Lexical transformation translation

Investigation of the process of translation and its approaches. Lexical Transformations, the causes and characteristics of transformation; semantic changes. The use of generic terms in the English language for description specific objects or actions.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид курсовая работа
Язык английский
Дата добавления 12.06.2015
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The theme of this course paper is the vocabulary of any language is so large and heterogeneous that not any translator, not even the native speaker can know all the words and distinguishes all their meanings. A vague knowledge of the text, the deep meaning hidden under the surface structure obliges the translator to be in constant contact with dictionaries, because they do translators in estimate service in understanding the text more clearly.

The right choice of the word for a complete transformation of the meaning of the word in the text is one of the complicated objectives in the translation process. The difficulty of this task is conditioned by the complex nature of the word and its versatile and semantic value. The word as a lexical unit in English and Russian languages don't always coincide. Too often one word may correspond a composite word or a whole word combination of English. For example: “карусель - merry-go-round” or may happen vice-versa. Another example: “to stare - пристально смотреть”.

So the aim of this course paper is to investigate lexical translation transformations. Consequently, the tasks of this research are:

- to study the translation process and approaches to translation;

- to explore lexical problems of translation;

- to investigate the reasons for lexical transformations;

- to give definitions to lexical transformations and provide examples.

This course paper consists of introduction, two chapters, conclusion, bibliography and appendix.

The significance and actuality of the theme, the aim and tasks, the theoretical and practical importance of the paper is outlined in introduction.

The results of the research are generalized in the concluding part of the qualification paper.

The first chapter considers theoretical issues of translation and describes lexical problems of translation.

The second chapter deals with detailed analysis of each type of lexical transformations.

The work can be useful for all the teachers of foreign languages when they teach their students to translate the written sources of information or when the letters are taught to speak and transmit the information in foreign languages.

The practical value of the work is that the results of the investigation can be used in the courses of lectures in linguistics, seminars in linguistics and also can be useful for practical courses of English language.


1.1 Principles of translation and approaches to translation

Translation is a unidirectional process, starting from one language, the source language (SL), and carrying over to a second, receptor language, or target language (TL). A brief general definition of translation might be: the replacement of a text in one language (SL) by an equivalent text in another language.

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.

Structural parallelism makes it possible to compare respective units in the original text and in the translation so as to discover elements which have equivalents and those which have not, elements which have been added or omitted in translation, etc. In other words, similarity in structure is preserved in respect to the smallest of the text.

Of major importance is the semantic identification of the translation with ST. It is presumed that the translation has the same meaning as the original text. No exchange of information is possible if there is discrepancy between the transmitted and the received message.

The presumption of semantic identity between the source text and translation is based on the various degrees of equivalence of their meanings. The translator usually tries to produce in TL the closest equivalent to ST.

As any observable phenomenon, translation can be the object of scientific study aimed at understanding its nature, its components and their interaction as well as various factors influencing it or linked with it in a meaningful way.

The science of translation or translatology is concerned both; with theoretical and applied aspects of translation studies. A theoretical description of the translation phenomenon is the task o G the theory of translation.

Theoretical research is to discover what translation is, to find out what objective factors underlie the translator's intuition, to describe the ways and methods by which the identity of the communicative value of the source text and translation is achieved. The objective knowledge can then be used to help the translator to improve his performance as well as to train future translators.

The theory of translation is subdivided into general theory, dealing with the general characteristics of translations regardless of its type, and special branches concerned, with a theoretical description and analysis 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 translation in its entirety, including its results, with due regard to all the factors, affecting it. Each special branch specifies the general theory of translation 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 specific features of each genre.

The general theory of translation is an interdisciplinary area, predominantly linguistic but also closely allied to psychology, ethnography and area studies. It is based on the application of linguistic theory to a specific type of speech, i.e., translation.

It differs from contrastive linguistics in that the former seeks to compare different language systems with a view to determine 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.

Translation may be viewed, as an interlingual communicative act in which at least three participants are involved: the sender of source information (the author of the SL message), the translator who acts in dual capacity - as the receptor of the SL message and as the sender of the equivalent TL message and the receptor of the TL message (translation). If the original is produced not with a foreign language receptor in the mind, there is one more participant the source language receptor for whom the message was originally produced. Translation consists in producing a text (message) in the TL equivalent to the original text (message) in the SL.

Translation as an interlingual communicative act includes two phases: communication between the sender and the translator and communication between the translator and the receptor of the newly produced TL text. In the first phase the translator acting as a source language analyzes original message extracting the information contained in it. In the second stage the translator acts as a target language sender producing an equivalent message in the TL and redirecting it to the TL receptor.

