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Imagery in Translation. осипли, и контрабас не ладил со скрипкой

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  1. B) Suggest the methods of translation into Ukrainian of the names of English and foreign companies in the sentences below.
  2. By Ways of Word-for-Word or Loan Translation
  3. FAITHFUL TRANSLATION IN EUROPE
  4. Find sentences with Passive Voice and propose the best translation.
  5. II. A SHORT HISTORICAL OUTLINE OF EUROPEAN AND UKRAINIAN TRANSLATION
  6. III. LEXICOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF TRANSLATION
  7. III. Match words from column A to their translation in column B.
  8. Imagery in Translation
  9. Imagery in Translation
  10. Imagery in Translation
  11. Imagery in Translation



осипли, и контрабас не ладил со скрипкой. Над двориком протянулся внезапно легкий запах гари.

— Беня, — сказал папаша Крик, старый биндюжник,
слывший между биндюжниками грубияном, — Беня, ты зна­
ешь, что мине сдается? Мине сдается, что у нас горит сажа...

— Папаша, — ответил Король пьяному отцу, — пожа­
луйста, выпивайте и закусывайте, пусть вас не волнует этих
глупостей...

И папаша Крик последовал совету сына. Он закусил и выпил. Но облачко дыма становилось все ядовитее. Где-то розовели уже края неба. И уже стрельнул в вышину узкий, как шпага, язык пламени. Гости, привстав, стали обнюхивать воздух, а бабы их взвизгнули. Налетчики переглянулись тог­да друг с другом. И только Беня, ничего не замечавший, был безутешен.

— Мине нарушают праздник, — кричал он, полный
отчаяния, — дорогие, прошу вас, закусывайте и выпивайте...

В это время во дворе появился тот самый молодой че­ловек, который приходил в начале вечера.

— Король, — сказал он, — я имею сказать вам пару
слов...

— Ну, говори, — ответил Король, — ты всегда имеешь
в запасе пару слов...

— Король, — произнес неизвестный молодой человек
и захихикал, — это прямо смешно, участок горит, как свеч­
ка...

Лавочники онемели. Налетчики усмехнулись. Шести­десятилетняя Манька, родоначальница слободских бандитов, вложив два пальца в рот, свистнула так пронзительно, что ее соседи покачнулись.

— Маня, вы не на работе, — заметил ей Беня, — хо-
лоднокровней, Маня...

Молодого человека, принесшего эту поразительную

новость, все еще разбирал смех._______________________


Практикум по художественному переводу

EXERCISES FORTRANSLATION

Identifywords and forms that may cause a problem for
translation. Study the nature
of the problem and think ofthe way
of its solution.

Study thestylistic devices of irony in the Russian text
and assess the possibility of their transformation in English.

• Consider colloquialisms and their functions in the text
and think of the means oftranslating.

Mind theexpressive functions of such phrases as Мине
нарушают праздник, пусть вас не волнует этих глупостей, я
имею сказать вам пару слов,
etc. Think of English substitu­
tions to them.

Study thesyntactic arrangement of the text and think over
English transformations.

Study therhythmic pattern of the text and its emotive
functions.

• Translate thetext and discuss the result.

206


SECTION 3: TRANSLATING DRAMA

DRAMA TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

Translating dramat, we face a number of specific problems. A drama text differs from any other fiction text because it is meant not for reading but for performing; it consists of a dialogue, which is connected with the proper sound and fitness. Thus it should be assessed from the point of view of time and intelligibility for the supposed audience. The text is to be pronounced and performed, and this action differs from the ordinary conversation. In every­day speech we may act resolutely or shyly, confidently or thought­fully, indifferently or affectionately — and use whichever sen­tence structures and accents. But when a text is meant for scenic performance, the playwright selects sentences so that they should predetermine the way of utterance. When the character is shy, he uses shy, uncertain, "shaky" constructions; when he is authorita­tive, his syntax must be authoritative too. When, in an English play, a personage commands Off you go! we need to choose be­tween a few Russian variants, and the ultimate decision should be based not so on linguistic principles as on the mood and character judgement. In Russian, he may say: «Пошел вон!» «Прочь отсюда!» «Убирайся!» «Вали отсюда!» Each of them manifests a different degree of self-confidence and, preferred by a translator, will form different characters; Убирайся reveals an irritated and defensive mood, while Вали отсюда implies a rude and aggressive personality; Прочь отсюда is too intellectual, and Пошел вон may be too archaic for a contemporary. When a personage is rude and aggressive, by the author's grace, it is dif-



207


________ Практикум по художественному переводу___

ficult for a Russian spectator to perceive him as such if he uses phrases like «Прочь отсюда!» or «Убирайся!» though they may be quite equivalent from the grammatical point of view.

