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Types of Non-Equivalence in the Kikamba Bible Translation

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1105721, PP. 1-21

Subject Areas: Education, Linguistics

Keywords: Translation, Non-Equivalence, Source Text, Target Text, The Bible and Kikamba Language

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This paper examines types of non-equivalences in the Kikamba Bible translation. Translation involves the rendering of a source text message into the target text so as to ensure that the surface meaning of the two is ap-proximately similar and the structures of the source language are preserved as closely as possible in the target text. However, the process is hampered by non-equivalence, which occurs when a lexical item or an expression in the source language lacks an equivalent item to translate it into the target language. A descriptive research design was used to obtain information from a sampled population. The Bible is divided into two sections; the Old and the New Testament. It is further categorized into seven groups. Purposive sampling was used to select one book from each category and one chapter from each book to form the sample for the study. Data was collected through careful study of the English Revised Standard Version Bible to identify types of non-equivalences and the Kikamba Bible to analyze how non-equivalence is handled. The study established two types of non-equivalences; non-equivalence at lexica level and above word level. The study reveals that non-equivalence is difficult to handle at lexical level mostly due to culture-specific words. Above the word level, translation is hampered by the use of figurative language in the source text. The study recommends that the translator needs a good background on the culture of the two languages and the metaphorical language use in the Bible. It is hoped that the research will be a contribution to applied linguistics in the area of translation, specifically on non-equivalence.

Cite this paper

Musyoka, E. N. and Ireri, H. K. (2019). Types of Non-Equivalence in the Kikamba Bible Translation. Open Access Library Journal, 6, e5721. doi:


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