In producing the TL text the translator changes its plan of expression (linguistic form) while its plan of content (meaning) should remain unchanged. In fact, the production of an equivalent message implies that the message produced is equivalent to the original in the plan of content. The message produced by the translator should evoke practically the same response in the TL receptor as the original message in the SL receptor. That means, above all, that whatever the text says and whatever it implies should be understood in the same way by both the SL used for whom it was originally intended and by the TL user. It is therefore the translator's duty to make available to the TL receptor the maximum amount of information, carried by linguistic signs, including both their denotational (referential) meanings (i.e., information about the extra linguistic reality which they denote) and their emotive-stylistic connotations.

The theory of translation provides the translator with the appropriate tools of analysis and synthesis, makes him aware of what he is to look for in the original text, what type of information he must convey in translation and how he should act to achieve his goal. In the final analysis, however, his trade remains an art. For science gives the translator the tools, but it takes brains, intuition and talent to handle the tools with great proficiency.

Translation is a complicated phenomenon involving linguistic, psychological, cultural, literary, ergonomical and other factors.

Different aspects of translation can be studied with the methods of the respective sciences. Up to date most of theoretical research of translation has been done within the framework of linguistics.

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

Translating is normally regarded as a process of linguistic formulation in the course of which the translator reproduces for a TL readership a message contained in an SL text, thus making it accessible, ideally in all its semantic and pragmatic dimensions, to the TL receiver. Translation is thus characterized as "interlingual translation" or "translation proper".

This point show translation to be a special case in communication, a communicative process sui generis, as essential characteristic of which is that the translator, by executing a sequence of interrelated code switching operations, reproduces an SL message, in a TL. In doing this, she/he uses TL signs, sign combinations, ant! sign combination rules which she/he selects from the TL lexical, idiomatic, and syntactic "repertoires in accordance with the task of attaining a stylistically flawless TL text.

Normally, communication is monolingual: a message is transferred from a sender to a recipient, both persons using the same code, at least at the core level of the language, and, consequently, moving along on approximately the same linguistic wave-length.

In contrast to be monolingual act of communication, based on 'code-sharing', interlingual communication present a much more complex structure. Here communication is not limited to a single encoding and decoding process, but calls for two alternating processes of encoding and decoding. The message formulated in the SL code by the SL sender arrives at the translator who analyzes the message on the basis of his or her SL communicative competence and then undertakes in a number of interrelated stages, a TL reconstruction of the SL text. To effect the TL reconstruction of the message, the translator must be aware of the fact that specific text types contain conventions that are represented by obligatory textual configurations or schemata. Text that is newly conceived in this way then goes to the second or ultimate receiver who decodes the TL text, expecting it to be in harmony with his/her particular communicative needs and the predetermined task specifications.

The investigation of concrete instances of translation is the task not so much of a general theory of translation as of empirical translation research. The aim of such research is to make use o a cognitively based conception of the translation process in elaborating a systematic description, classification, and explanation of the translation procedures that occur in passing from a specific SL to a specific TL.

For a linguistic theory adequately to provide a basis for theory of translation it must include communication as a major component.

The purpose of translation normally is to communicate the intended meaning of the original author in a different language and to a different audience.

Linguistic theories have, as a rule, centered their attention on the analysis of the linguistic form of a sentence or text without much attention being given to the author, the audience, or the circumstances of the communication.

A theory of translation, however, must include more than the text itself. The meaning of a sentence depends not only on its place in the text but also on factors outside the text. Such factors are also relevant to the interpretation of the sentence.

For example, meaning is culturally conditioned: "Each society will interpret a message in terms of its own culture. The receptor audience will decode the translation in terms of its own culture and experience, not in terms of the culture and experience of the author and audience of the original document" Larson M.L. Meaning-based translation. A guide to cross-language equivalence, 1984, p.89.

Translation theory must go beyond the confines of narrower linguistic theories to put linguistics into the framework communication. It must address the matter of text interpretation based not just on the words of the text, but on the intent of the author, the relationship of the author to the intended audience, the culture and worldview of the author and original audience, and also of the receptor audience. For translators to make a correct interpretation the source text they must have knowledge about various aspects of the communication situation. A translator must be receptor oriented. The important issue is what the translation will communicate to the new readership in the receptor language.

The core of the translation theory is the general theory of translation, which is concerned with the fundamental aspects of translation inherent in the nature of bilingual communication and therefore common to all translation events, irrespective of what languages are involved or what kind of text and under what circumstances was translated.

The general theory of translation deals, so to speak, with translation universals and is the basis for all other theoretical study in this area, since it describes what translation is and what makes possible.

The general theory of translation describes the basic principles which hold good for each and every translation event.

1. Meaning

The translation should reflect accurately the meaning of the original text. Nothing should be arbitrary added or removed, though occasionally part of the meaning can be "transported".

2. Form

The ordering of words and ideas in the translation should match the original as closely as possible. (This is particularly important in translating legal documents, guarantees, contracts, etc.) But differences in language structure often require changes in the form and order of words. When in doubt, underline in the original text the words on which the main stress falls.

