* Translation Equivalence (TE) and Different Theories
paradigmatic expressive axis, i.e. elements of grammar, which Popovic sees
as being a higher category than lexical equivalence.
3- Stylistic (translational) equivalence, where there is functional
equivalence of elements in both original and translation aiming at an
expressive identity with an invariant of identical meaning.
4- Textual (syntagmatic) equivalence, where there is equivalence of
syntagmatic structuring of a text, i.e. equivalence of form and shape.
Interlingual and Intertextual Equivalence
In earlier work on equivalence, theorists made a distinction between
hypothetical mapping between elements of abstract language systems (at level of
langue) on the one hand, and actual observable mappings between elements of
real ST and TT (at the level of parole) on the other. Catford (1965, p.27) used
the term formal correspondence and textual equivalence respectively to refer to
the two categories. Koller (1979, p.183-184) made a similar distinction when he
differentiated between korrespondez, formal similarity between language
systems, and Aquivalenz, equivalence relations between real texts and
Koller then went on to present Aquivalenz as the real object of enquiry in
translation studies. Similarly, Toury (1980, p.24-6) charts the evolution of the
notion of translatability from interlingual phenomenon to an intertextual one.
While relationships established at the level of langue are now largely seen as the
concern of comparative linguistics, formal correspondence continues to have
pride of place in machine translation, where linguistic – knowledge – based
systems using direct or transfer architecture often rely on mapping between the
formal structures of two language.
Indeed Catford’s translation shifts bear real similarities to notions of complex
transfer in machine translation (Hutchins and Somers 1992; Arnold et al. 1994).
Thus Koller (1979) and Pym (1995, p.157-8) believed that the general view
in translation studies soon came to be that equivalence was a relation between
texts in two different languages, rather than between the languages themselves.
They also mention that this step liberated translation studies from debates on
interlingual translatability based on entire language systems with their entire all
their unactualized meaning potential. Such debates had centered on in
compatibilities between the worlds inhabited by speakers of different languages
and on the structural dissimilarities between languages (Dorothy, 1998).
Dorothy also believes that once attention was focused on texts and utterances,
many of the potential multiple meanings and functions of words and structures
in a language system could be eliminated by reference to their context and co
text, making translation not only more tractable, but also more realistic. In the
next section we investigate equivalence from empirical and theoretical concept
that plays important role in this article.
Equivalence as an Empirical and a Theoretical Concept
The narrowing down of the scope of the term equivalence to an intertextual
relation still left plenty of room for competing notions of the concept. Toury
(1980 p. 39) identified two main used of the term: first, equivalence could be ‘a
descriptive term, denoting concrete objects – actual relationships between actual
utterances in two languages (and literatures), recognized as TT and ST – which
are subject to direct observation’. This definition regards equivalence as an
empirical category which could be established only after the event of translation.
Toury contrasted this approach with equivalence as ‘a theoretical term, denoting
an abstract, ideal relationship, or category of relationships between TT and ST,
translations and their sources’. This dichotomy can be problematic, however.
For one, it may not be psychologically plausible. From the translator’s point of
view, it is not clear whether a real distinction can be made between what one
intends to write, and what one actually writes.
Furthermore, equivalence as a theoretical term, a prospective and often
descriptive notion, is responsible for acquiring a bad name for equivalence in
some quarters in translation studies (Dorothy 1998). Gentzler (1993 p.4), for
example, contends that standards of translation analysis that rely on equivalence
or non – equivalence and other associated judgmental criteria ‘imply notions of
substantialism that limit other possibilities of translation practice, marginalize
unorthodox translation, and impinge upon real intercultural exchange’. Newman
(1994, p. 4694), on the other hand, describes translation equivalence as ‘a
commonsense term for describing the ideal relationship that a reader would
expect to exist between an original and its translation’. Newman’s equivalence is
clearly prospective and ideal, although empirical approaches also feature in the
analysis. Pym also speaks about equivalence as a fact of reception and about the
socially determined ‘expectation’ that TT should stand in some kind of
equivalence relation to their ST.
Hutchins and Somers (1992, p.317-22) believe that while Catford view of
textual equivalence may say very little about the nature of equivalence, the
approach has found application in areas such as example and statistics based
machine translation and, more recently, in translation memory system, where
previously translated ST and their TT are stored with a view to recycling old
translations, should the system recognize new input for which it already has an
equivalent target rendering.
Equivalence as an empirical phenomenon has seen perhaps its most powerful
manifestation to date Toury’s (1980, 1995) work. Where as other theorists might
ask whether two text are equivalence according to some predefined, prescriptive
criterion of equivalence, Toury treats the existence of equivalence between TT
and ST a given. This equivalence postulate them allows him to state that ‘the
question to be asked in the actual study of translations (especially in the
comparative analysis of TT and ST) is not whether the two texts are equivalence
(from a certain aspect), but what type and degree of translation equivalence they
reveal’. Toury’s approach and subsequently koller’s (1995, p.196), makes
appeal to historical, relative notion of equivalence.
Non – Equivalence at Word Level
Non – equivalence at word level means that the target language has no direct
equivalence for a word that occurs in the source text. There are many factors to
cause the problems of non – equivalence. Baker (1992) categories some of the
problems of non equivalence at word level which is presented in the following:
1. Culture – specific concepts
2. The source language concept is not lexicalized in the target language
3. The source language word is semantically complex
4. The source and target language make different distinctions in meaning
5. The target language lacks a superordinate term
6. The target language lacks a specific term (hyponym)
7. Differences in physical or interpersonal perspective
8. Differences in expressive meaning
9. Differences in from
10. Differences in frequency and purpose of using specific forms
11. The use of loan words in the source text
12. Differences in propositional meaning
Due to importance of this section, researcher will explain some of the problems
which are presented in table by Baker. According to her cultural – specific
concepts are those SL words may express a concept that is totally unknown in