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Theory and practice of translation

Questions for Revision

1. The History and the Origin of the Theory of Translation. Its place among other
Many writers and scholars of the past and present have practiсed the art of translation, and
their views differ. Translators of the ancient world discussed the extent of correspondence between
the ST and the TT. For Romans translating literary and philosophical works meant looting those
elements of the Greek culture that would enhance the aesthetic demensions of their own culture.
Semantic meanings of the original were not a primary concern of the translator. Cicero proclaimed
that he translated ideas and their forms and was therefore less interested in a word-for- word
rendering of the ST.
The dominant characteristic of European translation theories of the Renaissance was an effort
to "‘enrich” the TL by surpassing the original. However, early Bible translations were literal and
were considered as models for translators. French poet and translator Etienne Dolet (1509-1546)
articulated a sort of “normative theory of translation” where he gave an account of the main
translation principles.
Later, in 1790, Tytler suggested his translation requirements. In Tytler’s words, the
translation must be a complete transcript of ideas of the original and a replica of its style and manner
of writing. In Russia and Ukraine the controversy between the adherents of the strict word-for-word
translation (Viasemskiy, Fet) and those who favoured free translation (Zhukovskiy, Skovoroda)
continued unabated. In general, all theoretical assumptions forwarded by translators before the XXth
century dealt with only surface translation aspects.
Theory of translation began to acquire a scholarly shape in the middle of the XXth century.
Earlier translators believed that study of the linguistic aspects of translation was not sufficient for the
art of translation. But the XXth century brought the necessity of translating business, commercial and
political matters where the peculiarities of the author’s style were not of paramount importance.
Roman Jacobson has promptly stressed the links of translatology and linguistics: (that) mutual
cooperation benefits both to the theory of translation and to linguistics. Linguists realized that
studying translation process would help them solve linguistic problems. Moreover, the XXth century
dictated a necessity of textbooks on translation which covered linguistic and extralinguistic factors of
translating process. It also promoted researching linguistic and psychological aspects of translation.
The era of serious translation studies was started by Prof. Retsker who proved regularity of
selecting this or that variant of translation. He suggested three types of correspondences: equivalents,
analogies and adequate replacements. In 1953 Prof. Fyodorov published “Introduction to the Theory
of Translation” where he grounded not only the necessity of translatology but also its devision into
general theory of translation. In 1958 French theorists of translation published “Comparative
Stylistics of French and English” in which the comparative analysis of these two languages aimed at
finding translation equivalents. In 1964 there appeared two more works which benefited to the
development of translatology. They are “Toward the Science of Translating” by E.Nida and “Basics
of General and Machine Translation” by I.I.Revzin and Rozentsveig. E.Nida suggested that
translating process may be described as a series of transformations.
1970s-1980s turned to be very fruitful for the Soviet theorists who contributed greatly to
translatology. It’s hard to overestimate the significance of two books by Prof. Komissarov ‘The Word
about Translation” and “Linguistics of Translation” where different aspects of linguistic analysis
were brought together as a single whole. Prof. Barkhudarov in his book “Language and Translation"
tackles the main problems concerning different types of meanings (referential, pragmatic, internal
linguistic and grammatical). Among foreign linguists who puslished their works on translation
problems we should mention Herman (“The Manipulation of Literature”, 1985), Neubert (“Text and
Translation”, 1985), Jaques Derrida (“Des Tours de Babel”, 1980), William Frawly and others.
Neubert’s ‘Text and Translation” is the most thoughtful work on the application of discourse analysis
to translation.
Translation Studies as a discipline is characterized by a vast body of data, an increasing
amount of literature, and a multiplicity of different approaches. Each of the approaches focuses on
specific aspects of the discipline, depending on whether it investigates the product or the process of
translation, on the specific angle it chooses, and on the terminology it prefers. The current stage of
the academic discipline of Translation Studies is a mixed bag.
There are currently a number of theoretical perspectives from which translation can be
studied. The study of translation has gone far beyond the confines of one discipline. See for instance
the description of Functionalist approaches, Linguistic approaches, Polysystem Theory and Cognitive
approaches to translation in Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. Basil Hatim emphasizes
the fact that the majority of translation practitioners have developed a sensitivity to issues raised not
only in the theory of language, but in literary theory, the study of culture and society, comparative
literature and comparative linguistics. Translation is seen as a textual practice and translations as
meaningful records of communicative events. Alongside this plurality of approach, a diversity of
aims and objectives is also evident. The general purpose of Translation Studies may still be to
describe translation phenomena and to establish general principles; yet the methods of analysis are
more varied and the cultural and ideological features of translation have become as prominent as
2. Types of translation. Their advantages and disadvantages.
Different types of translation can be singled out depending on the predominant
communicative function of the source text or the form of speech involved in the translation process.
Thus we can distinguish between literary and informative translation, on the one hand, and between
written and oral translation (or interpretation), on the other hand.
Though the basic characteristics of translation can be observed in all translation events,
different types of translation can be singled out depending on the predominant communicative
function of the source text or the form of speech involved in the translation process. Thus we can
distinguish between literary and informative translation, on the one hand, and between written and
oral translation (or interpretation), on the other hand.
Literary translation deals with literary texts, i.e. works of fiction or poetry whose main
function is to make an emotional or aesthetic impression upon the reader. Their communicative value
depends, first and foremost, on their artistic quality and the translator's primary task is to reproduce
this quality in translation.
Informative translation is rendering into the target language non-literary texts, the main
purpose of which is to convey a certain amount of ideas, to inform the reader. However, if the source
text is of some length, its translation can be listed as literary or informative only as an approximation.
A literary text may, in fact, include some parts of purely informative character. Contrariwise,
informative translation may comprise some elements aimed at achieving an aesthetic effect. Within
each group further gradations can be made to bring out more specific problems in literary or
informative translation.
Literary works are known to fall into a number of genres. Translators of prose, poetry or plays
have their own problems.
The translator of a belles-lettres text is expected to make a careful study of the literary trend
the text belongs to, the other works of the same author, the peculiarities of his individual style and
manner and sn on. This involves both linguistic considerations and skill in literary criticism.
A number of subdivisions can be also suggested for informative translations, though the
principles of classification here are somewhat different. Here we may single out translations of
scientific and technical texts, of newspaper materials, of official papers and some other types of texts
such as public speeches, political and propaganda materials, advertisements, etc., which are, so to
speak, intermediate, in that there is a certain balance between the expressive and referential functions,
between reasoning and emotional appeal.
In technical translation the main goal is to identify the situation described in the original.
A written translation can be made of the original recorded on the magnetic tape that can be
replayed as many times as is necessary for the translator to grasp the original meaning. The translator
can dictate his "at sight" translation of a written text to the typist or a short-hand writer with TR
getting the translation in written form. In written translation the original can be read and re-read as
many times as the translator may need or like.
There are two main kinds of oral translation — consecutive and simultaneous. In consecutive
translation the translating starts after the original speech or some part of it has been completed. Here
the interpreter's strategy and the final results depend, to a great extent, on the length of the segment to
be translated. If the segment is just a sentence or two the interpreter closely follows the original
speech. As often as not, however, the interpreter is expected to translate a long speech which has
lasted for scores of minutes or even longer. In this case he has to remember a great number of
messages and keep them in mind until he begins his translation. To make this possible the interpreter
has to take notes of the original messages, various systems of notation having been suggested for the
purpose. The study of, and practice in, such notation is the integral part of the interpreter's training as
are special exercises to develop his memory.
In simultaneous interpretation the interpreter is supposed to be able to give his translation
while the speaker is uttering the original message. This can be achieved with a special radio or
telephone-type equipment. The interpreter receives the original speech through his earphones and
simultaneously talks into the microphone which transmits his translation to the listeners. This type of
translation involves a number of psycholinguistic problems, both of theoretical and practical nature.
3. The main principles of translation and their founders. The Psychological Relations
among the Participants of the process of Translation.
Lord Woodhouselee, properly known as Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813), is the author of
Essay on the Principles of Translation, which despite being originally published in 1791, is still
relevant today. He sets down principles for translation and gives guidelines for quality assessment
that are strikingly modern.
Woodhouselee's three principles are as follows:
1. A translation should give a complete transcript of the ideas of the original work;
2. The style and manner of writing should be of the same character as that of the original;
3. A translation should have all the ease of original composition.
None of these would surprise a modern translator, yet they are nonetheless often touchy
issues. So let's look at each a bit.
The first principle seems obvious enough. It means no errors or omissions, but also includes
the idea that a translation is not a copy or a reproduction, but an original work in and of itself, even if
its content is based entirely on another's work. The translator is not supposed to make additions,
amendments, or annotations, except possibly when working on esoteric literary texts. The translator
should not play the game of rewriting an original text so that it says "what the author meant" or "what
the author should have said."
The second principle is similarly obvious, though difficult to execute in practice. It means that
the translator must not only have a complete command of writing in the target language (the
translator's native language, in almost all cases), but also must be able to perceive stylistic touches
and understand their meaning in the original text. A simple example from the realm of patent
translation should suffice: "means" is the term of choice in a U.S. patent when explaining how the
invention operates; by custom, it takes no article, which in any other document would be
grammatically and stylistically peculiar, but in a patent is what we do. A patent translator working
into English must know this, otherwise the character of the translation will be flawed.
The third principle is the hardest to achieve, because it harks back to the Russian axiom that
states that if a translation is beautiful, it is not faithful, and if it is faithful, it is not beautiful. There is
a delicate balance to achieve here, in other words, and translators must aspire to be good writers in
their native language, and must know all the finer points of writing in the subject and language they
are working in so as to produce a translation with "all the ease of original composition." In other
words, a translation should not sound like a translation.
The concepts of ‘ethics’ and ‘etiquette’ are close but different. The word ‘ethics’ has two
meanings: 1) philosophical: the study of the general nature of morals and of specific moral choices to
be made by the individual in his relationship with others; 2) the rules or standards governing the
conduct of the members of a profession.**The term ‘etiquette’ implies the practices and forms
prescribed by social convention or by authority. The word ‘etiquette’ is very close to the term
protocol, meaning the forms of ceremony observed by diplomats, heads of state and other high-
ranking officials. While ethics is a translator’s strategy, etiquette is his/her tactics, and protocol is the
way the tactics are employed. No need to say that a translator should be fully aware of the basics of
international protocol. On the one hand, it will help him to behave correctly in any situation. On the
other, a translator is often vested with the protocol function because his/her boss supposes that s/he
should know not only of a foreign language, but also customs and traditions of the target culture. So a
translator’s task is not only to provide communication but also to arrange negotiations and other
4. The Determiners of the Translation the Object and the Units of Translation the
Levels of Translation.
The Process of translation is operational. It transfers meaning by converting written ideas
expressed in one language to another language or from Source language to Target Language. The
main purpose is to convey the information and to convince the reader with the author’s special
innovative and authoritative method of translation (Wikipedia) which reflects the quality of
Translation starts with choosing a method of Approach. There are two main approaches to
The first method is translating sentence by sentence of a paragraph or a chapter. In order to
get the feel and tone of the text it requires conscious review of the text by reading it in a Source
Language. This method is suitable for the literary texts.
The second method involves reading the whole text for two or three times and looking for the
intention, register and tone in order to mark the difficult words and passages. After taking the
bearings one can proceed with translating of a text. This method is more suitable for technical or
institutional text. The first approach is preferred for a relatively easy text while the second approach
is preferred for a harder one.
Levels of Translation
The Process of translation consists of four levels. These four levels are kept in mind more or
less consciously while translating a text.
1st Level:
First is the Textual level which involves working on the Source language text level. It is the
level of language where conversions are made intuitively and automatically. The Source Language
grammar is translated into Target Language equivalent and lexical units are translated into sense that
is appropriate to the context.
2nd Level:
Second is The Referential level it goes hand in hand with the textual level. At this level the
translator mentally sorts out the text. It is the level of objects and events, real or imaginary which are
progressively visualized and build up for comprehension and reproduction process. This level is also
called the factual level of translating.
3rd Level:
Third is The Cohesive level which links the first and the second level that a translator has to
bear in mind. It is more general and grammatical, which traces the train of thought, the feeling tone
which can be positive or negative and the various presuppositions of the Source Language text. This
level follows both the structure and the moods of the text. It links the sentences through the
connective words like conjunctions, enumerations, reiterations, definite article, general words,
referential synonyms and punctuation marks proceeding from the known information to the new
information like proposition, opposition, continuation, and conclusion.
A good example of cohesive level can be observed in any thesis project work, antithesis and
synthesis. The second factor in the cohesive level is the mood which is observed as a dialectical
aspect moving between emotive and neutral. It can be expressed by objects and nouns as well as
adjectives and qualities. For instance, the difference of positive and neutral can be spotted in words
such as ‘appreciate’ and ‘evaluate’; ‘awesome’ and ‘amazing’; ‘tidy’ and ‘ordered’. Similarly, the
difference between negative and neutral can be spotted in words like ‘potentate’ and ‘ruler’. These
are slight differences in words in a particular language whose value cannot always be determined in
the context.
4th Level:
The fourth and last level of translation is the level of Naturalness where a writer or a speaker
uses his special way of writing in an ordinary language employing common grammar, idioms and
words in a particular situation.
The translator tries to reflect the degree of naturalness in his translation from SL text to TL
text. The level of Naturalness is concerned with the reproduction. Natural translation can be
compared to ordinary or casual language where word order, syntactic structures, Collocations or
cognate words , appropriateness of gerunds, infinitives, verb-nouns, words that are old fashioned and
reflect unnaturalness and lastly, the other obvious areas where unnaturalness is seen in articles,
progressive tenses, compound nouns and collocations. Naturalness is dependent on the relationship
between the speaker and the writer as well as the topic or situation. What is natural in one situation
can be unnatural in another. It is confusing to attach naturalness with a colloquial style, idioms,
jargon, and formal language.
