|CAT Qualitat EUS Kalitate GLG Calidade POR Qualidade SPA Calidad|
From Latin qualitas, qualitatis (‘quality’), quality is in fact a calque of the Greek ποιότης poiótēs. In English, the Online Etymology Dictionary places its French origin around 1300. As for Spanish, the CORDE records the first appearance of this word around 1237, in the Libro de los doce sabios o Tratado de la nobleza y lealtad (Book of the Twelve Wise Men or Treatise on Nobility and Loyalty).
In Spanish, calidad is often confused with cualidad, which has the same Latin origin. However, calidad incorporates the two main meanings: ‘nature’ and ‘attribute’. In English, quality maintains this original duality.
The word quality refers to the set of properties that make it possible to judge the value of something. This connection between quality and judgment explains why, in Translation Studies, the connection between the concepts of quality and evaluation is frequently debated: not surprisingly, translation quality is usually assessed during the evaluation process.
Quality occupies a crucial role over several fields, such as machine translation reliability, the reception of audiovisual products, the proofreading of translated texts or the certification of professional or academic activities. On the one hand, these many scenarios contribute to the lack of unanimity in the study of quality. On the other hand, there is some agreement in recognizing that the concept of quality is both relative and subjective; moreover, as history shows, what is understood by a quality translation changes over time.
In order to study the concept, it is important to specify the object of analysis. Firstly, the quality of the translation as a product is verified; secondly, it is possible to check the stages and strategies that lead to the final product, that is, the process − understanding this either as a mental operation or as an observable activity. In both cases, it is essential to describe the criteria used to support people’s judgments.
Quality criteria can be classified according to three axes: normative, functional, and economic. Further, these criteria usually depend on the concept of translation itself: whether it is conceived from a strict, classical point of view or from a broader, more complex perspective.
|José Tomás Conde Ruano|
|Conde Ruano, José Tomás. 2022. "Quality" @ ENTI (Encyclopedia of translation & interpreting). AIETI.|