Instrument in Translation Assessment

bad translation

In assessing translation, it is a need to have instrument in converting the criteria into a real value. In this chapter, we will discuss one the most important instrument in translation assessment, i.e. scales.

Scales are obviously key instrument in translation assessment. A distinction should be made between correcting scales and grading scales. The correcting scale establishes and specifies the error types; it corresponds to a preliminary stage in the development of an assessment scale. Its objective is to decide on the elements that are to be taken into account. The grading scale, moreover, assigns a value to each error; it is therefore useful in awarding grades and is an indispensable instrument in summative assessment (Hurtado, 2001:284).

Accordingly, Delisle (1993) in Hurtado (2001:284) proposes a correcting scale consisting of 46 symbols; although the errors are not presented in any specific order, the scale has the advantage of enabling the student to understand where the errors are and thereby to improve his/her performance. Hurtado (2001:284) proposes a correcting and grading scale in which the errors are ordered and grouped into four categories: 1) inadequacies which affect comprehension of the source text; 2) inadequacies which affect expression in the target language; 3) pragmatic inadequacies; 4) good solutions.

In the other hands, Machali (2009:154) states that the method of assessing translation can be divided into two methods, i.e. general method and particular method. General method is relatively used for any kinds of translation, but particular translation is a method for assessing exceptional translation text, such as literature texts, sacred texts, etc.


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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.

Picture: Jeffrey Beall