Skip to content

Tekom Review Error Typology

High-level error type
Granular error typeDefinitionExample 
1Accuracy 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’.
11 AdditionThe target text includes text not present in the source.A translation includes portions of another translation that were inadvertently pasted into the document.
12 OmissionContent is missing from the translation that is present in the source.A paragraph present in the source is missing in the translation.
13 MistranslationThe 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).
14 Over-translationThe 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.
15 Under-translationThe 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.
16 UntranslatedContent that should have been translated has been left untranslated.A sentence in a Japanese document translated into English is left in Japanese.
17 Improper exact TM matchAn translation is provided as an exact match from a translation memory (TM) system but is actually incorrect.A TM system returns Press the Start button as an exact (100%) match when the proper translation should be Press the Begin button.
2Fluency 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.
21 Punctuationis used incorrectly (for the locale or style).An English text uses a semicolon where a comma should be used.
22 SpellingIssues related to spelling of words.The German word Zustellung is spelled Zustetlugn.
23 GrammarIssues 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.
24 Grammatical registerThe 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 du form instead of the expected De.
25 InconsistencyThe text shows internal inconsistency.A text uses both app. and approx. for approximately.
26 Link/cross-referenceLinks 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.
27 Character encodingCharacters 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.
3Terminology 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-mail as e-mail but terminology guidelines mandated that courriel be used.The English musicological term dog is translated (literally) into German as Hund instead of as Schnarre, as specified in a terminology database.
31 Inconsistent with termbaseA term is used inconsistently with a specified termbase.A termbase specifies that the term USB memory stick should be used, but the text uses USB flash drive.
32 Inconsistent use of terminologyTerminology 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.
4Style 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.
41 AwkwardA 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. 
42 Company styleThe text violates company/organization-specific style guidelines.Company style states that passive sentences may not be used but the text uses passive sentences.
43 Inconsistent styleStyle 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.
44 Third-party styleThe 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.
45 UnidiomaticThe 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”. 
5Design There is a problem relating to design aspects (vs. linguistic aspects) of the content.A document is formatted incorrectly.
51 LengthThere is a significant discrepancy between the source and the target text lengths.An English sentence is 253 characters long but its German translation is 51 characters long.
52 Local formattingIssues 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).
53 MarkupIssues related to markup (codes used to represent structure or formatting of text, also known as tags).Markup is used incorrectly, resulting in incorrect formatting.
54 Missing textExisting 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.
55 Truncation/text expansionTruncation-text-expansion.The German translation of an English string in a user interface runs off the edge of a dialogue box and cannot be read.
6Locale 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 」).
61 Address formatContent 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.
62 Date formatA text uses a date format inappropriate for its locale.An English text has 2012-06-07 instead of the expected 06/07/2012.
63 Currency formatContent 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).
64 Measurement formatA text uses a measurement format inappropriate for its locale.A text in France uses feet and inches and Fahrenheit temperatures.
65 Shortcut keyA 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).
66 Telephone formatContent 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.
7Verity 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.
71 Culture-specific referenceContent 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.
8Other Any other issues. 

Severity levels for error categories

1Critical Errors that may carry health, safety, legal or financial implications, violate geopolitical usage guidelines, damage the organization’s reputation, cause the application to crash or negatively modify/misrepresent the functionality of a product or service, or which could be seen as offensive.
2Major Errors that may confuse or mislead the user or hinder proper use of the product/service due to significant change in meaning or because errors appear in a visible or important part of the content.
3MinorErrors that don’t lead to loss of meaning and wouldn’t confuse or mislead the user but would be noticed, would decrease stylistic quality, fluency or clarity, or would make the content less appealing.
4Neutral Used to log additional information, problems or changes to be made that don´t count as errors, e.g. they reflect a reviewer’s choice or preferred style, they are repeated errors or instruction/glossary changes not yet implemented, a change to be made that the translator is not aware of.
5KudosUsed to praise for exceptional achievement.