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Community & Business Groups

MQM Top Level (2019-04-11)

This document defines the top level categories from MQM, with an emphasis on the DQF subset with some additional revisions from the ASTM WK46396 working group.

  • Terminology 
    • Wrong term[1]
    • Inconsistent use of terms (Multiple terms for same concept)
    • Inconsistent with termbase
  • Accuracy (other than Terminology)
    • Addition
    • Omission
    • Mistranslation
    • Over-translation
    • Under-translation
    • Untranslated
    • Improper exact TM match
  • Fluency (Linguistic well-formedness)
    • Punctuation
    • Spelling
    • Grammar
    • Grammatical register[2]
    • Inconsistency
    • Link/cross-reference[3]
    • Character encoding
  • Style
    • Company style
    • Third-party style
    • Register[4]
    • Awkward
    • Unidiomatic
    • Inconsistent style
  • Design
    • Length
    • Local formatting
    • Markup
    • Missing text
    • Truncation/text expansion
  • Locale convention
    • Address format
    • Date format
    • Currency format
    • Measurement format
    • Shortcut key
    • Telephone format
  • Verity (Locale appropriateness)
    • Culture-specific reference
  • Other[5]

Notes and Proposed Changes

[1] Suggested addition to Terminology (not in termbase but wrong with regard to domain knowledge)

[2] Suggested to move to Style

[3] Needs to be narrowed to broken links internal to document.

