On Similarity

Andrew Chesterman
Table of contents

It is widely agreed these days that translation equivalence, whatever it is, is better conceived of as a kind of similarity rather than as a sameness. Yet little note seems to have been taken so far of philosophical and psychological research into the concept of sameness, and how people make judgements of similarity. (True, Wittgenstein's notion of family resemblances has been taken up by several translation scholars.) A recent article on the concept of similarity (Sovran 1992) raises a number of points that seem of direct relevance to translation theory.

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