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Лекции по теории перевода
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^

Stylistic aspect of translation


In different communication situation the language users select words of different stylistic status. There are stylistically neutral words that are suitable for any situation, and there are literary (bookish) words and colloquial words which satisfy the demands of official, poetic messages and unofficial everyday communication respectively. SL and TL words of similar semantics may have either identical (a steed - скакун, aforesaid - вышеозначенный, gluttony - обжорство, to funk - трусить) or dissimilar (slumber - сон, morn - утро, to show - менять) stylistic status of the original text, by using the equivalents of the same style or, failing that, opting for stylistically neutral units.

The principal stylistic effect of the text is created, however, with the help of special stylistic devices as well as by the interworking of the meaning of the words in a particular context. The speaker may qualify every object he mentions in his own way thus giving his utterance a specific stylistic turn. Such stylistic phrasing give much trouble to the translator since their meaning is often subjective and elusive. Some phrases become fixed through repeated use and they may have permanent equivalents in TL, e.g. true love - истинная любовь, dead silence - мертвая тишина, good old England - добрая старая Англия.In most cases, however, the translator has to look for an occasional substitute, which often requires an in-depth study of the broad context. When for example, J. Galsworthy in his "Forsyte Saga" refer to Irene as "that tender passive being, who would not stir for herself", the translator is faced with the problem of rendering the world "passive" into Russian so that its substitute would fit the character of that lady ad all the circumstances of her life described in the novel.

A common occurrence in English text is the transferred qualifier syntactically joined to a world to which it does not belong logically. Thus the English speaker may mention "a corrupt alliance", "a sleepless bed" or "a thoughtful pipe". As often as not, such combinations will be thought of as too bizarre i Russian or alien to the type of the text and qualifier will have to be used with name of the object it refers to. "The sound of the solemn bells" will become "торжественное звучание колоколов" and "the smiling attention of the stranger" will be translated as "внимание улыбающегося незнакомца".

Note should also be taken of the inverted qualifier which syntactically is not the defining but the defined element. Such a qualifier precedes the qualified word which is joined to it by the preposition "of": "this devil of a woman", "the giant of a man ", etc. The phrase can be translated to obtain an ordinary combination (a devilish woman, a gigantic man) and then translated into Russian. The translation may involve an additional element: the devil of a woman - чертовски хитрая (умная, неотразимая и т.п.) женщина.

Stylistically-marked units may also be certain types of collocations. Idiomatic phrases discussed above (see2.2) may be cited as an example. Another common type includes conversational indirect names of various object or "paraphrases". A frequant use of paraphrases is a characteristic feature of the English language.

Some of the paraphrases are borrowed from such classical sources as mythology or the Bible and usually have permanent equivalents in Russian (cf. Attic salt - аттическая соль , the three sister - богини судьбы, the Prince of Darkness - принц тьмы). Others are purely English and are either transcribed or explained in translation: John Bull - Джон Буль, the three R's - чтение, письмо и арифметика, the Iron Duke - герцог Веллингтон.

A special group of paraphrases are the name of countries, states and other goegraphical or political entities: the Land of Cakes (Scotland), the Badger State (Wisconcin), the Empire City (New York). As a rule, such paraphrases are not known to the Russian reader and they are replaced by official name in the translation. (A notable exception is "the eternal city" - вечный город.)

^

Handling stylistically-marked language units



Complicated translation problem are caused by ST containing substandard language units to produce a stylistic effect. The ST author may imitate his character's speech by means of dialectal or contaminated form/ SL territorial dialects cannot be reproducing in TT, nor can they be replaced by TL dialect form. It would be inappropriate if a black American or a London cockney spoke in the Russian translation in the dialect, say, of the Northern regions of the Russia. Fortunately, the English dialectal forms are mostly an indication of the speaker’s low social or educational status, and they can be rendered into Russian by a judicial employment of low-colloquial elements, e.g.:

He do look quiet, don’t’e? D’e know’oo’e is, Sir?

Вид-то у него спокойный, правда? Часом не знаете, сэр, кто он будет?

