ТОП 10:

Lecture 1 LANGUAGE AS A MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. LANGUAGE SYSTEM AND WORLD



TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Lecture 1. LANGUAGE AS A MEANS OF COMMUNICATION.

LANGUAGE SYSTEM AND WORLD………………………………………..5

 

Lecture 2. TRANSLATION THEORY………………..………………………………...10

 

Lecture 3. LEXICAL PROBLEMS OF TRANSLATION……………………………...28

 

Lecture 4. GRAMMATICAL PROBLEMS OF TRANSLATION……………………..53

 

Lecture 5. STYLISTIC PROBLEMS OF TRANSLATION…………………………....65

ВСТУП

Курс теорії перекладу має на меті підготовку спеціалістів, що володіють знаннями, вміннями й навичками професійного перекладу з англійської мови на рідну і з рідної мови на англійську в обсязі, який є необхідним для виконання завдань вивчення основних теоретичних положень сучасного перекладознавства як системи уявлень про міжмовну й міжкультурну комунікацію; отримання уявлення про сучасний стан науки про переклад в Україні і за кордоном; професійної орієнтації в термінологічному апараті перекладознавчого характеру; засвоєння основних закономірностей процесу перекладу і типу перекладацьких відповідностей на основі гносеології і теорії комунікації; вміння застосовувати сучасну методологію досліджень до розв’язання конкретної перекладознавчої проблеми; систематизації накопиченого фактичного матеріалу згідно з обраними критеріями відбору на основі сучасних теоретичних положень.

Курс теорії перекладу входить до складу фахових дисциплін з іноземної філології і пов’язаний з курсами основ мовознавства, основ теорії мовної комунікації, лінгвокраїнознавства, історії, граматики, лексикології, стилістики іноземної мови, студентською науково-навчальною роботою та практикою наукових досліджень.

Види занять з дисципліни:Курс теорії перекладу складається з лекційних годин та самостійної роботи.

В результаті вивчення диципліни студент повинен

знати: сучасний стан науки про переклад в Україні і за кордоном; теоретичні положення перекладознавчтва як бази для практичних вмінь і - навичок перекладу;

вміти: виконувати адекватний переклад повідомлень і текстів різних стилів і жанрів; проводити підбір фактичного мовного матеріалу за обраною темою наукового дослідження; здійснювати теоретичну інтерпретацію та глибокий перекладознавчий аналіз за темою дослідження.

 

Names of Paradigms Used Elements Activated in the Sentence

To form the Sentence English Ukrainian

 

Personal Pronouns Paradigm he він

Verb Paradigm used, come приїздив

Verb Tense Paradigm Past Indef. минулий час

Particles Paradigm to none

Prepositions Paradigm to до

Noun Paradigm Italy, spring Італія, весна

Adjectives Paradigm each кожний

Adverbs Paradigm none зазвичай

Noun Cases Paradigm Common Case род. відм.

Adjective Cases Paradigm none род. відм.

 

Comparing the paradigm sets used to form the above English and Ukrainian sentences and paradigm elements activated in the syntagmas of these sentences one may easily note that both the sets used and the set elements activated are often different.

They are different because English and Ukrainian possess different language systems. It goes without saying, that this fact is very important for translation and explains many translation problems.

Any language has a particular multi-level organization: its elements are organized in sets (paradigms) at various levels and a language speaker is using the elements of these sets to generate a message intended for communication with other speakers of this language and entirely incomprehensible for those who have no command of this language. So a language is a code understood only by its users. Then, may be, translation is a process of decoding a message in one code and encoding it in another which is understood by another group of users using a different code.

 

Translation definition

 

Translation means both a process and a result. In order to explain translation we need to compare the original (source) text and the resulting (target) one.

The formation of the source and target texts is governed by the rules characteristic of the source and target languages. Hence the systems of the two languages are included in our sphere of interest. These systems consist of grammar units and rules, morphological and word-building elements and rules, stylistic variations, and lexical distribution patterns (lexico-semantic paradigms). Language itself is a formal model of thinking, i.e. of mental concepts we use when thinking.

In translation we deal with two languages (two codes) and to verify the information they give us about the extralinguistic objects (and concepts) we should consider extralinguistic situation, and background information.

As an object of linguistic study translation is a complex entity consisting of the following interrelated components:

a) elements and structures of the source text;

b) elements and structures of the target language;

c) transformation rules to transform the elements and structures of the source text into those of the target text;

d) systems of the languages involved in translation;

e) conceptual content and organization of the source text;

f) conceptual content and organization of the target text;

g) interrelation of the conceptual contents of the source and target texts.

 

In short, translation is functional interaction of languages and to study this process we should study both the interacting elements and the rules of interaction.

Among interacting elements we must distinguish between the observable and those deducible from the observables. The observable elements in translation are parts of words, words, and word combinations of the source text.

However, translation process involves parts of words, words, and word combinations of the target language (not of the target text, because when we start translating or, to be more exact, when we begin to build a model of future translation, the target text is yet to be generated). These translation components are deducible from observable elements of the source text.

