Contrastive analysis and error analysis

Contrastive analysis (CA) is the systematic study of a pair of languages in order to identify their structural differences and similarities, usually for translation and teaching purposes. Modern contrastive linguistics intends to show in what ways the two respective languages differ, in order to come up with some solutions to tackle practical problems. That is, two languages are compared and contrasted with the aim of assisting second-language learners by identifying the probable areas of difficulty they may encounter in learning the target language. CA has also been used as a tool in translation theory to investigate problems of equivalence (having the same meaning in two languages). Unlike the aforementioned types of comparative studies, CA deals solely with present-day languages.


Chesterman, A. ( 1998). Contrastive functional analysis. Philadelphia & Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Fallahi, M. (1991). Contrastive linguistics and analysis of errors (Vol.1): The grammatical structure of English and Persian. Tehran: Iran University Press.

Jomes. C. ( 1980). Comparative analysis. London: Longman.

Keshavarz. M. H. (2013) Error analysis: A practical course for English students and teachers. Tehran: SA.MT.

Keshavarz., M. H. (2012). Contrastive analysis and error analysis Tehran: Rahnamn Press.

Radden, G. & Dirven, R, (2007), Cognitive English grammar. Philadelphia & Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Turton, N. D. & Heaton, J. B. (1996). Longman dictionary of common errors. New Jersey: Pearson Education ESL. Ziahosseiny. M. (2010). Contrastive analysis of Persian and English and error analysis for student translation and English. Tehran: Rahnama Press.