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STP Translation & Revision Guidelines


Table of Contents

Translator Competence and Qualifications

STP is certified to the translation services standard ISO 17100 which specifies requirements for all aspects of the translation process directly affecting the quality and delivery of the company’s translation services. The ISO 17100 standard includes provisions for translation service providers (TSPs) concerning the management of core processes, minimum qualification requirements for translators, revisers and project managers, the availability and management of resources, and other actions necessary for the delivery of a quality translation service.

For our in-house and freelance translators this means that you are expected to have the following professional competences as described in ISO 17100:

a) Translation competence: the ability to translate content in accordance with the tasks listed below under Translation, including the ability to address the problems of language content comprehension and language content production and the ability to render the target language content in accordance with the client-TSP agreement and other project specifications.

b) Linguistic and textual competence in the source language and the target language: the ability to understand the source language, fluency in the target language, and general or specialized knowledge of text-type conventions. This linguistic and textual competence includes the ability to apply this knowledge when producing translation or other target language content.

c) Competence in research, information acquisition, and processing: the ability to efficiently acquire the additional linguistic and specialized knowledge necessary to understand the source language content and to produce the target language content. Research competence also requires experience in the use of research tools and the ability to develop suitable strategies for the efficient use of the information sources available.

d) Cultural competence: ability to make use of information on the behavioural standards, up-to-date terminology, value systems, and locale that characterize both source and target language cultures.

e) Technical competence: the knowledge, abilities, and skills required to perform the technical tasks in the translation process by employing technical resources including the tools and IT systems that support the whole translation process.

f) Domain competence: the ability to understand content produced in the source language and to  reproduce it in the target language using the appropriate style and terminology.

These competencies may be acquired by degree studies in translation or languages from an institution of higher education or experience in translating, as outlined below, and maintained and developed by CPD (Continuing Professional Development) activities.

Translators carrying out revision tasks are expected to have the same competencies and translation or revision experience in the domain under consideration.

You should also meet at least one of the following qualification criteria

a) a recognized graduate qualification in translation, linguistics or languages from an institution of higher education;

b) a recognized graduate qualification in any other field from an institution of higher education plus two years of full-time professional experience in translating;

c) five years of full-time professional experience in translating.

More information regarding these five areas of competence or required qualifications can be requested from STP’s Vendor Manager.

For each assignment you accept from STP, your acceptance of our order confirmation means that you consider yourself to have the necessary competence to carry out the assignment as outlined above. You must always deliver a thorough and properly executed translation. You are expected to work according to good industry practice and research the topic as necessary, have the required technical tools and dictionaries at your disposal, proofread your own translation and run a spellcheck and any other necessary checks before delivery. We are always happy to help you with any technical or other questions relating to your work for us.

Continuing Professional Development

CPD is short for "Continuing Professional Development" and it can be defined as the "systematic maintenance, improvement and broadening of knowledge and skills, and the development of personal qualities necessary for the execution of professional duties throughout the working life" or life-long learning.
CPD activities are required in most professions. In the translation industry, CPD is promoted at industry associations, and required by translation service standards such as ISO 17100. ISO 17100 requires all translators, PMs and other staff involved in production to undertake CPD activities and maintain their competences by continuing practice.
STP requests you to confirm you undertake CPD activities when you join our freelancer database, and after that, every three years. We support you in this by organising training sessions and webinars, publishing a quarterly newsletter and informing you of other available CPD activities. There is no limit to the amount of CPD activities you should undertake annually. Internally at STP we recommend 2-3 days per year, which together with on-the-job learning and continuous practice, is what most translators can easily achieve.

What qualifies as CPD? Examples

Formal training 
> Webinars and training sessions organised by STP 
> Webinars, training and courses organised by any other companies or associations, e.g. Proz.com, translator associations
On-the-job learning
> Learning to use a new translation tool 
> Learning to work with machine translation
> Reading instructions on a new type of task, for example, content creation or search engine optimisation
> Researching new subject areas or text types, for example, wind power
Following industry news and developments
> Proz.com Community Choice Award blogs and articles
> LinkedIn translation/localization industry groups & discussions
Membership of industry association
> Joining and industry association and following or participating in their work
Keeping in touch with source or target language culture when abroad
> News
> Language, terminology and linguistic institutes' recommendations and newsletters 

Obligation of Professional Secrecy

All suppliers agree to be bound by STP’s obligation of professional secrecy: http://www.stptrans.com/obligation-of-professional-secrecy/.

