The notion of equivalence. Types of equivalents.

Equivalence – the same linguistic content between 2 lexical units into 2 languages. There are three main types of equivalents: permanent/complete/linguistic/formal, regular/ incomplete/textual/semantic, and occasional/contextual/situational.

Two words are called permanent equivalents if their meanings exactly correspond and they may reciprocally substitute each other in any context. Therefore this is a rare case. Full equivalents, which are mostly monosemantic words, can be found among antroponyms (Тяпкин-Ляпкин – Slap-Dash, Humpty-Dumpty – Шалтай-Болтай, Brown - Браун), geographic names (the Cape of Good Hope – Мыс Доброй Надежды, the English Channel –Ла-Манш), names of institutions, orga­nisations, periodicals (General Motors – Дженерал Моторс, The Red Lion – гостиница «Красный Лев»), scientific and technological terms (sodium – натрий, potassium – калий).


Dealing with permanent equivalents a translator may rely on

-transliteration (Michigan – Мичиган),

-transcription(Wall Street Journal – Уолл Стрит Джорнал),

-word for word translation (the Republican party – Республиканская партия), and

-loan translation(magnetic field – магнитное поле).

ü -Regular equivalents, polysemantic words, are of several types: a SL word may cover the meanings of several TL words (deer – олень, лань), a TL word is broader in meaning than SL word (бухта, залив, железнодорожная платформа, тупик, стойло – bay), the meanings of the corresponding words overlap (layer – слой; слой – stratum, couch, coat; layer – напластование, уровень), a SL word is a lacuna (сутки – 24 hours), a SL word is a culture-bound unit (самовар – Russian samovar).


Dealing with regular equivalents a translator may apply different kinds of semantic modifications:

-concretization (Не is a man of taste – Он человек со вкусом),

-generalization(Лечение оказалось успешным, и она полностью выздоровела – The treatment turned to be successful and she recovered completely),

-functional substitution(the relaxation of the well-earned rest – наслаждаясь заслуженным отдыхом),

-emphatization (pompous – помпезный),

-neutralization (политикан – politician),

description (кружало – kruzhalo (ring-shaped base of the cupola of the wooden church)),

-commentary (старец – starets, pl. startsi. A monk distinguished by his great piety, long experience of the spiritual life, and gift for guiding other souls. Lay folk frequently resort to startsi for spiritual council; in a monastery a new member of the community is attached to a starets, who trains and teaches him).

Occasional equivalents are words that acquire similar meanings in a context (понедельник день тяжелый – Mondays are a crapper).





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