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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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Battling the Black Hole in Space Mentality Chris DURBAN 397

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397 Battling the Black Hole in Space Mentality Chris DURBAN I am speaking today in a personal capacity – as a freelance trans- lator, an occasional lecturer on translation courses, and an enthu- siastic member of three professional associations. But let me begin with a reminder: despite the fascinating re- search results we have heard about so far at this forum, from the client’s point of view there is no single universal statement about translation that holds true, everywhere, at all times. Most clients find this very frustrating. But it is also frustrating for translators, who, when in the same room with buyers, tie them- selves in knots as they attempt to share passionately held “per- sonal truths” about translation… By the same token, there is not a single translation market, but a multitude of segments, some infinitely more attractive than oth- ers. It behooves translators (and translation teachers and students) to keep this in mind. At this conference, we have had stimulating input on how univer- sities, other training institutions, and top-flight in-house transla- tion departments can promote quality. But it is clear that profes- sional associations also have a role to play, and that one of their strengths is (or should be) the direct link their members have to that amorphous but essential entity “the market”. The particular issues that interest me today are quality, remu- neration (including money and job satisfaction), tunnel vision and training. I want to revisit the importance for translation quality of trans- lators (and...

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