Ways to improve the quality of translation

Ways to improve the quality of translation

In 2006, a quality standard, specifically written for the translation industry, EN 15038, was introduced by the European Committee for Standardization. This standard gained acceptance worldwide and the European Union has begun including it as a benchmark in its tender specifications.

According to this standard translation process shall consist of 6 steps: translation, checking, revision (2 pairs of eyes rule), editing (via specialists not knowing the original), proofreading and final verification. What?s crucial the standard states that translation shall be made by a person for whom target language is native language.

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Table 1: Steps of translation process according to EN  15038 with marked role of native speaker


In the translation practice it is often difficult to fulfill all the requirements of the EN 15038 standard. Special difficulties appear with: target language being native language. It is often connected with lack of sufficient number of specialists of some more popular languages (eg. English) knowing other language good enough to make translation. In reality there is high disproportion of the number of documents that need to be translated into eg. English and the number of appropriate language specialist with native English (other pairs of languages might come here as well).

Due to the above mentioned difficulties the translated texts even though are understandable for the reader they often cause discomfort which negatively influences the reception of the translation- sometimes in specialist  literature the translation language is even called as third language or translationese.

Correction by native speaker of the chosen language is a perfect answer for the above mentioned problems. With the help of the native speaker of a particular specialization at the same time we fulfill 3 important steps of translation process: REVISION (two pairs of eyes rule), EDITING (checking text by the expert) and PROOFREADING- what?s most important: even though the translation is actually made by the person whose source language is not native with the native speaker correction we get the same effect.