Timing and intonation are essential for a drama text. Too many words in a phrase necessary to restore its grammatical mean­ing may not have serious consequences when we translatet a nov­el but in a play or film such a transformation will make the scenic speech incomprehensible. Very often, to translate some syntactic structures from English into Russian, one must enlarge the space of the sentence, which becomes a complication in a drama text. The English phrase (Gwendolen, from "The Importance of Being Earnest") "If you would care to verify the incident, pray do so" may be presented in different forms in Russian:

Если вам угодно проверить, действительно ли это событие имело место, прошу вас убедиться.

Если вам угодно это проверить пожалуйста.

In the first variant, the semantics of the source text is trans­lated more explicitly but the phrase becomes twice as long in Russian. The second variant compresses the spacious phrase into one word это and thus economises on the syntactic space. Cer­tainly, the second variant is more convenient to use on the stage, from the phonic point of view. Yet there is another aspect, the stylistic one. Gwendolen is said to be very polite, which means her speech may be perceived as next to caricature, something exaggerated. With this, the first variant seems more expressive, though it takes more time to pronounce the remark and to per­ceive it in Rassian.

To translate a drama text is to reconstruct an adequate ba­sis for performance, which includes proper timing and audible comprehension, cultural and linguistic stereotypes to be perceived as authentic. Translated dramatic works, there sometimes reveal conflicts as follows: in a dialogue it is mentioned that this or that personage is rich or elegant, while a puzzled spectator can see the mentioned rich person wrapped in something like rags. Such a situation was actually reconstructed in the stage version of Chek-

208


Imagery in Translation

hov's «Чайка» {The Seagull) as translated into English and staged at Rutgers University (USA). The collision may be based on the cultural stereotype of "Usually Russians look shabby."

Another aspect of the same problem is compatibility be­tween the mood of an episode and the structure of a sentence or the choice of words. There is essential difference in syntactic rules and communicative functions of words of the same mean­ing between English and Russian. What sounds brief and ex­pressive in English may appear too wordy, complex and lanky in Russian. Accordingly, what is vivid and expressive in Rus­sian, often becomes too lofty and archaic or, on the contrary, too rude and low in English. The translator has to interpret the drama text he translates, as if he himself were a director of the performance. It is important to analyse characters, moods and relations in the play. Thus, translating, we are to have our own point of view on what and how is going on at the stage, other­wise, the text will remain rigid and alien to the audience while the play is being performed.

Another problem is the cultural gap. When we come across this or that realia in the text meant for reading, we may find the way out using comments, descriptions, or the like, that is, by us­ing extra-text. Nothing of the kind is appropriate in a drama text meant for performance. In Chekhov's Seagull Arkadina has a quar­rel with her son, and is so irritated that she insults him, shouting at him in Russian, «Киевский мещанин!» The word meshcha-nin, quite neutral in itself (town dweller or burger as opposed to an esquire, a noble man), from the point of view of its stylistic status, could be considered an insult in Russia in the times of the turn of the 20th century, when certain "low" or "mean" qualities were implied, peculiar to this social group! Using the word, Ark­adina meant that her son Konstantin was much below her in so­cial status: she was a noblewoman by birth, while he was a son of a common man, no gentleman, thus himself not a gentleman by birth, conceivably, low and mean as a personality. But the En-

glish translation gives a quite inappropriate substitute "You are a


________ Практикум по художественному переводу_____

Kievan burger!" This phrase is a literal translation of the Russian words but absolutelywrong in the cultural context of the play because the Englishphrase lacks any emotive implications. An American spectatormay be puzzled knowing not why it is so mean to be a dwellerof Kiev. Probably, it might be more appro­priate to use English substitutions "You are a mere nobody!" or "You are not agentleman]"

■When -we translate a play, we distinguish whether it is a tragedy or a comedy, a modern or a classical work, a fantasy or a psychological drama. But the hardest challenge is a nationally biased play. In the comedy they use a lot of folk phrases, the street language, idioms and names of which are clear and com­prehensible to a native speaker but inevitably lose their bright colouration in translation. The selected text is a play of Alex­ander Ostrovsky, an outstanding Russian playwright whose lan­guage was deeply rooted in the national character and history. He invented a lot of words and names that became popular. In a way, he may be compared with Sheridan, whose language is almost untranslatable into Russian. The characters of Ostrovsky speak the language of their own, in which even the form of a word is important to convey a lot of subtext and implicit shades of mean­ing. Suffice it to mention such forms as «маменька», «эка», «сердце-вещун», «заела», etc. Usually, such words and forms lose their expressive power when translated into English, and with them Ostrovsky's characters lose part of their individuality.

The problem of the "national colouring" is not only associ­ated with drama. However, it is in this kind of text that national colouration is especially complicated because it penetrates into all components of the text: it colours the language of dialogues, contents, form, and authorial remarks. The first task that each translator faces is about what is to be saved first and foremost. Strictly speaking, the major "national" component of a play, that is, its language, is inevitably lost in any translation. Dressed in their national clothes but speaking a foreign language, the char-acters appearvery unusual, even funny, on the stage. Probably, 210





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