Translation-quality Standards

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Like any supplier of goods or services, a translator potentially bears ethical and legal obligations toward his patron or employer. This has turned to be of enormous importance with the development of the language industry on a global scale.[1] For the protection of both parties, standards have been developed that seek to spell out their mutual duties.


Standards of quality and documentation were originally developed for manufacturing businesses. Codes for all types of services are now maintained by standardization organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization. Standards of this type include those of the ISO 9000 series.

As interest in quality management has grown, specific quality standards have been developed for translation services.[2] These have included the Italian UNI 10574, the German DIN 2345, the Austrian Önorm D 1200 and Önorm D 1201, and the Canadian CAN CGSB 131.10. In 2015, EN 15038 was replaced by ISO 17100:2015.

EN 15038

The European EN 15038 translation-services standard went into effect on August 1, 2006, replacing the previous standards of the 30 individual CEN member countries. It aims to unify the terminology used in the translation field, define basic requirements for language-service providers and create a framework for the interaction of customers and service providers in terms of their rights and obligations.[3] It also defines certain services, in addition to translation, that may be offered by language-service providers.

ASTM F2575-06

The American translation-services standard is the ASTM F2575-06 Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation. It provides a framework for customers and translation-service providers desirous of agreeing on the specific requirements of a translation project. It does not provide specific criteria for translation or project quality, as these requirements may be highly individual, but states parameters that should be considered before beginning a translation project.[4] As the document's name suggests, it is a guideline, informing stakeholders about what basic quality requirements are in need of compliance, rather than a prescriptive set of detailed instructions for the translator.

CAN CGSB 131.10-2008

On May 12, 2009, the Language Industry Association of Canada, AILIA launched the latest standards certification program in the world. The certification is based on CAN/CGSB-131.10-2008, Translation Services, a national standard developed by the Canadian General Standards Board and approved by the Standards Council of Canada. It involved the participation of representatives from AILIA, professional associations, government, academia, purchasers of service, and other stakeholders.[5]


  1. Translation Quality Standards – What Do They Mean? | Morningside
  2. ISO - ISO 17100:2015 - Translation services — Requirements for translation services
  3. - Übersetzungsbüro Profi Fachübersetzungen | ISO-zertifiziert
  4. Translation Quality Management: Principles and Methodology - Language Scientific
  5. How to Evaluate the Quality of a Translation | Eriksen Translations