The Quality of DTS and UG Junctures in Translation Case Study: Iranian Senior EFL learners | January 2016 | Translation Journal

January 2016 Issue

Read, Comment and Enjoy!

Join Translation Journal

To receive regular updates,
fill in your details below.
You will also receive a PDF listing
8 Ways to Ignite your Translation Career.
Join now. 

The Quality of DTS and UG Junctures in Translation Case Study: Iranian Senior EFL learners

Nowadays, TQA meets the need of qualitative manners to convert abstract concept into concrete matters from more subjective to more objective identity. The present study explores qualification of Descriptive Translation Studies and Universal Grammar junctures in order to objectively evaluate cognitive translation skills within overlapped areas.  Joint nodes of DTS and UG are already known as cognitive skills i.e., encoding, decoding, and recoding. In terms of UG, encoding represents competence whereas decoding and recoding represent performance. Similarly in the light of DTS, translation competence (TC) represents alleged cognitive skills. To this implement, a proposed model test is developed within which objective scales attempt to assess cognitive skills. However, qualification frameworks are based on 1) reading and understanding for encoding 2) accuracy for decoding, and   3) grammar, expression, mechanic and accuracy for recoding. Obtained scores or indexes from encoding, decoding, and recoding contributes comprehension, analytical thinking, and composition or production levels respectively and under view (i – 1), review (i), and overview (i+1) take attention of both learners and teachers to be on the road. To take feedback from theory and model, the researcher selected randomly a group of 100 senior EFL Learners and a questionnaire enclosed with standard test - items directly is used to conduct study. As results, having explored obtained scores the researcher is capable of 1) evaluating DTS/UG junctures from very low to very high classifications,  2) plotting or placing learners’ position to trace their progress and gaps of learning in educational or training system within a certain time as critical check points.


Inside human brain within a network of nodes numerous cognitive transitions take place coincidently. More concrete terms elicit from cognitive abstract transitions due to various domains under complexity which has not yet been discovered completely. Large number of cognitive transitions in one field is synchronized with the other under discrete disciplinary and or interdisciplinary. Additionally, these transitions might have interfacial equivalents in terms of reciprocal approaching. Transforming from cognitive abstract to extra linguistics concrete matter by more objective manner could lead disciplinary and or interdisciplinary into proportional evolutions: 1) Classification,       2) Evaluation. Cardinal nodes of the network which intersect each other to create joint junctures or points are linguistic and translation, if narrowing scope, universal grammar and descriptive translation studies. Ordinal node of the network include testing which permits test developer to develop correspondent proposed test to more objectively evaluate test takers who are EFL translation students. Scientific study of the language includes various issues such as synchronic and diachronic linguistics, theoretical linguistics, contrastive linguistics, and structural linguistics….etc. on account of theoretical linguistics, an entry universal  according to the Crystal ( 1992, P. 405) is a property claimed to be characteristics of all languages or a defining property of language; also called language universal. Thus, all languages of the globe have certain characteristics in common. One of the obvious characters by no means is grammar to which is defined by Fromkin, Rodman, and Hyams (2013, P. 9) as the knowledge speakers have about the units and rules of their language including phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Universal grammar then is all languages divine – given knowledge to rule meaningful units.      

Speakers of all languages have the knowledge to understand or produce sentences of any length; theoretically, there is no limit to the length of a sentence. Indeed, linguistic knowledge permits us to form longer units by adding more elements. This knowledge is dichotomous and includes: a) Linguistic Competence, b) Linguistic Performance (Falk, 1978, P.14). Based on Fromkin et al. (2013, P.9) linguistic competence is a knowledge of the word and grammar whereas linguistic performance is a knowledge in actual speech production and comprehension. Therefore, linguistic competence is a system of the mental dictionary or lexicon that its entries are built up based on invariant principles and linguistic performance is a cognitive conversion and production. To acquire L2 by UG for EFL learners, White (2003, P. 22) points out that there are abstract, complex, and subtle properties of grammar that are underdetermined by the L2 input. If it turns out that the L2 learner acquires abstract properties that could not have been induced from the L2 input. This is strongly indicative that principle of UG constrains interlanguage grammar, parallel to the situation in L1 acquisition. To sum, cardinal nodes of the linguistic facing with acquiring L1 and L2 are unilateral and bilateral channels respectively. Within unilateral channel competency indicates lexicon and grammar whereas performance presents comprehension and production. Yet, bilateral channel series of events and phenomenon occurred in L1 acquisition retakes place then in abstract, complex, and subtle manner transfer into L2 by interlanguage grammar, take effect from L1 grammar and L2 input constrained by UG ( White, 2013, P.23), The place of interlanguage is between L1 and L2. Finally grammar, lexicon, comprehension, and production within L2 happen again to verbalize target entries. In L1 and L2 acquisitions the terms competence and performance are cardinal nodes of the linguistics.

