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One-day international conference

Since translation established itself as a profession and an academic discipline, translation assessment has evolved and become more complex due to the fast and significant changes affecting the industry and the emergence of new approaches to quality in translation training (Drugan, 2013: 185; Saldanha and O'Brien, 2014: 95). Research into assessment in translation has tended to focus on literary translation, but "this field of research includes two other areas, each with its own characteristics: assessment of professionals at work and assessment of trainee translators" (Melis and Hurtado Albir, 2001: 272). These two areas of research reflect the dichotomy between the professional conceptualisation of assessment criteria and those of the specialised translation courses in universities. It is these two areas of assessment that this conference wishes to focus on.

Investigating in which ways universities assess trainee translators can reveal the underlying understandings of what translation is, which skills or competencies are needed and should be tested. Assessment in professional contexts also seeks reliable and valid criteria but their focus has been on the processes for ensuring quality rather than elaborating the nature of the quality. The professional conceptions of quality assume an understanding of what is good, but the academic approach is to ‘problematise’ the notion of quality and how it is assessed (Chesterman, 2002:88). This difference in approach is seen as a gap between academic theorising and the real world pragmatics of professional assessment.

Rather than dismissing the professional assessment criteria as under-theorised, some advocate these criteria can inform the way that translation is understood and taught in the universities. The advent of a new global ISO translation-specific quality standard could provide the opportunity for both professional and academic understandings of translation to interact, reducing the gap that exists at present.

The conference hopes to reflect the following key themes in translation assessment:

  • Bridging the gap between pedagogy and the profession – is this dichotomy necessary or should it be overcome?
  • New perspectives in assessment practices and instruments in translation training curricula
  • Translation quality assessment models and instruments for research purposes
  • Diagnostic, summative and formative assessment – strategies, criteria and procedures for effective assessment
  • Process-oriented assessment models – diagnosing learning difficulties during the learning process
  • Product-oriented assessment models – readability, comprehensibility, acceptability and usability
  • Defining and testing translation competence to shape clear assessment criteria

Event programme

Download the programme (PDF format)

Abstracts and speaker information

Download the conference booklet (PDF format) 


Please register online

Keynote speaker

Professor Dorothy Kelly, University of Granada.

Important information

  • There are no conference fees for this event but prior online registration is required.
  • Each panel will consist of three 20 minute presentations followed by 15 minutes for Q&A.
  • Conference language: English.
  • A hard copy of abstracts and the programme will be distributed to the attendees at the conference.
  • A selection of papers presented at the conference will be published in a special issue of The Interpreter and Translator Trainer (ITT). We will announce an open call for papers following the conference.