STP Knowledge Base

At http://kb.stptrans.com/ you will find our Knowledge Base, including all the content from our former Translator FAQs, an extensive collection of useful tips and tricks on how to use different translation-related applications, how to solve problems relating to these applications, alongside useful links to glossaries and other linguistic resources.

Purchase Order (PO)

All projects are confirmed with an emailed PO (Purchase Order, or order confirmation) which states the work type, source and target languages, field, volume, rate and deadline. Do not start without a PO or an explicit go-ahead from the STP project manager.

The PO also contains instructions for invoicing, and links to the Obligation of Professional Secrecy, and information on using STP’s quality control checklist and applying machine translation.

Instructions and Queries

Always follow the project instructions sent to you with the order confirmation. You are welcome to submit queries or request additional reference material in good time prior to the agreed deadline; we will contact the client and do our best to help you. Do not contact STP’s client or the end-client directly.

Translation

We expect translators to translate in accordance of the purpose of the translation project, including the linguistic conventions of the target language and project instructions. The translation process should take into account the following, as listed in ISO 17100:

a) compliance with specific domain and client terminology and/or any other reference material provided and ensuring terminological consistency during translation;

b) semantic accuracy of the target language content;

c) appropriate syntax, spelling, punctuation, diacritical marks, and other orthographical conventions of the target language;

d) lexical cohesion and phraseology;

e) compliance with any proprietary and/or client style guide (including domain, language register, and language variants);

f) locale and any applicable standards;

g) formatting;

h) target audience and purpose of the target language content.

We expect translators to proofread their own work against the source text for possible semantic, grammatical and spelling issues, and for omissions or other errors, before delivery, regardless of whether the translation is scheduled to be revised by a second linguist or not.

Revision

Revision (proofreading) by a second linguist should always be carried out against the source. Revision changes should be marked by tracked changes where the file format or tool allows it, otherwise the changes can be made directly in the translated files.

Revisers are provided with and should read all the relevant translation instructions and query answers and make sure the translation has been carried out according to them. Reference material should be consulted where necessary, and the reviser should attempt to check any terminology either with the translator or from alternative sources if they suspect something is wrong. Otherwise, it is the translator’s task to ensure all specialist terminology is correct. The reviser’s main tasks are to make sure that the text is suitable for its purpose, does not contain any mistranslations, spelling or grammatical errors, and that the translation is complete and carried out according to instructions provided for the project. The reviser should inform the project manager of any significant issues in the translation.

Finalisation

"Finalisation" is a term used at STP to denote the last stages of a translation project, where the finaliser readies the translation files for delivery.

The project instructions provided will specify who has been asked to finalise the project before final delivery. This will be either the translator, or the reviser, depending on circumstances.

Finalisation by the translator

If the project is finalised by the translator after the reviser has finished, the translator is expected to review all changes suggested by the reviser, and confirm they accept the changes. They are free to reject changes they feel inappropriate.

They should ensure all changes have been made globally in the files. They should run a final QC and spelling check.

No comments should remain in the files and the files should be ready for delivery to the client, once the finalisation process has been completed.

The translator should complete by the “translation” and “finalisation” parts of the QC checklist.

Finalisation by the reviser

If the project is finalised by the reviser, they should make all their changes globally in the files, and then run a final QC and spell check.

No comments should remain in the files and the files should be ready for delivery to the client, once the finalisation process has been completed.

The reviser should complete by the “revision” and “finalisation” parts of the QC checklist.