On the basis of Holmes/ Toury map, Munday (2006, P.11) defines Process-Oriented/DTS, Descriptive Translation Studies, as psychology of translation, i.e. it is concerned with trying to find out what happens in the mind of translator; however, only three dimensions of the descriptive translation studies, process, function, and product may lead to problematic restrictions to which many hypotheses and questions have been made, critically transparent wide interdisciplinary translation studies for the scholars and researchers. Function, process, and product take much attention due to regarding what occurs in the mind of translator known as black box function as Gideon Toury coined. Simply function, process, and product as cognitive entries paraphrase thinking. According to the determinism movement, an extreme version of the Sapir – Whorf hypothesis, language completely determines the thinking of human beings. Therefore, language and thinking influence each other and might have something in common. Bell (1991, P. 38) points out that the goals of translation would lead us to adopt a deductive rather than an inductive approach to the discovery of translator competence: introspection, by the translator, into his or her mind in search of the knowledge (and, perhaps, the process) by means of which the product is created. Critically reviewing Bell’s statement gives key terms such as process and product and their origin which is competence. Translation by no means have competence as linguist believe language do have. Translation competence can be studied from two perspectives: (1) from the perspective of the product (i.e. the target text, its quality and appropriateness for the specified purpose), and (2) from the perspective of the process (i.e. the effect of the decision – making process, and mental processes involved in the act of translating). Function of the language in translation covers up what is beyond the text and context as Newmark (1986, PP. 38 - 44) dividends it into five discrete categories as expressive, informative, vocative, aesthetic, and phatic. This aspect of translation studies gets embedded in process and product of translation competence where it actually represents the relationship between linguistic forms and other parts of the sentence (or other unit) in which it is used. Consequently, within descriptive translation studies like linguistics, competence is a cardinal node. It appears more tangible or concrete where bilingual translation is taken account into considerations. Within educational or pedagogical system, teachers seek for not only evaluating and placing learners into various levels but also finding gaps of study to get it progressed. With the framework limit, the need for proposing a theory and a model beyond it is definitively essential to evaluate, placement, and fill gaps for progress check. Since cognitive translation skills (DTS/UG junctures) are abstract terms, the quality and the quantity of them require more objectivity than more subjectivity; in other words, converting from abstract identity to concrete subject or issue need objective consideration to evaluate, placement, and progress these cognitive skills.

Literature Review

Spanish into English Verbatim Translation Exam (1992) Stansfield, Scott, and Kenyon (1990) delivered a project to Center for Applied Linguistics in the name of Spanish into English Verbatim Translation Exam (SEVTE). This project was conducted by CAL to identify and assess variables to which affect translation competence and it was originally designed to FBI officers who worked with Spanish cases. The scale from which they assessed translation competence was so called translation - skill description level, in other words, SDL was a five – points (0, 5) scale that determined the level of TC or translation competence.  TC dividend into two parts: (1) Accuracy (Production); it was content – based which indicated mistranslation, omission, and deletion (2) Expression (Grammar); it was form – based which indicated morphology, syntax, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, style, and tone. Part one: it was assigned to assess production (accuracy). There were 28 items including: (1) 15 items for word or phrase translation (WPT) to which every single item took 1 point, (2) 10 items for sentence translation (PT) to which every single item took 5 points based on 0 – 5 cardinal scale, and (3) 3 items for paragraph translation (ST) to which every single item took 20 points based upon grammar, expression, mechanic, and accuracy. Each scored 5 points individually to assign 20 points and allotted time for the section was 48 minutes. Part two: A multiple – choice test was assigned to assess expression skill. It included 60 items; 1 point assigned for every single item and total allotted time was 35 minutes. Scoring criteria for 35 items was based on translating a single word or phrase contextually (meaning conveyed) and 25 items were for detecting errors.Noticeably, within both parts grammar is intended by morphology, expression by word order, tone, vocabulary, and style, mechanics by spelling and punctuation, and accuracy by conveyed meaning. General scheme of the proposed test of translation is illustrated below,    



