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ПРЕДИСЛОВИЕ

В настоящее время теоретические вопросы перевода привлекают внимание не только профессиональных переводчиков, лингвистов, но и всех тех, кто по роду своей деятельности вынужден общаться на английском языке с зарубежными коллегами и партнерами. Литература по сопоставлению русского и английского языков не вполне отвечает потребностям общества, во-первых, в связи с малочисленностью ее тиражирования; во-вторых, в связи с тем, что, как правило, в ней делается упор либо на чисто теоретические моменты перевода, либо на какие-то, достаточно ограниченные, аспекты переводческой деятельности и, в-третьих, в ней совсем не отражена специфика перевода с английского и русского языков как языков-посредников в странах Азиатско-Тихоокеанского региона. В данном учебнике сделана попытка отразить последние два момента.

Учебник построен в соответствии с программой по курсу «Теория перевода» и состоит из пяти частей. Часть I соответствует курсу «Введение в общую теорию перевода» и дает знакомство с общими понятиями и основной терминологией переводоведения. Часть II представляет краткий экскурс в историю перевода. Часть III раскрывает грамматические проблемы перевода с английского языка на русский и с русского на английский. В части IV излагаются семантические проблемы перевода с указанных языков, и часть V знакомит читателя с основными проблемами прагматики перевода, особенностями употребления английского и русского языков.

Данный учебник построен на материале лекций, читаемых автором студентам переводческого отделения ДВГУ, поэтому в нем в определенной мере компилируются взгляды известных теоретиков перевода, что неизбежно при составлении такого жанра как учебник.


PART I. GENERAL ISSUES OF TRANSLATION

CHAPTER 1. What Is Translation?




§ 1. TRANSLATION STUDIES


The second half of the 20th century has seen the in-depth study of translation, which is sometimes called Theory of Translation, Science of Translation, Translation Linguistics, or even Translatology.

It has been claimed abroad that translation studies began in 1972 with Holmes’s paper presented at the Third International Congress of Applied Linguistics, “The Name and Nature of Translation Studies”.1 However, unfortunately, European and American scholars seemed to have been unaware of the achievements of the Russian school of translation studies. Works by V. Komissarov, A. Shveitser, A. Fedorov and many others confirmed the status of translation studies as a discipline of its own even in the 1950s.2

The main concern of translation theory is to determine appropriate translation methods for the widest possible range of texts3 and to give insight into the translation process, into the relations between thought and language, culture and speech.

There are several aspects of this branch of linguistics:


  • General theory of translation, whose object is general notions typical of translation from any language.

  • Specific (or partial, in terms of Holmes) theory of translation that deals with the regularities of translation characteristic of particular languages - for example, translation from English into Russian and vice versa.

  • Special (partial) theory of translation that pays attention to texts of various registers and genres.

There are two terms corresponding to the Russian word “перевод”: translation and interpretation. Those who discriminate between the terms refer the term ‘translation’ to the written text, and the term ‘interpretation’ to oral speech. However, the terms are polysemantic: to interpret might mean “to render or discuss the meaning of the text” – an outstanding British translation theorist P.Newmark, for example, states that “when a part of a text is important to the writer’s intention, but insufficiently determined semantically, the translator has to interpret”.4 The term to translate is often referred to any (written or oral) manner of expression in another language.

We should also differentiate the terms translating and rendering. When we translate, we express in another language not only what is conveyed in the source text but also how it is done. In rendering, we only convey the ideas (the what) of the source text.

Several approaches are used for defining translation.

§ 2. SEMIOTIC APPROACH

Language system is the part of semiotics dealing with sign systems. Therefore, semiotic theories may be applied to language functioning. According to the semiotic approach, translation is language code switching. When translating, we switch from one language to another one.

American linguist Roman Jakobson in his article “On Linguistic Aspects of Translation”5 spoke of three possibilities of code switching:


  1. Intralinguistic translation, or rewording, i.e. interpreting verbal signs through other signs of the same language. This can be done on diachronic level: Chaucer’s text is translated into modern English. When done on synchronic level, this kind of code switching is called a paraphrase. We often deal with paraphrasing when trying to explain or define things. For example, to explain the meaning of the phrase I am not much of a cook, we can paraphrase it by I do not like to cook, or I do not cook well. In the theory of translation, this type of code switching is called a transformation. Intralinguistic transfer can also be illustrated by stylistic differentiation, as is done in the following Russian text switching from the expressive publicistic register to a very formal style of the police report: Катя уже в полной горячке обрушилась на инспектораобвинила работников милиции в равнодушии и жестокости»). И, боясь не выдержать и расплакаться, вскочила и убежала. («Разъяснительную работу провести не удалось ввиду крайней недисциплинированности девочки»).6

  2. Interlanguage translation, i.e. substituting verbal signs of one language by verbal signs of another language, or switching from one language code to another one. This type of code switching is translation proper, the object of Translation Studies.

  3. Intersemiotic translation, i.e. substituting signs of one semiotic system by signs of a different semiotic system. In its broad meaning, the term implies transmutation and can be illustrated by decoding some ideas and themes expressed, for example, in a poem through the “language” of music or dance.

Other linguists adhere to the semiotic approach to translation. J. Catford, for example, defines translation as “the replacement of textual material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL).”7

§ 3. COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH

We communicate to transfer information from one person to another. Translation helps people communicate if they speak different languages.

Thus, translation is a two-facet phenomenon: on the one hand, it is the process of transferring information; on the other hand, it is the result of this process. By the result is meant a new text created in translating.

