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What is translational equivalence?

 

Definition
 

Translational equivalence is the similarity between a word (or expression) in one language and its translation in another. This similarity results from overlapping ranges of reference.

 

A translation equivalent is a corresponding word or expression in another language.

Examples : Alamblak (Papua New Guinea), English
 

Here is an example of translational equivalence between Alamblak (Papua New Guinea) and English:

 

An English speaker might analyze the Alamblak word y&u0268;hop with two meanings:

  y&u0268;hop
  1. yesterday
  2. tomorrow
 

The two English words are simple translational equivalents.

 

However, there is another word in Alamblak that can be analyzed as follows:

  yuanane
  1. day before yesterday
  2. day after tomorrow
 

These Alamblak words do not have two senses even though they each have two simple translational equivalents. A single, explanatory analytic definition followed by translational equivalents is the preferable analysis:

  y&u0268;hop
  1. one day removed from the present; yesterday, tomorrow
  yuanane
  1. two days removed from the present; day before yesterday, day after tomorrow
Source
 

Bruce, L. 1995 26–27


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