November 11

How ISO 18578 certification can help you with translation skills and post-editing

Quality assurance is not just an internal process in translation services. Only through objective standards does it become comprehensible. This is particularly true for machine translated texts and their post-editing.

The specifications of ISO 18578 particularly support you in two areas:

  • During post-editing and the associated quality assurance
  • When assessing and leveraging the skills of post-editors.

Today, machine translations (MT or MT for machine translation) have already become part of our everyday lives. We use social media with an automatic translation function, we also read news in foreign languages with Google Translate, and we can understand software better because the manuals have been cost-effectively machine translated. Even reviews on e-commerce platforms are automatically translated into our language and videos are given subtitles.

You can reach us by phone on +41 44 552 66 19 or send an email to Mr. Markus Kukla, head of the certification body. We look forward to hearing from you!

In business, translations are becoming more and more important thanks to global orientation and the demands are higher. This is where machine translation (MT) comes into play, combined with post-editing and certification for it. Companies today place great value on quality and standards. The ISO 18578 standard is intended to help customers orientate themselves better in this area.

The main reasons for machine translation are:

  • Cost savings on large projects
  • Time savings for the customer and thus faster availability
  • Increase of productivity
  • Offering services that would not be in line with the market if done manually
  • Shorter lead times

Benefits of certified machine translation (MT) post-editing

Having documents translated by computers does not require any special knowledge. The competence of the translation service providers (ÜDL) lies in the preparation and assessment of the project and post-editing. Only professional follow-up turns the computer text into an understandable document that meets the customer's requirements.

Certification according to the ISO 18587 standard ensures the quality of the processes associated with post-editing. Once you have gone through the certification process, you have implemented processes that meet an international standard.


Why is post-editing important in machine translation?

Post-editing or post-editing refers to the editing and correction of documents that were created using machine translation systems. ISO 18578 has established certain criteria that are checked during certification:

This includes a process in which the computer texts are examined in detail. For this, certain criteria must be created:

  • The translated texts are first checked for accuracy and must also be understandable
  • The next step is to improve readability and correct errors
  • Finally, the machine translation and the source text are compared and a final text is created with the improvements.

What are the goals of post-editing according to ISO 18578?

The ISO standard, like most standards, has standardization and quality assurance as its highest goal. In addition, specific goals are set for the post-editing of machine-translated texts.

You have to work towards ensuring that a text is understandable in all respects and with regard to the target group and the requirements of the customer.

The content of the source text and the translation must match; there must be no differences in content.

There are also the highest demands on the texts themselves. They should use terminology that is as consistent as possible and does justice to the subject area. This includes technical terms and common abbreviations.

What is often underestimated when post-editing is that there are customer guidelines for the edited text, which do not necessarily have to correspond to the original text. The instructions for post-editing are obvious; formatting, style templates and style guidelines as well as company-specific spellings are often forgotten.

You can reach us by phone on +41 44 552 66 19 or send an email to Mr. Markus Kukla, head of the certification body. We look forward to hearing from you!

What is the difference between light and full post editing?

In the case of a simple machine translation that is not processed according to standards, only a superficial check is carried out after the digital process. Complicated and unclear sentences are usually rephrased.

The full post-editing preferred by ISO 18578, however, provides for further steps.

In post-production, grammatically correct content must be created that meets the highest quality criteria in terms of syntax and semantics. In a separate step, the customer and subject-specific terminology is checked. Spelling and punctuation must be absolutely error-free, as must the separation of syllables. The style should be appropriate to the requirements and the formatting should be consistent and in accordance with the templates.

How can ISO 18578 certification improve post-editing?

As a translation service provider (ÜDL) certified according to ISO standard 18578, you have set up workflows that ensure the quality of post-editing. These processes are always the same and are used like a checklist in all projects. This streamlines the process and at the same time increases quality because important steps are not forgotten. The error rate and thus the complaint rate decrease significantly due to the implemented requirements of ISO 18578.

ISO 18587 Zertifizierung

Assuring the competence of post editors through the ISO 18578 certificate

Customers not only want a quick translation, but also want to be sure that the translators have a high level of competence. ISO 18578 has therefore placed a focus on ensuring competence. The qualifications must be verifiable as part of the certification for the ISO 18678 standard. They are divided into different areas:

First of all, all post editors used must prove their qualifications. This also includes external freelancers. Proof can be provided through degrees or professional experience as well as further training. In order to competently translate and post-edit machine-translated texts, knowledge of the source and target languages must be demonstrated.

Certified problem-solving skills

There are always ambiguities in machine translations that are of a content nature. Problem-solving skills are required here, such as conducting your own research and processing information. Technical problems must also be able to be solved to a certain extent during post-editing. The detection of systematic errors in the software can be mentioned here. Translators who are familiar with the culture of the language area and the subject area in general have a great advantage. Such competencies are tested in the ISO 18578 audit.

Why do I need an ISO 18578 certificate?

Many companies today already have an ISO 9001 qualification, and translation service providers (ÜDL) may also have an ISO 17100 certification. However, this only applies to the processes as a whole. If you use machine translation systems (MT), these processes are mapped by ISO 18678. In a tailor-made audit, weak points in your processes are analyzed and solutions to problems are identified.

High-quality post-editing and high skills of the post-editors are important arguments in sales discussions. With an ISO 18578 certificate you can objectively prove to your customers how high your own standards are for the quality of translations. When using computers, customers are still skeptical about the costs involved. You can dispel these concerns if you can prove the effort required for professional post-processing.

You can get a non-binding offer for ISO 18758 certification today. Call or use our contact form.


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