Полтавський національний педагогічний університет ім. В.Г.Короленка
Кафедра англійської та німецької філології
АКТУАЛЬНІ ПРОБЛЕМИ ПЕРЕКЛАДУ: ТЕОРІЯ
для практичних занять та самостійної роботи студентів
Полтава – 2012
ББК 81.432.1 -923
В.О.Лапочка. “Актуальні проблеми перекладу: теорія”: навчально-методичний посібник для практичних занять та самостійної роботи студентів. Полтава,2011, 62стор.
Посібник укладено старшим викладачем кафедри англійської та німецької філології ПНПУ Лапочкою Віктором Олексійовичем.
Сирота О.В., кандидат філологічних наук, доцент кафедри перекладу Полтавського інституту економіки і права
Кононенко В.В., кандидат історичних наук,доцент кафедри романо-германської філології ПНПУ
Навчально-методичний посібник містить теоретичний матеріал, вправи та тексти для використання на практичних заняттях і у процесі самостійної роботи з дисципліни “Актуальні проблеми перекладу ”. Посібник розрахований на студентів спеціальності “Філологія. Мова і література англійська, німецька”. Посібник є практичним керівництвом, в якому пропонуються теорія, вправи і тексти, спрямовані на засвоєння та використання основних способів перекладу лексичних і граматичних явищ, що створюють, як правило, певні труднощі у процесі перекладу художніх і публіцистичних матеріалів. Передбачається, що студенти опрацюють і засвоять лекційний матеріал цього спецкурсу, ознайомляться з працями з теорії перекладу, які дадуть їм уявлення про процес перекладу взагалі і про проблеми, які розглядаються у спецкурсі. Багато уваги приділяється аналізу перекладів і порівнянню перекладів студентів із перекладами фахівців, які наводяться у посібнику.
Посібник складається з 6 розділів відповідно до навчальної програми з дисциплини. Теоретичний матеріал супроводжується вправами, спрямованими на первинне закріплення теорії і текстами для перекладу та аналізу. Вправи мають пізнавальний, навчальний і тренувальний характер, вони розширюють і закріплюють теоретичні знання студентів з цих питань. Тексти і вправи взяті з автентичних джерел британської і американської літератури і пропонуються за принципом зростання складності.
Його мета – допомогти студентам у самостійній роботі над цим предметом, а також у підготовці до практичних занять, сприяти засвоєнню навичок та вмінь використовувати різноманітні способи і методи перекладу.
Рекомендовано до друку Вченою Радою ПНПУ ім. В.Г.Короленка
CHAPTER3. Stable and phraseological word-combinations…….. 19
CHAPTER4.Units of specific national lexicon/realia……………...30
CHAPTER6. Pragmatics of translation…………………………….47
TRANSLATION THEORY: OBJECT AND OBJECTIVES. Translation is a means of interlingual and intercultural communication. The translator makes possible an exchange of information between the users of different languages by producing in the target language (TL or the translating language) a text which has an identical communicative value with the source (or original) text (ST). This target text (TT that is the translation) is not fully identical with ST as to its form or content due to the limitations imposed by the formal and semantic differences between the source language (SL) and TL. Nevertheless the users of TT identify it, to all intents and purposes, with ST — functionally, structurally and semantically. The functional identification is revealed in the fact that the users (or the translation receptors — TR) handle TT in such a way as if it were ST, a creation of the source text author. The translation is published, quoted, criticized, etc. as if it really belonged to the foreign Source. A Ukrainian may find in a paper the phrase “The American President made the following statement yesterday” and then read the statement in quotation marks. He is sure that he has read what the American President really said which is certainly not true to fact since the President spoke English and what is cited in the paper is not the original text but something different: a Ukrainian text produced by some translator who passes his statement for the American statesman's.
A book in Ukrainian may bear the title: “Д.Френсіс. Фаворит.” and the readers are convinced that they are reading a novel by Д.Френсіс no matter how close it actually is to the original text. They may make judgments on its merits, say, “I like D.Francis detective stories” or “D.Francis' style is somewhat simple” or “D.Francis' vocabulary is rich”, etc. as if they have really had access to the author's work.
The functional status of a translation is supported by its structural and semantic similarity with the original. The translator is expected to refrain from any remarks or intrusions in his text. He is expected to avoid interference with the process of communication between SL and TR.
