the life sciences translator

Quality is when you are satisfied!

Quality Management

Apart from the competence of the translator, the concept of quality is increasingly defined by an efficient quality management. Although it cannot fully guarantee that we will not make mistakes, the aim of quality management is to demonstrate that we do all in our power to identify and eradicate sources of error, thereby minimizing the error margin.

Thus, the aim must be to develop procedures for the entire production process, which clearly reflect this commitment to deliver quality services.

ISO 17100

All my services are delivered on the basis of this standard. This international standard, which replaces in Germany DIN EN 15038, aims at defining the requirements necessary for providing quality services. Next to the two core processes, translation and review, this also encompasses project preparation, quality assurance, and ensuring traceability. This standard also covers the role of the client.

Customer Requirements and Communication with the Client

Quality also means to deliver exactly what the client requires. Thus, the communication between the client and the translator is of great importance, because the translator can only deliver the desired result if the requirements of the translation have been defined accurately. This involves defining stylistic and terminological issues and - if required - providing terminology bases and reference material.

Especially for technically demanding translations it is often helpful to establish a link between the translator and the client's technical product specialist to ensure that technical queries can be dealt with rapidly and competently without producing project delays.

Thus, the translation project always starts with the determination of the client’s wishes and definition of the project requirements, where the translator depends on the willingness of client to co-operate. Quality cannot be achieved off one’s own bat!

Method of Working

Quality is the result of a consequent implementation of quality management measures, which is reflected in the workflow. As can be seen in the following workflow, I do attach particular importance to the project preparation: error prevention instead of correcting unnecessary errors.


Administrative Issues
  • Registering the project
  • Assigning the required resources
  • Defining the timeline
Technical Issues
  • Providing all required technical resources
  • Pre-processing the documents for the translation process
Linguistic Issues
  • Source Text Analysis
    • What are the difficulties of the source text?
    • How can these problems be solved?
  • Terminology
    • Are there relevant terminology bases or does the client provide them?
    • Is the researched terminology to be revised or validated by the client or an external specialist before the translation process commences?
  • Style Guides
    • Are there predefined style guides to be used or is the use of own style guides required?
  • Are there any web-based information sources from the manufacturer or from other manufacturers concerning the design and functionality of the product? (in case of product documentations)
  • Are there any reliable web-based glossaries or terminology databases for this subject (mono-/bilingual)?
  • When researching sites in the target language only consider links directly written in the target language (disregard translations).

Translation and Proof

  • Rendering the source text into the target language considering the following:
    • Terminology (provided and/or researched)
    • Style guides (provided and/or researched)
    • Formatting in the source text
    • Results of the source text analysis
    • Target audience and purpose of the translation
Revision by the Translator
  • Is anything missing (comparison of source and target text)?
  • Has the terminology been applied consistently?
  • Has the stylistic coherence been respected as well as the sentences?
  • Has the meaning been rendered correctly?
  • Spell checking- Have all project requirements (see Preparation) and research results been implemented completely and correctly?
Proof-Reading by another Translator
  • The proof-reader compares again source and target text to check for terminological consistency, omissions and adequacy of register and style.
Monolingual revision of the target text by a technical specialist
  • Is the translation appropriate for the required purpose?
  • Is the translation technically correct?

The technical specialist is normally assigned by the client and has the required specialist knowledge.