Just as any other supplier of goods or services, a translation company and the indvidual translator bear ethical and legal obligations towards the buyer or the contracting party. With the development of language industry servicing at a global scale, this has turned out to be of enormous importance. For the protection of both parties, standards have been developed seeking to spell out their mutual duties.
There is, however, a view within the translation industry that while not doing any actual harm, an over-reliance on such standards can give a false sense of security. Following translation standards blindly cannot on its own possibly provide real assurance regarding final translation quality. The argument is that the path to quality in translation is by focusing more on providing on-going training and feedback to translators and the quality assurance tools and general tools available to the linguists, such as terminology tools.
Pangeanic was a leader in the implementation of European translation standard EN15038 in Spain, its QA processes being recognized to ISO9001 and EN15038 after independent audit. Pangeanic was awarded a post-editing contract by the European Union in 2007.
Just as any supplier of goods or services, a translation company and of course the individual translator bear potentially both legal and also ethical obligations towards the contracting party. Since Quality Management systems first hit the translation industry early this century and particularly since the advent of the European Translation Standard enormous importance has been placed on translation quality metrics as a result of the development of the language industry at a world scale. For the protection of all parties involved in the translation process, standards have been developed seeking to spell out their mutual duties.
In general, there are two main international standards which apply to the translation and localization industry:
a) EN15038, which is a quality standard developed especially for providers of translation services. This standard ensures the consistent quality of the service and the processes involved. EN15038 requires regular internal audits and also external auditis by a certification body. If any discrepancy is found, the certification can be revoked; and
b) The general Quality Management System 9001.
The EN 15038 standard does not only introduce requirements for compliance with certain common procedures, which is the case with the general ISO 9001. However, it monitors the processes especially developed for the overall execution of the translation, starting from the acceptance of the order to its final delivery to the client. Furthermore, EN15038 certifies the translation service and not the process management (where ISO 9001 applies).