The object and objectives of TT 

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The object and objectives of TT

The object and objectives of TT

Translation is a means of interlingual communication. The translator makes possible an exchange of information between the users of different languages by producing in the target language (TL or the translating language) a text which has an identical communicative value with the source (or original) text (ST). This target text (TT, that is the translation) is not fully identical with ST as to its form or content due to the limitations imposed by the formal and semantic differences between the source language (SL) and TL. Nevertheless the users of TT identify it, to all intents and purposes, with ST - functionally, structurally and semantically.

The linguistic theory of translation is concerned with translation as a form of speech communication establishing contact between communicants who speak different languages.

The functional status of a translation is supported by its structural and semantic similarity with the original. The translator is expected to refrain from any remarks or intrusions in his text which may betray his authorship thereof.

The structure of the translation should follow that of the original text: there should be no change in the sequence of narration or in the arrangement of the segments of the text.

The aim is maximum parallelism of structure which would make it possible to relate each segment of the translation to the respective part of the original. The translator is allowed to resort to a description or interpretation, only in case “direct translation” is impossible.

In simultaneous interpretation the translator is expected to keep pace with the fastest speakers, to understand all kinds of foreign accents and defective pronunciation, to guess what the speaker meant to say but failed to express due to his inadequate proficiency in the language he speaks.

In consecutive interpretation he is expected to listen to long speeches, taking the necessary notes, and then to produce his translation in full or compressed form, giving all the details or only the main ideas.

The peculiarities of literary translation

Literary translation deals with literary texts, i.e. works of fiction or poetry whose main function is to make an emotional or aesthetic impression upon the reader. Their communicative value depends, first and foremost, on their artistic quality and the translator's primary task is to reproduce this quality in translation.

Literary works are known to fall into a number of genres. Literary translations may be subdivided in the same way, as each genre calls for a specific arrangement and makes use of specific artistic means to impress the reader. Translators of prose, poetry or plays have their own problems. Each of these forms of literary activities comprises a number of subgenres and the translator may specialize in one or some of them in accordance with his talents and experience. The particular tasks inherent in the translation of literary works of each genre are more literary than linguistic. The great challenge to the translator is to combine the maximum equivalence and the high literary merit.

The translator of a belles-lettres text is expected to make a careful study of the literary trend the text belongs to, the other works of the same author, the peculiarities of his individual style and manner and sn on. This involves both linguistic considerations and skill in literary criticism. A good literary translator must be a versatile scholar and a talented writer or poet.


The peculiarities of informative translation


Informative translation is rendering into the target language non-literary texts, the main purpose of which is to convey a certain amount of ideas, to inform the reader. However, if the source text is of some length, its translation can be listed as literary or informative only as an approximation. A literary text may, in fact, include some parts of purely informative character. Contrariwise, informative translation may comprise some elements aimed at achieving an aesthetic effect. Within each group further gradations can be made to bring out more specific problems in literary or informative translation.

A number of subdivisions can be also suggested for informative translations, though the principles of classification here are somewhat different. Here we may single out translations of scientific and technical texts, of newspaper materials, of official papers and some other types of texts such as public speeches, political and propaganda materials, advertisements, etc., which are, so to speak, intermediate, in that there is a certain balance between the expressive and referential functions, between reasoning and emotional appeal. Translation of scientific and technical materials has a most important role to play in our age of the revolutionary technical progress.

Some types of texts can be identified not so much by their positive distinctive features as by the difference in their functional characteristics in the two languages. English newspaper reports differ greatly from their Russian counterparts due to the frequent use of colloquial, slang and vulgar elements, various paraphrases, eye-catching headlines, etc.

When the translator finds in a newspaper text the headline "Minister bares his teeth on fluoridation" which just means that this minister has taken a resolute stand on the matter, he will think twice before referring to the minister's teeth in the Russian translation. He would rather use a less expressive way of putting it to avoid infringement upon the accepted norms of the Russian newspaper style.

Linguo-cultural aspect of translation

Each culture has its own collection of phrases that are peculiar to it, and whose meanings are not readily apparent. Were this not so, George Bernard Shaw's adage that America and Britain are two nations separated by the same language would have no ironical appeal. Ostensibly, we speak the same language, the British and the Americans, but both varieties use many different words, and have many different phrases that are often mutually unintelligible, and sometimes uttered very differently. Sometimes only the context in which a phrase or word is used serves to disentangle. Sometimes even the context is not quite enough. Sometimes we think we have understood when we have not.

This points out another feature of culture bound language; that it exists within a larger entity, that localized varieties exist. What is comprehensible to a person from one region may be unintelligible to one from another. If this is true within the community of a particular set of users of one language, how much more must it hold true to learners of that language. Many a learner of English, feeling herself proficient, has gone to England only to find the language at worst totally unintelligible, and at best emblematic, but still not fully comprehensible.

The 'cultural weighting' of any language, in the form of idiomatic phrases, is understood by members of that cultural community, or perhaps more correctly, and more narrowly defined, by the members of that particular speech community, and conversely, is not readily understood by those who come from another culture or even another speech community, albeit ostensibly within the same culture.



A translator must be familiar with the culture as well as the language they are translating from

This is important because often what is written assumes knowledge that a same-language audience would have. In translation, no such assumptions can be made. Therefore, it is up to the translator to recognize these issues and ensure that their translation is done in such a way as to bridge this gap.