3. Register

Languages often differ greatly in their levels of formality in a given context, (say, the business letter). To resolve these differences, the translator must distinguish between formal or fixed expressions and personal expressions, in which the writer or speaker sets the tone.

4. Source language influence.

One of the most frequent criticisms of translation is that "it doesn't sound natural". This is because the translator's thoughts and choice of words are too strongly moulded by the original text. A good way of shaking off the source language influence is to set the text aside and translate a few sentences aloud, from, memory. This will suggest natural patterns of thought in the first language, which may not come to mind when the eye is fixed on the source language text.

5. Style and clarity.

The translator should not change the style the original. But if the text is sloppily written, or full of tedious repetitions, the translator may, for the readers sake, correct the defects.

6. Idiom

Idiomatic expressions are notoriously untranslatable. These include similes, metaphors, proverbs and saying (as good as gold), jargon, slang and colloquialisms (the Big Apple, yuppie, etc.) and phrasal verbs. If the expressions cannot be directly translated, try any of following:

retain the original word, in inverted commas: "yuppie"

retain the original expression, with a literal explanation in brackets: Indian summer ( dry, hazy weather in late autumn)

-- use a close equivalent:

talk of the devil q(literally, the wolf at the door)

--use a non-idiomatic or plain prose translation: a bit over the top

The golden rule is: if the idiom does not work in the first language, do not force it into the translation. Peter New mark. A textbook of translation. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall,1988, p.163

There are two approaches to translation:

You start translating sentence by sentence, for say the first paragraph or chapter, to geed the feel, and the feeling tone of the text, and then you deliberately sit back, review the position and read the rest of the source language text.

You read the whole text two or three times, and find the intention, register, tone, mark the difficult words and passages and start translating only when you have taken your bearings.

Description of the translating process is one of the major of the translation theory. Here we deal with the dynamic aspects of translation trying to understand how the translator performs the transfer operations from the source text to translation.

The study of the linguistic machinery of translation makes it possible to outline the main principles of the translator's strategy.

When confronted with the text to be translated, the translator's first concern is to understand it by assessing the meaning of language units in the text against the contextual situation and the pertaining extra linguistic facts. At the same time the translator must care to avoid "thinking into" the text, i.e. adding the information which is not, in fact, present in the source text.

Analyzing the contents of the original the translator makes the assessment of the relative communicative value of different meaningful elements. In most cases his professed aim is to achieve the closest approximation to the original, i.e. to reproduce its contents in all the details.

As long as the linguistic or pragmatic reasons make it impossible and the translation involves a certain loss of information the translator has not infrequently to choose between several evil As often as not, one meaningful element of the original can be retained in translation only at the expense of omitting some other part of the contents.

The translator has to decide what bits of information he is prepared to sacrifice and what elements of the original meaning are of greater communicative value and should be rendered at any cost.

The predominance of the whole makes an imprint upon some of the techniques used by translators both for understanding the original text and for establishing a kind of semantic bridge to the translation. It can be observed that the translator first tries to get the most general idea of what is said in the original, to find out, so to speak, "who does what and to whom" Nida E. and Taber Ch. The theory and practice of translation. Leiden,1969,p.201, to understand the general semantic pattern of framework of the sentence and then fill in the particular details.

The translator may first resort to the word-for-word translation imitating the syntactic structure of the original and using the most common substitutes of all words. The same method can be used to facilitate understanding if the general meaning of the original text eludes the translator.

Thus the translating may begin with an imitation of the original structure in translation to see whether a word-for-word translation is possible or should be replaced by a different structure. In this way the translator decides upon the syntactic framework of his future translation.

This technique is not infrequently used as the choice of lexical units may depend, to a large extend, on the syntactic pattern they fit into.

Translating means producing a text. Translators do not have the burden of inventing the ideas to be communicated in the text, but they may well suffer the full agony of textual composition: the never-ending quest for the right expression, the perpetual temptation to improve through revision. Conversely, a translator may also enjoy many of the liberties of textual creation: paraphrase, explication, revision, localization, popularization, and other kinds of textual manipulation are part and parcel of the translator's work.

The translator's freedom is limited, however. He works under all the restrictions that original text producers must also accept, but there is an additional limitation on the translator's text production. Like all other texts, translations have intertextual relationships with other texts, and since any type of text (in any language) may become subject to translation (into any other language), the intertextuality of translations is no less complex than for non-translated texts.

Unlike nearly all other types of text, however, a translation always has a unique intertextual relationship with another text, with the source language text of which it is the target language version. It is this unique or privileged intertextual relationship which most obviously defines the possibilities and the limits of the translator's work and makes translation a special kind of text production method.

