Publication details [#8011]

Emery, Peter G. 2004. Translation, equivalence and fidelity: a pragmatic approach. Babel 50 (2) : 143–167.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
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Source language
Target language
Journal DOI


Translation and equivalence are defined in terms of text-author’s pragmatic meaning (intention). Translation is a complex construct comprising both process (translating) and product (equivalent). The translation process is characterized as a double negotiation, consisting of two phases: 1. interpretation of a source text’s pragmatic meaning and 2. rendering this into a target text in line with target-language expectancy norms. As an intertextual negotiator, the translator should be highly sensitive to both sourcelanguage and target-language conversational and conventional implicatures. The operation of both types of implicatures is illustrated through examples from Arabic/English translation praxis. Finally, a distinction is made between the descriptive and evaluative senses of equivalence, the latter being seen as synonymous with fidelity, which is defined in translation in terms of pragmatic success or failure (infidelity).
Source : Abstract in journal