From translation briefs to quality standards: Functionalist theories in today’s translation processes


  • Elisa Calvo Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville, Spain)


translation quality, standards, functionalist approaches, brief, specifications.


Functionalist theories of translation seem to have their roots in the examination of professional translation processes. The functionalist notion of skopos (Vermeer, 1996) focuses on the purpose of the translation project, highlighting a concept that potentially links TS with professional practice: the brief. While many translators receive sparse or insufficiently explicit briefs (Byrne, 2012), in other cases, translation vendors develop extremely complex specifications encompassing a wide range of different constraining elements at different levels. This paper analyses how, if at all, different models or systems of skopoi and briefs can be incorporated into today’s professional market. Special emphasis is placed on the potential correlation between functionalist concepts and translation industry normalization instruments (such as ISO 17100).