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Poll: Do you think translators have benefited somehow from ISO 17100:2015 since it was published?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
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Aug 25

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you think translators have benefited somehow from ISO 17100:2015 since it was published?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Don't know what that is Aug 25

However, as obtaining an ISO qualification usually involves a time-consuming rigmarole with several hoops to jump through, I don't see how a freelancer like myself can benefit from it.

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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
No Aug 25

The only result I've seen is: More bureaucracy. Because of that now agencies request a slew of documents and certification. I just ignore and move on.

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 10:48
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Ditto! Aug 25

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons) wrote:

The only result I've seen is: More bureaucracy. Because of that now agencies request a slew of documents and certification. I just ignore and move on.


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Igor Moshkin
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:48
English to Russian
+ ...
Cannot be regulated! Aug 25

Our activity cannot be regulated. It is comprised mainly of numerous exceptions. Trying to comply with one them always leads to violation of another one. Hence, it is impossible to create such a standard which can cover and stipulate all cases of our activity.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 11:48
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
No Aug 25

An ISO certification is intended for manufacturing industry, and is not really suitable for a process like translation.

Quality in translation is not easily weighed and quantified, and I have seen far too many so-called QA jobs where trying to analyse and classify errors takes up more time than actually tidying up the text.

Filling in a table with umpteen categories of errors and then grading them as minor, major or disastrous is impossible. I find things always fit into three categories or none, and no, three minor comma errors do NOT add up to a disaster!! But if you give them points, it looks as if they do.

I refuse to do editing/reviewing jobs if they involve classifying and giving points for the types of errors. Texts are not identical like products from a machine, and you cannot improve them by throwing a lot of dubious figures at the translator.

Bureaucracy like that just wastes everybody's time.


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 19:48
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Absolutely no and emphatically no! Aug 25

An ISO certification means only that there is an approved process in place that certifies that there are processes in place. In plain English, this means that there is a system of proving that there are processes in place to prove something - in most cases, with regards to translation, that there is in place a process a system of proving - not ensuring - the quality of a translation. ISO certification is entirely to do with the existence of a system or process and, intrinsically, not the quality of the translation.

Now, if you can understand that, then you are a part of the ISO Certification problem.

An ISO certification can only result in the translator being subjected to totally unnecessary bureaucratic mayhem and pandemonium. And, translation rates are not raised in proportion to the inconvenience placed on translators by customers, in most cases, translation agencies, and this means more aggro for the same money.

Small correction

[Edited at 2017-08-25 13:11 GMT]


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Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:48
French to English
+ ...
What Julian said! Aug 25

Just because those extra steps are in place, doesn't mean that the quality of the translation necessarily improves...

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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:48
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Bureaucracy Aug 25

I agree with Giuseppina and Christine on that.

Just to add my 2 cents (and please correct me if I'm wrong as I'm definitely no expert about 'ISO standards'), it seems to me this is just a marketing tool for agencies (and companies in general), a business for those who came up with the idea and the "certification bodies" orbiting around it (heck, you actually have to pay even to just read what a standard is actually about!), and a burden for those on the receiving end of all of those requirements (in this case, us).

Also, since this only concerns formal aspects (such as processes, procedures, documentation, etc.), it does not and cannot guarantee quality, nor does it guarantee us that the 'certified' agency we're dealing with is a "good" agency... (for instance, there are agencies who claim to hold a certification and have been banned or have quite a "less than perfect" BB score).

Personally, when I have a potential client who boasts 1 to 4 or so of these 'certifications' and sends me 40+ pages of agreements to read and sign and asks me to provide scanned copies of this and that just in order to comply with such certification(s), I just give up, even if the agreed rate was OK/good (but that's just me, of course).

P.S. I've just seen Julian's post, and I agree, of course.

[Edited at 2017-08-25 13:02 GMT]


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
No Aug 25

It's just another way, alongside slave labour, for the big agencies to win the big contracts from the big companies and government (and get away with performing them badly)

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Gallagy
Ireland
Local time: 10:48
Member (2010)
French to English
+ ...
Absolutely not! Aug 25

Agree with what others have said.

Can someone who answered "yes" please explain why they voted that way???? I see absolutely no benefit to translators...


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:48
Spanish to English
+ ...
Eureka Aug 25

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons) wrote:

The only result I've seen is: More bureaucracy.


Bureaucracy! I knew there was a more succinct way of expressing the idea.... (time-consuming rigmarole with several hoops to jump through)...


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
Even before ISO 17100:2015 Aug 25

...there was another ISO standard, the ISO 14080, which I read back in 2007.

From the GALA website:

Clients coming from a background outside translation and localization frequently ask about metrics and measures, reflecting a desire for quantifiable data that can be used to demonstrate translation quality. ISO/WD (Working Draft) 14080, Assessment of translations, began as an effort to devise such a metric for assessing translations during the production process. Unfortunately, this project was terminated in May 2012 due to unresolved issues and administrative hurdles, and the question of translation quality assessment is currently on hold. While this remains a lynchpin issue, it is also one of the most problematic. Many in industry are clamoring for simple, transparent solutions, but unfortunately, it is not a simple problem.

URL: https://www.gala-global.org/publications/iso-standards-localization-and-translation

Keystrokes may be repeatable, file saving and creation activities may be repeatable, but translation as a process (text to mind, mind to text, so to speak) is not predictable or repeatable 100%. Too many exceptions, I'm paraphrasing one of you.

I also think that trying to assess the quality of a translation is the wrong question. All the smart people who have been involved in translation quality, measuring points for errors, etc. are like blind mice following a distorted voice into a dark and damp room.


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:48
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Absolutely not Aug 25

There are ridiculous attepts to "regulate" our profession all over the world. Most of these attempts arise from people who study translation/languages in college, and who mistakenly believe translation is a "regulatable" profession like accounting or medicine.
If you make a statistical survey all over the world, you'll find out that at least 50% of the best translators in this planet have never set foot in a translation or language course in college.
Initiatives like ISO certifications require such certifications that are provenly not necessary for a professional to be an excellent translator.
So, this ISO, as well as all other attempts in that sense, are just a joke we should laugh about, because the market practices are determined by supply and demand, by the quality of the services/products offered, and by the competence of the professionals, not at all by certificates and the like.


[Edited at 2017-08-25 19:52 GMT]


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 11:48
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
My biggest and loudest ever NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Aug 25

Chris S wrote:

It's just another way, alongside slave labour, for the big agencies to win the big contracts from the big companies and government (and get away with performing them badly)


In addition, before sending those tenders, contacting certified translators on the phone with agressive, mostly young and motivated only by a title and money PMs, who have no idea about what the moral is,
and they will ask you in a high, operatic voice, offering you the huuuuuge workload in the future with goooood prices, BUT ...
.
.
.
could you please send us immediately your updated CV, diploma and translation certificate and sign the document which I am sending you now?
.
.
.
(????????)
.
.
.
You know, we need this ASAP for a tender.

I you do, you will never ever hear from them again.
The work will be performed by Mr/Ms Whoknowswhoyouare for 0.02 or if they have some more, even for 0.029.

The translation office owner in Hungary, accused in falsification of the signatures of the translators (on declarations of participation in the tender), still waits for her tribunal after 3++ years.


All this shall be changed. To obtain an ISO, you need minimum EUR 1200 in Hungary. For what? I asked for a quotation. Two men visited me. One of them said, pointing to the other: He is my son, he will prepare your ISO. And he added: And my company in Slovakia will certify you. I am certified ISO master/trainer/whatever. And we give you an invoice with no VAT so you can save 27% ... as we do.



Congratulations.


I need to vomit.


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