Рефераты. Translatioin of Political Literature

Concerning uncountable nouns, especially those expressing abstract

notions we may have much more difficulties because most of them are

paradigmatic. For example: ink – чернила, money – деньги and so on.

Increasingly, Southern Africa is becoming the arena of national

liberation struggles.

Южная Африка всё больше и больше становится районом национально-

освободительной борьбы.

Sometimes, despite the availability of the plural form in Russian – its

usage is impossible owing to difference in combination and usage.

The Nile Valley appears to have been unfit for human habitation during

the Stone Ages.

Долина Нила, по-видимому, была не пригодна для жизни человека на

протяжении всего каменного века (во все периоды каменного века).

In Russian the Stone Age expression is of a historical nature and is

never used in plural.

In cases when plural form is to be preserved for it carries some

inherent sense one has to apply countable nouns, ex.:

Strikes broke out in many British industries.

В ряде отраслей промышленности Англии вспыхнули забастовки.

Sometimes, owing to some reasons some of constructions has wider usage

in one languages comparing with other languages. The best example of this

is the passive form – widely used in English mostly due to disappearance of

word flexion. As a result, both indirect and predicative object maybe

transformed into the objects of passive construction.

Stones and bottles were showered upon a Negro demonstration in

Milwaukee by white racists.

Белые расисты обрушили град камней и бутылок на негритянскую

демонстрацию в Милуоки (забросали камнями и бутылками).

We should notice that the passive-active transformation can not give

sufficient result for in passive construction the stress is being made on

the object of action and in the active construction the stress is being

made on the agent of action. The widespread use of passive construction in

English happens often enough because it is explained by unimportance of the

doer of that action and it is most often in newspaper style at the same

time the most important is to attract attention to the passage. Since the

structure and word order of simple sentence is subject + predicate + object

the importance of stylistics is bigger then to distinguish the object one

chooses the passive construction.

Divergence are found in some other cases of infinitive usage –

infinitive in substantivized constructions (like post-positive attribute)

and infinitive expressing following actions, for example:

The president warned of drastic steps to be taken against racialists in

the Zambian copper belt.

Президент предупредил, что будут предприняты решительные меры против

белых расистов в Медном поясе Замбии.

The infinitive functioning as attribute is translated into object

clause with the verb in the Future tense.

The Continuative Infinitive is often mistaken for the infinitive of

purpose, but in this function it expresses the action following the after

the action expressed by predicate and represents the logical development of


The Soviet Union decided to sign the Treaty with Germany and only did

to discover that Germany itself violated it two years later.

Советский Союз решил заключить договор с Германией. Но два года спустя

Германия сама нарушила его.

The Continuative infinitive very often is used with the adverb only

which stresses it. This emphatic function can be rendered in many ways.

Thus, all the considered cases – absence of conforming form, partial

correspondence, differences in character and use – urge translators to make

necessary grammatical transformations while translating some piece. Those

grammatical transformations maybe divided into following types:

1) substitution

2) transposition

3) omission (ellipsis)

4) supplementation

Substitution is one of the grammatical relations among the parts of the

sentences. In substitution, an item (or items) is replaced by another item

(or items), ex:

I like politics. And I do.

In this example, do is a substitute for like politics . Items commonly

used in substitution in English include do, one, and the same, as in the

following examples from Halliday and Hasan:

You think US will start the war against Iraq? – No one does.

We make use of substitution while translating a piece because of

several reasons: absence of similar construction in Russian language,

unconformity in usage of corresponding forms and constructions and some

lexical reasons, which include different word usage and different norms of

combinability in English and Russian and the absence of the part of speech

with corresponding meaning.

An attempted overthrow in Peru.

Попытка совершить переворот в Перу.

In Russian we do not have the conforming participle II of the verb

пытаться. And this made us change the part of speech; the participle

attempted was translated into Russian by the noun попытка. The expression

попытка переворота does not conform to the norms of Russian language that’s

why we have to apply additional word совершить.

While translating the following text we will have to use substitution

several times.