                                                                                                                                            Form – Based                                                  Content – Based                    

                                                                                                                                      Grammar /Expression                                           Production(Accuracy) 

                                                                                                                                       Multiple – Choice Test  


                                                                                                                WPTC                                     ED                                     WPT                            ST                        PT(GEMA)

                                                                                                              35 Items                             25 Items                               15 Items                    10 Items                    3 Items 

                                                                                                              35 points                            25 points                              15 points                   50 points                  60 points

                                                                                                                                   60 points in 35 minutes                                            125 points in 48 minutes                          

                                                                                                                                                            Total score : 60 (MC) + 125 =185 ( 83 minutes)    


Table1. General Scheme of SEVTE

Major findings of SEVTE included: 

1) Accuracy and expression do not have same nature, i.e. a person with accurate English translation may / may not have ability to express Spanish accurately.

2)  There is a strong positive correlation between accuracy and expression with SDL.

3) Accuracy is more valid than expression.

Multiple Choice Tests for Proficiency Level (1993)

El – Banna (1993) was concerned with the problem of the lack of proper and uniform evaluation of ESL/EFL learners’ translation skill in most faculties of education.  A multiple – choice test that El – Banna developed consisted of two parts: translation from Arabic to English and translation from English to Arabic. Each part included 25 items to which every single item attributed 1 point; therefore, total score of the test was 50 points.  Allotted time for the whole test was 80 minutes (40 minutes for each part).  

On the basis of test raw scores, the level of student’s performance in terms of act of translating (proficiency level) take the place of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advance.  

                                                                                                                                                            Multiple – Choice Test for Proficiency Level   


                                                                                                                 Part one (English to Arabic)                                                     Part two (Arabic to English)

                                                                                                                     25 Items (25 points)                                                                  25 Items (25 points)

                                                                                                                             40 minutes                                                                                   40 minutes


                                                                                                                                                                  Total score : 50 points

                                                                                                                                        Beginner  3 – 8                                   Beginner  3 – 11 

                                                                                                                                     Intermediate  9 – 11                         Intermediate  12 – 15 


                                                                                                                                        Advance  12 – 14                              Advance  16 – 23   


                                                                                                                                                          Table2. General Scheme of MCTPL 

Following examples indicate the clearance that El – Banna chose in both parts of his designed test: 

An example from part I( El – Banna, 1993, P. 80),  

Thanks very much for showing me around. I'm really much obliged.

أ .    ﺷﮑﺮﺁ ﺟﺰﻳﻼ ﻻرﺷﺎدﯼ .ﺟﺪﺁ اﻧﺎ ﺣﻘﻴﻘﻪ ﻣﻀﻄﺮ  . ب.   و  ﮐﺜﻴﺮﺁ ، ﺷﮑﺮﺁ ﺟﺰﻳﻼ ﻟﺘﻮﺿﻴﺤﮏ ﻟﯽ دوران ﺣﻘﻴﻘﻪ اﻋﺘﺬر  .
ت.    ﺷﮑﺮﺁ ﺟﺰﻳﻼ ﻟﻤﺮاﻓﻘﺘﯽ ﻓﯽ ﺟﻮﻟﺘﯽ  . واﻧﺎ ﻓﯽ اﻟﻮاﻗﻊ ﻣﺴﺘﻦ ﻟﮏ ﮐﺜﻴﺮﺁ . ث.    ﺷﮑﺮﺁ ﺟﺰﻳﻶ ﻟﺘﻮﺻﻴﻠﮏ ﻟﯽ  . اﻧﻨﯽ ﺣﻘﺂ ﻣﻤﺘﻦ ﻟﮏ ﮐﺜﻴﺮﺁ .

An example from part II( El – Banna, 1993, P. 89), 

ﻻﺗﻠﻤﻨﯽ ﮐﻞ هﺬا اﻟﻠﻮم  .ﺧﻄﺎ ﻓﺎﻧﻨﯽ ﻟﻢ ارﺗﮑﺐ

A) Oh, do not put all the blame on me, I’ve done nothing wrong.

B) Do not blame. I have not done anything wrong.

C) Oh, do not put all blaming on me, I do not commit a fault.

D) Do not blame me for anything. I do not commit any mistakes.   