Types of equivalents

Since language units are often used in their accepted meanings many SL units have regular equivalents in TL which are used in numerous TT as substitutes to those units.

Some of the SL units have permanent equivalents in TL, that is to say, there is a one-to-one correspondence between such units and their equivalents. Thus, "London" is always rendered into Russian as «Лондон», "a machine-gun" as «пулемет» and "hydrogen" as «водород». As a rule, this type of correspondence is found with words of specific character, such as scientific and technical terms, proper or geographical names and similar words whose meaning is more or less independent of the particular contextual situation.

Other SL units may have several equivalents each. Such one-to-many correspondence between SL and TL units is characteristic of most regular equivalents. The existence of a number of non-permanent (or variable) equivalents to a SL units implies the necessity of selecting one of them in each particular case, taking into account the way the unit is used in ST and the points of difference between the semantics of its equivalents in TL.

Depending on the type of the language units involved regular equivalents can be classified as lexical, phraseological or grammatical.

For instance, the English word "ambitious" may denote either praiseworthy or inordinate desires. Its translation will depend on which of these aspects comes to the fore. Thus "the ambitious plans of the would-be world conquerors" will be translated as «честолюбивые планы претендентов на роль завоевателей всего мира», while "the ambitious goals set by the United Nations" will give «грандиозные цели, поставленные ООН» in the Russian translation.

A variety of equivalents may also result from a more detailed description of the same object in TL. The English word "attitude", for instance, is translated as «отношение, позиция, политика» depending on the variant the Russian language prefers in a particular situation. Here the choice between equivalents is determined by TL factors.

Even if a SL unit has a regular equivalent in TL, this equivalent cannot be used in TT whenever the unit is found in ST. An equivalent is but a potential substitute, for the translator's choice is, to a large extent, dependent on the context in which the SL unit is placed in ST. There are two types of context: linguistic and situational. The linguistic context is made up by the other SL units in ST while the situational context includes the temporal, spacial and other circumstances under which ST was produced as well as all facts which the receptor is expected to know so that he could adequately interpret the message.

It is only by assessing the meanings of SL units in ST against the linguistic and situational contexts that the translator can discover what they mean in the particular case and what equivalents should be chosen as their substitutes. Thus in the following sentences the linguistic context will enable the translator to make a correct choice among the Russian equivalents to the English noun "attitude":

(1) I don't like your attitude to your work.

(2) There is no sign of any change in the attitudes of the two sides.

(3) He stood there in a threatening attitude.

It is obvious that in the first sentence it should be the Russian «отношение (к работе)», in the second sentence — «позиции(обеих сторон)», and in the third sentence - «поза(угрожающая)».

As often as not the correct substitute cannot be chosen unless the situational context is brought into play. If somebody is referred to in ST as "an abolitionist" the choice of the substitute will depend on the period described. In different historical periods abolitionists were people who sought the abolition of slavery, prohibition laws or death penalty.

Accordingly, in the Russian translation the person will be described as «аболиционист», «сторонник отмены «сухого закона», или «сторонник отмены смертной казни».

The fact that a SL unit has a number of regular equivalents does not necessarily mean that one of them will be used in each particular translation. True, in many cases the translator's skill is well demonstrated in his ability to make a good choice among such equivalents. But not infrequently the context does not allow the translator to employ any of the regular equivalents to the given SL unit. Then the translator has to look for an ad hoc way of translation which will successfully render the meaning of the unit in this particular case. Such an exceptional translation of a SL unit which suits a particular context can be described as an occasional equivalent or a contextual substitute. It is clear, for instance, that none of the above-mentioned regular equivalents to the English "attitude" can be used in the translation of the following sentence:

He has a friendly attitude towards all.

An occasional equivalent may be found through a change of the part of speech:

Он ко всем относится по-дружески.

The particular contextual situation may force the translator to give up even a permanent equivalent. Geographical names have such equivalents which are formed by imitation of the foreign name in TL. And the name of the American town of New Haven (Conn.) is invariably rendered into Russian as «Нью-Хейвен». But the sentence "I graduated from New Haven in 1915" will be hardly translated in the regular way since the Russian reader may not know that New Haven is famous for its Yale university. The translator will rather opt for the occasional equivalent: «Я окончил Йельский университет в 1915 году».

The regular equivalents are by no means mechanical substitutes and their use or replacement by occasional equivalents calls for a high level of the translator's skill and taste.

The same goes for phraseological equivalents. Phraseological units or idioms may also have permanent or variable equivalents. Such English idioms as "the game is not worth the candle" or "to pull chestnuts out of the fire for smb." are usually translated by the Russian idioms «игра не стоит свеч» and «таскать каштаны из огня для кого-л.», respectively. These equivalents reproduce all the aspects of the English idioms semantics and can be used in most contexts. Other permanent equivalents, though identical in their figurative meaning, are based on different images, that is, they have different literal meaning. Cf. "to get up on the wrong side of the bed" —«встать с левой нога», "make hay while the sun shines" —«куй железо, пока горячо». Now an English idiom may have several Russian equivalents among which the translator has to make his choice in each particular case. For instance, the meaning of the English "Do in Rome as the Romans do" may be rendered in some contexts as «С волками жить - по-волчьи выть», and in other contexts as «В чужой монастырь со своим уставом неходят». But here, again, the translator may not infrequently prefer an occasional equivalent which can be formed by a word-for-word reproduction of the original unit: «В Риме поступай так, как римляне».

