Translations with ISO certification according to BS EN 15038 / BS EN ISO 17100

Translations with ISO certification according to BS EN 15038 / BS EN ISO 17100
Numerous companies rely on the pan-European ISO standard EN 15038 / EN ISO 17100 for ensuring the quality of technical translations. Learn here why this is not an adequate guarantee of technically correct, high-quality translation work.
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BS EN 15038 is a European ISO quality standard for technical specialist translations, which can lead to an improvement in quality. In our opinion, however, this standard is incomplete.

See also: Are BS EN 15038 and BS EN ISO 17100 really a guarantee of quality?

We are critical of the following aspects of the ISO Standard:

  • BS EN 15038 / BS EN ISO 17100 does not require the target language to be the translator´s native language.
  • BS EN 15038 / BS EN ISO 17100 does not require revision by an expert (only if agreed!).
  • BS EN 15038 / BS EN ISO 17100 does not require terminology work (only if agreed and as a value-added service!). You do not get to know the source of the investigated terminology.
  • BS EN 15038 / BS EN ISO 17100 requires proofreading by a proofreader (`four-eyes´ principle). The proofreader does not have to be more skilful than the translator, but his corrections must be taken into account. Cooperation between translators and proofreaders is not envisaged.
  • BS EN 15038 / BS EN ISO 17100 requires an analysis of the source text before translation, in order to be able to anticipate translation problems. The scope of the analysis is not specified, but is only listed informatively in the appendix to the standard. The necessary (high) skill of the person in charge is not dealt with. The costs of this work step bear no relation to the benefits!
  • BS EN 15038 / BS EN ISO 17100 contains many ‘should be’ requirements that are only fulfilled if expressly agreed.

Conclusion: translation services according to BS EN 15038 / DIN EN ISO 17100 are no guarantee of quality

The approach of this standard is, however, certainly correct. As a customer, you should know the contents of this standard and close the gaps by specific agreements, if the translation service then still remains affordable for you!

PTS - quality translations even without ISO certification

As a bureau specialised in technical specialist translations we regard the above quality features as matters of course. All texts are checked by engineers with regard to language, technical correctness and terminology. See genuine quality for yourself and request a non-binding quotation now.

Contact us now without obligation