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What is TEP

This article will focus on the TEP process and the various elements it is comprised of.

What is TEP? TEP in the Translation Industry is a term which stands for Translation, Editing and Proofreading. This process is an acknowledged industry-wide translation standard, which results in the highest possible quality of translation.

In this article we will discuss TEP, its key features and why it is important, if your Goal is a High-Quality-oriented outcome, to choose this type of Service for your Translation Projects.

Structure of TEP

The main purpose of TEP is to achieve the highest possible quality for the translation. In order to do so, the whole process is highly standardized, and at the core of each standardized process lies a step-by-step structure.

While the process may slightly vary from project to project, depending on the content that the linguistic team is working on, the core stages are fixed and consistent. Each stage involves different linguists with little to no direct communication with one another. This results in the exclusion of any form of bias within the team, keeps the content confidential and positively impacts the Quality.

Translation Stage

The translation stage makes up approximately 60% of the whole TEP process. The linguist working on the content has to be a native speaker of the target language with previous experience in the subject he is working on. With the help of various tools, such as Glossaries and Translation Memories, the source text is translated into the target language with a focus on terminology, grammar, wording, consistency, country-specific language conventions and style, as well as other project-specific or client-specific instructions or guidelines, such as regulatory requirements.

Editing Stage

The editing stage is crucial, as it gives shape and form to the translated text and fine-tunes it to the specifications that the client has set for the project. Some of the most common types of translation projects are:

  • Direct translation – frequently applicable to projects where the goal is to deliver a word-for-word conversion of the source text into a target language. Some of the most common direct translation projects are Technical Translation projects or translation with Medical content.

  • Localization – localization projects focus on adapting the source text to the specifics of a target language and, most importantly, have a focus on the region where native speakers of the target language reside. Its main purpose is to shape the target text so that it is perceived by local speakers to have been created locally.

  • Transcreation – transcreation projects focus on delivering the Meaning and Message of the source text in the target language. This usually results in the need for extensive editing of the source content in order to achieve the desired result. Transcreation is usually applied to Marketing-related projects.

The linguist working on the editing stage, like the linguist working on the translation stage, must be a native speaker of the target language and have previous experience in the subject field.

The editor will have access to the source text and will be tasked with creating a smooth flow throughout the text. The Result of the editor’s work is a text that makes sense to a target language reader and fits the role which the client has specified for the given project.

Structure of TEP

Proofreading Stage

Proofreading can be described as a final review stage where the main focus is aimed at the terminology, message and structure of the whole text. It enhances the Quality of the whole project.

The proofreader is a native speaker of the target language; however, they may or may not know the source language of the project. Rather, the proofreader must have an in-depth knowledge of the terminology, style and subject of the translation project.

Language Quality Assurance Stage

The final quality-enhancing layer is Language Quality Assurance (LQA). The LQA team is responsible for making sure that the final result of the TEP process corresponds to all of the technical and layout-related requirements of the project, including correct file formats, correct formatting, numerical accuracy and other aspects. The LQA team uses state-of-the-art translation quality assurance software that helps zero in on the types of mistakes that the human eye might miss.

LQA also involves checking for the following:


  • The accuracy check involves a technical comparison of the source and target text with a focus on consistent punctuation, correct formatting of the numerical content, layout and various other aspects of text formatting.

  • Consistency check.


  • Consistency check – which involves checking that the client’s terminology has been consistently used between the source text and target translation text.

Language Quality

  • Spelling check.

  • Punctuation check.

  • Country standards check, which mainly involves aspects such as currencies, metric systems, date and time format, etc.

The above LQA steps involve checks done by both humans and software.


The TEP process was created with one main goal: to achieve the highest possible quality of translation.

Following every stage of the TEP process allows a Language Service Provider to achieve the highest quality standard in translation and ensures full compliance with the translation industry standard, ISO 17100:2015.

All of the stages of the TEP process discussed above are part of a standard approach to top-quality translations by LSPs, which may also have additional linguistic or in-country review processes focusing on the further enhancement of Translation Quality.

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