The structure of the translation should follow that of the original text: there should be no change in the sequence of narration or in the arrangement of the segments of the text. The aim is maximum parallelism of structure which would make it possible to relate each segment of the translation to the respective part of the original. It is presumed that any breach of parallelism is not arbitrary but dictated by the need for precision in conveying the meaning of the original. The translator is allowed to resort to a description or interpretation, only in case “direct translation” is impossible.
Structural parallelism makes it possible to compare respective units in the original text and in the translation so as to discover elements which have equivalents and those which have not, elements which have been added or omitted in translation, etc. In other words, similarity in structure is preserved in respect to the smallest segments of the text.
Of major importance is the semantic identification of the translation with ST. It is presumed that the translation has the same meaning as the original text. No exchange of information is possible if there is discrepancy between the transmitted and the received message. The presumption of semantic identity between ST and TT is based on the various degrees of equivalence of their meanings. The translator usually tries to produce in TL the closest possible equivalent to ST.
As a kind of practical activities translation (or the practice of translation) is a set of actions performed by the translator while rendering ST into another language. These actions are largely intuitive and the best results are naturally achieved by translators who are best suited for the job, who are well-trained or have a special aptitude, a talent for it. Masterpieces in translation are created by the past masters of the art, true artists in their profession. At its best translation is an art, a creation of a talented, high-skilled professional.
As any observable phenomenon, translation can be the object of scientific study aimed at understanding its nature, its components and their interaction as well as various factors influencing it or linked with it in a meaningful way. The science of translation or translatology is concerned both with theoretical and applied aspects of translation studies. A theoretical description of the translation phenomenon is the task of the theory of translation. Theoretical research is to discover what translation is, to find out what objective factors underlie the translator's intuition, to describe the ways and methods by which the identity of the communicative value of ST and TT is achieved.
The theory of translation provides the translator with the appropriate tools of analysis and synthesis, makes him aware of what he is to look for in the original text, what type of information he must convey in TT and how he should act to achieve his goal. In the final analysis, however, his trade remains an art. For science gives the translator the tools, but it lakes brains, intuition and talent to handle the tools with great proficiency. Translation is a complicated phenomenon including linguistic, psychological, cultural, literary, ergonomical and other factors. Different aspects of translation can be studied with the methods of the respective sciences. Up to date most of theoretical research of translation has been done within the framework of linguistics. The basis of this theory is linguistics in the broadest sense of the word, that is, macrolinguistics with all its new branches, such as psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, text linguistics, communicative linguistics, etc., studying the language structure and its functioning in speech in their relationship to mind, culture and society. Language, which makes possible communication between people, is part of all human activities, of life itself.
The core of the translation theory is the general theory of translation which is concerned with the fundamental aspects of translation inherent in the nature of bilingual communication and therefore common to all translation events, irrespective of what languages are involved or what kind of text and under what circumstances was translated. Basically, replacement of ST by TT of the same communicative value is possible because both texts are produced in human speech governed by the same rules and implying the same relationships between language, reality and the human mind. In any language communication is made possible through a complicated logical interpretation by the users of the speech units, involving an assessment of the meaning of the language signs against the information derived from the contextual situation, general knowledge, previous experience, various associations and other factors. The general theory of translation deals, so to speak, with translation universals and is the basis for all other theoretical study in this area, since it describes what translation is and what makes it possible.
An important part of the general theory of translation is the theory of equivalence aimed at studying semantic relationships between ST and TT. It has been noted that there is a presumption of semantic identity between 6 the translation and its source text. At the same time it is obvious that there is, in fact, no such identity for even a cursory examination of any translation reveals inevitable losses, increments or changes of the information transmitted. Let us take an elementary example. Suppose we have an English sentence “The student is reading a book”. Its Russian translation will be “Студентчитаеткнигу”. This translation is a good equivalent of the English sentence, but it is not identical in meaning. It can be pointed out, for example, that the Russian sentence leaves out the meaning of the articles as well as the specific meaning of the Continuous Tense. In Russian we do not get explicit information that it is some definite student but not some particular book or that the reading is in progress at the moment of speech. On the other hand, the Russian sentence conveys some additional information which is absent in the source text. We learn from it that the student is a male, while in ST it may just as well be a female. Then the translation implies that the student in the case is a college undergraduate, while in ST he may be a high school student or even a scholar, to say nothing of the additional grammatical meaning conveyed by the grammatical aspect of “читает”, the gender of “книга” and so on. Part of this information, lost or added in the translating process, may be irrelevant for communication, another part is supplemented or neutralized by the contextual situation, but it is obvious that translation equivalence does not imply an absolute semantic identity of the two texts. The theory of equivalence is concerned with factors which prevent such an identity, it strives to discover how close ST and TT can be and how close they are in each particular case.