In other words, one may draw the following conclusion:

During translation one intuitively fulfills the following operations:

a. deduces the target language elements and rules of equivalent selection and substitution on the basis of observed source text elements;

b. builds a model consisting of the target language elements selected for substitution;

c. verifies the model of the target text against context, situation and background information;

d. generates the target text on the basis of the verified model.

 

Thus, the process of translation may be represented as consisting of three stages:

1) analysis of the source text, situation and background information,

2) synthesis of the translation model, and

3) verification of the model against the source and target context (semantic, grammatical, stylistic), situation, and background information resulting in the generation of the final target text.

Let us illustrate this process using a simple assumption that you receive for translation one sentence at a time (by the way this assumption is a reality of consecutive translation).

For example, if you received:

At the first stage the chips are put on the conveyer” as the source sentence. Unless you observe or know the situation your model of the target text will be: “На першому етапі стружку (щебінку) (смажену картоплю) (нарізану сиру картоплю) (чіпси) кладуть на конвеєр”.

Having verified this model against the context provided in the next sentence (verification against semantic context):

Then they are transferred to the frying oven”you will obtain: “На першому етапі нарізану сиру картоплю кладуть на конвеєр”.

It looks easy and self-evident, but it is important, indeed, for understanding the way translation is done. In the case we have just discussed the translation model is verified against the relevance of the concepts corresponding to the word chips in all its meanings to the concept of the word frying (Is it usually fried? Or Is it worth frying?).

Verification against semantic and grammatical context is performed either simultaneously (if the grammatical and semantic references are available within a syntagma) or the verification against semantic context is delayed until the availability of a relevant semantic reference which may be available in one of the following rather than in one and the same sentence. Cases when the grammatical, semantic or situational references are delayed or missing present serious problems for translation.

The examples of specifying contexts are given in Table below.

 

Long stick –longrun grammatical and semantic context in one syntagma
The results are shown in the table –Put this book on the table grammatical and semantic context in one sentence
The tanks were positioned in specially built shelters and the tank operating proved successful. The enemy could not detect them from the air. Semantic context in different sentences

 

With these examples we want to stress a very important fact for translation: the co-occurring words of the words situated close to each other in a source text have invisible pointers indicating various kinds of grammatical, semantic and stylistic information. This information is stored in human memory, and the principal task of a translator is to visualize all of this information.

In the examples with chips we used so called deduction modeling, that is, we built our translation on the basis of our knowledge about the languages involved in translation and the knowledge of “the way things are in life” (e.g. that it is hardly reasonable to fry fried potatoes or fragmented stones). We intuitively formulated hypotheses about translation of certain words and phrases and then verified them.

So, speaking very generally, when we translate the first thing we do is analyzing the source text trying to extract from it all available information necessary for generating the target text (build the intermediate model of the target text), then verify this information against situation and background knowledge and generate the target text.

For example, let the source text be:

Europe’s leaders trust that these criticisms will pale into insignificance when the full import of expansion begins to grip the public mind.

Then, omitting the grammatical context which seems evident (though, of course, we have already analyzed it intuitively) we may suggest the following intermediate model of the target text that takes into account only semantic ambiguities:

Європейські лідери/лідери європейської інтеграції/ вважають/вірять/, що ця критика вщухне/поступово зійде нанівець/, коли важливість поширення (Євросоюзу) почне завойовувати громадську думку/ коли суспільство почне краще усвідомлювати важливість розширення Євросоюзу/.

On the basis of this model we may already suggest a final target text alternative:

Лідери європейської інтеграції вважають, що ця критика поступово зійде нанівець, коли суспільство почне краще усвідомлювати важливість розширення Євросоюзу. [It goes without saying that this target text alternative is not the only one – many other alternatives are possible].

It is important to bear in mind that in human translation (unlike automatic) the intermediate representation of the target text will comprise on the conscious level only the most problematic variations of translation which one cannot resolve immediately.

We seldom notice this mental work of ours but always do it when translating. However, the way we do it is very much dependent on general approach, i.e., on translation theories which are our next subject.

 

Basic translation theories

 

Here we shall discuss the most common theoretical approaches to human translation paying special attention to their limitations and ability to explain the translation process.

Roughly, the human translation theories may be divided into three main groups which quite conventionally may be called transformational approach, denotative approach, and communicational approach.

 

2.1. transformational approach

The transformational theories consist of many varieties which may have different names but they all have one common feature: the process of translation is regarded as transformation.

According to the transformationalapproach translation is viewed as the transformation of objects and structures of the source language into those of the target.

Within the group of theories which we include in the transformationalapproach a dividing line is sometimes drawn between transformations and equivalences.

According to this interpretation a transformation starts at the syntactic level when there is a change, i.e. when we alter, say, the word order during translation. Substitutions at other levels are regarded as equivalences, for instance, when we substitute words of the target language for those of the source, this is considered as equivalence.

In the transformationalapproach we shall distinguish three levels of substitutions: morphologicalequivalences, lexicalequivalences, and syntacticequivalences and/or transformations.

