Quality Standards In Translation Business

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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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