The aim of this work is to introduce the notion of equivalence in translation. The work will deal with the term equivalence in general it will also shortly describe various problems which can arise when finding proper equivalent in translation. And then the views of two linguists will be introduced. Linguists Eugene Nida, Charles R. Taber and Mona Baker. The work will look closer on their approaches and it will try to describe their views on equivalence.
2 What is equivalence in translation
Equivalence is considered as one of the main problems translator has to deal with. It can be said that equivalence is some kind of relationship of similarity between two units. In our case it is the relationship between the units of source text (ST) and the units of target text (TT). When translating from one language to another there are always words or phrases that can cause big problems. Translator has to choose the best equivalent from the target language (TL) to name the unit of the source language (SL). But it is not that easy to find appropriate equivalent to the word or phrase which is translated and sometimes it is impossible. There are various reasons why it is so, for example when in the TL there is no equivalent for a word in SL. Another case is when the word and it's meaning is unknown in the culture of TL. In such cases it is very difficult to find proper equivalent and translator has to be very careful and also inventive. It is therefore obvious that the notion of equivalence is quite complex and it has been the cause for debate for a very long time. Various linguists decribe equivalence in their works but their opinions differ in many ways and there is still no unified view.
2.1 Equivalence according to Eugene Nida and Charles R. Taber
Nida and Taber see translating as an effort to reproduce the message from SL to the TL. The primal effort of translator must be to reproduce the message and doing anything else is false. Translator should also try to achieve the results which will lead to equivalent translation and not identical, not to preserve form but to reproduce a message. When translator does his work, the results should not sound like a translation but they should sound natural in a TL. Translator should reach for the closest natural equivalent in TL, for example in cases when outdated texts are translated, words which are used in contemporary situation in TL shold be used as equivalents. For translator, meaning shoul be primary, because it is the content of the text and its meaning that translator wants to reproduce. Therefore translator do not have to strictly copy the form of the ST to convey the message. The style is also very important. For example poetry should not be translated as a prose and vice versa. Nida and Taber divide equivalence into
a) Formal correspondence
b) Dynamic equivalence
Formal correspondence is said to consists of a TL unit representing the equivalent of SL word or phrase in the closest possible way. Nida and Taber say that there are not always formal equivalents between SL and TL units. And if translator wants to achieve formal rather than dynamic equivalence he should use formal equivalents when it is possible. But of course then can arise a problem that the transtated text won't be understandable. Nida and Tauber claim that formal correspondence can deform grammatical and syntactic structures of TL and therefore it can change the whole message of the text so the recipient might not understand the message properly.
Dynamic Equivalence is seen as a notion in which translator tries to convey the meaning of the ST in a way that the version of TL will have the same effect on TT recipient as it had on the ST recipient. In case of dynamic equivalence it often happens that the form of ST is changed but the meaning and the message is sustained.
Nida and Tauber also claim that translator should make a set of priorities which which...