Dynamic and formal equivalence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Dynamic and formal equivalence are concepts from linguistics. When a language is translated into another one, there is a problem: the meaning of a word or a phrase in the first language is not the same as that of the word or phrase in the second language. The first language may also have grammatical structures that do not exist in the second language. This is a problem for translation.

There are two possible ways to solve this problem:

  1. The translator can look at what the text means. He or she can then try to find expressions in the target language that mean very similar things. With this approach, the translation will sound more natural, and may be easier to read. This is known as dynamic or functional equivalence.
  2. It is possible to make a literal translation. This will be harder to read, but it will be closer to what is written in the source text. A literal translation may mean that the text is translated word for word - Some expressions that are there in the source language may not be there in the target language. Such translations are called formal equivalence.