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Your translation should always follow the standard or current official rules of the target language with regard to grammar and spelling. Try to avoid a literal translation of the source document. Any spelling or typing mistakes can easily be removed with the spellchecker but remember that not all mistakes are detected electronically. You should always read through your finished work to check for any incorrect wording and spelling mistakes.

The following links take you to basic Nordic and English language guidelines compiled by STP’s Lead Translators. Any style guidelines provided by STP’s clients for a translation project take precedence over these language guidelines.

·         Danish http://stptrans.com/style-guide/danish-language-guidelines/

·         English http://stptrans.com/style-guide/english-language-guidelines/

·         Finnish http://stptrans.com/style-guide/finnish-language-guidelines/

·         Norwegian http://stptrans.com/style-guide/norwegian-language-guidelines/

·         Swedish http://stptrans.com/style-guide/swedish-language-guidelines/


Final Checks

All work should be checked prior to delivery to STP. Translators are expected to carry out self-revision (check) of the translated target content, before the translation is passed on to the reviser, who carries out a full revision of the target language against the source. In many cases, STP’s clients order a translation-only service, where no revision by a second linguist is scheduled. All translation assignments should be of a final quality, deliverable to the client, regardless of whether revision by a second linguist is scheduled or not.

Spellchecking

All work must be spellchecked prior to delivery regardless of file format or tool used. Please ask your project manager if you are unsure of how to spellcheck in the tool you are using.

QC Checking

Quality Control (QC) checking is a set of mechanical checks that pick up on errors in translated files that a human eye easily misses. These may be missing translations, inconsistencies or punctuation issues, or inconsistencies with the provided glossary. QC checking is a mandatory step in STP workflows, and you are asked to confirm that QC checking has been done when you complete a project.

Read more about QC checking in the STP guidelines here: QC Checking.

QC Checklist

The Quality Control Checklist is a simple checklist intended to make sure that both the translator and the reviser as well as the project manager for the project have carried out their tasks as required, including any final checks. The QC checklist is sent to you with our order confirmation. It should be filled in and delivered with the translated or revised project. The project manager will verify that the checklist has been correctly filled in and request clarification if necessary.

Resources and Reference Material

Always use the resources, translation memories (TMs), glossaries/termbases (TBs) and reference material provided by the project manager. If there are any issues with the supplied reference material and/or terminology, contact your project manager as soon as possible.

Delivery

Deliver the translated files or project in the format requested by your project manager, by the delivery date and time on your order confirmation (PO). Inform your project manager of any issues or delays in the schedule as soon as you are aware of them.

Translation Tools

Please use the translation tool and version requested by the project manager. STP’s main translation tool is memoQ, however, we also use a host of other translation tools so please let us know if you upgrade your translation tool or acquire new tools. Some tools have translator versions that we can provide to you free of charge.

If you have any problems using memoQ or any other requested tool, do not hesitate to contact your project manager. You can also refer to STP's Knowledge Base at https://kb.stptrans.com/ for instructions on how to use different tools and troubleshooting advice.

Machine Translation

The translation process has greatly evolved over the past few years and is closely interlinked with the development of translation technology and automation. The translation industry is accepting the fact that using machine translation (MT) and machine translation post-editing (MTPE) as part of the translation process is a natural sequel to leveraging and reusing translation data from translation memories. These days statistical machine translation (SMT) is the prime MT system applied directly in translation tools such as memoQ and SDL Trados Studio. 

MT is increasingly being used as part of STP’s translation worfklows.  You may be asked to carry out machine translation post-editing as part of a translation task. You can read more about this here.

"Best-practice" Translation Workflows

The translation workflows described below are intended as “best-practice” workflows for translation and revision at STP. If no revision is scheduled, the translator finalises the files and the QC checklist and delivers as per usual to the project manager. Instructions from the project manager and the client should always be followed as the first priority.

Translation Workflow: In-house Translation + In-house Revision

1.    Translator translates according to instructions, using the translation tool required, and the TMs, TBs, reference material and other materials available. Translator checks their own work.

2.    Translator passes translation on to the reviser.

3.    Reviser reviews translation instructions and available reference material. Revises translation and inserts corrections, and passes the translation back to the translator. Reviser fills in QC checklist and reports time spent to the project manager.

