Quality assessment of translations
The quality of translations cannot be assessed from an objective point of view. However, there is a standardization body that wants to realize exactly this in a standard:
- WD ISO 21999 – Translation quality assurance and assessment – Models and metrics
The future ISO 21999 is currently (early 2019) still in “Working Draft” status.
In future, it will supplement ISO 17100 and provide criteria for assessing the quality of a translation, while ISO17100 will deal with processes at the translation service provider.
As long as this standard has not yet been adopted, other criteria must be used to assess translation quality.
The technical content of the translated text must, or course, correspond to that of the source text!
We ensure this with experienced translators and proofreaders who are competent in our areas of specialization.
Usually, for example, a translation from German to English is translated by a native English speaker. The revision (checking that the content of the source text matches the target text) is then carried out by a native German speaker who otherwise translates from English.
We will choose the perfectly suited technical translator!
There is more than one way to say the same thing!
Our translators always translate into their mother tongue, but each has their own style.
In addition to the technical qualification, the style of a given translator also plays a key role, and that is something that you need to like.
Particularly at the beginning of collaborating with a customer for a new language direction, we are happy to provide sample translations from several different translators – in this way we are sure to find the right translator for you!
ISO 17100 for quality management of translations
The objective assessment of the quality of translations is extremely difficult. However, it is much easier to assess the quality of the processes that lead to a translation.
In general, ISO 9000 was developed for quality management. Based on ISO 9000, technical standards have been developed for various industries that place specific requirements on industry-specific processes.
ISO 17100 regulates quality management for translation services.
Requirements of ISO 17100
ISO 17100 includes regulations for:
- Personnel and technical resources
- Quality and project management
- Contractual framework conditions
- Work processes
- Continuous training
- Additional services offered
Special requirements for translators
According to ISO 17100, translators must have at least one of the following three qualifications:
- Formal higher education (recognized degree)
- Comparable education in another specialist field with at least two years of documented translation experience
- At least five years of documented professional translation experience
Certification for superior quality
The certification helps us to keep our processes up-to-date and to document them. During the preparation for the main and intermediate certifications, which are due every 2 years, we analyse and optimise our internal processes and update the internal and external quality documentation. The documentation for translators, which is always available online in our Wiki, ensures that everyone involved in the translation process works consistently.
Dipl.-Kffr. Sanne Jerxsen
The ISO 17100 Certification of PRODOC
History of our ISO 17100 certification
On March 10, 2009, PRODOC Translations GmbH was first audited in accordance with EN 15038 by Austrian Standards plus Certification, the certification authority of the Austrian Standards Institute.
The intermediate certifications required every 2 years were successfully completed.
The re-certification according to ISO 17100 included, in addition to the previous quality standards, an examination of the translator qualification as well as the documentation of further training measures. Of course, continuous training of our internal employees also takes place.
The certificates of PRODOC
Our technical translation service has been certified according to EN15038 since 15.3.2009.
Quality management at PRODOC
Our quality management system ensures that the translation processes are clearly structured and well documented, so that we can deliver a consistent translation quality regardless of the person providing the technical translation.
The exact documentation of processes is important – so that everyone always knows what to do and when.
The challenge for quality management
Collaboration across different locations
PRODOC is working at multiple locations since 2006.
Work processes can only be successful if every employee has access to the same data and can find the current status of every project at all times.
With our ERP system, Conaktiv, we are well equipped for this task.
Documentation of all worksteps
The PRODOC Quality Management System ensures a consistent quality of service regardless of which of our employees is working with them.
Work processes are standardized and translations are performed in accordance with ISO 17100.
Tools for efficient quality management
Our project tracking tool
CONAKTIV ERP software
All of our quality-relevant processes in accordance with ISO 17100 are reproduced in the CONAKTIV ERP software, which provides us with the framework to customize and implement our requirements.
Customers, tasks, projects at a glance
CONAKTIV is a project management, address administration, mail server and financial bookkeeping system – all together in one database.
Any desired information can be called up in any combination:
- All projects from one customer: completed, current, planned and – where applicable – canceled…
- The project manager and all internal and external employees involved in each project
- All correspondence: project-related, customer-related, internal
- Project status: what is already completed? Which translators are due to deliver? Who grants approval?
All employees can find the status of every project at any time and can quickly get involved in projects which they had never worked on before.
Our tool for QM-relevant technical documentation
PRODOC uses Confluence as a tool to help employees to quickly find important information:
- In our company Quality Management manual, which we constantly work to update and improve, all quality-relevant work steps are documented.
- Customer-specific information: language variants, fixed terms, term bases, special workflows, meeting notes
- Project-specific information: tasks before and after the technical translation in the CAT tool, errors / misleading text passages in the source text