Quality Standards for Language Businesses

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By Soham Buch

Business dictionary defines standardization as follows:

“Standardization is formulation, publication, and implementation of guidelines, rules, and specification of common and repeated use, aimed at achieving optimum degree of order or uniformity in a given context, discipline or field.”

Initially developed for industrial products to remain time, cost and material efficient is expanding its reach in various service sector aspects. In modern multi-linguist societies around the world, where translation from one language to the other have become basic requirement; standardization of languages that have survived remain an absolute necessity. Though it is evident that before a quarter of century such standardization was far from possible, despite translations and interpretations services were being provided for a long period of time. With recent trend of independent professionals carrying out language entrepreneurship widely, it is essential to establish standards to protect the global village from the ills of weaker language practices.

Established Practices
Since last couple of decades language project work standardization has progressed through many stages. The end results were the standards that are now widely recognized in the language profession. Some of them are DIN Standard, Australian, Chinese, American, European Union, Canadian Standards; focusing on different aspects such as processes, texts, and contracts etc. They are recent developments as they are into practice since the late ‘90s. It includes careful use of principles of management such that it reduces conflict between client and service provider on various aspects of the projects and its delivery. However, they are still in the process of development and changes as a language entrepreneurship profession would require it to be. They are desirable in the language practices; but not mandatory. Let’s look at one in detail.

ISO 17100:2015
The International Organization for Standardization standard 17100 applied in 2015 has been one of the recent standards that focused on process. It suggested that language projects ought to remain a team effort between service provider and client. It requires cooperation and coordination. For example, client and service providers should agree on the materialistic aspects of the projects in advance. It should also pass through the stages of terminology management, a summary of the interpretations to correctly understand the context. The qualifications of service providers, project executioner and editor needs to be conveyed before acceptance of the project and signing contract. After, signing contract service provider is free to clear his doubt and confusions with client. A project must be reviewed by the qualified editor before delivering to client. Even after the delivery of the project the client has the right of checking the correctness of the project and if found dis-satisfactory at any stage this needs to go under revision(s). It ensures satisfactory delivery and acceptance by both parties.

Utility for a Business Entity (Service Provider)
For a language entrepreneur, whether literary or not, the standards act as a guideline of the process one has to follow. At the same time for a company that provides such services; employing language professionals, standards provide a modus operandi. It helps in ensuring smooth delivery of services to client and punctuality in technical matters from employees. This structure the process of providing services in an orderly manner. It reduces chances of errors, omission, commission, interpretation, and delivery. The cross checking of one’s work by the other ensures minimal chances of mistakes and errors that can be revised.
Importance is also given to processes that are important before a project is accepted. For instance, terminology management, and conveying the qualification of the service provider and editor. Any project based on a contract, one of the basic standards, makes most of the things clear for both parties regarding various aspects such as fees, nature of project, context, delivery time, and acceptance of delivery of the project. Payment related conflicts can also be minimized and simplified by the adherence to the quality standards.
This ensures long term positive relationship with clients. It could result in referrals and recommendations that ensures the survival of business in cut throat competitive scenario.

Importance for the Customer (Beneficiary)
The standardization makes sure that the work is done as per standards with required checks. This ensures the beneficiary of the quality of the services. Further, with stage wise co-operation between the service provider and the client the client has a direct influence on the project. If he identifies a new perspective that requires changes it can be implemented in time during the execution of the project. He is also updated with the progress of the project. Any doubts and confusions with reference to the point of view, meanings of the words etc are clarified when occurred or before the projects is accepted so there would be lesser chances of misinterpretation. Equally satisfying thing remains on the quality part as a review is done by the qualified editor and in the case of an independent service provider the revisions are possible after the customer is delivered the completed projects. If in the contractual boundary if the client needs an explanation or revision to the work, it is provided by the service provider. It nurtures the relationship between the buyer and supplier so that the client is ensured of quality delivery in long-term.

With numerous languages practice without standardization poses a huge limitation. Having limited awareness of standards various myths have sprung up. There have been many point of view of language projects that require the contextual interpretation. Without it the whole project would lose its credibility despite being technically correct and adherence to standards.

Largely standardization for language projects have provided benefits to service provider, company or a professional, and customers. Adherence to standards have improved quality of the work, credibility of the service provider and satisfaction of the beneficiary. Memberships of such standardizing institutions have supported businesses with more clients and reliability because of their recognition. It is in the interest of the modern-day language professional to be aware of such practices and using it for the benefit of the society at large.

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Certified Quality Translation Services in Delhi