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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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Language Proficiency and Translation Quality: The Predicament in Chinese University Translator / Interpreter Training ZHANG Wen 217


217 Language Proficiency and Translation Quality: the Predicament in Chinese University Translator / Interpreter Training ZHANG Wen It is well acknowledged that language proficiency has closely re- lated to the quality of translation. The quality of translation train- ing depends largely on how well the trainees can master and mani- pulate the two languages. In China’s higher education, translator / interpreter training has for long been stranded in the predicament of foreign language proficiency improvement and professional translation / interpretation training. 1. From foreign language teaching to translation teaching – the development The development of translation / interpretation training at Chinese universities can be divided into three stages: Stage I, 1980s–Before: Foreign language teaching instead of translation teaching In China’s higher education, foreign language teaching has long been taking the role of training professional translators / interpreters. For over the years majority of the translation activities, full-time of part-time, were undertaken by graduates majoring in foreign lan- 218 guages. This generalization was incurred by the wrong concept of “Anyone who can speak a foreign language can act as a translator / interpreter.” Translation was considered as a mean to help learning foreign languages. One or two courses of translation were offered in the curriculum set-up for the purpose of language comparison or linguistic and literature studies. As Luo (2002) pointed out that there was a confusion of the concepts of “teaching translation” and “translation teaching”, which were first distinguished by Jean Delisle in 1981. “Translation teaching” is to teach the...

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