Translation and Meaning

New Series, Vol. 1

by Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (Volume editor) Marcel Thelen (Volume editor) Gys-Walt van Egdom (Volume editor) Dirk Verbeeck (Volume editor) Łukasz Bogucki (Volume editor)
©2016 Edited Collection 308 Pages
Series: Lodz Studies in Language, Volume 41


This book contains a selection of articles on new developments in translation and interpreting studies. It offers a wealth of new and innovative approaches to the didactics of translation and interpreting that may well change the way in which translators and interpreters are trained. They include such issues of current debate as assessment methods and criteria, assessment of competences, graduate employability, placements, skills labs, the perceived skills gap between training and profession, the teaching of terminology, and curriculum design. The authors are experts in their fields from renowned universities in Europe, Africa and North-America. The book will be an indispensable help for trainers and researchers, but may also be of interest to translators and interpreters.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Section I: The Didactics of Translation and Interpreting: Assessment, Competences, Student and Trainer, Training
  • Evaluating Literary Translation Competence
  • Translator Trainers’ Perceptions of Assessment: An Empirical Study
  • Wissensrevolution, Generation Z und die Translationsdidaktik
  • Assessing Translation Competence at Eduardo Mondlane University
  • Can Subjectivity be Avoided in Translation Evaluation?
  • Quality and Objectivity of Testing and Assessing in Translator Training: Dilemmas and Suggestions
  • Negotiating Meaning at a Distance: Peer Feedback in Electronic Learning Translation Environments
  • Section II: Curriculum Design
  • Crafting the Training and Testing of Interpreting Students towards Employability
  • Beyond the Static Competence Impasse in Translator Education
  • On “General” and Specialised Texts in the Translation Training Programme: Conjectures, Assumptions, Refutations and Implications
  • L’interprétation à l’ère des tic
  • Section III: Specialised Domains and Issues of Translation and Interpreting
  • The Influence of Machine Translation and Cat Tools on Creativity and Quality
  • Rendering Otherness in Film – Techniques for Translating Multilingual Audiovisual Material
  • Exploring and Developing Legal Translation Competence: Learning from the Old Dogs
  • Katalanische Übersetzungen der griechischen und lateinischen Klassikern unter der Franco-Diktatur
  • Variation in the Translation of Terms: Corpus-Driven Terminology Research
  • Principle of Cluster Equivalence and Parallel Corpora
  • Marking Plural Forms in Tshivenḓa and the Study of Translation and Mass Nouns
  • Functionalism in Literary Translation. The Use of a Functionalist Approach in Translating Contemporary Swiss-German Poetry
  • Researching and Teaching the Translatability of Neologisms
  • Cognitive Debriefing of Patient Questionnaires: How to Capture Meaning as Understood by Respondents?
  • Authors
  • Index of Names
  • Index of Subjects

← 10 | 11 →


1. General

The present volume contains a collection of selected articles that are a reflection of the papers read at the Maastricht Session of the 6th International Maastricht-Łódź Duo Colloquium on “Translation and Meaning” on 21 and 22 May 2015 at the Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. The total number of papers presented was 43 by scholars and practitioners from 17 countries. The (co)authors of these selected articles are based in 13 countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Mozambique, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Republic of South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States of America.

All the articles in this volume have been peer reviewed by an international committee of reviewers. Only those were included that were found to represent one or more of the special themes of the Maastricht Session well and to be solid academic papers in a proficient language. The special themes of the Maastricht Session were:

  1. The didactics of translation and interpreting
    1. Teaching methods
    2. Testing and assessment criteria and methods
    3. Learning strategies
    4. Competences and levels of competences
    5. Entrance requirements and required prior education/training
  2. The translation/interpreting student
    1. The ideal translation/interpreting student
  3. The translation/interpreting trainer
    1. The ideal translation/interpreting trainer
    2. Requirements/qualifications for translation/interpreting trainers
    3. Quality register for trainers
    4. Train the trainer
  4. The training curriculum for translation/interpreting
    1. The ideal training curriculum
    2. Curriculum building and planning
    3. BA vs. MA
    4. Working towards graduate employability
    5. “Professionalisation” vs. “academisation” of the curriculum ← 11 | 12 →
    6. Attuning the curriculum to needs and requirements of the professional world
    7. Involving external professional experts in the curriculum

The articles in the present volume do not cover all these special themes, and some articles deal with a combination. Consequently, the following three sections were established for this volume:

  1. The didactics of translation and interpreting: assessment, competences, student and trainer, training
  2. Curriculum design
  3. Specialised domains and specific issues of translation and interpreting.

