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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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Quality Assessment in Translation Jiri STEJSKAL 291


Quality Assessment in Translation Jiri STEJSKAL The concept of quality is plagued with the same problem as the concept of translation – it is a mixed bag with an enormous spread between the creative and the normative. Literary translation is creative. In judging the quality of Edith Grossman’s translation of Don Quixote, no sensible reader will demand that Grossman be a certified translator, that she follow a standard defining a quality translation process, and that the novel satisfy the Society of Auto- motive Engineers’ Translation Quality Metric. Readers of a trans- lated legal contract, an informed consent, or a user’s manual will, however, have quite different requirements, as these documents can directly affect their wellbeing or their ability to use a particu- lar product. In this article, we will discuss this latter situation – translation quality assessment in the normative sense. The end user reads a translation and not the original because he or she does not understand the language in which the original document is written. It stands to reason that such a person is un- able to assess independently the quality of the translation because even if the translated text reads beautifully, it may say something completely different than the original. Therefore, the reader is right to demand assurance that the translation was done by a qualified translator and that proper procedures were followed. Such assur- ances can be offered within a regulatory framework. Typically, regulation is achieved through a combination of standards and certification processes. 292 Three Ps of...

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