ЗНАЕТЕ ЛИ ВЫ?

PUBLICISTIC AND NEWSPAPER STYLE TEXTS AND WAYS OF THEIR TRANSLATION



Several characteristic features pertaining to the belles-lettres style texts are also observed in publicistic substyle works, which are mostly presented by articles on different subjects (social, political, economic, etc.) as well as in essays. The latter, though close to sketches or even to short stories by their composition, have distinctly different features of their own. The main of these are as follows: 1) brevity of expression; 2) the use of personal (author's) comment; 3) careful paragraphing; 4) strong logical and emotional argumentation; 5) extensive use of comparison and similes, epithets, sustained metaphors, etc.1

Like the belles-lettres texts the publicistic and newspaper texts can also be faithfully translated only by way of reaching equivalence

See: I.Ft Galperin. Stylistics. Moscow: Vyssaja Skola 1971, p. 287.


in the target language at the denotative, structural, stylistic and pragmatic levels of the source language text. Hence, when translating the excerpt of S.Leacock's brillaint essay Oxford as I See It below, care should be taken to select in the target language such kind of equivalents, which perform the same stylistic and pragmatic functions as in the source language texts. The student will certainly find no great difficulties in choosing equivalent structural forms of simple extended or composite sentences used by Leacock to create the necessary dynamism in the text of his essay. Certainly, the greatest difficulty will be found in selecting equivalents for some contextual meanings and functions of lexical and lexico-grammatical units, which help create humorous or ironic effect upon the reader and thus form the pragmatic orientation of the excerpt from this essay. Hence, the task will be to choose in Ukrainian not only lexico-grammatical and stylistic substitutions for some language signs and their meanings, but also some prosodic (intonation and stress) means to achieve the necessary fidelity of translation in the target language.

The clue to the pragmatic orientation of the excerpt is partly indicated by the author in the concluding words of the introductory paragraph where he promises to submit «the place (i.e. Oxford University) to a searching scrutiny.» The realization of this «scrutiny» on the forthcoming pages is performed, in fact, with great skill, which the translator will have to recreate correspondingly in Ukrainian as well.

The essay as a literary work aims at a psychological influence on the reader or listener in order to convince him in the reality and authenticity of the described topic/subject. This is achieved, as can be seen from the excerpt of S.Leacock's brilliant essay Oxford as I See It below, by means of the logical and emotional argumentation of the author's point of view, by the use of coherent logical syntactic structures and by often reference to historical events or prominent personalities, etc. Cf. «When I add to this that I had already visited Oxford in 1907 and spent a Sunday at All Souls with Colonel L.S. Amery1, it will be seen at once that my views on Oxford are based upon observations extending over fourteen years.»

All peculiar stylistic features of the essay including the author's individual style have to be faithfully reflected in the translation of each single sentence.

1 L.S. Amery - a member of Parliament, politician and Oxford university graduate.


Stylistically close to the style of essays are many newspaper and journal/magazine articles, dealing with social, political, economic and other subjects. They are aimed at acquainting the reader with some important or disputable problems of various social, political or economic aspects of life. The text of such articles is carefully paragraphed, as can be seen below, too; also it mostly consists of coherent sentences, which can not be omitted without mining the logical structure or sense of the paragraph, which it is the part of. This can be especially observed in the excerpt of the article on economy below. Other articles may contain elements of belles-letters style with emotionally coloured elements and several stylistic devices, as shown in the article on post-Chornobyl' life.

The bulk of newspaper space, however, occupy shorter and longer news items containing generally common lexical material and syntactic structures (cliches) having corresponding equivalents in the target language, and usually presenting no great difficulty for beginning translators.

The newspaper article on Chernobyl' is more like a belles-lettres short story with a vivid description of the situation in which many Ukrainians found themselves after several years of the world's most horrible technological disaster. The Ukrainian version of the articles, naturally, must also faithfully express the high literary qualities of the source language text.