The choice of grammatical units in TT largely depends on the semantics and combinability of its lexical elements. Therefore there are practically no permanent grammatical equivalents. The variable equivalents in the field of grammar may be analogous forms in TL or different forms with a similar meaning. As often as not such equivalents are interchangeable and the translator has a free choice between them. In the following English sentence "He was a guest of honour at a reception given by the Soviet government" both the Russian participle «устроенном» and the attributive* clause «который был устроен» can be substituted for the English participle "given". And the use of occasional equivalents is here more common than in the case of the lexical or phraseological units. We have seen that in the first three types of equivalence no equivalents to the grammatical units are deliberately selected in TL.

Semantic dissimilarity of analogous structures in SL and TL also result in SL structures having several equivalents in TL. For instance, attributive groups are common both in English and in Russian: "a green tree"—«зеленое дерево». But the semantic relationships between the numbers of the group are broader in English, which often precludes a blue-print translation of the group into Russian. As often as not the English attributive group is used to convey various adverbial ideas of location, purpose, cause, etc. Consider such groups as "Madrid trial" (location), "profits drive" (purpose), "war suffering" (cause). Such groups may also express various action-object relationships. Cf. labour movement" (movement by the workers), "labour raids" (raids against the workers), and "labour spies" (spies among the workers).

A word within an attributive group may sometimes alter its meaning. So, "war rehabilitation" is, in fact, rehabilitation of economy after the war, that is, "post-war rehabilitation" and "Communist trials in USA" are "trials of Communists" or "anti-Communist trials".

As a result, many attributive groups are polysemantic and are translated in a different way in different contexts. "War prosperity" may mean "prosperity during the war" or "prosperity in the post-war period caused by the war". 'The Berlin proposals" may imply "proposals made in Berlin" (say, at an international conference), "proposals made by Berlin" (i.e. by the GDR), "proposal on Berlin" (of political, economic or other nature).*

No small number of SL units have no regular equivalents in TL. Equivalent-lacking words are often found among SL names of specific national phenomena, such as the English words "coroner, condominium, impeachment, baby-sitter" and the like. However, there are quite a number of "ordinary" words for which TL may have no equivalent lexical units: "fluid, bidder, qualifier, conservationist", etc. Some grammar forms and categories may also be equivalent-lacking. (Cf. the English gerund, article or absolute participle construction which have no counterparts in Russian.)

The absence of regular equivalents does not imply that the meaning of an equivalent-lacking SL unit cannot be rendered in translation or that its translation must be less accurate. We have seen that words with regular equivalents are not infrequently translated with the help of contextual substitutes. Similarly, the translator, coming across an equivalent-lacking word, resorts to occasional equivalents which can be created in one of the following ways:

1. Using loan-words imitating in TL the form of the SL word or word combination, e.g. tribalism — трайбализм, impeachment — импичмент, backbencher — заднескамеечник, brain-drain — утечка мозгов. As often as not such occasional formations are adopted by the members of the TL community and get the status of regular equivalents.

2. Using approximate substitutes, that is TL words with similar meaning which is extended to convey additional information (if necessary, with the help of foot-notes), e.g. drugstore — аптека, witch hunter — мракобес, afternoon — вечер. The Russian «аптека» is not exactly a drugstore where they also sell such items as magazines, soft drinks, ice-cream, etc., but in some cases this approximate equivalent can well be used.

3. Using all kinds of lexical (semantic) transformations (see Part I, Ch. 4) modifying the meaning of the SL word, e.g. "He died of exposure" may be rendered into Russian as «Он умер от простуды» or «Он погиб от солнечного удара».

4. Using an explanation to convey the meaning of the SL unit, e.g. landslide-победа на выборах подавляющим большинством голосов, brinkmanship — искусство проведения политики на грани войны, etc.

This method is sometimes used in conjunction with the first one when the introduction of a loan-word is followed by a foot-note explaining the

For a more detailed discussion of the problems involved in the translation of English attributive groups meaning of the equivalent-lacking word in ST. After that the translator may freely employ the newly-coined substitute.

There are also quite a number of equivalent-lacking idioms. Such English phraseological units as "You cannot eat your cake and have it", "to dine with Duke Humphrey", "to send smb. to Coventry" and many others have no regular equivalents in Russian. They are translated either by reproducing their form in TL through a word-for-word translation or by explaining the figurative meaning of the idiom, e.g.: People who live in glass should not throw stones. — Люди, живущие в стеклянных домах, не должны бросать камни; to see eye-to-eye with srnb. - придерживаться одних взглядов.*

Equivalent-lacking grammatical forms give less trouble to the translator. Here occasional substitutes can be classified under three main headings, namely:

1. Zero translations when the meaning of the grammatical unit is not rendered in the translation since it is practically identical to the meaning of some other unit and can be safely left out. In the sentence "By that time he had already left Britain" — К этомувремени он уже уехал из Англии the idea of priority expressed by the Past Perfect Tense needn't be separately reproduced in TT as it is made superfluous by the presence of "by that time" and "already".

2. Approximate translations when the translator makes use of a TL form partially equivalent to the equivalent-lacking SL unit, e.g.: I saw him enter the room — Я видел, как он вошел вкомнату. The Russian language has no complex objects of this type but the meaning of the object clause is a sufficient approximation.

3. Transformational translation when the translator resorts to one of the grammatical transformations (see Part I, Ch. 4), e.g.: Your presence at the meeting is not obligatory. Nor is it desirable — Ваше присутствие на собрании необязательно и даже нежелательно (the syntactical integration).

