Рефераты. Translatioin of Political Literature

meanings to other objects it denotes. The semantics of a word includes word

perception characteristic to the studied language, being more precise to

the bearers of the studied language. When studying the reality of some

object we can identify that its name reveals its functions which finds the

reflection in the semantics of the word. Lets take as an example the word

glasses – очки. In English it reveals the substance of which the object is

made and in Russian firstly it reveals its function – second eyes – очи.

Despite distinguishing all kinds of differences we should say that,

both languages sufficiently reflect one and the same perception of reality.

Therefore the difficulty stylistic devices represents to a translator is

based on word play, if in corresponding words of both languages are

featured different signs.

The second reason, causing lexical difficulties to translation of

political literature is the difference in the semantic volume of a word. In

every language a word exists in a close connection with the lexical-

semantic system of a given language. It may have various kinds of lexical

meanings (lexical-semantic) variants; it may widen or narrow its meaning

and make it more abstract or concrete.

The third reason presenting lexical difficulties in translation the

difference in combinability. Words in languages have some definite

relation characteristic only to the given language. It should be mentioned

that word combinability is possible if words point to similar objects they

denote. This difference of word combinability in various languages is very

important; therefore some types of combinability are easily accepted in one

of language and are completely unacceptable in other languages.

Last but not the least is the accepted usage of words in a language. It

is, of course related to the development of a given languages and formation

of its lexical system. Every language worked out its own clichйs and some

set expressions used by speakers, nevertheless those word expressions are

not phraseological units but they possess complete form, which, in

comparison with the phraseological units, are never broken by adding some

introductory words or substitution of some of its elements.

Translation studies showed that there are cases when due to the

distinguished signs a word acquires wider semantic volume and can not be

covered by corresponding equivalent in the target language. Let us take

teenager for example: etymologically it is related to the numerals from

thirteen till nineteen. The Russian подросток does not semantically cover

its meaning in complete volume for its is narrower in its meaning.

Therefore the word teenager is usually translated by different words –

подросток, юноша, and in plural as молодёжь.

Difference in the semantic structure of a word represents one of the

main reason causing lexical difficulty in translation. These difference are

related to peculiar features of separate words or word groups. And it is

quite natural that this matter covers a wide range of examples.

Practically, even identical words in different languages are not always

equal in their meaning, they never correspond completely. Most often is the

correspondence of first lexical-semantic variants of such words – their

primary meaning – then we have various lexical-semantic variants for the

course of development of these words was of different nature.

This is characterized by different functioning of a word in language,

different in usage and combinability, but even the primary meaning of an

English word maybe wider of the corresponding one in Russian.

The semantic structure of a word predefines the possibility of its

contextual use, and the translation of contextual meaning presents a hard

task to translators.

Contextual meaning of a word in many instances depends on the character

of semantic context, on the semantics of the words combining with it.

Occasional meanings, suddenly originated in the context are not always

arbitrary – its is based into the semantic structure of the word. In

contextual usage of a word in poetry or prose – often point to the author’s

penetration into the depth of the word’s semantic structure. For

paradigmatic and semantic relations are characteristic to any words and the

lexical potential of words can be revealed in both cases. But revealing

these potentials of words is closely connected with the specificity of

lexical-semantic aspects of every language and here forth we may observe

the difficulty of translation of contextual meaning of words. What is

possible in one language maybe impossible in another because of its

difference in semantic structure and its usage.

In an atomic war women and children will be the first hostages.

The word hostage according to different dictionaries has got only one

meaning – заложник. But in the given instance the hostage acquired the

meaning жертва. Its contextual meaning probably exists in its paradigmatic

meaning; any hostage may get killed therefore while translating this

example we have to use the word жертва since заложник is not used in the

given contextual meaning.

Первыми жертвами в атомной войне будут женщины и дети.

A very interesting contextual meaning of exploitation will be given in

the following example:

Britain’s worldwide exploitation was shaken to the roots by Colonial

Liberation Movements.