In the process of translation:

· at the morphological level morphemes (both word-building and word-changing) of the source language are substituted for those of the target;

· at lexical level words and word combinations of the source language are substituted for those of the target;

· at the syntactic level syntactic structures of the source language are substituted for those of the target.

For example, in the process of translation, the English word room is transformed into Ukrainian words кімната or простір.

The syntactic transformations in translation comprise a broad range of structural changes in the target text, starting from the reversal of the word order in a sentence and finishing with division of the source sentence into two and more target ones.

The most common example of structural equivalences at the syntactic level is that of some Verb Tense patterns. Real translation transformations are complex and often at different levels of languages. This kind of transformation is especially frequent when translation involves an analytical and a synthetic language, e.g. English and Ukrainian.

Thus, according to thetransformational approachtranslation is a set of multi-level replacements of a text in one language by a text in another, governed by specific transformation rules.

 

2.2. denotative approach

The transformational approach is insufficient when the original text corresponds to one invisible concept which is rendered by the translator as a text in another language also corresponding to the relevant invisible concept.

For instance, the translation of almost any piece of poetry cannot be explained by simple substitution of source language words and word combinations for those of target language.

This type of translation is characteristic of any text, written or spoken, rather than only for poetry or high-style prose and the denotative approach is an attempt to explain such translation cases.

Though denotative approach to translation is based on the idea of denotatum (see above the relationship of signs, concepts and denotata), it has more relevance to that of a concept.

According todenotative approachthe process of translation is not just mere substitution but consists of the following mental operations:

· translator reads (hears) a message in the source language;

· translator finds a denotatum and concept that correspond to this message;

· translator formulates a message in the target language relevant to the above denotatum and concept.

According tothis approach during translation we deal with similar word forms of the matching languages and concepts deduced from these forms, however, as opposed to the transformational approach, the relationship between the source and target word forms is occasional rather than regular.

To illustrate this difference let us consider the following two examples:

(1) The sea is warm tonight – Сьогодні ввечері море тепле.

(2) Staff only – Службове приміщення.

In the first instance the equivalences are regular and the concept, pertaining to the whole sentence may be divided into those relating to its individual components (words and word combinations): sea – море, tonight – сьогодні ввечері is warm – тепле.

In the second instance, however, equivalence between the original sentence and its translation is occasional (i.e. worth only for this case) and the concept, pertaining to the whole sentence cannot be divided into individual components.

 

2.3. communicational approach

The communicational theory of translation was suggested by O.Kade and is based on the notions of communication and thesaurus. So, it is worthwhile to define the principal terms first.

Communication may be defined as an act of sending and receiving some information, which is called a message.

It should go without saying that this definition is oversimplified and not all communication terms used here are standard terms of communication and information theories. Our purpose, however, is to describe the act of communication in the simplest possible terms and to show translation as part of this act.

Information, which is sent and receives (communicated) may be of any kind (e.g. gestures, say, thumbs up), but we shall limit ourselves to verbal communication only, i.e. when we send and receive information in the form of a written or spoken text.

Naturally enough when communicating we inform others about something we know. That is in order to formulate a message, we use our system of interrelated data, which is called a thesaurus.

We shall distinguish between two kinds of thesauruses in verbal communication: language thesaurus and subject thesaurus.

Language thesaurus is a system of our knowledge about the language which we use to formulate a message, whereas subject thesaurus is a system of our knowledge about the content of the message.

Thus, in order to communicate, the message sender formulates the mental content of his or her message using subject thesaurus, encodes it using the verbal forms of language thesaurus, and conveys it to the message recipient, who decodes the message also using language thesaurus and interprets the message using subject thesaurus as well. This is a simple description of monolingual communication.

It is very important to understand that the thesauruses of message sender and recipient may be different to a greater or lesser degree, and that is why we sometimes do not understand each other even when we think we are speaking one and the same language.

So, in regular communication there are two actors, sender and recipient, and each of them uses two thesauruses.

In special bilingual communication (i.e. translation), we have three actors: sender, recipient, and intermediary (translator). The translator has two language thesauruses (source and target one) and perform two functions: decodes the source message and encodes the target one to be received by the recipient.

O.Kade’s communicational theory of translation describes the process of translation as an act of special bilingual communication in which the translator acts as a special communication intermediary, making it possible to understand a message sent in a different language.

One may note that the communicational approach pays special attention to the aspects of translation relating to the act of communication, whereas the translation process as such remains unspecified, and one may only presume that it proceeds, either by a transformational or denotative path.

However, it is difficult to overestimate the importance of the communicational aspect in the success of translation.

To understand this better let us consider an example of message formulation (encoding), message translation (encoding/decoding), and message receipt (decoding).

Let the original message expressed by a native speaker of English (encoded using the English language as a code to convey the mental content of the message) be:

Several new schools appeared in the area.

