New ISO/AWI 18968 standards project


German standard for translation-oriented writing as basis for new ISO standard

At the beginning of July 2022, DIN 8579 “Translation-oriented writing – Text production and text evaluation” was published. Now the standard is to be developed at an international level, a move that has already been given the go-ahead. We explain what the next stages are and what the exact objective is.

The DIN 8579 standard for rule-compliant, translation-oriented writing – also contained in the handbook “Standards for terminology work, technical editing and translation” – is a valuable tool for authors, editors, translators, software tool producers and also operators of machine translation systems. We have already explained the benefits and the most important contents of this standard in a separate article.

Benefits for other languages too

The DIN working group, consisting of representatives of the Translation Services and Technical Documentation working committees and individual interested parties, felt that this important and practical standard could be useful not only for users in the German-speaking market, but also beyond it, and carefully examined the document for ways to internationalise it. It was necessary to assess whether the individual chapters and sub-headings only applied to German or could lead to confusion and errors in other languages. It quickly became clear that the contents of the standard were by no means only relevant for the German language.

The standard was therefore translated into English, with a view to it being used internationally. In the next step, chapters and examples that were clearly only related to German were deleted or adapted and a “new work item proposal” (NP) was submitted to ISO/TC 37 “Language and terminology” based on the rough draft in English. The vast majority of the national standardisation institutions’ mirror committees voted in favour of the standardisation project and so, in November 2022, the new ISO/AWI (“approved work item proposal”) with the number 18968 was born.

A lot of work for the experts

Although the draft is based on a finished standard that has already been published, the ISO version – should it become a finished standard – will probably be a different document. More than a hundred comments were submitted during the ISO voting stage and many more will follow in further voting rounds, which will influence the content and structure of the international standard. This is quite understandable, since an international version, including all its examples, has to work for as many languages as possible with their individual characteristics.

oneword and especially our Head of Quality Management, Eva-Maria Tillmann, who together with Prof. Christoph Rösener is managing this standardisation project, are looking forward to this exciting challenge and, of course, to the result, which is expected to be published in December 2025.

We will keep you informed about all the important steps and news surrounding this new project.

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