Guide to use the Framework [Trial version]
What is this framework?
In translation, unlike in language teaching —which has the CEFR—, there is no common European framework of reference, nor a research tradition which can be compared to it regarding the development of performance levels. The aim of the Third NACT Proposal is to advance towards a common European framework of reference for use in translator training and professional translation.
This is a revised version of the proposed framework originally developed in the PACTE group’s “Establishing Competence Levels in the Acquisition of Translation Competence in Written Translation” project (NACT, based on the project’s initials in Spanish).
The description refers to written translation only and focuses on translation levels A and B, which have sub-levels. Level C is only described in general terms; describing it in greater detail is one of the objectives of the EFFORT project.
This proposal will be of use to trainers, students, professionals, employers and accreditation bodies in the translation arena.
What is this guide for?
This guide explains how users, such as trainers, students, translators, employers and accreditation bodies, can make optimal use of the materials presented on this site. Its aim is to help to better understand and use a proposed scale of level descriptors in translation (i.e. the Third NACT Proposal).
Who is this guide for?
This site serves both educational and professional purposes. Materials on this website can be used by:
Trainers and educational institutions
Educational institutions and trainers can draw inspiration from the proposal of level descriptors to: develop or refresh a translation curriculum; set and refine learning outcomes; monitor learning progress in existing programmes; design new courses and course content; work out assessment grids which take into account text difficulty; and, ultimately, help narrow the gap between learning outcomes in translator training and requirements in translation.
Students can use the self-assessment tool to assess their respective performance levels in translation. The framework helps them analyse strengths and weaknesses in translation, and allows them to work toward improving their performance in a goal-oriented and tailored manner. The framework also allows for the monitoring of learning progress.
Translators can gather information on expected expert behaviour, at different levels, and use the self-assessment tool to detect gaps that require attention. The self-assessment tool can be used to periodically monitor progress.
Employers in the Language Industry
The self-assessment tool can facilitate recruitment processes for employers in the Language Industry, as it allows for differentiation in levels of translation competence. The examples of texts provide useful guidance in the selection of source material and evaluation of candidate’s target texts.
Accreditation institutions can use the methodological guide to inform educational and evaluation standards for translation and serve as a basis for audits within the domains of translator training and professional translation. The guide can thus be instrumental in the recognition and validation of academic diplomas and certificates.
How to use this guide?
Third NACT Proposal of Competence Descriptors
The Third NACT Proposal presents a scale of translation levels. By using the NACT proposal, educational institutions can refine translation curricula and learning outcomes to the demands of the international language industry and monitor learning progress throughout the curricula in a reliable manner. Employers can also establish criteria for the recruitment of candidates.
Examples of texts
The guide also offers examples of texts. The texts serve an illustrative purpose, as they provide practical examples of different levels of texts and translation problems encountered in said texts and allow for differentiation between the levels of translation competence required to translate these texts and resolve those problems.
Translator trainers and employers in the Language Industry can use these examples to: select suitable texts to evaluate students or candidates; identify translation problems that require a certain level of expertise on behalf of students or candidates; and facilitate the assessment of translation assignments. Students and professional translators can also use these texts to gain more concrete insight into progress in the acquisition of translation competence.
The glossary is part of the Third NACT Proposal and can be found therein, as well as in this tab, for ease of use. It has 38 entries defining 79 concepts . The concepts in question are divided in seven sections:
- General concepts
- Concepts related to establishing text levels
- Concepts related to language competence
- Concepts related to extralinguistic competence
- Concepts related to instrumental competence
- Concepts related to service provision competence
- Concepts related to methodological and strategic competence
For ease of understanding, the entries in each section are ordered not alphabetically but according to their involvement and hierarchy in its concepts’ definitions.
Frequently Asked Questions
A section of this webpage is dedicated to frequently asked questions on definitions and descriptions of areas of specialisation, key terms used in the Third NACT Proposal, etc. This page can help understanding the NACT proposal and resolving terminological or conceptual issues that arise when the user reads the proposal or fills out the self-assessment test.
The interactive self-assessment tool can be used by translation students and professionals to identify their current performance level for each competence. This can be done by means of self-evaluation: the user simply has to click on the statements that correspond to their situation and download the finalised self-assessment to their device. By reiterating the self-assessment periodically, users can compare the outcomes achieved over time and monitor their learning progress.
About the Third NACT Proposal
This document is a proposal of translation level scales. The aim of this proposal is to advance towards a common European framework of reference for use in translator training and professional translation.
This proposal is a revised version of the proposal developed within the NACT project (“Establishing Competence Levels in the Acquisition of Translation Competence in Written Translation” project) carried out by PACTE group.
It is the result of a long process during which successive proposals have been drawn up:
- First NACT Proposal of descriptors. Within the framework of the NACT project, a first proposal for level descriptors was drawn up. This proposal was assessed by expert judgment through an evaluation questionnaire. Ninety-nine representatives of the academic and professional translation arenas from 16 European countries participated in the evaluation. See: PACTE 2018, PACTE 2019, Hurtado Albir, Kuznik, Rodríguez-Inés (2022).
- Second NACT Proposal. Based on the data from the above-mentioned assessment, the first proposal was reviewed and a second proposal was developed. See: Hurtado Albir, Rodríguez-Inés (2022).
- Third NACT Proposal. Within the EFFORT Project, the Second NACT Proposal was reviewed by 20 trainers from the centres participating in the project (two respondents per centre) through an evaluation questionnaire. The proposal is available here.
The description refers to written translation only. The document includes the following sections:
- Characteristics of the proposal
- Descriptive categories. Competence characterization
- Description of competence levels in translation
- Glossary. Clarification of concepts and terminology
- Annexes of examples
- Annexes of participants and evaluators
There are three proposed translation levels, namely levels A, B and C. Levels A and B have sub-levels. Level C is only described in general terms.
Level descriptors are proposed around five descriptive categories which are indicative of components of translation competence: language competence, extralinguistic competence, instrumental competence, service provision competence and methodological and strategic competence.
In addition to the descriptors for each level, the proposal includes:
- A global scale including descriptors for each level.
- Three annexes of examples: text genres expected to be translated; cultural and world knowledge; documentation resources and technological resources.
- A Glossary with the definitions of the most important concepts used.
– PACTE. 2018. “Competence levels in translation: Working towards a European framework”. The Interpreter and Translator Trainer 12 (2): 11-131. Published paper | Post-print version.
– PACTE. 2019. “Establecimiento de niveles de competencias en traducción. Primeros resultados del proyecto NACT”. Onomázein 43: 1-25. Open-access published paper. Portuguese version.
– Hurtado Albir, A.; Kuznik, A. & Rodríguez-Inés, P. (2022). “Primera propuesta de descriptores de nivel. Evaluación y resultados”/ “First level descriptor proposal. Evaluation and results”. In Hurtado Albir, Amparo & Patricia Rodríguez-Inés (eds.). Hacia un marco europeo de niveles de competencias en traducción. El proyecto NACT del grupo PACTE / Towards a European framework of competence levels in translation. The PACTE group’s NACT project. MonTI Número Especial/Special Issue 7: 69-118. Open-access published paper.
– Hurtado Albir, A. & Rodríguez-Inés, P. (2022). “Segunda propuesta de descriptores de nivel” / “Second level descriptor proposal”. In Hurtado Albir, Amparo & Patricia Rodríguez-Inés (eds.). Hacia un marco europeo de niveles de competencias en traducción. El proyecto NACT del grupo PACTE / Towards a European framework of competence levels in translation. The PACTE group’s NACT project. MonTI Número Especial/Special Issue 7: 119-203. Open-access published paper.