Up to this volume of proceedings, the proceedings of previous Duo Colloquiums have been published by the Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting, in total ten volumes containing 428 articles by both leading as well as coming scholars and practitioners in the field of translation and interpreting. An anthology of the most important articles was published by Peter Lang in 2010 under the title Meaning in Translation (eds. Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Marcel Thelen). From the present volume onwards the proceedings of the Maastricht-Łódź Duo Colloquium will be published by Peter Lang with the title Translation and Meaning, New Series.

The Maastricht-Łódź Duo Colloquium is a five-yearly conference with two Sessions in one and the same year, one in Maastricht and one at the Institute of English Studies of the University of Łódź in Poland. Both Sessions and all the editions of the Duo Colloquium have one and the same central theme, viz. Translation and Meaning, with a common set of sub-themes, although these may vary between the two venues depending on local interests and (inter)national topicality at the time of the Session. The working languages are always English, French and German. The first Duo Colloquium took place in 1990 after the plan for it was conceived by Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Marcel Thelen in 1987 in former East-Berlin. The Maastricht-Łódź Duo Colloquium has become an internationally well-known event and its proceedings have become standard works. Initially, it brought together scholars and practitioners from former East and West, followed by North and South.

2. Brief description of the articles included

SECTION I contains seven articles on five important aspects of the didactics of translation and interpreting, viz. assessment, competences, student and trainer, ← 12 | 13 → and training. The first article by Henri Bloemen and Winibert Segers (Evaluating literary translation competence) deals with the assessment of competences in literary translation and gives a few suggestions of how this might be done. They, furthermore, elaborate on whether the traditonal translation test is adequate enough for testing and assessing the quality of literary translation.

The second article is by Elsa Huertas Barros and Juliet Vine (Translator trainers’ perceptions of assessment: an empirical study) who report on a survey among translator trainers at their university. Their objective was to find out more about the practice, perception, criteria, and instruments of translator competence assessment by means of summative assessment as applied in the academic context. One of their findings is that only half of the competences could be tested in a product-oriented assessment.

In her article (Wissensrevolution, Generation Z und die Translationsdidaktik), Iwona Jacewicz discusses the intriguing question whether the current methods of translation/interpreting didactics suit the learning needs of translator/interpreting students of the current and coming generations and (can) keep pace with the ongoing knowledge and technical evolution. It would be good, she argues, for universities to give students internet access to their programmes.

Armando Magaia (Assessing translation competence at Eduardo Mondlane University) reports on his research among undergraduate students of his university into their translation competence in order to identify the major obstacles for translation competence development, and concludes by suggesting that a reforming of the curriculum is necessary to cater for this development, as well as investing in modern technology and giving students access to research resources.

In the next article (Can subjectivity be avoided in translation evaluation?), Winibert Segers and Hendrik Kockaert outline the evaluation method PIE (Preselected Items Evaluation) that they developed in order to minimize subjectivity in translation assessment as much as possible. In PIE, a preselection of items is made and afterwards tested; results are then mathematically calculated. The preselection of items requires much time, but this, they hope, may be limited by automation.

The topic of objectivity of assessment is also taken up by Marcel Thelen (Quality and objectivity of testing and assessing in translator training: dilemmas and suggestions). He argues for not restricting assessment to training institutes, but for also including criteria and methods applied in professional translation practice in order to maximize its quality. This can best be done by introducing professionalisation in the curriculum, one possible realisation of which is the so-called skills lab, an in-house simulated translation bureau run and managed by students under the supervision of trainers and with the cooperation of external professionals. ← 13 | 14 → Such a skills lab requires a combination of assessment criteria and methods applied in training and practice. The Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting has more than 25 years of experience with this and has been able to reduce the perceived skills gap between training and professional practice considerably.

In the last article in this section (Negotiating meaning at a distance: peer feedback in electronic learning translation environments), Donata Lisaité, Sonia Vandepitte, Bruce Maylath, Birthe Mousten, Susana Valdez, Maria Castel-Branco and Patricia Minacori present their Transatlantic & Pacific Project (TAPP) on online peer feedback and its effect on the development of translation competence. The timing of these per feedback activities appeared to influence the quality of meaning-related items.

SECTION II on curriculum design contains four articles. The first article (Crafting the training and testing of interpreting students towards employability) by Linda Dewolf describes the consequences for the curriculum of the academisation process imposed on higher education in Flanders, in particular interpreting training, while having to keep abreast of the demands of the professional world and having to increase graduate employability. The solution has to be found in blended courses, e-learning and web-based coaching tools.

In the second article (presented as a keynote paper at the Maastricht Session) titled Beyond the static competence impasse in translator education, Don Kiraly – in line with his earlier work on translator education – argues for a dynamic translator training curriculum based on an emergentist pedagogical epistemology enabling students to develop translation competence along with workplace competence in a socio-constructive learning environment. Key instruments in this process are work placements.