   El – Banna (1993) attributed presumed model for two main reasons: 

1. The non-availability of foreign language translation test that have been designed to assess foreign language candidates' skill in translation with some degree of accuracy.

2. The reluctance of departmental translation tests to sample EFL/ESL learners' skill in translating English- Arabic texts or vice versa.  

Actual performance of translating and its representation through student’s achievement in translation test was the test designer’s consideration.  El – Banna believes translation as major skill for language learning particularly at the academic level. Students are required to choose one option out of four choices for the translation of entire sentence which was appropriate in length and informative enough of daily life issues. However, the need still is urgent to design measuring instrument for assessing the development of translation skill through and after the teaching of different translation courses in the department of English translation.  

Other Studies 

1) Ricardo Schiaffino and Franco Zearo (2002): The LISA and EDWARD models presented to measure QC or quality control and QA or quality assurance. The former indicated quality verification over the whole text whereas the latter indicated control the quality over a sample of the whole text in terms of grammar, style, accuracy, formatting, terminology, and the number and the type of errors occurred.  

2) Ricardo Schiaffino and Franco Zearo (2004): Translation quality index or TQI introduced by them was a measurement methodology to reliably indicate the number and the type of error found within a text to display qualitative index of translation.  

3) Mohammad Alavi and Hamed Ghaemi (2013): Aimed at investigating the reliability assessment and construct validity of translation competence questionnaire in the context of Iran referring back to the original model by Mariana Orozco and Amparo Hurtado Albir where EFL trainees measuring instruments act while  face with translation problems, notions, and errors . The re – developed and modified questionnaire has strong psychometric characteristics and good construct validity within Iran samples.

The study

Cardinal nodes of both linguistics and translation competence intercept each other to make clear – cut junctures or points. These junctures obviously have overlapped areas or partitions from which proposed model is elicited. 

1.  Encoding: using linguistic competence including lexicon and grammar to analyze ST.

2.  Decoding: transferring (with/ without change or preserve) analyzed unit into TL in terms of syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic features respectively.  

3.  Recoding: constituting TT based on ST form and meaning. Actually, these events occur in the mind of human as Bell (1991) simulates procedure as an Ice – Cube melting and freezing. In other words, a portion of text looks just like an ice – cube in such a way that it melts, deforms, and freezes again. A top – down process becomes a bottom – up one. General scheme of the proposed model including junctures or joint nodes for better perception is illustrated below. Notice that encoding is the phase or border where competence and performance within linguistics separates from each other while this is not as same as on the other side of diagram.


Placement and classification of various human aptitudes in terms of cognitive translation skills is almost always questionable and needs to measure and assess the quality of translation process. Translation (process) quality assessment as Farahzad (2012, P. 2) redefines as an area in TS [translation studies] to ensure the quality of translation in terms of accuracy, adequacy, naturalness, and other such criteria. TQA starts with a prototext – metatext comparison and ends there. But that only a few researches on the subject of measuring competence more objectively than more subjectively have ever been conducted is attributed for two reasons: (1) difficulty of measuring a competence that is not yet fully defined, a competence that uses the most complicated cognitive processes that human brain is capable of, and (2) competence in translation (like Chomsky’s linguistic competence) is an abstract concept that can be measured in performance.      

Hence in order to measure cognitive translation skills we need to work on the basis of framework that segments the component of this ability and that takes into consideration different variables involved in the process; such as the readability of the text, time pressure, and purpose of translation, to whom the translation is done, and the language level required. This study explores the practical experiments in the literature and proposes objective framework for evaluating the untouchable process of translating happens in the mind of human including encoding, decoding, and recoding with proportional scale from English to Persian. Based on this framework, an objective model is developed for qualifying, placing, and progressing cognitive translation skills of Iranian EFL learners. 


This study examines quantitatively few issues concerning evaluation, placement, and progress check of the EFL learners in English translation from English to Persian in I.R.Iran. It is hoped that results from this study will not only lead to a better understanding of cognitive translation skills but that it will also provide insight into such general and important linguistic, testing, and translation quality assessment. Specifically, in this study an attempt will be made to examine:

      H1:  Whether the quality of cognitive translation skills including encoding, decoding, and recoding are undergoing more objective and linguistically concrete or whether they are remained more subjective and abstract identities. 

