By Descriptive or Interpreting Translation

By translation loans

By Borrowings

Translation of Non-Equivalents

Non-equivalents, ways of translation


Non-equivalents are SL words which have no corresponding lexical units in the TL vocabulary.

The absence of equivalents may be explained both by extralinguistic and linguistic reasons. Accordingly, non-equivalents may be divided into two groups. The first group consists of words denoting referents unknown in the target language things, objects, notions, features of national life, customs, habits, etc. the words of this group bear a distinctly national character and are tied up with the history of the people speaking that language, the growth of its culture, its way of life and traditions. Cultural discrepancy accounts for the appearance of words which are untranslatable in the literal sense of the word. Yet there are different ways of rendering these words in translation and of overcoming the so-called barrier of untranslatability (cultural untranslatability). The words belonging to this group cover a wide range of denotata, e.g. speaker, parliament, public school, landslide, coroner, teach-in, drive-in, know-how, striptease, brain drain, backbencher, grill-room, as well as titles of politeness, etc.

The second group embraces words which for some linguistic reason have no equivalents in the target language, the so-called linguistic lacunae, e.g. privacy, involvement, glimpse, conservationist, environmentalist, oralist, readership, riser, bedder, vote-getter, statehood, etc.

It should be stressed that the term non-equivalents merely implies the absence of a word or a word-combination in the vocabulary of the target language but does not exclude the possibility of rendering non-equivalents in translation, usually by descriptive translation.

There are three ways of rendering non-equivalents in translation.

The borrowed words may be either transliterated or transcribed, e.g. ale , roastbeef , sweater (transliterated borrowings). Parliament , striptease , speaker , know-how -, establishment (transcribed borrowings). The latter principle is, as seen from the above examples, applicable to the rendering of neologisms.

House of Commons , backbencher 쳺, brain trust .

Landslide ;

a stringer (.) , ;

a conservationist (environmentalist) , .

Differences in cultural background frequently require detailed additions which are explanatory. What is familiar to the native reader may be unfamiliar to the reader of the translation. Additions in this case make up for the implicit information, contained in the text.

Her home is filled from top to toe with Victoria, classically elegant, very together.

, , .

The presidential campaign of 1976 produced the neologism oralist.

This college professor is what campaign sides describe as an oralist someone who isnt asked to hammer out position papers, but can drop by or call up with some words of advice.

; , .



  1. Antonymic translation
  2. B) Partial Translation Equivalents
  3. Basic translation theories
  4. Descriptive Translating of Idiomatic and Set Expressions
  5. Faithful and equivalent translation.
  6. Free Translation
  7. Literal translation
  8. Map of disciplines interfacing with Translation Studies
  9. Objectively and subjectively conditioned transformations of lexical units in the process of translation.
  10. Original Metaphors and Their Translation
  11. Referential Meaning and its Rendering in Translation

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Translation of pseudo-international words | Translation of words of emotive meaning

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