European quality standard EN-15038:2006
EN-15038:2006 is a specific European standard for translation services which ‘covers the core translation process and all other related aspects involved in providing the service, including quality assurance and traceability. This standard offers both translation service providers and their clients a description and definition of the entire service. At the same time it is designed to provide translation service providers with a set of procedures and requirements to meet market needs.
EN-15038 was approved by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) on 13th April 2006 and was officially published in May 2006. CEN members are the national standards bodies of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy (UNI-EN-15038:2006), Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (UNE-EN:15038:2006), Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom (BS-EN-15038:2006).
Broadly speaking, the standard’s most outstanding features are firstly, that it defines the translation process where quality is guaranteed not by the translation which is just one phase in the process, but by the fact of the translation being reviewed by a person other than the translator and secondly, it specifies the professional competences of each of the participants in the translation process, mainly translators, reviewers, revisers and proofreaders.
Any translation service under EN-15038 must include as a minimum, translation and review.
Translation and checking . A translator with the appropriate competences translates the documents and after finalising the initial translation, checks his/her own work.
Review. A person other than the translator reviews the translation. The standard defines review as “examining a translation for its suitability for the agreed purpose, and respect for the conventions of the domain to which it belongs and recommending corrective measures”.
Translators who take part in translation projects under EN-15038:2006 must demonstrate the professional competences specified in the standard by meeting at least one of the three requirements.
Advanced translation studies (recognised qualification)
Equivalent qualification in another specialisation plus a minimum of two years documented experience in translation.
At least five years of documented professional experience in translation.
In addition to complying with one of the above three requirements, reviewers must have translation experience of the subject in question.
The client may also contract other services as part of the translation process such as revision, proofreading, also contemplated in the standard and other added value services such as sworn translation, terminology database creation and management, desktop publishing, etc.