As has been emphasized, equivalents are not mechanical substitutes for SL units but they may come handy as a starting point in search of adequate translation. The translator will much profit if he knows many permanent equivalents, is good at selecting among variable equivalents and resourceful at creating occasional equivalents, taking into account all contextual factors.


Modality is a semantic category indicating the degree of factuality that the speaker ascribes to his message. A message can be presented by its author as a statement of facts, a request or an order, or something that is obligatory, possible or probable but not an established fact. Modal relationships make up an important part of the information conveyed in the message. There is a world of difference between asserting that something is and suggesting that it should be or might be.

Obviously a translation cannot be correct unless it has the same modality as the source text. The translator must be able to understand various modal relationships expressed by different means in SL and to choose the appropriate means in TL.

English makes use of three main types of language units to express modal relationships: modal verbs, modal words and word groups, and mood forms.

Modal verbs are widely used in English to express various kinds of modality. The translator should be aware of the fact that an English modal verb can be found in some phrases the Russian equivalents of which have no particular modal forms. Compare the following sentences with their Russian translations:

She can speak and write English.

Она говорит и пишет по-английски.

I can see the English coast already.

Я уже вижу берег Англии.

Why should you say it?

Почему ты так говоришь?

There is no direct correspondence between the English and the Russian modal verbs and the translator should choose the appropriate word which fits the particular context. The meaning of the verb "should", for example, in the sentence "You should go and see him" may be rendered in various circumstances by one of the Russian verbs expressing obligation: (а) Вы должны навестить его. (Ь) Вам необходимо навестить его. (с) Вам следует навестить его. (d) Вам следовало бы навестить его, and so on. For the same reason the modal meaning expressed by the confrontation of the two modal verbs in the English original may be rendered into Russian not by two modal verbs but by some other modal forms:

Were you really in earnest when you said that you could love a man of lowly position? - Indeed I was. But I said "might".

— Вы на самом деле не шутили, когда сказали, что могли бы полюбить человека небогатого? — Конечно нет. Но ведь я сказала «может быть, смогла бы».

"It may rain today," he said. His companion looked at the sky. "Well, it might," she said.

— Сегодня может быть дождь, - сказал он. Его спутница подняла голову и посмотрела на небо. — Вряд ли, — ответила она.

Most English modal verbs are polysemantic. So "must" can express obligation or a high degree of probability. "May" implies either probability or moral possibility (permission). "Can" denotes physical or moral possibility, etc. Compare the following sentences with their Russian translations:

You must go there at once.

Вы должны тотчас же пойти туда.

You must be very tired.

Вы, должно быть, очень устали.

Не may know what has happened.

Может быть, он знает, что произошло.

Не may come in now.

Теперь он может (ему можно) войти.

I cannot do the work alone.

Я не могу (не в состоянии) один сделать эту работу.

I cannot leave the child alone.

Я не могу (мне нельзя) оставить ребенка одного.

But when a modal verb is used with a Perfect Infinitive form, it loses, as a rule, its polysemantic character. Thus, "must have been" always implies certainty, "may have been", probability, while "can't have been", improbability. It should also be noted that the Perfect Infinitive may indicate either a prior action (after "must", "may", "cannot") or an action that has not taken place (after "should", "ought to", "could", "to be to"). Cf.:

He must have told her about it yesterday.

Должно быть, он сказал ей об этом вчера.

Не should have told her about it yesterday.

Он должен был (ему следовало) сказать ей об этом вчера.

Special attention should be given to the form "might have been" where the Perfect Infinitive can have three different meanings: a prior action, an action that has not taken place and an imaginable action. Cf.:

I might have spoken too strongly. Возможно, я был слишком резок.

You might have done it yourself. Вы могли бы это сделать сами.

То hear him tell his stories he might have won the war alone. Если послушать его рассказы, можно подумать, что он один выиграл войну.

Among other means of expressing modality mention should be made of parenthetical modal words: "certainly", "apparently", "presumably, "allegedly", "surely", "of course", "in fact", "indeed", "reportedly and the like, as well as similar predicative structures: "it is reported", "it is presumed", "it is alleged", etc. They may all express various shades of modal relationships and the translator cannot be too careful in selecting the appropriate Russian equivalents. For instance, "indeed" may be rendered as «более того, поистине, фактически» и т.п., "in fact" — «на самом деле, более того, словом» и т.п., "above all" - «прежде всего, более всего, главным образом».

Не was never a useful assistant to me. Indeed, he was rather a nuisance.

Он никогда не был мне хорошим помощником. Более того, он скорее даже мне мешал.

Some of the modal adverbs ("surely", "easily", "happily" and the like) have non-modal homonyms. Compare:

What should he do if she failed him? Surely die of disappointment and despair.

Что с ним будет, если она его обманет? — Несомненно, он умрет от разочарования и отчаяния. (Неге "surely" is a modal word.)

Slowly, surely as a magnet draws he was being drawn to the shore.

Медленно и верно, как будто магнитом, его тянуло к берегу.

The English mood forms give relatively little trouble to the translator since he can, as a rule, make use of the similar moods in Russian. Note should be taken, however, of those forms of the English Subjunctive (the Conjunctive) which are purely structural and express no modal meanings that should be reproduced in translation:

It is important that everyone should do his duty. Важно, чтобы каждый выполнил свой долг. I suggest that we all should go home. Я предлагаю всем пойти домой!

