A translation is usually evaluated according to the errors encountered in a translation.


‘Interference includes cases when sentence length, punctuation, proper names, neologisms, or cultural words are evidently transferred in the translation’.

Interference will always make the text to sound non-naturally and awkward in the target languages. [1]


 Translationese is translations’ tendency to be influenced by the form of the source text.

Newmark considers that translationese derives from interference, as ‘it is a phenomenon that occurs where a literal translation of a stretch of the source language text plainly falsifies its meaning or violates usage for no apparent reason.

 However, the translationese should not be confused with interference which is sometimes considered an error. Translationese is an error due to ignorance or carelessness which is common when the target language is not the translator’s language of habitual use, but it is equally common even when some inexperienced translator translates into his own mother tongue’.[2]  


Overtranslation represents the mistake done by a translator when he ‘says’ more than the necessary in order to render the source meaning of some phrase or sentence. Overtranslation is when the translator elaborates long renditions of some ideas when the same thing can be expressed is shorter forms and with less words, but also when using explicitation, which occurs especially in expository texts.


‘Undertranslation is the opposite type of error, where the translator gives less detail and is more general than the original. Only when undertranslation leads to distortion of the <illocutory> force of a text, can we speak about a real impairment effect of translation, therefore, of an infelicitous performance on the part of the translator’.

          Error of meaning

Errors of the meaning are one of the most serious errors especially in a specialized text which can lead to confusion.

e.g.            Tout intervention autre que le nettoyage et l’entretien usual par le client…-

                  Toate intervenţiile altele decât  curaţarea şi întreţinerea de zi cu zi a clientului instead of  Orice alta interventie in afara de curatarea si intretinerea zilnica realizata de client.

  • Errors of language

The errors of language are a result of the insufficient knowledge of the target language which can compromise the understandability of the text and affects the cohesion of the text.

False friends are frequent wrongly translated. For instance sensibility in Romanian is often translated with sensibilitate and comprehensive with comprehensiv and so on.

And it is not the case only with the false friends but with the polysemantic words. For example in the film Mrs. Arris Goes to Paris at a fashion show, one of the characters says here comes the countess with her party, where the word party  was translated partid, instead of prieteni, in that case.


  • Errors of style

Errors of style are errors of writing in the target language, a wrong choose of the register.

He grabbed the knife can be translated Apucă cuțitul or  Înhăță cuțitul

To diddle  – a păcăli is more stressed and has a more stylistical value if it is translated a trage pe sfoară.

However, the translation has to maintain the same register from the beginning to the end ensuring the coherence of the text.

The translation of the Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin by Al Petrea for Imprimeria Bacovia, Bacău, in 1992, is indicative for a bad translation.

‘It is a truth universally acknowledge that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering of the neighborhood, this truth is well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.’

‘Se știe că un holtei tânăr și bogat este vânat întotdeauna de tinerele domnișoare dornice să devină soții devotate.

De aceea nu contează prea mult dacă are sau nu chef de însurătoare pentru că oricum va fi ținta tuturor familiilor cu fete de măritat din împrejurimi.’

Here, the undertranslation shortens considerably the length of the text make it look so poor in expression and the colloquial style does not fit the stylistic register intended by the author, failing also to render the subtle irony that accompanies the entire book. On the other hand, he adds words that are not in the original text which cannot be considered an explicitness since the text does not imply that idea: dornice să devină soții devotate.   

[1] IONESCU, D., (2000), Translation Theory and Practice, Editura Universal Dalsi, București

[2] IONESCU, D., (2000), Translation Theory and Practice, Editura Universal Dalsi, București