Pluralia and Singularia Tantum

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Pluralia and Singularia Tantum

"In English-Ukrainian translation the cases of missing Plural or Sin­gular Noun Forms are also worth paying attention to because of their frequent mismatch with the corresponding Ukrainian words. These cases are, of course, shown in the dictionaries that is why several examples seem to be sufficient to illustrate this minor translation problem: oats -овес, onions - цибуля.

Gender Forms

The category of Noun Gender is known to be expressed in English indirectiy: either through pronouns or by lexical means. This informa­tion is to be born in mind by translators when translating from Ukrain­ian into English. Again an example will do to illustrate the problem: кіт - tom-cat, he-cat

Sequence of Tenses

As the readers of this Manual might know from their language course the Sequence of Tenses is a peculiar system of correlation between the Verb Tenses in the main and subordinate clauses. Since similar sys­tem is missing in Ukrainian it may present a problem for translation, especially from Ukrainian into English.

Speaking generally, however, this problem hardly belongs to the most critical problems of translation similar to all other regular trans­formations including those mentioned above in this lecture.


Regular transformations do not present a serious problem for translation because of their regularity and predictability: what is needed is to know the relevant rule and use it in translation practice, unlike occasional transformations and equivalents which require in­dividual and sometimes unique solutions

The issue of regular and occasional transformations is related to dif­ferent translation devices and variations which are dealt with in the lec­tures that follow. Besides, regular grammatical transformations in trans­lation of official documents (diplomatic, legal, and economic) are ex­plained in more detail below in this Manual.


1. What is a transformation?

2. What types of transformations do you know?

3. What is an occasional transformation? Give examples.

4. What regular transformations are typical for English-Ukrainian translation?

5. Which type of transformations presents major translation problems and why?


Ex. 1. Translate into Ukrainian. Observe regular transformations in trans­lation.


Only those who have talent and willpower can make the most daring dreams come true. Many of us thought that we already knew all about the professional abilities of Bogdan Stupka, People's Artist of Ukraine and winner of numerous prizes. However, the news again held quite*УУ££ surprise. The news of his tremendous success and the international rec­ognition heaped on hiin this year reached us quickly and shattered all theM#*** long established clichns in'one big bang. Bogdan Stupka won his latest victory in the movie «With Sword and Fire». Jerzv Hofman's film shown in Poland, the United States and Australia'raised'the Ukrainian actor to the level of international film star. It was indeed, his finest hour.

Ex. 2. Translate into Ukrainian. Observe regular and occasional transfor­mations in translation.



The Times, July 6, 2001. PHILIP HOWARD

We are the people of England that never have spoken yet. Accord­ingly, after this water(slurry?)shed of an election it behoves us to speak

up for our nation. But it is difficult to decide what our nation is. We lack a foundation myth that defines what it means to be English.

In the Middle Ages King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table were described as the Matter of Britain. But they are improbably cosmo­politan heroes for the British National Party or the UK Idiots' Party. At a literary level, they are anachronistic medieval freelances from an EU elite of bullies. On a historical level (if they existed), their descendants survive in the wild west of Wales. «Lancelot» came from Brittany, and Tristram from Celtic Atlantis in the West. If he is more than legend, you can imag­ine Arthur leading the last stand of the armoured cavalry of the legions against the alien English asylum-seekers. In other words, he was a Ro­man. St George was a Levantine?/ Roman?/ Jew?/ Peculant pork butcher? Definitely not British.

Other nations have less problematic foundation myths. Italians can choose Horace or Garibaldi as their national hero, according to taste. The French have Charlemagne, Joan of Arc or Asterix. The Germans, Hermann or Arminius. The Dutch, snatching a living on land from the sea, make the most of the references in Tacitus to die Batavians, who splashed a living in their watery world. Their cavalry were good at swimming across rivers with their horses. But the Old Testament is an even more powerful foundation myth for the Dutch. Their Calvinist pas­tors taught them that they were the Chosen People, saved from the Flood, threatened on all sides by monarchs, Papists, and the other hosts of Midian, who prowl and prowl around.

Foundation myths come more easily to nations that sprang from revolution, like the Dutch. Or the Americans, who left the Old World to seek religious and political liberty in the West. Their New England preachers also used the Old Testament as a myth to validate their Chosen People.

Political correctness has censored the Western movie, the founda­tion myth and art form of the past century. Dim drums can no longer throb in the hills half heard, as the Comanche appear over the crest. The heroic latter-day Joshuas and Davids no longer stand silent in the white sunlight of their empty midday streets, waiting for the enemies of Zion.

The American bard of the noble savage and the last frontier is even more rubbished than McGonagall as national prophet. But the new edi-

tion of his poems reminds us that Longfellow was technically jolly good, in spite of having missed the modernist boat and the Ark of the Cove­nant. My grandfather used to adore Hiawatha in the Albert Hall, with a feathered cast of thousands chanting, «By the shores of Gitche Gumee,/ By the shining Big-Sea-Water».