The general theory of translation describes the basic principles which hold good for each and every translation event. In each particular case, however, the translating process is influenced both by the common basic factors and by a number of specific variables which stem from the actual conditions and modes of the translator's work: the type of original texts he has to cope with, the form in which ST is presented to him and the form in which he is supposed to submit his translation (oral or written), the period of time within which the translation is to be done (in simultaneous or consecutive interpretation), the specific requirements he may be called upon to meet in his work.
Each type of translation has its own combination of factors influencing the translating process. The general theory of translation should be supplemented by a number of special theories of translation identifying major types of translation activities and describing the predominant features of each type: of translation equivalence, theory of translation which is concerned with the translating process itself, that is, with the operations required for passing over from ST to TT, particular methods of translation, the theory of translation which deals with the pragmatic aspects of the translating process, etc.
Models of translation. Description of the translating process is one of the major tasks of the translation theory. Here we deal with the dynamic aspects of translation trying to understand how the translator performs the transfer operation from ST to TT.
Psychologically viewed, the translating process must include two mental processes – understanding and verbalization. First, the translator understands the content of ST, that is, reduces the information it contains to his own mental program, and then he develops this program into TT. The problem is that these mental processes are not directly observable and we do not know much of what that program is and how the reduction and development operations are performed. That is why the translating process has to be described in some indirect way. The translation theory achieves this aim by postulating a number of translation models.
A model is a conventional representation of the translating process describing mental operations by which the source text or some part of it may be translated, irrespective of whether these operations are actually performed by the translator. It may describe the translating process either in a general form or by listing a number of specific operations (or transformations) through which the process can, in part, be realized. Translation models can be oriented either toward the situation reflected in the ST contents or toward the meaningful components of the ST contents.
The existing models of the translating process are, in fact, based on the same assumptions which we considered in discussing the problem of equivalence, namely, the situational (or referential) model(V.Gak) is based on the identity of the situations described in the original text and in the translation (wet paint—свіжа фарба, instantcoffee—розчинна кава). In the situational model this intermediate level is extralinguistic. It is the described reality, the facts of life that are represented by the verbal description. The process of translating presumably consists in the translator getting beyond the original text to the actual situation described in it. This is the first step of the process, i.e. the break-through to the situation. The second step is for the translator to describe this situation in the target language. Thus the process goes from the text in one language through the extralinguistic situation to the text in another language. The translator first understands what the original is about and then says "the same things" in TL.
The transformational and semantic models postulate the similarity of basic notions and nuclear structures in different languages.
E. Nida suggested that the translating process may be described as a series of transformations. The structural transformational model (J.-P.Vinnay, E.Nida, J.Darbelnet, A. Schweitzer) postulates that in any two languages there is a number of nuclear structures which are fully equivalent to each other. Each language has an area of equivalence in respect to the other language. It is presumed that the translator does the translating in three transformational strokes. First — the stage of analysis — he transforms the original structures into the nuclear structures, i.e. he performs transformation within SL. Second —the stage of translation proper —he replaces the SL nuclear structures with the equivalent nuclear structures in TL. And third — the stage of synthesis — he develops the latter into the terminal structures in the text of translation (we had a long walk – we walked long).
A similar approach can be used to describe the translation of semantic units. The semantic transformational model (L.Barhudarov, Ya.Retsker) postulates the existence of the "deep" semantic categories common to SL and TL. It is presumed that the translator first reduces the semantic units of the original to these basic semantic categories and then expresses the appropriate notions by the semantic units of TL.
Thus if he comes across the sentence “John is the proud owner of a new car”, he is first to realize that it actually means that “John has a new car” and that “he is proud because of that”. After transferring these basic ideas to Russian and converting them to the semantically acceptable phrases he will get the translation “У Джона (есть) новая машина, которой он очень гордится”.
