Volume 47, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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In Towards a Science of Translating, (1969) Nida asserts that “There will always be a variety of valid answers to the question, ‘Is this a good translation?’” In the professional translation environment, the whole question of how to evaluate a translated text is one which poses a challenge to the client, to the translator and to those responsible for training the translator. Much has been written about the difficulty of identifying (objectively) verifiable and perhaps more widely generalisable criteria for this form of evaluation, which needs to relate to the functional adequacy (Nord 1997, Toury 1995) of the translated text for its intended purpose. Such criteria would be equally welcome as guidelines for the actual translation process, to assist the translator in selecting from possible translation alternatives. Think aloud protocols have tried to identify what goes on the ‘lack box’ and the cognitive processes involved in the process of text production (Kussmaul 1991, 1995). However, TAPS are a means to an end, the end being the aim of achieving a better understanding of the process in order to minimise the occurrence of potential errors and rationalise and optimise the process. This article attempts to show how Descriptive Analysis (see Toury 1995) of text pairs can highlight potentially successful strategy types, in relation to aspects of a functionalist approach to text production. Having determined which text production criteria can be of use in evaluating the potential success of a translation choice within a text, it should be possible to formulate a set of guidelines against which translators could test choices.at micro-and macro-textual levels. Such guidelines, if also used to evaluate the target text, would ensure that evaluator and translator were ‘alking the same language’ and might not only improve the evaluation process but also optimise translation output. Translation theory can suggest potential criteria: corpus analysis, using the DTS methodology, can identify authentic examples of criteria in action. Bringing the two together into a usable format is the aim of this paper. To demonstrate our approach we have used samples of advertising text pairs.This text type is notoriously difficult to evaluate, relying as it does on persuasive effect through impact on the reader. Since (potential or real) impact is recognised as being difficult to quantify. It is particularly important, for this text type. to have some relatively objective means of evaluating the functional adequacy of the target text.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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