Translation necessarily involves two texts (in two different languages), a source text and a target text. In successful translation, the two texts are traditionally said to be equivalent.

Today, it is difficult to find two people who agree about the meaning of this concept. Reiss tried to restrict its application making it a special case of adequacy. Others claim that equivalence and adequacy are entirely distinct concepts. Most people working with translation theory would gladly do away with the term for once and for all. But doing away with the word is one thing. Doing away with the concept of equivalence is quite another and the concept keeps rearing its mystifying head whenever translation is discussed.

Many factors have come together to establish contemporary emphasis on the communicative aspects of translate They have come into focus because of a strong general interest in the pragmatics of linguistic communication, and, by its very nature, translation puts all the dimensions of culture-and situation-specific communication squarely before its practitioner. The task of the translator is always to produce a specific text designed to serve specific purpose.

As a text, a translation is not primarily determined by a source text, but by its own skopos. This axiom provides a theoretical argument for describing translations in terms of original text production and against describing translations (as is traditionally done) in terms of equivalence with another text (in another language).

Linguistic and cultural arguments for emphasising the productive, original and creative aspects of translation have also been brought forward. Translations are often criticized for warping the target language, or of impairing the purity of the target language and target culture.

The purpose of the majority of translations produced today is to function as independent, 'autonomous' or 'self-sufficient' texts. Typically, e.g. in tourist information, in directions for use, and in manuals, an institution or a company or corporation takes the place of author and translator. The text contains no explicit indication who authored (and translated) it, or whether the text is a translation or not. Obviously, therefore, whenever texts are produced through translation, no trace of this must be detectable in the body of the text either.

Currently, a large portion of the work of professional, industrial translators is defined by this textual norm. The texts they are required to produce must be 'functional'. Above all, they must seem 'natural'. So natural, in fact, that translations are indistinguishable from originals.

1.2 Lexical problems of translation

The study of the language is arguably the most hotly contested property in the academic realm. It becomes a tangle begetting multiple language discrepancies. That is why linguistics compares languages and explores their histories, in order to find and to account for its development and origins to give the answers to this or that language point.

Due to the semantic features of language the meanings of words, their ability to combine with other words, their usage, the “place” they hold in the lexical system of a language do not concur for the most part. All the same “ideas” expressed by words coincide in most cases, though the means of expression differ.

The principal types of lexical correspondences between two languages are as follows:

1) Complete correspondences;

2) Partial correspondences;

3) The absence of correspondences [1: 96].

Let's deal with them more exactly.

1) Complete lexical correspondences.

Complete correspondence of lexical units of two languages can rarely be found. As a rule they belong to the following lexical groups:

- proper names and geographical denominations:

- the months and days of the week, numerals.

- scientific and technical terms (with the exception of terminological polysemy).

2) Partial lexical correspondences.

While translating the lexical units partial correspondences mostly occur. That happens when a word in the language of the original conforms to several equivalents in the language it is translated into. The reasons of these facts are the following [2:5].

1. Most words in a language are polysemantic. That's why the selection of a word in the process of translating is determined by the context.

2. The specification of synonymous order. However, it is necessary to allow for the nature of the semantic signs which an order of synonyms is based on. Therefore, it is advisable to account for the concurring meanings of members of synonymic orders, the difference in lexical and stylistic meanings, and the ability of individual components of orders of synonyms to combine.

3. Each word affects the meaning of an object it designates. Not infrequently languages “select” different properties and signs to describe the same denotations. The way, each language creates its own “picture of the world”, is known as” various principles of dividing reality into parts”. Despite the difference of signs, both languages reflect one and the same phenomenon adequately and to the same extent, which must be taken into account when translating words of this kind, as equivalence is not identical to having the same meaning.

4. The differences of semantic content of the equivalent words in two languages. These words can be divided into their sub-group:

a) Words with a differentiated (undifferentiated) meaning: e.g. In English: to swim (of a human being), to sail (of a ship), to float (of an inanimate object);

b) Words with a “broad” sense: verbs of state (to be), perception and brainwork (to see, to understand), verbs of action and speech (to go, to say).

c) "Adverbial verbs” with a composite structure which have a semantic content, expressing action and nature at the same time: e.g. the train whistled out of the station.

5. Most difficulties are encountered when translating the so called pseudo-international words. The regular correspondence of such words in spelling and sometimes in articulation coupled with the structure of word-building in both languages may lead to a false identification.

6. Each language has its own typical rules of combinability. A language has generally established traditional combinations which do not concur with corresponding ones in another language.

Adjectives offer considerable difficulties in the process of translation. It does not always coincide with their combinability in the Ukrainian or Russian languages on account of differences in their semantic structure [3:236]. Frequently one and the same adjective in English combines with a number of nouns, while in Ukrainian and Russian different adjectives are used in combinations of this kind. For this reason it is not easy to translate English adjectives which are more capable of combining than their Ukrainian and Russian equivalents.

