Community interpreting, project management tools soon certified


Some information by the Language Industry Certification System:

Until recently the Language Industry Certification System (LICS) has been known around the world mostly for being the first to have developed a certification scheme for the EN 15038. But this is not the only champion LICS has in store. More certification products for the language industry have been developed and will enter the market in short time. Among them are the certification of Community Interpreting Service Providers (based on the Canadian National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services, published by the Healthcare Interpretation Network (HIN), Project Management Tools for translators, and the LICS Translation Text Quality Certification (based on the metrics used in the industry standard for the automotive industry SAE-J2450).
More information: www.lics-certification.org.

How certification can save your party


Finally something – at family reunions for example – to impress even those who could never really hide their puzzled (or plainly blank) look whenever talk concerned what I do for a living. Admittedly, “working in the language field” sounds hopelessly vague, but I never succeeded to put it into shorter, more self-explanatory words. As hard as I tried! And for a long narrative there was simply never the excitement for people hold their attention long enough. To be honest, I suspect some of my friends and relatives still do not even consider what I do a real profession at all.

All my fellow “language professionals” will know what I am talking about.

But now my little problem is at least partly solved as I am currently being trained to become an auditor for certification of translation service providers (translation companies or one-man/woman-shows). Quality management – yeah, that’s something they finally grasp at the parties*. That is in itself surprising, if one considers that ISO 9000 series is not very old either. I will be an auditor for EN 15038 which regulates quality management for translation service providers (TSPs). It is based on the ISO 9000 idea and principle but addresses TSPs only by being quite specific about how a quality TSP shall operate.

I congratulate myself on my decision to do the auditors’ training. Besides finally having a “tangible” profession there is another big advantage in being an auditor: it’s a growing market of TSPs who get certified (and re-certified after a while), the number of auditors is still not overwhelming and so it promises some good business for me.

The training itself is not very complicated: two days theory, one day of pratice and the rest is a little more real-life audit observation. Finally a supervised audit that I still have ahead of me. And that’s all!

I can hardly wait for my training to be over so I can finally go to work.

More on training dates and locations in 2010, prices and programme:


Next trainings will be in January (Berlin), February (Antwerp) and April (Bonn).

* at least people are more convincing now that they know what I am talking about ūüėČ

How terminology standards are made (Part 1)

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We have written about standards before and will keep doing so as they are really an important issue for the terminologist.

ISO/TC 37 Bogota


From 8-14 August experts from the industry who are committed to bring in their knowledge (or interests) in the development of standards within the framework of ISO/TC 37 meet again. This meeting is traditionally scheduled in August in a different location, i.e. hosted by a national standards organization.

This year the meeting week will take place in Bogot√°, Colombia, hosted by ICONTEC. The week will consist, as usual, of project meetings (to bring the standards in development a bit further towards publication), plenary meetings (in which important general and strategic decisions are taken), advisory groups meetings (to prepare these decisions through debate), and a number of side events, excursions, networking, partying (just a little – these are long days of work!).

We will be there and we will bring you there through the reports in this Blog. And maybe you find that you would like to become involved in this work as well … which would be great, indeed!

The official Website of the meetings.

On Friday, 15 August a Conference will take place which is open to everybody who is interested, and where Colombian and South American language industry members meet to discuss standards, how they benefit their work and how to bacome more active. If you are in the area, please join. Registration is required, though:  tc37meeting /at\ la.icontec.org.



Excerpt from the meeting Website:

Welcome to the official website of the Annual Meeting of ISO/TC 37 Terminology and other Language and Content Resources ICONTEC, the Colombian Institute of Technical Standardization and Certification, is the host of Annual Meeting of ISO/TC 37, and invites you to join the meeting to be held in Bogot√° from August 8 to 14th, 2009 The mission of TC 37 is to provide standards and guidelines to standardization experts, language professionals in all institutions and organizations creating and handling terminologies and other language and content resources (including ISO, other international standards developing organizations, national standards bodies, national government services, companies, non-governmental organizations, etc.) in order to enable them to prepare high-quality language resources and tools for a wide variety of applications in professional and scholarly information and communication, education, industry, trade, etc. In this web site you will find the whole information to the meeting and information on the hotels and other facilities that Bogot√° and Colombia offer to travelers.

What’s important and what is not for terminologists

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One¬†topic is haunting me¬†for quite a while now. There’s a lot of talk about quality assurance and certification. Is there¬†really a need¬†for it¬†for terminology managers and translators?

Whenever I ask people I obviously get mixed responses. Most agree and find all these issues very important. But usually these are the ones who are involved in standards and other working groups so I am not sure if they are really representative for all the terminologists out there. 

There are also those who say of themselves they have no clue about all this and don’t care.¬† That there are other issues they find much more important. Or that, while they personally find it important, do not believe it will be successful in their country or region.

What do you find most important when you have to argue or prove to your managers or clients that what you are doing is important, state-of-the-art and worth every cent they spend on you?

I belong to the first group. I believe that certification schemas and the emphasizing of well-handled terminology management as an asset for quality assurance will ultimately strengthen our position.

Yes, it costs without guaranteeing reward but isn’t that so for all innovations?

What’s your opinion about this? Are you an innovator or rather wait until others have taken the lead?