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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second This week we looked at what makes a good translation and interpretation. We saw that theoretical models for measuring quality can either compare translations with originals, or they can focus more on the target audience and the translation function. We also discussed quality control in the industry; where the whole process is involved from recruitment, to project management, to revisions, to feedback. The industry is more likely to ask not what makes a good translation or interpretation, but is it good enough? Right because we know that resources are important, they’re limit and they should be used efficiently.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds Later we saw how criteria for quality can depend on the type of translation and interpretation Firstly we looked at specialized translation; so medical, legal, technical and so on. And we know that in that field a high degree of accuracy is really important. We heard that translators will spend ages and they will try to use the best resources they can to research tricky terms such as the acronym about sheep that we heard about. Then we move to the realm of literary translation and we saw that when it comes to quality opinion is really divided, for some people a well translated book or novel or poem will read very naturally as though it had been written in the target language.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds Others however prefer to know that they’re reading a translation perhaps they like the style to be a bit different unusual, or they want to see words and concepts from another culture. Yet others will say that whatever the message the priority is to represent the source author, and maybe the community that’s depicted in the literary work in a fair way. We had that example of African novels. Later we briefly explored the area of interpreting, focusing on court interpreting and public services interpreting so we learnt interpreters try to facilitate communication between people, attempting to convey messages as fully as possible it may not mean word-for-word, it rarely does, but they try to make that quite complete and accurate.

Skip to 2 minutes and 22 seconds We hope you enjoyed some of the content that you learnt something new and maybe compared our examples with your experience. We also hope that some of it will be helpful for your briefing checklist and will be of use in the future thank you.

What is good translation? A summary

This week we’ve covered a lot of ideas on translation quality.

In this video, we recapitulate the main points regarding theoretical models and industry standards, as well as specialised translation, literary translation and professional interpreting.

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This video is from the free online course:

Working with Translation: Theory and Practice

Cardiff University

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