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Translation Quality Assessment

An Argumentation-Centred Approach

Malcolm Williams

Publication Year: 2004

Outlining an original, discourse-based model for translation quality assessment that goes beyond conventional microtextual error analysis, Malcolm Williams explores the potential of transferring reasoning and argument as the prime criterion of translation quality. Assessment through error analysis is inevitably based on an error count - an unsatisfactory means of establishing, and justifying, differences in quality that forces the evaluator to focus on subsentence elements rather than the key messages of the source text. Williams counters that a judgment of translation quality should be based primarily on the success with which the translator has rendered the reasoning, or argument structure. Six aspects for assessment are proposed: argument macrostructure, propositional functions, conjunctives, types of arguments, figures of speech, and narrative strategy. Williams illustrates the approach using three different types of examples: letters, statistical reports, and argumentative articles for publication. Translation Quality Assessment offers translators a new set of flexible and modular standards.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Series: Perspectives on Translation

TItle Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-ix

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pp. xi-xii

I owe a considerable debt of gratitude to Annie Brisset, University of Ottawa, for sparking my interest in argumentation theory and giving me enthusiastic support and guidance during the writing of the thesis that was the starting point for this book...

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pp. xiii

Translation quality assessment (TQA) is not a new field of inquiry. Moreover, it has the distinction of being one that interests a broad range of practitioners, researchers, and organizations, whether their focus is literary or instrumental (pragmatic) translation...

Part I: Developing an argumentation-centred TQA model

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pp. 1

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Chapter One The present state of TQA and study objectives

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pp. 3-20

Below, I summarize and compare a number of important TQA models. Whether they have actually been put into practice or have merely been proposed, almost all have one feature in common: categorization of errors lies at the heart of each approach. That...

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Chapter Two Overview of argumentation framework and argument schema

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pp. 21-30

The value of argumentation theory as the basis for a TQA model resides in the fact that it brings out the interrelationship and interdependence of the individual propositions, on the one hand, and the reasoning process and development of arguments and messages...

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Chapter Three Rhetorical topology

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pp. 31-66

The evaluator would expect the professional to identify, understand, and accurately render the macroelements of a text's argumentation (reasoning) structure. If the translator meets these requirements, he or she will have gone a long way toward conveying to the TT readership the central message(s) of the text. However...

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Chapter Four Defining major error, testing the model, and determining the quality standard: preparatory steps

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pp. 67-71

Experts in industrial quality control (ICQ) systems have generally broken down errors —more properly termed "defects" in the ICQ field—into three types by degree of gravity: critical, major, and minor. An authoritative U.S. manual gives the following definitions...

Part II: Testing and refining the model and defining a quality standard

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pp. 72

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Chapter Five Testing the model

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pp. 73-126

Following the approach developed in chapter three, I start my analysis of each text by establishing the ST argument schema, arrangement, and organizational relations. This should enable us to identify, among other things, what part or parts of the document...

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Chapter Six Refining the model

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pp. 127-140

The next step in the modelling process is to determine, on the basis of our analysis, what changes or refinements are required to optimize the model. I will also be examining the potential for incorporating a rating scale in the model, and it is the issue of...

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Chapter Seven ARTRAQ and development of a standard

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pp. 141-148

The review of the literature in chapter one highlighted the fact that theorists and researchers in translation studies have, by and large, eschewed actual discussion of quality standards and that existing translation standards govern methods and procedures...

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pp. 149-152

Under ARTRAQ, each unit of text, whether a word, a sentence, or a paragraph, is explicitly and necessarily related to macrotextual elements. Thus the mistranslation of an individual word, phrase, or sentence in the translation is not analyzed from the standpoint of degree of equivalence to the corresponding units

Appendix One: Model assessment

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pp. 153-158

Appendix Two: Terminology

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pp. 159-166


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pp. 167-172

Further Reading

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pp. 173-182

Author and Subject Index

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pp. 183-188

E-ISBN-13: 9780776617367
E-ISBN-10: 0776617362
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776605845
Print-ISBN-10: 0776605844

Page Count: 210
Publication Year: 2004

Series Title: Perspectives on Translation