The communicative situation consists of several elements:






Source of information Receptor (Addressee)
TEXT

A speaker or writer (an author) makes a meaningful utterance called the text and addresses it to the listener, reader, or receptor, who understands the purport of the text and reacts to it.

T

Source of information Receptor (Addressee)
TRANSLATOR
SOURCE TEXT TARGET TEXT

he translation situation doubles the elements of communication.8 The receptor of the original text in turn becomes a translator who makes a translated text, or target text intended for the receptor speaking another language:

The source text is the text to be translated. The target text is the end-product, the translated text.

For the translation to be adequate and effective, the target text should be equivalent to the source text. Indeed, when reading tragedies by Shakespeare in Russian, the receptor is but seldom aware that the words s/he sees in the text were not written by Shakespeare but by some other person, a translator. The form of the target text is new but the purport and the content are very close to the original. Paradoxically, the better a translator's work, the less his/her work is observed. The translated text is attributed to the author speaking another language and this text is used everywhere as if it were the original.

Thus translation unifies two different language speech acts in one communicative situation. It can be defined as a special type of communication intended to convey information between the participants speaking two different languages. As E. Nida and C. Taber put it, “translating consists of reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent of the source-language meaning and secondly in terms of style.”9



§ 4. DIALECTICS OF TRANSLATION





  1. Inseparability of form and meaning.10

A translator is to convey not only the ideas and themes of the source text (meaning, sense); s/he should also pay attention to the adequate form to express these ideas. S/he should not become carried away with a free (loose) form of translation, nor force the target language by following the source text word for word. A translator always bears in mind a stardard language of the target text, for, as W.Benjamin put it figuratively, «while content and language form a certain unity in the original, like a fruit and its skin, the language of the translation envelops its content like a royal robe with ample folds.» 11

  1. Social functions.

Translation does not exist outside of society. It appeared in society when communities began to trade and exchange ideas. At the same time, translation helps the world community develop. Nations could hardly have achieved the technological success as it is in the 20th century if there had been no translations in electronics, physics, chemistry and other branches of science and technology.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica12, in the 20th century most of the world’s people speak one of about 75 primary languages. A small minority speak one of 450 secondary languages, and more than 4,400 other languages are in use. Without translation and translators the world would not be able to progress.



4.Translation and culture are inseparable.

Translation could not have developed without culture. Literature, science, and philosophy influence translators’ conceptualizations. On the other hand, culture could not have developed without translation, since translations enrich nations with the cultural values of other nations.



  1. Reflection and creativity in translation.

Translation reflects the source text but it does not copy it. To translate adequately, a translator must do his or her best to find a proper means of expression. A translator bears in mind that the receptor has a cultural background other than that of a receptor of the original text; therefore, s/he has to be very resourceful in producing the same impact upon the receptor as that of the source text. Special problems arise in translating dialects, foreign speech, puns, poetry, etc. And a translator is in constant search for new tools to solve translation problems.

  1. Translation is an art and a science.

Translation is dominated by objective, scientific, and linguistic description and explanation. At the same time it is a subjective choice of means preserving stylistic equivalence of the source text.

§ 5. TRANSLATION INVARIANT

Many linguistic terms have been borrowed from mathematics. Translation invariant is one of them. By translation invariant we mean what is in common between the two expressions, a source one and a target one, after our manipulations and transformations of variable phrases.

By translation invariant we should understand the semantic equivalence of the source and the target texts.13

Some linguists, however, consider the notion to be broader than this definition. They suppose that it is the real situation described by the text that brings together the source and the target texts.14 If the situation is understood differently, it leads to misunderstanding, which can happen in a monolanguage situation as well, and is often the basis for all sorts of comical jokes. For example, the situation in the shop:



Покупатель: Я хочу примерить платье в витрине.

Продавец: Пожалуйста, но у нас есть примерочная.

Customer: I’d like to try on the dress in the shop window.

Salesgirl: You are welcome. But we have a fitting room.

Different situations verbalized here are caused by different pragmatic emphasis. The customer presses upon trying on a featured dress whereas the salesgirl implies the impropriety of using a shop window.

If the translator of this joke had paraphrased the first sentence in a different way (I’d like to try on the dress that is in the shop window), the joke would have been lost, though the meanings of its sentences would have been equally transferred. Therefore, the invariant of translation is based not only on semantics (meaning), but also on pragmatics (communicative intention).

§ 6. UNIT OF TRANSLATION

Singling out and defining a unit of translation is a problem widely discussed in Translation Studies.

According to R. Bell, a unit of translation is the smallest segment of a source language text which can be translated, as a whole, in isolation from other segments (as small as possible and as large as is necessary).15 Should we consider a word as a translation unit? Though there exists the notion of a word-for-word translation, the word can hardly be taken for a translation unit. First of all, this is because word borders are not always clear, especially in English. Sometimes a compound word is written in one element, sometimes it is hyphenated, or the two stems are written separately as a phrase: e.g., moonlight, fire-light, candle light. On the other hand, in oral speech it is difficult to single out separate words because they tend to fuse with each other into inseparable complexes: [‘wud3э 'ko:lim?] – according to the stress, there should be two words, while in written speech we can see four words: Would you call him?

Furthermore, it is impossible to consider a phrase (word combination) as a translation unit, because its bounderies are also vague.

Thus, it is not a language unit that should be considered in translation, but a discourse (speech) unit. A translation unit is a group of words united in speech by their meaning, rhythm and melody, i.e. it is a syntagm, or rhythmic and notional segment of speech.

This definition of the unit of translation is process-oriented. If considered from a product-oriented point of view, it can be defined as the target-text unit that can be mapped onto a source-text unit.16





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