In describing the process of translating we can explain the obtained variants as the result of the translator applying one or all of these models of action. This does not mean that a translation is actually made through the stages suggested by these models. They are not, however, just abstract schemes. Training translators we may teach them to use these models as practical tools. Coming across a specific problem in ST the translator should classify it as situational, structural or semantic and try to solve it by resorting to the appropriate procedure. If, for instance, in the sentence “He is a poor sleeper” the translator sees that the attributive group cannot be directly transferred into Russian, he can find that the transformational model will do the trick for him here and transform the attributive group into a verb-adverb phrase: “Он плохо спит”.
Among other approaches to the description of the process of translating we can also mention the communicational approach (O.Kade) which postulates that translation is possible if the translator knows the user`s language and the subject matter well enough. The interpretational theory of translation or translatology of the text (I.Alekseeva, V.Falaleev) sees translation as interpretation of genre and stylistic, communicative, pragmatic and informational aspects of ST with adequate means to create TT, often ignoring general linguistic aspects of translation.
V.Komissarov created his Theory of Equivalence trying to combine different approaches to translation. Translation equivalence is defined as a measure of semantic similarity between ST and TT. If we compare a number of TTs with their STs we shall discover that the degree of semantic similarity between the two texts involved in the translating process may vary. In other words the equivalence between ST and TT may be based on the reproduction of different parts of the ST contents. Accordingly, several types of translation equivalence can be distinguished. He distinguished five levels.
The first level is the translation in which the degree of semantic similarity with ST seems to be the lowest:
Maybe there is some chemistry between us that doesn't mix.
Бывает, что люди не сходятся характерами.
Here we cannot discover any common semes or invariant structures in the original and its translation. It comprises the information which must be preserved by all means even though the greater part of the contents of the original is lost in the translation. This part of the contents which contains information about the general intent of the message, its orientation towards a certain communicative effect can be called 'the purport of communication". Thus we can deduce that in the first type of equivalence it is only the purport of communication that is retained in translation.
The second group of translations can be illustrated by the following example:
He answered the telephone.
Он снял трубку.
This group is similar to the first one, as the equivalence of translations here does not involve any parallelism of lexical or structural units. Most of the words or syntactical structures of the original have no direct correspondences in the translation but in this group of translations the equivalence implies retention of two types of information contained in the original – the purport of communication and the indication of the situation.
In the next group of translations the part of the contents which is to be retained is still larger.
Scrubbing makes me bad-tempered.
Oт мытья полов у меня настроение портится.
In this case the translation retains the two preceding informative complexes as well as the method of describing the situation. The translation is a semantic paraphrase of the original, preserving its basic semes and allowing their free reshuffle in the sentence. Thus we are faced with a situation that can be explained in terms of the semantic theory. We can now say that the third type of equivalence implies retention in the translation of the three parts of the original contents which we have conventionally designated as the purport of communication, the identification of the situation and the method of its description.
The fourth group of translations can be illustrated by the following example:
Не was standing with his arms crossed and his bare head bent.
Он стоял, сложив руки на груди и опустив непокрытую голову.
In this group the semantic similarity of the previous types of equivalence is reinforced by the invariant meaning of the syntactic structures in the original and the translation. In such translations the syntactic structures can be regarded as derived from those in the original through direct or backward transformations. This includes cases when the translation makes use of similar or parallel structures.
The fourth type of equivalence presupposes retention in the translation of the four meaningful components of the original: the purport of communication, the identification of the situation, the method of its description, and the invariant syntactic structures.
The fifth group of translations has the maximum possible semantic similarity between texts in different languages. These translations retain the meaning of all the words used in the original text. The examples to illustrate this semantic proximity are:
I saw him at the theatre.
Я видел его в театре.
The house was sold for 10 thousand dollars.
Дом был продан за десять тысяч долларов.
Here we can observe the equivalence of semes which make up the meaning of correlated words in the original text and the translation; parallelism of syntactic structures implying the maximum invariance of their meanings; the similarity of the notional categories which determine the method of describing the situation; the identity of the situations; the identical functional aim of the utterance or the purport of communication. The relative identity of the contents of the two texts depends in this case on the extent to which various components of the word meaning can be rendered in translation without detriment to the retention of the rest of the information contained in the original.
