As the international standard for translation services, ISO 17100:2015 defines a revision of a translation as a fixed step in the translation process: a post-translation check performed by a second person. It also stipulates – and this is crucial – that revisers must be just as competent and qualified as translators, i.e. they must have a sound knowledge of the subject area, for example. Revision is a bilingual check, i.e. revisers compare the source and target texts and check that the target text is suitable for the purpose and also that it complies with the terminology, style guides and other instructions. The reviser must also have revision skills. This means that revisers may only recommend corrections, but may not rewrite the text unnecessarily, and must make changes consistently throughout the text.
Revision is a mandatory process step when producing translations in accordance with the ISO 17100 standard, which defines the minimum requirements for high-quality translation services. So as a basic principle, all documents which are to be published or need to be of impeccable standard require revision. However, if texts and translations are for personal use or where the quality does not need to be quite so high, a ‘simple’ translation by a qualified professional translator or even just a machine translation may be adequate.
For technical documentation translations, a revision is usually standard. For example, the standard for creating user manuals – the documentation standard IEC/IEEE 82079-1 – refers to translation processes in accordance with ISO 17100. When translating operating manuals, usage instructions and instructions of all types into a foreign language, the standard recommends professional translators and translation specialists who are preferably native speakers of the target language, meaning that it even goes one step further than ISO 17100. This is another reason why oneword also always selects native speakers as a principle. It does not matter whether these documents are translated instructions for a paint can or large, highly complex products such as industrial machinery or systems. This standard is intended for all parties involved in creating and translating instructions, for example manufacturers, producers, technical writers, technical illustrators, software developers, medical device manufacturers, professional translators, etc.
Therefore, for all texts where translation errors pose risks, such as those relating to product liability, a company’s reputation or other financial damage, it is strongly recommended that the translation is revised in accordance with ISO 17100.