On the whole the “popular’’ press – with the New York Daily News as its

cheer-leader – is vociferous in its support of the President’s policies and

merciless toward those who attack them. But among the so-called “quality”

papers led by the New York Times there is a growing mood of doubt and


В общем «массовые» газеты, во главе с Нью-Йорк дейли ньюс», громогласно

поддерживают политику президента и беспощадно обрушиваются на тех, кто

критикует её. Но среди так называемых «качественных» газет, возглавляемых

«Нью-Йорк таймс», всё больше растут сомнение и неуверенность (в её


In the first sentence are used the verbal noun, verb link and two

predicative parts expressed by adjectives with object clauses. In this

translation verbal nouns very replaced by predicative ones (именные

сказуемые были заменены глагольными): поддерживают and обрушиваются. Both

predicative parts of the sentence have been translated by adverbs:

громогласно, беспощадно. In the second sentence the introductory

construction there is was translated by predicative verb and the participle

growing was transformed into the function of an attribute. The noun mood

was omitted and its attribute of doubt and questioning was turned into its


The transformation of ‘active’ into ‘passive’ is also when a translator

uses substitution.

More light was shed yesterday on the effect of C.S. gas, which was

claimed by Pentagon to be virtually harmless to health.

Вчера поступили дополнительные сведения о вредном действии газа C.S.,

который, по утверждению Пентагона, якобы не опасен для здоровья.

The phraseological unit more light was shed was translated by means of

lexical transformation and the passive construction was replaced by an

active one. The passive construction in the object clause also undergone

lexical transformation – verbal construction was substituted by substantive

one: по утверждению.

This example can illustrate the fact that lexical and grammatical

transformations are closely related with each other.

Transposition, that’s, change of structure of the sentence may be

caused by several reasons. But the main of them, as it has been mentioned

before is the difference in the structure of the English and Russian

languages. The fixed order of words in English bears hierarchic character,

first come the primary parts of the sentence; noun, predicate followed by

secondary parts. In Russian the word order is not fixed but one can observe

the tendency to locate the main information at the end of sentences

expressing it be the noun. The academic grammar of Russian points that the

word order in Russian sentences follows the model: adverbial modifier,

predicate and then the noun – that’s the order absolutely opposite to

English. In Russian, the secondary part of the sentence can stand at the

beginning if it represents the starting point of expression and introduces

theme of given information, ex:

Вчера в Вашингтоне состоялась пресс-конференция.

The essence of the information is пресс-конференция – which is

expressed by the noun located at the end of the sentence. Nevertheless,

this word-order is not obligatory, ex:

Премьер-министр выступил вчера по телевидению.

Here we find the main essence at the beginning of sentence.

In English, according to fixed word order, the noun of the sentence

stands at the beginning of clause. One of the prominent English linguists,

Halliday marks that, usually (but not always) a starting point is intrinsic

to English sentences.

Still in many cases the English sentence happens to be the center of

informative message, compare A Press Conference was held in Washington

yesterday. Usually it happens when the noun of the sentence is expressed

with an indefinite article. Something, semantically new has got to be

expressed in the sentence, and the earlier one should be opposed to the new

one, which is being expressed. Therefore the indefinite article functions

represents this new information, introduces it.

A smash-and-grab raid on two of the most important nationalized

industries is being organized by the Tory Party.

Консерваторы собираются обрушиться на две самые значительные

национализированные отрасли промышленности.

(the metaphor smash-and-grab has not been preserved in translated


Nevertheless, similar word order in English and Russian sentences are

also evident.

A meeting of firemen’s and employers’ representatives scheduled for

today has been postponed.

Намеченная на сегодня встреча представителей пожарников и

предпринимателей была отложена.

A Catholic priest in South Africa told of the malnutrition, disease and

starvation there.

Один католический священник из Южной Африки рассказывал о существующем

там недоедании, болезнях и голоде.

Transposition is required when the English sentence contains a large

group of nouns with indefinite article and then it is natural that they,

being the center of informative message are placed at the end of the

sentence. Besides, a short, compared with the noun predicate can not bear

the emphatic sense of a large group of nouns.

A big wave of actions by all sections of workers – skilled and

unskilled, men and women, manual and non-manual – for higher wages and

equal pay, for shorter hours and a greater say in shaping the environment

at work is rising.

Сейчас нарастает огромная волна забастовок трудящихся всех категорий –

квалифицированных и не квалифицированных, мужчин и женщин, работников

физического и умственного труда – за повышение зарплаты, за равную оплату

женского труда, за сокращение рабочего дня, за улучшение условий труда.

It is very frequent when grammatical and lexical transformations demand

supplementation or omission of some words or elements. Therefore omission

and supplementation are frequently combined with other types of grammatical

transformations and more frequently with substitution of parts of speech.