Thus, a translation event is accomplished at a definite level of equivalence. It should be emphasized that the level hierarchy does not imply the idea of approbation or disapprobation. A translation can be good at any level of equivalence.
What is Translation? Summing up the above-mentioned, we can see that the answer to this question is not a simple one. The human activities taking place in the process of translation, and in their pure form making up the notion of translation, are complicated and diverse. So the first characteristic peculiarity of the notion of translation is its multisided and complicated nature.
Translation cannot be understood and scientifically defined without taking into consideration its social nature and essence, social functions. Translation cannot appear, exist and function beyond a society. It appears only when at a certain stage of social development there are problems impossible to solve in any other way and when there are necessary conditions for that. The first primary aspect of the notion of translation is its social nature and function.
Secondly, translation cannot be understood unless it is looked at as a cultural phenomenon, a part and parcel of development of the national culture and a factor influencing the cultural process. There doesn`t exist a national culture in the contemporary world which is not influenced by translation and does not take part in it. At the same time translation is a result of interaction and cooperation of two cultures: source country and target country. It is obvious that the next principal aspect of the notion of translation is that it is a cultural phenomenon, a fact and part of the process and motive force of the national and world culture.
Thirdly, translation cannot be understood and more than that scientifically defined unless its deepest linguistic basis, its linguistic nature is shown. Translation, in the first place, is a linguistic activity, a specific linguistic event in the process of which a transformation of an oral or written text from one into another takes place. And finally, this is a transfer of certain information or recreation of a certain system of images of one language in a respective system of another language. So still another principal aspect of the notion of translation is its linguistic aspect, its linguistic nature of translation.
Translation, in particular, literary translation, cannot be understood unless studied from the aesthetic or literary point of view. Literary translation is a great, very complicated and attractive field of translation and it is, in general, impossible practically and theoretically without taking into consideration the laws governing art. That is where its artistic nature is especially prominent. Translation is an intricately organized and functioning process the result of which is a translated work of art.
And finally, translation cannot be scientifically understood unless it is viewed within a historical context, unless it is shown as a historical event and historical process. Translation is not a frozen and unchanged abstraction. Translation appears historically at a certain stage of human development, exists historically, develops historically together with the development of social, cultural and other processes.
In the dictionary by P. Palazhenko (Несистематический словарь. – М. 2002) we find 43 definitions of “translation” which is still another proof of the complexity of this process. We worked with some of this definitions and now let`s look at what different people said about translation at different times.
In the history of translation we can find very interesting approaches to translation. Denis Diderot, the French philosopher and writer, in fact ignored the source text at all. He used to read the book several times, tried to feel and grasp its spirit, put the book aside and began writing his translation. Miguel de Cervantes didn`t believe in translation and the hero of his book Don Quixote skeptically compared translation with the back-side of a carpet. One of French translators even compared translation with a woman and said that it was impossible to expect translation to be beautiful and faithful at the same time. Very often mistakes in translations led to serious problems in the relations of countries. There exists an Italian saying: tradutori – traditori which means translators – traitors.
As we see there exist many rather controversial definitions of translation and interpretation suggested by the representatives of different schools of linguistics and translation. These definitions range from formal, structural approaches to translation, e.g. “translation is substitution of elements or structures of one language by the elements or structures of another language (A.Oettinger, N.Chomsky, O.Kade, V.Rozentsveig), to semantic and functional treatment of translation, e.g. “translation is rendering in the target language (TL) of the closest equivalent of the initial message from the point of view of its meaning and style” (E.Nida, H.Claber).
All these approaches contributed to a contemporary understanding of translation as interlingual and intercultural communication recognized by many Ukrainian (I.Korunets, S.Maksymov, G.Miram, A.Panasyev, O.Semenets), Russian (A.Fedorov, L.Barkhudarov, G.Chernov, A. Chuzhakin, V.Komissarov, R. Minyar-Beloruchev, A.Shveitser) and western (M.Baker, M.A.K.Halliday, M.Hoey) writers on the subject.
According to this understanding translation is aprocess of transforming speech messages in the source language (SL) into the speech messages in the target language (TL) under condition that their sense and communicative intention remain unchanged. It is quite natural that in the process of translation the form of the messages can be transformed due to the structural (lexical, morphological and syntactical) differences between languages. Such transformations which are inevitable in the process of translation are also called "code shifting" (i.e. substitution of the SL structures by the TL structures).