ISO 17100: Professional competences of translators


The KLS Translation Agency team works with numerous Ukrainian and international companies. Standard-based delivery of translation services is a duty to our customers, which we strictly observe. We follow a single international quality standard — ISO 17100:2015, which sets requirements for translation service providers, selection criteria for translators/vendors, quality management, project management, etc.

When selecting a translator/editor for a specific project, the following two key points are taken into account:

Professional qualifications

According to ISO 17100:2015, translators/vendors and editors must have the following professional competencies:

translation competence — knowledge of the translation theory and practice, ability to apply them, at least two years of professional experience as a translator;

linguistic competence — a university degree in linguistics, expert proficiency in source and target languages; a major advantage is a university degree in another field held by the translator, e.g., in medicine, law, finances, engineering, etc.;

competence in research, information acquisition, and processing — the ability to efficiently acquire additional linguistic and specialised knowledge;

cultural competence — the ability to make use of information on the behavioural standards, value systems, and language standards;

technical competence — the ability to use software and specialised platforms;

domain competence — knowledge of, and proficiency in, terminology and stylistics inherent in a particular industry.

Professional aptitude
covers a number of generally accepted qualities, including:

Openness, which means being educated, continuously improving oneself, self-developing, and having a wide range of knowledge, awareness, and positive thinking. The translator always deals with different texts characterised by various topics, terminology, vocabulary, and specialisation; therefore, he/she should always keep his/her finger on the pulse.

Emotional and psychological stability ranks first in the list of translator’s professional qualities, since the translator may be required to speak continuously (consecutive or simultaneous interpretation) the entire day, switch between languages frequently, and constantly monitor other people’s thoughts. All this contributes to the psychological overload. It is therefore essential to possess emotional and psychological stability, thereby shaping strong will and leadership qualities, stability in a stressful environment, composure, and ability to address various work issues.

Language responsiveness is an important indicator of professional aptitude, evidencing the ability to switch quickly between languages, the skill of perceiving the source language and quickly delivering the interpretation into the target language.

Good memory — of course, possessing a phenomenal memory is not a must for a translator, although he/she should have a professionally trained memory. Translators must have sufficient vocabulary and terminology knowledge in at least two languages (the source and the target).

Given the fact that KLS Translation Agency has been certified under ISO 17100:2015, we are 99 per cent confident that the highest level of translation/interpretation services would be delivered. However, we never cease our efforts to improve the comprehensiveness of the approach to the client’s needs, ensure thorough quality control of translation, and address any potential errors.

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