The Importance of Nida (1964) 's theory in translation

Gilja Byun, Wonbo Kim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This paper aims to explore why Nida (1964)'s equivalence theory, three semantic analysis techniques and the three-stage translation system are important to translators. For this purpose, Nida's theory is analyzed according to the requirements of a good translation theory suggested by Bell (1991). Nida's equivalence theory suggests that translation should be different according to text type, audience, and purpose of authors. Meanwhile, three techniques to analyze meanings help translators to find an appropriate target language word when encountering difficulty in choosing it because of language and cultural differences between two languages. What's more, the three-stage translation system applying Chomsky's generative transformation grammar contributes to translators paying attention to foreign language competence, translation shifts and native language expressions. In such theories, Nida introduced the translation focusing on receptors, the meaning difference according to context and culture, and a systematic approach to translation by applying multiple disciplines including linguistics. This paper concludes that Nida's theory satisfies the requirements of a good theory both on the theoretical and practical level.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)107-126
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of linguistic studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Equivalence theory
    • Three semantic analysis techniques
    • Three-stage translation system
    • Generative transformation grammar


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