      H2: The role of proposed model in evaluating, placement, and progress check when students are asked to plot their position as a turning point in learning within educational or pedagogical system. 


Proposed Test Model

  Translation as communication may have one or two channels when interlocutors are native – to – native (NtN) or native – to non native (NtnN) ones, monolingual and bilingual communication respectively. The NtnN communication is actually the frame of study. It is simply the representation of what Bell (1991, P. 19) outlined as 9 steps of bilingual communication. Bell pointed out that 1) translator receives signal 1 containing message; 2) recognize code 1; 3) decode signal 1; 4) retrieves message; 5) comprehends message; 6)translators selects code 2; 7) encodes message by means of code2; 8) selects channel; 9)transmit signal 2 containing message. It is as same as what researcher simply illustrates in figure. 2 



1) There was one experiment administered. Three tasks were used: a) reading and understanding task in which EFL learners are asked to read text and answer  True/False items, Multiple choice items, and Open- ended question items, b) analytical thinking task in which EFL learners are asked to write a translation draft, find problematic entry, and solve the problem using syntactic, semantic, and/ or pragmatic strategies; this task is based on meaning conveyed accurately, and   c) production or composition task in which EFL learners are asked to translate text block considering grammar, expression, meaning, and accuracy, 2) Calculating difficulty coefficient, item discrimination, and choice of distribution for each section of the test model, 3)Calculating the reliability of the test by using Cronbach Alpha and Spearman & Pearson coefficient for the scores of the different sections of the test model, 4)Calculating the validity of the test by computing the internal consistency of all the items of the different sections of the test in two way: (a) calculate internal consistency coefficient by reviewing the correlation between items scores and total scores of the section (b) calculate internal consistency coefficient by reviewing the correlation between section scores and total scores of the test model, and 5) Calculating validity discrimination to make sure that items truly discriminate between high and low achievers and finally, rate the test results by two different raters. 6) Preliminary data analysis accomplished and thereafter statistical analysis to reach for major results and findings was fulfilled. 



One hundred students  EFL learners, who are  majoring English Translation Studies in Islamic Azad University, Bandar Abbas, Iran , were asked to participate in the study  and fill in the questionnaire and give it back to the researcher after two hours.  All participants were considered to be TPS or Translation – Passed Students (theories and application). Actually, senior EFL learners or trainees of English Translation without considering genders were randomly selected.


The measure used for the study was Cognitive Translation Questionnaire (CTQ). CTQ is a researcher rated assessment of the extent to which each trainees or students is competent in translation. The questionnaire consists of three cognitive sub- instruments as follow: 

    1. Encoding Instrument ( EI) 

    2. Decoding Instrument (DI) 

    3. Recoding Instrument ( RI)  

   The first measuring instrument, i.e. EI measures reading and understanding or comprehension , the second, i.e. DI measures analytical thinking or de – verbalization, the third, i.e. RI measures reproduction or composition. All three instruments are united in a single questionnaire called CTQ and it was administered once as case study.

1. Encoding Instrument ( EI)

EI is multidimensional questionnaire as it covers complete text understanding and comprehension. What makes a text comprehensive for human is a system of words and grammar known as linguistic competence and a combination system of function and process known as translation competence. Based on these findings, standards items including Multiple – Choice Item (item1, item2, item3, and item4), True / False Item (item5, item6, item7, and item8), and Open – Ended questions item (item9 and item10) are embedded within the questionnaire. In the encoding section, students are expected to follow guidelines like:   

1. Read for gist of the whole text 

2. Read for details of each unit or paragraph

3. Identify the meaning of new words and expressions using one or more of the structural analysis clues; prefixes, suffixes, roots, word order, punctuation, sentence pattern…. etc 

4. Identify the meaning of new words and expressions using one or more of the contextual analysis devices; synonyms, antonyms, examples ….etc and identify the style of the writer; literary, scientific, technical, informative, persuasive, argumentative…. etc

5. Identify the language level (formality) used in the text; standard, slang, religious, and etc 

6. Identify cultural references / norms in the choice of words in the text Each item is marked by 2 points (total point is 20). 20 minutes are given to complete section. Under the total point, a very low to very high classifications is taken account into consideration.   