All other Ukrainian articles that follow represent scientific (history) and didactic style texts, which have mostly lexico-grammatical and syntactic/or stylistic equivalents in English as well. Consequently, they can not present any difficulties in translating or interpreting them even in viva voce.

Exercise I. Translate the excerpt of S. Leacock's essay Oxford as I See It. Be sure to find and faithfully render into Ukrainian all characteristic features of its style. Make use of the ways of semantic and stylistic analysis employed in the translation of the belles-lettres text (Arranegment in Black and White) above.

1. My private station being that of a university professor, I was
naturally deeply interested in the system of education in England. I
was therefore led to make a special visit to Oxford and to submit the
place to a searching scrutiny.

2. Arriving one afternoon at four o'clock, I stayed at the Mitre
Hotel and did not leave until eleven o'clock next morning. The whole of


this time, except for one hour in addressing the undergraduates, was devoted to a close and eager study of the great university. At any rate I can at least claim that my acquaintance with the British university is just as good a basis for reflection and judgment as that of the numerous English critics, who come to our side of the water. I have known a famous English author to arrive at Harvard University in the morning, have lunch with President Lowell, and then write a whole chapter on the Excellence of Higher Education in America. I have known another one come to Harvard, have lunch with President Lowell, and do an entire book on the Decline of Serious Study in America. Or take the case of my own university. I remember Mr. Rudyard Kipling coming to McGill and saying in his address to the undergraduates at 2.30 p. m., «You have here a great institution.» But how could he gather this information? As far as I know he spent the entire morning with Sir Andrew Macphail in his house beside the campus, smoking cigarettes. When I add that he distinctly refused to visit the Palaeontologic Museum, that he saw nothing of our new hydraulic apparatus, or of our classes in Domestic Science, his judgment that we had here a great institution seems a little bit superficial.

3. To my mind these unthinking judgments about our great
college do harm, and I determined, therefore, that anything that I
said about Oxford should be the result of the actual observation and
real study based upon a bona fide residence in the Mitre Hotel.

4. On the strength of this basis of experience I am prepared to
make the following positive and emphatic statements. Oxford is a
noble university. It has a great past. It is at present the greatest uni
versity in the world: and it is quite true that it has a great future.
Oxford trains scholars of the real type better than any other place in
the world. Its methods are antiquated. It despises science. Its lec
tures are rotten. It has professors who never teach and students
who never learn. It has no order, no arrangements, no system. Its
curriculum is unintelligible. It has no president. It has state legisla
ture to tell it how to teach, and yet - it gets there. Whether we like it
or not, Oxford gives something to its students, a life and a mode of
thought, in America as yet we can emulate but not equal.

5. These singular results achieved at Oxford are all the more
surprising when one considers the distressing conditions under which
the students work. The lack of an adequate building fund compels
them to go on working in the same old buildings which they have had


for centuries. The buildings at Brasenose College have not been renewed since the year 1525. In New College and Mandolin the students are still housed in the old buildings erected in the sixteenth century. At Christ Church I was shown a kitchen which had been built at the expense of cardinal Wolsey in 1527. Incredible though it may seem, they have no other place to cook in than this and are compelled to use it today.

6. The same lack of a building-fund necessitates the Oxford
students living in the identical old boarding houses they had in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Technically they are called
«quadrangles», «closes» and «rooms»; but I am so broken into the
usage of my student days that I can't help calling them boarding
houses. In many of these the old stairway has been worn down by
the feet of ten generations of students: the windows had little latticed
panes: there are old names carved here and there upon the stone,
and a thick growth of ivy covers the walls. The boarding house at St.
John's College dates from 1509, the one at Christ Church from the
same period. A few hundred thousand pounds would suffice to re
place these old buildings with neat steel and brick structures like the
normal school at Schenectady, N.Y., or the Peel Street High School
at Montreal. But nothing is done.

