April 15, 2014
Assessing the quality' of translations means assessing the quality of texts. The article provides a sketch of some criteria which might be useful for evaluating texts, and three criteria are suggested for "good translations". A good translation presupposes a) that the source text has been fully understood, that b) the translation results in a good text, and that c) any deviation from b) needs justification. The following sections serve to illustrate what is meant by "fully understand a text", with special emphasis on shared knowledge, text genre, associations and collocations, and the interplay of spoken and written language in written texts. There are some remarks on overt translations and on non-translatability. After that, attention is given to those circumstances which might require different types of translation. Finally, it is suggested that for translation theory to become a theory proper, more empirical evidence from parallel translation corpora will be needed.