At ad hoc we consider quality assurance a key element of our work which, however, must definitely not stand in the way of our customers‘ legitimate needs! This is why we decided to give up our EN 15038 quality certificate first obtained in 2006 during the standard’s transition to ISO 17100 and neither go for its successor.

What is it all about?

Both standards EN 15038 as well as ISO 17100 define criteria for ensuring high-quality management of translation processes. Elements include detailed documentation, separate control of finished translations by correctors, guidelines for picking translators, continuous further training, specifications on archiving, etc. Compliance with these criteria is verified by certification bodies at regular intervals and is the basis for obtaining the quality certificate.
So far, so good. - In everyday practice, however, customers often have needs that are not compatible with the standard’s specifications. Some customers e.g. do not consider a mere secrecy agreement signed by the translation provider enough to protect their confidential texts. They rather insist on having their translations deleted from the provider’s records straight after delivery - easy for us, but definitely not in compliance with the standards. Nor are customers in urgent need of getting a last minute translation of a presentation to be held just 15 minutes later easily convinced that only a second round of corrections will do the job, if this means that they will get their text back at the earliest for the refreshments following the press conference - and as such clearly too late for their purpose!

How does ad hoc handle quality assurance?

Customer satisfaction is the linchpin of our work. Hence it also is the basis for our current quality assurance strategy TQS. While adopting the basic principles of EN 15038, it also allows greater leeway on details to fit in individual customer needs. It addition to the core principles of EN 15038 we provide you with:

  • The 6-eye-principle for all written translations, i.e. your text is first translated by a professional, then in a second step proofed by a corrector, and finally revised by a lector.
    As our customer, however, you are welcome to set your own marks - e.g. by commissioning an extra proofing cycle of texts prior to printing, or waiving all revisions if you are in a particular hurry. Whatever you go for, always remember to drop us a line.
  • Individual assessment of the native speaker aspects. Do the intricacies of a technical text require a native speaker of the source language to make sure that all aspects are precisely captured, or will the translation rather benefit from the creative versatility of a target language native speaker? Especially with Austrian legal source texts with terms seldom found even in German encyclopaedia which tend to strongly focus on the German German language variant it is often wise to go for the former. German technical texts can be of a particularly high complexity in structure which translators of a different mother tongue sometimes find extremely hard to grasp in every detail.
  • Mutifaceted archiving of your translation jobs taylored to your needs - from the direct deletion of all your files straight after delivery to indefinite archiving for your possible future retrievals.
  • Individual translations not saved in translation memory systems or on online platforms to assure confidentiality. At first glance the use of translation memory systems and the use of google translate & co. may hold great promises, but a closer look exposes them as truly apocalyptic for secrecy and confidentiality. Without exception these systems save source texts and translations for later use when they are screened for analogies with projects of other customers for which they are then retrieved. Subject to customisable settings even confident data including names and figures etc. from former translations are then displayed making it possible on occasions to even retrace the original author. And this quite definitely is not what we consider protecting our customers’ confidentiality. In addition, the quality provided by TM-systems strongly depends on the human factor - i.e. the systems propose earlier translations retrieved from the archives which must always be counterproved and approved by the person in charge to make sure they fit the current context. If taken seriously this is an elaborate task undoing any savings in time and resources often hoped for- if not, the result ever so often is a pure disaster. (Link zu Maschinelle Übersetzung).

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