Translation Assessment


How do we know when a translation is good? This simple question lies at the heart of all concerns with translation criticism. Some people say, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” Applied to translation, it means that without some instruments to assess the quality of translation, it is impossible to improve translation quality nor is it possible to know if the translation quality is good; and, if it is good, how to keep it that way.

Besides, in trying to assess the quality of a translation one also addresses the heart of any theory of translation, i.e., the crucial question of the nature of translation or, more specifically, the nature of the relationship between a source text and its translation text.

Based on Larson (1991) in Hartono (2009:90), there are some reasons why assessing translated text is important. The reasons are as follows:

  1. Accurate.
    It means that the translation has communicated similar meaning between both SL and TL. It also means that there is no meaning distortion, no omission or additional information in the translation text.
  2. Clear.
    It means that the translation is easy to comprehend and to understand. It also means that the translation is readable.
  3. Natural.
    It means the translation use the natural form of the rule and pattern in target language.



Hartono, Rudi. 2009. Teori Penerjemahan (A Handbook for Translator). Semarang: Cipta Prima Nusantara

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