Language Quality Assurance Standards For Software, Games And Apps


Meet the expectations set by universal industry standards

There are several industry certifications developers should try to adhere to during the localization process. Research your industry’s expectations and translation standards, and work with professional translation service vendors to meet expected levels.

The LISA model

The language quality model LISA helped create is possibly the popular in the localization industry.

  • Customized to each client’s particular needs
  • Great for highly regulated content
  • If you want your stylistic preferences taken into account for your software, game or app, this can be taken into consideration
  • While assessing quality, you get to see what specific points are problematic: terminology, translation memory, accuracy of meaning or style, typos, grammatical issues, punctuation mistakes, etc.
  • The LISA model includes a section for style and voice preferences

TAUS dynamic quality framework

This model is a bit more recent, and is gaining more and more recognition. The fundamental difference with LISA is that it defines different standards for acceptable translation quality according to what you are trying to measure.

  • More customizable, depending on content type and purpose
  • You can choose more (or less) rigorous localization quality standards to be applied
  • Perfect for dynamic content, such as SNS posts, or machine translated content for which you only need to get an instant picture of whether your localized content is serving its purpose
  • You only pay for the language quality assurance level you need

J2450 standard-based model

This model mainly applies to heavily technical content.

  • It’s possible to apply this standard to any source language and method of translation
  • This method doesn’t measure discrepancies in style, although it can be expanded accordingly

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards

As the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards, ISO specifies criteria for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining and improving a documented information security management system, or ISMS within an organization.

While ISO regulates all types of organizations, from businesses to government agencies and non-profit associations, what is important to you is whether your localization vendor is complying with certain ISO certifications that can are relevant to the quality of your translations.

Below are few ISO certifications that can help transform a developer’s quality system into an effective process that meets and exceeds translation expectations.

ISO 9001

It is designed to help companies implement quality management by executing a system which sets processes and procedures to ensure the highest quality of product and service to their customers. Companies that comply to ISO 9001 have type of quality management which supports the processes needed to provide high quality translation and localized content. It also helps them organize and store key documents needed to maintain translation processes.

For example, documents that may need to be filed regarding your translation on-boarding, financing, maintenance, scoring, etc. should be kept in a structured and secure place – otherwise you risk misunderstandings and nonconformities with your vendor’s internal staff. Also consider the forms that project managers may use during the development of your translations. If these forms are not filed formally or kept up to date, it can affect the processes used by translation vendors – which could alter the quality outcomes of your translations.

While LISA and ISO industry standards are certainly the most relevant, there are numerous other standards that exist in the translation and language services sector. For example, SAE-J2450 is a standard similar to the LISA model used for language translation quality in the automotive industry. BS EN-15038 is a standard for translation service quality specific to Europe.

Having all of these certifications is certainly not necessary, as many translation and localization vendors have processes or certifications in place that may meet or exceed other certifications. What you want to be careful of, however, is finding a translation vendor who may avoid certification because they don’t want to take the time, money and effort to meet your expectations.

What is important is that you research the standards that are vital for your processes and question a translation vendor’s use of particular certifications and standards so you can be assured of the quality of their translation services.