In the Process of translation the above four levels are combined and kept parallel to each
other. These four levels are distinct and are in conflict with one another. During translation the
accuracy of the text is very important feature that needs to be considered at the final stage. While
translating the text from Source Language to Text Language more attention is given on translating
sentence by sentence rather than sentence joining.
Translation Problems
There are many problems that appear in process of translation of a sentence and if there
appear no problems then that translation is based firmly on literal translation. The translation
problems that emerge frequently while converting the text from one language to another are;
Firstly the ‘intervention of thought’ which is not enough.
Secondly, the struggle between the words in the SL such as a word like ‘Sleazy’ and a
collocation like ‘a dark horse’.
It may be a structure like ‘the country government’ and a referential, cultural or regional
dialectal problem. Sentence is the unit of thought which presents an object that expresses what it does
and how it is affected by, it is a unit of translation from SL to TL. Sometimes the main problem that
arises is to make sense of the long, difficult and complicated sentences loaded with lexis and
grammar that makes it versatile. Such sentences have a series of word-groups and verb-nouns that
makes it troublesome for the translator to handle them. Other difficulties with grammar are usually
due to the use of old, little used, ambiguously placed or faulty structures.
The major difficulties in translating are lexical and not grammatical which include words,
collocations, fixed phrases, idioms and neologisms. Difficulties with words are of two main kinds
either the translator does not understand the words or he finds the words too difficult to translate. If
the former problem is confronted by the translator this means that the translator is not aware of the all
possible meanings of the words or because the meaning is determined by its unusual collocation or a
reference in the text. Many common nouns have four different types of meaning that are Physical or
material, figurative, technical and colloquial. For instance, the word ‘maison’ has four different
meanings the physical meaning is ‘House’, the figurative meaning is ‘Family house’, the technical
meaning is ‘Home-made or firm’ and the colloquial meaning is ‘tremendous’.
The colloquial meanings are tied to collocations or fixed phrases while the technical meanings
are often the worst translation traps. Most nouns, verbs and adjectives are used figuratively and can
have figurative meanings. For instance, ‘The man loved his garden’. In this sentence the word
‘garden’ symbolizes privacy, beauty, and fertility, simple, hard work and sexual bliss. The more
common the word, the more contagious and accessible is the figurative meaning. The word may
have an old or regional sense, may be used ironically, or in a sense peculiar to the writer or it may be
misprinted. The translator has to force his word into a sense by writing a footnote in order to explain
the correct meaning of the word and to satisfy himself.
5. Types of Meaning in Semaciology. The order of their Rendering in Translation
The definition of the meaning is especially difficult due to the complexity of the process by
which language and human consciousness serve to reflect the reality and adopt it to human needs.
Nowadays there is no universally accepted definition of the meaning, or rather a definition all
the basic features of meaning and being simultaneously time operational. The branch of
lexicology devoted to the study of meaning is called semasiology.Meaning is a realization
of a notion or a motion by means of definite language system.The modern approach to
semasiology is based on the assumption that the innerform of the word presents a structure which
is called the semantic structure of the word. The basic principle of a structural semantic approach is
that words do not exist in isolation. The meanings of words are defined through the sense
relations they have with other words
Word-meaning is not homogeneous. It is made up of various components. These components
are described as types of meaning. The two main types of meaning are the grammatical (categorical)
meaning and the lexical (material) meaning.The grammatical meaning is defined as an expression
in speech of relationship between words. GM is the component of meaning recurrent in
identical sets of individual forms of different words: the tense meaning (asked, thought,
the case meaning(girl's, boy's, night's);
the meaning of plurality(joys, tables, places).
Grammatical meaning is generalized in the most abstract part of the meaning of the word; it is
common to all the words belonging to this part of speech. It is that part of meaning which recurs
in the identical forms of different words of the same class, e.g., big, bigger, the biggest.
The lexical meaning is the meaning proper to the given linguistic unit in all its forms and
distributions. The word-forms go, goes, went, going, gone possess different grammatical
meanings of tense, person, number, but in each form they have one and the same semantic
component denoting 'the process of movement'. Lexical meaning is not indivisible, it may be
analyzed in three components: denotational, connotational, and pragmatic. One part of meaning
expressing a notion is called denotation.
Denotational meaning establishes correlation between the name and the object, process
or characteristic feature of concrete reality (or thought) which is denoted by the given word.
Denotation expresses a notion. Denotation is objective, it reflects objective reality through
notions. The other part of meaning may express a personal attitude of the speaker to the object of
speech, or it may characterize the role of the speaker in the process of communication. The subjective
part of meaning is the connotation of the word.
As one of the main tasks of translation is to render the exact meaning of words, it is important
to consider here the three types of lexical meaning which can be distinguished. They are: referential,
emotive and stylistic.
Referential meaning (also called nominative, denotative or cognitive) has direct reference to
things or phenomena of objective reality, naming abstract notions and processes as well. Referential
meaning may be primary and secondary thus consisting of different lexical Semantic Variants (LSV).
Emotive meaning unlike referential meaning has no direct reference to things or phenomena
of objective reality but to the feelings and emotions of the speaker. Therefore emotive meaning bears
reference to things, phenomena or ideas through the speaker’s evaluation of them. Emotive meaning
is inherent in a definite group of words even when they are taken out of the context.
Stylistic meaning is based on the stylistic stratification of the English vocabulary and is
formed by stylistic reference, e.g. face (neutral), countenance (literary), mug (colloquial).
Lexical transformation which are practically always required in the rendering of referential
meaning in translation are caused by various factors. They may be classed as follows:
a) different vision of objects and phenomena and different approach to them;
b) different semantic structure of a word in the SL and in the TL;
c) different valency or collocability;
d) different usage. Different vision.
It is common knowledge that one and the same object of reality may be viewed by different
languages from different aspects: the eye (of the needle – вушко голки; hooks and eyes – крючки й
Hot milk with skin on it – гаряче молоко з пінкою.
Desalination – опріснення; visible to the naked eye – видимий неозброєним оком; a
fortnight (forteen nights) – два тижні.
He lives next door – Він мешкає в сусідньому будинку.
All these words (naked eye – неозброєне око; fortnight – два тижні; next door – сусідній
будинок) describe the same facts and although formally not correlated they are equivalents.
He was no armchair strategist – Він аж ніяк не був кабінетним стратегом.
Not only words of full meaning but even prepositions may imply different vision.
He folded his arms across his chest, crossed his knees.
Він схрестив руки на грудях, поклав ногу на ногу.
This factor (different vision) usually presents little difficulty for the translator but it must
never be overlooked, otherwise the translator may lapse into literal translation. The difficulty arises
when such words are used figuratively as part of some lexical stylistic device, that is, when they
fulfill a stylistic function, e.g.
A word in one Language may denote, due to different vision, a wider non-differentiated
notion, while the same notion is, as it were dismembered in the other language, and, consequently,
there are two or more words denoting it. For example, the Ukrainian word годинник corresponds to
two English words; “watch” and “clock”. The Ukrainian word місто has two couterparts; “town” and
“city”. And vice versa, one English word may correspond to two or more Russian/Ukrainian words,
e.g. “moon” – луна, месяц, “bell” – колокол, колокольчик, бубенчик, звонок, склянка, рында.
The Ukrainian language uses one word палець which is indiscriminately applies “to terminal
members” of the hand and foot, while the English language discriminates between these members
and has accordingly three different words: thumb, finger, toe.
7. Equivalents. Absolute and Relative (Complete and Partial). Their Types and
Peculiarities of Translation. R. Jacobson and the Basic Principle of Translation.
Equivalence is the reproduction of a SL text by TL means. Equivalence is not a constant but
a variable quantity and the range of variability is considerable. The degree of equivalence depends on
the linguistic means used in the SL texts and on the functional style to which the text belongs.
Early December brought a brief respite when temperatures fell and the ground hardened,
but a quick thaw followed.
На початку грудня настала коротка передишка, температура знизилася, земля
замерзла, але потім швидко почалася відлига.
The messages conveyed by the original and the translaton are equivalent as every semantic
element has been retained although some changes have been made in strict conformity with the
standards and usage of the Russian language.
Equivalence implies variability and consequently several types of equivalence can be
First Type – Formal Equivalence.
Children go to school every morning. - Діти ходять до школи щоранку.
The content, the structure of the sentence and the semantic components (language units) are
similar. Each element of the SL text has a corresponding one in the TL text. But such cases of
complete similarity are rather rare.
Second Type – Partial Correspondence Equivalence.
Non-corresponding elements may be lexical, grammatical or stylistical. Equivalence of the
second type is usually achieved by means of various transformations: substitution or replacements
(both lexical and grammatical), additions and omissions, paraphrasing and compensation.
All through the long foreign summer the American tourist abroad has been depressed by the
rubber quality of his dollar.
Під час тривалого літнього перебування за кордоном американських туристів
гнітило безперервне скорочення купівельної спроможності долара
Although a considerable degree of equivalence has been achieved a number of
transformations, certain losses have been incurred, namely, compactness and vividness. They are
accounted for by existing discrepancies in collocability (valency).
Attention should be paid to the Stylistic aspect of equivalence because of its importance in
achieving the second type of equivalence. The stylistic aspect of equivalence implies the rendering
in translation of stylistic and emotive connotations. Stylistic connotations presuppose the use of
words belonging to the same layer of the vocabulary (literary, neutral and colloquial). Emotive
connotations presuppose the use of words evoking similar connotations.
Attention should also be drawn to the Pragmatic aspect of equivalence.
Pragmatic equivalence can be achieved only by means of interpreting extra-linguistic factors.
The pragmatic aspect of the content is sometimes closely interwoven with the linguistic aspect and
their interaction also requires explanatory additions.
Third Type – Situational or Factual Equivalence.
The content or sense of the utterance is conveyed by different grammatical and lexical units.
Situational equivalence is observed when the same phenomenon is described in a different
way because it is seen from a different angle, e.g.
The police cleared the streets. - Поліція розігнала демонстрацію.
Hold the line. - Не кладіть трубку.
This type of equivalence also comprises the translation of clichés, orders, warnings and
notices, phraseological units and set expressions, formulae of politeness, etc.
There were no survivors. - Всі загинули.
Fragile – обережно, скло;
Keep off, wet paint – не сідати, пофарбовано;
In this way, the third type of equivalence conveys the sense, the meaning of the utterance
without preserving its formal elements.
Equivalence may occur at different linguistic levels: phonetic, word building, morphological,
at word level, at phrase level, at sentence level and finally at text level.
Phonetic level of Equivalence
The sound form of corresponding English and Ukranian words seldom coincide,
consequently this level of equivalence is not common and is of primary importance only in poetic
Word-building Level of Equivalence
e.g.: irresponsible – безвідповідальний; unpredictable – непередбачуваний еtс.
Morphological Level of Equivalence
e.g.: The report’s proposals were handed to a political committee.
Пропозиції доповіді були передані політичному комітету.
Equivalence at Word Level
e.g.: She clasped her hands round her handbag. (Agatha Christie).
Вона міцно стиснула в руках свою сумочку.
Equivalence of Phrase Level
Equivalence at phrase level is of two kinds: a SL word corresponds to a TL phrase (to
negotiate – вести переговори), a SL phrase corresponds to a TL word (Hippies are in revolt
against an acquisitive society. – Хіпі повстають проти споживчого товариства).
Equivalence at Sentence Level
It occurs: a) in phraseology – two is company, three is none – третій зайвий; b) in orders
and regulations – keep off the grass – по газону не ходити.
Equivalence at Text Level
It is usual in the translation of poetry as seen in the translation of stanza or something else.
A strict observance of equivalence at all levels ensures a similar reaction on the part of the S
and T language receptors and can be achieved by means of functional substitutions.
Jakobson states that meaning of a word is a linguistic phenomenon. Using semiotics,
Jakobson believes that meaning lies with the signifier and not in the signified. Thus it is the linguistic
verbal sign that gives an object its meaning. Interpretation of a verbal sign according to Roman
Jakobson can happen in three ways: intralingual, interlingual and intersemiotic. In the case of
intralingual translation, the changes take place within the same language. Thus a verbal sign (word)
belonging to a particular language is replaced by another sign (word) belonging to the same
language. Interlingual translation on the other hand can be seen as replacing a verbal sign with
another sign but belonging to a different language.
The last kind of explanation of verbal sign that he talks about is the intersemiotic translation.
Here more than focusing on the words, emphasis is on the overall message that needs to be conveyed.
Thus the translator, instead of paying attention to the verbal signs, concentrates more on the
information that is to be delivered. Roman Jakobson uses the term ‘mutual translatability’ and states
that when any two languages are being compared, the foremost thing that needs to be taken into
consideration is whether they can be translated into one another or not. Laying emphasis on the
grammar of a particular language, he feels that it should determine how one language is different
from another.
6. The Main Principles of translating poetry. The Machinery and Authorized Translation.
Poetic translation has existed for many centuries. But there have always been different
opinions, various principles, and translation techniques too. Poetic translation is one of the most
effective ways to render the contents of a poem into another language. As a rule, the essential
elements of the poems are rhyme, rhythm and verse (depending on the type of the poem). If the
original contains them, the translator should try to convey all these components of the verse.
However, it is still a controversial question whether it is necessary to retain all of them. There are two
approaches to the translation of poetry: independent and subordinate. The aim of the independent
approach is to convey the mood and the beauty of the verse, with no attention to the form of the
original. The main task of this approach is to make the reader feel emotions contained in the poem
and convey the form of the piece of poetry with great accuracy. This translation technique involves
not only preservation of the verse, stanza, and metrics of the poem, but also the order and type of the
rhymes, especially its melodies and sounds.
