Translation quality evaluation: Empirical evidence for a functionalist approach

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70 Scopus citations


Following a review of existing approaches to translation quality evaluation, this paper describes a proposal for evaluation that addresses some of the deficiencies found in these models. The proposed approach is referred to as componential because it evaluates components of quality separately, and functionalist, because evaluation is carried out relative to the function specified for the translated text. In order to obtain some empirical evidence for the functionalist/componential approach, a tool was developed and pilot-tested for inter-rater reliability. In addition, the research project sought to obtain some data on qualifications of raters/users and their performance using the tool. Forty raters were asked to use the tool to rate three translated texts. The texts selected for evaluation consisted of reader-oriented health education materials. Raters were bilinguals, professional translators and language teachers. Some basic training was provided. Data was collected by means of the tool and a questionnaire. Results indicate good inter rater reliability for the tool; teachers' and translators' ratings were more alike than those of bilinguals; bilinguals were found to rate higher and faster than the other groups. The results provide support for further research and testing of this tool and offer evidence in favour of the approach proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-134
Number of pages38
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Assessment
  • Componential approach
  • Errors
  • Evaluation
  • Functionalism
  • Quality
  • Rating
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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