Metrics for Translation Quality Assessment: A Case for Standardising Error Typologies

  • Arle Lommel
Part of the Machine Translation: Technologies and Applications book series (MATRA, volume 1)


Translation quality assessment (TQA) has suffered from a lack of standard methods. Starting in 2012, the Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM) and Dynamic Quality Framework (DQF) projects independently began to address the need for such shared methods. In 2014 these approaches were integrated, centring on a shared error typology (the “DQF/MQM Error Typology”) that brought them together. This approach to quality evaluation provides a common vocabulary to describe and categorise translation errors and to create translation quality metrics that tie translation quality to specifications. This approach is currently (as of 2018) in the standardisation process at ASTM International and has seen significant uptake in industry, research, and academia. By bringing together disparate strands of quality assessment into a unified systematic framework, it offers a way to escape the inconsistency and subjectivity that have so far characterised TQA.


Translation quality assessment Principles to practice DQF MQM Translation errors Translation metrics Translation specifications Standardisation 



The author thanks the following individuals: Drs. Hans Uszkoreit and Aljoscha Burchardt (DFKI Berlin), who were integral in the development of MQM; Jaap van der Meer and Attila Görög (TAUS), for their development of DQF and contribution to the integrated MQM/DQF metric; Prof. Alan K. Melby (Brigham Young University Translation Research Group), who contributed greatly to MQM and introduced the notion of specifications. Any errors in this publication are the author’s alone and do not reflect on the contributions of these individuals.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arle Lommel
    • 1
  1. 1.Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research)Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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