Need: Generally speaking, those responsible for procuring translated materials in a health care setting often have little or no knowledge of the intricacies of translation. Consequently, poor quality translations are commonplace in health care organizations as well as in publicly-trusted sources of information like federal public health agencies and the Library of Medicine websites. Although health care organizations are aware of regulatory and accreditation compliance issues regarding translation and are becoming more aware of the impact of language barriers on operations and quality efforts, few have developed defined systems or processes for procuring or assessing the quality of translated materials.
Further troubling is the fact that current approaches to translation quality are only somewhat applicable to (and therefore less than ideal for) health care organizations. Some approaches focus on the steps taken to produce a translated text or emphasize producing an English equivalent, while others focus on both the process and faithfulness to the original English text. A divergence of definitions of quality and a lack of consensus among experts also hinder progress in this area. In the end, health care organizations pay a lot of money for translated materials of dubious quality.
With rapid growth in the LEP population, health care providers have a growing need for trustworthy and effective health information in the language of their patients. They need an efficient means of scrutinizing the quality of health care translations and assessment methods that go beyond a simple “good” or “bad” label. The TQA Tool offers health care providers evaluations with sufficient and detailed information in non-technical terms about the quality of a translation product, and if translation deficiencies exist, how they might affect intended communicative objectives.
Who Should Use This Guide: This guide is meant for requesters, individuals, departments and organizations responsible for approving translations within their organizations. This tool explains how to complete Part I of the TQA Tool Cover Sheet, which is designed to orient a TQA rater to a specific rating assignment and establish quality criteria for the evaluation. Although raters with advanced linguistic skills are needed to apply the TQA Tool and render an opinion on translation quality, the evaluation process begins with a requester interested in assessing the quality of a specific translation product.
How to Use This Guide:
Sections 1 and 2: About the TQA Tool
Sections 3: How to Use the TQA Tool
Section 4: Finding TQA Raters