Translation and Localization Industry Standards
With more than 60,000 translation and localization companies in the world, the market is ultra-fragmented and everyone has their own way of doing things. For an outsider, it’s hard to evaluate whether a potential partner is following best practices and using efficient processes.
"How good is a supplier’s quality? Will I get a professional service? Do they have a procedure in case something goes wrong?" When faced with these questions, industry standards can be very useful to differentiate companies and make decisions about suppliers.
Demonstrating professionalism to customers is an important reason why translation companies adhere to and become certified in standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 17100. Moreover, preparing for certification and audit helps organize, document, and improve internal processes. Finally, some RFPs require participants to be certified, particularly when working with the corporate sector.
Translation and localization industry standards are not static; they change and develop every three years. There are dozens of parallel standards from organizations around the world, but only a few of them are popular and few matter when trying to differentiate an LSP from the competition. The below pages describe some of the most common standards, as well as some standards that are in development.