While handling modal forms the translator should not forget that while the English language has practically no modal particles, the Russian language has. Whenever necessary, Russian particles (ведь, хоть, мол, де, дескать и др.) should be used to express modality which is expressed in the source text by other means or only implied:

After us the deluge.

После нас хоть потоп.

Не was in wild spirits, shouting that you might dissuade him for twenty-four hours.

Он пришел в неистовство и кричал, что вы можете его разубеждать хоть круглые сутки.



Equivalent is a word or phrase which completely coincides with that from the original text. For example: rose – роза.


Analogue is a word or phrase which is quite close to the SL word meaning, but without complete coincidence. One may figure out the meaning analyzing the synonymic string of this word and find the most appropriate variant. For instance, reliable – достоверный, надёжный, magnificent – изумительный, чудесный.

But the real difficulty seems to arise when translator does not see any appropriate word given in the dictionary to fit the context. Therefore Retzcker suggests one more important way of translation.


Adequate Substitution which has 3 types:

1. Logical development of the idea of the word (interpreting)

2. Antonymous translation

3. Compensation (the usage of completely different means of TL to convey the meaning of the word from SL. It happens when translator deals with proverbs or idioms).


Barhudarov, in his turn, added some points to Retzcher’s classification, developing his own ideas of the Lexical Aspect of Translation. He suggests the following types of Adequate Substitutions (he calls them Lexical Transformations):

· Lexical Substitutions

· Antonymous Translation

· Compensation

· Addition

· Omission

Lexical Substitution

There are 3 kinds of Lexical Substitution:

• Differentiation of the word meaning

• Generaliriation of the word meaning

• Substitution based on cause-effect relations

Differentiation means specifying the meaning of the word according to its contextual environment. For example, English dynamic verb “come” can be specified as “приходить”, “прибывать”, “подходить”, “приезжать” etc. Usually, verbs “tell” and “say” are not always translated as “рассказывать”, “говорить” but also “молвить”, “отметить”, “утвеждать”, “сообщить”, “возразить”, “спросить”, “велеть”.

E.g.: “Oh!” said Pooh.

-Ой-ой-ой! – воскликнул Пух.

There are numerous examples concerning Differentiation in the translation made by B. Zahoder. He often uses this device to avoid unnecessary repetition. With repetition, we shall say, that A. Miln and B. Zahoder have their own approaches. It is natural because English and Russian provide their speakers with different means for doing that.

Pooh’s friend stopped shaking his head to get the prickles out and explained that Tiggers didn’t like thistles.“Then why bend a perfectly good one?” asked Eeyore.

Друг Пуха на секунду перестал трясти головой (он пытался вытрясти колючки) и объяснил, что Тигры не любят чертополоха. -Тогда зачем было портить такой отличный экземпляр?

The translator specifying the pronoun “ one ” makes the narration more expressive suggesting the word “ экземпляр ”.

The next Differentiation is prompted by the inner logic of the narration.

E.g.: He sat down … then he fitted his paw into one of the Tracks.

To think logically, it is more comfortable to investigate the tracks “squatting down”. Thus, B. Zahoder translates it “ он присел на корточки ” instead of just “ присел ”.

And the third example shows that using this type of Lexical Substitution the translator does not merely avoids repeating words, but even renders the emotional state of Christopher Robin, who tries to understand the mystery of Eeyore’s house disappearance.

E.g.: It’s Pooh”, said Christopher Robin excitedly. “Possibly” said Eeyore. “And Piglet “said Christopher Robin excitedly.

-Это Пух,– радостно сказал Кристофер Робин. -Вероятно,– сказал Иа-Иа. -И еще Пятачок,- взволнованно сказал Кристофер Робин.

Sometimes context dictates the translator to use Differentiating.

E.g.: “Roo’s fallen in!” cried Rabbit.”

Ру упал в воду!

Russian variant will be impossible without the noun.

Generalization of the word means that the word from the ST is substituted by the word with generic meaning in the TT. For instance, He comes over and visits me practically every weekend. - Он часто ко мне ездит, почти каждую неделю. As the matter of fact B. Zahoder does not often use this kind of Lexical Substitution.

E.g.: Stoutness Exercises.

Утренняя зарядка

Further in the context the translator interprets the idea: Надо вам сказать, что Вини-Пух очень хотел похудеть и потому старательно занимался гимнастикой.

Substitution based on cause-effect relations (when cause is substituted by effect or vice versa).

E.g.: Balancing on three legs he began to bring his leg very cautiously up to his ear.

С трудом держась на ногах, Иа стал осторожно поднимать четвертую ногу к уху.

To balance means “to put your body or something else into a position where it is steady and does not fall: How long can you balance on one leg? ” So, in the Zahoder’s translation cause is substituted by effect. He writes “с трудом держась” because the effect of balancing is rather a complicated action therefore it is being done with certain difficulty. Perhaps, using this type of substitution Zahoder wants to emphasize that Eeyore in spite the difficult balancing on his three legs is eager to hear once again that he is going to receive his birthday present. If the translator had opted for the word “балансировать” he would have lost much. First, this word is not an authentically Russian one. Second, the Eeyore’s attitude would not have been rendered.

Antonymous Translation

Taking into account that the term “antonym” is usually used when speaking about the words with opposite meanings in one and the same language 11 we shall say that antonymous translation is a complex Lexico-Grammatical Substitution of the negative construction by the positive one or vice versa 12. B. Zahoder uses Antonymous Translation very often.

