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The Complete Guide to Translation Management Systems for Global Assessments (TMS)

13 Apr 2023

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When it comes to delivering a truly inclusive and global assessment program, one of the biggest challenges organizations face is managing translated content. From handling the sheer volume of assessment content, to gaining a top level overview of what stage each piece of content is at, a Translation Management System can be an excellent method for going global with your assessments in an efficient and accurate manner.

What is a Translation Management System?

A Translation Management System (TMS) is an efficient way for organizations and certification bodies to extend the reach of global certification programs easily and accurately. While it doesn’t translate the content itself, it does allow organizations to deliver and schedule an assessment—or singular questions—in multiple languages and then easily gather the results. This means if you need the same assessment supported in English, Spanish and French (for example), you can do so easily while also being able to analyze the results in a single data set.

What’s more, with its simple interface, you can gain a 360-degree view of the status for each assessment or topic meaning no matter how global your program is, you always have a firm grasp of what’s in progress. 

How does a Translation Management System work?

Questionmark’s Translation Management System provides two options for translating your assessment content:

  1. The TMS extends Questionmark’s Authoring features with functionality to create ‘in line’ translations of questions and assessments directly within the platform. The user interfaces display read-only views of the base-language content in one field, and an adjacent editable field to enter the corresponding translation. This functionality, while suitable for small scale translations, is most commonly used for reviewing and editing translations created via the second option.
  2. The second option is better suited for larger scale translations: administrators can export questions and assessments so the content can be translated outside of the Questionmark platform via a third-party translation company. This is a  sensible approach as third-party translation services have systems like translation memories and computerized help which make translation efficient. Once translated, the files are reuploaded to the TMS for the organization to then easily review, edit and publish the content to their global audience.   

How does scheduling, delivery and reporting work for TMS content?

When administrators schedule a multilingual assessment for delivery, the schedule can either specify a particular language the assessment will be delivered in, or (more commonly) provide candidates the option of choosing their desired language.

When taking a multilingual assessment, the platform automatically adjusts the built-in participant-facing user interfaces (e.g. buttons for launching and navigating through the assessment; pop-up notifications; etc.) to the same language as the assessment.

Following delivery, administrators can analyze overall assessment results, as well as results segmented by language.  Filtering and comparing response data by language helps administrators ensure reliable results across the base language and translated assessment content.

What are the benefits of a Translation Management System?

The benefits of a Translation Management System include:

  • Organizations can easily and efficiently manage a high-volume translation process to allow for scalable and inclusive assessment programs
  • When you change a question in the base language, it can prompt you to change the translated questions too
  • The TMS means that while a third-party can handle the bulk of the translations, it also means that an organization can make small edits to the translated content directly in the system without relying on the original XLIFF file
  • Organizations can easily gain an overview of what stage each assessment or question is at in the translation process
  • The TMS is highly secure and doesn’t require you to provide third-party translation companies with direct access to your system
  • Can be used in conjunction with the coaching report for tailored and translated feedback as well as other reports under the ‘Analytics’ section

How can reporting features help identify translation variations with the TMS?

The reporting options within Questionmark’s assessment platform are not just useful for automating the gathering of results and scoring, but also for spotting potential areas for review within the translated content. 

The Item Analysis report, for example, is significant because it can help an administrator spot potential problems in question translations. For example, if an item is delivered in English, German, French, and Dutch, you would expect response data to indicate consistent mean scores and difficulty levels across all four languages. A significant difference in difficulty levels between a translated question and its base-language counterpart could suggest a potential problem with the translation and prompt an administrative review.

Additionally, the results export in the new Reports & Dashboards section provide a lot of flexibility with regards to multilingual assessments, including:

  • The ability to add language filters
  • The ability to add your own custom report parts (grids, charts, and other data visualizations) to compare results by language.   

Using Reports and Dashboards you can: :

  • Compare overall scores by language
  • Compare topic and question scores by language
  • Compare completion times by languages 
  • Check that results from multilingual questions and assessments are generally consistent across all delivered languages. 

Reports don’t only save time generally when it comes to marking and pivoting training, but it can also help administrators spot significant variations across translated assessments so they can be investigated and resolved- making them a key addition to using the Translation Management System. 


No, the Translation Management System is a means of managing the process of translating high-volume assessment content, and provides an easy way to work with a third-party company that would handle the bulk of the translation process. You can also make small edits manually after the third-party has completed the bulk of the translation.

No, the entire process can be managed via the TMS and means you don’t need to give any access to your internal systems which is especially important for high-risk organizations concerned with privacy.

Yes, the TMS is designed to give you a complete overview of the translation process across all your assessment or certification content.

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