A specific feature of the combinability of English nouns is that some of them can function as the subject of a sentence though they do not belong to a lexico-semantic category.

The habitual use of a word, which is bound up with the history of the formation and development of its lexical system. This gave shape to clichйs peculiar to each language, which are used for describing particular situations.

lexical transformation translation english


2.1 The concept of lexical transformations

Some sense units of the SL retain their sense and structure in the TL unchanged, other retain only their content (i.e. meaning) unchanged, but alter or completely change their original (source language) form.

The kind of major and minor alterations performed in the structural form of language units performed with the aim of achieving faithfulness in translation are referred to as translator's transformations (Korunets', p. 361).

They are carried out either because of the incompatibility of the TL means of expression, which makes the transplantation of some SL units to it impossible, or in order to retain the style of the SL sense units and thus maintain expressiveness of the SL sense units (ibid., p. 361).

Not all sense units need to be structurally transformed in the process of translation. A considerable number of them are also transplanted to the TL in the form, meaning and structure of the original, i.e. unchanged or little changed (ibid., p. 361).

Substitution of a source language unit by a target language unit, which is not registered as its dictionary equivalent, is called lexical transformation

Taken separately they have a different from the original referential meaning.

Thus, semantically lexical transformation is substitution of a SL lexical unit by a lexical unit with different inner form, which actualizes the sense of the SL lexical unit realized in the given context.

All types of lexical transformations involve certain semantic changes. As a result the meaning of a word or word combination in source text may be made:

more specific,

more general or

somewhat modified as a way to discovering an appropriate equivalent in TL (Komissarov, Koralova, p. 32).

The reasons that call forth lexical transformations.

1. Differences in semantic structures of the correlated words. The corresponding words may signify the same object - referent or concept of reality - by reflecting their different aspects and so the words' denotational meanings can't coincide fully.

E.g.: instant coffee - розчинна кава;

drawing room - вітальня;

herring-bone - в ялинку.

2. The polysemantic characteristics of the words in two languages that are not commensurable (непропорційні), i.e. the corresponding words have a different number of meanings and, moreover, some of these meanings are quite dissimilar.

3. Different lexical and grammatical valency (combinability) of the corresponding lexical units:

E.g.: trains run - поїзди ходять.

4. Peculiar usages of words caused by extra-linguistic factors (differences in the ways of life, customs, traditions, etc):

E.g.: The city is built on terraces rising from the lake

Місто побудоване на терасах, що спускаються до моря. (Antonymic tr.)

E.g.: No smoking.

Курити заборонено. (Antonymic tr.)

E.g.: Never drink unboiled water.

Не пийте сирої води. (Antonymic tr.)

(Т.Р. Левицкая, А.М.Фитерман сс. 28-47)

2.2 Peculiarities of each type of lexical transformations

a) Concretization of meaning/ explicatory translation/ specialization

Concretization of meaning (specialization) is the selection of more concrete or exact translation equivalents or invariants of meanings than those given in bilingual dictionaries. It is the choice of a more specific word in translation which gives a more detailed description of the idea than does the word in source text (Komissarov, Koralova).

Another term suggested by Komissarov, Koralova is explicatory translation.

It's a very common lexical transformation employed in English-Ukrainian translation.

It often occurs among various translator's transformations when he/ she deals with the following groups of lexical units:

abstract nouns: He died of exposure (піддавання, вплив, дія);

verbs of movement: leave, go, come, take, move, bring etc;

polysemantic words (words with a wide range of reference) whose equivalents are too numerous to be listed in any dictionary. The role of the context in translating such words is very important;

the so called `prop-words' (words that have lost their primary meaning/ have delixicalized): thing, point, business, creature, pattern, stuff, etc;

verbs say and tell;

words having different valeur:

E.g.: “Thank you”, - said Margaret, feeling large and awkward and clumsy in all her limbs.

“Дякую вам”, - сказала Маргарет, почуваючи себе ніяково і не знаючи, куди подіти свої руки і ноги.

constructions with the English verb to be always require specification

E.g.: There is a picture on the wall - The book is on the table

На стіні висить картина; - Книжка лежить на столі;

He is in Kyiv now

Зараз він перебуває (знаходиться/ живе) у Києві);

concretization may be stylistically predermined;

it is often conditioned by translator's orientation toward the reader; by the need to preserve the pragmatics of the source text in translation: the pragmatics of the source text should be as understandable to the target reader (TR) as they are to source reader (SR).

The outer form/ structure of the language unit may be deliberately changed when it requires a concretization. As a result the structure of the sense unit is often extended or shortened in the target language without changing its proper meaning (Korunets')

E.g.: limbs - руки й ноги.

Examples to illustrate concretization

You have no business to say such a thing! (Galsworthy)

Ти не маєш права цього говорити.

