chapter  12
39 Pages

Assessing performance

The assessment of translator performance is an activity which, despite being widespread, is under-researched and under-discussed. Universities, specialized university schools of translating and interpreting, selectors of translators and interpreters for government service and international institutions, all set tests or competitions in which performance is measured in some way. Yet, in comparison with the proliferation of publications on the teaching of translating —and an emergent literature on interpreter training-little is published on the ubiquitous activity of testing and evaluation. Even within what has been published on the subject of evaluation, one must distinguish between the activities of assessing the quality of translations (e.g. House 1981), translation criticism and translation quality control on the one hand and those of assessing performance (e.g. Nord 1991:160-3) on the other. But while all of these areas deserve greater attention, it is not helpful to treat them as being the same or even similar to each other since each has its own specific objectives (and consequences).