Here the function of the grammatical and phonetical markers in the English sentence, which serve to show that the speaker is uneducated is fulfilled by the Russian colloquialisms «часом» and «кто он будет».

Contaminated forms are used to imitate the speech of a foreigner. Sometimes, both SL and TL have developed accepted forms of representing the contaminated speech by persons of foreign origin.


§3. TRANSLATION PROBLEMS OF STYLISTIC DEVICES

To enhance the communicative effect of his message the author of the source text may make use of various stylistic devices, such as metaphors, similes, puns and so on. Coming across a stylistic device the translator has to make up his mind whether it should be preserved in his translation or left out and compensated for at some other place.

Metaphors and similes though most commonly used in works of fiction are not excluded from all other types of texts. A metaphor and a simile both assert the resemblance between two objects or processes but in the latter the similarity is made explicit with the help of prepositions “as” and “like”.

Many metaphors and similes are conventional figures of speech regularly used by the members of the language community. Such figurative units may be regarded as idioms and translated in a similar way. As in the case of idioms their Russian equivalents may be based on the same image (a powder magazine-пороховой погреб, white as snow-белый как снег) or on a different one (a ray of hope-проблеск надежды, thin as a rake-худой как щепка). Similarly, some of the English standard metaphors and similes are rendered into Russian word for word (as busy as a bee-трудолюбивый как пчела), while the meaning of others can only be explained in a non-figurative way (as large as life-в натуральную величину).

More complicated is the problem of translating individual figures of speech created by the imagination of the ST author. They are important elements of the author’s style and are usually translated word for word. Nevertheless the original image may prove unacceptable in the target language and the translator will have to look for a suitable occasional substitute. Consider the following example:

They had reached the mysterious mill where the red tape was spun, and Yates was determined to cut through it here and now. (St. Heym. “Crusaders”)

“Red tape” is usually translated as «бюрократизм, волокита», but bureaucratism cannot be spun or cut through. The translator had to invent an occasional substitute:

Они упёрлись в стену штабной бюрократии, но Йейтс твёрдо решил тут же пробить эту стену.

A similar tactics is resorted to by the translator when he comes across a pun in ST. If the SL word played upon in ST has a Russian substitute which can also be used both literally and figuratively, a word-for-word translation is possible:

Whenever a young gentlemen was taken in hand by Doctor Blimber, He might consider himself sure of a pretty tight squeeze.

Когда доктор Блаймбер брал в руки какого-нибудь джентльмена, тот мог быть уверен, что его как следует стиснут.

In other cases the translator tries to find in TL another word that can be played upon in a similar way:

He says he’ll teach you to take his boards and make a raft of them; but seeing that you know how to do this pretty well already, the other … seems a superfluous one on his part.

Here the word “teach” is intended by the owner of the boards to mean “to punish” but the man on the raft prefers to understand it in the direct sense. The Russian equivalent «учить» does not mean “to punish” and the translator finds another word which has the two required meanings:

Он кричит, что покажет вам, как брать без спроса доски и делать из них плот, но поскольку вы и так прекрасно знаете, как это делать, это предложение кажется вам излишним.

Translation of such allusions is no easy matter. The translator has to identify the source and the associations it evokes with the SL receptors and then to decide whether the source is also known to the TL receptors and can produce the similar effect. He may find the allusion untranslatable even if the source is sufficiently popular. L.Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” was many times translated into Russian and is much enjoyed both by children and adults in this country. However, the translator will hardly preserve the obvious allusion to the book in the following sentence:

The Tories were accused in the House of Commons yesterday of “living in an Alice in Wonderland world” on the question of nuclear arms for Germany.

Вчера в палате общин консерваторов обвинили в том, что они питают призрачные иллюзии по поводу ядерного вооружения ФРГ.

Some stylistic devices may be ignored by the translator when their expressive effect is insignificant and their reproduction in the target text would run counter to the spirit of TL. One of the oldest and most commonly used stylistic devices in English is alliteration. Many headings, strings of epithets and other phrases in English texts consist of words, which begin with the same letter. An Englishman seems to be very happy if he can call an artificial satellite “a man-made moon” or invent a headline like “Bar Barbarism in Bars”.

