Evaluating choices: the role of corpora in translation choices and target text assessment

Beverly Adab

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Translation training in the university context needs to train students in the processes, in order to enhance and optimise the product as outcome of these processes. Evaluation of a target text as product has often been accused of being a subjective process, which does not easily lend itself to the type of feedback that could enable students to apply criteria more widely. For students, it often seems as though they make different inappropriate or incorrect choices every time they translate a new text, and the learning process appears unpredictable and haphazard. Within functionalist approaches to translation, with their focus on the target text in terms of functional adequacy to the intended purpose, as stipulated in the translation brief, there are guidelines for text production that can help to develop a more systematic approach not only to text production, but also to translation evaluation. In the context of a focus on user knowledge needs, target language conventions and acceptability, the use of corpora is an indispensable tool for the trainee translator. Evaluation can take place against the student's own reasoned selection process, based on hard evidence, against criteria which currently obtain in the TL and the TL culture. When trainee and evaluator work within the same guidelines, there is more scope for constructive learning and feedback.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUsing corpora and databases in translation
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the conference held on 14th november 2003 in Portsmouth
EditorsIan Kemble
Place of PublicationPortsmouth (UK)
PublisherUniversity of Portsmouth
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1-86137-365-6
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventUsing corpora and databases in translation - Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Nov 2003 → …


ConferenceUsing corpora and databases in translation
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period14/11/03 → …


  • corpora
  • evaluation choices
  • target text assessment
  • translation choices


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