Quality standards of translation

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By Shaifali Khulbe

An ordinary person without much knowledge of translation might wonder about what the phrase 'quality standards of translation'  mean. Since translation is usually taken for granted from a person knowing two or more language, it is expected of anyone who speaks more than one language to be able to translate naturally. In reality, translation is not just the art of changing one language into another, the spirit of the source language must be kept alive in the language to be translated in. As such, one must pay attention to the context and respect teh social and the cultural references while translating. The reader or listener must be able to sense the same feeling while reading the translated language as one experiences in the source language. Then only is it a true work of translation. 

While one misses the point of professionalism in such translation work, one does not even consider there to be such a thing called a quality standard of translation. Thus to enter the professional world of translation and master the art of translation one must aware oneself of  these standards.

So basically the quality standards were constructed for the manufacturing buisiness. As in a buisiness, both parties, the employer and the employee, have certain duties to fulfil towards each other, such standards were put forward to respect the spirit of fair buisiness and keep a check on mutual duties. 

The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems standards is designed to help organizations meet the needs of customers and the stakeholders while dealing with the fundamentals of quality management systems including the seven quality management principles upon which the family of standards is based. ISO 9001 deals with the requirements that organizations wishing to meet the standard must fulfill. It is one of the widely used management tools today with over one million organizations certified under it.

With the growing interest in quality management over the period of time,  certain quality standards have been developed for translation services including  the Italian UNI 10574, the German DIN 2345, the Austrian Önorm D 1200 and Önorm D 1201, and the Canadian CAN CGSB 131.10.

One interesting step taken for the translation services in Europe is the formation of  European Committee for Standardization (CEN) publishing  EN: 15038, which works as  the European equivalent of ISO. It was recently updated in 2015 to a new standard to be used in Europe called ISO 17100:2015.  

The knowledge of all these standards and how they is really important for the translation business. When dealing with specific areas of translation like legal translations, commercial or technical translations having a knowledge of a more specific terminology is important as these areas include working with already standardized documents . 

After knowing briefly about how the traslation standards work in the current industial world and how they are an important aspect of translation services, one can easily figure out how the lack of awareness about these standards actually hampers the professional development of translators and language professionals. A translator with updated knowlege of these standards and following them well and the organizations providing translation services and certified accordingly for maintaining these standards are certainly more reliable and trustworthy and are going to produce a work of better quality than those without such knowledge. 

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