He had left that same morning for Valencia with the car and the forty liters of petrol (Hemingway).

Вияснилось, що він іще вранці чкурнув до Валенсії разом з машиною і сорока літрами бензину.

Who can tell the dread with which that catalogue was opened and read! (Thackerey)

Хто здатен змалювати страх, з яким люди розгортали й читали ті списки!

Swithin did not exactly card and sing like a bird … (Galsworthy)

Свізін не те що співав і виспівув, наче соловей.

5. We drove up from Valencia with Thomas, and, as we sighted Madrid rising like a great white fortress across the plain from Alcala de Henares, Thomas said … (Hemingway)

Якось я й Томас їхали з Валенсії, і коли помітили Мадрид, що зводився над рівниною за Алькала де Генарес величною білою фортецею, Томас процідив крізь зуби …

6. She had quite a reputation for saying the wrong thing … (Galsworthy)

Вона славилася тим, що завжди могла бовкнути щось недоречне.

They looked at my dress and mamma's as if they had never seen a silk gown before (Ch. Bronte).

А як вони витріщились на моє і мамине вбрання! Так, наче зроду не бачили шовкової сукні (pragmatic toning)

8. The play went well from the beginning; the audience, notwithstanding the season, a fashionable one, were pleased after the holidays to find themselves once more in a playhouse, and were ready to be amused (Maugham).

П'єсу публіка сприймала прекрасно з першої ж сцени. Незважаючи на те, що було літо, в залі збиралися вершки суспільства, публіка раділа з того, що після літнього відпочинку знову опинилася в театрі, й ладна була сміятися та аплодувати з найменшого приводу (неподходящее время года: после летнего перерыва).

b) Generalization of meaning

Generalization is the opposite procedure; i.e. the use of an equivalent with a more general meaning; when a generic name is preferred to a specific name.

It is rather common in translation from English into Ukrainian.

E.g.: I packed my two Gladstones.

Я спакувала свої два чемодани.

For obvious reasons the translator preferred a generic name to the specific name of the kind of the suitcase that the Ukrainian reader is unfamiliar with.

English often makes use of general terms to describe very definite objects or actions:

these may be British units of measument such as:

linear measure,

square measure,

liquid measure,


weight measure etc.

which are, in many cases, not transformed into our metric system, when being translated into Ukrainian. Their meanings are often conveyed by lexical units with more general meanings:

E.g.1: The walls were painted with anti-war slogans 12 inches high.

На стінах були написані великими літерами анти-воєнні лозунги.

E.g.2: The temperature is an easy ninety - Спека нестерпна.

typical of English is also the usage of numerals for the sake of precise description of objects and actions. Transplanting them to Ukrainian would lead to literalism and violate stylistic norms of the Ukrainian language.

E.g.1: He was just six foot tall and he had a gallant bearing (Maugham).

Він був високий на зріст і стрункий.

E.g.2: Asked whether in his 100-minute talk with the Prime Minister on Tuesday he had invited him to visit Kyiv the Foreign Minister said: “Such a matter did not arise yesterday”.

Коли Міністра закордонних справ запитали, чи його запросили відвідати Київ під час переговорів з Прем'єр-міністром, які тривали понад півтори години, той відповів: “Цього питання не торкались вчора”.

100-minute talks - переговори, що тривали понад годину (півтори години)

orientation towards the reader is another serious reason why a translator resorts to generalization;

it is often stylistically predetermined.

Examples to illustrate generalization

1. …on his daily adventure from the bow window (вікно з виступом; еркер) at the Haversnake to the billiard room at the Red Rottle (Galsworthy)

…Джордж, з його щоденними мандрівками від вікна в Геверснейку до більярдної в “Червоному Кухлі”.

2. Та лише роззявив рота, як отримав доброго запорозького стусана під ребра (Гоголь)

But hardly had he opened his mouth as they gave him a heavy punch in the belly.

3. He boasted that his weight had not changed since he was twenty, and for years, wet or fine, he had got up early morning at eight to put on shorts and a sweater and have a run round Regent's Park (Maugham).

Майкл пишався тим, що його вага залишається незмінною відтоді, як йому стукнуло двадцять, і вже багато років, в будь-яку погоду, він підводився о 8, вдягав шорти і виконував свій моціон, оббігав Ріджен парк.

4. Margery gave him his black Homburg hat and opened the door for Julia and Michael to go out (Maugham).

Марджері подала йому чорного фетрового капелюха й відчинила перед ними двері . - врахування прагматичного фактора (Бархударов, с. 130)

5. She was jealous of his friends at the Green Room Club (Maugham).

Вона ревнувала його до приятелів з артистичного клубу (замість: “з клубу ЅЗелена кімнатаЅ”)

c) Modulation

Modulation (sense extension/ expansion) is replacing a source language unit with a target language unit which is not its dictionary equivalent but the meaning of which can be logically inferred from it.

