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The Importance of Quality Standards

The Importance of Quality Standards

The Importance of Quality StandardsIt has been said that translation is more of an art than a science. Though aspects of translation require craftsmanship, the procedures and protocols of carrying out quality work have important parameters. When selecting a translation partner, you want to ensure quality standards and protocols are in place but how can you insure this?

ISO 9001 and 17100

One method for ensuring quality is to look for a partner who has obtained an ISO certification. The International Organization for Standardization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. Two certifications which apply to the translation industry are the 9001 and the 17100.

Many are aware of the ISO 9001 which is an international standard of a quality management system. A quality management system (QMS) is a set of policies, processes and procedures required for planning and execution in the core business area of an organization. Production, development and service protocols impact an organization’s ability to meet customer requirements.

The ISO 17100 is a new internationally recognized standard for the translation industry which addresses requirements related to the essential processes for providing quality translations services including the capabilities of the company’s resources. Machine translation and interpretation protocols are not included in 17100.

The 17100 not only evaluates an efficient management system but also assesses file security, staff development and general working practices. An independent ISO audit is required to maintain and ensure adherence to these specifications.


The Localization Industry Standards Association or LISA was an organization based on standards created to address the translation of computer software into different languages. Though LISA is no longer an active organization, their work still drives many translation and localization standards. Adobe, IBM, Cisco, HP and Xerox were members. LISA represented its partners at the International Organization for Standardization. The Termbase eXchange (TBX) was developed by LISA, which became an ISO standard. Many LISA standards are used by the OASIS Open Architecture of XML Authoring and Localization.

LISA’s quality control system involves a series of ratings. There is a scoring system with levels set for translation style, accuracy, consistency and language rules. LISA is also used during the localization process. Localization applies to adapting websites, apps, videogames and other translated texts to fit a target audience’s culture and style.

QA the QA

Though these are a few standard control systems that translation companies rely upon, they are not the only ones in use. A thorough question and answer assessment of a translation provider about their quality assurance will uncover the protocols and procedures in place to ensure your company receives quality deliverables.


Terralingua is an ISO 9001 and 17100 certified professional translation agency utilizing LISA standards. If you would like to know more about our services, or you need help with a translation project, please visit our website for further details.

What to Look for in a Translation Company

Magnifying glassSince most websites are available for a global audience, its availability in different languages is very important. You might be surprised to know that people in some of the most developed nations, including China, are not well versed in English. To translate the content on your site, you have to hire the services of a translation company. Naturally, you look for the best translation company that suits your needs and budget requirements. This article will highlight some of the key characteristics that you have to look for in a translation company before hiring it.

Experience of Translators

Translation is a job that needs a lot of practice. There is no other way of mastering a language except using it in a way where you have to pay attention to grammar and other key aspects of the language. Naturally, more experienced the translator more will be his/her command over the language. Before hiring a translation company, ask for the experience of the translators that it has at its disposal. At Terralingua, for instance, all of the linguists are college graduates in Translation or Linguistics or have at least 3 years of experience in their main translation area. Furthermore, the Terralíngua linguists are all native speakers of the target language, ensuring that the translated text has the required natural fluency so that the final text does not sound like a literally translated text. For example, to translate into German, we only use translators whose native language is German and who live in Germany, and thus are culture sensitive to language nuances.

If after analyzing the company you realize that they have a good experience and they can show the relevant proof to back it up, you can go ahead and hire the company.

Quality of Work

If you are well versed with a language, say English, you might be aware of the fact that there are numerous ways of wording a sentence. All of them might be grammatically correct but only some of them will sound right. You would want your translation company also to use only high quality sentences while translating content on your site. There are number of ways you can gauge the quality of work of a translation company. Here are a few of those ways.

Translation Certificates

Reputed companies obtain certifications from certain internationally accredited boards just to show their clients that their translation is of the highest quality. To be certified, the companies need to have translators who have passed a basic level test and also have some minimum experience. If the company you chose has this certification, you can assume that its work will be of good quality.


Like in any other field, good translation companies acquire a reputation for themselves over time. This is a result of their consistent delivery of quality work to clients from around the world. At Terralíngua we have 85% of our clients satisfied with our services. We are always concerned to meet our client’s needs and expectations. We are ISO 9001:2008 certified and SAP partners, which lends us worldwide credibility. If the translation company in your radar has a good reputation, you can assume that the services of this company are of good quality.

Other methods of gauging quality include quality assurance, accuracy, confidentiality, free revision services, among others.

Terralingua uses the LISA method to keep up with linguist quality standards. This method is based on the standards accepted by the localization industry. You can have more information about this methodology by accessing our webpage about the LISA quality assurance.