Understanding Translation Quality Score

Measure your AI translation quality in an instant with TQS

Smartcat Translation Quality Score (TQS) is a measurement tool to see the precise quality of your AI translations.

To the middle-left of the screen, Smartcat indicates the translation quality score for each language. 

To the right, you can see an overall translation quality score with specific details on the translation project and the option to invite colleagues or linguists from Smartcat Marketplace to improve it further.

What is TQS and how is it calculated?

Translation quality score is a number ranging from 0 to 100. Essentially, it provides a quick overview of how good your translation is. 

To determine the score, Smartcat uses a proprietary combination of AI-based approaches that uses the power of large language models (LLM) and machine learning-based quality assessment techniques. Smartcat designed this metric system to be reliable and trustworthy, while also being reasonably fast to apply at large scale.

How to interpret translation quality score

Here are the scoring ranges and their corresponding categories for translation quality.

Some notes to keep in mind

0 – 49: A score in this range is most likely the result of a complete mistranslation or that it is a significant departure from the original meaning or formatting.

95 – 100: In this top range, any further translation edits will most likely be subjective and won’t improve the score.

How to use TQS

You don't actually have to do anything to activate TQS. It appears automatically, for you to view on three separate areas of your translation workspace on Smartcat.

1. Project languages. For a high-level, macro view of the AI translation quality of each translated language.

2. Project level widget. A side-screen widget that displays overall quality. This display is to provide fast, easy access to TQS information.

3. Segment level. For a more detailed, micro view of each specific text segment inside a translation file.

3 steps to use translation quality score to improve quality

Smartcat highlights your translation quality score for a given language pair or for a translation project overall. This acts as a means to understand the quality level of your translation and help you decide how to proceed. Both AI translation and manual translation may require adjustments.

Here are three steps to improve translation quality score.

Step 1: Address any immediate issues

Ensure the translation has no obvious mistakes. Smartcat highlights critical issues such as lack of formatting tags or placeholders, mistranslation of glossary terms, or punctuation issues.

Step 2: Proofread to compare source and target texts

Ensure the translation accurately reflects the source text with a proofreading step. 

Some issues to look out for include making a translation too short or too long, or over-translating – adding extra content or explanations that were not there in the source. Such issues, which are not faithful to the source text, result in a lower translation quality score.

Step 3: Ensure target formatting and punctuation is accurate

Proofreading doesn't just apply to language. It is essential to also ensure that punctuation and formatting mirrors the source language file.

For instance, providing a translation in upper case while the source is lower case negatively affects translation quality score.

Additionally, when proofreading, aim to guarantee translation fluency and that it uses proper grammatical gender.

Hire a language editor or proofreader from Smartcat Marketplace by clicking on the on-screen Invite editor button.

In your Smartcat workspace, you can review translations yourself or invite your colleagues to carry out this step. You can also hire a professional linguist from Smartcat Marketplace. All users can collaborate on the same files, inside the same private workspace.

In all cases, translation quality score is the ultimate measure of the quality of the translation work performed and the faithfulness of the translated target language to the original source language.