E.g.: Piglet scratched his ear in a nice sort of way and said that he had nothing to do until Friday.

Пятачок мужественно почесал за ухом и сказал, что до пятницы он совершенно свободен. (the negative construction is substituted by a positive one).

We also can give one more example:

You’ll be quite safe with him.

С ним тебя никто не тронет.

If the translator had given a positive construction like “ с ним ты будешь в безопасности ” it will be too formal and not altogether appropriate for the colloquial speech.


It is used when some elements in the ST do not have their equivalents in the TT. In order to compensate this semantic loss the translator conveys the information applying some other means of his language. Very often Compensation serves to render stylistically marked words to convey the register of the whole passage. Like in this one, where Piglet’s curiosity is rendered.

E.g.: he felt that he must see what a Heffulump was like.

нужно хоть одним глазом взглянуть на Слонопатама.

When Compensation is applied, the equivalence of the translation is not provided on the level of separate elements but of the whole text translated.

E.g.: …and Pooh’s jar of honey at the bottom was something mysterious, a shape and no more.

…а горшок с мёдом, стоявший на дне, был призрачным, словно тень.


As Barhudarov noticed, Addition in translation is necessary when the semantic components of lexical unit are not formally expressed13. He writes that this phenomenon is quite typical of English. These semantic elements which are meant but not formally expressed Z. Harris calls “appropriate words”. He writes that the appropriate word is “the main word to occur with particular other words in the given culture or subject mutter" 14. As an example he gives “violin prodigy” (where the missing element which is not formally expressed is “playing”) and “violin merchant” where the corresponding appropriate word is “selling”. Barhudarov gives another example where the phrase “I began the book” should be clarified with the help of the appropriate word (either to read or to write). It depends. But not “buy” which is not an appropriate word for this sentence.

If we try to analyze the following example from Zahoder’s translation we will see that he has to add the adverbial modifier of time in order to render the grammatical meaning (prior action) of the Past Perfect.

E.g.: It rained and rained and rained. He had had a tiring day.

Накануне он очень устал.

Though, it could be interpreted as Grammatical Substitution, where grammatical meaning of a word in the ST is rendered semantically (see p. 41).



Omission is opposite to Addition. It means that translator omits superfluous elements. They are elements denoting the meaning which is already expressed in the text.

“The most common elements – objects of omission– are pair-synonyms, which are characteristic of English stylistics”, writes L. Barhudarov. A propos of B. Zahoder translation, we, unfortunately, did not come across such phenomenon. However, we found another one, quite interesting as well.

E.g.: “Well”, said Christopher Robin, putting on his shoes. “I shall go and look at it. Come on.”

- Ну, – сказал Кристофер Робин, надевая ботинки, – я должен на него посмотреть. Пошли.

So, as you see no word “go” in Russian translation is used, because in the Russian variant it sounds rather superfluous. Logically, if one wants to look at something or somebody which is quite far away he certainly needs to go. Therefore Zahoder omits this very “go”.



16. Translator is a mediator of intercultural communication

Anyone who has ever attempted to translate a text knows that knowledge of the languages alone does not guarantee success. Peter Newmark notes sharply but aptly that: "any old fool can learn a language […] but it takes an intelligent person to become a translator". Paluszliewicz-Misiaczek (2005) reports Bell (1991) that: apart from an excellent knowledge of both the source and the target language, which comprises vocabulary and word formation, grammar, spelling and pronunciation, the translator also has to possess so-called socio-linguistic competence, which helps him to understand the text within its context, to determine its functions and predict who is going to receive it. Venuti defines the act of translation as "a process by which the chain of signifiers that constitutes the source-language text is replaced by a chain of signifiers in the target language which the translator provides on the strength of an interpretation". Then he describes the aim of translation as something that is indispensable of cultural consideration.

In Venuti's view the aim of translation is: To bring back a cultural other as the same, the recognizable, even the familiar; and this aim always risks a wholesale domestication of the foreign text, often in highly self-conscious projects, where translation serves an appropriation of foreign cultures for domestic agendas, cultural, economic, and political. In Venuti's view, the viability of a translation is established by its relationship to the cultural and social conditions under which the translation is produced and read. So far what is clearly common in the majority of translation scholar is being not ignored of the cultural consideration in translation process. According to Nida and Taber, cultural translation is "a translation in which the content of the message is changed to conform to the receptor culture in some way, and/or in which information is introduced which is not linguistically implicit in the original"

Toury states that "translation is a kind of activity which inevitably involves at least two languages and two cultural traditions, i.e., at least two sets of norm-systems on each level". Also Armstrong is among those who believed that just a bilingual and bicultural translator is able to carry out a complete translation.

As it was mentioned above translation and culture move in the same path in parallel to each other. House's statement about translation confirms these findings. She remarks that:

Translation is not only a linguistic act, it is also a cultural one, an act of communication across cultures. Translation always involves both language and culture simply because the two cannot really be separated. Language is culturally embedded: it both expresses and shapes cultural reality, and the meanings of linguistic items, be they words or larger segments of text, can only be understood when considered together with the cultural context in which these linguistic items are used.

She then sum up with this statement that "in the process of translation, therefore, not only the two languages but also the two cultures come into contact. In this sense, translating is a form of intercultural communication".



Another source

Translation equivalence does not mean that source and target texts are identical. It is a degree of similarity between source and target texts, measured on a certain level.

