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citation SPA Equivalencia



source  origins

In the 1540s, from French équivalence, from Medieval Latin aequivalentia, aequalis ('same') and valor ('value'). Related: Equivalency (1530s).


 summary  abstract

Equivalence is the core notion of any consideration of translation. It is the relationship between any target text and the source text it derives from, which accounts for both texts being purportedly "the same" in different languages. It has also been and still is one of the most challenging and controversial issues among scholars.  Whereas most include the concept in their models, some consider it useless or reject it, denying equivalence any status in Translation Studies.

This paper starts by stating that there is no translation theory without some notion of equivalence to encode the dependency of the target text on its source text and recipient context. It presents a critical review of the most influential approaches that have helped to model the concept: stylistique comparée, early linguistic and Äquivalenz approaches, text-linguistic advances, and various functional models paved the way for the empirical grounding of the discipline with Descriptive Translation Studies, translation process research and cognitive translation studies. The article also briefly outlines the connections between various conceptions. Today, the more traditional equivalence concepts are challenged by new textual modes, translation technology, and hybrid translation practices. Pre-editing and post-editing practices, crowdsourced translation and translaboration, contribute new perspectives on how equivalence is understood. Current work from different perspectives suggests that empirical research using human-informed, richly annotated corpora and cognitive findings is the way to better characterize the concept of equivalence and, in doing so, account for these new realities.


data sheet   record

author Rosa Rabadán Álvarez
publication date 2022
reference (how to cite) Rabadán Álvarez, Rosa. 2022. "Equivalence" @ ENTI (Encyclopedia of translation & interpreting). AIETI.
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