Translation Quality, Quality Management and Agency: Principles and Practice in the European Union Institutions

Drugan, Joanna, Strandvik, Ingemar and Vuorinen, Erkka (2018) Translation Quality, Quality Management and Agency: Principles and Practice in the European Union Institutions. In: Translation Quality Assessment From Principles to Practice. Machine Translation: Technologies and Applications, 1 (1). Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 39-68. ISBN 978-3-319-91240-0

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Translation quality and translation quality management are key concerns for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DGT), and the European Union institutions more broadly. Translated texts are often legally binding, politically sensitive, confidential or important for the image of the institutions. For legislative texts, an important principle of EU law is that there is no ‘original’: all language versions are equivalent and equally authentic. Consistency in translation strategies and in the approach to quality is therefore critical. In this contribution, we first outline the context in which translation takes place in the EU institutions, focusing on challenges for quality. We illustrate how translation quality is managed in practice, identifying two guiding principles: consistency of approach, and consistency of quality. We explain how DGT’s quality management policy defines quality and how it should be managed, then demonstrate why achieving ‘equivalent’ quality across all language versions, translators, and institutions is hard. We examine how translated texts are dealt with in the attempt to achieve this goal. Last, we widen the focus to consider what these challenges and the EU approach mean for translators and their status and agency. Issues of translation quality are also issues of ethics, power relations and professional values.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: translation quality assessment,translation ethics,translator status,european union,legal translation,translation management,translation policy,translators,translation profession
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Language and Communication Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Migration Research Network
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 00:09
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 10:44
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-91241-7

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