project manager rechecks the SDLXLIFF files with the QA software. Providing that no more errors appear in the report, the project manager creates the target files in the required format.

QA stages 4 and 5:
The corrected bilingual file and target file are now sent to a second native-speaker specialist translator for proofreading (if commissioned by the client) or back to the first translator. Any errors detected in the target file are also corrected in bilingual SDLXLIFF format and herewith in the TM.

QA stages 6 und 7:
The project manager now performs a final check of the target file against the source file and corrects major shifts in format.
If our DTP (desktop publishing) service was also commissioned by the client, the project manager sends the target file and client’s style guide to our DTP department.

QA stage 8:
The target files we receive from our DTP department are sent once again to the first or second specialist translator for a final check with DTP fully implemented. Corrections are made in PDF format with notes.

QA stage 9:
The project manager checks whether the corrections have been correctly implemented and carries out a final proofreading. This involves checking incorrect line breaks, fonts, consistency of the index and headings in the text, other possible displacements and the accuracy of image captions.

Additional QA phases can be added depending on the workflow agreed with the client: for instance, further corrections can be made by the client’s specialist department or branches abroad.

Quality management systems
Criteria for the selection of service providers under a service provider policy:

  • Quality control of translators.
  • Analysis of the client’s needs and reviewing/adapting project execution (feedback analysis).
  • New test translations, new QA stages, glossary creation, new services.
  • Ensuring that the individuals chosen to carry out translation tasks possess the required skills and qualifications.
  • Evidence of the professional competence of translators, proofreaders, specialist proofreaders and other experts.

Professional skills of translators
With translation skills, we refer to the ability to effectively acquire the additional linguistic and specialist knowledge required to understand the content in the source language and reproduce it in the target language. Research skills require additional experience in using research tools.
IT skills (expertise and experience with IT tools and systems) and professional skills, which involve understanding content created in the source language and reproducing it in the target language using the corresponding style and terminology, are tested and assessed as a matter of principle.
Read more on specialist translators here.

Client feedback
Cerebro AG has a documented procedure and controlled process workflow for translation, QA, final proofreading and archiving. As part of our quality management system, we gather client feedback and have a documented complaints procedure.

Every translation project is stored in a project archive and undergoes a stipulated protocol throughout the entire duration of the project. The purpose of this protocol is to be able identify and monitor the translation project and to determine its current status at any time.

A unique reference number is assigned to each project for this purpose. This number guarantees that the project and its status can be retraced. Assigned actions, changes, corrections etc. are shown in the order log.

We guarantee to treat confidentially all company information that is made available to us in the course of a project. Thanks to existing confidentiality agreements with our employees and providers, individual declarations of confidentiality with our clients and a password-protected data exchange platform, we guarantee the secure storage and management of your documents.
Read more on data protection here.

Computer backups:
The following security points are associated with this professional backup solution:

  • Guaranteeing the confidentiality of data.
  • The servers are stored in Raid 5/6, which makes it possible to share files on several hard drives.
  • Backup duplications are offered in the form of two different data protection solutions at one site, but in different fire compartments.
  • Transferring files with SFTP is highly secure.
  • 256-bit encryption before sending makes the data unreadable and undecipherable.

Files are saved on highly secure servers hosted in Germany that comply with precise rules:

  • Combustion chamber
  • Video surveillance and access protection
  • Permanent temperature control