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By Avinash Kumar

India‘s translation markets is not as organized as it is there in the west. Language learners begin doing translation as a freelancer for certain consultancies; very few join the national level or governmental level service. India is a land of more 31 official language out of which 22 languages are recognized by the constitution of India. The Census of India 1961 identified 1,652 languages out of which 880 are still in use. Such a huge number of languages spoken in one country is in itself incredible. No other country has this kind of significant characteristics. If the literature of one language is being translation into other language then India will become world’s largest translation market. But this kind of initiatives must be taken with the help of government agencies and under the good guidance of language and translation experts.

There is lack of national platforms where new translators could be trained as the per the international quality standard and help them in engaging with the international translator’s community. Although Indian government has taken initiatives like National Translation Mission (NTM). It was set up as per National Knowledge Commission's recommendation. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has designated Central Institute of Indian Languages as the nodal organization for the operationalization of NTM. This was a landmark project that was aimed to make literature and knowledge of one language accessible to the people with a different language background.

Indian Translators Association (ITAINDIA) is a non-profit body registered under societies registration act XXI, 1860 of India and recognized by world apex body of translators International Federation of Translators (FIT) with its headquarters in Switzerland. This association is a good step in the direction of uniting the wide spread translators and interpreters community of India but it is not enough.

Lack of awareness of the translation quality standards pull translators on the back foot. They are not able to stand at par with the international and global standard of translation, thus fail to gain professional expertise in their field. All the major economies in the world have set their quality standards and all professional translators have to follow them, otherwise their works are rejected. This kind of awareness also helps them to increase and polish their language skill and their works are later read by the people across the world. In India, we lack such kind of awareness and training. So many language experts with immense potential to grow are not able to excel. They works are not recognized by the world community. A little bit of professional training is required to match up with the global market. Translators and interpreters also have to be given such kind of training.

Translation Bureau (Government of Canada) has established three acceptable quality ratings and one unacceptable rating. Minor errors in translation and terminology especially in publications, regulatory documents, books, articles are not at all acceptable. In these domains the translation has to be perfect, accurate and uniform with standard terminologies and expressions. A slight mistake will ruin the essence of whole academic work and knowledge wouldn’t be conveyed properly.

Translation is most tedious and complicated job and if the work is not done properly keeping the quality standard in mind then there is no use of translating the original text. A poor quality will not attract good readers and stopping the knowledge to flourish. Today there are online translation softwares, various language technologies through which the translations can be done. But the difference between mechanical and manual translation is very well visible in the final works.  Even if one is editing the text that has been translated using software the quality certification of the editor has to be taken into consideration. In fact, the quality standard covering machine translation (ISO 18587) states that the person who post-edits any machine-translated material needs to have the equivalent qualification to a translator covered by ISO 17100 quality standards. Anyone hires a language expert only when he/she is not capable of speaking the target language such case the translators have to play a very crucial role.

Therefore, it is very important that anyone who is in the field of translation service must follow a standard quality assessment rating. This will help them to make a excellent professional carrier.

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By Prajakta Suryawanshi,
An article on Quality Standards which are useful for language professionals, translators and service providers.

The main focus of article is to:

  • Understand the concept of quality standards.
  • Maintain quality standard for meeting the customer requirements and expectations.
  • Usefulness of Quality Standards for language professionals, translators and service providers.


Quality : In translation, quality could be defined as the success of the translation in accurately capturing and conveying the information and the intent of the source document.
Language professionals : language professionals are people who support authors in their quest to publish by helping produce documents of appropriate scope and quality (in any language). 
Translator : Translator is a person who translates from one language into another, especially as a profession.
Service provider : Service provider is a person who provides services according to customer requirement and expectation.
Concept of quality standard:

The standards which stipulate translational standards to protect and educate translational consumers and help the translator develop professionalism is quality standard.
A standard language or standard variety may be defined either as a language variety used by a population for public purposes or as a variety that has undergone standardization. Language standardization is often linked to the formation, or attempted formation, of nation states , as language is seen as the vehicle of a shared culture. Standard languages arise when a certain dialect begins to be used in written form, normally throughout a broader area than that of the dialect itself. The ways in which this language is used—e.g., in administrative matters, literature, and economic life—lead to the minimization of linguistic variation.
Quality standards for translators:
The translators are supposed to cope up with the competitive world through maintaining the standards in quality assuring to fulfil the customer requirements.
The quality can be standardised by understanding the customer expectation and initiative taken to meet the customer requirements.
Translation Quality and Accuracy is one of the main reasons why the clients are attracted towards translators. The relationship should be built on trust and appreciation of the organization and must have control over the quality that the translators deliver. However, translation quality doesn’t come easy. Translators is supposed to built quality model around best practices and models in order to maintain the highest standards.

Quality standards for language professionals:
I agree that language cannot be standardized but it can be pushed to the level of satisfaction according to the expectation of customers. The language spoken and utilized during conversation during transfer of information must be not only understandable but errorless as well as in the correct form of context. Language professionals must not only consider the ethics related to effective communication language but also must understand the importance of improving the quality of language and maintaining its standard.
Quality standard for service provider:
Quality standards is a way to identify areas for improvement and growth and help the service provider focus on improved service outcomes, satisfaction of the persons served, and quality service delivery. As a service provider one must consider the changing demands of customers as well as customers. The intensity of customer demand and expectation helps you improve the quality. Each standard sets a guideline for the subject addressed. Standards provide a mechanism for continuous improvement to positively impact service providers and their consumers. Talking about the standardization in services provided, its quality can be improved by increasing the productivity under similar standard quality and also promote prolonged use of services provided.
Quality Assurance is a key component of any translation management system. Our Quality Assurance process allows delivering excellent translations while continuously improving the overall quality.

Quality can be assured by the following process. Firstly Translation review must be taken followed by translation preparation. There also must be a check on glossary development along with the translation. Copy and editing can be done wherever necessary. The translator review can also be incorporated. Formatting, quality control and proofreading is must for the quality assurance process. And then only the final delivery of translation can be done.

Quality can be controlled by avoiding Misinterpretation of the terms, Occurrence of syntactic error, Omission of required letter or sometimes a meaningful word. Unstructured sentences should be corrected and must not be brought into practise. There must not be any misspell of words. Translator must be careful with grammatical errors and other Miscellaneous errors too.

When it comes to our focus, we understand that quality control is a product-oriented process. When it comes to quality assurance, it is a process-oriented practice. Quality control makes sure the end product meets the quality requirements, quality assurance makes sure that the process of translation does adhere to standards.

And to talk about the quality standard then it comes into existence when the quality is assured to meet the customer expectations and improve the quality. Quality must not only be improved but also assured and standerdized to maintain customer satisfaction and helps in cementing relations.

Hence quality standards are not only useful but must be brought into practise by the language professionals, translators and service providers for effective and efficient translation process.

KEYWORDS: Quality, Quality standards, Language professionals, Translators, Service providers

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