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INTRODUCTION

In the last decades, the concept of equivalence has been largely debated in the
field of translation studies. Equivalence can be briefly defined as the relation that holds
between a source language text and a target language text. The concept is one of the most
widely spread, being considered by some theorists as the nucleus of all translation theory
and by others as too general and abstract. Thus, equivalence has often been regarded as a
relative concept in several respects: on the one hand, it is determined by the historicalcultural conditions under which texts are produced and received in the target culture; on
the other by a range of factors and conditions such as: different cultures, different
languages, the translators own understanding of the work, the translation tradition in a
cultural community, etc.
From a text-linguistic perspective, the word is no longer sufficient as a unit of
translation and supporters of the textual approach claim that texts are the ones that ensure
an adequate transfer in communication, yielding not simply one definite meaning, but
rather an array of possible meanings. Thus, equivalence could be regarded in terms of the
translation being a valid representative of the original in the communicative situation in
question. In the scholar's view, from a textual perspective the text is the relevant unit of
translation and the process of translating should be studied not only in terms of the
similarities and differences between a source and a target text, but also as a process of
interaction between author, translator and recipient of the translation.
My paper is intended to highlight the issue of equivalence, and in particular,
textual equivalence, as a topic of serious research in translation studies. In the first
chapter, I shall make a general presentation of the concept of equivalence by showing
different views on this notion and some classifications made by a number of theorists. As
equivalence has always been seen as a controversial subject, I shall follow this line and I
shall describe the two opposed positions adopted by the theorists in its respect.
The second chapter will first deal with the definition of textual equivalence and
some of its particular aspects; then a number of key factors involved in the production of

equivalent texts will be described. The approach will be a top-down one, that is, I shall
examine the textual features first and then I shall pass to the level of sentences, phrases
and words, describing their role in achieving textual equivalence. Also, a series of
examples will be presented in order to illustrate how these factors work together.
The third chapter of my paper is dedicated to the analysis of tourist brochures and
the specific strategies the translator should adopt when translating them in order to reach
textual equivalence. Having in view that tourist texts are culture-bound, meaning that a
foreign culture must be presented to the target readers, the translator has to be very
careful when choosing his/her translation strategies. I shall focus mainly on those
situations in which culture-specific words occur in the source texts and I shall try to
provide my own examples in order to illustrate these strategies, all followed by a short
explanation of the method used. It is true that the number of strategies suggested by the
theorists is larger than the one presented here, but I shall focus only on four translation
methods which I consider to be the most significant in this respect.
In order to support the theoretical background and to observe the way in which
textual equivalence is dealt with, I have chosen two tourist texts, one published on a
bilingual website promoting the Romanian tourist attractions and the other one, in a
bilingual brochure distributed mostly abroad. The two texts have already been translated
and I shall analyse the way in which the two translators tried to produce equivalent texts.
The focus will be mainly on a number of inaccuracies that prevent these translations
(especially the second one) from successfully fulfilling the conditions of textual
equivalence stipulated by theorists. To all these inaccuracies I will try to provide my own
answers and solutions.
Last but not least, one of my main concerns in choosing to deal with this topic is
to draw attention to and improve a state of things: through the sound theoretical
framework I make use of as well as through my own critical analyses of tourist texts I
hope this aim will also be accomplished.