2. Decoding Instrument(DI)

Shifting, from micro – analysis to macro analysis, from micro – expression to macro – expression, linguistics function, text type analysis, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic bilingually by no means need intertextuality concurrently. Osimo (2000) refers to a similar constant comparison between the sense of a single text and the comprehensive sense of the corpus that, consciously or unconsciously, forms the 'intertext'. In this context, intertext should be understood as the complex of intertextual links in which a text is located, with, or without the author's acknowledgement. Farahzad (2012) redefines the relation between texts as “proto – text and meta – text “not in terms of equivalence but in intertextuality which relates texts together, without looking for the sameness or origin. In short, semantic, syntax, and the relation between them to identify is what researcher looks for in terms of problem – solving (decision – making or analytical thinking) in an accurate scale. Here, students are advised to use following strategies in decoding stage:  

1) Identify beginnings and endings of ideas in the text and the relationships between them.

2) Identify the “best” meaning that fit into the context.          

3) Identify the structure in the target language that “best” represents the original. 

4) Identify transitions between ideas and the “best” cohesive devices in TL that represent the original.   

Practically, 5 sentences are given in which each sentence takes 3 discrete items (Translation, Problem, and Solution). Sentence translation is based on Accuracy (appropriate meaning conveyed) on the scale of 0 – 2[0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2.]. Each item is marked by 2 points. Total hour is 50 minutes and total point is 30. Based upon total points obtained, classification from very low to very high gets assigned.     

3. Recoding Instrument (RI)

Farahzad (2012) points out that the translator meet two needs: first, to externalize the set of impressions caused by the text perception, translate into speech acts the mental material produced by contact with the protext (text before translating); second, to make this product coherent within itself, i.e. transform a set of speech acts into a text (the meta-text). Recoding instrument which is re-known as production, composition, or re – expression instrument gets one paragraph translation( item) under which grammar, expression, meaning, accuracy (GEMA) are based on the scale of 0 – 20 [0, 5, 10, 15, 20]. Guidelines for this section follow as:               

1) Use correct word order as followed in the target language.              

2) Use correct sentence structures as followed in the target language.              

3) Transmit the ideas of the text in clear ideas in the target language.              

4) Rephrase certain sentences to qualify for the overall meaning translated.  

5) Make changes to the text as a whole to give it a sense of the original without cluttering the original ideas.   

 In the face of the untranslatability problem EFL learners are advised to utilize following guidelines: 

a) Syntactic Strategies 

1. Shift word order 

2. Change clause/ sentence/ proposition structure

3. Add or change cohesion 

4. Transposition

5. Syntactic strategies by Molina ( 2002) b) Semantic Strategies 

1. Use super – ordinates

2. Alter the level of explicitness or implicitness 

3. Redistribute the information over more or fewer elements

4. Modulation  5. Adaptation 6. Semantic strategies by Molina ( 2002) c) Pragmatic Strategies

1. Naturalize the bizarre expressions and exoticize the natural one

2. Alter the level of explicitness

3. Add or omit information

4. Find appropriate equivalence     

For sentence translation and paragraph translation raters accept fair translations. Total time is 50 minutes and total point is 20. Based upon points obtained the test takers are classified into five clear – cut group, from very high to very low. General scheme of cognitive translation proficiency test is illustrated below: 


Noticeably, the division begins with very low and ends up with very high indicate evaluation where the first and the last pairs present beginner and advance placement and mid division present intermediate one. It also takes attention that beginners should keep study within (I - 1), mediocre within (I), and advance within (I+1) classroom level as progress check. It is briefly illustrated below:  


Results and Discussion  

Areas of research indicating DTS and UG junctures determines cognitive skills in translation. These areas are encircled by the theory and the model beyond it. To reach for answers of research questions each area is developed discretely considering sample’s data.  

Reading and Understanding:     

Proposed abstract term used for this area is encoding. To convert abstract term into concrete identity technical and statistical calculations are explored. Mean score for each item is tabulated from 1.94 to 0.08 and standard deviation is also calculated from 0.34 to 0.39 respectively in Table6. 96 percent of data distribution can then be calculated from (mean score ± 2SD). Two possible directional hypotheses for choosing right statistics (correlation) to explore relationship among variables are:  

     --- H0 = There is no significant statistical relationship between each item score and total score of the section.
     --- H1 = There is significant statistical relationship between each item score and total score of the section.  