[4] Proposed to include Register from full MQM

[5] Proposed to delete in favor of custom, user-defined types

Explanation of Error Types

Name and ID Parent Definition Example
Accuracy (other than Terminology)
Note: Accuracy is the only strictly bilingual error category
The target text does not accurately reflect the source text, allowing for any differences authorized by specifications. Translating the Italian word canali into English as canals instead of channels.
Accuracy The target text includes text not present in the source. A translation includes portions of another translation that were inadvertently pasted into the document.
Address format
Locale convention Content uses the wrong format for addresses. An online form translated from English to Hindi requires a house number even though many addresses in India do not include a house number.
Style A text is written with an awkward style. A text is written with many embedded clauses and an excessively wordy style. While the meaning can be understood, the text is very awkward and difficult to follow. 
Character encoding
Fluency Characters are garbled due to incorrect application of an encoding. A text document in UTF-8 encoding is opened as ISO Latin-1, resulting in all upper ASCII characters being garbled.
Company style
Style The text violates company/organization-specific style guidelines. Company style states that passive sentences may not be used but the text uses passive sentences.
Culture-specific reference
Note: Verity also applies to mismatches with the locale involving the legal system and to mismatches with physical reality.
Verity Content inappropriately uses a culture-specific reference that will not be understandable to the intended audience. An English text refers to steps in a process as First baseSecond base, and Third base, and to successful completion as a Home run and uses other metaphors from baseball. These prove difficult to translate and confuse the target audience in Germany.
Currency format
Locale convention Content uses the wrong format for currency. A text dealing with business transactions from English into Hindi assumes that all currencies will be expressed in simple units, while the convention in India is to give such prices in lakh rupees (100,000 rupees).
Date format
Locale convention A text uses a date format inappropriate for its locale. An American English text has 2012-06-23instead of the expected 06/23/2012.
There is a problem relating to design aspects, e.g. physical layout, formatting, or markup (vs. linguistic aspects) of the content.  A document is formatted incorrectly.
Fluency (Linguistic well-formedness)
Issues related to the form or content of a text, irrespective as to whether it is a translation or not. A text has errors in it that prevent it from being understood.
Fluency Issues related to the grammar or syntax of the text, other than spelling and orthography. An English text reads The man was seeing the his wife.
Grammatical register
(Suggested to move to Style since does not involve well-formedness )
Fluency The content uses the wrong grammatical register, such as using informal pronouns or verb forms when their formal counterparts are required. A text used for a highly formal announcement uses the Norwegian duform instead of the expected De.
Improper exact TM match
Accuracy A translation is provided as an exact match from a translation memory (TM) system but is actually incorrect. A TM system returns Press the Start buttonas an exact (100%) match when the proper translation should be Press the Begin button.
Fluency The text shows internal inconsistency. A text uses both app. and approx. for approximately.
Inconsistent style
Style Style is inconsistent within a text. One part of a text is written in a light and terse style while other sections are written in a more wordy style.
Inconsistent use of terminology
Terminology Terminology is used in an inconsistent manner within the text. The text refers to a component as the brake release leverbrake disengagement levermanual brake release, and manual disengagement release.
Inconsistent with termbase
Terminology A term is used inconsistently with a specified termbase. A termbase specifies that the term USB memory stickshould be used, but the text uses USB flash drive.
Design There is a significant discrepancy between the source and the target text lengths, not justified by the specifications An English sentence is 253 characters long but its German translation is 51 characters long.
Fluency Links are inconsistent in the text. An HTML file contains numerous links to other HTML files; some have been updated to reflect the appropriate language version while some point to the source language version.
Local formatting
Design Issues related to local formatting (rather than to overall layout concerns). A portion of the text displays a (non-systematic) formatting problem (e.g., a single heading is formatted incorrectly, even though other headings appear properly).
Locale convention
The text does not adhere to locale-specific mechanical conventions and violates requirements for the presentation of content in the target locale. An incorrect format for currency is used for a German text, with a period (.) instead of a comma (,) as a thousands separator. A text translated into Japanese uses Western quote marks to indicate titles rather than the appropriate Japanese quote marks (「 and」).
Note: If a root cause, the result can also be marked as an error.
Design Issues related to markup (codes used to represent structure or formatting of text, also known as tags). Markup is used incorrectly, resulting in incorrect formatting.
Measurement format
Locale convention A text uses a measurement format inappropriate for its locale. A text in France uses feet and inches and Fahrenheit temperatures.
Missing text
Design Existing text is missing in the final laid-out version. A translation is complete, but during DTP a text box was inadvertently moved off the page and so the translated text does not appear in a rendered PDF version.
Accuracy The target content does not accurately represent the source content. A source text states that a medicine should not be administered in doses greater than 200 mg, but the translation states that it should be administered in doses greater than 200 mg (i.e., negation has been omitted).
Accuracy Content is missing from the translation that is present in the source. A paragraph present in the source is missing in the translation.
Any other errors not falling under one of the other dimensions.
Accuracy The target text is more specific than the source text. The source text refers to a boy but is translated with a word that applies only to young boys rather than the more general term.
Fluency is used incorrectly (for the locale or style). An English text uses a semicolon where a comma should be used.
Shortcut key
Locale convention A translated software product uses shortcuts that do not conform to locale expectations or that make no sense for the locale. A software product uses CTRL-S to save a file in Hungarian, rather than the appropriate CTRL-M (for menteni).
Fluency Issues related to spelling of words. The German word Zustellungis spelled Zustetlugn.
The text has stylistic problems. The translation of a light-hearted and humorous advertising campaign is in a serious and “heavy” style even though specifications said it should match the style of the source text.
Telephone format
Locale convention Content uses the wrong form for telephone numbers. A German text presents a telephone number in the format (xxx) xxx – xxxx instead of the expected 0xx followed by a group of digits separated into groups by spaces.
A term (domain-specific word) is translated with a term other than the one expected for the domain or otherwise specified. A French text translates English e-mailas e-mail but terminology guidelines mandated that courriel be used. 
Third-party style
Style The text violates a third-party style guide. Specifications stated that English text was to be formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style, but the text delivered followed the American Psychological Association style guide.
Truncation/text expansion
Design truncation where text has extended beyond the allowed bounds. The German translation of an English string in a user interface runs off the edge of a dialogue box and cannot be read.
Accuracy The target text is less specific than the source text. The source text uses words that refer to a specific type of military officer but the target text refers to military officers in general.
Style The content is grammatical, but not idiomatic. The following text appears in an English translation of a German letter: “We thanked him with heart” where “with heart” is an understandable, but non-idiomatic rendering, better stated as “heartily”. 
Accuracy Content that should have been translated has been left untranslated. A sentence in a Japanese document translated into English is left in Japanese.
Verity (Locale appropriateness)
The text makes statements that contradict the world of the text. The text states that a feature is present on a certain model of automobile when in fact it is not available.
Wrong term
[N.B. This category is proposed for addition]
Terminology The wrong term appears (and is incorrect, regardless of any guidance from a termbase) A translation of a contract from German into English uses actual interest rate instead of current interest rate, but the term in German refers to the interest rate at the present time.
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