It is worth mentioning that the poem can sometimes be translated in prose. This is the easiest
way of translating, as it allows to keep both aesthetical and informational components of the
original. It can mostly be used for translation of songs, or when the idea of the author is so important
that the form of its expression is not that relevant.
Poems can also be translated using blank verse. In this case the translator tries to retrain only
the original verse without saving rhymes. Nevertheless, this technique requires that the translator
should possess certain poetical skills.
In fact, poetic translation implies a creation of a poetic text corresponding to the original in
meaning, form and its poetic properties, which uses all the elements typical for a poetic work,
including rhyme, if any. This type can be considered the most complicated form of literary translation
of the text, as it requires that the translator should have not only talent for literature and ability to
write poetry, but also the ability to accommodate the original meaning, idea and even literary
techniques in the poetic form of another language.
The greatest challenge of the poetic translation is transferring the structure of the poetic text,
which requires use of rhymes and a certain verse. It is the poetic structure that brings so many
difficulties when creating a perfect «reflection» of the original in another language. The fact is that
the language of translation and cultural references may differ significantly from those contained in
the source language, both in style and language constructions, and that sets the task for the translator
to change the author's ideas an images so as to adapt them to the form of the target language.
When a translator works on poems, first of all, they have to decide whether the poetic verse
and structure of the rhymes correspond to the original. If the translator decides to change the structure
of the verse, it is necessary to determine which structure to prefer, while it is necessary to take into
account the semantic content of the poem, that is, the external form should be close to the
implications contained therein.
The main difficulty in poetic translation is to combine the original meaning with the
necessary form, and it should be mentioned that exact and literal translation in this case is very rare.
The main emphasis should be placed on the transfer of the main idea and the mood of the original.
One of the most difficult issues in translation theory and practice is to recreate the rhythm of
the original. Translation theorists insist on the transfer of rhythm in the translation, as rhythm
represents the intonational essence of poetic phrases.
Some linguists argue that the correct transfer of rhythmic features in most cases is impossible,
since the nature of the source and the target languages is different, so most translators have to transfer
only the general rhythm, and the intonation of the original with fairly free deviations from its meter.
Besides, one of the most difficult problems to solve in poetic translation is the problem of
rhyme. The translator even can keep the same type of rhyme as in the original poem, but this raises
another problem because different types of rhymes are perceived quite differently by native and non-
native speakers. It is known, for example, that one of the reasons, which caused the English-speaking
readers’ misunderstanding of the I. Brodsky’ poems translated by the author, was his desire to keep
the exact rhyme, which is common in Russian poems, but rare in English. The English readers
associated such poems either with the poetry of the 19th century, or with comics and poetry for
children. However, some languages contain no rhyme in poetry at all. An example is modern poetry
in English. In this case, you do not need to create a rhyme in the translation.
On the other hand, it is important to think about the author’s style. The difficulty is that for
the successful transfer of the author's style account should be taken not only of phonetic features
(alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, etc.), or of the so-called «music of verse», but also of the
characteristic features of the era, national and social identity. In particular, I. Kashkin insists on
preserving the image system through a reasonable interpretation of the author’s will to achieve
maximum proximity to the original work. So, the emphasis is on the fact that the translator should
possess deep knowledge of general culture, as well as of the main works of the particular
poet/poetess and their significance for the culture as a whole. The main requirement here is the need
to preserve aesthetic completeness and visual means of the original
To sum up, it can be concluded that the complexity of poetic translation is mainly due to the
specifics of the poetic text, in which the figurative basis and form are directly related to the culture
and to the peculiarities of the language structure.
The first idea of machine translation is known to have been expressed in 1933 by the Soviet
engineer Petr Smirnov-Troyansky but it is not he but Warren Weaver who is credited as the founding
father of Machine Translation (MT) research.
The first demonstration of an MT system took place in 1954 in Georgetown University,
U.S.A., where the experiment of making a computer translate words from Russian into English was
Machine translation is based on analysis and synthesis operations and has required many
years of hard work and frustrations. Sometimes the end-product of the machine translation was so
ridiculous (like Out of sight, out of mind. – Слепой идиот), that in the 1960s there happened a
machine translation ‘recession’. However, with third-generation computer systems emerging in the
1970s, interest in machine translation was revived. Word-processors appeared and today’s translators
cannot imagine their lives without them.
Today, machine translation is often called computer-aided translation (CAT). CAT systems
are divided into two groups: machine-aided human translation (MAHT) and human-aided machine
translation (HAMT). The difference between the two lies in the roles of computer and human
In MAHT, a translator makes the translation, then uses the computer as a tool for typing,
checking spelling, grammar, style; for printing the target text, for looking up words in electronic
dictionaries and data bases, for getting references on CD-ROMs and other sources, for consulting
about contexts, for discussing problems in the web, for seaching a job, etc.
In HAMT, the translation is automated, done by a computer but requiring the assistance of a
human editor. There are two phases of human help: pre-editing and post-editing. In pre-editing, an
operator (or a customer) prepares the text for input. A special computer translation program transfers
the text from one language to another. Then a translator does the post-editing, mostly by correcting
the word usage.
Machine translation has a number of advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is, first
and foremost, its fast speed, which saves time, so important these days. The computer is tireless; it
can work day and night. Now that there are lap-tops, a computer is a very flexible and convenient
tool: it can accompany a translator anywhere. Computers are also of great help to disabled people,
especially computers working with a human voice.
On the other hand, computers are restricted to the materials. They can translate only clichéd
texts. They cannot translate unpredictable texts, like fiction, for example. Usually they provide ‘raw
translation’. Another disadvantage is that they are still rather expensive. They require constant
upgrading, which is usually not cheap. Computer viruses are a serious danger to work. And
computers are not absolutely safe for human health, either.
Authorized translations (sometimes called "notarized translations", "official translations" or
"stamped translations") are legally binding documents having the same legal weight as the original in
source language. They are authenticated with an authorized translator's stamp and signature.
Authorized translations are usually somewhat more expensive than "regular" translations due to the
special qualifications of authorized translators.
Authorized translations usually come into question when for example court rulings or
documents pertaining to inheritance or business need to be presented to the officials of your home
country or a foreign country. Services of an authorized translator are also often needed when
applying for a study place or a job.
8. Variational Correlations in Translation. Non-Equivalents in Translation.
Ability to speak is human’s trait - the basis of relationships in human society. This is an
important means of expressing feelings and sharing thoughts. Language is a complex structure of
sounds and symbols, grammar, words, phrases and sayings, has a deeper meaning than their literal
meaning. Translation is one of the oldest human activities. Without this activity it would be difficult
to imagine such well-known historical facts, as the creation of a vast empire, the spread of religious
and social teachings. In recent decades the scale of translation activities has increased so, that we can
talk about the beginning of a new stage in the history of translation.
The rapid growth of science and technology has caused a great need for information
exchange. Every year many international conferences, meetings are held all over the world.
Extensive international campaigns, joint research programs are being conducted. Immeasurably
increase can be seen in the volume of international trade, diplomatic activities, and international
correspondence. Cultural ties between the peoples are expanded. Translation meets the ever emerging
needs among people who do not speak a common language, or, in other words, people separated by
Lingo-ethnical barrier.
Non-equivalents are SL words which have no corresponding lexical units in the TL
The absence of equivalents may be explained both by extralinguistic and linguistic reasons.
Accordingly, non-equivalents may be divided into two groups. The first group consists of words
denoting referents unknown in the target language – things, objects, notions, features of national
life, customs, habits, etc. the words of this group bear a distinctly national character and are tied up
with the history of the people speaking that language, the growth of its culture, its way of life and
traditions. Cultural discrepancy accounts for the appearance of words which are untranslatable in the
literal sense of the word. Yet there are different ways of rendering these words in translation and of
overcoming the so-called “barrier of untranslatability” (cultural untranslatability). The words
belonging to this group cover a wide range of denotata, e.g. speaker, parliament, public school,
landslide, coroner, teach-in, drive-in, know-how, striptease, brain drain, backbencher, grill-room,
as well as titles of politeness, etc.
The second group embraces words which for some linguistic reason have no equivalents in
the target language, the so-called linguistic lancunae, e.g. privacy, involvement, glimpse,
conservationist, environmentalist, oralist, readership, riser, bedder, vote-getter, statehood, etc.
It should be stressed that the term “non-equivalents” merely implies the absence of a word or
a word-combination in the vocabulary of the target language but does not exclude the possibility of
rendering “non-equivalents” in translation, usually by descriptive translation.
Translation of Non-Equivalents
There are three ways of rendering non-equivalents in translation.
By Borrowings
The borrowed words may be either transliterated or transcribed, e.g. ale –эль, roastbeef –
ростбіф, sweater – светр (transliterated borrowings). Parliament – парламент, striptease –
стриптиз, speaker – спікер, know-how – ноу-хау, establishment – істеблішмент (transcribed
borrowings). The latter principle is, as seen from the above examples, applicable to the rendering of
By translation loans
House of Commons – Палата Громад, brain trust – мозковий трест.
By Descriptive or Interpreting Translation
Landslide – перемога на виборах з величезною перевагою голосів;
a stringer (америк.) – частково зайнятий кореспондент, праця якого оплачується з
розрахунку кількості слів;
a conservationist (environmentalist) – людина, стурбована забрудненням або знищенням
навколишнього середовища.
Differences in cultural background frequently require detailed additions which are
explanatory. What is familiar to the native reader may be unfamiliar to the reader of the translation.
9. The Main Approaches and Principles of Translating Idioms. Transcription and
Transliteration. Approximate and Descriptive Translation. Morpheme Substitution.
Idioms and fixed expressions are an inalienable part of each language found in large numbers
in most of the languages. Since the meaning of these collocations can not be understood from the
superficial meanings of the single words constituting them, so there are some problems in both
processes of understanding and translating them. The process of translating idioms and fixed
expressions from one language into another is a fine work which obliges a translator to have a good
knowledge of both languages and cultures being shared or transferred as well as being able to
identify and cope with the contingent problems in the process of finding an efficient equivalent for
the inter-lingual idiomatic pairs. People of different languages use completely different expressions
to convey a similar meaning, in a way that while an expression might be completely tangible and
easy-to-understand for the interlocutors of a specific language, the same set of words and expressions
may seem fully vague and dim and even in some cases nonsense to the speakers of the other. This
originates in the fact that each language has got some culture-specific items that are completely
different from the corresponding items in another language. Besides, there are some differences in
such factors as religion, geographical locations, different ideologies, and social classes of languages
and societies that harden the process of understanding and translating idiomatic pairs from one
language into another.
In general, idioms are open to a variety of translation procedures. Among them are:
• Substitution with the analog: Don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs. – Яйця
курку не вчать. However, in oral translation a translator should sustain the image. Then a new
(changed) figurative meaning may frustrate the translator. When working with an analog, one should
be sure to use the same style and retain the meaning of the idiom. When substituting a figurative
expression with its analog, a translator may generalize or specify some components of the idiom:
They could not conceive of any greater joy in life; to work their own land, to keep what they
produced by the sweat of their brow, for themselves and their children. - Вони не могли уявити собі
більшої радості в житті, ніж працювати на своїй землі і робити запаси того, що вони
виробляли в поті чола для себе і своїх дітей.
The words brow – чоло are the example of generalization.
• Substitution with the simile. After getting married she is living in clover. – Вийшовши
заміж, вона живе як вареник в маслі. The simile also contains an image, so it is as expressive as
the metaphor.
• Antonymous translation takes place when the translator uses a negative construction to
translate an affirmative sentence: The situation was serious, but he kept his head. – Положення було
серйозним, але він не втрачав самовладання.
• Literal, or calque translation. This technique can be employed even if there is an idiom
analog. A word-for-word translation is used in translating sustained metaphors, phraseological
synonyms, and puns. Literal translation usually leads to playing upon the figurative and literal sense
of an idiom, that is, to enlivening an idiom. For example, the English expression as dead as a door
nail figuratively means ‘lifeless’ and corresponds to the Ukranian бездиханний, без найменших
ознак життя. However, in the following extract from C. Dickens the idiom is used in its double
meaning, literal and figurative, which made the translator calque it.
Old Marley was as old as a door nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know of my own
knowledge what there is particularly dead about a door nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to
regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of iron mongery in the trade. – Старий Марлей був
мертвий як дверний цвях. Зауважте, я не хочу сказати, що дверний цвях є чимось особливо
мертвим. Я сам скоріше схильний вважати цвях від труни найбільш мертвим предметом з
залізних виробів.
Another argument in favor of literal translation is that the new metaphor in the
target language will hold the interest of the reader. Calque translation is not an incorrect and
overfaithful translation that breaks the target language rules of semantic agreement and combinability
and conflicts with the style of the text.
• Descriptive or explanatory translation. When an original metaphor appears to be a
little obscure and not very important, it may be replaced with a descriptive expression.
У нього сім п'ятниць на тиждень. – He is very confused; Ці камінчики в мій город? –
Was that aimed at me?
One of the difficulties a translator encounters is selecting a variable equivalent. It
should be as expressive as the original and correspond in style and connotation, and convey an
adequate meaning.
When choosing an equivalent, a translator should observe the requirements of proper
style.The selection of an adequate equivalent will depend on the text style. Another problem is
translator’s ‘false friends’. When calqued, idioms may have another, even opposite, meaning as
compared with the original one. For example, to pour oil on troubled waters does not correspond to
the Ukranian підливати масла у вогонь, whose meaning is 'to add fuel to the flame'. On the
contrary, the expression means втихомирювати, заспокоювати (to calm).
