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CIUTI-Forum 2008

Enhancing Translation Quality: Ways, Means, Methods

Edited By Martin Forstner, Hannelore Lee-Jahnke and Peter A. Schmitt

Quality assurance has been a major issue in Higher Education discourse during the past decade. Evaluations, accreditations and assessments have almost become standard procedures within the framework of translation studies. This quest for quality has not only to integrate market needs and new market requirements, but also novel strategies in training – whereby training learners and trainers has to be given equal attention.
Translation quality has become a key issue in the interlinguistic and intercultural communication market as well as in the translator education environment. It has to be looked upon as a multifaceted issue to which all major players have to contribute: institutes of higher education, labor market and individual translators.
Within the framework of the CIUTI FORUM 2008, the speakers emphasized the different aspects of quality from the point of view of the trainer, the professional and the market. This volume tries to highlight all those quality issues from an international, interdisciplinary and multifaceted perspective.


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Translation, Quality and Serviceat the European Commission George VLACHOPOULOS 15


Translation, Quality and Service at the European Commission George VLACHOPOULOS1 The European Commission has often been compared to a big ma- chine producing proposals for legislative acts, White and Green Papers, studies and reports to other institutions. It is probably the largest producer of multilingual written communication in Europe. 95% of the texts that govern the everyday life of citizens of the European Union are translations. Improving the quality of trans- lations is therefore central to any effort aimed at enhancing the general quality of the service that the European Commission as an institution provides to citizens. Mission statement According to our Mission Statement, DG Translation is there to enhance the European Union’s legitimacy, its openness and citizen service. To pursue these objectives, we provide the European Com- mission with high-quality language-related services for its written communication in all official languages. 1 In representation of the Director General, Mr Karl-Johan Lönnroth. 16 Translating Europe The first important feature of translation at the Commission is that it mainly concerns legal acts. Legal texts involve particular constraints and difficulties, linked to the fact that different Mem- ber States have different legal traditions. This means that transla- tion requires particular skills, implying an uneasy balancing act between Community and national law. Furthermore, since regula- tions not only prevail over national law, but are also directly ap- plicable in all Member States, a special effort has to be made to ensure absolute concordance of the translated texts. But that is not all: in...

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