The contextual meaning of the word originated metonymically – any

colonial system lives on exploitation, which comprises basis of colonial

power. The corresponding Russian эксплуатация can not be used in this

contextual meaning, the contextual surroundings of exploitation (worldwide,

shaken to the roots) also prevents it. The only possible variant of

translation is by means of metonymic transposition – substitution:

Колониальное могущество Англии было подорвано (потрясено до основания)

национально-освободительным движением во всех колониях.

Contextual meaning of a word is always effective semantically and

stylistically owing to its unexpectedness as well. It often used in

stylistic purposes and therefore a translator runs into two obstacles: he

should avoid (нивелировка) and at the same time not to break the norms of


The most difficulty presents the translation of emotional coloring that

demands lexical changes. There is a wide range of words in a language that

besides their logical meaning have emotional meanings or co-meaning. One

should not mix emotional co-meaning with the multiple meaning words.

Emotional meaning of words usually presents in paradigmatic meanings of

words, that is it is objective and but subjective, like in the words: hate,

love, friendship. But it is not an exception when emotional meaning

originates from contextual usage. Emotional meaning, based in the word is

usually created by association – positive or negative – which a word causes

and the associations that exist in it despite the context of perception.

A peculiar group of words demanding transformation in translation are

the words that possess different volume of meaning in Russian and English

languages. To this group belong international words, some words of human

perception, mental activity.

But we should mention that the words that belong to these groups are of

different semantic structure. International words and the words of human

perception, mental activity represents polysemantic words in English.

International words are words that are used in a wide range of

languages in one or several forms. These words express scientific and

social-politic notions. The volume meaning of these words does not usually

coincide (except term-words). Though it is well-known that they comprise

the false-friends of translators and the mistakes in their translation are

frequent. These mistakes are caused not only by difference in their

semantic structure but by the difference of their usage as well which

demand lexical changes:

We are told that television this autumn will give a massive coverage to

the General Election.

Сообщают, что нынешней осенью передачи по телевидению будут широко

освещать парламентские выборы.

The word massive along with the meaning массивный, has other meanings

like массовый, грандиозный, огромный, широкий and so on. For example:

massive success – огромный успех, massive problems – важные проблемы.

Since international words possess wider meaning volume they are more

used in English if comparing to Russian:

Never before in the history of the world have there been so many

persons engaged in the translation of both secular and religious materials.

Ещё никогда в истории человечества столько людей не занимались

переводом как светской, так и духовной литературы.

Russian words религиозные материалы are absolutely unacceptable in this

case because of their different usage. In this instance the usage plays the

main role though their meaning is identical in both languages.

Lexical transformations are also caused by necessity to concretize a

word while translating. It is characteristic to English language the

availability of words with wide spread meaning. They can be nouns,

adjectives and verbs, for example: thing, point, stiff; nice, fine, bad; to

say, to go, to come, to get.

Translation of these words depends on the context, which helps to

identify their concrete meaning. Usually they are translated by various

Russian words that have concrete meaning (importance). Practically it

refers to verbs — to verbs of speech and verbs of movement. Concrete

lexical meaning(importance), this or that the lexical-semantic variant of a

verb depends on structure and lexical meaning of words that distribute


At the by-election victory went to the Labor candidate.

На дополнительных выборах победа досталась лейбористам (победу одержал

кандидат от лейбористской партии).

Among nouns of wide meaning a special group comprises abstract

nouns, that frequently demand concrete definitions in translation. So, for

example, despite the presence of a word президентство in Russian - English

word presidency usually refers to the words a пост президента or

президентская всласть.

An ageing Speaker cannot take on the burdens of the presidency.

Престарелый спикер не может взять на себя бремя президентской власти

(в случае смерти президента).

The use of words of abstract meaning strongly differs in various

languages. Therefore follows the necessity of concrete definition in


The Saigon regime used every form of pressure and violence to compel a

reluctant electorate to go to the polls.

Сайгонский режим прибегал ко всем видам давления и насилия, чтобы

заставить упрямых избирателей принять участие в выборах.

Sometimes it is necessary to concretize some word due to different

qualitative distinction (valeur) the generalizing words have in languages.

The following words belong to them: meal and трапеза that usually

illustrate the this phenomenon and the words limbs and члены, from which

limbs is widely common, and Russian word the члены has much narrower usage.

In the given translation, besides concrete definition of руки and ноги,

we also had to use fixed word phrase.