It is not only the denotative meaning of idioms that should be taken into consideration
but also their connotation. It may be different in the source language idiom and the target language
equivalent. For example, in Ukranian врятувати свою шкуру has a negative connotation, whereas in
English it is neutral: the expression may be used both for negative and positive meaning.
Local coloring is another translator’s trap. It is ridiculous to attribute ethnic features of
one country to another foreign culture.
Transliteration and transcription are both processes by which text is converted from one script
to another. Strictly speaking, they are two distinct processes and a given conversion system will be of
either one or the other type, not both. However, in practice, the two processes are often like two ends
of a continuum, and a given system may be closer to one or to the other, but with elements of both.
That said, it is still useful to understand the technical distinction between them. Technically,
transliteration is concerned primarily with accurately representing the graphemes of another script,
whilst transcription is concerned primarily with representing its phonemes.
In addition, transliteration is concerned with scripts, whilst transcription is concerned with
writing systems (the way a script is applied to a particular language).Transcription can also be used to
examine dialectal variation within a single language.
The differences in the two processes make them suitable for different purposes.
Transliteration is useful when studying some aspect of a language or script which does not require an
intimate understanding or representation of the language’s phonetic systems, or where the
pronunciation differences between languages or dialects are not important. Transcription is useful for
study which has a greater focus on phonetic systems, for example when determining how closely
related two languages are, for language learners wishing to improve their pronunciation, or for
examining dialectal variation within a language.
Some source language idiomatic and stable expressions may have a peculiar nature of their
componental parts or a peculiar combination of them and thus form nationally peculiar
expressiveness and picturesqueness of componental images. The latter constitute some hidden
meaning, which is mostly not quite explicit and comprehensible, not transient enough for the
As a result, there exist no genuine phraseological analogies for the units in the target
language. Since it is so, their lexical meaning can be expressed by means of only approximate
analogies or through explication, i.e., in a descriptive way. These analogies are only to a slight degree
similar to the source language idioms, although they may be no less picturesque and expressive than
the source language variants: to lose one's breath кидати слова на вітер; to make a cat's paw of
something чужими руками жар вигрібати; а joint in one's armour ахіллесова п'ята (вразливе
місце); more power to your elbow ні пуху, ні пера!; to come off scot free вийти сухим з води;
The selection of approximate analogies for a translator is no easy task, as the source
languages idioms/ phraseologisms often bear some characteristics of a language's traits having no
correspondence the target language.
Many idioms have obscure origin/etymology and selecting of approximate equivalents as any
other corresponding semantic variants often requires a linguistic investigation on the part of the
The meaning of a considerable number of idiomatic as well as stable/set expressions can be
rendered through explication only, i.e., in a descriptive way. Depending on the complexity of
meaning contained in the source-language idiom, it can be expressed in the target language in some
1) by a single word: to pall and peel (to peel and pall) грабувати/оббирати; poor fish йолоп;
red blood мужність, відвага, хоробрість;
2) undoubtedly the most frequent is rendering the sense of idiomatic/phraseological
expressions with the help of free combinations of words as in: to sell someone short недооцінювати
когось; to sham Abraham удавати з себе хворого (прикидатися хворим); to shoot Niagara
вдаватися до ризикованих дій.
3) when the lexical meaning of an original idiomatic expression is condensed or when it is
based on a nationally specific notion/ structural form alien to the target languages, the idiomatic
expression may be conveyed by a sentence or a longer explanation: well day (well-day) день, коли у
хворого не погіршувався стан здоров'я (час між приступами гарячки, малярії тощо); wise
behind млявий, що погано міркує; white elephant подарунок, якого важко позбутися (те, що
приносить більше турбот, ніж користі); yes man (yes-man) людина, що з усіма згоджується,
тільки підтакує (підтакувач);
Depending on the speech style of the passage/work, in which the idiomatic/phraseological
expressions are used, and taking into account the nature of them (literary, colloquial, historical) some
modifications of the above-given methods of translations and even new variants of translation may be
suggested by the translator. Nevertheless, the aim of translation will always remain the same, viz. to
fully render in the target language the lexical meaning and where possible also the structural
peculiarities, the picturesqueness, the expressiveness, and the connotative meaning (if any) of the
source language idiomatic or stable expressions in the target language. How it may be achieved can
be seen on the examples of rendering the meaning of some national idioms.
A speech error, commonly referred to as a slip of the tongue or misspeaking, is a deviation
(conscious or unconscious) from the apparently intended form of an utterance.They can be
subdivided into spontaneously and inadvertently produced speech errors and intentionally produced
word-plays or puns. Another distinction can be drawn between production and comprehension errors.
Errors in speech production and perception are also called performance errors. Some examples of
speech error include sound exchange or sound anticipation errors. In sound exchange errors the order
of two individual morphemes is reversed, while in sound anticipation errors a sound from a later
syllable replaces one from an earlier syllable. Slips of the tongue are a normal and common
Morpheme Errors
As we continue up our hierarchy of speech units, we now see that units of meaning are
susceptible to speech errors. Such errors tend to happen subsequent to the syntactic planning of the
sentence. Even units as large as an entire word can be subject to an error such as exchange.
Bowl of soup→soup of bowl
Plant the seeds→plan the seats
Substitutions and exchanges of whole words occur but do so with like-constituents. A noun
will take place of a noun, and the same goes for an adjective or verb. When there is a change in word
placement but no change in morphemes, the error is said to consist of inflectional morphemes.
However, when the root of the words remains and there is an error due to a morpheme addition or
substitution, the error is known as a derivational morpheme error.
Bed time→time bed (inflectional)
Easily enough→easy enoughly (derivational)
Such derivational speech errors show that semantic intentions are intact, however, the choice
of semantic features has been incorrect. Substitutions can also occur where the substituted word is
structurally similar but semantically different from the intended word.
10. Modelled and Non-Modelled Neologisms and their Translation.
The translation of neologisms tops the list of the most difficult matters which translators face.
Neologisms are widely known as new words or new meanings of words already existing in the
vocabulary which have not yet entered into the common use. Obviously, English dictionaries cannot
register immediately all new words, figurative phrases and nonce words which annually enrich our
vocabulary by tens of thousands of new words. As a result, translators need to rely on the context and
try to transfer the meanings of neologisms into the target language instead of looking them up in the
other, often less reliable sources, including online dictionaries. It means that they have to “invent”
new words following some word-building patterns or explain English neologisms using the
descriptive method.
The origins of neologisms are often roughly divided into two groups: linguistic and extra-
linguistic which are, however, inseparable. Various types of word-building and borrowings refer to
the first group, and the extra-linguistic sources can be of political (glasnost), economical (forex =
foreign + exchange), social (hipster), scientific (dilitancy), and technological (FOMO, “Fear of
missing out” ¬– related to social networks) origin. Nevertheless, it does not mean that neologisms
coming from extra-linguistic sources cannot be a result of word-building which shows the
interconnection between these two factors.
Generally speaking, there are four methods for translating neologisms: selection of an
equivalent in a target language, transliteration and transcription, loan translation, or calque. The first
method is the easiest one. If the word is fixed in the dictionaries, there is usually no problem with
finding equivalents. Nevertheless, it is not always possible to find an appropriate analogue in the
target language, which can be explained by different cultural levels or even political situation in the
corresponding countries. Without any background information about the meanings of new words,
translators risk to misuse the words in the target language. It is especially important to check them
while using the descriptive (explanatory) method of translation. This method is seen as the most
productive in English-Ukranian translation due to absolutely different means of expression in both
languages. Sometimes a whole sentence is needed in Ukranian to express the meaning of just a
couple of words in English.
The so-called “language conciseness” typical for English makes the translators to use two
other methods: transliteration and transcription. Transcription helps to maintain the sound form of the
source word with the help of another script, while transliteration implies transformation of letters into
another alphabet. In practice, both methods are often combined. It is worth mentioning that many
English letters and sounds do not have exact analogues in Ukranian and, thus, some words can have
two or more transliterated variants in the target language.
Loan translation does not change the original word at all. This method concerns the
borrowings from different languages which preferably need to be preserved due to the absence of the
original concepts and notions which are borrowed as well.
So the most important rule that we should respect while translating neologisms is transferring
the meanings of words from the source language into the target one and, trying to translate them in a
way that will not change anything. It is often quite easy to do it because of loan words and such
methods as transliteration and transcription. Nevertheless, descriptive translation is a more difficult
method and involves close work with explanatory dictionaries.
11. The Main Translational Devices Antonymic Translation.
Antonymic translation is a complex transformation when a source language construction is
shifted to a target language construction, whose components are of opposite meanings. Antonymic
translation usually implies a comprehensive lexical and grammatical transformation: an affirmative
construction is translated by a negative one or a negative construction – by an affirmative one. But
such grammatical transformation is usually accompanied by lexical transformation – the key word
of the SL utterance is translated by its antonym in the TL utterance, e.g. … the undead past – ще
живе минуле.
Let a sleeping dog lie. – Не буди сплячу собаку.
Nobody was ever sorry to see him. – Всі завжди були раді його бачити.
There are three major types of antonymic transformations:
1) substituting a word with its antonym (Snowdrifts are three feet deep. – Замети
заввишки в один метр. ) or conversive (Some of the country’s art treasures have been secretly sold
to foreign buyers. – Покупці-іноземці таємно скупили деякі з художніх шедеврів країни.)
2) substituting a negative sentence with an affirmative one and vice versa: I never heard
of it! – Впершу чую!
3) shifting the position of a negative component: I don’t think I can do it. – Думаю, я не
зможу цього зробити.
Antonymic translation is more frequently used when rendering negative constructions by
affirmative ones. This may be accounted for by the stylistic use of negative constructions in English
for purposes of expressiveness. The English language uses grammatically only one negative in a
sentence – either with a verb or with a noun but it maces a stylistic use of two negatives of which
one is formed by grammatical means and the other – by means of affixation (negative prefixes or
suffixes) or by lexical means, i.e. by words with a negative meanings.
A sentence containing two negatives is negative only on the face of it, actually it is
affirmative as the two negatives neutralize each other. The grammatical form in this case is not used
in its direct meaning and consequently attracts attention, as does, for example, the rhetorical
question which is no question at all but an emphatic statement. The clash between the denotative
meaning of the grammatical form and its use in speech makes it highly emotive and increases its
expressiveness. Thus a double negation has a special connotative meaning. It is not identical,
however, with an affirmative statement. It contains a certain modification. It may be an
overstatement or an understatement.
British imperialists never failed to recognize the value of tea and fought many a bloody
battle to grab the plantations of India.
Британські імперіалісти завжди прекрасно розуміли цінність чаю і не раз вели
криваві бої, щоб захопити індійські чайні плантації.
The double negation is expressed grammatically by the negative adverb “never” and
lexically by the semantics of the verb “to fail” is desemantized to such an extent that in some cases it
is equivalent to a simple negative and is translated accordingly, e..g. he failed to appear – he did not
The combination of a grammatical negative with the comparative or superlative degrees of
the adverb “little” is always emphatic and is rendered antonymically.
Dickens is hampered by his age, which demands sentiment and reticence, but in the space
that is allowed to him he scampers as if he knew no restraint…Never was he less embarrassed by
restrictions than in the exuberance of “Pickwick Papers”.
Діккенс був пов'язаний своєю епохою, яка вимагала чутливості і стриманості, але в
дозволених йому кордонах він веселиться не знаючи упину ... Ніколи він не відчував себе більш
вільним від обмежень, ніж в «Записках Піквікського клубу», де веселощі б'є ключoм.
The double negative construction “not … until” may be regarded as a cliché which is
practically always rendered antonymously as лише тоді, тільки (тоді), коли possessing the same
degree of emphasis.
It was not until I reached the farmyard that I made the discovery.
(Susan Howatch)
І тільки коли я дістався ферми, я зробив це відкриття.
It was not until 1770 when James Cook chartered the East Coast that any major exploration
of Australia was undertaken.
І тільки в 1770 році, після того як Джеймс Кук наніс на карту східне узбережжя
Австаліі, почалося серйозне дослідження цього континенту.
12. Metaphoric and Metonymic Translation Logical Development.
Metaphor is a figurative expression, transferring the meaning from one thing to another based
on their similarity. Metaphoric transformations are based on transferring the meaning due to the
similarity of notions. The target language can re-metaphorize a word or a phrase by using the same
image The preservation of original metaphors in imaginative prose is obligatory as they belong to
the main features of a writer’s individual style. If for some linguistic reason (different valency,
different semantic structure, etc.) the original metaphor cannot be preserved, resort is taken to
stylistic replacements or compensation either by substituting another image or by using another
stylistic device, e.g.
And Might by limping Sway disabled. (Shakespeare Sonnet 66)
І міць в полоні у немочі беззубої
The metaphoric epithets “limping” and беззубий are formally not identical semantic units but
as they have a common seme denoting a physical defect, stylistically they may be regarded as
The sun would pour through the shutters, tiger-striping the table and floor…
(G. Durrell)
Сонце світило крізь віконниці і столик і підлога були схожі на тигрову шкуру.
The metaphor is rendered by a simile.
A trite metaphor is sometimes revived by adding to it a new image expressed by one or more
He was a rich vein of information, and I mined him assiduously. (G.Durrell).
Він був невичерпним джерелом інформації, і я невтомно черпав з нього.
Sometimes the difficulty of rendering metaphors in translation is due to the fact that the
metaphor is based on some phraseological unit which has no equivalent in Ukranian.
Never before had Lucy met that negative silence in its full perfection, in its full cruelty. Her
own edges began to curl up sympathy. (J. Tey).
Ніколи ще Люсі не стикалася з таким абсолютним мовчанням, настільки
характерним для англійців і настільки нещадним; і в ній самій почало закипати обурення.
