What happened to
equivalence?
Anthony Pym
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Universitat Rovira i Virgili
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Basic equivalence?
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1 yard = 0.9144 meters
1 RMB = 0.11830 euros
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Basic equivalence?
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Basic equivalence 2
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Natural equivalence vs.
Directional equivalence
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Types of directional equivalence
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Formal vs. Dynamic (Nida)
Semantic vs. Communicative (Newmark)
Anti-illusory vs. Illusory (Levy)
Overt vs. Covert (House)
Adequate vs. Acceptable (Toury)
Documental vs. Instrumental (Nord)
Resistant vs. Transparent (Venuti)
Ut interpres vs. Ut orator (Cicero)
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A necessarily binary theory?
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Yes, because theories of equivalence always
oppose function to form.
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A non-binary theory?
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Werner Koller (1979): Five frames for these
equivalence relations:
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denotative (based on extra-linguistic factors),
connotative (based on way the source text is
verbalized)
text-normative (textual and linguistic norms),
pragmatic (with respect to the receiver of the
target text)
formal (the formal-aesthetic qualities of the source
text).
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Equivalence defines translation?
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We know we have translation when:
There are problems with footing:
 “Mum says…”
 The “alien I”
There are pseudotranslations
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Another non-binary theory
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Otto Kade (1968):
 One-to-one equivalence
 One-to-many equivalence
 One-to-none equivalence
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A historical theory?
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Equivalence presupposes languages with
equal capacity to perform functions.
Medieval theory does not presuppose
equivalence.
Nor does postmodern theory?
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Please translate…
Welcome to Dragon NaturallySpeaking,
Canada’s most acclaimed large-vocabulary
continuous-speech dictation system. With
Dragon NaturallySpeaking you can compose
e-mail messages, create reports, draft letters,
edit proposals, create reports, and more, all
by speaking to your computer instead of
typing.
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What is translation?