ISO 18587:2017 – Machine Translation Post-Editing

ISO 18587:2017 defines the best practices for managing machine translation output post-editing. It also lays out the minimum requirements for a translation service provider (TSP) to demonstrate their conformity with this standard.

This standard specifies the use of appropriate technical resources and the recruitment of qualified post-editors. It is the TSP’s responsibility to ensure that the post-editor they choose to hire has the necessary translation, linguistic, technical and cultural competences.

According to ISO 18587:2017, the TSP is fully responsible for the entire post-editing project and must follow the procedures outlined by this international standard. The first step is to establish a process for determining whether the source text is actually suitable for machine translation and post-editing. They should also consult with their client at this stage to determine any factors that may impact the text’s suitability.

The final product must then be correct in syntax, grammar and punctuation, while also being comprehensible, stylistically appropriate and accurate to the source text. The overall goal of post-editing is to produce a translation that is on par with the quality of a human translation. However, post-editors should only make changes that are absolutely necessary, using as much of the raw machine-translated output as possible.

The certification only applies to content processed by machine learning systems and is intended for use by TSPs, their clients and post-editors. Beyond this scope, ISO 17100:2015 covers the standards for translation services in general.

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