Let us assume then that the message sender, being a fisherman and using relevant subject thesaurus, by schools meant large number of fish swimming together rather than institutions for educating children, and the correct translation then had to be:

У районі з’явились нові косяки риби

whereas the translator who presumably did not have relevant information in his subject thesaurus translated schools as institutions for educating children:

У районі з’явились нові школи,

which naturally lead to misunderstanding (miscommunication).

The above example shows a case of miscommunication based on the insufficiency of extralinguistic information. However, there are also cases of miscommunication caused by the insufficiency of linguistic information. The example clearly illustrates a dividing line between linguistic and extralinguistic information in translation as visualized by the communicational approach to translation.

Thus, the communicational approach to translation, though saying little about translation as such, highlights a very important aspect of translation.

According to communicational approach translation is a message sent by a translator to a particular user and the adequacy of translation depends on similarity of their background information rather than only on linguistic correctness.

 

Translation ranking

 

Even in routine translation practice one can see that there are different ranks of translation, that one rank of translation consists of rather simple substitutions whereas another involves relatively sophisticated and not just purely linguistic analysis.

Several attempts have been made to develop a translation theory based on different translation ranks or levels as they are sometimes called. Among those one of the most popular in the former Soviet Union was the “theory of translation equivalence level (TEL)” developed by V.Komissarov.

According to this theory the translation process fluctuates passing from formal inter-language transformations to the domain of conceptual interrelations.

V.Komissarov’s approach seems to be a realistic interpretation of the translation process; however, this approach fails to demonstrate when and why one translation equivalence level becomes no longer appropriate and why, to get a correct translation, you have to pass to a higher TEL.

Y.Retsker maintains that any two languages are related by regular correspondences (words, word-building patterns, syntactical structures) and “irregular ones”. The irregular correspondences cannot be formally represented and only the translator’s knowledge and intuition can help to find the matching formal expression in the target language for a concept expressed in the source language.

According to J.Firth, in order to bridge languages in the process of translation, one must use the whole complex of linguistic and extralinguistic information rather than limit oneself to purely linguistic objects and structures.

J.Catford, similar to V.Komissarov and J.Firth, interprets translation as a multi-level process. According to Catford a certain set of translation tools characteristic of a certain level constitutes a rank of translation and a translation performed using that or another set of tools is called rank bound.

All these theories try to explain the process of translation to a degree of precision required for practical application, but no explanation is complete so far.

The transformational approach quite convincingly suggests that in any language there are certain regular syntactic, morphological, and word-building structures which may be successfully matched with their analogies in another language during translation.

The transformational approach forms the basis of machine translation design – almost any machine translation system uses the principle of matching forms of the languages involved in translation. The difference is only in the forms that are matched and the rules of matching.

The denotative approach treats different languages as closed systems with specific relationships between formal and conceptual aspects; hence in the process of translation links between the forms of different languages are established via conceptual equivalence.

The communicational approach highlights a very important aspect of translation – the matching of thesauruses. Translation may achieve its ultimate target of rendering a piece of information only if the translator knows the users’ language and the subject matter of the translation well enough (i.e. if the translator’s language and subject thesauruses are sufficiently complete). This may self-evident, but should always be kept in mind, because all translation mistakes result from the insufficiencies in the thesauruses.

Moreover, wholly complete thesauruses are the ideal case and it is still virtually impossible to know everything about any possible subject matter related to the translation.

Different approaches differ only in the accents placed on this or that component but all theories discussed recognize the following three basic components of translation:

Meaning of a word or word combination in the source language (concept or concepts corresponding to this word or word combination in the minds of the source language speakers).

Equivalence of this meaning expressed in a word or word combination of the target language (concept or concepts corresponding to this word or word combination in the minds of the target language speakers).

Extralinguistic information pertaining to the original meaning and/or its conceptual equivalent after the translation.

So, to put it differently, what you can do in translation is either match individual words and combinations of the two languages directly (transformational approach), or understand the content of the source message and render it using the formal means of the target language (denotative approach) with due regard of the translation recipient and background information (communicational approach).

The hierarchy if these methods may be different depending on the type of translation. Approach priorities depending on the type of translation are given in Table below.

 

Translation Type Translation Method Priorities
Oral Consecutive Denotative, Communicational
Oral Simultaneous Transformational, Communicational
Written (general & technical) Transformational
Written (fiction & poetry) Denotative

 

Thus, in oral translation priority is given to denotative method, because a translator is first listening to the speaker and only after some time formulates the translation, which is very seldom a structural copy of the source speech.

In simultaneous translation as opposed to consecutive priority is given to direct transformations since a simultaneous interpreter simply has no time for conceptual analysis.

In written translation, when you seem to have time for everything, priority is also given to simple transformations (perhaps, with exception of poetic translation). This is no contradiction, just the path of least resistance in action – it is not worthwhile to resort to complex methods unless simple ones fail.

It should be born in mind, however, that in any translation we observe a combination of different methods.

 

Levels of equivalence

 

Equivalence may occur at different linguistic levels: phonetic, word building, morphological, at word level, at phrase level, at sentence level and finally at text level.

 

Equivalence at Word Level

e.g.: She clasped her hands round her handbag. (Agatha Christie).