Viewed from the semiotic angle, the source and target texts can be identical pragmatically, semantically and structurally.




First and foremost, the translation must retain the same communicative function as the source text. The description and enumeration of speech functions can be found in the work by R. Jakobson, who pointed out the following:

• informative function, i.e. conveying information: Лавры моего конкурента не дают мне спать. – I am green with envy because of the success of my competitor.

• emotive function, i.e. expressing the speaker’s emotions: На кой леший мне такой друг? – What on earth do I need such a friend for?

• conative function, i.e. expressing one’s will: Could you do me a favor, please? – Пожалуйста, окажите мне услугу.

• phatic function, i.e. making communicative contact: How do you do! – Здравствуйте!

• metalingual function, i.e. describing language features: Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you. – На дворе трава – на траве дрова.

• poetic function, i.e. aesthetic impact:

Tiger Tiger, burning bright,

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye,

Could frame thy fearful symmetry? (W.Blake)

​Тигр, Тигр, в лесу ночном

​Мрачный взгляд горит огнем.

​Чья бессмертная рука

​Жизнь влила в твои бока? (Пер. К.Филатовой)

These sentences have only one thing in common: general intent of communication, communication aim, or function. At first glance, the source and target texts have no obvious logical connection; they usually designate different situations, have no common semes (i.e. smallest components of meaning), and have different grammar structures.


The source and the target texts can describe the same situation from different angles with different words and structures: I meant no harm. – Простите, я нечаянно. (the situation in the bus); Who shall I say is calling? – Кто его спрашивает? (the situation on the phone); Wet paint. – Осторожно: окрашено! (the situation in the park).

There are no parallel lexical or structural units in these counterparts. Therefore, their content is different, the word semes are different, grammar relations between the sentence components are different. Nevertheless, the utterances correspond to each other in their communicative functions and in the similarity of the described situation. Because of this identity, V. Komissarov calls this type of equivalence «identification of the situation».

Frequently one and the same situation is referred to in different languages. This is particularly true of set phrases: Fragile. – Осторожно: стекло! Beware of the dog! – Осторожно, злая собака! Push/Pull – От себя/К себе.

Some situations cannot be translated: for example, Приятногоаппетита! has no corresponding phrase in English. In place of this lacuna, English people use the French idiom Bon appetit!. There is also no equivalent for the Russian С легким паром.


Dealing with the transformation of meaning implies a semantic variation, or semantic paraphrase of the source language utterance. For example, the sentence in the original can be translated as if the situation were viewed from a different angle: He was not unlike his mother. – Он довольно похож на свою мать. He is my son. – Я - мать этого мальчика. Orsome words of the source language sentence are paraphrased in translation: After her illness, she became as skinny as a toothpick. – После болезни она стала худая, как щепка. Or the target sentence can verbalize the idea in more detail than the source language sentence: Сегодня Борису не до шуток. – Boris is in no mood for joking today.

On this level of equivalence, the source and the target sentences have the same function (aim), they describe the same situation, and their meanings are approximately identical, whereas their grammar structures are different. As is known, the meaning of each word consists of semes, the smallest sense component. The set of semes in the source and target sentences is the same, but they are grouped differently and, therefore, are verbalized in different ways and do not have the same syntactic structure.

V. Komissarov states that on this level the two sentences match because they have approximately the same method of the situation description.

Translator's false friends


The term ‘translator’s false friends’ (les faux amis) was introduced by the French theorists of translation M. Koessler Кесслера and J. Derocquigny Дерокиньи in 1928. This term means a word that has the same or similar form in the source and target languages but another meaning in the target language. "Pseudointernational" words their formal similarity suggesting that they are interchangeable, is, therefore, deceptive and may lead to translation errors. For that reason they are often referred to as the translator's false friends. The pseudointernational words can be classified in two main groups. First, there are words which are similar in form but completely different in meaning. E.g It lasted the whole decade. Это продолжалось целое десятилетие. Second, there are many pseudointernational words which are not fully interchangeable though there are some common elements in their semantics. As often as not, the translator may opt for an occasional equivalent to a pseudointernational word just as he may do while dealing with any other type of the word: South Vietnam was a vast laboratory for the testing of weapons of counter-guerrilla warfare. Южный Вьетнам стал полигоном для испытания оружия, используемого в войне против партизан.

2. The stylistic factor resulting from the difference in the emotive or stylistic connotation of the correlated words. For example, the English "career" is neutral while the Russian «карьера» is largely negative. The translator has to reject the pseudointernational substitute and to look for another way out, e.g.:

Davy took on Faraday as his assistant and thereby opened a scientific career for him. Дэви взял Фарадея к себе в ассистенты и тем самым открыл ему путь в науку.

3. The co-occurrence factor (совпадение событий) reflecting the difference in the lexical combinability rules in the two languages. The choice of an equivalent is often influenced by the usage preferring a standard combination of words to the formally similar substitute. A "gesture" is usually translated as «жест» but the Russian word will not be used to translate the following sentence for the comparability factor:The reason for including only minor gestures of reforms in the program...Причина включения в программу лишь жалкого подобия реформ.

