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The Translation Equivalence Delusion

Meaning and Translation

Tomasz P. Krzeszowski

Almost everything that one claims about meaning is likely to be questioned or disputed. Translation studies also abound in numerous controversies. However, there is no doubt that translations entail a transfer of meaning, even if the exact sense of the word "meaning" remains vague. The same applies to the term "translation equivalence". This book is an attempt to cope with conceptual, terminological, theoretical, and practical difficulties resulting from this nebula of issues. Numerous examples of translated legal, religious and artistic texts are provided to substantiate the claim that translation equivalence, except in the most trivial sense of the term, is indeed a delusion. The book is addressed to all those persons who are interested in mutual relations between semantics and translation studies.

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References to Part 1


Aglioti, S. – Beltramell, A. – Girardi, F. – Fabbro, F. (1996): “Neurolinguistics and follow up study of unusual pattern of recovery from bilingual subcortical paphasia”, Brain 119: 1551–1564.

Ajdukiewicz, Kazimierz (1948): ”Epistemologia i semiotyka”, Przegląd Filozoficzny XLIV z. 4 336–347. [1985 reprinted in: Język i Poznanie. Tom II. Wybór Pism z lat 1945–1963. Warszawa: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.]

Austin, John L. (1962): How to do things with words. Oxford – London – New York: Oxford University Press.

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