It is just another way of referring to the same object or an aspect of the same situation.

The relationship of the substitute with the original may be of different types:

the substitute has often a cause-and-effect or effect-and-cause relationship with the original;

Other types may be:

cause and process;

process and cause;

a part and the whole;

an object and the container;

the container and the thing contained;

the material and the thing made of it;

the agent and the action;

the action and the agent etc.

The list is in no way complete.

A great many of such substitutions are based on metonymic relations.

Such transformations cannot always be treated as deliberate or subjective, more often than not they are objectively required. In most cases they are conditioned by differences in lexical valency and are often used for stylistic reasons.

Examples to illustrate modulation

He is in jail in Valencia now. I hope he likes it (Hemingway).

Тепер він сидить у Валенсійській в'язниці. Гадаю, йому там непогано. (effect- cause)

2. The room in which she sat was connected by three archways with the big dining-room where they supped and danced; amid the crowd doubtless were a certain number who had been to the play. (Maugham).

Зала, у якій вона сиділа, з'єднувалась склепінчастим проходом з великою танцювальною залою; серед публіки, безперечно, були люди, що прийшли сюди прямо з “Сіддонс-театру”. (“які бачили її сьогодні в театрі”)

3. Soames has stopped to look in at a picture shop (Galsworthy

Соамс зупинився, щоб поглянути на виставлені у вітрині картини. ) (container-object contained)

4. Hindley and Cathy contented themselves with looking and listening till peace was restored (Emily Bronte).

Хіндлі і Кеті лиш спостерігали і слухали, доки старші не помирились. (result-prosess)

d) Antonymic (antonymous) translation

Antonymic (antonymous) translation is substitution of an affirmative in sense and structure source language unit for a semantically corresponding negative in structure sense unit of the TL and vice versa (Korunets').

E.g.: mind your own business - не втручайся не в свої справи;

not infrequently - часто;

stay away from me - не підходь до мене.

(It represents a way of rendering when an affirmative in structure language unit (word, word-combination, sentence) is conveyed via a negative in sense or structure but identical in content language unit or vice versa

Antonymic translation describes the situation, as it were, from the opposite point of view and renders an affirmative source language structure by a negative target language one or vice versa (Komissarov, Koralova).

The device is resorted to in the following cases:

when there is no other way of expressing the sense of the source language sense unit:

E.g.: take it easy - не хвилюйся/ не переживай;

Mind your own business - Не суй носа не в свої справи.

At close quarters - недалеко один від одного, на невеликій відстані.

Do you mind this? - Ви не заперечуєте?

when there are two negations in the SL sense units:

E.g.: not uncommon - звичайний;

not infrequently - часто;

Я не нездужую нівроку (Шевченко) - I feel/ am perfectly well.

to achieve a fuller expressiveness:

E.g.: “I hope you'll stay”, he said in a tired voice.

Сподіваюсь, ви не втечете.

when stylistically required:

E.g.: keep your head - не падай духом;

The transformation in this case may be sometimes avoided. It may have another version: Вище голову! The choice of the form of expression/ transformation rests with the translator only.

it may be conditioned by differences in the lexical valency:

E.g.: snowdrifts three feet deep - cнігові замети заввишки в один метр (висотою 1м).

Examples to illustrate antonymic translation

1. Don't move I beg you Watson! (C.Doyle)

Дуже вас прошу, Вотсоне, залиштеся тут.

I don't think I'll find them (Hemingway)

Гадаю, я їх не знайду.

I'll stay with you until I am dead (Hemingway).

Поки я живий, я тебе не покину.

She would show him that she did not care (Galsworthy).

Вона йому покаже, що їй до нього байдужісінько.

I am a strange old man (Hemingway).

Я не звичайний старий.

“Five and you nearly were killed when I brought the fish…” (Hemingway)

П'ять років, і тебе ледь не вбило, коли я втягнув до човна ще дужчу рибину…

“You can't be sick,” said Mildred (R.Bradbury)

Невже ти захворів? - запитала Мілдред.

I didn't say anything (Hemingway).

Я слухав мовчки.

9. Keep out of trouble, Ettore (Hemingway).

Не вскочте в якусь халепу, Етторе.

10. I watched her face (Hemingway).

Я не спускав з неї очей.

11. You must know, Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

Не може бути, щоб ви не знали, Гетсбі.

12. I wonder if Michael remembered to have sent tea along to the queues (Maugham)

Чи не забув Майкл подбати про те, щоб людям у чергах до кас роздавали чай?

13. I want to be out before it is light (Hemingway).

Хочу вийти з бухти, поки не розвидніє.

14. Helen's finding it hard to get work these days…

Зараз Гелен нелегко знайти роботу…

15. But still the apprehension that filled her was not unpleasant (Maugham).

І все ж хвилювання, що охопило її, було приємним.

