The Concept of Equivalence in Translation Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 19 September 2016

The Concept of Equivalence in Translation

The concept of equivalence highlights the relation between the source text and the target text. Translators should aim at transmitting the message as accurately as possible, while evoking the views, attitudes and emotions in the target audience that the source text evokes. When getting ready to translate a text, the translator should set his/her hierarchy of equivalence requirements. The translator should consider a number of variables when setting up equivalence goals.

For example, it is more important to evoke similar emotions when translating a sonnet, but when translating a manual accuracy and consistency will be the top priorities. This can be done by performing a text analysis. This includes: doing research on the topic (preferably in both languages), noticing main text characteristics (like type of text, its structure, etc. ), setting up translation priorities, considering who the audience might be (how much background information they have, why they will be reading the translation), and of course, developing full understanding of the text.

A lot of these steps I already did during previous couple of weeks when we were working on this text in class. Because of it I did not have to spend a significant portion of time on text analysis. Next, basing his/her decision on the text analysis, the translator chooses a translation approach. Since the text I translated is a history lecture and the main goal of the author is to convey his ideas about a certain period in Russian history, the best approach to translating it would be communicative approach.

The target audience wants to know what the author thinks and why he thinks that way, they do not want to hear something that sounds like a translation and is, therefore, confusing in meaning (if we chose faithful approach, that’s what the result would be). Translators who use communicative approach produce texts in the target language that do not read like translations but still convey the same meaning that source text has. When choosing a communicative approach, one usually follows indirect translation techniques. For example, when translating “Факт этого влияния,” I chose to say “the fact that he had a lot of influence.

” There is a need to add the verb “had” here. This is an example of modulation and lexical expansion. Another example is “доверие к правительству. ” In the English version I chose to say “government’s credibility” – I used a technique called transposition/compression here. When it comes to revising a translation, it is helpful to read the text out loud and see if it evokes similar reaction as the source text. One should make sure that the ideas are translated in a way that they make sense and that the language sounds natural and not like a translation.

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