Repetition is a powerful means of emphasis. It adds rhythm and balances to the utterance it in TT. Repetition, however, is more often used in English than in Russian and the translator may opt for only a partial reproduction of the English long series of identical language units.


^ QUESTIONS FOR SELF-CONTROL:

  1. What is a stylistic register or status of the original text?

  2. What phrases have permanent equivalence in the native language?

  3. How are stylistic remarked units rendered into the native language?

  4. Should all stylistic devices be preserved in the target text?


^ INDEPENDENT WORK:

  1. Translation of terms

  2. translation of neologisms/archaisms

  3. translation of slang

  4. translation of stylistic devices


OBLIGATORY LITERATURE:

  1. Alan Duff. Translation. Oxford University press. 1972.

  2. Barkhudarov L.S. Language and Translation. M.1975.

  3. Komissarov V.N., A manual of translation from English into Russian, M., 1990

  4. Catford I.C. F Linguistic theory of translation. L.N/Y.

  5. Peter Newmark. Approaches to translation. London.

  6. Pragmatics and translation. M.1990

  7. Levitskaya T.R, Fiterman A.M. The problems of translation on the material of the contemporary English language. M.1974.


^ ADDITIONAL LITERATURE:

  1. Language Transfer Cross – Linguistic influence in language learning. Cambridge University Press. 1993.

  2. Nida.E. Towards a science of translation. Leiden. 1964

  3. Nida.E. Linguistics and ethnology in translation problems. Language structure and Translation. Atanford. 1975.

  4. Roger. N. Bell. Translation and translating . Theory and practice. London, New York. 1995.

  5. Shvaytser A.D. Translation and Linguistics. M. 1973

  6. Salomov G. Tarjima nazariyasiga kirish. T. 1978.

  7. Salomov G. Tarjima nazariyasi asoslari. T. 1983.

  8. Tommola Q. Translation as a psycho-linguistic process. L.1986.



Lecture X


^ PROBLEMS FOR DISCUSSION:

1. Translation as means of communication.

2.The pragmatic aspect of translation.


KEY WORDS: translation, communication, pragmatic aspect, transformation


The last decade saw considerable headway in the development of the linguistic theory of the translation.

A number of fundamental contributions to this theory have been recently made both in our country and abroad.

Theoretical studies in translation have kept abreast with the recent advances in linguistics which provided some new insights into the mechanism of translation and the factors determining it.

The theory of translation has benefited from new syntactic and semantic models in linguistics and from development of such hyphenated disciplines as psycho – and – socio – linguistics. Equally insightful was the contribution to the theory of translation by semiotics, a general theory of sign systems.

A condensation of the major problems of translation introduces the reader to basic concepts and defines the terminology.

The subjects discussed include the subject – matter of the theory of translation and the nature of translating, semantic and pragmatic aspects of translation/these lectures were written by I.D.Shvaytser/, Grammatical problems of translation and grammatical transformations (L.S.Barkhudarov), Lexical problems of translation and lexical transformations (A.M.Fiterman), Stylistics aspects of translation and its socio - regional problems (A.D.Shveitser).

The summary of the lecture is based on the syllables of foreign scholars: prof.A.Neubet, prof.E.Nida, prof. Roger. T.Bell’s view points on theory and practical of translation.

The theory of translation is subdivided into general theory, dealing with the general characteristics of translation, regardless of its type, and special branches, concerned with a theoretical description and analyses of the various types of translation, such as the translation of fiction poetry, technical and scientific literature, official documents, etc.

The general theory of translation has a clearly defined subject matter; the process of translating in its entirely, including its results with due regard for all the factors affecting it. Each special branch depends and specifies the general theory for it is the job of the general theory to reflect what is common to all types and varieties

of translation while the special branches are mainly concerned with the specifics of each genre.

The general theory of translation is an interdisciplinary area, predominantly linguistic, but also closely allied to philology, sociology, ethnography and etc . It is based on the application of linguistics theory to a specific type of speech behavior, i.e. translating. It differs from contrastive linguistics in that the former seem to compare different language systems with a view to determining their similarities and distinctive features while the theory of translation has a subject matter of its own (the process of translation) and uses the data of contrastive linguistics merely as a point of departure.

