Interpretation quality is a key concept in interpreting studies. Since the earliest studies, quality has been approached from different perspectives, although there is not yet a universal consensus on what it is, what criteria should be used to define it, and how these criteria can be objectively evaluated. It is therefore difficult to arrive at a single, comprehensive definition of the concept of “quality” in the field of interpreting (Shlesinger 1997: 122), and many authors have referred to it as a slippery concept (e.g., Ackermann et al. 1997; Shlesinger 1997). Contributing to the difficulty of defining quality is the fact that one must take into account a number of very disparate aspects involving various actors – interpreters, clients, users and speakers – each of whom has quite a different vision and perception of quality (Garzone 2003: 23) Nevertheless, we can consider research on interpretation quality to be one of the most

fruitful and cohesive areas of inquiry if we take into account the large number of empirical studies carried out since the 1980s on this topic (Bühler 1986; Kurz 1989, 1993; Gile 1990; among others) and the continuity and respect for the work that they exhibit. As a result, this research is a model of scientific construction (Gile 2000: 305), and it has opened up a variety of avenues that reveal the multifaceted, complex and dynamic nature of interpretation quality. In this chapter we will attempt to present the different perspectives that have emerged. In the first

part we will introduce the concept and definition of quality, as well as the characteristics that distinguish it from related concepts. Then we will describe the basic parameters that define the quality of an interpretation. In the following two sections, we will trace the history of quality studies to the present date, with reference to the most significant scientific achievements. Finally, we will identify the most important conclusions that can be drawn from this historical analysis.