The metaphor in this example “her own edges began to curl up in sympathy” is linked up
with two phraseological unities:
1. to be on edge – to be excited or irritable; 2. to set person’s teeth on edge – jar his nerves,
affect him with repulsion (The Concise Oxford Dictionary). The semes in this case are reshuffled,
the referential meaning of the word “edge” is revived, and the meaning of the two phraseological
unities (to be irritable, to have one’s nerves jarred) is present. This interaction of two meanings is
perceived as deliberate interplay.
Original Metonymies and their Translation
Metonymy is transference of meaning from one object to another one based on their
contiguity. The word is derived from the Greek meta “change” and onoma “name”. Classified
semantically, meanings can transfer from
• process to result (e.g. translation indicates the process of decoding and the result of
this process)
• material to a work (to drink from a glass)
• location to people (Kyiv greets honored guests)
• cause to effect (The little horror never stops playing tricks on his mother)
• part to whole and vice versa. This type of metonymy is called synecdoche (Little Red
Riding Hood).
The rendering of metonymy is not always easy because of differences in usage.
So the pink sprigged muslin and the champagne voile ran downstairs in a hurry. (C.
The metonymies « рожевий муслін в квіточках і палева серпанок втекли сходами » are
hardly possible in Ukranian. The following is an acceptable rendering:
Подруги, одна в рожевому мусліні з квіточками і інша в палевому серпанку, швидко
втекли сходами.
The addition of a concrete word – подруги – is prompted by the macro context, but the
stylistic effect is certainly lost in translation. What is permissible and possible in our language is
impossible in another. Still there are cases when the norms of the Ukranian language permit the use
of original metonymies.
There were only four other people in the bar. I knew them all, or knew what they did for a
living: timber, flour, textiles, insurance. Timber and Flower were standing at the counter discussing
the cost of labour; Textiles at a table on the opposite side of the room was complaining about his
garage bills. Insurance was listening patiently. (J.Braine).
У барі було тільки ще чотири людини. Я знав їх усіх, вірніше знав, чим вони
займаються: будівельний ліс, борошно, текстиль, страхування. Будівельний ліс і Борошно
стояли біля стійки, обговорюючи вартість робочої сили; Текстиль, сидячи біля столика в
іншому кутку бару, скаржився на великі рахунки за гараж. Страхування терпляче його
Metonymic transference can take place on the language level, and is called lexical metonymy.
In this case metonymy is a means of coining new words: e.g. in informal English a new word to box
meaning ‘to present on TV’173 is converted from the noun a box, as a TV set, an old one in
particular, resembles a box. Ultimately, the new word gets fixed by a dictionary and becomes part of
the language vocabulary stock.
Speech metonymy usually occurs on syntactical level. In this case the word acquires a
metonymic meaning in a sentence, and this occasional meaning is normally not fixed in the
dictionary. For example, I am late because of the bus where the word bus does not denote an object
but a situation, normally verbalized by the phrase or clause like there was no bus or the bus was late.
Stylistic metonymy is a figure of speech used to decorate the style and make the text
more expressive by creating images and appealing to the receptor’s feelings. An example of stylistic
metonymy is as follows: The pen is mightier than the sword.
These types of metonymy are monolingual. When metonymy is traced between two
languages, we deal with metonymic translation that might be defined as a lexical or complex
transformation based on metonymous relations between the source language and the target language
• This metonymic transformation is a kind of modulation, or logical development of the
13. Compensation as a Translational Device. Types of Compensation.
Compensation, on the other hand, is a “translation technique whereby a piece of information
or stylistic device is moved to another location in the text, because it does not have the same effect if
maintained in the same place as in the original text”. This process is intended to compensate for the
losses that a text suffers when it is translated. The technique is especially useful when it comes to
wordplay: if the translator cannot directly adapt a pun, for instance, which tends to happen quite
often, then they will try to create another play on words in another part of the text.
Compensation in translation is a standard lexical transfer operation whereby those meanings
of the SL text, which are lost in the process of translation, are rendered in the TL text in some other
place or by some other means. A classical case of compensation involves the rendering of individual,
vernacular or class speech patterns with means available in the target language, e.g., regional
expressions, slang words or distorted grammar (local compensation). It is also a form of
compensation if the translator takes advantage of the opportunities offered by the target language and
uses striking and idiomatic expressions thus compensating the reader for having had to use less than
ideal solutions in other areas (global compensation). Losses are inevitable in translation. Some terms
do not have natural and obvious equivalents in another languages, and this must somehow be
compensated for.
Local compensation is a subtype of compensation which involves the rendering of individual,
vernacular or class speech patterns by the means available in the target language,
A classic example of local compensation is the case when the translator has to render the
individual speech habits of a character. If the characters speak a regional dialect, it makes no
difference where in the original work they use dialectal forms. The translator can indicate a dialect
only in words which have a regional dialectal variant.
Global compensation is a subtype of compensation whereby translators do not compensate for
a specific item, but they compensate for compromises imposed upon them by the fact of translation
itself as an indirect, mediated type of communication.
There are also generalization and concretization as the types of compensation.
14. Generalization as a Type of Compensation.
Generalization is the opposite of concretization. In this case a SL word of concrete meaning
is rendered by a TL word of general meaning. This type is not so wide-spread and occurs less
frequently than concretization. May be this is due to the fact that abstract and desemantized words in
English form, a numerous and diversified group, thus supplying a linguistic base to this type of
transformation, whereas generalization appears to be lacking a similar linguistic foundation.
Sometimes generalization is resorted to for pragmatic reasons in order to avoid expanded
explanations or footnotes.
And so the Mad Hatter Scheme – as it was later to be called – was launched.
І так почалося здійснення цієї божевільної витівки, як згодом Гаррі Поллітт і члени
редколегії жартівливо називали план видання першої щоденної газети Комуністичної партії
In those days the British communist Party had neither money, no premises. “The Mad Hatter
is an allusion to a character in Lewis Carrol’s well-known book “Alice in Wonderland”. The
suggested translation is based on generalization. Besides, recourse has been taken to interpreting
Here are some examples of this type of lexical transformation.
In the Arctic of today the frozen face of the deep is changing and man seeks a scientific
explanation for its growth and shrinkage.
Крижаний покрив Льодовитого океану зараз змінюється, і люди шукають наукове
пояснення цьому явищу.
Much more than an effective gun control is going to be needed to cure America of the plague
of violence that afflicts it.
Для того, щоб позбавити Америку від епідемії насильства, недостатньо одного лише
суворого контролю над продажем зброї.
There is a tendency in the English language to use nouns denoting measures of weight,
distance, length, etc. in describing people and things which do not require such precision in their
description. This method of description is foreign to the Ukranian practice and recourse is usually
taken to generalization.
He was a young man of 6 feet two inches. - Це був високий юнак.
Generalization is sometimes used in rendering non-equivalents (e.g. summary court -
дисциплінарний суд; a summary court is not only a disciplinary court but the least formal one,
consisting of one officer, etc.).
15. Concretization as a Type of Compensation.
Some groups of lexical units require concretization in translation. This is due to the
difference in the proportion between abstract and desemantized words on the one hand and concrete
words on the other in the S and T languages.
Abstract words in English distinctly fall into several groups:
1. Numerous nouns formed by specific suffixes of abstract meaning. Many such nouns have
no counterparts in the Ukranian language, e.g. ministership, presidency, electorate, statehood, etc.
2. Abstract words which have no equivalents in Ukranian, the so-called lacuna, such as
exposure, occupant (unless as a military term).
3. Generalizing words having equivalents in Ukranian but differing in usage, e.g. man,
woman, creature, person.
4. Words of wide meaning which require concretization in translation, some words of this
group are on the way to becoming desemantized, e.g. place, piece, stuff, affair, etc.
5. Words of wide meaning which in fact have become partly deictic signs: -thing, -body
(something, somebody).
Words belonging to the first group require lexical and grammatical replacements by words
possessing a concrete meaning:
C.P.Snow resigned from his ministership because he did not like the way the Labour
Government was developing.
Чарльз Сноу пішов зі свого міністерського поста бо йому не подобалася нинішня
політика лейбористського уряду.
The abstract noun “ministership” is rendered by a concrete noun (пост) with adjective.
An ageing Speaker cannot take the burdens of the presidency (in case of the president’s and
vice-president’s assassination).
Старіючий спікер не може прийняти на себе весь тягар президентської влади.
The abstract noun “presidency” is rendered by means of a concrete noun with an adjective as
in the preceding example.
Puerto Rico may launch a drive for US statehood.
Можливо, Пуерто Ріко розпочне кампанію за те, щоб стати штатом США.
The abstract word “statehood” is concretized by means of an adverbial subordinate clause of
Words of abstract meaning which for some reason or other have no equivalents in the
Ukranian language are translated by some concrete word determined by the context. Their meaning
is usually conveyed with the help of replacements or additions. It should be borne in mind that in
this case the use of the same parts of speech is of no relevance.
The role and the significance of the context is well illustrated by the following example, the
translation of which is determined by the macro context.
Two of the shipwrecked seamen died of exposure.
Двоє, з потерпілих крах, моряків загинули (від холоду або від спеки).
It was a good solid house built to withstand time and exposure.
Це був хороший, міцний будинок, розрахований на те, щоб протистояти дії часу і
Another group is formed by a large number of words of wide meaning. Their reference has
widened to such an extent that they have come to be used in a variety of contexts. This ability to be
used in different contexts has, in its turn, affected their reference: on the one hand, they have
developed new lexical-semantic variants, on the other, their semantic boundaries have become
vague and indefinite. This is due to the fact that their meaning is often contextual. Some of them
move towards desemantization, such as piece, place, thing, affair, stuff, stunt etc.
The place was full, and they wandered about looking for a table, catching odds and ends of
conversation as they did so. (A.Christie).
Ресторан був переповнений; вони ходили по залу в пошуках вільного столика і
мимоволі чули уривки розмов.
Desemantized words form one more group.
The word place which is practically desemantized is translated by the concrete word
We had a quick breakfast and then our oxygen sets on to our backs. “This oxygen is
certainly the stuff”, was my thought. (Edmund Hilary).
Ми швидко поснідали і потім звалили на спину балони з киснем. «Так, без кисню нам не
обійтися», подумав я.
Equivalence in this case is achieved by means of both lexical and grammatical substitutions.
Such words as piece, thing, body fulfill a double function – lexical and grammatical; they can
be used as lexical units possessing reference or as a grammatical sign. The noun piece in its lexical
function means “a bit of something” (a piece of bread); in its grammatical function it concretizes an
uncountable noun, turning it into a countable one (a piece of furniture, a piece of advice, two pieces
of furniture, two pieces of advice).
The words “thing” and “body” have, as a matter of fact, moved from one morphological class
into another; apart from belonging to referential nouns, they are used as deictic signs or prop-words
and in such cases are omitted in translation.
She took things terribly seriously. (A. Huxley).
Вона все приймала дуже близько до серця.
In this case the noun “things” is translated by a generalizing word. But there are also cases
when this word requires concretization.
He came in sight of the lodge, a long, low frowning thing of red brick.
Він побачив будиночок воротаря, довга низька, похмура будівля з червоної цегли.
Special attention should be paid to the translation of verbs of wide meaning, such as: to
come, to go, to turn, to say, to tell, to get, to die and others. They are rendered either by concrete
words suitable to the context or by verb equivalents used in corresponding collocations.
So far 65 people have died in floods in Dacca province. -За наявними відомостями, 65
людей потонуло (загинуло) під час повені в провінції Дакка.
At the by-election victory went to the labour candidate. - На додаткових виборах перемогу
здобув кандидат лейбористської партії.
The rain came in torrents. – Полив сильний дощ.
Concretization is often resorted to in the translation of verbs of saying.
“Father!” she cried, “the diamond is gone!”
“Are you out of your mind?” I asked her.
“Gone!” says Penelope. “Gone, nobody knows how!” (W.Collins).
«Батьку!» закричала вона, «діамант зник».
«Та ти з глузду з’їхала!» вигукнув я.
«Зник», повторила Пенелопа. «Зник, і ніхто не знає яким чином».
Concretization is often resorted to in translating the verb “to be” in different functions. The
principle of semantic agreement is to be observed in such cases.
…first he was terrified, then he was sick, then he was in Paris.
… спочатку він злякався, потім його занудило, потім він опинився в Парижі.
(Josephine Tey).
16. Translating of the Adverbial Verbs and Attributive Chains.
Adverbial verbs are verbs of complex semantics: they express simultaneously two meanings –
that of an action and that of its characteristics. For example, to stare – дивитися пильно; to shrill –
пронизливо кричати. A translation equivalent is usually represented in the dictionary either by a
verb and adverb or by a simple verb of complex semantics (to stare – втупитися), or by a verb and
prepositional phrase: to rumble – їхати з грюкотом.
Some verbs become adverbial only in context. For example, the verb to roar by itself denotes
making a long and loud noise and is equal to ревіти, грюкати. In the sentence Tanks roared into the
city, the verb indicates not only producing a loud noise, but also moving. So the sentence corresponds
to the Ukranian Танки з грюкотом в'їхали в місто.The seme of movement is easily recognized by
the preposition into. The same role is performed by a postpositional element of a phrasal verb: The
old jalopy clanked up the hill. – Старий драндулет з брязкотом піднімався в гору.
Semantically, adverbial verbs can be classified into the following groups:
verbs expressing movement accompanied by some sound: to jingle – мчати, брязкаючи
бубонцями; to creak – рухатися зі скрипом; to bang – з хлопком, etc. These verbs are usually
translated with the help of an adverbial participle (дієприслівник) or a prepositional and nominal
Verbs expressing a shift from one place into another: He danced her out into a quiet corridor.
– Танцюючи з нею, він повів її в порожній коридор. The servant bowed the guests out as they left.
