shkolakz.ru   1 ... 8 9 10 11 12 13

3. Scientific Prose Style


What has been said in connection with the translation of official documents can be applied to the translation of scientific prose – physical and natural sciences. In the humanities and in popular science prose a certain emotive and subjective element is apparent.


The terrestrial globe is a member of the system, the third in distance from the sun. The earth revolves about the sun, the mean distance of the earth from the sun being a most important astronomic constant.

Земна куля входить у сонячну систему і є третьою планетою по віддаленості від Сонця. Земля обертається навколо Сонця, причому середня відстань Землі від Сонця є вельми важливою астрономічною константою (постійною величиною).


The translation practically does not depart from the SL text. The content is scrupulously rendered, equivalence is absolute. Yet owing to differences between the two languages the following changes have been made:

The construction with the nominal predicate – link verb + predicative (is a member of) is translated by a verbal predicate which is an accepted cliché – входить у; the elliptical construction (the third in distance) is translated by a coordinate clause – і є третьою планетою по віддаленості від Сонця; the absolute construction (the mean distance of the earth from the sun being a most important astronomic constant) is also rendered by a coordinate clause – причому середня відстань Землі від Сонця є вельми важливою астрономічною константою. The additions the Ukrainian translation are justified because they are necessitated by structural differences.


4. Newspaper and Publicistic Styles

These styles possess many features in common yet texts belonging to these styles 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 are 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.

Eleven Die in Zagreb Floods

Eleven people are known to have died and tens of thousands are homeless after floods which struck Zagreb on Monday.


This brief note possesses a number of peculiar features which have no equivalents in Ukrainiannewspaper style: the use of the Present tense instead of the Past; the use of the Nominative Infinitive construction (a secondary predicate according to L.Barchudarov); clichés which are not identical with the Ukrainian clichés. This being the case, several transformations have been resorted to in the translation of the above brief note.


Повінь у Загребі

Згідно з повідомленнями, вчора у Загребі в результаті повня загинуло одинадцять чоловік, і десятки тисяч залишилися без притулку.

The information contained in the original text is rendered equivalently, no sign item has been omitted but the norms of the Ukrainian newspaper style have caused the omission of some lexical units and the use of substitutions.

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 в промисловості – це спроба задушити 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 профспілкам.

That is why the translation substitutes the less picturesque verb задушить which expresses the same meaning and is traditionally used in similar contexts as a sort of cliché.

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.

The definite article has been substituted by the indefinite, and the possessive pronoun is omitted.


In the following example the adaptation is more conspicuous: the word summer is substituted for winter and the possessive pronoun is also omitted.

In former French Africa it was the summer of discontent. One hundred thousand citizens of Chad, led by their president, took to the wind-blown streets of Fort Lamy to protest French involvement in Chad’s internal affairs.

У колишній Французькій Африці літо було тривожним. Сто тисяч громадян республіки Чад із президентом на чолі вийшли на занесені піском вулиці Форт Ламі на знак протесту проти втручання Франції у внутрішні справи республіки.

In this case the pragmatic aspect of translation comes to the fore. The Ukrainian reader may not recognize the allusion and it will not call forth the necessary response on his part, whereas the allusion, even in its altered form, is familiar to the English reader. This consideration justifies its omission.


5. Rendering of Form in Translating Emotive Prose

The requirements of equivalence in the translation of emotive prose differ considerably from these in other styles where form merely serves to convey the content of the utterance and do not fulfill any expressive and aesthetic function (publicist style in all its genres being to a certain extent an exception). In these styles stylistic means and devices are merely used as their indispensable markers. But in the Belles-Lettres style form and content are inseparable whole; their common goal is to affect the reader emotionally, to appeal to his feelings and to stir his imagination, to arouse his sense of values both ethical and aesthetic. The approach to the problems of equivalence is broader and more flexible in this style. Losses may be greater here but so are the possibilities of compensation because the object in view is to produce as forceful a stylistic effect as that produced by the original. While in the translation of official, scientific and newspaper texts the losses are grammatical or lexical, in the translation of Belles-Lettres texts the losses are also stylistic affecting the expressive value of the translated text. This point may be illustrated by the following example taken from H.W.Morton’s book “In Search of London”, the style of which comes very close to imaginative prose. It is a picturesque and impressive description of the funeral of Henry V.



