Correspondence with Dr Peter Jonas, LICS, Austria, about EN 15038 - Sep 2014

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This correspondence was prompted by a presentation of EN 15038 in India, published  at: http://www.termnet.org/downloads/english/events/itaindia_workshop/PJ_EN15038_India.pdf

The presentation ended with: "Thank you for you attention! Any questions? Please, contact: peter.jonas@as-plus.at, gsauberer@termnet.at, http://www.lics-certification.info/"

I knew that Peter Jonas had come to Bulgaria and signed a contract with a Bulgarian official from BIS (Bulgarian Institute of Standardization), Peter Lozev, so I decided to send an email to Peter Jonas. I also sent a copy to Peter Lozev.


07 September 2014
To: Mr Peter Jonas
Copy to: Mr Peter Lozev, Bulgaria
 

Dear Mr Jonas,
 
I have a question about the EN 15038 standard:
 
What should be the legal relations between a TSP and a person who translates?
 
The standard doesn't say anything about their legal relations. Consequently, false claims are rampant on the Internet, such as:
 
"As a EN-15038 certified translation agency we can guarantee top-quality and fast online translations for any subject matter in over 100 languages.
Over 5,000 professional translators work for us across the planet.
We are a professional online translating agency that provides translations of the very highest quality. Translations are assigned promptly by our system to a suitably qualified expert translator and done within the shortest timeframe possible. Our 5,000 expert translators ensure we always have this service available in over 100 languages, whatever your field.
Our translating team are all certified to the European EN 15038 & North-American standards and work to the very highest requirements.
Should that not be the case for your text, we will translate it again - until you are satisfied."
 
The above is just an example of a randomly selected TSP. There are hundreds and thousands like that worldwide, including in my home
country. They all take pride in being certified, having their own team based across the world, possessing innumerable translators, etc, etc.,
not to mention their armies of proof-readers, editors, consultants and so forth.

I don't think certified TSP should be allowed to make such arrogant, grossly exaggerated claims. I think they should be better advised by the certification bodies.

What do you think?

Looking frwd to your reply.

Best regards,
Rennie Todorova Stoyanova, a BA in English
Bulgaria
mobile: +359888609072
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rennie_Stoyanova
https://www.facebook.com/rennie.todorova
http://rennie.blog.bg/


08 September 2014

Dear Mr. Stoyanova
 
Without going into too much a detail concerning the text you submitted, I thing that it is legitimate much make statements like this (marketing always has its specific language) unless the holder of the certificate does not make false statements (like that the translation is certified etc.) which are not in accordance with the standard.
 
Best regards

Dr. Peter Jonas 

Director Certification

Prokurist

 

T: +43 1 213 00-413 
M: +43 664 3957056

E: p.jonas@austrian-standards.at

 

Heinestraße 38, 1020 Wien | Vienna, Austria

www.austrian-standards.at

 

Austrian Standards plus GmbH

Firmenbuchnummer: FN 300135a | Firmenbuchgericht: Wien
DVR: 3003066 | UID: ATU63688218

 

21 September 2014
To: Mr Peter Jonas
Copy to: Mr Peter Lozev, Bulgaria
 
 
Dear Mr Jonas,
 
Thank you very much for your prompt reply. It has been very kind of you to explain that EN 15038-certified TSPs should not make false statements, e.g. that they produce certified translations.
 
My question, however, was not about certified translations. I asked:
 
"What should be the legal relations between a TSP and a person who translates?"
 
("A person who translates" is the definition of a translator given in the standard.)
 
You did not answer this question. Perhaps you thought it was self-evident from the very name of the Human Resources Section in the standard that translators should be part of the human resources of the TSP.
 
However, thе issue of their legal relations is not nearly as clear as it seems. So I really need some advice from you as an expert in the EN
15038 certification procedure.
 
The standard explicitly requires, in the Client-TSP Relationship section, that before entering into an agreement with the Client, the TSP shall submit a quotation, and before submitting the quotation, the TSP "shall determine  whether all the required human and technical resources are available."
 
Simply put, I cannot understand what kind of contract should a TSP sign with one, two or more  translators in order to satisfy the human resources requirements of the standard for each translation project. By human resources I mean employees - that is people employed on a permanent or fixed-term employment contract. By a fixed-term employment contract I mean a contract signed in compliance with Directive 1999/70/EC of 28 June 1999.
 
I am looking forward to your reply,
 
Best regards,
R. Stoyanova, Mrs
Bulgaria


23 September 2014

Dear Ms. Stoyanova
 
The question of a legal relation is actually not specified by the standard. The standards requests the TSP to ensure that the translator being used to carry out a translation job is a) competent and b) receives proper instructions on the translation to be carried out. What kind of relationship a TSP will have to the individual translator is not the issue and is intentionally left open.
 
Best regards
 
Dr. Peter Jonas
Director Certification
Prokurist


24 September 2014
To: Mr Peter Jonas
Copy to: Mr Peter Lozev, Bulgaria

Dear Mr Jonas,
Thank you very much for your prompt reply.