Antonymic translation is employed for the sake of achieving faithfulness in conveying content or the necessary expressiveness of sense units.

e) Compensation technique

One more specific transformation which may come handy to the translator when he is baffled by an apparently unsolvable translation is called the compensation technique.

Compensation technique is a deliberate introduction of some additional elements in translation to make up for the loss of similar elements at the same or an earlier stage.

It's resorted to when a translator deals with equivalent lacking elements.

What are the elements having no precise equivalent in the TL and which can't be rendered by the same means? They are:

1) The speech of foreigners and dialects;

2) Individual peculiarities of speech;

3) Diminutive and augmentative usages;

4) Equivalent-lacking grammatical categories;

5) Different stylistic figures (play upon words, metaphors, periphrases, irony etc.).

A translator must be ready to render the speech of foreigners, dialect forms and illiterate speech in the TL forms. It goes without saying that one can hardly render, say, cockney dialect using the Western Ukrainian dialect forms. There is no universal recipe for this translation problem and each such case requires an individual approach.

In some cases contaminated forms (the distortions in the target grammar and phonetics) are used to imitate the speech of foreigners. Sometimes both SL and TL have developed accepted forms of representing the contaminated speech by persons of foreign origin. For example, the speech of a Chinese can be represented in English and in Ukrainian in a conventional way, which facilitates the translator's task:

E.g.: Me blingee beer. Now you pay.

- Моя плинесла пиво. Твоя типель платити.

If no such tradition exists, the translator has to select some possible contaminated Ukrainian forms to produce the desired effect:

E.g.: When you see him quid' then you quick see him `perm whale' - (the speech of a Kanaka)

Коли твоя бачив спрут, тоді твоя скоро-скоро бачив кашалот.

It is not always necessary to give the contaminated forms of each word in a TL utterance. It may be sufficient to indicate the speech of a foreigner with the help of a few deliberate distortions of grammatical or phonetic norms. Much depends here on the pragmatic intent of the original utterance.

The individual peculiarities of speech

The woman character of the story “Arrangement in Black and White” by D. Parker often speaks incorrect English. Her highly emotional speech abounds in wrong forms of some words.

E.g.: “Oh, I'm finely”, she said. “Just simply finely. Listen. I want you to do me the most terrible favor. Will you? Will you please? Pretty please?”

“О, в мене все красненько”, відповіла вона. “Просто-таки красненько. Послухайте, я хочу, щоб ви мені зробили страшенну послугу. Зробите? Будь ласка, зробите? Дуже вас прошу”.

The wrong use of “finely” instead of the correct form “fine” is not easy to translate into Ukrainian where there is no corresponding corrupted form of this word. Hence, the stylistically wrong employment of the adverb “красненько” with the aim of compensating the corruption in Ukrainian translation.

Diminutives have a very poor representation in English (only some nouns) but there is a very large quantity of them in Ukrainian, where they exist practically among all parts of speech. Cf: English: dear - dearie; stream - streamlet;

Ukrainian: -есеньк, -оньк; -очок (лебідонька, малесенький, питоньки).

In English they may be used only as diminutives or they may express diminutive evaluation as well, which is identified in context.

It is difficult to say, for example, whether booklet, manikin or hillock are diminutives only or diminutives and evaluatives at the same time. As diminutives they mean брошюра, карлик and горбок respectively, and as diminutive evaluatives they may express the meanings of книжечка/ брошурка, чоловічок (small and handsome), горбочок (not high and pleasant hillock).

This distinction is almost always clearly identified and expressed in Ukrainian where diminutive suffixes may also point to an escalating gradation of a diminutive quality of a noun: дівчина; дівчинка; дівча; дівчатко; дівчаточко; дівонька; дівчинонька.

Similar meanings have to be expressed in English with the help of lexico-syntactic means, i.e. by means of some additional adjectives containing the seme of smallness: голівка - (small) little head; дівчинонька - dear/ lovely girl; рученята - tiny hands or in some other way:

E.g.: Господи, синочки, йдіть мерщій (О.Довженко “Мати”)

Lordy, in with you quick.

Neither has the English language any morphological means to express explicitly the augmentative and evaluative meanings of Ukrainian lexemes (mostly nouns). As a result, they acquire in English an objectively predetermined form of explicit expression by means of word-groups or sentences. For example, the pejorative (mostly contemptuous) meanings of a number of Ukrainian augmentative nouns will have the following English outer form expression:

вовчище - a big formidable wolf/ a big monster of a wolf;

дубище - a very thick and tall/ ramous oak-tree;

здоровило - a healthy/ robust fellow; a regular/ robust maypole;

п'янюга - a miserable heavy drunkard; a disgusting inebriate; a three-bottle man.

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