As the two miles of pompous grief passed through the streets of London, every citizen stood at his doorway holding a lighted taper.

У той час як урочиста похоронна процесія, що розтяглася на дві милі, рухалась по вулицях Лондона, у дверях кожного дому стояв його хазяїн із запаленою свічкою в руках.


The striking metonymical transference of meaning (two miles of pompous grief) cannot be preserved in translation. The combination дві милі урочистої скорботи is against the norms of Ukrainian valency. The loss in expressiveness is evident here but absolutely unavoidable.

Emotive prose abounds in images which are created by a variety of stylistic devices. A writer’s imagery is always subjective, striking and original his images bear the imprint of his individuality. The choice of stylistic devices and the system of imagery determined by the writer’s design and form one interdependent whole.

When she paid the coachman she took her money out of a hard steel purse in a very jail of a bag which hung upon her arm by a heavy chain, and shut up like a bite. I had never, at that time seen a metallic lady altogether as Miss Murdstone was.

Розплачуючись із кучером, вона витягла гроші з твердого металевого гаманця, а гаманець вона тримала, немов у тюрмі, в сумці, яка висіла у неї через плече на важкому ланцюжку і защипувалась, нібито норовила вкусити. Я ніколи до тих пір не бачив такої металевої леді, як місіс Мердстон.

Dickens uses many stylistic devices which are built around the same image “hard steel”: the translation is just as expressive and no losses have been incurred.

These examples especially the latter prove that the conception of equivalence in the translation of emotive prose is flexible, broad and comprehensive. Equivalence in this case is functional, aimed at producing a similar effect in the TL, conveying the same degree of tension, and of emotive colouring in conformity with the author’s design. Substitutions must be qualitatively equivalent. Losses which are inevitable in translation can nearly always be compensated for by a skilful use of substitutions because the same effect can be achieved by different stylistic devices.


Prichard’s questions stung him to silent bottled up fury. (J.Hilton).

The causative verb + complex object structure is peculiar to the English language and there is no corresponding structure in стримати (stung him to fury). The semantics of the verb “to sting” can be regarded in the Ukrainian translation at the expense of compactness.

Питання Ричарда так його здивували, що він ледве міг стримати свою лють, але промовчав.

The epithet “bottled-up” (fury) cannot be preserved in translation because of different collocability (закупорена лють). Hence a certain loss of imagery, but the referential meaning is rendered by the verb стримати.

It is clear from the preceding analysis that fundamental principles of translation are inviolate, but equivalence is not a rigid concept and varies in the rendering of texts belonging to different styles.


6. National Character of Stylistic Systems


The stylistic system of a language like its phonetic, grammatical and lexical systems bear a distinct national character.

Stylistic devices in different languages are, in the main similar but their functioning in each language, their specific weight and the frequency of their use are widely different. This fact accounts for the necessity of stylistic transformations – substitution and compensation. By means of lexical and grammatical transformations the translator achieves an equivalent rendering of the lexical and grammatical meaning of a word or a form. The same principle is valid when rendering the stylistic meaning of the message, that is, reproducing a similar effect in the TL text, arousing a similar response on the part of the TL reader as well was called forth by the SL text. The translator, however, is often compelled to achieve the intended effect by a different device.


“… a blockbuster of a novel. Each chapter leaves the reader banging and eager for more”.

... Карколомний роман! Після кожного розділу читач напружено чекає на продовження.

The reversed epithet is translated by a Ukrainian epithet which is equally colloquial and expressive. Although the semantic aspect is not preserved, the two epithets may be regarded as equivalents because they possess a common seme, namely “to knock down”. Sometimes the English and the Ukrainian epithet which appear to be correlated because of their semantic likeness and because of possessing the same degree of triteness are far from being equivalents as they provoke different connotations, for example, toothy – зубастый.the former describes a physical feature, while the latter reveals a moral quality.


To the puzzlement of the man speaking to her, she broke into a wide, toothy, unprovoked grin. (C.P.Snow).

