Panel discussion

Process-oriented quality assurance—what the new European Translation Standard means for freelance translators

METM 06, Barcelona
27-28 October 2006

Panel coordinator: Greg Morley
Friday 27, 11:50-13:00, Room 1

On the 17th of May 2006, the new European Quality Standard for Translation (EN-15038) was published and has come into force after approval by the individual signatory countries. Given that the quality of a translation is hard to define objectively, the standard focusses on processes to help ensure acceptable quality. One particular requirement is that all translations be revised by someone other than the translator. Translation service providers that are compliant with the standard can be certified and the hope is that certification may help potential clients select their provider.

This session will start with a presentation of the new standard by Juan José Arevalillo, president of the ACT, with reference to the role of the ACT in drawing up the new standard and market research carried out by this association. After the presentation, a short question-and-answer session will allow those unfamiliar with the standard to clear up doubts about practical aspects. Finally, a panel comprising representatives of the ACT and freelance translators, and chaired by Greg Morley, will debate some of the controversial issues and the implications of the standard for freelance translators.

Greg Morley, PhD, (organizer) is a medical writer (Young Medical Communication, S.L. and freelance technical translator based in Madrid, Spain. Although his research background is in chemistry, he mainly works in the biomedical field.

Juan José Arevalillo Doval, PhD, is Managing Director of Hermes Traducciones y Servicios Lingüísticos ( and president of the ACT (Association of Spanish Translation Companies) ( He is also a lecturer and consultant for the Translations Studies course at Alfonso X University, Madrid, Spain.

Sheryl Hinkkanen is Secretary-General, Fédération Internationale des Traductuers, and an authorized (certified) Finnish to English translator and translation agency owner in Finland. She has been an English translator, language reviser, editor, and journalist since 1978, and has also taught translation and editing at the University of Helsinki.

Helen Casas, an engineering graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a freelance translator based in Barcelona who specializes in pharmaceutical and medical translation and editing. She has 13 years of experience working for a variety of clients including translation agencies in Spain and abroad, as well as direct clients in business and academia.