AWEJ Special Issue on Translation No. (2) 2013                                                             pp.42-50

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Translation Quality Assessment:  A Perspective on Pedagogy

Said M. Shiyab

University of Geneva
Geneva, Switzerland


Assessing the quality of translation in the classroom, whether done through testing or regular exercises, is a fundamental issue in the field of translation.  One of the most problematic issues in teaching translation is appraising the students’ knowledge of translation skills and their competency in translation.  Many academics, though competent in teaching translation, find it difficult to objectively assess students’ performance in translation simply because they lack didactic or pedagogical knowledge.  Competency and the pedagogical knowledge of translation should always be top priorities for professional academics. One of the objectives of this paper is to identify whether or not academic faculty, particularly those who teach translation, possess the means of objectively assessing students’ language competency and knowledge of their translation skills.  Would testing students and assessing their translations be an ideal method of making judgment about their language proficiency and their knowledge of translation skills?    What kind of knowledge academic faculty should possess before they go into the classroom?  How can academic faculty guarantee that their methods of assessment are good enough to warrant qualified translators and interpreters?  Is there a way where academic faculty members enhance students’ translation experience and make their assessment of students’ work more valuable and inspiring?  These issues, among other related topics, will be explored along with some recommendations for further studies.

Keywords:  Translation Quality, Assessment, Pedagogy, Students and faculty Competency


Said M. Shiyab is a Professor of Linguistics & Translation who is currently teaching at the
Faculty of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. He is also the
Editor-in-Chief of the UAE University Researcher magazine, issued by the Office of the Deputy
Provost for Graduate Studies and Research. Prof. Shiyab is the Founder and Chair of the
Department of Translation Studies at the United Arab Emirates University from 2004-2012.
Prior to joining the UAE University, Shiyab was a professor of English in the English
Department at the University of Southern Indiana (USA).