Quality standards in translation

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By Dujender Yadav

Use of Quality Standards for Language professionals, Translators and Service providers.

It is a very important thing to know the need of these standards and it is very simple that to avoid the collision of the expectations of the client and the translator or service provider. Because expectations of consumer or client play a very vital role in translation services. If we do not have these guideline or standards it can cause conflicts between the consumer or client and the translator or the service provider. In the absence of consumer oriented guidelines for translation services, on many occasions there had been a mismatch for assumptions and goals between the people requesting a translation and the people supplying the translation. And this thing affects the quality of the project. This situation demanded the need of quality standards to protect and educate translation consumers and help the translator develop professionalism. All the major countries have their quality standards such as BIS in India.

Very firstly the Germans set up these standards DIN 2345 in 1998. After the Germans, the other national standards were developed and gained importance. There are some certifying organizations in translation which defines or set up the above said standards such ISO in India. These standards are defined to help in increasing the efficiency of the process and minimize the loss. Customer expectations of quality in translation refers to the correct form and the content. Quality is a subject of standards such as The American Translation Service Standard (ASTM-American Society for testing Materials), the Europeans Quality Standard for Translation Services (EN 15038) ISO standards etc.

Translation is mainly based on the terms, means the terms used must carry the same meaning as of the term of the source language. So translation standards are mainly based on the terminology management. Standardization provides the reference point in the translation. Quality standards actually helps both translator as well as the client, as it is defined that after applying these standards the client will get the good quality of work done but translator also have the benefit of improving his skills, increasing his speed, he/she could provide a flawless work to the client. It will save the time also by reducing the multiple times of proofreading. It helps to setup a long term relationship between the client and the translator. As per J2450 of Society of Automotive Engineers some points are summed up in terms of-  wrong term, syntactic error, omission, word structure, misspelling, punctuation error, miscellaneous error.

Above these are not only the terms but these are the points to referred when doing translation for the purpose of setting some reference. On the basis of these terms is defined the translation standard  that how many wrong terms are avoidable or which misspelled word could be avoided and etc. This makes the comparison of different text simple and makes a translator aware about the future translations. To be more professional a translator or a client should be aware of these standards. There are some check points of non linguistic aspects in quality control  also that should also be considered as well and these are-segment level checks, inconsistency, punctuation, numbering, quotation marks, terminology etc. A translator should always keep these points in his/her mind to be more precise.

As per Jiri Stejskal, Ex-President of American Translators Association,” the concept of quality is plagued with the same problem as the concept of translation, it is a mixed bag with an enormous spread between the creative and the normative”. It is not necessary to be a certified translator but it is necessary to do a standardized translation to become more professional. A translator should always know about the demands of the client and then get some keywords checked from the client itself so that he could not say that you have done a bad translation. A good translator is one who always satisfy the client with his service in terms of time and in terms of quality. Both of these two things could be managed by maintaining some standards. These points helps a translator to make things easy for him to deal with the client and it will also be easy for the client to check whether the job done is good or bad. So both the translator and the client should be aware of the quality standards. And at last I would  thank Mr. Ravi kumar sir for his guidance and providing me the platform to share my knowledge. 

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