Longfellow was a skilful versifier when poems still rhymed and scanned. «This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,/ Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight...» Not even Tennyson wrote such good English hexameters. And as many of Longfellow's tags have entered the American quotation bank as Tennyson's have the English. «Under a spreading chestnut-tree,/ The village smithy stands». «I shot an arrow into the air,/ It fell to earth, I knew not where.» «Ships that pass in the night.» «Footprints on the sands of time.» «When she was good, she was very, very good.» «Life is but an empty dream.»

Longfellow spoke up against slavery long before Emerson and Tho-reau. From youth he was a Unitarian, a follower of William Ellery Chan-ning, who believed that human beings are basically good. Longfellow's narrative poetry and visionary preaching are unfashionable. But he is still a ghost in the background of American identity. Kipling and Tennyson are not so influential for English nationalism. Shakespeare is too elusive. Perhaps the nationalists of our old and mongrel race should follow the foundation myths of the Dutch and the Americans by adopting the Old Testament as their manifesto.

Come to think of it, we have. The lost ten tribes of Israel were car­ried away into Assyria in 721BC, about 140 years before the Babylonian captivity exiled the tribes of Judah. Since at least 1649 various religious and nationalist nutters have suggested that the English are the lost tribes. This is as dotty as the first verse of Blake's Jerusalem, which opens with three questions, the answer to each of which is, «Certainly not: don't be silly.» But that does not stop Jerusalem being a battle hymn of True Eng­lish nationalism. Just as Gideon, Joshua and Noah were once seen as Dutch or New England patriots.


Ex. 3. Translate the following sentences paying attention to the infinitive or infinitive constructions.

The Security Council is so organised as to be able to function con­tinuously.

The Trusteeship Council is composed of members of the United Na­tions administering Trust Territories, permanent members of the Secu­rity Council which do not administer Trust Territories and enough members to make an equal division between countries which administer Trust Territories and countries which do not.

The function of the Trusteeship Council is to supervise the admini­stration of Trust Territories.

Subsidiary and ad-hoc bodies are set up to fulfill a special task and are dissolved after completion of the job.

The increasing population of the world creates unprecedented waste and the methods used to dispose of it - burying it, burning it, or dis­charging it into streams or lakes - have further polluted the environ­ment.

Members of the Organisation, whether developed or developing, should undertake to lend their assistance towards the success in settling economic difficulties.

United Nations efforts to rectify this issue have been ineffective be­cause some nations disregard its decisions.

In the Charter of the United Nations, the peoples express their de­termination to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war which has brought untold sorrow to mankind.

In 1957 the Assembly called for collective action to inform and enlighten the peoples of the world to the dangers of the armament race, and particularly to the destructive effects of modern weapons.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (also called the «Conven­tion on Life») is not only a legal instrument to protect and manage en­dangered species and habitats, but it also includes the far-reaching con­sequences of modern biotechnology.

Recently the Conference of the Parties agreed to start negotiations on a protocol on biosafety.

„We urge the United States to ratify the Basel Convention that regu­lates the export and import of dangerous waste.

In so doing, we are simply trying to shoulder the responsibility that we all share for our common future.

Ex. 4. Translate the following sentences paying attention to the gerund or gerundial constructions:

Should the president falter in these races, some politicians speculate, he might step aside as Lyndon Johnson did after running into trouble in early 1968.

If a business cannot make a profit, the government cannot prevent it from declaring bankruptcy.

The result is a complicated interaction of business and society, and the key to understanding this interaction is the systems theory.

Disregarding feedback has led to the demise of many once-powerful companies.

Basic research is aimed at discovering new knowledge. Applied re­search is aimed at discovering new knowledge that has some specific po­tential use. Development is aimed at putting new or existing knowledge to use in producing goods or services.

The poison pill describes a situation in which the target-company adds large amounts of corporate debt through borrowing.

None the less, the professor does not present legal theory as a given at the be ginning of the course; the students must themselves construct the legal theory by working from the texts or from concrete problems.

The Constitution provides for the protection of works of authorship in these terms: 'Congress shall have Power... to promote the Progress of Science... by securing to Authors... for limited Times the exclusive Right to their... Writings.'

Authors may use parts of the work (e.g., tables, figures) in subse­quent works without requesting permission from the AHA. If a joint work, all co-authors must transfer rights in said work to the AHA by exe­cuting this Agreement.

Ex. 5.Translate the following sentences paying attention to the participles or participial constructions.

I wasn't looking for any more difficult jobs in this world, but the near possibility of one coming along allowed me to enjoy my slippered days with a quieter conscience.

In developing rules and regulations, care must be taken to insure that the conditions are not changed.

It is next to impossible to convey here even an approximate impres­sion of the essence and range of this brilliant, content-packed volume.

It is not possible for contamination to occur here.

Much more stringent constraints than the requirement of formal consistency associated with formalist philosophies are posed here.