     Observed correlation for each item is tabulated from 0.85 to 0.71 and to reject null hypothesis it is fair enough to compare correlation coefficient with critical value (directional, p <0.005) .         If doing so, then readers conclude that all correlation coefficient are larger than critical values in which it results null hypothesis is rejected.  Overlapped variation or coefficient of determination along with standard error measurement for each item is tabulated too. The most important part is to qualify these figures on the basis of proposed model.  Reviewing mean score, the researcher attempted to put learners in proper place in terms of evaluation, placement, and progress check. Within the spectrum of evaluation (very low, low, mean, high, and very high), placement (beginner, intermediate, and advance), and progress check (I-1, I, and I+1) the learners took mean grade, intermediate, and (I); in other words, the learners position are plot by researcher on the chart of cognitive translation skills (reading and understanding) as intermediate level student whose jobs are to keep reviewing mediocre syllables of translation and strive to preview advance ones. Noticeably, each learner can be evaluated in the light of every single item.  

Analytical Thinking:  

Proposed term used for this section is decoding. All statistical and technical calculations along with hypotheses are as same as the above assumptions and tabulation. 100 selected learners from Islamic Azad University in Bandar Abbas Branch took high grade, advance, and (I + 1) which means the researcher plotted students on the map of cognitive translation skills (decoding) above
the mid or half upward. Therefore, advance students or learners should keep reviewing advance syllables and strive to keep previewing upper advance ones.    


Proposed term used for this section is recoding. Again all statistical and technical calculation along with hypotheses is as same as above assumptions and tabulation. EFL learners of English translation in Islamic Azad University took high grade, advance, and (I + I) which similarly indicate that the position of learners on the map of cognitive translation (recoding) are plotted by researcher to confirm that they should keep reviewing advance syllables and strive to preview upper advance ones. Final report of the study is illustrated in Table 6 as below:


Consequently, research questions supposed by researcher can be answered in this way:  a) The quality of cognitive translation skills can be more objective and concrete. b) Proposed model and theory can significantly plot learner’s position on the cognitive translation map within educational or pedagogical system.  

Conclusions Nowadays, translation quality assessment gets approached from various perspectives. Most of approaches to evaluation of translation put emphasis on the belief that the quality of translation depends largely on translator’s subjective interpretation and transfer decisions, which are based upon his linguistic and cultural knowledge and experiences. Speakers of all languages have the linguistics knowledge to understand or produce sentences of any length; theoretically, there is no limit to the length of a sentence. Indeed, linguistic knowledge permits us to form longer units by adding more elements. This knowledge of linguistics comprises of competence and performance. To understand and produce sentences all languages of the world have divine – given knowledge to rule meaningful units. This divine – given knowledge is called UG. Language acquisition takes place under the effect of UG.       

Problematic areas in DTS are product, process, and function. Process indicates what happens in the mind of human while translating and product presents target text as translation or production per se. Both process and production underlie translation competence. To find joint node of linguistic and translation or UG and DTS, the theory and the model beyond it are applied to give proportionate orientation to the researcher to objectively evaluate the quality of UG and DTS.    In fact, this theory and the model represent the relationship between (features of) text(s) and how they are perceived by human; one of three crucial questions that House (1996, P. 1) addresses the heart of any theory and model of translation quality. Proposed theory includes encoding, decoding, and recoding. 

1.  Encoding: using linguistic competence including lexicon and grammar to analyze ST.

2.  Decoding: transferring (with/ without change or preserve) analyzed unit into TL in terms of syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic features respectively.  

3.  Recoding: constituting TT based on ST form and meaning.       

Proposed model comprises of main three sections or areas in which each covers reading and understanding (reading comprehension), analytical thinking (problem – solving or decision making), and production (composition). 

1. Reading and Understanding: 10 items i.e. 4 true/false items, 4 multiple choice items, and 2 open – ended questions. 20 points along with 20 minutes are as allotted time and points.

2. Analytical Thinking: 5 items on which are based meaning conveyed accurately. Translation problem, make a decision to solve problem and rewrite proper translation gets followed. 30 points along with 50 minutes are allotted time and scores.

3. Production: 1 item on which is based grammar, expression, meaning, and accuracy. 20 points and 50 minutes are assigned as allotted time and scores.      

Proposed theory takes the position between UG and DTS in such a way that encoding and decoding in DTS cover translation competence whereas in UG encoding covers competence and decoding and recoding cover up performance. The purpose of the study is to explore qualifying junctures of DTS and UG in translation and find appropriate answers to the following questions:  

     H1:  Whether the quality of cognitive translation skills including encoding, decoding, and recoding are undergoing more objective and linguistically concrete or whether they are remained more subjective and abstract identities. 

