Quality Assurance, ISO statement
Thread poster: Elke Fehling

Elke Fehling  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:29
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Jun 3, 2015

Hello everybody,

I while ago I asked you if you would sign an "ISO statement" that guarantees the quality of my services. Details are here: http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/285721-iso_certification.html

I now sent my client an email with lots of questions about the statement, mostly based on your answers, and the client now came back to me and told me that my questions were "interesting" but that they don't have the time to answer them. I could either sign the statement or - that's a new option - to send a QA tool report such as Xbench or a report from Trados. They have an audit coming up next month and want to have their paperwork in order.

Now, I have no idea how to get such a report from Trados and I saw that Xbench isn't for free. Not only my client is very busy, I am as wellicon_wink.gif, so I don't really want to get into all of that.

My questions: If they want to pass the audit, isn't quality assurance their job? And what do these quality assurance tools do? In the past I worked with one client who wanted me to send him my finished translation and a version with mistakes... to make sure I corrected them or somethingicon_wink.gif

Do you know of an easy way to do the quality assurance so I can please my client? Any links on the internet about that?




Phil Hand  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:29
Chinese to English
I was just asked for Trados QA reports Jun 4, 2015

The steps are:

File-batch tasks-verify files
Click on "Results"

Then I think you can export the report as an Excel file or similar.

As I understand it, ISO just says you have to document every step. So we document. It turns out that this kind of documenting is no use at all, because Trados, bless its heart, can't tell the difference between a meaningless stray tag and a complete failure of translation. But until we get better QA tools, this is what we're stuck with.


Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Independent review Jun 4, 2015

A description of the ISO norm I was referred to by a potential client said a translation had to be reviewed by someone else than the translator in order to be ISO-compliant.

That means you, as freelance translator, would have to pay for that out of your own pocket to comply.

That is the agency's job.

As I could not get an answer (also about various atrocities in the contract), this was a non-starter.

I wonder if such agencies even think about what they're doing when they impose ISO compliance on the freelance translator. To them, it may just be fancy buzzwords that have to sound right.

In my particular case, it was some ten pages of legal yadda yadda, some of it toxic, that was supposed to be ticked off as the final step of an online registration procedure, so many of our colleagues probably don't even read it.

The funny thing is that the translators who accept a bunch of unreasonable or abusive clauses without reading them are probably also the translators least likely to pay attention to details in translations. The smartest translators won't sign clauses like ISO compliance they can't comply with, automatic penalties of €20,000-€30,000 etc.


Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 07:29
German to English
+ ...
extra charge for extra services and expenses Jun 4, 2015

Thomas has already described what the standard is about, and that it is the agency's responsibility. But if they want you to do this for them, then the extra work should be charged to them (for them to agree to beforehand) and if it requires you to purchase new software, then they should be ready to pay for your purchase of it. I doubt they would agree to either.


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:29
Member (2007)
+ ...
Thomas is so right Jun 4, 2015

This agency, like so many others, is just paying lip-service to 'quality' just to get a nice label. The ISO auditor is NOT going to be impressed if s/he is doing a good job (my husband was one). It isn't about the agency making you responsible for a deliverable to the end client. It's about you delivering a well-translated text to the agency. Making sure it's proofread to trap any occasional slips (we're all human) before final delivery is THEIR responsibility.


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