Theoretical and methodological aspects of translation

  Аристова Н.Б. Основы перевода. М. : Изд.-во л-ры на иностр. яз., 1959.- 256 с. БархударовЛ.С.Мова і переклад: питання загальної і

Theoretical and methodological aspects of translation


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Theoretical and methodological aspects of translation




  1. Translation as a notion and subject
  2. Significance of translation and interpreting
  3. Translation in teaching of foreign languages
  4. Descriptive and Antonymic Translating



  1. Translating as a notion and subject


Translation as a notion is a polysemantic nature. It may imply the process of conveying the meaning of a word, word- group or sentence/ text from one language into another and also the result of the conveying. “Translation” may also denote the subject taught at school.

Translation can be performed either in writing or in viva voice (orally). Hence the people whose office is to convey some written or spoken/ recorded matter in writing are referred to as translators and the people whose office is to render the meaning of any matter in viva voice are referred to as interpreters. Both the activities are equally important though the aims pursued by each of them are somewhat different. Say, an oral “interpretation” can not ba done otherwise than in writing. As a result the process of a written translation has always a materialized expression in the form of a word, word- group, sentence or passage which is left behind as a testimony to some work performed. The translated matter can sometimes become rather important for a country and enrich its history, literature and culture ( the translation of the Iliad an the Odyssey into Latin by Livius Andronicus in the 3rd century B.C. or Martin Luthers translations of the Old and the news Testament into German in the 16th century).

There are some terms and notions which are frequently used in the theory and practice of translation and should be clearly distinguished. Since some of them have a different wording in English and Ukrainian it is expedient to give them here in either of the two languages: exact/ accurate translation / interpretation точний переклад; faithful translation / interpretation адекватний переклад; faithfulness of translation / interpretation адекватність перекладу; free adaptation/ free interpretation перелицювання; free interpretation/ interpreting вільний переказ; free translation/ interpretation вільний переклад, consecutive translating/ interpreting послідовний переклад; descriptive translation/ translating описовий перклад; good / successful translation вдалий переклад ( тексту, книжки); interlinear translating/ translation підрядковий переклад/ підрядник; interpreting/ interpreter тлумачення/ тлумач; interpretation/ oral translation усний переклад; literal translation/ translating буквальний переклад, verbal translating/ translation дослівний переклад; literary translation/ translating літературний перклад; literary artistic translation / translating художній переклад, off-hand translation / interpreting, переклад без підготовки; rehash вільна переробка твору ( в перекладі); sight translation/ interpreting at sight переклад з аркуша; the source language мова оригіналу( з якої перекладається), the target language мова, на яку здійснюється переклад, synchronous interpreting/ interpretation синхроннний переклад; versification віршовий ( поетичний переклад); rough translation/ translating робочий варіант перекладу.

There can be noticed a certain ambiguity in the meaning of some terms above concerning translation (cf. “free translation” вільний переклад, вільний переказ). It should be added that the meaning of the seemingly common term “translation” itself is far from monosemantic either. It may denote any sense-to-sense substitution of a source languages unit for its semantic equivalent in the target language: brotherhood братство, to study вчити, quickly швидко, red flowers червоні квіти, to fight for peace боротися за мир, His brother lives in Kiev Його брат живе у Києві.

“Translation” is also referred to any sense-to-sense conveying even if the lexical meanings of the componential parts which make up the language units are not substituted for their equivalents lexical meanings in the target language: penny-in-the slot прилад/ пристрій автомат (торгівля); the land of the golden fleece Австралія; red blood мужність; Let George do it Іван киває на Петра; agonic що не утворює кута (геометрія).

Functional substitution performed at the text level (as in puns) are often treated as “translation” too: There is the tree in the middle…It could bark…It says “Boughwouhg”… “Thats why it is branches are called boughs.” (Carol? Alice in Wonderland). Он Фікус стоїть!.. Ми тому й прозвали його Фікус, що він кусається.

It goes without saying that the lexical meaning of “tree” is not “Фікус” and “Bough-wough” or “boughs” do not mean “кусатися” which they were substituted for in the Ukrainian translation.

Similarly with the term “interpretation” which can among others denote “the way of presentation” the social or aesthetic, moral etc. background, i.c.the trend of the source language work in the target language.

No less ambiguous remains the term “free interpretation” which is employed to denote any rendering of the essentials of content of some written or oral / recorded matter. Besides, “free interpretation” is used to denote a strongly subjective conveying of the sense, the structural, stylistic or artistic peculiarities characteristic of a source language work/text (i.e. вільний переклад, вільний переказ).

Finally “free interpretation” may denote a free adaptation of foreign literatures works to other national literatures like that of I. P. Kotlyarevskys Eneid which has very little in common with Vergils work.


  1. Significance of translation and interpreting


The importance of translating and interpreting in modern society has long been recognized. Practically not a single contact at the international level or even between two persons speaking different languages can be established or maintained without the help of translators or interpreters.

Equally important is translating and interpreting for the functioning of different international bodies (conferences, symposia, congresses etc.) to say nothing about bodies like the World Piece Council or the United Nations Organizations with its councils, assemblies, commissions, committees, sub-committees. These can function smoothly only thanks to an army of translation and interpreters representing different states and working in many different national languages.

Numerous branches of national economies too can keep up with the up-to-date development and progress in the modern world thanks to everyday translating/ interpreting of scientific and technical matter covering various fields of human knowledge and activities. The latter comprise nuclear sciences, exploration of outer space, ecological environment, plastics, mining, chemistry, biology, medicine, machine building, electronics linguistics, etc. Nowadays translation of scientific and technical matter has become a most significant and reliable source of obtaining all-round and up-to-date information on the progress in various fields of science and technology.

The social and political role of translation/ interpreting has probably been most strongly felt for the last hundred years or so. Since the birth of Marxism in the second half of the 19th century and Leninism in the 20th century translation has acquired an extraordinary significance providing for the dissemination of revolutionary materialistic ideas and philosophy in the minds of proletarian and working masses throughout the world.

Translating is also a perfect means of sharing achievements and enriching national literatures and cultures. The many translations of the best prose, poetry and drama works of worlds famous authors into different national languages provide a vivid illustration of this permanent process. Due to masterly translations the works by W. Shakespeare, W. Scott, G. G. Byron, P. B. Shelley, C. Dickens, W. Theckeray, H.W. Longfellow, Mark Twain, J. London, T. Dreiser and many other authors have become part of many national literatures. The works by Ukrainian authors have also been translated into English and some other languages, the process being increasingly intensified with each passing decade after the Great Revolution. As a result when before 1917 a few poems by Taras Shevchenko were translated and published in English outside our country. Brilliant works by Lesya Ukrainka, Ivan Franko, Mykhailo Kotsyubinskiy, Vasyl Stefanyk, Andrii Holovko, Oles Honchar became available for foreign readers.

But whatever the kind of the matter (belleslettres, scientific or technical, didactic, etc.) and irrespective of the form in which it is performed (written or oral) the linguistic significance of translation remains unchanged. It promotes enriching the lexicon of the target language. As a result of the unceasing translating / interpreting throughout the world the wordstock of national languages is constantly increasingly. Thousands of words being originally specific national notions only have become an integral part of practically each languages lexicon. Hence one one can speak of translating/ interpreting as a means of enriching the lexicon of national languages too. But it is not only the wordstock of languages that is constantly (and most evidently) enlarged due to translating/ interpreting. Many stylistic figures of speech, ways of saying and even (though rather rarely) syntactic structures are brought to target languages through translating/ interpreting. It can be proved by t

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