Last updated: 2014 November 21

The notion of Parameters is central to the QTLaunchPad Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM). Dimensions are based on the ASTM F2575 standard for translation guidance (for sale here), which lists 21 parameters that should be specified in translation projects. (A free summary of the 21 parameters is available here.)

MQM selects eleven of these parameters and adds an additional one (output modality), as follow:

  1. Language/locale. The language or locale (combination of language with geographical location) for which the text is intended. E.g., a text is intended for use by French speakers in Canada.
  2. Subject field/domain. The subject field(s) to which the text pertains. E.g., a legal text or a pharmaceutical text.
  3. Terminology. Description of any terminological resources or conventions that apply to the target or source text.
  4. Text Type. The type and genre of the content. E.g., a novel, a technical user manual, or an advertising text.
  5. Audience. The intended audience for the content. E.g., users of a Model 2934x washing machine, high school environmental science students.
  6. Purpose. The intended purpose of the content. E.g., the text is intended to inform readers about their rights under a proposed law.
  7. Register. Description of the linguistic register to be used in the target language. E.g., a formal text or an informal text
  8. Style. Information about the style for the text. E.g., a particular style guide should be used, or certain stylistic features should be used or avoided.
  9. Content correspondence. Specifies how the text should be translated with respect to the source. E.g., a summary translation that highlights important parts why omitting details is acceptable; the translation should appear as though it was written in the target language or it may keep some aspects as they were in the source locale.
  10. Output modality. The way in which the text is to be output. E.g., the text will be displayed as subtitles, a string on a mobile phone, or presented as an audio warning.
  11. File format. The file format(s) in which the content is to be delivered. E.g., the text should be delivered in an HTML file or an InDesign file.
  12. Production technology. Any technology or software to be used in the translation process. E.g., machine translation, translation memory, a particular terminology database system.

Note that because the MQM model includes an assessment of source quality, many of the dimensions listed above that are applied to the the target language in TS-1169 are applied to both the source and target in MQM.

Role of Parameters

When parameters are defined with particular values (e.g., Register is “formal” or content correspondence is “full localization”), they guide reviewers to select issue types from the master list of error types that are relevant to their needs. For example, if an information-only translation is intended, many issues related to terminology, cohesion, and style would not be checked, even though they would be checked for a publication-oriented translation.

QTLaunchPad is developing a question-and-answer tool based on these dimensions to help guide users in selecting relevant metrics. In addition, for common task types, we will provide suggested default metrics that can be used across a wide variety of similar projects. These default metrics will simplify the task of choosing an appropriate metric and will improve comparability and interoperability between users.