4. The pragmatic factor reflecting the difference in the background knowledge of the members of the two language communities which makes the translator reject the formal equivalent in favour of the more explicit or familiar variant.E.gThe Senator knew Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation by heart.Сенатор знал наизусть провозглашенную Линкольном декларацию об отмене рабства.Misleading words are mostly international, or it is better to say that they are pseudointernational. They are loan words that can be borrowed from the source text but have developed their own meanings in the target texts. For example, interview = ‘a series of questions in a formal situation in order to obtain information about a person’; интервью = a journalist’s questioning some public figure in order to be published in mass media’. Or they can have the same origin of the third language (mainly Greek and Latin) and be borrowed both into the source and target languages: aspirant = ‘ a person who has great ambition, desires strongly, strives toward an end, aims at’; аспирант = ‘a graduate student’. Sometimes the form similarity can be accidental: herb = ‘an aromatic plant used in medicine or as seasoning’; герб = ‘an object or representation that functions as a symbol’.

The American Revolution was a close parallel to the wars of national liberation in the colonial and semi-colonial countries.

Война за независимость в Америке была прямым прототипом национально-освободительных войн в колониальных и полуколониальных странах.

Grammatical transformations

Lexical semantic transformation transformation involving certain semantic changes. Specification- is the substitution of word with more general meaning in SL by words with the general meaning in TL.E.g You poor old thing. Беднжка. Generalization- is a substitution of units in the SL having more specific meaning with units having more general meaning.E.g You stop on my toe. Ты наступил мне на ногу. Modulation- is a creation of an equivalent by replacing a units the meaning of which can be logically deduced from it and which is another way of referring to the same objects.Eg.I don’t blame them. Я их понимаю. Grammatical transformation is partition of ST by 2 or more sentences or converting a simple source sentence in to a compound or complex sentence.When se translate from English into Russian we commonly use inpartition.Eg. Come alone and see me play one behind.Приходи ко мне как-нибудь посмотришь, как я играю. Integration implies the combining of 2 or more sentences in to 1 target sentence or compressing sentence into a simple one.Eg The opening ceremony is delited the guest didn’t mind know.Церемония открытия задерживалась, однако,гости не высказывали недовольство.

1. Transposition
2. Replacement
3. Addition
4. Omission

This classification is arbitrary, not precise, because as far as translation goes we can’t find any of the transformations in is pure form. They are usually combined with one another.

1) Transposition - it’s a change in the order of linguistic elements, which are words, phrases, clauses and sentences. Most often it is connected with the notions of theme and rheme: *A boy came in – The boy came in.

In the first case literal translation is impossible, as the word “boy” is rheme, so we change the word order: “Вошел мальчик”

Within a complex sentence the same tendency is observed in Russian. So the first place is occupied by the part of a sentence which most logically precedes the second, while in English the position of both clauses though not quite fixed is for the most part governed by existing syntactical rules. In fact the main clause precedes the subordinate one, and this often causes a change in the order of clauses in translation.

*He trembled as he looked up. – Взглянув наверх, он задрожал.

*You goin’ to court this morning? – Said Jim. We have strolled over. – Мы подошли. “Вы пойдете сегодня в суд?” – спросил Джим.

The transposition of the sentence elements is sometimes called sentence restructuring, because the sentence is getting restructured in the process of translation. This restructuring consists in changing syntactic functions of words in a sentence. In English as in Russian the theme is generally placed in the beginning if a sentence, though in English this place is reserved for the sentence subject. The theme of the English sentence is represented by the subject though semantically it is not always the doer of the action expressed by the predicate group. It may be its object and even denote some adverbial relations (time, place, cause etc). In Russian the word order is relatively free, therefore the first word group must not necessarily be at the same time its syntactic subject. So in many cases the English subject is replaced by a secondary element, such as object, adverbial modifier with constant changes in the syntactic pattern of the sentence. Very often there occur some lexical changes.
*He was met by his sister.
*He was given money.
*The new film is much spoken about.
*The tent sleeps 6 people. – 6 человек могут разместиться в этой палатке.
*The fog stopped the traffic.

It is obvious that when we translate from Russian into English the process is reversed.
*В комнате установилась тишина.” – “The room turned silent.”
*В радиотехнических устройствах часто встречаются системы из электрических проводов”. – Radio equipment often includes systems of electric wires.


2) Replacement - This is a very important transformation, and I can affect any kind of linguistic units: word forms, parts of speech, sentence elements, types of syntactic relations, sentence types etc.

- Word forms:
*The struggles of the Indian people in all parts of the US” – борьба
*A novel about lives of common people” – о жизни
*He said he knew the man” – он сказал, что знает…
*The door was opened by a middle-aged woman” – дверь открыла…

- Parts of speech:

It is a common type of replacement for English nouns derived from verbs and denoting actions. In this case the English noun is replaced by a Russian verb.
*It’s our hope that… – мы надеемся, что…
*The abandonment by Irene of all the glittering things he had given her – Ирэн оставила

The same is true for nouns derived from verbs with the help of the suffix –er. The situation is complex, because in Russian the corresponding word may not exist at all or such words may denote people of permanent occupations.
*He is an early riser.
*I am a very rapid packer.
*John is a sound sleeper. – крепко спит
*The writer of this note. – написавший эту записку
*She is a very good dancer.” – хорошо танцует

Very often English adjectives are replaced by Russian nouns.
*Australian prosperity – процветание Австралии
*Youthful joblessness – безработица среди молодежи

English comparative forms of adjectives, such as “higher, lower, longer, shorter, better” are frequently replaced by Russian nouns that come from adjective stems.
*They demand higher wages and better living conditions – они требуют повышения зарплаты и улучшения условий жизни.

- Sentence elements


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