The 2023 version of the ASTM Standard Practice for Language Translation has been published!

I just updated my work order accordingly. The most significant changes are:

  • It is a practice, not a guide. A practice is a document that indicates the best way to do something based on industry best practices.
  • It is much more readable. Now administrators who need translation services will be able to use it more broadly.
  • It recommends that translators follow a style guide. This brings it in line with best practices in the communications field.
  • There is a flow chart to follow the translation process.
  • It recommends that the translation provider and the requester work together to determine the specifications for the translation.
  • It mentions machine translation, stating that it may have significant problems in grammar and nuance.
  • It invites translators and editors (bilingual and monolingual) to ask questions, and make changes subject to the approval of the original translator or another translator with equivalent qualifications.
  • It recommends that the final proofreading be done after the document is formatted for publication in print or online.
  • It invites the translator and the requester to work together in the final review of the document.

This update of the standard fits the needs of today’s translators and their clients. I hope translators and the people we work with purchase the Standard.