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Evaluation, language, and untranslatables
University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Department of Medical Humanities, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
Pluriconsult Ltd., Bucharest, Romania.
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2017 (English)In: American Journal of Evaluation, ISSN 1098-2140, E-ISSN 1557-0878, Vol. 38, no 1, 114-125 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The issue of translatability is pressing in international evaluation, in global transfer of evaluative instruments, in comparative performance management, and in culturally responsive evaluation. Terms that are never fully understood, digested, or accepted may continue to influence issues, problems, and social interactions in and around and after evaluations. Their meanings can be imposed or reinvented. Untranslatable terms are not just “lost in translation” but may produce overflows that do not go away. The purpose of this article is to increase attention to the issue of translatability in evaluation by means of specific exemplars. We provide a short dictionary of such exemplars delivered by evaluators, consultants, and teachers who work across a variety of contexts. We conclude with a few recommendations: highlight frictions in translatability by deliberately circulating and discussing words of relevance that appear to be "foreign"; increase the language skills of evaluators; and make research on frictions in translation an articulate part of the agenda for research on evaluation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2017. Vol. 38, no 1, 114-125 p.
Keyword [en]
translation, language, culture
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-128181DOI: 10.1177/1098214016678682ISI: 000394788100007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-128181DiVA: diva2:1050148
Available from: 2016-11-28 Created: 2016-11-28 Last updated: 2017-05-10Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf