Translation Assessment Criteria


According to Hurtado (2001:283), in order to carry out a fair and objective assessment, the following basic principles should be observed:

  1. The evaluator should adhere to some specific criteria and the evaluee should be aware of them (particularly in the case of translation teaching).
  2. The assessment criteria depend on the assessment context (published translations, professional translation, translation teaching) and its function (summative, diagnostic, formative). Also, therefore, the need to consider why, for what purpose and for whom the assessment is being carried out.
  3. The object of assessment (what is being assessed?) must be clearly defined, as well as the level at which it is being carried out. The evaluator should also consider what he should and what he can evaluate.
  4. The evaluator should consider which indicators enable him/her to observe whether or not and to what extent the evaluee possesses the competencies being evaluated.

An assessment should follow validity and reliability principles. However, assessment of translation is relative; the assessment validity can be seen from these aspects, content validity and face validity. Because, assessing translation is similar with observe the content aspect and also other aspects including spelling (face), although spelling itself is related with the content aspect. With the consideration from the validities, reliability aspect can be achieved through criteria and several ways of assessing translation result.

Some stages should be observed in translation assessment. According to Machali (2009:155) the assessment can be done through three stages as follows:

  • First stage is functional assessment, i.e. brief notion to see whether the general purpose of the text is distorted. It means that there is no distortion of referential meaning based on the implication of the writer. If there is no distortion, the assessment can be continued into next stages.
  • Second stage is detailed assessment based on specific aspects and criteria.
  • Third stage is a stage when the criteria on the second stage are classified into a scale or continuum and converted into values.


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Hurtado, Albir, A and Nicole Martinez M. 2001. “Assessment in Translation Studies: Research Needs”. Meta: Translator’s Journal, Vol. 46, No 2, p. 272-287. Spain. Retrieved from http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/003624ar on 17 February 2010.
Machali, Rochayah. 2009. Pedoman Bagi Penerjemah: Panduan Lengkap Bagi Anda yang Ingin Menjadi Penerjemah Profesional. Bandung: Penerbit Kaifa.

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