June 10, 2015

tekom Advisory Committees for Standards and Guidelines Report:

New Standard for Translation Services Published

Carsten Mende

On May 1, ISO published the standard ISO 17100 "Translation services – Requirements for translation services". ISO 17100 supersedes the EN 15038 standard published in 2006.

In 2011, ISO began its review of the European standard in Technical Committee 37, Subcommittee 5 (Translation, interpreting and related technology). In coordination with the national reflecting committees (in Germany, the DIN Standards Committee 105), the standard has now been revised.

The newly published standard is international, beyond the European framework. In addition to the main mandatory text, there are six appendices. These appendices illustrate individual aspects through examples or charts, but are not, however, binding.

Improvements with Respect to the Preceding Standard

The core issues of the preceding standard have been maintained: It is a process standard that more closely illuminates the individual steps of translation. The 4-eye principle remains integral. The same qualification requirements are set for translators. The role of the project manager is, however, more clearly defined. Even the collaboration of the client is mentioned as an important component of the process.

tekom played a part in developing the standard. It was not necessary to alter most of the EN 15038 standard, thus setting minimum standards for translation processes. Supplementing the Machinery Directive and DIN EN 82079-1, ISO 17100 offers a standard framework for multilingual documentation. This also strengthens the role of technical communication vis-à-vis other departments in businesses.
Along with the English version, the French version was also published.