By Mari D. González
I attended the International Federation of Translators – FIT 19th World Congress in San Francisco representing the International Medical Interpreters Association – IMIA and participated in two of the sessions on August 3 and the Key Note Session on August 4. Here are my notes from the two sessions.
- Quality is in the eye of the beholder or defined by what the client wants.
- Standards are the requirements that ensure quality but do not delineate the “how” or “what” in a translation project.
- Standards define and measure the process, customer satisfaction, and the requirements.
- Basic translation job requirements are:
- Must done by a native speaker
- Who is a subject matter expert
- Has a number years of experience
- The translation process should include:
- Client-approved glossary agreed by translator
- ISO(International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards.
- GALA(Globalization & Localization Association) has developed new standards.
- Localization Standards are:
– EN15038 Europe
– ASTMF2575-06 International
– SAE-J2450 Automotive criteria (acknowledged because it taps into terminology and grammar)
In sum, the standards ensure a “process” that is uniform but not necessarily measure the “quality” of the content.
- In Europe, translations are done by a team of professionals that include a:
- Final Verificator
- Standards are overseen by the European Commission and focus on:
- In the U.S., standards are more detailed and include:
– Terminology and tools
– Specifications based on job standards and client’s requests such as:
- The editing and proofreading can be done by the translator.
- Standards are about meeting the expected requirements of the outcome.
- Mr. Ciyun described the current challenges China faces since the demand for translations has grown beyond the capacity to establish a nation-wide uniform translation process.
- The biggest challenged is the conflict between the market share and ensuring quality with the goal on customer satisfaction while working on the urgent need for standardization.
- An important fact he shared was the earnings disparity between a translator and an interpreter. An interpreter can make $1,000 per day compared to $30 per day earned by a translator.
- He spoke of
– A fast growing industry
– Chaotic market orders
– Translations that began as in-house work for which there is no regulation
– 1 million people is involved with doing translations
– Translators are faced with new Chinglish (English and Chinese) terms.