Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol 3, No 1 (2013), 1-6, Jan 2013

Equivalence in Translation Theories: A Critical Evaluation

Despoina Panou


The concept of equivalence can be said to hold a central position in translation studies. Nevertheless, it has been a rather controversial one, causing many heated debates among translators as to its nature, definition and applicability. The aim of the present paper is to provide a critical evaluation of the most influential equivalence theories that have been proposed by scholars in the field, such as Vinay and Darbelnet (1958), Jakobson (1959), Nida and Taber (1969), Catford (1965), House (1997), Koller (1979), Newmark (1981), Baker (1992), and finally, Pym (2010). These theories are presented  so as to provide a better understanding of how the concept evolved. It is concluded that the usefulness or not of the concept of equivalence to the translation process varies according to the stance of the translators concerned on what they regard are the virtues of equivalence itself.


equivalence; translation theories; source-language; target-language



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