Вона міцно стиснула в руках свою сумочку.

 

Equivalence of Phrase Level

Equivalence at phrase level is of two kinds: a SL word corresponds to a TL phrase (to negotiate – вести переговори), a SL phrase corresponds to a TL word (Hippies are in revolt against an acquisitive society. – Хiппi повстають проти споживацього суспільства).

 

Equivalence at Text Level

It is usual in the translation of poetry as seen in the translation of William Blake’s stanza by S. Marshak.

1. To see a World in a Grain of Sand,

2. And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

3. Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,

4. And Eternity in an hour.

(W. Blake, Auguries of Innocence)

В одно мгновенье видеть вечность,

Огромный мир – в зерне песка,

В единой горсти – бесконечность

И небо – в чашечке цветка.

 

The translation by S.Marshak may be regarded as excellent. The text as a unity is reproduced most fully and this conception of unity justifies the change in the order of the lines within the stanza.

A strict observance of equivalence at all levels ensures a similar reaction on the part of the S and T language receptors and can be achieved by means of functional substitutions.

 

7. Types of translation

 

The following three types of translation can be distinguished: equivalent translation, literal translation and free translation.

 

Equivalent translation

Equivalent translation has been considered in the preceding pages. Achieving equivalence is the goal aimed at in translation.

 

Literal translation

In spite of the fact that there are cases of semantic and structural coincidences they are rather an exception. A literal or word translation is obviously unacceptable because it results in a violation of form, or a distortion of sense, or both.

No desire on the part of the translator to preserve in his translation the lexical, grammatical or stylistic peculiarities of the original text can justify any departure from the norms of the TL.

Literal translation imposes upon the TL text alien lexical and grammatical structures, alien collocability, alien connotations and alien stylistic norms.

In literal translation form prevails over content and the meaning of the text is distorted. Literalism may be lexical, grammatical or stylistic, e.g.

 

He wagged a grateful tail and climbed on the seat (Georgetta Heyer).

Він вдячно завиляв хвостом і витеребився на сидіння.

 

She was letting her temper go by inches (Monica Dickens).

Вона потроху втрачала терпіння. (Вона все більш і більш втрачала терпіння.

 

The pragmatic aspect of translation does not admit literalism either – and requires interpreting translation or substitution.

The Tory Team, however, aren’t all batting on the same wicket?

 

The metaphor is taken from cricket, a very popular game in Britain but hardly known to Ukrainianreaders.

Однак, консерватори не спільні.

Однак, команда консерваторів грала не одностайно.

 

Translation Loans

Literal translation should not be confused with translation loans. A translation loan is a peculiar form of word-borrowing by means of literal translation. Translation loans are built on the pattern of foreign words or phrases with the elements of the borrowing language, e.g. collective farm is atranslation loan of the Ukrainian колгосп but in a full and not in an abbreviated form: oil dollars – нафтодолари; goodneighbourly relations – добросусідські відносини.

 

Free Translation

 

Free translation, that is, paraphrasing is a special type of translation used as a rule in annotations, précis, abstracts, etc. free translation is rendering of meaning regardless of form. The aim of such translation is to convey information to people in other countries in a most compact and condensed manner.

There is another interpretation of the term “Free translation”.

The translator in this case considers himself as co-author and takes great liberties with the original text resorting to unjustified expansion or omissions.

“She burst out crying” is translated as “Сльози показалися на очах моєї милої малютки” (Ch. Dickens, tr. By J.V. Vedensky).

TO CONCLUDE: the three parameters of translation are: rendering of contents, rendering of form and observance of TL norms. These fundamentals are of equal significance and are to be duly taken into account in the process of translation. The vast resources of the Ukrainianlanguage enable the translator to achieve excellent and the fundamental principle of translation – what is said in one language can as well be said in another – remains inviolable.

 

8.Factors influencing the choice of equivalents

 

The choice of translation equivalents depends on the context, situation and background information. They are well-known, but their definitions by various scholars substantially differ.

To start with, let us define the context. For the purpose of practical translation we shall call the context the length of speech (text) necessary to specify the meaning and translation of a given word. Also for the purpose of practical translation we shall distinguish between immediate and general context.

Immediate context is a sequence of syntactically and semantically related words that determines the meaning and syntactic function of a given word and forms the basis for its translation.

Usually immediate context is limited to a sentence, though in many cases a length of text shorter than a sentence is sufficient as an immediate context.

However, to get all information necessary for translation one should take into account the general context as well.

General context is the source text as a whole.

To feel the difference, compare the translation of the following two examples.

 

After becoming involved in city politics, he was rewarded for his services to the King by being made Lord Mayor of London, serving four terms between 1397 and 1420.

Він став брати активну участь у політичному житті міста, і король відзначив його заслуги перед короною, призначивши лорд-мером Лондона. На цій посаді він залишався чотири строки – з 1397 по 1420 рік.

 

The hope that we can still pare down our choices to a list of essentials is the other faith, besides religion, that we need to survive as the new millennium rushes toward us – the illusion that we can stop the clock and somehow, even at this late date, master space and time.

