Department/School of the Primary Author

English, Literature, and Modern Languages


German, Reiss, translation, equivalence




The current research investigates the topic of equivalence in translation considering differing genre types as defined by Katherine Reiss and R. W. Jumpelt. The literature review first addresses the imperfect nature of translation in practice, then offers a working definition of equivalence for the purpose of the study. The remainder of the literature review considers factors which must be considered when attempting to achieve an equivalent result in actual translation practice, moving from higher level decisions which dictate the translation assignment as a whole down to more moment by moment decisions in structure and word choice. A series of six short translations from German to English was subsequently conducted in the genres of business texts and linguistic research to test the validity of the points addressed in the literature review, with review from Cedarville University German faculty as well as naïve readers employed to test how natural the translated texts sounded and check for loss. A modified version of Julianne House’s TQA model was also used to check for changes and loss which occurred in the translation process. While the information in the texts was successfully transferred from the source text to the target text and the majority of the readers did not suspect the texts to be translations, there were errors detected which some readers identified as signs that the text was not written originally by a native English speaker, though not necessarily that the text was a translation. The discussion addresses some of these errors in detail as related to the genre types and the elements discussed in the literature review.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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© 2020 Jordan D. Beal. All rights reserved



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