Contemporary Theories on Translation: Nida and Steiner

The translation process is defined as the operation of obtaining the closest natural equivalent primarily in terms of meaning as well as the style (attempt to convey the same meaning and the same style as the original).

Nida denotes two types of equivalency: formal equivalency, in which the formal characteristics of the source text are reproduced mechanically in the translated text, with the resulting distortion of grammatical and stylistic patterns that complicate comprehension in the reader (based around the transformation of the meaning); and dynamic equivalence, where the message is conserved and the answer for the reader of the translation is essentially the same as that of the reader of the original work (we look to acheive the same effect in the reader of the translation as in the reader of the original text).

Steiner proposes a hermeneutic process (using cultural baggage) that consists of four stages: initial trust (in the original text and as a translator), the impulse of generosity on the part of the translator based on the supposition that there is something worthy of understanding (there is a text that is worth the effort for another culture to learn about it): aggression (with the changes), handling the comprehension that implies invasion and extraction; incorporation, importing a meaning (message) and form (attempting to maintain it), which is an act that often modifies the original; and the necessary final stage of restoring balance (revision).