4.    Translator reviews the changes and finalises files. Translator carries out a final spellcheck, QC check and other relevant checks. Translator fills in QC checklist.

5.    Translator delivers to the project manager.


If changes cannot be logged due to file format or translation tool used, reviser inserts changes and finalises the file, including final spellcheck, QC check and other relevant checks. Translator and reviser fill in QC checklist. Reviser delivers to the project manager.

Translation Workflow: Freelance Translation + In-house Revision

1.    Translator translates according to instructions, using the translation tool required, and the TMs, TBs, reference material and other materials available. Translator checks their own work.

2.    Translator passes translation on to the project manager who forwards it to the reviser.

3.    Reviser reviews translation instructions and available reference material. Revises translation and inserts corrections. Reviser fills in QC checklist and reports time spent to the project manager. Reviser passes the translation back to the project manager who sends it to the translator for finalising.

4.    Translator reviews the changes and finalises files. Translator carries out a final spellcheck, QC check and other relevant checks. Translator fills in QC checklist.

5.    Translator delivers to the project manager.

If time doesn’t allow for freelance translator to finalise the translation or changes cannot be logged due to file format or translation tool used, reviser inserts changes and finalises the file, including final spellcheck, QC check and other relevant checks. Translator and reviser fill in QC checklist. Reviser delivers to the project manager.


Translation Workflow: In-house Translation + Freelance Revision

1.    Translator translates according to instructions, using the translation tool required, and the TMs, TBs, reference material and other materials available. Translator checks their own work.

2.    Translator passes translation on to the project manager who forwards it to the reviser.

3.    Reviser reviews translation instructions and available reference material. Revises translation and inserts corrections. Reviser fills in QC checklist and reports time spent to the project manager. Reviser passes the translation back to the project manager who sends it to the translator for finalising.

4.    Translator reviews the changes and finalises files. Translator carries out a final spellcheck, QC check and other relevant checks. Translator fills in QC checklist.

5.    Translator delivers to the project manager.

If time doesn’t allow for freelance translator to finalise the translation or changes cannot be logged due to file format or translation tool used, reviser inserts changes and finalises the file, including final spellcheck, QC check and other relevant checks. Translator and reviser fill in QC checklist. Reviser delivers to the project manager.

Translation Workflow, Freelance Translation + Freelance Revision

1.    Translator translates according to instructions, using the translation tool required, and the TMs, TBs, reference material and other materials available. Translator checks their own work.

2.    Translator passes translation on to the project manager who forwards it to the reviser.

3.    Reviser reviews translation instructions and available reference material. Revises translation and inserts corrections. Reviser fills in QC checklist and reports time spent to the project manager. Reviser passes the translation back to the project manager who sends it to the translator for finalising.

4.    Translator reviews the changes and finalises files. Translator carries out a final spellcheck, QC check and other relevant checks. Translator fills in QC checklist.

5.    Translator delivers to the project manager.

If time does not allow for the translator to finalise the translation or changes cannot be logged due to file format or translation tool used, reviser inserts changes and finalises the file, including final spellcheck and QC check and other relevant checks. Translator and reviser fill in QC checklist. Reviser delivers to the project manager.


Terms

Check

(ISO 17100) examination of target language content carried out by the translator. In these Translation and Revision Guidelines, also referred to as “revision” and “self-revision” by the translator.

Revision

(ISO 17100) bilingual examination of target language content against source language content for its suitability for the agreed purpose. In these Translation and Revision Guidelines, also referred to as “revision” or “proofreading” by a second linguist.

Text-type convention

(ISO 17100) subset of specifications for the target language content related to the content type and domain.

Domain

(ISO 17100) subject field, sphere of knowledge of activity having its own specialised culture, social context, and linguistic characteristics.

Locale

(ISO 17100) set of characteristics, information, or conventions specific to the linguistic, cultural, technical, and geographical conventions of a target audience.

Competence

(ISO) ability to apply knowledge, experience, and skills to achieve intended results.