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Like any supplier of goods or services, a translator potentially bears ethical and legal obligations toward his patron or employer. For the protection of both parties, standards have been developed that seek to spell out their mutual duties.


Standards of quality and documentation were originally developed for manufacturing businesses. Codes for all types of services are now maintained by standardization organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization. Standards of this type include those of the ISO 9000 series.

As interest in quality management has grown, specific quality standards have been developed for translation services. These have included the Italian UNI 10574, the German DIN 2345, the Austrian Onorm D 1200 and Onorm D 1201, and the EN 15038.

EN 15038

The European EN 15038 translation-services standard went into effect on August 1, 2006[1], replacing the previous standards of the 30 individual CEN member countries. It aims to unify the terminology used in the translation field, define basic requirements for language-service providers (human and technical resources, quality control, and project management) and create a framework for the interaction of customers and service providers in terms of their rights and obligations. It also defines certain services, in addition to translation, that may be offered by language-service providers.

A strong focus is on administrative, documentation, review and revision processes, as well as on the functions of different specialists who guide the translation project over its duration. Appendices to the standard provide information and suggestions on how best to comply with the standard.

ASTM F2575-06

The American translation-services standard is the ASTM F2575-06 Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation.[2] It provides a framework for customers and translation-service providers desirous of agreeing on the specific requirements of a translation project. It does not provide specific criteria for translation or project quality, as these requirements may be highly individual, but states parameters that should be considered before beginning a translation project. As the document's name suggests, it is a guideline, informing stakeholders about what basic quality requirements are in need of compliance, rather than a prescriptive set of detail instructions for the translator.

See also


  1. ^ Language Weaver News
  2. ^ ATA - American Translators Association

External Links


Published - September 2008

Information from Wikipedia is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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