Research Article

Translation Methods: A Comparison Study between Semantic and Communicative Translation



Translation plays a key role in conveying the message from one Source Language (SL) to Target Language (TL). However, it does not necessarily refer to two different languages as translation is generally classified into three categories (intralingual, interlingual and intersemiotic). Among the existing translation methods, two methods are intensively being compared and debated over: semantic and communicative translation. While the former has a connection to literal and free translation, the latter has been recently and popularly recognized for its importance in the field of translation. The semantic approach tends to preserve the author’s language expression by giving utmost importance on its peculiar content and meaning. On the other hand, in the communicative approach, the translator has the freedom to remove obscurities, eliminate repetition and specify the general terms for the comprehension of the audience. Furthermore, translation is not as an easy task as it seems. Successful translation requires complicated multi-task practice that involves the application of various skills. Not to mention the impact of word concreteness and dominance on translation efficiency as well as the continuous improvement in proficiency that all bilinguals need to cope with. Although the two approaches function differently, there are some cases when the application of both methods is required. This is especially true in translating texts where both the “form” and “content” are equally important. In conclusion, the connection and the bond between culture and language cannot be underestimated as they are closely intertwined with each other. In the process of translation, where three main important players (author, translator and receiver) from various cultural backgrounds are involved, no matter how the mediator tries to translate the Source Language to Target Language (either semantically or communicatively), loss of message during the process is inevitable.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

5 (4)





How to Cite

Mohamed , E. J. (2022). Translation Methods: A Comparison Study between Semantic and Communicative Translation. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 5(4), 86–94.



Translation Methods, Semantic Translation, Communicative Translation, Source Language, Target Language