When the EN 15038 standard for language service providers was introduced, Balthasar Ltd was amongst the first three in the UK to be awarded that particular accreditation.

The relevant authorities have now determined that language service providers should be certified according to a new standard – ISO 17100. Again, Balthasar is one of the first in the UK to be accredited to this new standard, demonstrating its commitment to the maintenance of high quality for the benefit of its customers.

Naturally, the team are very proud of this achievement and Balthasar customers can be certain that with this specialised language service provider, they’re in safe hands.

However, as so often is the case, a word of caution. Relying entirely on certificates to prove that your systems are in order is one thing. Every day, we see work by translators who are well qualified on paper, whose work might well meet the qualification criteria of either ISO 17100 or EN 15038. Upon closer inspection, however, their work falls far short of the standard expected by industrial or professional clients.

Balthasar operates a rigorous system of testing translators; 8 out of 10 translators submitting test pieces are rejected by the company. It is a sad fact that good quality translators are easily outnumbered by those that can at best be described as mediocre. All the systems and standards in the world do not remove the need to “sift” through the available pool of translators in order to identify those who are best suited to commercial work. This “sifting” has tangible results: Balthasar enjoys a customer retention figure of 97%.

I founded Balthasar Ltd. in October 2000 and have been working in the industry since the early 80s. Initially, I was working for the British Home Office, the DTI, and many industrial/commercial agencies. Never in my years as a freelance translator was I subjected to test pieces or any form of selection based on quality. The difference in approach is obvious.

Balthasar works predominantly for German-speaking clients and translates into all modern languages. Because its clients are primarily based in industry (although we do cater for all clients, of course), the standard required of translations is very high. This is the primary reason why Balthasar not only seeks and gains accreditation to appropriate standards, but is primarily interested in finding the best translators in the field in order to assure its customers of an optimum service.

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