The following problem which demands careful consideration in lexical

transformations of translation is problem of word combinability. In all

languages there are typical norms of word combinability. The concept of

norm is relative, on the one hand, with system of language, and on the

other hand, it is closely connected with speech, in which the originality

of speech formation is displayed. Each language can form uncountable

number new word combinations that will be understood by its bearers. In any

language there exists generally accepted tradition of word combinations,

which do not coincide with the corresponding tradition of word combinations

in the other languages.

And it makes look for similarly accepted word combinations in the

target language. The main part combined words usually coincides in

translation, but the second one is frequently translated by a word

possessing other logical meaning, but performing the same function, as for

example, trains run — поезда ходят, rich feeding — обильная пища.

Labor Party protests followed sharply on the Tory deal with Spain.

За сообщением о сделке консервативного правительства с Испанией

немедленно последовал протест лейбористской партии.

The wider is the semantic volume of a word, the wider is its

combinability, thus due to this feature it can interact with various word

forms and word combinations. And this features enables the translator to

use his creativity in translation.

Along with traditional combinations in languages unexpected

combinations are also possible, but they are quite clear, for they follow

generally accepted semantic models of word combinability. This phenomenon —

the connection of words with completely various semantic features - is

peculiar to all languages, but in each language it has various rules and

traditions. In English language such unexpected word combinations are

formed very easily. It is probably caused by conversion and easiness in

formation of new words in various ways, heterogeneity of languages

vocabulary and some other reasons. Not only poets and writers, but also

journalists frequently create unexpected word combination that makes their

statements significantly vivid and original. The unexpectedness of word

usage is closely connected with expressiveness of the statement.

Unexpected usage of word combinations hardens the task of translators,

for words interrelate in combinations not only with one word, but also with

a large number of other words of the sentence, for example:

The use of an adjective sharp in this context is unexpected: none of

its meanings given in dictionaries gives the description of a hand. The

difficulty of its translation is aggravated by presence of the second

definition white, which excludes translation by words костлявый and сухой.

Белая, сухощавая рука мадам лежала на широком колене Адама.

In the given translation the sense of the sentence has been rendered

but the unexpectedness of the used word was lost.

The last feature of lexical transformation to be discussed in this

Paper is traditional word usage for every language and which causes

frequent lexical transformations. This traditional usage is to some extent

related to another approach to the phenomena of reality. For example:

The military base is built on terraces rising from the lake.

For Russian the traditional use will be:

Военная база построена на террасах, спускающихся к озеру.

In this case preposition is omitted in translation because as the

originality of the English word usage required complete transformation.

To the traditional word usage can also be referred the so-called

clichйs — order, and the clichйs in wider sense.

Hands up!

Руки вверх!

Long live America!

Да здравствует Америка!

The assault of the castle was followed by continuous bombing. Loss of

life was uncountable.

За штурмом крепости последовала длительная бомбардировка. Жертвы были


The Commonwealth countries handle a quarter of the world's trade.

На страны Британского содружества приходится четверть всей мировой


As you can see from the examples given above – in translations

corresponding Russian clichйs are also used.

§ III. Stylistic difficulties of translation

In the previous chapters we carefully considered the grammatical and

lexical transformations that occur while translating political literature

from English into Russian. And we have figured out that most of these

reasons are rooted in national and cultural settings of both languages.

Practically, stylistic devices in almost all languages are similar

still though their functions in speech vary. Identical stylistic devices

are used differently in languages; they perform different functions and

have different value in stylistic system of their language what actually

explains their necessity when transformations in translation occur. The

stylistic changes are as necessary as grammatical or lexical ones. While

applying some grammatical or lexical transformation in translation the

translator is guided by principle of rendering grammatical of lexical

meaning. When rendering stylistic meaning of the source text a translator

should be guided by the same principle – to recreate in translation the

same impression that might be left by the original text.

A translator should not try to preserve the stylistic device given in

the sentence, but reproduce its function in the target language.

We should not forget that almost all stylistic devices are multi

functional. It is like when polysemantic words in English and Russian

languages do not coincide in their lexical-semantic variants and the same

is when differ the function of identical stylistic device. Thus when

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