This forum is for those interested in problems of modern linguistics and translation.
Dec 2009, 16:20, Mark Kit
What is translation quality?
The concept of translation quality has long been a subject of disagreements and arguments. The existing definition of “translation norm” is controversial and does not help in practice.
At Language Interface we have adopted the following definition of informational/technical translation:
The quality of translated text is understood as а) degree of its equivalency to the source text and b) degree of it adequacy to the source text.
With that equivalency is defined as precise and unambiguous conveyance of the meaning of the source text. Adequacy means compliance with the equivalency plus communication efficiency and compliance with the genre/style feature.
communication efficiency means that the text comprehension takes minimal efforts
genre/style norm – a requirement for translation to match the dominant function and stylistic peculiarities of the type the text belongs to
pragmatic norm – a requirement to ensure pragmatic value of the translation
conventional norm – a requirement to ensure maximum closeness between the translation and the source
According to our internal standards translation equivalency and adequacy are defined as follows:
Informational-technical text in the target language is equivalent to the source text if acting by following the directions in the target text (or perceiving the concepts in the target text) the recipient obtains the same result as the native speaker of the source language who acts following the directions of the source text or perceives the messages of the source text.
Adequate translation is a text in the target language that matches all corresponding qualities of the source text.
Our QA process ensures that all translations we produce are adequate ones.
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I would love to keep this discussion open. Have been thinking about translation quality since early 1990s when working in the NASA international space program. Too much depends on how the source material is translated and too little attention is paid to that. As a result, a huge amount of incorrect, “kind of correct” or even completely false information is coming across languages on a daily basis.