As we have seen in previous entires, translation theory often uses metaphors to describe translation, the translation process and sometimes even translation quality. An interesting metaphor is comparing translation and translation quality assessment to the analysis of diamonds.
The quality of diamonds is usually assessed according to the system most commonly known as the four Cs:
Carat refers to the weight of the diamond, colour refers to the diamond’s hue, clarity refers to the number of defects within the diamond, and cut refers to the way in which a polished diamond is created from a rough stone.
These four Cs could easily be superimposed onto a matrix for translation quality assessment where:
carat = information
colour = style
clarity = fluency
cut = accuracy
This gives us a neat guide for quickly analysing the quality of a translation. Thus, a good translation should contain and will be marked by high quality in each of these categories. In other words, the translation will contain:
(1) relevant information
(2) appropriate style/register
(3) fluent language (without errors)
(4) accurate, polished language