На здивування людини, яка розмовляла з нею, вона несподівано широко посміхнулася, блиснувши зубами.


The epithet is compensated by the expressiveness of the verb.

It should also be borne in mind that stylistic devices which seem to be identical may have different functional values in the S and T languages. In order to achieve a comparable effect another device should be employed. Repetition may illustrate this point. For example, the five-fold repetition of the word “stop” (Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop!) in Thomas Hardy’s story “Absent-mindedness in a Parish Choir” is compensated lexically by the introduction of conditional words possessing the same degree of expressiveness (Припиніть! Негайно припиніть! Та припиніть вже!)

The emphatic effect of repetition in the following example is made up by the use of a synonymous pair and by the addition of an intensifier.

A policy of see no stagnation, hear no stagnation, speak no stagnation has had too long a run for our money.


Надто довго ми розплачуємося за політику повного ігнорування і замовчування застою в нашій економіці.


Another instance of stylistic substitution in translation is well illustrated by K.Chukovsky’s translation of the alliterative title of Oskar Wild’s essay “Pen, Pencil and Poison” by a rhythmical arrangement of correlated words: “Пензль, перо і отрута”. The same principle appears in another variant of translation: “Отрута, перо і олівець”.


7. Polyfunctional Character of Stylistic Devices


Many stylistic devices are polyfunctional: one and the same device may fulfill a variety of functions and produce diverse effects. These functions are sometimes not identical and do not coincide in English and in Ukrainian. The same stylistic devices in two languages reveal complete concurrence, partial concurrence and no concurrence at all.

Alliteration is a case in point. Alliteration is primarily a euphonic device and euphonic function is practically identical in both languages. Alliteration appears to be one of the fundamental features of poetry. But alliteration in prose is more frequently used in English than in Ukrainian and cannot always be preserved. For example, it is not preserved in the translation of the concluding paragraph of Galsworthy’s “Indian Summer of a Forsyte” by M.Lorie.


Summer –summer – summer! The soundless footsteps on the grass.

Жарко – жарко – спекотно! Безшелесні кроки по траві.

The second function of alliteration is a logical one. Alliteration serves as a link binding together different components of the text. It is used as a bond between the epithet and the qualified word. E.g. silent sea (Oldridge); dusty death (Shakespeare).


Alliteration in its logical function is frequently used in all kinds of emotive prose, e.g.

Nothing befalls him (the author) that he cannot transmute into a stanza, a song, or a story. (Somerset Maugham).


Alliteration here is deliberately used in the enumeration of different poetical and literary forms. The author’s device and its function can, in this case, be easily rendered in translation.

Все, що трапляється з письменником, може знайти своє втілення в пісні, поемі чи повісті.


Alliteration is also not infrequently used in newspaper and publicist style.


At the end of the week the students, tutors and chairman meet to review the school. Everything is criticized, sometimes favorably, from the tutor to the tea, from the bedroom to the beer.

Наприкінці тижня студенти, викладачі і голова зустрічаються, щоб обговорити всі навчальні справи. Все підлягає критиці, іноді доброзичливій – і викладачі, і чай, і спальні, і пиво.


In this case alliteration has not been preserved. But the omission of alliteration is compensated by polysyndeton which imparts a certain rhythm to the sentence and makes it emphatic.

Alliteration is widely used in slogans, newspaper headlines and book titles where it fulfills an eye-catching function.


We demand universal suffrage because it is our right… we believe it will give us bread, and beef and beer. (Dave Morgan).

Ми вимагаємо загального виборчого права, тому що це наше право... Ми впевнені, що це дасть нам хліб і м’ясо і пиво.

Alliteration here cannot be preserved as exactitude of expression and of sense may suffer.

The eye-snaring function of alliteration is apparent in newspaper headlines, e.g. Cabinet Cool on Canal; Report on the Rampageous Right; Bacon Blow, etc.

Alliteration is frequently used in the titles of books, e.g.

Sense and sensibility (J.Austin); the Posthumous Paper of the Pickwick Club (Ch. Dickens).



<< предыдущая страница   следующая страница >>