Сподівання, ніби-то ми все ще в змозі відмовитися від усього зайвого і обрати найсуттєвіше, – це своєрідна віра, яка нам потрібна, окрім релігії, щоб вижити у час, коли нове тисячоліття летить прямо на нас; це ілюзія, що ми ще можемо зупинити годинник і знайти спосіб, навіть у цю останню мить, щоб підкорити простір і час.

 

In the first instance the immediate context is all that one needs for translation whereas to translate properly the text of the second example one will need broader context and, probably, some additional background information as well. Thos brings us to the first conclusion:

The choice of translation equivalents depends both on immediate and general context.

Any source text, however, consists of words and word combinations which you are to translate to finally end up in a target text. And to say the least, words and word combinations are very different as to the problems they present for translation.

Compare, for example, words and word combinations in the left and right columns of the Table below.

 

organization society territory development region insider power-broker mainstream hot button marginal

 

It is easy to note that the entries in the left column present no problem for translation whereas to find proper equivalents for those in the right column one needs at least broad context and desirably also a piece of background information.

The explanation lies in the fact that unlike those in the left column the right column words are relatively new language formations standing for also relatively new phenomena of the American culture. Then the next conclusion may be:

The choice of translation equivalents for individual words and word combinations depends on the translator’s awareness in the underlying cultural background.

To get a better idea of the above equivalent selection factor consider an example:

 

The conservative commentator David Brooks argues in “Bobos in Paradise” that the old bourgeoisie and the old bohemians have in the last generation morphed into what he calls “Bobos” – bourgeois bohemians. The long-haired, tie-dye-shirted, sandal-shod free spirit is now in the corporate boardroom, and the things that seemed to divide the counterculture from the business culture have largely disappeared as a result.

These Bobos are obviously far less inclined than their Rotarian predecessors to fight the prudish battles against popular culture. They are products of that culture, and they like it.

Консервативний коментатор Девід Брукс у своєму еcсе „Бубо у раю” стверджує, що стара буржуазія і стара богема в останньому поколінні переродилася на те, що він називає „бубо” – буржуазна богема. Колишні патлаті носії вільного духу в сандалях та яскравих сорочках сидять зараз у респектабельних офісах, і в результаті зникло все те, що, здавалося би, відділяло культуру протесту від бізнес-культури. На відміну від членів Ротаріанських клубів, місце яких вони зараз посіли, „бубо”, очевидно, менш схильні до пуританських хрестових походів проти поп культури, бо вони самі є продуктом цієї культури, і ця культура їм до вподоби.

So, to select proper equivalents one needs to be aware of the cultural background underlying the source text being translated.


Different valency

 

The aptness of a word to appear in various combinations is described as its lexical valency or collocability which amounts to semantic agreement. Collocability implies the ability of a lexical unit to combine with other lexical units, with other words or lexical groups. A word as a lexical unit has both paradigmatic and syntagmatic collocability. The lexical meaning of a word is revealed in either case. The contexts in which a word is used bring out its distribution and potential collocability, thus the range of lexical valency of words is linguistically determined by the lexical meaning of words, by the compatibility of notions expressed by them and by the inner structure of he language word-stock.

It should be noted that valency comprises all levels of language – its phonological, syntactical and lexical levels. Only lexical valency will be considered here.

A detailed analysis of factual material shows that valency in the English language is broader and more flexible than that in the Ukrainian language. This fact confronts the translator with additional difficulties, as it enables a writer to use unexpected individual combinations. It follows that valency may be obligatory non-obligatory and words accordingly fall into two categories: “open” or discrete words and “closed” or non-discrete ones. The adjective “aquiline” is a classical example of a word with a closed valency (ср. the Ukrainian adjective кромішний).

Every language has its established valency norms, its types of word combinations, groups of words able to form such combinations. This especially concerns traditional, obligatory combinations while individual combinations give greater scope to translators. Individual collocability is by no means arbitrary and must not violate the existing models of valency. As a writer may bring out a potential meaning of some word he is also able to produce unexpected combinations. Such individual but linguistically justifiable collocations belong to the writer’s individual style in the way as his epithets or metaphors and may be regarded as an effective stylistic device, e.g.

She had seen many people die, but until now, she had never known a young foreign death. (R.Godden).

У неї на очах вмирало багато людей, але досі їй не траплялося бачити, як помирав іноземець, та ще й такий юний.

Words traditionally collocated tend to constitute clichés, e.g. a bad mistake, high hopes, heavy sea (rain, snow), etc. the translator is to find similar TL clichés, traditional collocations: груба помилка, веикі надії, бурхливе море, сильный дощ (сніг). The key word in such collocations is a noun, both semantically and structurally, while the modifying adjective plays a subordinate role. The key word is always preserved in translation but the collocated adjective is rendered by a word possessing a different referential meaning which expresses the same category (in this case – intensity) and corresponds to the TL valency norms. For example:

a bad mistake – груба помилка

a bad headache – сильний головний біль

a bed debt – неповернений борг

a bad accident –важкий нещасний випадок

a bad wound – важка рана

a bad egg – тухле яйце

a bad apple – гниле яблуко.

