One of the main concerns of ISO 18587 is the improvement of documents after machine translation. Even if computer results keep getting better, human post-processing cannot be neglected. In the DIN EN ISO 18587 standard, several requirements are formulated that relate to the professional post-processing of machine-translated texts.

It's all about this:

  • What competencies do post-editors have to prove?
  • Evidence of qualifications of editors
  • Train editors and translators regularly

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!

With ISO 18587 you can demonstrate your competence in machine translations

The creators of the DIN standard for machine translation had the customer and the end result in mind when describing the requirements. An important feature is the competence of the post-editors, i.e. those employees who check raw texts and edit them professionally. The aim of the efforts was to ensure quality. For example, texts from Portuguese that deal with medicines should be translated by native speakers with special training in pharmaceutical terminology.

The linguistic and textual competence of the editors are the core of the post-editing of machine-translated texts. The editors must be able to understand the content of the source document and the purpose of the text. Anyone who translates Danish contracts for wind turbines into German must be familiar with both Danish and German contract law terminology. ISO 18587 expressly requires that these competencies are also proven, for example through appropriate degrees or certificates.

However, the knowledge that the ISO standard for machine-translated texts requires of editors goes beyond purely linguistic skills. You must prove that the editors commissioned with a document also have other skills. These include:

  • Cultural knowledge
  • Technical knowledge
  • Ability to spot errors quickly

What distinguishes post-editors from translators

A text that has been translated by computers already provides an excellent framework for an editor to build upon. The use of computers is known to save time, and therefore it would make little sense to rewrite the text. The task of the post-editor is not the translation, but quality management. He has to recognize which errors have occurred in the machine translation and mark them and fix them.

Post-editors need to spot errors and omissions, review terminology, and technically understand and report recurring computer mistranslations.

While translators work with two texts, post-editors have three documents in view: the source text, the machine translation and its editing. You must constantly compare these three texts. Good post-editors know what content needs revision, find inconsistent translations in machine text, and can correct language imperfections.

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!

Therefore, the proof of competence is important:

Customers do not always understand why machine translation still requires manual work. With a competence profile of your post-editors, they can clearly explain how the quality is increased. ISO 18587 has exactly this quality in mind when it comes to compliance with the standard. In the certification process, we accompany you in the implementation of these rules and support you in quality improvement.

ISO 18587 requires proof of qualifications from post-editors

In principle, post-editors must have the same basic qualifications as translators. These must be proven with documents. Such can be a degree, evidence of many years of work as a translator and certificates from training and further education. Degrees from recognized universities, technical colleges and institutes must be submitted.

But the ISO 18587 standard goes even further. It requires post-editors to have some technical understanding of machine translation processes. This includes:

  • General knowledge of MT technology and a basic understanding of errors that occur in an MT system
  • Knowledge of tools for computer-aided translation
  • Knowledge and skills to determine if editing the MT results is worthwhile in terms of estimating the time and effort required
  • Ability to follow instructions received and ability to focus on specific problems and make corrections as needed
Therefore, these qualifications are important

On the one hand, you want to be able to prove to your customer that their documents are being processed by highly specialized and professional translators. This creates transparency and trust. With ISO 18587 conformity, however, they also get internal advantages: Processors can identify and report weaknesses in the MT. In this way, your translation system can be constantly improved. With an ISO 18587 certificate, the international standards are visibly fulfilled.

Iso zertificierung

Regular training courses improve quality

During ongoing operations, especially when the order situation is good, there is sometimes not enough time to train employees. When it comes to machine translations in particular, the technology is constantly changing at breakneck speed. The use of artificial intelligence improves texts compared to previous translations, but poses new challenges for post-editors. Systematic errors are more difficult to find, but above all not so easy to fix in the system.

ISO 18587 attaches importance to the fact that employees of translation service providers with machine translation are regularly trained and educated. In these training courses, they get to know new systems, but also frequently occurring errors in texts from computer systems. Proper names are translated even by neural systems, abbreviations are not implemented correctly, information is added or omitted, technical terms are translated incorrectly or inconsistently, or negations are not correctly recognized.

This is why post-editor training is important:

They don't want to be at a loss when a client asks if they're using the new System X for machine translation or what weaknesses a particular software has. Your post-editors should be experts in their field and improve internal quality assurance. But they can only do this if they are professionally and technically up-to-date.

How to benefit from the ISO 18587 requirements for post editors

An ISO 18587 certificate is an objective confirmation of the quality of the way you work. It testifies that your processes meet the high demands of international standards. In preparation for certification, you will get to know the standard and the different rules and can adapt your processes accordingly. This not only applies to processes, but also to employees. The focus of ISO 18587 is on the post-editors.

According to the ISO standard, anyone who wants to post-edit machine-translated documents must demonstrate the relevant skills. As part of the certification, you have all the important documents ready and can show your customers at any time where the translators’ skills come from.

Translation service providers can score particularly well in the areas of competence and quality. With the ISO certificate, you can prove that your post-editors are professionally and technically up-to-date.

Contact us via our web form or call us on +41 (44) 552 66 19. We would be happy to make you an offer for certification according to ISO 18587 and the ISO 17100 standard tailored to your company.


Certification, certification audit, certifications, Certified, certify, ISO 18587, ISO 18587 certification, ISO certificate