The earliest linguistics theory of translation was developed by Russian scholars Y.L.Retsker and A.V.Fedorov who pioneered in a linguistic analysis of translation problems. Their theory came to be known as the theory of regular correspondences.

Translation, they argeed, is inconceivable without a sound linguistic basis, and this study of linguistic phenomena and the establishment of certain correspondences between the language of the original and that of the translation. The authors of this theory were mainly concerned with the typology of relationship between linguistic

зunits equivalents – permanent correspondences not sensitive to context such as The League of Nations – Лига наций, and context - Sensitive variant correspondences , such as Slander – клевета нового поколения/ but also investigated some of the translation techniques, such as antonimic translation (see below, thus mapping out some ways of dealing with translation as a process.

In the 60 th some linguistics /N.U.Rozentsveig in Russia and L.E.Nida in the USA / proposed a theoretical model of translation based on generative or transformational grammar. E.Nida subdivided the process of translation into 3 stages; analysis where an ambiguous surface structure is transformed into non- ambiguous kernel sentences to facilitated semantic interpretation / the foundation of school/ somebody founded a school or a school has a foundation / transfer where equivalent in the target language are found at a kernel or near – kernel level and restructuring where target – language kernel sentences are transformed into surface structures.

It is true that in some cases it is necessary to paraphrase the source – language structure to facilitate it’s translation. Such transformations come in hardly especially when the target – language, /e.g. He stood with his feet planted wide a part; he stood, his feet were planted wide apart = Он стоял, его ноги были широко расставлены; oн стоял, широко расставив ноги.

But transformations in terms of generative are not the only type of paraphrases used in translation. What is more, in some cases, especially when close parallels exist between the Source – and target language structures, they are not even necessary.

The structural model of translation is based on analysis in linguistics developed others. It is based on the assumption that languages are somewhat different sets of semantic components /constituents of meaning/ to describe identical extra – linguistic situations, Russian verbs of motion contain the component of move but not always the direction of movement while their English equivalents are often neutral, the direction of / Вот он идёт - Here he comes / Here he goes/.

The structural model provides some interesting insights into the mechanism of translation, especially when a situation is described in different semantic categories of /проточный пруд and spring – fed pond/ but does not seem to apply to sentences going beyond a mere description of a situation.

Different translation models complement each other and should therefore be combined in analyzing of translation as a process.


^ QUESTIONS FOR SELF-CONTROL:

  1. What is pragmatics? What relationship can exist between the word and its users?

  2. What the role do the pragmatic aspects play in translation?

  3. What are the relationships between pragmatics and equivalence?

  4. What is the pragmatic adaptation of the target text?


^ INDEPENDENT WORK:

  1. The role of background information in translation

  2. pragmatic aspect of translation (pragmatic value and pragmatic attention)

  3. the role of pragmatic adaptation


OBLIGATORY LITERATURE:

  1. Alan Duff. Translation. Oxford University press. 1972.

  2. Barkhudarov L.S. Language and Translation. M.1975.

  3. Frederick Fuller. The translation’s handbook. L.N/Y.

  4. Catford I.C. F Linguistic theory of translation. L.N/Y.

  5. Peter Newmark. Approaches to translation. London.

  6. Pragmatics and translation. M.1990

  7. Levitskaya T.R, Fiterman A.M. The problems of translation on the material of the contemporary English language. M.1974.


^ ADDITIONAL LITERATURE:

  1. Language Transfer Cross – Linguistic influence in language learning. Cambridge University Press. 1993.

  2. Nida.E. Towards a science of translation. Leiden. 1964

  3. Nida.E. Linguistics and ethnology in translation problems. Language structure and Translation. Atanford. 1975.

  4. Roger. N. Bell. Translation and translating . Theory and practice. London, New York. 1995.

  5. Shvaytser A.D. Translation and Linguistics. M. 1973

  6. Salomov G. Tarjima nazariyasiga kirish. T. 1978.

  7. Salomov G. Tarjima nazariyasi asoslari. T. 1983.

  8. Tommola Q. Translation as a psycho-linguistic process. L.1986.



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