7. It can hardly be due to anything in the curriculum or
programme of studies. Indeed, to anyone accustomed to the best
models of a university curriculum as it flourishes in the United States
and Canada, the programme of studies is frankly laughable. There
is less Applied Science in the place than would be found with us in
theological college. Hardly a single professor at Oxford would recog
nize a dynamo if he met it in broad daylight. The Oxford student is
the merest amateur.

8. This is bad enough. But after all one might say this is only
the mechanical side of education. True: but one searches in vain in
the Oxford curriculum for any adequate recognition of the higher and
more cultured studies. The more one looks at these things, the more
amazing it becomes that Oxford can produce any results at all.

9. The effect of the comparison is heightened by the peculiar
position occupied at Oxford by the professors' lectures. In the col
leges of Canada and the United States the lectures are supposed to
be a really necessary and useful part of the student's training. Again
and again I have heard the graduates of my own college assert that


they had got as much, or nearly as much, out of the lectures at college as out of athletics or the Greek letter society or the Banjo and Magdalen Club. In short, with us the lectures form a real part of the college life. At Oxford it is not so. The lectures, I understand, are given and may even be taken. But they are quite worthless and are not supposed to have anything much to do with the development of the student's mind. «The lectures here,» said a Canadian student to me, «are punk.» I appealed to another student to know if this was so. «I don't know whether I'd call them exactly punk», he answered, «but they're certainly rotten». Other judgments were that the lectures were of no importance; that nobody took them; that they don't matter; that you can take them if you like; that they do you no harm.

10. I understand that the key to this mystery is found in the
operations of the person called the tutor. It is from him, or rather with
him, that the students learn all that they know: one and all are agreed
on that. Yet it is a little odd to know just how he does it. «We go over
to his rooms,» said one student, «and he just lights a pipe and talks
to us.» «We sit round with him,» said another, «and he simply smokes
and goes over our exercises with us.» From this and other evidence
I gather that what an Oxford tutor does is to get a little group of
students together and smoke at them. Men who have been system
atically smoked at for four years turn into ripe scholars.

11. In what was said above, I seem to have directing criticism
against the Oxford professors as such: but I have no intention of
doing so. For the Oxford professor and his whole manner of being I
have nothing but a profound respect. There is indeed the greatest
difference between the modern up-to-date American idea of a pro
fessor and the English type.

12. The American professor deals with his students according
to his lights. It is his business to chase them along over a prescribed
ground at a prescribed pace like a flock of sheep. They all go hump
ing together over the hurdles with the professor chasing them with a
set of «tests» and «recitations», «marks» and «attendances», the
whole obviously copied from the time-clock of the businessman's
factory. This process is what is called «showing results». The pace
set is necessarily that of the slowest, and thus results in what I have
heard Mr. Edward Beatty describe as the «convoy system of educa
tion».

13. Now the principal reason why I am led to admire Oxford is


that the place is little touched yet by the measuring of «results», and by this passion for visible and provable «efficiency». The whole system at Oxford is such as to put a premium on genius to let mediocrity and dullness go their way. On the dull student Oxford, after a proper lapse of time, confers a degree which means nothing more than that he lived and breathed at Oxford and kept out of jail. This for many students is as much as society can expect. But for the gifted students Oxford offers great opportunities. He need wait for no one. He may move forward as fast as he likes, following the bent of his genius. If he has in him any ability beyond that of the common herd, his tutor, interested in his studies, will smoke at him until he kindles him to a flame. For the tutor's soul is not harassed by herding dull students, with dismissal hanging by a thread over his head in the classroom. The American professor has no time to be interested in a clever student. The student of genius merely means to him a student who gives no trouble, who passes all his «tests», and is present at all his «recitations». Higher education in America flourishes chiefly as a qualification for entrance into a money-making profession, and not as a thing in itself. But in Oxford one can still see the surviving outline of a noble type of structure and a higher inspiration. In one respect at least I think that Oxford has fallen away from the high ideals of the Middle Ages. I refer to the fact that it admits women students to its studies. Oxford... has not stood out against this change.





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