It should be noted that words playing a qualifying role may be not only adjectives but also verbs and adverbs, e.g. trains run – поізди ходять; to sit in dry dock – стояти в сухому доці.

The problem of semantic agreement inevitably arises in the translation of phraseological units consisting of a verb of wide meaning and a noun (collocations or set expressions). The verb is practically desemantised and the noun is the semantic centre of the collocation.

The translation of the verb is determined by the law of semantic agreement, e.g.

to make tea (coffee) – заварювати чай (каву)

to make beds – стелити постілі

to make faces – корчити гримаси

to make apologies - приноситивибачення.

Every language possesses regular and compatible collocations.

After a day of heavy selling and in spite of persistent Bank of England support, the pound closed on Monday at a new record low against the United States dollar.

Після того як впродовж усього дня посилено збувалися фунти стерлінгів і, незважаючи на стійку підтримку Англійського банку, до закриття біржі в понеділок курс фунту сягнув рекордно-низького рівня відносно долара.

The richer the semantic volume of a word is the richer is its collocability which opens up wide translation possibilities.

A detailed analysis of various collocations shows that individual and unexpected collocations in different functional styles are much more frequent in English than in Ukrainian.

Different collocability often calls for lexical and grammatical transformation, though of the collocation may have its equivalent in Russian, e.g. a “controversial question” – спірне питання but the collocation “the most controversial Prime Minister” cannot be translated as ‘самий спірний прем’єр-міністр’.

 

Britain will tomorrow be welcoming on an official visit one of the most controversial and youngest Prime Minister in Europe.

Завтра до Англії прибуває з офіційним візитом один з наймолодших прем’єр-міністрів Європи, який викликає найсуперечливіші думки.

Sweden's neutral faith ought not to be in doubt.

Вірність Швеції нейтралітету не підлягає сумніву.

 

A relatively free valency in the English language accounts for the free use of the so-called transferred epithet in which logical and syntactical modifications do not coincide.

 

I sat down to a very meditative breakfast.

Поринувши в роздуми, я почав снідати.

 

Logically the adjective “meditative” refers to the subject of the sentence whereas syntactically it is attached to the prepositional object. This unusual attachment converts it into a transferred epithet. The collocation задумливий сніданок is hardly possible in Ukrainian.

 

Different usage

 

Traditional usage of words of word combinations is typical of each language. Traditional S.L. and T.L. usage or clichés do not coincide. The words forming such clichés often have different meanings in the two language but they are traditionally used to describe similar situations. The problem of the proper selection of equivalent words and clichés can be solved only if the peculiarities of the correlated languages are taken into consideration, e.g.

He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

Він залишив після себе дружину, сина й дочку.

Sometimes different usage in partly due to different vision:

The city is built on terrace rising from the lake.

Місто збудоване на терасах, що спускаються до озера.

As a matter of fact there two verbs (to rise and спускатися) may be called conversives, that is, they describe the same situation from diametrically opposite angles.

Sometimes different usage is apparent in the use of semantically complete prepositions.

He wrote under several pseudonyms, many of his essays appearing over the name of “Little Nell”. (F.Johnson).

Він писав під різними псевдонімами, багато його нарисів з’являлися під підписом «Крихітка Нелл».

Usage is particularly conspicuous in set expressions.

The New Zealand earthquake was followed by tremors lasting an hour. No loss of life was reported.

Після землетрусу в Нової Зеландії протягом години відчувалися поштовхи. Жертв не було.

 

The fact that the US Government was finally and firmly coming to grips with crime impressed many.

На багатьох справило враження те, що уряд Сполучених Штатів, нарешті, вельми енергійно розпочав боротьбу зі злочинністю.

 

Usage plays an important part in translating orders and instructions.

Commit no nuisance – зупинятися заборонено.

Usage is closely linked with the history and development of the language, of its lexical system. Hence every language creates peculiar clichés, ready-made formulae. They are never violated by the introduction of additional words or by the substitution of their components.

 

Rendering of Numerals

This group of words comes very clise to terms. Their Ukrainiancounterparts are naturally used in translation: ten – десять, hundred – сто, thousand – тисяча.

 

Words of wide meaning

 

Words possessing a wide volume of meaning are peculiarly adaptable to different contexts.

The commanding officer singled him out because of his university background. (Nicholas Monserrat)

Командир обрав його, оскільки він був людиною з університетською освітою.

 

…he was a landlord with a Tory background.

…він був лендлордом і походив з родини консерваторів.

 

Parents of genuine hippies find themselves up against a type of mentality with which they are unprepared, either by background or experience, to cope.

Батьки переконаних хіпі зіштовхуються з таким образом думок, з яким вони не можуть впоратись ані через своє виховання, ані через свій життєвий досвід.

 

Did reporters usually allow the Secretary of State to determine after an interview whether it was going to be on the record, off the record or only for background.

(Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward).

