What is ErrorSpy?

With ErrorSpy, D.O.G. GmbH has developed the first commercial quality assurance software for translations. Decades of experience in the translation and localisation field have led to the development of this program. ErrorSpy is used to assist the work of the reviser. Translations are automatically checked for a range of characteristics. The reviser is given a list of errors which he can edit. At the same time translations can be evaluated with the aid of ErrorSpy. Using objective and freely configurable criteria, ErrorSpy automatically generates an evaluation of the translation and an error list.

How does ErrorSpy work?

The procedure is relatively simple: the file to be checked is read into ErrorSpy. The reviser defines the tasks to be checked and ErrorSpy signals all the places which deviate from this specification.

What is checked?

ErrorSpy can check a range of characteristics:

  • Terminology check: Using a terminology list, ErrorSpy checks whether the translator has used the correct terminology. One can legitimately question how a reviser can guarantee to keep terminology consistent when there are 1,000 terms and 200 pages to consider. With ErrorSpy, it's no problem. What's more, you have the option of making allowances for several forms of a word (e.g. plural 's') and several translations for one term. ErrorSpy checks the terminology in both directions. It therefore checks whether the source term also exists for a target term which has been found.
  • Consistency check: ErrorSpy notes all sentences or segments which are identical in the source language. If the translations differ for such segments, the reviser is informed of these differences.
  • Number check: Number errors are amongst the most serious. ErrorSpy not only checks whether numbers are identical in the source and target language, it also checks whether the decimal signs comply with the specification.
  • Completeness check: It is possible to specify a certain length for the translation. All sentences which are too short are submitted to the reviser for checking. He can therefore find any missing translations.
  • Tag check: Many file formats contain tags. During translation, these tags can accidentally be deleted or damaged. ErrorSpy informs you of all segments containing tag errors. In addition, ErrorSpy offers you the option of excluding certain tags from the check. Thus, for example, the reviser can exclude a tag for the conditional separation of a word from the check, as such tags often disappear in the translation.
  • Acronym check: A further source of errors consists of wrongly adopted acronyms. ErrorSpy offers you the option of defining acronym patterns and checking whether they correspond in both languages.
  • Typography check: The correctness of punctuation marks is checked language dependent..
  • Missing translations: This function performs a fast and easy-to-handle scan for missing translations. Identical source and target segments are reported to the person verifying the translation.

Greater certainty and quality

No individual is in a position to carry out such extensive checks precisely and quickly. With ErrorSpy, every reviser has the certainty of knowing that he has not overlooked anything. This is an enormous advantage - particularly for large volume documents which have to be handled under great time pressure and sometimes by a team of translators.

Which file formats are supported?

ErrorSpy reads either Trados unclean files or text files which contain both languages alongside each other sentence by sentence (source sentence and translation separated by any separator you wish).
Similarly you can check Translation Memories (Trados text format or TMX files), Trados TTX files, Transit XV files or XLIFF files

Translation evaluation and reports

It used to be difficult to produce error lists and to evaluate translations objectively. Due to the time required, many companies have therefore stopped giving their translators feedback on translation quality. Using self-defined criteria, ErrorSpy generates an evaluation of the translation in seconds and produces an error list which can be sent to the translator. Thus evaluations are fair, objective and comprehensible.

ErrorSpy is the ideal solution for…

  • Language services needing to check the work supplied by external translators: a major portion of the revision work is assumed by ErrorSpy, which in turn frees up resources for translation work. Apart from this, an objective assessment and error report enable a matter-of-fact discussion to be held with external translators.
  • Documentation departments without translators of their own, but where managers need to know that the quality of the translations they receive is good. ErrorSpy is also capable of reporting deviations in languages such as Greek, Polish or Chinese, and it can then be sent then as a comment to the translator.
  • Professional translators who check their own work carefully and reliably, and who wish to demonstrate this fact to their clients.

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Translation technologies and their pioneers

Ever since different languages have existed, inventors, scientists and philosophers have looked for ways to translate automatically from one language to another - long before the first computers ever appeared. This article offers a number of interesting thoughts without making any claims to completeness.