The peculiarities of the translation English maritime terms into Ukrainian language

Consideration of the problem of the translation of the texts of the maritime industry. An analysis of modern English marine terms, the peculiarities of the use of these techniques in the translation of marine concepts from English into Ukrainian.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид статья
Язык английский
Дата добавления 24.04.2018
Размер файла 37,5 K

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Mykolaiv V.O. Sukhomlynskyi National University


Kryzhanovska Ye.H.


The article is focused on the problem of the marine texts translation. Some scientific views on the concept of «equivalent» are highlighted. Ways and methods of the rendering of English terms into Ukrainian language are determined.

Keywords: linguistics, theory of translation, equivalence, explication.


translation maritime term english

Крижановська Є.Г.

Миколаївський національний університет імені В.О. Сухомлинського


В статті розглянуто проблему перекладу текстів морської галузі. Висвітлено наукові погляди на поняття «еквівалент». Визначено способи передачі англійських термінів українською мовою. Проаналізовано сучасні англійські морські терміни. Описано особливості застосування зазначених прийомів при перекладі морських понять з англійської мови на українську.

Ключові слова: лінгвістика, перекладознавство, термін, еквівалентність, експлікація.


Крижановская Е.Г.

Николаевский национальный университет имени В.А. Сухомлинского


В статье рассмотрена проблема перевода текстов морской отрасли. Освещены научные взгляды на понятие «эквивалент». Определены способы передачи английских терминов на украинском языке. Проанализированы современные английские морские термины. Описаны особенности применения указанных приемов при переводе морских понятий с английского языка на украинский.

Ключевые слова: лингвистика, переводоведение, термин, эквивалентность, экспликация.

Formulation of the problem

This work is devoted to terminological problems in the context of the marine texts translation from Ukrainian into English. The relevance of the marine terminology study is undeniable and requires a more thorough study. In the modern world there is a rapid development of the navy, both civilian and military. The number of ships and their tonnage is increasing, which means that there is a growing need for specialists in this field.

The intensification of international cooperation in the conditions of modern scientific and technical progress contributes to the growth of the terminological vocabulary role in the process of marine texts translation. The choice of theme is due to the interest and importance of these issues for most linguists and translators.

Analysis of recent researches

The problem of the translation of terms in various aspects was repeatedly in the scientists' eyeshot. It found reflection in the writings of such scholars as O. Akhmanova, I. Bagmut, A. Beletsky, L. Borisova, O. Globa, L. Vergun, V. Karaban, A. Kovalenko, L. Nelubin, I. Nosenko, E. Skorokhodko, A. Supe- ranska, A. Circal, K. Shipilo and others. The works of L. Alexandrovska, O. Andriyanov, M. Gadiyanl, O. Kozlovskaya, O. Mironenko, N. Orlova, N. Polu- panova, I. Chipan, L. Yarova and others are devoted to a research of the marine terminology translation problems. Their scientific developments have made a significant contribution to solving the problems of the marine terms' translation from Ukrainian into English and from English into Ukrainian.

The purpose of the article

The purpose of the article is to investigate how English marine terms are translated into Ukrainian.

The main material. The main complexity of the marine texts translation, namely the translation of terminological units, consists in disclosure and transfers by means of the Ukrainian language of foreign realities. The compulsory condition of adequate translation of any special text, especially marine text, is its full understanding by the translator. Literal translation of terms, without penetration into their essence, without knowledge of the phenomena, processes and mechanisms which are referred to in the source text can lead to misunderstandings and practical mistakes in translation.

The term is defined and classified differently, it carries the main burden of the marine text content, therefore, the translation of such texts should be adequate. Realization of the most productive ways and methods of rendering is capable to provide as much as possible terminological equivalence at the translation of terms of the marine text from English into Ukrainian. Many scientists including A. Fyodorov, V. Komisarov, Yu. Vannykov, A. Schweizer, F. Keleatat, K. Raye, H. Fermeer and others, have been studying equivalence, adequacy and variability. There are three main directions in understanding the concept of «equivalent» in modern theory of translation. One of them actually substitutes this concept with identity (that is, the translation must completely preserve the content of the original). The second direction involves an attempt to select a certain invariant part in the original text, the preservation of which will ensure the equivalence of the translation. The third direction is based on an empirical method -- comparing a significant amount of really executed translations to their originals to define the foundation of their equivalence. As a rule, certain semantic divergences between terms of the source language and target language are caused by differences in the exact amount of concepts, in their differentiation.

