Exploring Theories of Equivalence: A Critical Review

  • Hicham Beddari ‘‘Ibn Zohr’’ University-BP 29/S 80000 Agadir-Morocco
Keywords: Equivalence, translation, translator, translation theories, source language (SL), target language (TL)


The notion of equivalence is one of the most important issues in translation studies that scholars and translation theorists examined in the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, it has been an issue of considerable controversy owing to the multiplicity of opinions, interpretations and definitions of the concept under discussion. A plethora of theories of equivalence, hence,  came to the forefront and scholars’ work, in this regard, has been categorized into three major groups: 1) linguistically-oriented approaches to translation, 2) culturally-oriented approaches to translation, 3) a combination of the two approaches. The present paper ostensibly aims to delve into the most pivotal theories of equivalence, in a critical fashion, that have been presented by translation scholars and theorists starting from Vinay and  Darbelnet (1958) through Anthony Pym (2010), eventually. These theories cast considerable light on how the concept of equivalence has evolved over time. Despite the divergent views with regards to the concept in focus, it is still being used in translation literature up to the present time.


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