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II. A SHORT HISTORICAL OUTLINE OF EUROPEAN AND UKRAINIAN TRANSLATION
SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR SELF-CONTROL AND CLASS DISCUSSION
1. The main terms and notions of the theory of translation/interpretation.
2. Ambiguity of some terms concerning translation (free translation vs. free adaptation/free interpretation, etc.).
3. Social and political significance of translating/interpreting.
4. Translating as a successful means of enriching national languages, literatures, and cultures.
5. Translating/interpreting in establishing, maintaining, and strengthening diplomatic, political, economic, scientific, cultural and other relations between different nations in the world.
6. The role of translating/interpreting in providing the successful proceedings of international conferences, congresses, symposia, meetings, etc.
7. Translating/interpreting and the progress of world science, technology and dissemination of new ideas/doctrines.
8. Translating/interpreting while teaching and learning foreign languages.
9. Literal, verbal, word-for-word translation and restrictions in their use out of a contextual environment (cf. revolutionоберт but not революція).
10. The main difference between the interlinear and literary/
11 .The requirements to faithful prose and poetic translation/versification.
12. The machine translation, its progress, present-day potentialities and spheres of employment.
13. Kinds of translating/interpreting: a) the written from a written matter translating; b) the oral from an oral matter interpreting; c) the
oral from a written matter interpreting; d) the written translating from an orally presented matter.
14. Ways and devices of translating (descriptive and antonymic
World translation in general and European translation in particular has a long and praiseworthy tradition. Even the scarcity of documents available at the disposal of historians points to its incessant millenniums-long employment in international relations both in ancient China, India, in the Middle East (Assyria, Babylon) and Egypt. The earliest mention of translation used in viva voce goes back to approximately the year 3000 BC in ancient Egypt where the interpreters and later also reqular translators were employed to help in carrying on trade with the neighbouring country of Nubia. The dragomans had been employed to accompany the trade caravans and help in negotiating, selling and buying the necessary goods for Egypt. Also in those ancient times (2400 BC), the Assyrian emperor Sargon of the city of Akkada (Mesopotamia), is known to have circulated his order of the day translated into some languages of the subject countries. The emperor boasted of his victories in an effort to intimidate his neighbours. In 2100 BC, Babylon translations are known to have been performed into some naighboring languages including, first of all, Egyptian. The city of Babylon in those times was a regular centre of polyglots where translations were accomplished in several languages. As far back as 1900 BC, in Babylon, there existed the first known bilingual (Sumerian-Akkadian) and multilingual (Sumerian-Akkadian-Hurritian-Ugaritian) dictionaries. In 1800 BC, in Assyria there was already something of a board of translators headed by the chief translator/interpreter, a certain Giki. The first trade agreement is known to have been signed in two languages between Egypt and its southern neighbour Nubia in 1200 BC.
Interpreters and translators of the Persian and Indian languages are known to have been employed in Europe in the fourth century BC by Alexander the Great (356-323), the emperor of Macedonia, during his military campaign against Persia and India. Romans in their numerous wars also employed interpreters/translators (especially during the Punic Wars with Carthage in the second and third centuries BC). Unfortunately, little or nothing is practically known about the employment of translation in state affairs in other European countries of those times, though translators/interpreters must certainly have been employed on the same occasions and with the same purposes
as in the Middle East. The inevitable employment of translation/interpretation was predetermined by the need to maintain intercommunal and international relations which always exist between different ethnic groups as well as between separate nations and their individual representatives.
The history of European translation, however, is known to have started as far back as 280 BC with the translation of some excerpts of The Holy Scriptures1. The real history of translation into European languages, however, is supposed to have begun in 250 BC in the Egyptian city of Alexandria which belonged to the great Greek empire. The local leaders of the Jewish community there decided to translate the Old Testament from Hebrew, which had once been their native tongue, but which was no longer understood, into ancient Greek, which became their spoken language. Tradition states that 72 learned Jews, each working separately, prepared during their translation in 70 days the Greek variant of the Hebrew original. When the translators met, according to that same tradition, their translations were found to be identical to each other in every word. In reality, however, the Septuagint (Latin for «seventy»), as this translation has been called since then, took in fact several hundreds of years to complete. According to reliable historical sources2, various translators worked on the Septuagint after that, each having made his individual contribution to this fundamental document of Christianity in his national language. The bulk of the Septuagint is known today to have been a slavishly literal (word-for-word) translation of the original Jewish Scripture. Much later around 130 AD another Jewish translator, Aguila of Sinope, made one more slavishly literal translation of the Old Testament to replace the Septuagint.
There were also other Greek translations of the Old Testament, which are unfortunately lost to us today. Consequently, only the Septuagint can be subjected to a thorough analysis from the point of view of the principles, the method and the level of its literary translation.
One of several available graphic examples of slavish literalism, i.e., of strict word-for-word translation both at the lexical/semantic and structural level, may be seen in the Old Slavonic translations of the Bible from the Kyivan Rus' period as well as during the succeed-
~ See: Josh McDowell and Stewart. The Bible. Here's Life Publishers, INC.San Bernardino, California 92402, 1983, p.49. 1 Op. cit., p. 75.
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