A.Ya. Kovalenko allocates two stages in the process of simple terms translation: the first is the definition of the term meaning in the context; the second is the translation of the meaning into the native language [4, p. 257]. Before the translation the term should be recognized in the text and separated from the general lexicon elements. Simple English terms do not cause such difficulties during translation as complex or terminology-phrases. A much smaller number of interlingual transformations is used for their translation.

The main methods of the marine terminology reproduction by the Ukrainian language are transcoding, calquing, descriptive and equivalent translations. The main method of the terms' translation is the translation by means of a lexical equivalent. Equivalent is a constant lexical compliance which precisely coincides with a word meaning. Terms which have equivalents in the native language play an important role in the translation. They serve as strong points in the text, the disclosure of the meaning of other words depend on them, they give an opportunity to find out character of the text. Replacement of such terms by similar (terms) in the meaning is inadmissible [2, p. 134]. This type of the translation is rather widespread in the translation of English marine terms, although in Ukrainian language there are not too much corresponding words in this field.

Equivalent units are divided into one-equivalent which have only one translation compliance (harbor -- гавань, towing -- буксирування) and multiequivalent which have two and more translation compliances (barge -- баржа, адміральський катер, зіштовхуватися; bilge -- днище, трюм). According to amount of meanings, ambiguous simple terms have several ways of the translation. The correspondence of an ambiguous word is called alternative, such that conveys only one word meaning from source language, i. e. it is the translation equivalent of one of any lexical-semantic variants of a multi-valued term. Variant correspondences can be recorded in translation dictionaries. In the case when the dictionaries do not contain some correspondences of an ambiguous word, at first interpreter has to determine exactly in what meaning a multi-valued term is used and then translate it [5, p. 19].

One of the simplest methods of translating marine terms is the method of transcoding, i.e. the alphabetical or phonemic translation of the original lexical unit by means of the alphabet of the target language. Sometimes mixed transcoding is used when most of the transcoded word reflects its sound in the original language, but at the same time certain elements of its graphic form are transmitted [1, p. 126]. The transcoding of maritime terms occurs when there is no corresponding notion and corresponding translation equivalent in the culture, and in particular, the science of the country of target language (bowsprit -- буршприт, log -- лаг) [3].

Numerous marine innovations are part of the Slavic languages along with the development of science and technology. In the conditions of the absent certain notion for designation of the phenomenon or an object, the process of nomination takes place in two ways: 1) a new term is borrowed from another language along with the assimilation of a phenomenon or concept; 2) nominations occur with the help of the means existing in language (for example, assignment of new value to the existing words). Therefore, before using this way of the translation, the translator has to be convinced that in target language there is no translated compliance of the term which is translated, otherwise synonymic terms may arise due to transcoding in target language, and it breaks the clearness and symmetry of a certain terminology system.

One of the most widespread methods of the marine terms translation is calquing (from fr. calque -- the copy). By calquing we understand the translation of a part of a foreign-language word (complex, derivative or phrase) with further drawing up elements in a single whole. Calquing as translation reception is more often applied to those complex terms which are formed by means of the widespread common used words. Calqu- ing is justified at the translation of terminological phrases when components of these phrases have already taken a certain place in the terminological system of target language and are available to experts' (specialists') understanding. The using of calquing method in some cases is followed by change of the sequence of the calqued elements. Quite often in translation process transcription and calquing are used simultaneously. Maritime terminology is characterized by both semantic calquing (marine knot -- морський вузол, captain's bridge -- капітанський місток) and word-formation (breakwater -- хвилеріз, steamship -- пароплав, icebreaker -- криголам).

In case the phrase consists of terms that haven't yet been used in a certain field of science or technology in target language and need their own interpretation the explication is used. Explication (from Latin explicatio -- explanation) is a lexical and grammatical transformation at which the lexical unit of original language is replaced with a phrase which gives an explanation or definition of this unit. Explication is an extremely productive way of translating marine terms because the rapid development of the latest technologies field allows many terms to find in due time the equivalents and to be fixed in target language. Multicomponent terminological phrases are translated by means of an explication. The efficiency of an explication at the translation into Ukrainian language is also explained by different ways of forming words and word combinations. Multicomponent nonprepositional phrases are prevailed in English that is not inherented in the Ukrainian language, and it creates certain difficulties in translation process. These difficulties are often eliminated by calquing with the change in the sequence of components of the phrase.