Невже кореспонденти зазвичай дозволяли Державному секретареві вирішувати після інтерв’ю, чи буде воно вважатися офіційним, неофіційним, чи даним тільки для їх інформації.

In certain cases the translator has to turn to a wider context which sometimes comprises a whole paragraph a whole chapter or a whole book.

Thus in Chapter LIII of “Vanity Fair” Thackeray describes the unexpected return of Rawdon Crawley from the debtor’s prison and his consternation when he finds his wife in the company of Lord Steyne.

The wretched woman was in a brilliant full toilet”.

The adjective “wretched” has the following meanings: miserable, unhappy, afflicated, inferior, of bad quality or no merit, contemptible, unsatisfactory, causing discontent or discomfort or nuisance. (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English).

Thackeray, a moralist, condemned immorality throughout his writing. Aware of this the translator naturally chooses contemptible.

На цій жалюгідній (низькій, підлій, огидній) жінці був розкішний вечірній туалет.

 

By Borrowings

The borrowed words may be either transliterated or transcribed, e.g. ale –ель, roastbeef – ростбіф, sweater – светр (transliterated borrowings). Parliament – парламент, striptease – стриптиз, speaker – спікер, know-how – ноу-хау, establishment – істеблішмент (transcribed borrowings). The latter principle is, as seen from the above examples, applicable to the rendering of neologisms.

By translation loans

House of Commons – Палата Общин, backbencher – задньоскамієчник, brain trust – мозковий трест.

Translation of Neologisms

 

There are also three ways of rendering neologisms in translation.

By Borrowings

By borrowed words may be either transcribed or transliterated. E.g. hippy – хіппі; smog – смог. It should be noted that transcription of such words is not always exact, e.g. nylon – нейлон; laser – лазер.

By Translation Loans

Neutron bomb – нейтрона бомба.

By Descriptive or Interpreting Trnslation

Feedback – зворотній зв’язок, activism – агітаційна діяльність, bugging – таємне спостереження за допомогою технічних засобів.

In some cases neologisms may be regarded as non-equivalents and translated accordingly.

 

Concretization

Some groups of lexical units require concretization in translation. This is due to the difference in the proportion between abstract and desemantized words on the one hand and concrete words on the other in the S and T languages.

Abstract words in English distinctly fall into several groups:

1. Numerous nouns formed by specific suffixes of abstract meaning. Many such nouns have no counterparts in the Ukrainianlanguage, e.g. ministership, presidency, electorate, statehood, etc.

2. Abstract words which have no equivalents in Russian, the so-called lacuna, such as exposure, occupant (unless as a military term).

3. Generalizing words having equivalents in Ukrainian but differing in usage, e.g. man, woman, creature, person.

4. Words of wide meaning which require concretization in translation, some words of this group are on the way to becoming desemantized, e.g. place, piece, stuff, affair, etc.

5. Words of wide meaning which in fact have become partly deictic signs: -thing, -body (something, somebody).

Words belonging to the first group require lexical and grammatical replacements by words possessing a concrete meaning:

C.P.Snow resigned from his ministership because he did not like the way the Labour Government was developing.

Чарльз Сноу пішов зі свого міністерського поста, тому що йому не подобалася нинішня політика лейбористського уряду.

The abstract noun “ministership” is rendered by a concrete noun (пост) with adjective.

An ageing Speaker cannot take the burdens of the presidency (in case of the president’s and vice-president’s assassination).

Старіючий спікер не може прийняти на себе всю вагу президентської влади.

The abstract noun “presidency” is rendered by means of a concrete noun with an adjective as in the preceding example.

Every form of pressure and violence is used by reactionary regimes to compel a reluctant electorate to go to the polls.

Реакційні режими використовують усі форми тиску й насильства, аби примусити впертих виборців прийняти участь у виборах.

 

Puerto Rico may launch a drive for US statehood.

Можливо, Пуерто Ріко розпочне кампанію за те, щоб стати штатом США.

The abstract word “statehood” is concretized by means of an adverbial subordinate clause of purpose.

Words of abstract meaning which for some reason or other have no equivalents in the Ukrainian language are translated by some concrete word determined by the context. Their meaning is usually conveyed with the help of replacements or additions. It should be borne in mind that in this case the use of the same parts of speech is of no relevance.

He was heavily built. – У нього грузька статура.

The role and the significance of the context is well illustrated by the following example, the translation of which is determined by the macro context.

Two of the shipwrecked seamen died of exposure.

Двоє з тих моряків, хто зазнав аварію, загинули (від холоду чи від спеки).

 

It was a good solid house built to withstand time and exposure.

Це був гарний, міцний будинок, розрахований на те, щоб протистояти дії часу й непогоди.

Willa, the canary, had flown away. But now there was a vigorously alive little occupant. (D.Eden).

Канарейка Вілла улетіла, але замість неї у клітці була дуже жвава й завжди весела пташинка.

Generalizing words such as man, woman, child, creature etc. which do not have equivalents in Ukrainian but which differ in usage are concretized either by a proper name, the name of the breed (собака, кі







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