ISO and the Translation Industry

More and more businesses are beginning to break into foreign markets. This is due to the immense opportunities and potential clients foreign markets hold. This means accurate, quality translation is in demand more than ever before. Since the Internet was introduced, the worldwide translation market has grown significantly over the last decade. Businesses that never had to deal with foreign languages before are inexperienced with knowing what makes for a quality translation. This is why industry standards have been established for translations.

When businesses see that a translation agency, like The Translation Company, follows these rigorous standards, they can be assured that they are receiving quality translation. If these industry standards for translations did not exist, a company has a high probability of receiving poor, amateur quality. If the company was unfamiliar with the language, they would have no way of knowing that they were advertising or providing a product with an inaccurate and perhaps culturally irrelevant translation. Certain industries have more stringent standards. Medical translations require different standards to be observed.

What is ISO?

ISO stands for The International Organization for Standardization and was created in 1947. It is currently an association that consists of 162 members (each member represents their own country). ISO utilizes a system of Technical Committees, Sub-committees and Working Groups to progress international translation standards.

ISO works by way of a set of rules called the ISO/IEC Directives (which also contain requirements on the presentation of standards). The overall purpose of ISO is to set standards so only quality translation is produced by professional translation companies.

What are the ISO 9000 Standards?

The ISO 9000 standards are an assortment of formal international standards, technical specifications, technical reports, handbooks and web-based documents in regards to quality translation. All in all, there are roughly 25 documents in the collection. New or altered documents are constantly being created so as to have more quality translations produced.

Recently, the ISO 9000 series was revised with two objectives in mind. The first goal was to develop a more basic set of standards that would be relevant to small as well as medium and large organizations. The second was for the detail of documentation necessary to be more applicable to the preferred outcome of the company’s processed activities.

ISO 9001:2008

ISO 9001:2008 identifies requirements for a quality translation system where a translation company must show its ability to constantly offer a translation that meets customer and regulatory requirements. It also specifies requirements that are meant to improve customer satisfaction through the use of the translation system. This would incorporate actions and procedures for consistent enhancement of the system.

The major benefits of ISO 9001:2008 are that it is:

  • Easy to use
  • Straightforward in language
  • Effortlessly understandable
  • Provides quality translation and
  • Compatible with systems like ISO 14001.
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