Translation Quality Assessment: Past and Present


  • J.A. Foley


Book Review

Juliane House
Routledge: London and New York 2015 pp. 160

The author of this book is probably one of the most important figures in the world of translation today and the book provides a highly readable overview of interdisciplinary research on translation, acknowledging the importance of the socio-cultural and situational contexts in which texts are embedded.

This is a newly revised model of translation quality assessment which relies on detailed textual and culturally informed analysis and comparison. The chapters move from the basic question of ‘What is translation?’ through the various approaches that people have taken to translation; the original model proposed by House and its various modifications over as period of nearly 40 years and finally a more integrative model. Basically what House proposes is a two step approach to translation: firstly analysis, description and explanation; secondly, judgment of value, socio-cultural relevance and appropriateness.

For readers acquainted with Baker’s work (2006, 2010), will find the approach of systemic functional linguistic theory (Halliday (2015) very familiar. In fact this revised model moves even more towards such an approach with added discussions on contrastive pragmatics, intercultural communication as well as cognitive aspects.


Baker, M. 2006. In Other Words: A Course Book on Translation. London: Routledge.

Baker, M (ed.) 2010. Critical Readings in Translation Studies. London: Routledge.

Halliday, M.A.K and C.M.I.M Matthiessen. 2014. Introduction to Functional Grammar (4th ed.). London: Routledge

Halliday, M.A.K. 2008. Complementaries of Language. Beijing: The Commercial Press.




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