Tag Archives: quality

How to ensure the quality of your translated content

by Katerina Pippou, Linguist at Commit

Translating your content into multiple languages can help you expand your business to global markets and increase your brand prominence abroad. Quality is key to your global success, therefore you should make sure the translations you get are accurate, error-free and clearly understood by your target audience.

Although there is no specific formula you can use to measure quality, especially in a language that you don’t speak, there are several ways to ensure a positive outcome before, during and after the translation process. Use this checklist of quick tips and you’ll be able to effectively speak to your customers in their native language.

  • Be willing to invest in translation: If you think translation quality is not important, then think again! Low-quality translations may not only damage your company’s reputation but may also cost you a lot of time and money. If you want to get high-quality, professional translation, you need to have a budget for it.
  • Choose your translation provider wisely: With so many translation agencies out there, it’s hard to know which one you should trust. But if you do your homework, you can find some useful information that will help you pick the right translation provider for your organization. Make sure this provider has expertise in your industry by checking their current clients.
  • Plan ahead: Once you decide to have your content translated, you should contact your translation provider as soon as possible. Remember, a good translation takes time – it may take the same time as creating the content. If you expect large volumes or short turnaround times, you should inform your translation provider in advance, so they can plan their resources accordingly.
  • Prepare your content for translation: A great translation starts with a great source text. You cannot expect the translation to improve upon the poor quality of the original. Ask from your copywriters to be concise and clear, and to double-check the content they create for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. When it comes to software strings, try to include comments and/or screenshots, so as to provide the translators with as much context as possible. This will help you prevent back-and-forth communications and speed up the translation process.
  • Collaborate closely with your translation provider: Translation is a difficult process. Providing precise instructions, reference material, glossaries and style guides, not only could make this process easier, but it could also ensure high-quality results from the start. In case of queries or clarifications, try to answer to all questions promptly and clearly and, what is most important, listen carefully to your translators’ concerns and be open to their suggestions.
  • Use third-party evaluation services: A great way to assess the quality of your translated content is to have a third-party provider review it. Third-party reviews add value to your content if they are performed by experienced, in-country linguists who have a good understanding of the local market and your brand, are not focused on mere error detection, and approach the initial translation in a collaborative and not competitive way.
  • Ask your audience: The best way to evaluate the quality of your translated content is to ask feedback from your users. Consider adding a feedback/rating feature to find out whether your content is clearly understood. This way you will get useful information about the quality of your translations directly from your customers, and you will be able to improve your content.

ISO 17100: Ensuring quality translations for your business


Last May, Commit obtained the ISO 17100 certification on translation services, the successor standard to our EN 15038 certification. The fact that we have been EN 15038-certified for the past 5 years eased the transition for us, since our processes were already established and very similar to the ones described in the new standard. Nevertheless, despite its distinguishing differences from the old EN 15038 standard, the new standard also came with some interesting added benefits.

What exactly is the ISO 17100 standard?

The ISO 17100 is the new internationally recognized standard for translation companies and it covers the essential processes for providing translation services. It sets the requirements for the core processes, resources and other aspects of a quality translation service that meets applicable specifications. Applicable specifications can include those of the client, of the translation service provider and of any other relevant legislation, industry codes, or best-practice guides.

The ISO 17100 standard integrates terminology used in the translation field and it simplifies the interaction between clients and translators in terms of their contractual needs.

What are the main differences from the EN 15038 standard?

The ISO 17100 standard was based on the EN 15038 standard but it has a different structure and focuses more on conventional translation processes. It sets minimum translation standards, such as the requirement for translations to be subject to revision by a second person, but gives the flexibility to design processes so that they are in line with the respective requirements.

The new standard pays particular attention to the qualification of all parties involved in the production process of a translation: translators, reviewers and proof-readers. It also adds new requirements regarding the competence of project managers who need to have the necessary skills at hand in order to complete the job.

Another process on which the ISO 17100 standard elaborates is the work involved in the preparation of translation projects. It clarifies that the responsibility for the preparation does not just rest with the contractor, but the client as well. The client needs to provide all the necessary information required at the beginning of a project and he needs to work closely with the language service provider in order to achieve their common goal.

This standard is also the first one that underlines the need for following up on translation projects. Client feedback is necessary and valuable for each translation project as it is used as an indicator for the client’s perceived satisfaction and serves as a basis for future improvement.

What are the added benefits of the standard?

Being ISO 17000 certified, the translation service provider can prove the quality of their services via a fully traceable system:

  • The customer’s valuable data are backed up and can be retrieved at any time.
  • The customers can rest assured that their projects are handled by qualified professionals following strictly defined processes which leave minimum margin for mistakes and customer complaints.
  • The ongoing effort to always comply with the standard requirements make the employees follow a professional development program and the well-defined processes and procedures they have to follow always keep them highly efficient.

“The ISO 17000 standard serves as an excellent proof of quality for our clients and vendors”, says Annita Kontoyianni, Production & QA Manager at Commit. “In the course of getting ISO 17000-certified, we drafted a new Company Policy with a uniform set of guidelines, instructions and requirements that helped us further standardize our processes. This uniformity in our procedures leaves little room for delays and errors, and ensures our clients receive top-notch quality services”.