     H2: The role of proposed model in evaluating, placement, and progress check when students are asked to plot their position as a turning point in learning within educational or pedagogical system.    

A group of 100 EFL senior learners in English translation from Islamic Azad University in Banddar Abbas Branch were randomly selected to fulfill experimental survey. A direct questionnaire including main three instruments with corresponding standard items delivered them to answer. Theoretical layers or texts (foreground) of proposed areas are reading comprehension, analytical thinking, and production indicating encoding, decoding, and recoding respectively; however, context (background) of proposed areas is based on meaning, grammar, expression, and accuracy.  Having administered test the researcher reached for: 1) The quality of cognitive translation skills could be underpinned in objective and concrete manner, 2) The proposed theory and the model behind it could evaluate, posit, and progress students competence and performance in the junctures of DTS and UG i.e. students should review obtained level and strive to preview the next upper level; in other words, on the map of translation students can plot their position and reckon range need for reaching optimal point within educational or co – educational system. Consequently, this experimental study resulted in converting abstract and subjective concept of quality in translation, second crucial question of House in his revisited and original model, into more objective and concrete identity where the scope of the study was junctures of DTS and UG.  
 References Alavi, M., Ghaemi, F. (2013). Reliabilty Assessment and Construct Validation of Translation Competence Questionnaire (TCQ) in Iran. Language Testing in Asia 3:18, SpringerOpen.        Doi : 10.1186/2229 – 0443-3-18

Bachman, Lyle F. (1990). Fundamental Considerations in Language Testing. New York, Oxford University

Bell, Rodger.T. (1991). Translation and Translating: Theory and Practice. London, Longman.

Brown, J. D. (2007). Understanding Research in Second Language Learning. Cambridge University Press. 

Crystal, D. (1992). An Encyclopedia Dictionary of Language and Languages. Blackwell Publishers, UK 

El-Banna. A. (1993). The Development and Validation of A multiple-Choice Translation Test for ESL College Freshmen. Tanta University, Kafr El-Sheikh Faculty of Education, Department of Curriculum and Methods of Teaching.

Falk, J. S. (1978) . Linguistics and Language, A survey of Basic Concepts and Implications     (2th Ed.) . Michigan State University, U.S.A and Canada

Farahzad, F. (2012). Translation Criticism: A Three - Dimensional Model Based  on CDA. Iranian Translation Studies Journal, n.Vol (39). Allameh Tabataba’I University.

Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., Hyams, N. (2013). An Introduction to Language, (10th Ed.). Calder Foundation, New York, NY, U.S.A

Farhadi, Hossein & Ja’farpur, Abdoljavad & Birjandi, Parviz. (1994). Testing Language Skills from Theory to Practice. Iran, Qom. SAMT.

House, J. (1996). “Translation Quality Assessment, A Model Revisited. “Gunter Narr Verlag Tubingen. Gnv.

Molina A. H. A. Lucia. (2002). Translation Techniques Revisited: A dynamic and Functional Approach. Erudite, 47(4), 498 – 512.doi: 10.7202/008033ar

Munday, Jeremy (2006). Introducing Translation Studies. New York, NY 10016, Routledge.

Orozco. M. (2000). Building a measuring instrument for the acquisition of translation competence in trainee translators. Developing Translation Competence. Amsterdam: John Benjamins publishing company.

Osimo. B. (2000) “Translation Course" part one. On line Book Available at [ 25 April, 2002] 

Pallant, J. (2010). “SPSS, Survival Manual, A Step by Step Guide to Data Analysis Using SPSS, 4th Ed” . McGrow-Hill Education. NY, 10121-2289, USA  

Schiaffino, Riccardo and Zearo, Franco. (2004).  Translation Quality Measurement in Practice. Retrieved from  

Schiaffino, Riccardo and Zearo, Franco. (2002). The  measurement of quality in translation using statistical methods, 43rd ATA Conference, Atlanta 2002.

Stansfield, C. Scott, M., and Kenyon, D. (1990). Spanish – English Verbatim Translation Exam. Final Report. Ashington : CAL 

White, L. (2003). Second Language  Acquisition and Universal Grammar. Cambridge University Press, NY, New York, U.S.A



Log in

Log in