Some Difficulties of Translating English Phrasal Verbs into Russian

Russian is a part of the East Slavonic family of languages and one of the six official languages of the

Some Difficulties of Translating English Phrasal Verbs into Russian



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Diploma paper: Some Difficulties of Translating English Phrasal Verbs into Russian











The 3rd year of education

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Diploma paper is devoted to a very current theme about the translating of English phrasal verbs to Russian. Translating of English phrasal verbs is very important part of the science of translation because it couldnt be a real good correct translation without correct translating of the phrasal verbs.

The paper consists of four parts which touch upon questions of the history of translation in Russia and its development, some points of tranlsating theory, the consideration of some ways of the translation of English phrasal verbs, and the practical translation and its comments.






















Translation is a very ancient kind of human activity. As soon as groups of people with different languages were born in human history, bilinguals appeared and they helped to communicate between collectives of different languages. With the development of the written language, written translators join oral ones. They translated different texts of official, religious and business character. Translation had the main social function at first. It made possible inter-linguistic communication of people. The spreading of the written translation opened to people the wide access to cultural achievements of other nations; it made possible interaction and inter-enrichment of literature and culture. The knowledge of foreign languages let to read original books, but not everybody can earn at least one foreign language.


My work is devoted to the basic points of theory of translation and the difficulties of translation of English phrasal verbs to Russian.


Russian is a part of the East Slavonic family of languages and one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Russian tradition of translation has a long history. Writing, literature and translations were introduced in Kievan Rus in a relatively mature form. The Greek priest Cyril and his brother Methodius who created new alphabet (now known as Cyrillic) were the first translators. Among their first translations from Greek were the New Testament, the Psalter and the Prayer Book. After Rus embraced Christianity in 988, numerous translations were made to give the converts access to the philosophical and ethical doctrines of the new religion and to the churchs rituals and customs. In the 17th century, a great number of translations of predominantly nonreligious material began to appear. Scholarly translations included topics in astronomy and astrology, arithmetic and geometry, anatomy and medicine, as well as description of various animals. The 18th century proved decisive in the development of translation in Russia. Peter the Greats political reforms greatly expanded Russias economic and cultural contacts with European countries, and this created a demand for numerous translations of scientific and technical texts, as well as works of fiction. The 19th century can be described as the golden age of Russian translation. If the previous age hade made translation a professional activity, the nineteenth century raised this activity to the level of high art. The main figures of translation of this period are Nikolai Karamzin and Vasily Zhukovsky. Alezander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov, the two great Russian poets, also played a major role in the history of translation in Russia. Although translations occupied a relatively modest place in their poetry, they made a significant contribution to the improvement of literary translation in Russia. The years following the 1917 Revolution saw a new upsurge in translation activity. The fact that the Soviet Union was a multinational state contributed to the growing demand fro translation. The scale of translation among national literatures was particularly impressive. The years of perestroika radically changed the nature of translation practice in general and the market for translations in particular. The abolition of censorship has made it possible to translate many books, which had been regarded as inadmissible on ideological or moral grounds. There has been a greater demand of English translators and interpreters, and many of them earn good money working for national or foreign firms, or joint ventures. English language comes to all spheres of life and translation from English to Russian and back is very important part of successful business and its development.







Translation is the transformation of the message of the source language to the message of the translating language. The exact translation is impossible because of a great number of languages differences in the grammar and the number of words, besides, the distinction of the cultures can influence the way of translating and its results. Translation is the art of revelation. It makes the unknown known. The translator has the fever and craft to recognize, recreate and reveal the works of the other artist. Translation is an art between tongues.


Some translators tried to define the row of demands of which the good translators should be. The French humanist E. Dolet (1509 1546) considered that a translator should keep the following five basic principles of translation:

  1. Ti understand the content of the translating text and the intention of the author perfectly;
  2. To know the language he translates from and the language he translates on perfectly;
  3. To avoid the tendency to translate word for word, because it misrepresents the original content and spoils the beauty of its form;
  4. To use the translation the speech forms in general use;
  5. To reproduce the general impression in corresponding key, produced by the original, by choosing and placing words correctly.


In 1790 the Englishman A. Tayler formed the following requests to the translation in his book “The principles of the translation”:

  1. The translation should transfer the ideas of the original completely;
  2. The style and way of the exposition should be the same as in the original;
  3. The translation should be read with the same easiness as the original works.


The translation is the multifaceted phenomenon and some aspects of it can be the subjects of the research of different sciences. In the frames of the science of translation psychological, literature critical, ethnographical and other points of translation as well as the history of translation in one or other country are being studied. According to the subject of research we use the knowledge of the psychology of translation, the theory of art and literary translation, ethnographical science of translation, historical science of translation and so on. The main place in the modern translation belongs to linguistic translation, which studies the translation as linguistic phenomenon. The different kinds of translation complement each other and strive to detailed description of the activity of the translation.


The theory of translation puts forward the following tasks:

  1. To open and describe the common linguistic basis of translation, that is to show which peculiarities of linguistic systems and regularities of the language operation are the basis of the translating process, make this process possible and determine its character and borders;
  2. To determine the translation as the subject of the linguistic research, to show its difference from the other kinds of linguistic mediation;
  3. To work out the basis of classification of kinds of the translating activity;
  4. To open the essence of the translating equivalence as the basis of the communicative identity of the original texts and the translation;
  5. To work out the common principles and the peculiarities of construction of the peculiar and special translation theories for the different combinations of languages;
  6. To work out the common principles of the scientific description of the translation process as actions of a translator of transforming the original text to the translating text;
  7. To open the influence on the translating process of pragmatic and social linguistic factors;
  8. To determine the idea “the translating norm” and to work out the principles.


It is common knowledge that in order to provide an adequate translation, the translator must be able to sense nuances in the semantics of both the source-language and target-language texts. English phrasal verbs (e.g. give up, break in, fall out) are of great interest to me in this respect because they possess quite a number of semantic, grammatical and styli

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