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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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Assessing Quality in Translation and Terminology at the United Nations Maria-Josée de SAINT ROBERT 385


385 Assessing Quality in Translation and Terminology at the United Nations Marie-Josée de SAINT ROBERT Quality in translation and terminology is directly related with the nature and quality of texts submitted for translation. A current tendency observed at the United Nations as well as in other inter- national settings is that texts often look like patchworks of cut and paste texts that render purpose of the text let alone its trans- lation uneasy and confused. Assessing quality in translation and terminology should therefore start with assessing quality in origi- nals. One could show on a number of occasions that clarity and brevity have been replaced by abundance and redundancy in legal texts because of the very nature of international organizations, where different legal traditions meet1. Assessing quality of trans- lation and of the terms that are used in translation serves in the United Nations not only the purpose of promoting international communication but also two additional purposes: fostering client 1 For instance, French civil law relies heavily on models to apply to a variety of situations and on the interpretation of the judge should litigation arise. Texts written according to this tradition are short and need not include long lists of instances and exceptions. Brevity of the Napoleonic Civil Code is proverbial. The Common Law tradition requires a detailed and rigorous analysis of all aspects of an issue, since what is missing in a text may give rise to litigation. The meeting at the United Nations of the two...

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