– Слуга з поклонами проводив гостей. So in this case, either an adverbial participle or a
prepositional phrase is used. When it has a metaphoric meaning, the verb can be translated with a
simile: He stormed out of the restaurant. – Він, як ураган, вилетів з ресторану.
verbs expressing transition from one state to another: The train slid to a halt. – Поїзд плавно
зупинився. The adverbial feature is rendered in Ukranian by an adverb.
causative verbs: The slaves were whipped into work. – Рабів змусили працювати за
допомогою батога. (translation with a prepositional phrase). The threat angered him into activity. –
Ця загроза пробудила його гнів і змусила діяти. (translated with parallel verbs). He refused to be
blackmailed into silence. - Він відмовився мовчати, не дивлячись на шантаж. (translated through
substituting parts of speech). He teased her out of making a scene. – Він жартував над нею, щоб
вона не влаштувала йому сцени. (translated with a subordinate clause).
verbs expressing cause and effect: Quietly she sang herself that night into fame. – Вона так
співала, що непомітно для себе в той вечір стала знаменитою співачкою. (translated through a
sentence partitioning). Mary Bignall is long-jumping her way to victory.– У змаганнях зі стрибків
у довжину Мері Бігнал виходить на перше місце. (in translation the sentence is restructured).
Being a compressive means of expressing a meaning, adverbial verbs are widely used in
modern English, especially in newspapers and fiction. Some of them have become set phrases: to cry
oneself to sleep; to struggle into one’s coat; to bang out of the room, etc.
Many adverbial verbs form a structural pattern and, therefore, are easily recognized in the
sentence, though their contextual meanings may not be found in the dictionary: The Tatar cavalry
burned its way through Eastern Europe. – Спалюючи все на своєму шляху, татарська кіннота
пронеслася по Східній Європі. The pattern to elbow one’s way, to push one’s way, to bribe one’s
way (to, through) has been very frequent recently.
Another pattern is the structure to talk (laugh, joke, tease, etc.) somebody into (out of)
something: I’ve talked her into coming camping with us. – Я умовив її поїхати з нами відпочивати
на природу.
Attributive chains are compound phrases which consist of two or more nouns connecting
logically with each other where the preposition «of» is absent. E.g.:
the reaction of catalysis - catalysis reaction
the solution of benzene - benzene solution.
As all compound phrases are formed in scientific literature with the help of genitive case
(родовий відмінок), most authors prefer to use attributive chains. To avoid the frequent repetition of
the preposition «of» authors omit this preposition by transferring the word which must be after the
preposition «of» at the beginning of a phrase.
17. Actualization in Translation. Principles of Translation.
The perception, translation and reproduction of the text is associated with complex mental
activity of a person. The indefiniteness of the concept of perception, implying a holistic reflection of
objects, situations and events, in the context of translation theory requires a broader interpretation, as
a combination of understanding and evaluation.
The very understanding of the text implies the ability to understand the work as the author
understood it; at the same time, such an understanding is preceded by a deep scientific study, an
attempt to get used to a foreign culture, to penetrate other people's ideas, abandoning one's
individuality, and transform into an author.
According to most translators, both practitioners and theoreticians, it is precisely such
reincarnation and survival that ensures a successful solution to the translation problem.
The ability of the translator to read, interpret the text, understand its deep structure (meaning)
is determined primarily by the features of his thinking, which are formed under the influence of
forms of social life and depend on the psychological structure of his personality, on his “emotional
There are 2 stages of translation:
1.The stage of extracting information from the original. At this stage the translator should get
information not only from the text, but also from the linguistics and situational context. The translator
should decide, which content he will convey in translation.
2.The stage of choosing language units while creating the TT. Translation will differ from the
original texts by the numerous usage of the structures analogical to the structures of SL, by a great
number of borrowings and loans etc. As a result of numerous acts of translation in the TL there
appears a certain subsystem of language means that closely corresponds to the system of language
means of the certain SL and is constantly used by the translators in the process of translating from
this language.
The result of the analysis of the main stages of the translation process and their features is the
conclusion that translation (interpretation of the original) is a complex psycholinguistic process,
during which, in the mind of the translator, the meanings of the individual elements of the utterance
and the meaning of the utterance as a whole, are transformed into new meanings .
There exist some basic principles of a translator’s strategy:
1. “I translate only the thing that I understand” or “If 1 do not understand I do not translate .
*Exception: absurd texts should be translated by the absurd texts.
2. “to translate sense of the original, but not the form only”.
3. The third principle consists in the fact that the translator extract from the ST the most or the
less important sense elements.
4. The meaning of the whole is more important than the meaning of the separate parts.
5. The translation should completely correspond to the norms of the TL.
18. Paraphrasing. The Main Principles of Translating clichés.
A paraphrase is a restatement of the meaning of a text or passage using other words. The term
itself is derived via Latin paraphrasis from Greek, meaning “additional manner of expression”. In the
past, paraphrasing and translation were considered to be unconnected language processing tasks.
If we compare translation and paraphrasing, we observe that the first one represents the
preservation of meaning when an idea is rendered in the words in a different language, whereas the
latter is the preservation of meaning when an idea is expressed using different words in the same
language. It is obvious that the two processes are related. If we analyse, we can actually define
translation as the art of paraphrasing a text from one language into another.
As there is always more than one way to phrase a statement, then the result in the target text
depends on the translator’s choice. Finding alternative ways to translate a phrase can be a very useful
tool for a translator.
First of all, it can have positive effects on the style of the written piece, secondly it can avoid
repetition of certain words and structures that is often problematic and it can also help shorten the
text when the space requires doing so.
A paraphrase usually gives an explanation or a clarification of the text that is being
paraphrases. It can be a useful technique for the reader as well, as it helps him easily understand the
meaning of a certain phrase.
Depending on the translator’s choice, a paraphrase can make the text sound more natural,
more ambiguous or more formal. It is a matter of imposed style in this case.
Paraphrasing implies rendering the content of the utterance by different semantic and
grammatical units. This type of transformation is especially common in translating orders,
commands, clichés and phraseological fusions but it is used in other cases, as well.
No parking (here) – Стоянка автомобілів заборонена.
No reason in the world to get upset. - Немає абсолютно ніяких підстав засмучуватися.
The absence of a corresponding suffix in the Ukranian language sometimes necessitates
They (the demonstrators) had run into a solid wall of riot-equipped Washington policemen.
(C.Bernstein and B.Woodward).
Учасники демонстрації натрапили на суцільну стіну вашингтонських поліцейстіх,
спеціально споряджених для боротьби з вуличними заворушеннями.
A compound adjective formed by the suffix –ed requires paraphrasing.
…”the Communists”, said Mr. Mc Lennan, “are illegally kept off the air”.
...«Комуністів», сказав Мак Леннан, «абсолютно незаконним чином позбавляють
права виступати по радіо».
This example fully reveals the nature of paraphrasing: the cliché “to keep off the air” is
translated by a corresponding Ukranian cliché – позбавляти права виступати по радіо,
conveying the same idea by different grammatical and lexical means.
Clichés are terms, phrases, or even ideas that, upon their inception, may have been striking
and thought-provoking but became unoriginal through repetition and overuse.
The word cliché has French origins, which is why you'll often see it with an accent over the
"e," but you can also write it as "cliche" in English. When printing presses were used, the cast iron
plate that reproduced the words, phrases, or images was called a stereotype. The noise that casting
plate made sounded like "cliché," meaning click, to French printers, so this onomatopoeia word
became printer's jargon for the stereotype. Thus, cliché came to mean a word or phrase that gets
repeated often. A cliché conveys an idea or message but loses its point through over-usage.
Common Cliché Sayings
All that glitters isn't gold – Не все те золото, що блищить.
All for one, and one for all – Один за всіх, і всі за одного.
Read between the lines – Читай між рядків.
Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed – Хтось встав не з тієї ноги.
Not all clichés are necessarily true either. Some are a matter of interpretation. Clichés are
often idioms. This makes clichés difficult to translate into other languages because their meaning
won't always be understood by people from different cultures.
Idioms are either opaque or transparent:
Opaque - When you translate an opaque idiom, it may not make sense because the literal
meaning has very little to do with the intended meaning. An example of an opaque idiom is "bag of
bones" which means someone is very underweight.
Transparent - A transparent idiom shows some similarity between the literal and the intended
meaning. For example, "playing your cards right" is an expression that actually came from card
games and can be applied to other situations.
19. Morphological Difficulties in Translation. Translating Passive Constructions.
Morphology is the study of word-making and word-marking. In the other hand, morphology
examines meaning relationship between word and the ways in which these connections are
indicated. On the other, morphology looks at how grammatical relationships between words are
marked. Different languages focus on different word relationships, and they make use of different
pattern of marking. The most crucial things in morphology for translating are onomatopoeia,
compounding, and conversion.
Onomatopoeia is words whose represent aspects of things, usually noises or sound effect. It
has a big presence in languages around the world, but there is no such thing as a universal stock list.
Each language has its own collection of onomatopoeic expressions. Onomatopoeia is a strange
concept because its definition is challenged by different languages worldwide. The sound of
something is generally the same wherever you are in the world, yet the sounds used to describe it
can be significantly different in different language.
Compounding is the combination of two or more lexical categories (Noun, Adjective, Verb,
or Preposition) to create a larger word. The element to make a compound can all typically occur as
independent words elsewhere in the language. Compound are used to express a wide range of
semantic relationship. In most case, the rightmost component of the compound identifies the general
class to which meaning of the entire belongs. In smaller number of cases, however, the meaning of
the compound does not follow from the meanings of its parts in this way. The rules for forming
compound differ from language to language.
Conversion is one of part of speech to another without the addition of a suffix. It is
sometimes said that zero derivational suffix is added, the only concrete change that occur in a
functional shift is a change in stress. Once a word has been converted, it can normally take the
inflection of a new class. Note that we only speak of conversion when it is clear that a word has
been “copied” from one-word class to another.
A person or thing performing an action is called the subject of the action. A person or thing
acted upon is called an object of the action.
In the English language the verb has two voices: the Active Voice and the Passive Voice. The
Active Voice is used when the person or thing denoted by the subject of the sentence is the subject of
the action expressed by the predicate. The Passive Voice is used when the person or thing denoted by
the subject of the sentence is an object of the action expressed by the predicate. The Passive Voice is
used when the speaker wants to say something about the object (not about the subject of the action).
In this case the subject of the action is mostly not mentioned at all; otherwise it is expressed by a
noun or pronoun with the preposition by or with.
The tenses of the Passive Voice are formed by means of the auxiliary verb to be in the
corresponding tense and Past Participle (Participle II) of the main verb. The Future Continuous and
the Perfect Continuous tenses are not used in the Passive Voice.
The tenses of the Passive Voice are used according to the same rules as the corresponding
tenses of the Active Voice. A verb which may have a direct object is a transitive verb. A verb which
is not used with a direct object is intransitive. In Ukrainian only transitive verbs are used in the
Passive Voice – the subject of a passive construction corresponds to the direct object of the active
construction. In English not only transitive but many intransitive verbs are used in the Passive Voice.
E.g. He was widely travelled and spoke several languages fluently. – Він об’їздив багато
країн і вільно говорив декількома мовами.
The subject of a passive construction in English may correspond not only to a direct object of
the active construction but also to an indirect or prepositional object.
E.g. A guide showed us the sights of Paris. – The sights of Paris were shown to us. / We were
shown the sights of Paris.
The passive verb-forms are translated into Ukrainian:
1. By verbs with the particle -ся (-сь).
E.g. This is usually done to access records contained in a database. – Це звичайно робиться
для того, щоб отримати доступ до відомостей, які містяться у базах даних.
2. By combinations of the verb бути with predicative verbal forms ending in -но, -то.
E.g. Some acknowledge that our campaign finance system will be broken but contend that
reforms simply are not possible. – Дехто визнає, що систему фінансування виборчої кампанії
буде зруйновано, але стверджує, що реформи просто неможливі.
3. By the equivalent of the Passive Voice in Ukrainian (combinations of the verb бути with
Past Participle Passive (дієприкметник пасивного стану минулого часу).
E.g. Almost 20 percent of the republic’s farmland was removed from production during the
years immediately after the accident in Chernobyl. – Майже 20 % сільськогосподарських земель
республіки були вилучені з виробництва протягом декількох років після Чoрнобильської
4. By verbs in the Active Voice in indefinite-personal sentences. Some sentences with verbs
used in the passive constructions require special approach to translation of their subjects.
If a sentence has one of the below given verbs as a passive predicate – to advise – радити, to
aid – допомагати, to assist – допомагати, to give – давати, дарувати, to forbid – забороняти, to
forgive – прощати, to help – допомагати, to inform – сповіщати, to oppose – протистояти,
суперечити, to order – наказувати, to permit – дозволяти, to precede – передувати, to
promiseобіцяти, to refuse – відмовляти, to send – посилати, to show – показувати, to tell –казати,
веліти, to threaten – погрожувати – in Ukrainian translation its subject should be transformed into a
direct or indirect object in the Dative case.
E.g. I was shown the new photographs. - Мені показали нові фотографії.
Subjects of the sentences with the verbs to ask – просити, to avoid – уникати, to oppose –
бути проти, to send – посилати, to see – бачити, to teach – вчити, викладати, to own – володіти,
used as passive predicates should be translated into Ukrainian as direct or indirect objects in the
Accusative case.
E.g. Не was asked to wait. – Його попросили почекати.
Subjects of the sentences containing the verbs to admire - захоплюватись, to own – володіти
in the function of passive predicates should be translated into Ukrainian as direct or indirect objects
in the Instrumental case.
E.g. No one is admired as much as he. – Ніким не захоплюються так, як ним.
