Danchev (1983) pointed out that if students are going to use translation anyway, it would be best to acknowledge the fact and bring it out in the open where it can be observed, channelled and controlled.
In ideal world, translation should be done by properly qualified translators who could produce high quality translations (Holz-Mänttäri, 1986). However, such is not the case in real life, as translation is often done by those without formal training (Stibbard, 1998).
Baker (1993) enumerates the five types of equivalence necessary in translation, namely: word-level equivalence, equivalence above word level, grammatical equivalence, textual equivalence, and pragmatic equivalence. Each needs to be carefully considered to avoid the danger of having students think that "structurally and lexically similar sentences in two languages mean the same" (Allen and Widdowson, 1975, p. 91).
Stibbard (1998) added that cultural connotations are often lost in translation. However, he encourages the inclusion of translation practice in the language classroom because "there is no better way of coming to understand a text than to try to translate it" (p. 74).
Duff (1989) and Lefevere (1992) states the need to translate for a clearly envisaged audience.
Allen, J. P. B., & Widdowson, H. G. (1975). Grammar and language teaching. in J. P. B. Allen and S. P. Corder (eds.). Papers in applied linguistics: The Edinburgh course in applied linguistics vol. 2. London: Oxford University Press.
Baker, C. (1993). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism. Clevedon and Philadelphia: Multilingual Matters.
Danchev, A. (1983). The controversy over translation in foreign language teaching. In Translation in foreign language teaching round table. Paris: FIT-UNESCO.
Duff, A. (1989). Translation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lefevere, A. (ed) (1992). Translation/History/Culture: A sourcebook. London and New York: Routledge.
Stibbard, R. (1998). The principled use of oral translation in foreign language teaching. In K.Malmkjær (Ed.). Translation and language teaching: Language teaching and translation (pp. 70-76). Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.