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.
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