5. If the subject of the action of a passive construction is indicated, the English Passive Voice
may be rendered in Ukrainian by the verb in the Active Voice in a definite-personal sentence.
E.g. The factory is owned by very dangerous people. – Фабрикою володіють дуже
небезпечні люди.
20. The Problem of style in Translation. Code Switching.
The problems of style, affecting translation, may be subdivided into two major categories: the
problem of functional styles and the problem of stylistic devices.
The problem of functional styles pertains to the specific features of texts of different genres in
the source and target languages. Texts, belonging to different functional styles, such as official
documents, scientific papers, technical manuals, news items and fiction, are characterized by a
number of distinctive features that vary from language to language. These variations affect the
composition of the text, its syntactic and semantic structure and the choice of linguistic devices for
each type of a text. Official documents are replete with set phrases for which there are usually
standard equivalents in the target language. Their syntax is usually characterized by complex
structures and their lexicon by the highest degree of formality. Scientific and technical texts are
characterized by the use of special terminology, equivalents, for which should be selected at the
appropriate style level
The problem of stylistic devices centers around the relative functional value of seemingly
identical stylistic resources. In case their functional role is different in the source and target
languages, a different stylistic device should be employed in the target language to achieve the
comparable stylistic effect.
In linguistics, code-switching refers to the simultaneous and syntactically and phonologically
appropriate use of more than one language. It is fairly common to hear multilingual people use
elements of the different languages that they speak when conversing with others that speak the same
languages. This mix may occur almost unconsciously in people who have a limited mastery of these
languages, and more consciously in the case of people who are proficient in both languages and who
use the word that best reflects what they wish to express for each ideas
There are three types of CS as follow:
 Tag switching involves the insertion of a word or phrasal tag in one language into an
utterance in another language.
 Inter-sentential switching occurs at sentence boundary, it emphasizes a particular point
uttered in the other language. CS involves switching at sentential boundaries, where one clause or
sentence is in one language and the next clause or sentence is in the other.
 Intra-sentential switching occurs within a single sentence. It happens at the clause, phrase
level, or at word level, specifically in the middle of a sentence, with no disturbance, pause, or gap
indicating a shift if no morpho-phonological adaptation occurs.
There are two approaches for sociolinguistic matter of CS:
 Macro approach that explores language alternatives at a given community level. It measures
the social and cultural speaker.
 Micro approach explores language alternatives at an interaction level, and explains the
motivations driven by the speakers themselves rather than by the society and culture.
21. Translation of Newspapers. Peculiarities of Translating Headlines. The Use of
Infinitives, Ellipsis and Abbreviations in Translation. The Peculiarities of Word Order in
This style possesses many features in common yet texts belonging to this style present
considerable variety and may be divided into two groups: texts containing information and texts
commenting on it.
News in brief and information articles (newspaper style proper) are devoid of emotive and
individual colouring, hence wide use of impersonal passive and Nominative with the infinitive
constructions which are also impersonal in character. Clichés form an outstanding feature of this type
of text. They arc characterized by a considerable compactness of form which is due to want of space.
Condensation in its extreme form is especially apparent in headlines and that is the reason why
headlines have their own structural peculiarities: omission of auxiliaries, a wide use of verbals, of
attributive models, etc., all making for compactness.
Articles containing commentaries (publicist style proper) chief among them editorials,
possess a distinct emotive colouring. Their vocabulary is literary and their syntax is rather
complicated. Their objective is to influence public opinion, not to inform the reader but to convince
him that the paper’s interpretation is correct and to bring him round to its point of view, to condition
his views and opinions. This fact explains the use of various expressive means.
Commenting articles, as has been pointed out, bear a distinctive emotive colouring due to the
expressive means in them, though these means are hardly ever original. The use of trite metaphors,
for example, is more frequent in English newspapers than in Ukrainian papers. That is why trite
metaphors are not infrequently substituted or even omitted in translation.
The metaphor used in the following example is toned down in the translated text.
The Industrial Relations Bill is an attempt to slit the throat of trade-unions.
Законопроект про відносини у промисловості — це спроба придушити профспілки.
Although the metaphor “to slit the throat” has a corresponding equivalent in the Ukrainian phrase
перерізати горлянку Ukrainian usage does not admit the combination перерізати горлянку
Different expressive devices (allusions among them) are used in newspaper articles to
condition the reader’s views and opinions.
The phrase “the winter of discontent” from Richard III by Shakespeare is widely used in
different political contexts and is often adapted to the situation, e.g.
Some Trade-Unions warn the Government that it will be a winter of discontent.
Another distinguishing feature of English newspaper style is the wide usage of attributive
constructions: "world-without-bombs'' conference program; capital flow rates (темпи руху
Very often we have to translate newspaper or magazine articles in different topics. In course
of translation some questions may arise connected to the translation of newspaper headlines. The
peculiarities of development of the press in USA and Great Britain have made a prominent stylistic
influence upon the style of newspaper headlines, the translation of which due to their specific
character presents certain difficulties.
A headline in English and American newspapers plays a rather important role; its main goal is
to attract the reader's attention, to provoke their interest and even amaze them, and only in the second
place a headline is given an informative and explanatory function - conveyance to the reader of the
summary of the given article. Due to such purpose in English and American press a special style of
newspaper headlines was formed which has a characteristic feature of great expressiveness of lexical
and grammar means. The headlines are usually written in "telegraphic language", i.e. they are written
in maximally brief and laconic phrases where all the semantically inessential components are
At the same time, for the aim of securing of maximal understandability headlines are
constructed on the basis of common lexis and the simplest grammar means. There are few
peculiarities of headlines and ways of their translation. For attraction of readers' attention to the main
idea of the message in the headlines the articles and personal forms of the auxiliary verb to be are
usually dropped. The information about recent events is conveyed using Present Indefinite form. This
as if brings an event nearer to the reader and enhances their interest. Future action is often rendered
using the Infinitive. Sometimes in the headline the predicate is dropped because it is of less
importance in the sentence. To attract readers' attention to the predicate and provoke their interest the
subject is dropped if it is of less importance then the predicate. The Genitive case due to its structural
compactness is used with inanimate nouns instead of the prepositional construction with of.
Often popular nicknames and contracted names are used instead of family names of some
politicians, actors, sportsmen etc. For giving some emotional tone to the common lexis headlines
often employ neologisms, dialectic words, poetic lexis, or slang. Abbreviations and abridgements are
widely used. The figurative elements are often employed.
The headlines of English and American newspapers include a range of specific features that
require separate approach to their translation. . Ukrainian headlines and the newspaper style in
general is more fluent and restricted and the action in them contrary to the headlines of English and
American newspapers is rendered more often by a noun then by a verb.
The headlines of English and American newspapers often employ abbreviations, sometimes
they are letter abbreviations, and in many cases the meaning of such a headline can be understood
only from the text of the article itself.
It is often necessary to read the test of an article before translation of its headline when a
headline contains some figurative elements.
In many occasions a tendency to make a headline more intriguing and suspenseful results in
that such a headline cannot perform its informative function correctly and actually gives no idea
about the content of a notice or an article. In such occasions a translator should expand the headline
by using additional details from the text of an article.
To sum it up, we should stress that contrary to the headlines of scientific and technical articles
that as a rule give some insight into the main idea of the article's content and thus in a certain way are
the "key" to understanding of the text, for the newspaper headlines the situation is different. It is
often necessary to read the text beforehand to understand and translate its headline correctly. English
newspaper text has a certain laconicism that in headlines takes the form of slogan-like concise pieces,
being very abrupt and hectic. Our translation should retain brevity but at the same time be more
fluent and rhythmical, that is peculiar to our newspaper style in general.
22. Socio-Regional Variations of English and their Reflection in Translation.
As all languages, English is by so means a homogeneous or monolithic system. It is made up
of a multitude of subsystems of territorial and social dialects. What is more, Standard English is not
homogeneous either end comprises several varieties - British American, Australian, etc. The
existence of all these subsystems and varieties poses a number of problems for translation. In dealing
with territorial dialects it should be remembered that they cannot be considered purely regional
varieties of English In fact, they are socioregional subsystems for the communities of their users are
usually defined not only in geographic but also in social terms. For instance, Cockney, the dialect of
the East End district of London, is not just a regional, but a socioregional dialect whose speakers
belong to the lower and less educated social groups.
The two major varieties of Standard English are British and American. Their distinctive
features affect in a different manner the process of translating into English and into Ukranian. In
translating into Ukranian British-American variations amount to a problem of properly interpreting
the English original. It should be a noted that seemingly identical lexical items may take different
denotational meanings in British and American English.
Semantic differences between British and American English may affect not only words but
also phrases. Thus the phrase "public school" in the US means "a school", usually for primary or
secondary grades, that is maintained at public expense". In England it is one of the few exclusive and
endowed boarding schools (usually for boys) that prepare pupils for university study or public service
(e.g. Harrow, Eton, etc.). Thus the phrase "He went to a public school" would be translated as "Він
навчавсся в державній школі or as Він навчався в приватному пансіонаті depending on whether
it occurs in an American or English setting.
Essential semantic differences affect the system of numbers. "Billion", used in an American
text, is мільярд, but, if it is used in a British text, it should be translated as біліон. Equally important
are some differences in the system of weights and measures. Lexical differences between British and
American English may affect not only denotational but also conotational meanings.In translating into
English the problem is that of selecting the proper variant with due regard for the receptor's
nationality.The choice of a lexical (and sometimes even grammatical) variant in rendering a Ukranian
text into English sometimes depends on whether the translation is intended for English or American
23. The Judicial Grounds of Translation, the Rights and Duties of the Translator.
Many professional bodies have a code of professional conduct, like the Institute of Linguistics
in the United Kingdom.The German Federation of Translators developed a similar code of
professional honor. One of the first principles of translators’ behavior is objectivity and impartiality.
A translator, or rather an interpreter, is a mediator of communication but not its active participant. He
cannot take part in the discussion he translates. A translator is generally expected not to side with
either party. If a speaker’s arguments seem weak to him, he must translate them as convincingly (or
not) as does the speaker. The interpreter cannot correct the speaker even if he knows that the latter is
evidently mistaken. In order to “wash his hands” of the wrong statement, the interpreter can stress
that it is the speaker’s point of view: Як говорить оратор… Neither vocal, nor facial expression
should betray the interpreter’s thoughts and feelings. Generally speaking, interpreting involves a high
level of neutrality and detachment.
The interpreter’s speech must be clear and distinct. He must not mumble and stumble. No
matter what and how a speaker might be talking, the interpreter must be logical and grammatically
correct. A sentence begun must be completed. There is a stereotype that well-respected participants
speak according to the standard norms. Thus mistakes in translating will inevitably be attributed to
the interpreter and not to the speaker.
It is recommended that the interpreter learn beforehand the names and positions of the
communicators to avoid further troubles.
The interpreter is not responsible for the content of what he is translating. He cannot translate
what was not said (though in informal situations, the interpreter may deviate slightly from this rule
and, taking into account the difference in cultures, makes necessary comments.) Awareness of non-
verbal communication will be of great help to the interpreter in any situation,though he is not obliged
to translate gestures.
An interpreter must keep information from the talks confidential. When working at several
negotiations concerning the same problem, the translator cannot make the participants understand
that he is aware of some information on the problem.
An interpreter normally speaks in the first person singular; the third person deixis is employed
when it is necessary to introduce the speaker, when the communicator speaks about the interpreter, or
in informal situations with several participants. It is not recommended using in Ukranian the pronoun
він / вона - it is better to name a person (either in full name or with the courtesy title ‘пан /пані’.
The place of an interpreter depends on the type of ceremony. It is crucial that the interpreter
hear and be heard well. In translating informal talks, the interpreter usually stands between the
communicants, to the left of his chief. When translating officials, the interpreter is to the left and
behind the official. At the conference, the interpreter can be at the podium, in the presidium, at a
microphone. An interpreter can check with the speaker if he did not hear or understand something
properly. But, of course, echoing questions should not be frequent, especially in translating official
It is admissible, though not desirable, to interrupt very long utterances of a speaker. It is better
to make an agreement with the speaker beforehand about the length of utterances s/he is going to
speak. An interpreter should always have paper and pencil with him, ready to take notes.
An interpreter must be very punctual. He must be observant of the time and arrive on time.
Negotiations cannot start without him. It is even desirable that the interpreter come a little earlier than
appointed, because the participants may decide at the last moment to start the discussion earlier, or
the interpreter’s help may be needed for discussing some problems before the talks.
An interpreter must work with modesty and dignity. He must avoid both overfamiliarity (even
if he is on friendly terms with the negotiation participants) and servility towards the communicators.
He must be self-assured: he knows that the worst translation is better than absence of one (the theory
is disputable, however). He must not let the talks participants correct him and he should do
everything to make them believe in his professional competence
24. Grammatical Equivalents in Translation.
The grammatical structure of language is an important part of its overall system, no less
important, in fact, than its lexicon or vocabulary. The elements of the grammatical structure, such as
affixes, forms of inflection and derivation, syntactic patterns, word order, functional words, etc. serve
to carry meanings which are usually referred to as "grammatical" or "structural", as distinct from
lexical meanings. The rendering of such meanings in the process of translation is an important
problem relating to the general problem of translation equivalence, which now must be considered at
Grammatical forms of different languages only very seldom coincide fully as to the scope of
their meaning and function. As a rule, there is only partial equivalence, that is, the grammatical
meanings expressed by grammatical forms, though seemingly identical, of two different languages
coincide only in part of their meaning and differ in other parts. Thus, for instance, the category of
number of noun in English and in Ukranian seems to coincide and, indeed, does coincide in very
many cases of their use; cf. table - стіл, tables-столи, etc. However, there are many instances where
this is not the case, in other words, where an English plural form is rendered through a Ukranian
singular form and vice versa; this is especially common among the so-called Singularia and Pluralia
Tantum, that is, those nouns that have only a Singular or a Plural form whose distribution is often
arbitrary and motivated only historically. Compare: oats - овес, peas - горох, onions - цибуля,
cherries - вишня (used collectively), outskirts (of a town) - околиця, billiards - бильярд, measles -
кір; and, on the other hand, money - гроші, ink - чорнила, information – новини, дані etc. Also, the
forms of number in two languages often do not coincide when the noun is accompanied by a
numeral; thus, in Ukranian all nouns preceded by such numerals as двадцять один, сто тридцять
один and others ending in один are used in the Singular form while in English in corresponding
patterns a Plural form must be used: twenty-one tables, one hundred and thirty-one passengers, etc.
