The ASTM F2575-14 Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation has been recently revised and has become a Practice. This change is significant because providers of translation services could potentially be certified against the Practice, which has not been the case with the previous Guide.
The updated ASTM F2575-23 Standard Practice for Language Translation provides a list of parameters that are needed to obtain a set of specifications used to create and evaluate a translation. Specifications are then defined in terms of the purpose of the translation and the needs and expectations of the client. This is a departure from the previous versions which did not differentiate between different quality levels.
CETRA has been providing translation services in compliance with the F2575 since its inception, as well as the related ASTM F2089 for Language Interpreting. In fact, CETRA’s CEO, Jiri Stejskal, served on the ASTM Committee on Language Services and Products after it was formed in 2010 and participated in the drafting and consequent revising of the previous ASTM quality guides.
We turned to Jiri to provide some perspective on the recent updates to F2575.
Q: What do the updates mean for buyers of translation services?
Jiri Stejskal: The biggest enhancement is the introduction of a framework allowing the buyers and the providers to agree on the desired quality level as it does affect the pricing of the service considerably. To give an example from the market research industry that CETRA mainly serves, it is very important that translation of a survey is precise because a single mistake will invalidate the entire project, whereas a single mistake in the translation of the data received will typically have negligible impact.
Q: Will it mean increased prices for buyers?
JS: On the contrary, in some instances the prices will decrease, because buyers and providers now have a platform to discuss what level of quality is appropriate given the purpose of the translation. To use the same example as above, responses to a survey can be translated using AI and then edited which is faster and cheaper.
Q: What does it mean for CETRA?
JS: The F2575 Standard Practice is a better representation of the translation process than the previous versions and provides a list of parameters to consider when discussing a particular project with a client. The possibility of obtaining a certification in the future is also attractive to us.
Q: Does this impact the practice for interpretation services?
JS: The F2575 Practice addresses only language translation (which focuses on written content) and excludes language interpreting (which deals with spoken language in real time). Interpretation services are covered in the ASTM F2089-15 Standard Practice for Language Interpreting.