Translation quality has been one of the most contested topics in Translation Studies and translation practice, and with growing competition on the language services market, debates on quality have become even more heated. At the same time, few would disagree with the statement that the quality of almost any translation is directly linked with the translator’s competence.

Another bone of contention is translation technology. Some translators of specialised texts see it as a means of boosting efficiency and fostering quality assurance, whereas others fear that the more people put trust in technology, the more adverse effect it has on the quality of translation.

With all this in mind, it is easy to see the importance of redefining the linguistic and technological competences of translators, regardless of their field of expertise. This is particularly crucial for those who are new to the market and must be equipped with skills which will offer them a competitive advantage over their more experienced colleagues.

The conference Points of View on Translators’ Competence and Translation Quality, which will be held in Cracow on November 27th 2015, will address the aforementioned topics. The event is organised by the European Commission – Directorate General for Translation (DGT Field Offices in  Poland and the Czech Republic), in cooperation and with the support of the Jagiellonian University, Charles University in Prague, and TRALICE, a regional not-for-profit consortium of experts from the translation industry. This one-day conference is targeted at all stakeholders of the translation industry, with a focus on young translators and students at MA and postgraduate levels, and makes part of the Translating Europe Workshops organised by DGT in all EU Member States. This Europewide project is designed to address skills gaps in the language industry and make translation students and graduates more readily employable. A follow-up to the Cracow conference will be a Translating Europe Workshop organised at the Charles University later next year.

More information about the Translating Europe project at

Admission will be FREE for registered participants.


We have invited our experts to share their thoughts and their research and/or professional experience related to the conference title. The organisers have come up with the following three thematic areas together with a list of more detailed issues that may be discussed under each topic:

  1. Evaluation and assurance of translation quality:

    1. MUST we and CAN we always provide top quality translations?

    2. What is the place of quality assurance and quality assessment in the translation project management cycle?

    3. Are quality standards (e.g. EN 15038) helpful in ensuring translation quality?

    4. What are the customer’s and user’s expectations of quality?

    5. What are the actual risks of poor quality translation?

    6. What is the role of translation technology in quality assurance (QA) and quality evaluation (QE)?

    7. How can Translation Studies theories be helpful in debates on quality?

    8. What are the quality limits of machine translation (MT)?

    9. What are the actual criteria of translation quality?

    10. How important is customer feedback for quality assurance?

    11. Are customers also responsible for ensuring translation quality?

  2. Translation technology: prospects for the industry and the competence required from translators:

    1. Is the CAT dead?”, or how to keep up with the variety of CAT tools offered on the market;

    2. Cloud technologies: perspectives of translators and agencies;

    3. Continuous professional development for translators;

    4. Is there actually a definitive list of competences?

    5. What are the soft skills that translators need for reaching success on the market?

  3. Institutional and specialised translation – quality assessment and translators’ competence.

    1. How can quality be defined in relation to such texts?

    2. What kinds of competence are needed to pursue a translator’s career in this domain?

    3. What text types are translated and/or interpreted by sworn translators? Have the tasks of sworn translators changed?

    4. How to become a sworn translator? What are the prospects of this profession in view of the proposed amendment of the European legislation?

Keynote speakers:

Professor Lisa LINK, TH Köln University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany

Professor Gary MASSEY, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, Switzerland

Professor Elżbieta TABAKOWSKA, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland

Professor Sonia VANDEPITTE, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Main venue of the conference

Jagiellonian University, Auditorium Maximum, exhibition room (second floor), ul. Krupnicza 33.

Virtual tour:


Admission to the conference is free but registration is required due to a limited number of places available.

Proofread by Jessica Barber



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