Another good example is the category of Tense. Both English and Ukranian distinguish such
forms of the predicate verbs as Present and Past, their general grammatical meanings being, on the
whole identical; cf. He lives in Kyiv – Він живе в Києві. Не lived in Kyiv – Він жив в Києві, etc.
However, in certain cases the Tense forms of the two verbs - English and Ukranian - do not coincide;
thus, for instance, in English there exists such a grammar rule as "Sequence of Tenses" according to
which the predicate verb in subordinate object clause following the main clause in which a Past form
is used must, with a few exemptions, also be used in a Past form, whereas in Ukranian this is no so
and a Present form is quite common in the same position: He said he lived in Kyiv – Він сказав, що
він живе в Києві.
The difference is even more striking when we consider other grammatical categories whose
semantic content and function vary to a still greater extent. Take, for instance, such category as
Gender. Ukranian distinguishes three genders: Masculine, Feminine and Neuter, which are formally
expressed in the following ways: (a) through agreement, e.g. цей юнак – ця дівчина; дідусь
прийшов – бабуся прийшла; кохання прийшло etc; (b) by the inflectional forms of the noun itself,
e.g. стіл (Masc.) - zero ending, "hard" stem, вода - (Fern.) - the ending - а, вікно (Neut.) - the ending
-o, etc; (c) by means of pronominal substitution, e.g. звір (Masc.) - он; двері (Fern.)-она; etc. In
English, the same three genders are also distinguished; however, the only formal way to express the
distinction is through pronominal substitution, e.g. boy - he, girl - she, house - it, their being no such
things as agreement in gender or difference in inflectional (case) endings.
Consequently, the category of gender in English is expressed, actually, not in the noun itself
but in the corresponding personal (possessive, reflexive) pronoun. It follows, then, that many nouns
in English are not marked as to gender and can be used as Masculine or Feminine depending on the
context, whereas in Ukranian a choice between these two genders is necessary with due regard for the
wider context; cf. artist - художник, художниця; worker – робітник, робітниця; student - студент,
студентка; teacher- вчитель, вчителька; writer – письменник, письменниця; cook - кухар,
кухарка; friend - друг, подруга; acquaintance - знайомий, знайома, etc.
The above must not be taken to mean that there is absolutely nothing in common between the
grammatical structures of two different languages. On the contrary, there exist in all languages the
so-called grammatical universals, that is, categories that are found in all languages and without which
no language can function as a means of communication. These, however, are mainly the so-called
deep grammatical categories, i.e. categories that are semantic rather than formal, such as "object",
"process", "quality", "relation", "actor", "goal" (of action), "instrument", "cause and effect", etc. The
formal ways in which they are manifested may differ widely. The translator's task here is, first to
assign the correct meaning to this or that form and, secondly, to find an appropriate form in the target
language for the expression of the same meaning, taking into account various factors which will be
described below. Moreover, it should be born in mind that the content which in one language is
expressed grammatically may be expressed lexically in another language. If no grammatical forms
are available in the target language, the translator must look for lexical means to render the same
semantic content. Thus, for instance, the English language does not distinguish between the forms of
the Perfective and Imperfective aspect (Доконаний і недоконаний вид) that are so typical of the
Ukranian verb.
The only way to convey in English the semantic difference between the Perfective and the
Imperfective verb forms of Ukranian is through lexical differences between two verbs.
Another example: in the sentence "Out came the chaise - in went the horses - on sprang the
boys - in got the travelers." (Ch. Dickens, Pickwick Papers) inversion is employed to convey the
additional meaning of rapidity of movement. In Ukranian, however, the same meaning cannot be
conveyed by inversion alone and the lexical means must be resorted to achieve adequate translation,
as, for instance: « Швидко викотили коляску, миттєво запрягли коней, хлопці-форейтори
вскочили в сідло, і мандрівники поспішно сіли на свої місця »
Finally, it should be noted that there are cases when grammatical meanings are not rendered
in translation at all, that is, when this or that grammatical form is not used freely, according to its
own meaning, but when its use is predetermined by purely linguistic factors, such as syntactic
construction, rules of agreement (grammatical concord) or government, etc. In such cases we can
speak of the bound use of the grammatical form, as opposed to its free use. One example will show
the difference: in English the choice of the tense form of the verb in an independent clause is free and
depends on the proper meaning of the tense form itself; cf. "He lives in Kyiv - He lived in Kyiv". In a
dependent clause, however, the use of the tense form is not free and is determined by so-called "rule
of the sequence of tenses": "He said he lived in Kyiv". Consequently, in the first case the difference
in the tense form (Present vs. Past) must be reflected in translation: «Він живе в Києві- Він жив в
In the independent clause, on the other hand, the use of the English Past is purely formal and,
as there is no corresponding rule in Ukranian, it is not necessary (or even possible) to render the
meaning of the "past" in the Ukranian translation; here the rules of Ukranian syntax require the use of
the Present form to express non-priority (e.g. simultaneity) of the action: «Він сказав, що живе в
On the whole, the choice of the grammatical equivalent in the target language is determined
by the following factors:
a) The meaning inherent in the grammatical form itself, e.g.: стіл - table, столи - tables, or
живе- lives, жив - lived (see the examples above).
b) The lexical character of the word or word-group used in this or that form. Thus, for
instance, the use of the Plural form in Ukranian is impossible with certain nouns while possible with
others: cf. "workers of all industries" - «робітники всіх галузей промисловості»; "other
philosophies" - «інші філософські течії/напрямки» etc. Here the grammatical meaning of plurality
has to be rendered lexically in Ukranian as the corresponding Ukranian nouns lack the plural form.
c) Factors of style. Thus, for instance, both English and Ukranian have the Passive form of the
verb: however, in Ukranian the use of this form is mainly confined to the literary or bookish (formal)
style. Therefore, though the English Passive structure such as "At the station John was met by his
brother" can, theoretically speaking, be translated as « На вокзалі Джон був зустрінутий братом »,
we feel that the translation is unacceptable as it sounds too formal and hardly be used in colloquial
speech or in fiction. As an appropriate version here would be: « На вокзалі Джона зустрів брат ».
In the formal language, however, for instance, in newspaper reports, this is quite acceptable; cf.: "At
the station the delegation was met by a group of students" - « На вокзалі делегація була зустрінута
групою студентів ».
Another example: both English and Ukranian make use of the so-called "Historic Present"
(the Present tense used to denote past events); however, it is only in English that this form is
employed in newspaper headlines. Consequently, such a headline as "Prominent Scientist Dies" can
not be rendered as « Відомий вчений помирає» since Ukranian headlines favour noun phrases, it is
preferable to translate the above as « Смерть відомого вченого » (for details see the lecture on
d) Frequency of use. Speaking about this factor, the American linguist and translator E. Nida
writes: "Rare form of words may also constitute serious obstacle to a proper communication load. For
example, translators often find convenient formal parallels between constructions in the source and
receptor languages, and, regardless of the relative frequency of such constructions in the language
concerned, endeavor to match the forms more or less automatically. Thus, both source and receptor
languages may have passive forms of words, but in the source language they may be relatively
frequent, while in the receptor language they are rare. (English and Ukranian are perfectly the case.)
If under these conditions one attempts to translate every source language passive by a corresponding
passive in the receptor language, the result will be an inevitable overleading of the communication..."
Thus, Ukranian uses both subordinate clauses and verbal adverbs (дієприкметник) to express
adverbial relations: however, if a translator does not make use of the latter, his translation will sound
unnatural and too "heavy". Also, both in English and in Ukranian subordinate and co-ordinate are
used, but their relative frequency is different: English often prefers subordination whereas Ukranian
more often than not makes use of co-ordinate structures.
Therefore, subordinate syntactic structure of English are quite commonly replaced by co-
ordinate structures in Ukranian translations, though, from the point of view of purely formal grammar
rules such a replacement is not always necessary
25. Types of Reviewing used in Translation.
Review Type 1: Translator self-review
What is it?
A review of the translation by the translator before delivery.
What’s the objective?
To ensure the translation is both accurate and well-worded.
When is a self-review necessary?
Whenever a reasonable degree of translation quality is needed.
Without a self-review, a translation would generally be considered just a draft. It may have
inaccuracies (things missed or translated incorrectly) or phrasing that’s a little unnatural. That’s
because translating involves complex mental processing and it’s hard to get everything spot on first
time through. The self-review process is needed to overcome those challenges. Now in some
circumstances you might be happy with just a draft translation and no self-review. For example, if
you just want to get the gist of what a document says.But a translator self-review is essential if you
don’t want the risk of a translation mistake or some slightly awkward wording. It’s the starting point
for your translation risk management, with the second review type (translation peer review) adding
an additional level.
How should a translator do a self-review?
In two separate steps with a break in between. The first step is an accuracy check. The
translator systematically works through the translation, phrase-by-phrase or sentence-by-sentence,
comparing it with the original text. They make sure no meaning has been missed or misinterpreted.
They should work from hard copies here and not on screen where it’s too easy to miss things. The
translator should now take a break to clear the mind. Then the second step is to read through the
translation and refine wording where needed.
Review Type 2: Translator peer-review
What is it?
A review of the translation by a second translator before delivery. This is a separate and
additional step to the initial translation process – it’s carried out after the initial translator provides
their ‘final’ translation.
What’s the objective?
To ensure the translation is high quality, by which we mean:
fully accurate (all meaning correctly expressed)
appropriately worded
no errors
internally consistent
Now an experienced professional translator using best practice processes (which include a
self-review) should produce a high-quality translation. So this peer review process is essentially a
safety check to confirm there are no errors and to refine wording if needed.
When should you insist on a translator peer review?
Whenever a high degree of translation quality is needed.
Of the 6 main purposes for business translations, this would at least include your client-
facing, business-critical and key internal documents. More generally, it’s whenever any shortcomings
in the translation could have negative repercussions for you – particularly financial or reputational
impact. A correctly carried out peer review will markedly reduce the risk of that happening.
How should a second translator do a peer review?
In three, and sometimes four, steps.
Step 1 reviews translation accuracy using the same method as a self-review.
Step 2 reviews quality of expression, again in the same way as a self-review.
Step 3 checks there are no errors – spelling, grammatical, or in numbers and proper names.
Depending on the nature of the text and the reviewer’s experience, a fourth step may be
necessary to check for consistency of vocabulary and style.
Review Type 3: Post-translation client review
What is it?
A review of certain aspects of a completed translation by a client internal or in-country native
What’s the objective?
There are 6 different possible objectives:
1. Errors – a simple check to confirm there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes.
2. Accuracy – a check that all meaning has been correctly expressed in the translation.
3. Wording – to ensure the translation reads naturally and well.
Note: These three checks will already have been done in a translator peer review process. So,
any further client review here would be an additional, second “safety check”.
4. Technical review – to confirm that everything makes sense from a technical point of view
and the most appropriate terminology has been used.
5. Branding and style – to ensure that your brand is communicated effectively and in a way
you’re happy with.
6. Consistency – that wording and style matches that of your other materials or
When might you want a post-translation review?
A review for errors, accuracy or expression (Objectives 1-3)
When: a second translator (peer) review hasn’t been done, or you aren’t entirely confident in
the peer review, or the materials are business-critical, and you consider a further safety check
26. Types of Translation depending on the level of Translation. The Word for Word
Translation. Adequate Translation, Free style Translation.
There are eight types of translation depending on the level of translation: word-for-word
translation, literal translation, faithful translation, semantic translation, adaptive translation, free
translation, idiomatic translation, and communicative translation.
2. Word For Word translation: The SL word order is preserved and the words translated by
their most common meanings. Cultural words are translated literally. The main use of this method is
either to understand the mechanics of the source language or to construe a difficult text as pre-
translation process.
3. Literal translation: The SL grammatical constructions are converted to their nearest TL
equivalents but the lexical items are again translated out of context. As pre-translation process, it
indicates problems to be solved.
4. Adequate translation: It attempts to reproduce the precise contextual meaning of the
original within the constraints of the TL grammatical structures. It transfers cultural words and
preserves the degree of grammatical and lexical deviation from SL norms. It attempts to be
completely adequate to the intentions and the text-realisation of the SL writer.
5. Semantic translation: It differs from faithful translation only in as far as it must take more
account of the aesthetic value of the SL text, compromising on 7meaning where appropriate so that
no assonance, word play or repetition jars in the finished version. It does not rely on cultural
equivalence and makes very small concessions to the readership. While `faithful' translation is
dogmatic, semantic translation is more flexible.
6. Communicative translation: It attempts to render the exact contextual meaning of the
original in such a way that both language and content are readily acceptable and comprehensible to
the readership.
7. Idiomatic translation: It reproduces the message of the original but tends to distort nuances
of meaning by preferring colloquialisms and idioms.
8. Free translation: It reproduces the matter without the manner, or the content without the
form of the original. Usually it is a paraphrase much longer than the original.
9. Adaptation: This is the freest form of translation mainly used for plays and poetry: themes/
characters/ plots preserved, SL culture converted to TL culture & text is rewritten.