Assessing the quality of technical translations
Thread poster: Urtica
Urtica
Local time: 01:52
English to Finnish
Sep 5, 2005

Dear friends,

I am currently searching for resources on how the quality of technical translations can be assessed. I would be really grateful if you could suggest any books, research or articles on this topic.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:52
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
links for assessing technical translation quality Sep 8, 2005

Urtica wrote:
I am currently searching for resources on how the quality of technical translations can be assessed. I would be really grateful if you could suggest any books, research or articles on this topic.


see my post on links to translation quality metrics at:
http://www.proz.com/post/257938#257938

Jeff
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs/about-jeffallen.htm


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IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:52
Member (2005)
French to English
A possible resource Sep 22, 2005

Hullo;

I am fairly regularly asked to:

(i) assess the ability of candidates for work with an agency client of mine
(ii) revise technical-translation work.

The agency in question has a form, which is not really adapted to assessing anything except software localisation tasks, but I bend it round to my purpose, and insist (I hope not in vain) on that agency showing my comments, which are conscientious and meticulous, to the candidate or the "revisee". My aim in so asking is to contribute my bit to raising the standard of the profession: a lot of young translators have problems with style, and I have produced a "hornbook" as I call it, pointing out the main problems that crop up - fairly frequently, as it happens.

Now, the resource: ISSN 0256-7873, periodical title: "Terminologie et Traduction" 3.1997; Article entitled: "The New Rhetoric - how discourse analysis can help translators". At the back of this very interesting article is a very rich bibliography: a veritable gold-mine. You should be able to get back copies of this periodical from the local office of the European Commission, or perhpas order it from Brussels if you live and work outside the EU. You can perhaps type "Europa" into your web browser bar and see where it takes you.

What you are undoubtedly looking for is a "grid" for assessing technical translations.

At the risk of stating the obvious, I would divide the assessment task into two main categories:

1. Technical proficiency

2. Language issues

Within the latter, I would distinguish:

1. Translation accuracy: faithfulness to the original; no ambiguities or uncertainties introduced; no padding (if the wordcount is from the target text); no "overtranslation" - often a sign of lack of confidence: a good translator is a confident translator, I was once told.

2. Style, as a servant of meaning: the article above-mentioned and its bibliography cater for this concern quite extensively. Included in this heading are irritants such as "pursuant abuse", "within" dependence, over-reliance on and woolly use of "in terms of"; you may have your own perceptions of style problems elsewhere in this vast field, your own pet abominations!

I'm afraid I can't let you have the form I use for my client, first, because it is confidential, and secondly, because I do not want to release such a fearsomely unsuited beast on an unsuspecting colleague: suffice to say that the categories, instead of calling a spade a spade, do not include an "outright bloomer", merely a "highly visible" category of error. This is because of the software-localisation bias of this recording instrument.

I shall endeavour to work my way back to your e-mail address, and get the "hornbook" e-mailed to you; any comments, including criticisms, will be welcomed, since we need to refine our instruments so as to get the new generation of translators off the ground.

I hope I haven't gabbled on uselessly or for too long, but I hope from the foregoing you may cull something of what you are looking for.

With kind regards,
Adam Warren.
adampuffin@aol.com


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Urtica
Local time: 01:52
English to Finnish
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the tips Sep 23, 2005

Adam Warren wrote:
Now, the resource: ISSN 0256-7873, periodical title: "Terminologie et Traduction" 3.1997; Article entitled: "The New Rhetoric - how discourse analysis can help translators".


Thanks, I will dig that article up somewhere.

What you are undoubtedly looking for is a "grid" for assessing technical translations.


A "grid" would be great but basically anything written on how technical translations could be assessed would do. The field I am concerned with is computer literature translation. However, most approaches to translation quality assessment seem to deal with literary texts. I have found precious little material on technical translation assessment, although technical translating is a huge business!


I shall endeavour to work my way back to your e-mail address, and get the "hornbook" e-mailed to you;


Thank you, I'm really looking forward to you "hornbook".

Thank you ever so much for your help, I really appreciate it.

Best Regards,
Urtica

P.S. Jeff - thanks for you too.


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IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:52
Member (2005)
French to English
A fresh resource for professional development Jan 10, 2008

Hullo Urtica,

I have just ordered the following work for myself from Amazon:

Becoming a Translator (...theory & practice of translation),
Douglas Robinson,
Routledge,
(2003 latest edn.)
ISBN 0-415-30033-9,
some 300 pp.

You can peer inside it on a web page, using the following link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/0415300339/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-page

I hope this may go some way to answer your questions in this area.

With kind regards,

Adam.


[Edited at 2008-01-10 15:30]

P.S.: my e-mail address has changed: adam.warren@orange.fr

[Edited at 2008-01-10 15:31]


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