Translation Standards

How translation standards impact quality 

Think of translation standards as best practices. These activities (see Wikipedia) evolve over time and became an important part of delivering content. Beside quality, standards drive ethical practices and frame expectation for members in an industry.

The ATA Chronicle references this idea well! In our industry, established groups administer standards for professionals. According to the ATA, here are six basic tenets covered by the ISO standards as it relates to translations:

  1. Translating competence
  2. Linguistic competence in the source and target languages
  3. Competence in research, information, and processing
  4. Cultural competence
  5. Technical competence
  6. Domain competence

Obviously, this list is a great starting point. Consequently, ISO standards go deeper and provide more guidance to industry members. Other well-known bodies offer insights as well. Here (in no order) you will find a list of standards bearers in the industry:

Likewise, two of the key organizations that focus on quality (in all industries) are:

Buyer beware – a word of caution:

Posting logos on a website does not mean a company follow good practices or that they are ethical or produce high quality work. Ask questions, dig deeper, and get to know your partner. Since 1998, Foreign Translations has provided trusted and ethical translations. We encourage you to read our solutions, our services, and core values.


Foreign Translations is a professional company serving clients nationwide since 1998. Specialize in language solutions, we offer document website translationdesignIT supportmultimedia & voice, and over-the-phone interpreting.  

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