Supplementation of parts of speech are characterized by several factors:

difference in structures of the sentences and that short English sentences

demand spread translation in the Russian language. Absence of some

corresponding word or lexical-semantic variant in both languages is also

one of the reasons of applying additional words in translation.

The American troops were thought to be heading toward Saigon, but no

one seemed to be aware of fierce resistance of the nation.

Полагали, что американские войска направляется на Сайгон, но казалось,

что никто не знал о жестоком сопротивлении местного населения.

The construction Nominative + Infinitive with two omitted elements

(which was) was given in object clause plus introductory sentences…

который, как полагали раньше, движется… Thus, the difference in the

structure of sentences demanded supplementation in the given translation.

In the following example, supplementation was caused by absence of

corresponding word in Russian to English conservationists.

The actions of Congress and of North Carolina and Tennessee statesmen,

aided by gifts of wise conservationists, have set this land aside as Great

Smoky National Park.

Эта местность на берегу реки Смоки-Хилл была превращена в Национальный

парк благодаря усилиям Конгресса и государственных деятелей штатов Северная

Каролина и Теннеси, а также благодаря пожертвованиям любителей природы,

понимающих всю важность её сохранения.

While translating this sentence besides transposition we have made many

other transformations and as a matter of the first importance we should

mentions the supplementation we have accomplished. In regard to the absence

on corresponding word in the Russian language to the English

conservationists we have rendered it by two words любителей природы; and

taking into consideration the combinability of the attribute wise we have

translated it by adverbial modifier applying introductory words like

понимающих всю важность её сохранения, the noun сохранения renders all the

essence of the given sentence which is contained in conservationists. To

make the perception of the sentence easier we have we added the words

штатов, на берегу реки. The last supplementation was made on the basis of

its spread context. The passive participle aided was rendered by

preposition благодаря. We should also point to lexico-grammatical

transformation: have set this land aside – эта местность …была превращена.

Ellipsis involves the omission of an item. In other words, in ellipsis

an item is replaced by nothing. This is a case of leaving something unsaid

which is nevertheless understood. It doesn’t include every instance when

the hearer or reader has to supply missing information, but only those

cases where grammatical structure itself points to an item or items that

can fill the slot in question. Here are some examples of ellipsis:

The United States donated two millions dollars and Britain one and a

half millions pounds. (omitted item: donated in second clause ).

Here are four strategies. Choose any of them. (omitted item strategy)

Use of synonymy pairs is characterized to all styles of written speech

of English language. Preserving such synonymy pair is accepted as pleonasm

and it is absolutely superfluous even when translating official documents

that demand preciseness. For example:

The Treaty was declared null and void.

Договор был объявлен недействительным.

Condemned by almost all members of the United States, and regarded as

an outcast and criminal system by the vast majority of mankind, it

(apartheid) is able to exist and defy censure solely because of the aid and

support given to it by the Western imperialist countries.

Апартеид осуждён почти всеми членами ООН, и подавляющее большинство

человечества считает эту систему преступной. Апартеид существует благодаря

помощи и поддержке империалистических государств Запада.

In this example are used two synonymy pairs: outcast and criminal, aid

and support. In the first case преступный sufficiently renders the essence

of both synonyms. The lexical meaning of the attribute outcast – изгнанный,

отверженный doesn’t fit to this context neither owing to norms of

combinability nor to the power of its meaning. The second pair of synonyms

can be preserved without any difficulty – помощь и поддержка. The

participle given is omitted for its meaning is supplied by case flexion.

The battle was fierce while it lasted.

Бой был жесток.

Time complex object in this in this case functions as a clichй and

doesn’t have corresponding equivalent in Russian.

So we can see that in the majority cases of translation some piece of

political literature we have make necessary changes. We should remind you

that it is not always an English sentence completely corresponds to the

Russian one. Very frequently the structure of a Russian sentence absolutely

differs from the one English. It has different word order, parts of the

sentences and pretty often differs even the order of sentences. In some

instances, parts of speech expressed in English are translated into Russian

by the help of different parts of speech. You should remember that the

compressed way of expression in the English can not be followed in Russian

and we therefore have to “decompress” them so that to make the easy to

perceive and understand, e.i. we have to add some words or expressions or

even sentences in whole. Nevertheless, some differences in usage of some

specific features make us leave some elements unsaid while translating the

whole. And all these cases are explained by grammatical transformations we

have just investigated.

§ II. Lexical difficulties of transformation.

Every word in a language carries some concrete notion. The semantics of

a word reflects different signs of the subject and the relation of its

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