My father was watching them with mild blue eyed interest.

Numerous articles have appeared dealing with this intricate prob­lem.

Ex. 6. Divide the words below into two groups: those having the same form for singular and plural; and those having '-s' ending but singular in their meaning. Can you find any similar examples in Ukrainian?

Barracks, news, crossroads, statistics, mathematics, physics headquarters, means, series, species, works, Swiss, draughts, measles, politics

Ex. 7. Translate the sentences paying special attention to the pronouns.

God send everyone their heart's desire (Sheakspear). Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Bible) If anyone wants my umbrella they can take it. Nobody called me, did they? Whoever is late tell them to wait till the break. Everybody in this group thinks they are cleverer than the other group. If a person does not know what they want from life they find it hard to be a success.




This Lecture:

• introduces basic translators' devices:






omission and

antonymous translation;

• shows where and how these devices are applied as tools to ensure
adequate translation.

You might have already guessed from previous discussion that translation was a rather individual matter brinking on art and almost in any case requiring unique and unprecedented decisions. And yet even in translation of poetry, which undoubtedly demands the most individual approach, a translator is bound to use amore or less standard set of de­vices which helps to convey the ideas of the source text in the best possi­ble way and, generally speaking, makes it possible to translate.

Although the choice of particular devices depends on the text type, genre and style as well as on the translation variety (oral, written, con­secutive, simultaneous) and translation direction (into or from a foreign language), the basic set of translation devices (a kind of'translator's tool kit') usually comprises partitioning and integration of sentences, transpo­sition of sentence parts, replacement, addition and omission of words and word combinations as well as a special type of transformations called antonymous translation.

•► Partitioning is either replacing in translation of a source sentence by two or more target ones or converting a simple source sentence into a compound or complex target one.

One is to distinguish between inner partitioning (conversion of a simple sentence into a compound or complex one) and outer partitioning (division of a sentence into two or more). For example, inner partition­ing is used when translating English verbal complexes into Ukrainian:

Come along and see me play one evening. - Приходь коли-небудь увечері - побачиш, як я граю.

More often than not inner partitioning is a regular translation trans­formation accounted for by the differences in the Ukrainian and English syntactic structures, although it may be also used on individual occasions as required by the text genre and style and communication variety of the source sentence.

When translating from English into Ukrainian outer partitioning (unlike inner) is more a matter of personal translator's choice based, of course, on the proper account of stylistic and genre peculiarities and communication intent of both the source text and its translation.

Outer partitioning is out of the question in case of translating official legal or diplomatic documents (laws, contracts, memos, etc.) but it be­comes atotally justified translation option, say, in consecutive transla­tion of a long and complex sentence.

The following example from Graham Greene34 is one of the cases where outer partitioning seems a proper translation device (although, of course, not a universal recipe):

There was a real game too, not a party game played in the old school hall and invented by my eldest brother Herbert, who was always of an ad­venturous character until he was changed by the continual and sometimes shameful failures of his adult life.


Greene G. A Sort of Life. - London: Vintage Classics, 1999.

Була і справжня, а не салонна гра, у яку ми грали в актовому залі старої школи. Цю гру вигадав мій старший брат Герберт — людина винахідлива і схильна до всіляких пригод, доки постійні і часом га­небні негаразди дорослого життя не змінили його вдачу.


The flight will be boarding at Gate 17 in about fifteen minutes,' the girl added with a smile35 - «Приблизно за п'ятнадцять хвилин на цей рейс буде посадка біля виходу номер 17», — посміхаючись, додала дівчина.



ШЬ Integration is the opposite of partitioning, it implies combining two or (seldom) more source sentences into one target sentence.

•* Replacement is any change in the target text at the morphologi­cal, lexical and syntactic levels of the language when the elements of certain source paradigms are replaced by different elements of target paradigms36.



Generally, integration is a translation device wholly depending on stylistic peculiarities and communication intent of the text being trans­lated. In oral translation, however, integration may be a text compression tool (see below), when an interpreter (consecutive or simultaneous) is to reduce the exuberant elements of the source text to keep in pace with the speaker.

An example will do to illustrate the idea of integration:

Олена Філіп'єва любить усі свої ролі. Якщо якусь із них довго не танцює - починає сумувати.

Olena Filip'eva loves all her roles and even misses them should too much time pass without performing them.


•► Transposition is a peculiar variety of inner partitioning in trans­lation meaning a change in the order of the target sentence syntactic elements (Subject, Predicate, Object, etc.) as compared with that of the source sentence dictated either by peculiarities of the target lan­guage syntax or by the communication intent.

An example will suffice to illustrate the idea of transposition.

It seems worth to discuss again the example from our previous lec­ture on language paradigms. Let us consider sentences in English and in Ukrainian: He used to come to Italy each spring and Зазвичай він приїздив до Італії кожної весни.

The following paradigms were used to form these sentences and the following paradigm elements were activated in syntagmas during their formation (viz. Table below).

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