I agree that the type of contract between a TSP and an individual translator is not the issue in EN 15038 and is intentionally left open, but I do not agree that "the relationship between a TSP and an individual translator is not the issue and is intentionally left open".

Suffice to say that the professional competences of the translator "being used", as you put it, are listed in subsection 3.2.2, part of the Human Resources Section (3.2) There is also subsection 3.2.1. Human resources management, and subsection 3.2.5 Continuing professional development (of the translators' competences, listed in 3.2.2).

Would you, please, specify what "human resources" mean in EN 15038?

Looking forward to your reply.

Best regards,
R. Stoyanova


25 September 2014
From Peter Jonas

Dear Ms. Stoyanova

I have to admit that I do not know what you are aiming at. "Human resources" is simply the title of a sub-clause of the standard. This sub-clause is -I hope so- self evident with regards to what it is about and what the purpose of this sub-clause is, i.e. to specify competence requirements of the various functions needed to provide translation services.

Best regards
Dr. Peter Jonas
Director Certification
Prokurist


26 September 2014
To: Mr Peter Jonas
Copy to: Mr Peter Lozev, Bulgaria

Dear Mr Jonas,

It is a key requirement, explicitly set in EN 15038, that a TSP shall have carefully selected human resources for each translation project. Why, do you think, it is exactly in the Human Resources sub-clause that the standard sets clear selection criteria, if not to facilitate TSPs' search for employees? Nowadays, there are even professional HR companies which bring employers and employees together. They only ask for clear selection criteria and set out to create a database of candidate-employees.

TSPs, however, do not need employees, nor HR companies. They themselves compile databases of candidate-employees and then present the translators from those databases as their human resources. TSPs refer to them as "their translators", "their teams", etc. For example:

"Unsere Spe­zia­li­tät sind Über­set­zun­gen aus allen in alle Spra­chen, ohne Ein­schrän­kung des Fach­ge­biets. Als gut ein­ge­führ­tes Über­set­zungs­büro sind wir auf zuver­läs­sige externe Part­ner für die Bereit­stel­lung hoch­wer­ti­ger Über­set­zun­gen ange­wie­sen. Mit den meis­ten unse­rer Sprach­pro­fis haben wir lang­jäh­rige, gut ein­ge­spielte Bezie­hun­gen." http://www.all-languages.at/leistungen/uebersetzungen/

All Languages is one of the 20 EN 15038-certified Austrian TSPs. Their actual team consists of 7 persons, of whom only 3 translators: http://www.all-languages.at/uber-uns/team/ Do you think three or four project managers can manage translation projects in tens and hundreds of foreign languages?

All Languages offer a Speziali­tät which is the same as the Specialität of all other micro-sized TSPs (staff < 10): they make false claims that they can translate everything or manage all kinds of translation projects simply because they have access to a worldwide network of professionals, many of whom are self-employed, others have their own TSP with their own database of unlimited resources. The internet has enabled all of us (I say "us" because I also work in a micro-sized TSP) to claim "the sky is the limit", so there is nothing unique in their approach.

You say, you do not understand what I am aiming at. Hindrance of free competition is one issue. Protection of clients' rights is another. Theft of intellectual property is the third.

I expected, and still expect, that certification bodies would exert some control over the unfair business practices in the field of translation services. Instead, you are asking what I am aiming at. Do you really not know that the term "human resources" means employees (staff, personnel)?

The EN 15038 standard is a powerful tool. Properly used, it may put an end to unfair practices in the field of translation services. And vice versa, used improperly, it may contribute to their proliferation.

In the standard, there is 3.2 "Human resources", and under this heading are 3.2.1 "HR management", 3.2.2 "Professional competences of translators", 3.2.3 "Professional competences of revisers", 3.2.4 "Professional competences of reviewers". Why do you see all these highly-qualified professionals simply as "various functions". What do you mean by "functions'? Job positions, I hope?

There is also 3.2.5. "Continuing professional development", quote: The TSP shall ensure that the professional competences required by 3.2.2 are maintained and updated. Can you imagine a TSP that would invest in the continuing professional development of translators who are employed by other organizations or are self-employed, independent contractors?

Looking frwd to your prompt reply.

Best regards,
R. Stoyanova

 
26 September 2014
Peter Lozev from BIS called me and we spoke about 20 minutes.      


(waiting for a reply from Dr Peter Jonas)

***


All my correspondence with individuals (mostly in Bulgarian)
http://softisbg.com/rennies_blog/2013/12/-26032013-30122013.html



My blog: http://rennie.blog.bg/

My email: rennie@softisbg.com

M.: +359 888 60 90 72

T.: +359 52 988 600

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This page contains a single entry by Rennie Stoyanova published on September 28, 2014 12:48 AM.

РАБОТОДАТЕЛИТЕ was the previous entry in this blog.

Разговор с г-н Петър Лозев от БИС, 26.09.2014 is the next entry in this blog.

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