Translation of simple marine English terms is also possible by describing the meaning when a simple term is replaced in a target language with a phrase which adequately conveys meaning of this simple term (gangway -- виріз у фальшборті для східного трапа; recreation facilities -- приміщення та обладнання для відпочинку та розваг). While speaking on the descriptive translation, it should meet such requirements: the translation has to display precisely the main sense of the concept designated by the term; the description shouldn't be excessively detailed; the syntactic structure of a phrase shouldn't be difficult. In comparison with transcoding the descriptive translation has advantage as it promotes achievement of bigger transparency of the term sense. However this way has also certain shortcomings, in particular, at its application inexact or fuzzy interpretations of sense of the simple term are possible; the descriptive phrase violates such requirement to terms as brevity etc. The designated method is used at the translation of the latest author's terms-neologisms which are written usually in quotes. Often there is a combination of transcoding reception followed by an explanation or description. Therefore, at the translation of the marine text it isn't necessary to confuse a word meaning as term of this field with its usual commonly used meaning.

Researches show that in the process of translating marine terms into Ukrainian language, in addition to the above-mentioned basic ones, other methods, in particular, transcription (balker -- балкер, spanker -- спенкер); transliteration (generator -- генератор, laser -- лазер); the translation by means of using a genitive case (direct current system -- система постійного току, fuel duty -- режим подання палива); the translation by means of use of various prepositions (data processing equipment -- спорядження для обробки даних, safety instructions -- настанови (інструкції) з техніки безпеки); the translation of one phrase member by group of the explaining words (a call to boat station -- сигнал зайняти місця за розкладом шлюпочної тривоги, to take bunkers on -- приймати бункерне паливо) etc. are rather widespread.

One of the simplest ways of the translation is loan which allows to fill a gap, as a rule, of metalinguistic character (the new equipment, unknown concepts): brig -- бриг, canoe -- каное, clipper -- кліпер, yacht -- яхта.

Loan as process of using the elements of one language in another is caused by the disputable nature of the language signs: its randomness and involuntariness. The circumstance the process of loan in modern English, as well as in the Ukrainian, is very unproductive is also explained by it. In a quantitative sense it significantly concedes to such nomination processes as word formation and semantic derivation.

Transliteration is the rendering letters of the alphabet from one language by letters or a combination of letters of the alphabet from another language, that is, an alphabetic imitation of the original word form: bolt -- болт, gallon -- галон.

Transcription is a rendering of pronunciation of the English word by Ukrainian letters, that is the rendering of his phonetic image. By transcription such terms as chef -- чиф; сооk -- кок have been borrowed. Of course, such rendering is rather conditional as it tells only approximate sounding of the English word that is explained by a difference of phonetic systems of English and Ukrainian lan guages. Transcription is the main way of the translation by rendering of names. As well as a transliteration, it is used in cases when it is desirable to recreate laconicism and specifics of a foreign word. When these stylistic questions don't play a large role, it is better to use the descriptive translation because the transcription gives the new lexical unit which is not typical to Ukrainian language which can seem unclear for the reader.

Analogue translation is a translation by means of analogs (the words of a synonymic row). In such cases several words of target language can correspond to one foreign-language word (personnel -- персонал, штат, особовий склад: water level gange -- водомір, рівнемір, водомірне скло).


Therefore, marine terms as linguistic signs representing the concept of a special, professional brunch of the maritime industry, constitute an essential component of marine texts and one of the main difficulties of their translation. The qualitative translation of terms for the designation of concepts from the maritime field promotes the development of professional knowledge, rendering and saving information. Such methods of translation as equivalent, analog, descriptive translations, transcoding, calquing, transcribing, transliteration are determined by scientists as the most productive methods of translation, the implementation of which is able to provide terminological equivalence in the process of translation of terms of the maritime discourse from English to the Ukrainian.


1. Ababilova N. M. Osoblyvosti perekladu terminiv ukrainskoyu movoyu / N. M. Ababilova, V. L. Bilokaminska // Molodyy vchenyy. № 2 (17). Philologichni nauky - lutyy, 2015. S. 126-127.

2. Arnold I. V. Osnovy naukovykh doslidzhen' u linhvistke: navchal'nyy posibnyk / I. V. Arnold. M.: Vyssh. shk., 1991. 140 s.

3. Bilozers'ka L. P. Terminologia ta pereklad: navch. posib. / L. P. Bilozers'ka, N. V. Voznenko, S. V. Radez'ka - Vinnyzya: Nova kn., 2010. 232 s.

4. Kovalenko A. Ya. Zahal'nyy kurs naukovo-tekhnichnoyi perekladu: [posibnyk dlya studentiv perekladatskykh fakultetiv] / A. Ya. Kovalenko. K.: Inkos, 2002. 320 s.

5. Komyssarov V. N. Sovremennoe perevodovedenye: [uchebnoe posobye] / V. N. Komyssarov, S. F. Honcharenko. M.: MT-S, 2003. 424 s.

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