The third article (On “general” and specialised texts in the translation training programme: conjectures, assumptions, refutations and implications), Gys-Walt van Egdom tackles the problem of text selection in training programmes. Instead of selecting general pragmatic texts in the first stages of training and subjecting these to discourse analysis, and specialised texts only in the later stages, he argues for selecting specialised texts right from the first stages onwards. This would provide students with a more solid basis for developing specialised translation competence. This does not mean, however, that general pragmatic texts should be discarded altogether, as these enable students to focus on the translation activity and not to be distracted by subject matter.

Hildegard Vermeiren concludes this section with her article on L’Interprétation à l’ère des TIC in which she argues in favour of incorporating ICT in interpreter training. By way of illustration she describes the situation at her university where ← 14 | 15 → a useful threefold distinction is applied between ICT for research, for education and for a professional context.

SECTION III deals with a variety of aspects relating to the training of translators and interpreters under the title Specialised domains and issues of translation and interpreting. It is the largest section containing 11 articles. The first one (The influence of machine translation and CAT tools on creativity and quality) by Marcos Aranda reports on a quantitative experimental study he conducted on the impact of MT and CAT tools on creativity and quality of translation. Results show that there is indeed a decrease of creativity and quality, but this decrease does not outweigh the increase in productivity which is considerably higher. This does not mean that MT and CAT tools should not be used in translator training, he argues; far from this, as these are unstoppable. What should be done instead is to give more weight in the curriculum to post-editing and proofreading.

In his article on Rendering otherness in film – Techniques for translating multilingual audiovisual material, Łukasz Bogucki addresses – with ample examples – the problem of audiovisual translation of multilingual dialogues. Multilingual material, he argues, may come in various forms: both aural-verbal and visual-verbal, making the translation of this type of communication a real challenge. He provides a useful taxonomy of techniques to tackle this problem. All this has great relevance for the training of audiovisual translation.

The third article (Exploring and developing legal translation competence: learning from old dogs) by Eleanor Cormelius explores, by means of an experiment, legal translation competence, in particular the difference between inexperienced and experienced legal translators (in way of working, consulting resources, etc.), and compares these with general translators and gives a number of useful suggestions for trainers on the basis of her findings.

A completely different issue is discussed in the next article (Katalanische Übersetzungen der griechischen und lateinischen Klassikern unter der Franco-Diktatur) by Montserrat Franquesa Gòdia. She analyses the origin and ideology of three library collections with translations of Greek and Latin classics, and goes deep into one of them, the Catalan collection that was prohibited under the Franco dictatorship. Her findings are, though not mentioned explicitly, certainly also of relevance to (research into) Translation History in translator training.

The fifth article in this Section (Variation in the translation of terms: corpus-driven terminology research) by Koen Kerremans deals with the problem in translation-oriented terminology that existing specialised terminology resources such as terminological glossaries, dictionaries, thesauri or databases do not always give a full account of the linguistic features and options of textual items a translator ← 15 | 16 → might benefit from, not even the European term bank IATE. The translator could benefit in such cases from a corpus-driven analysis. The research that he carried out confirms this and its methodology is now taught at his university.

In the following article (Principle of cluster equivalence and parallel corpora), Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk understands translation as cycles of re-conceptualisation in terms of cognitive linguistics and deals with parallel corpora containing source texts and their translations, together representing cluster equivalence by way of meaning clusters. Cluster equivalence opens up a number of options for the translator to use. This was analysed in a study carried out on Polish and English. Such parallel corpora, in particular cluster equivalence, she argues, may be very useful in translator training in that they contribute to semantic awareness with students.

The seventh article (Marking plural forms in Tshivenḓa and the study of translation and mass nouns) by Munzhedzi James Mafela discusses an indigenous African language Tshivenḓa that may cause translation problems arising from differences in grammar relating to mass nouns and their meaning, and leading to miscommunication, especially in translations from a non-African language such as English into Tshivenḓa. A thorough analysis of the problem is given, illustrated by ample examples. These problems may be overcome, in his opinion, if grammar courses on both source and target language are included in the translator training curriculum.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2016 (April)
Translation didactics Translation assessment Translation competences Translator training
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 308 pp.

Biographical notes

Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (Volume editor) Marcel Thelen (Volume editor) Gys-Walt van Egdom (Volume editor) Dirk Verbeeck (Volume editor) Łukasz Bogucki (Volume editor)

Marcel Thelen is senior lecturer of translation and terminology and former head of school at the Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. Gys-Walt van Egdom is lecturer and researcher at the Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, and is researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Dirk Verbeeck is lecturer of translation and head of school at the Maastricht School of Translation and Interpreting of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. Łukasz Bogucki is director of the Institute of English Studies at the University of Łódź and head of the Department of Translation Studies. Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk is professor of English Language and Linguistics at the State University of Applied Sciences in Konin, where she holds the position of professor ordinarius at the Department of English and Translation.


Title: Translation and Meaning