Translation revision and quality assurance: practices and protocols in diverse settings

Greg Morley, organizer – freelance editor, writer and translator, Spain

Part I

The first part of this panel discussion will present the results of a quality assurance action research project that was undertaken on the eve of translation companies’ voluntary adoption of the process-oriented quality assurance guidelines known as EN-15038.

  • Piloting a translation revision protocol in a freelance settingAilish Maher, Mary Savage, Irwin Temkin, Spain

    The EN-15038 Translation Quality Standard, which came into effect in 2006, advises that quality is achieved by adding a revision step (another translator’s checking of the translated text against the source) and a review step by a field expert. Freelance translators who work with translation companies or agencies sometimes express concern that application of the standard might seem to belittle their own quality assurance efforts; in particular they note that exactly how revision is to be carried out is not described by EN-15038. In 2005 MET recruited a team of translators and revisers from among its members to translate the MET charter. It was decided to simulate revision and review as the process is implied by EN-15038. Our intention was to demystify these steps for freelancers so that they would be able to discuss the conditions of quality assurance knowledgeably with compliant companies. [Read more about the project and the coordinators.]

Part II

In the second part, speakers with experience of revision processes will compare and contrast practices in different translation settings. Clearly, the needs of a large translation service provider, where deadlines are tight and profit margins might not always be high, will be different to those of a university language service or indeed to those of a freelance network that translates academic journals. Among other things, we will discuss the importance of feedback to the translator and what constitutes a good revision.

We’ll leave time at the end for open discussion—so do note down your thoughts!

  • Translation revision in a university settingLuci Vázquez, Spain

    Luci Vázquez works as a translator and editor at the Technical University of Catalonia’s Language and Terminology Service. Her main task is revising freelancers’ work. Before working at the university she was a freelance translator. She holds the Institute of Linguists’ Diploma in Translation and a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Manchester. E-mail:

  • Revision and freelance translators: different agency practicesSarah Griffin-Mason, UK

    Sarah Griffin-Mason is a freelance Spanish to English translator and editor based in Portsmouth, UK. She lived and worked in Montevideo, Uruguay for eight years and now freelances for clients including UNICEF-TACRO, ICE and various UK agencies. She is a member of the translation team of a bilingual medical journal and also teaches units ranging from Key Stage 1 Spanish to MA Translation Studies. E-mail:

  • Bilingual journals: a special caseGreg Morley, Spain

    After a short career as a bench scientist, Greg Morley has been working as a medical writer, translator and editor for more than 10 years. Currently a freelancer based in Madrid, among other things, he works as a translator and reviser on two bilingual medical journals. Website:; E-mail: