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82.Журнал Сибирского федерального университета. Сер. Гуманитарные науки №2 2014

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Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Æóðíàë Ñèáèðñêîãî ôåäåðàëüíîãî óíèâåðñèòåòà
2014
Journal of Siberian Federal University
7 (2)
Ãóìàíèòàðíûå íàóêè
Humanities & Social Sciences
Редакционный совет:
академик РАН Е.А. Ваганов
академик РАН И.И. Гительзон
академик РАН А.Г. Дегерменджи
академик РАН В.Ф. Шабанов
чл.-корр. РАН, д-р физ.-мат. наук
В.Л. Миронов
чл.-корр. РАН, д-р техн. наук
Г.Л. Пашков
чл.-корр. РАН, д-р физ.-мат. наук
В.В. Шайдуров
чл.-корр. РАН, д-р физ.-мат. наук
В.В. Зуев
Editorial Advisory Board
Chairman
Eugene A. Vaganov
Members:
Josef J. Gitelzon
Vasily F. Shabanov
Andrey G. Degermendzhy
Valery L. Mironov
Gennady L. Pashkov
Vladimir V. Shaidurov
Vladimir V. Zuev
Editorial Board:
Editor-in-Chief
Mikhail I. Gladyshev
Founding Editor
Vladimir I. Kolmakov
Managing Editor
Olga F. Alexandrova
Executive Editor
for Humanities & Social Sciences
Natalia P. Koptseva
CONTENTS / ÑÎÄÅÐÆÀÍÈÅ
Andrei V. Achkasov
What Translators Do to Terminology: Prescriptions vs.
Performance
– 210 –
Olga A. Bartashova and Anton E. Sichinskiy
Japanese$English Onomatopoeic and Mimetic Parallels: the
Problem of Translatability
– 222 –
Vera E. Gorshkova
Film Translation: to Be or Not to Be
– 230 –
Tamara A. Kazakova
Relativity as a Translation Tool for Mythology-based Texts
– 238 –
Ksenya S. Kardanova-Biryukova
Modeling Translating as a Dynamic Process: Autopoietic
Framework
– 244 –
Natalya V. Klimovich
Phenomenon of Intertextuality in Translation Studies
– 255 –
Nataliya V. Lyagushkina
On Ways how to Translate Mass Media Metaphors and
Language-game
– 265 –
Компьютерная верстка Е.В. Гревцовой
Подписано в печать 23.02.2014 г. Формат 84x108/16. Усл. печ. л. 12,9.
Уч.-изд. л. 12,4. Бумага тип. Печать офсетная. Тираж 1000 экз. Заказ 338.
Отпечатано в ПЦ БИК. 660041, Красноярск, пр. Свободный, 82а.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Consulting Editors
for Humanities & Social Sciences:
David Anderson – Professor, The University
of Aberdeen, Scotland
Gershons Breslavs – International Institute
of Applied Psychology, Latvia
Milan Damohorsky – Professor, Charles
University in Prague
Hans-Georg Dederer – Professor, Passau
University, Germany
Sergey Devyatkin – Associate Professor,
Novgorod State University
Sergey Drobyshevsky – Professor, Siberian
Federal University
Oleg Gotlib – Associate Professor, Irkutsk
State Linguistic University
Tapdyg Kerimov – Professor, Ural Federal
University named after the first President
of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, Ekaterinburg
Boris Khasan – Professor, Siberian Federal
University
Galina Kopnina – Professor, Siberian
Federal University
Natalia Kovtoun – Professor, Siberian
Federal University
Alexander Kronik – Ph.D., LifeLook.Net,
LLC, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Liudmila Kulikova – Professor, Siberian
Federal University
Suneel Kumar – Assistant Professor,
Department of Strategic and Regional
Studies, University of Jammu
Liudmila Mayorova – Ph.D. Associate
Professor, Siberian Federal University
Pavel Mandryka – Associate Professor,
Siberian Federal University
Boris Markov – Professor, Saint-Petersburg
State University
Valentin Nemirovsky – Professor, Siberian
Federal University
Nicolay Pak – Professor, Krasnoyarsk State
Pedagogical University named after
V.P. Astafev
Nicolay
Parfentyev
–
Professor,
Corresponding Member of the Peter
the Great Academy of Sciences and
Arts, Honoured Scientist of the Russian
Federation, South Ural State University
Natalia Parfentyeva – Professor, Member of
the Composers of Russia, Corresponding
Member of the Peter the Great Academy
of Sciences and Arts, Honoured Arts
Worker of the Russian Federation,
South Ural State University
Nicolai Petro – Professor, Rhode Island
University, USA
Daniel Pivovarov – Professor, Ural Federal
University named after the first President
of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, Ekaterinburg
Alina A. Nakhodkina
Problems of (Un)translatability in the Yakut Epic Text
Olonkho
– 273 –
Irina V. Nikitina
Rhythmical Principles of Walt Whitman’s Poetry Underlying
the Approach to Translation into Russian of the 4Leaves of
Grass’ (as Exemplified by the Poem Once I Pass’d Through a
Populous City)
– 287 –
Veronica A. Razumovskaya
Self-Translation as Science-Art: Joseph Brodsky Legacy
– 294 –
Vadim V. Sdobnikov
Translation Quality Assessment in Various Communicative
Situations: the Problem of Assessor
– 305 –
Olga A. Souleimanova
English-to-Russian Translation: Traduttore. Traditore (The Day
of the Triffids)
– 312 –
Yaroslav V. Sokolovsky
On Entropy in Simultaneous Interpreting
– 320 –
Elena G. Tareva and Boris V. Tarev
Innovative Approach to Teaching Translation and Interpreting
– 326 –
Tatyana P. Tretyakova
On Translating Verbal Etiquette Phrases
– 334 –
Yury F. Abramov and Svetlana P. Shtumpf
Humanistic Content of Spiritual Outlook like Vector of
Development Human and Society
– 341 –
Sergey A. Podyapolskiy
œSoft PowerB and œSmart PowerBof Modern China
– 347 –
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Igor Pyzhov – Associate Professor , Siberian
Federal University
Oyvind Ravna – Professor, University of
Tromso – The Arctic University of
Norway
Irina Rubert – Professor, Saint-Petersburg
State University of Economics
Andrey Smirnov – Corresponding Member,
Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute
of Philosophy RAS, Moscow
Olga Smolyaninova – Professor, Siberian
Federal University
Vladimir Suprun – Professor, Institute of
Philosophy and Law of SB RAS
Viktor Suslov – Corresponding Member
RAS, Institute of Economics and
Industrial Engineering of SB RAS
Roman Svetlov – Professor, Saint-Petersburg
State University
Elena Tareva – Professor, Moscow City
Pedagogical University
Kristine Uzule – Ph.D. Baltic International
Academy, Riga, Latvia
Eugeniya Zunder – Professor, Siberian
Federal University
Свидетельство о регистрации СМИ
ПИ № ФС77-28-723 от 29.06.2007 г.
Серия включена в «Перечень ведущих рецензируемых научных журналов и изданий, в которых должны
быть опубликованы основные научные результаты диссертации на
соискание ученой степени доктора и
кандидата наук» (редакция 2010 г.)
Yuriy N. Boyko
Some Aspects of Economic Conditions of Police of Yenisei
Governorate in the 1st Half of 1920s.
– 359 –
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 210-221
~~~
УДК 81’373.46
What Translators Do to Terminology:
Prescriptions vs. Performance
Andrei V. Achkasov*
St. Petersburg State University
7/9 Universistetskaya nab., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia
Received 02.11.2013, received in revised form 10.11.2013, accepted 18.12.2013
The article brings into focus variability of designation in bilingual terminology transfer.
Onomasiological view of terminology equivalence presumes decontextualized coordination of concepts
and linguistic labels and thus infers “one-to-one” inter-language terminology relation. This guiding
principle is rarely applied in actual LSP translation process resulting in term forms variation. The
gap between prescriptions and performance is traditionally accounted for as the arbitrary treatment
of terminology by translators. Patterns of term variation in the reality of LSP translation depend on
systemic, semantic and formal characteristics of terminology and, as a result, bear on terminology
translation as a problematic concept.
Keywords: terminology, equivalence, LSP translation, terminology translation, variability of terms,
transfer prescriptions, performance.
When I use a word it means just what
I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.
Humpty Dumpty
Terminology affects translation. The issue
has been more or less explicitly considered
in research on both LSP translation and
terminology work. One of the key points often
brought to attention is that particular LSP
texts cover segments of terminology systems,
while specialized concepts, being by nature
decontextualized entities, retain their systemic
relations. The ‘terminology stock’ of a particular
text builds up its ‘information model’ embedded
in the terminology system of a related field, which
is presented as a set of superordinate, subordinate
and coordinate concepts. Thus bilingual or
*
multilingual terminology transfer should be
based on prescriptive rules: the only proper way to
‘translate terminology’ is to ‘identify equivalent
concepts’, i.e. to relate concepts as system-bound.
Performative aspects of LSP translation contradict
prescriptions, and, in turn, translators in many
ways affect terminology. They often seem to be
unaware and unconcerned about such rules and
focus more on labels (‘words’) than concepts,
use contextual and multiple designations or
descriptive ways of concept representations
within target texts, which confronts the nature on
terminology. The latter issue has been the point
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: a_v_achkasov@mail.ru
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Andrei V. Achkasov. What Translators Do to Terminology: Prescriptions vs. Performance
of attention as well, predominantly as a matterof-course though undesirable and non-systemic
byproduct of terminology use.
Prescriptions and performance in LSP
translation relate to the concepts of ‘terminology
translation’ and ‘translation equivalence’ within
the frameworks of translation theory and
terminology studies. As a starting point I will only
briefly refer to the key competing approaches.
Terminology vs. translation
The study of the problematic practice of
‘terminology translation’ traditionally operates
under general semasiological assumptions,
bearing on terminology as а subtype of lexical
stock. The greater part of this research sets off
with the highlights on performative aspects of
translation in terms of inter-lingual and transsystemic
transformational
‘manipulations’
with terminology. The nomenclatures of such
‘manipulations’ vary due to the underlying
theoretical assumptions concerning conceptdesignation dualism and particular LSPs.
They include equivalent selection, concept
identification, semantic and structural calquing,
loan translation, decompositional and descriptive
translation, borrowing, transliteration, quasidefining etc. The other set of generalizations in
such research regards terminology equivalence
both in terms of the ‘degrees of equivalence’
and terminological equivalence as a subtype
of a vaguer and more general concept of
translation
equivalence.
Terminological
equivalence is defined as semantic, notional,
systemic, prototypical, conceptual, cognitive
or decontextualized types of equivalence as
opposed to functional, explanatory or contextual
equivalence (Adamska-Sałaciak, 2010).
Such conceptualization is the foremost
and, presumably, the desirable outcome of
semasiological insights into terminology
translation, no matter that it is often carried
out as a case study of a particular LSP and is
said to be equally concerned with the so called
‘practical recommendations’. Theoretical output
of this linguistic-centered research to a great
degree overlaps with onomasiological view on
terminology equivalence and at the same time
overviews its practical applications that draw
on terminology harmonization, multilingual
information retrieval and automated LSP
processing in general, including machine
translation. The onomasiological approach draws
on terminology equivalence in non-translation
terms. In ISO 1087-1. 2000, equivalence is
defined as “relation between designations in
different languages representing the same
concept” (ISO 1087-1. 2000: 9), lexical items
or ‘linguistic labels’ being only one kind of
designations. Thus, the concepts are treated as
system-bound and language-independent, or,
in other words, equivalent terms represent ‘the
same concepts’, though have different ‘linguistic
labels’. Of course, concepts may overlap partially
or have one-to-many relations, which again may
be described in non-translation terms, such as,
for example, ‘inter-language synonymy’ or ‘interlanguage quasi-synonymy, with a difference’. As
follows, onomasiology is in fact little concerned
with performative aspects of translation. To give
it а translation perspective, we might say that
this approach treats terminology as placeables,
providing theoretical and operational basis for
achieving pre-translation equivalence. Taking this
as a theoretical assumption it would be proper to
categorize transformational operations discussed
in translation studies as either manipulations
with linguistic labels or identifying degrees of
inter-language synonymy. This allows to strip
down the overall logic of conceptualizing about
terminology translation by ‘transformational
operations’.
Related
speculation
on
‘translation
equivalence’ has been intense and many, if not
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all, reasonable interpretations have been given. In
his tentative glossary A. Pym sums up the output
of this speculation:
represent decontextualized schemata. Prescriptive
recommendations of this kind are typical:
In specialised-language translation, the
Equivalence: A widespread term for
translator has to structure terms of a given text
a relation that many believe in and no one
by reference to a conceptual system. Therefore,
can prove beyond the level of terminology.
it is highly important to identify the conceptual
We should accept that equivalence has no
system a term is embedded in, independent
ontological
from both the source language and the target
foundation,
since
translation
problems allow for more than one viable
language. (Edelmann, 2012: 2)
solution. This means that, in the field of
translation problems thus defined, equivalence
is always “belief in the translation as equivalent
of an ST”. Recommendation: Always make
it clear that equivalence means equivalencebelief, and indicate who is supposed to be
holding that belief. (Pym, 2011: 81)
Following this defi nition, the vagueness
of the concept seems not to be the case with
‘terminology translation’ or ‘terminology
equivalence’, because terminology is (or is
presumed to be) systemic and monosemic.
Thus, we come up with a very plain concept
terminology translation, which is, in fact,
not translation by nature, but a process of
substituting concept-coordinated linguistic
labels. Translation and terminology, therefore,
turn out to be contradictory concepts:
LSP translators are well aware that practical
application of this guiding principle is hindered
by inconsistences and current developments in
terminology systems, trans-systemic differences
(as in law or education terminology), lack of
relevant sources, ambiguity of related concepts,
time pressure etc. In fact, this principle is
rarely, if at all, applied in actual translation.
Nevertheless, some LSP researchers make even
more uncompromising claims, that are not
uncommon either:
There is one essential requirement for
successfully transmitting a complex body of
knowledge from one language community
to another: There must be a target-language
terminology that exactly mirrors the sourcelanguage terminology and that is precisely
pegged to the source-language terminology
Terminology
vs.
translation:
If
a
so that it can be consistently applied by all
distinction must be made, let us propose the
translators and universally understood by all
following: translation involves the obligation
readers (Wiseman, 2002: 1).
to select between more than one viable
solution to a problem, whereas terminology
seeks situations where there is only one viable
solution. (Pym, 2011: 93)
LSP translators and translation-oriented
terminologists, therefore, should be concerned
with coordinating concept systems that exceed
the terminology stock of particular texts and
This is fair. In theory. If terminology
translation cannot be carried out as
decontextualized coordination of concepts and
linguistic labels, then the target text, again, in
theory, would a priori lack essential informative
qualities, no matter how functional it might be
in other aspects. However, practice contradicts
theory. Translators somehow seem to ignore or
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override the fact that terminology essentially
modifies the nature of translation, perform
‘manipulations’ with linguistic labels without
systematic reference to concept systems, and
produce bundles of target texts that are used
in professional communication. Under such
circumstances the achievability of terminological
equivalence proper and the ‘degree of termness’
(Shelov, 1990) of items produced during
translation is doubtful.
860. The harmonization project started with
analysis of the translations of all documents in
four languages that had been formally declared
equivalent. Therefore the linguistic component of
harmonization had much more weight in this work
than it is generally supposed to have. L. Voltmer
accounts of the following illustrative case:
When extracting four corresponding
strings from an AC text, one ends up for
example with UVP-Recht (German), droit
The LexALP case
national applicable aux etudes d’impact
In 1995 the Alpine Convention, an
international treaty between the Alpine countries
entered into force. The document “aimed at
promoting sustainable development in the Alpine
area and at protecting the interests of the people
living within it” (Morandini, 2013: 6). The
official languages of the Convention and the
Implementation Protocols are French, Italian,
German, and Slovene. The Protocols were drafted
in one language, then translated into other official
languages and submitted to the stakeholders for
review and amendments (Chiocchetti, 2011: 553).
In 2000, the four versions of the Convention
and the Protocols were formally declared
equivalent and “fully harmonised from the point
of view of both language and style, without any
modification of the content. <…> Nevertheless,
it became clear during the following years that
this formal process had left several gaps and
inconsistencies between the four language
versions” (Chiocchetti & Voltmer, 2008: 51).
These gaps mainly related to various degrees
of terminological equivalence and therefore in
2005-2008 the LexALP project (“Legal Language
Harmonisation System for Environment and
Spatial Planning within the Multilingual Alps”)
was carried out to harmonize the legal and
scientific terminology of the Alpine Convention.
The harmonization work could not formally
follow any prescribed order, such as that of ISO
(French), normativa sulla VIA (Italian), and
pravni predpisi o PVO-ju (Slovene). The
German string is a legal term with a precise
meaning in law, but the expressions in the other
languages are not. An explanation for this is
that the Protocol on Transport was first written
in German and then translated into the other
languages. As a consequence, the German term
would need a definition whereas the others
would not. But then, can there be harmonized
equivalents when there is only one term? In
any case, for the benefit of translators, also a
quartet of four corresponding phraseological
units were harmonised in LexALP. (Voltmer,
2008: 81)
Further on, L. Voltmer makes a clear
distinction between terminology as designation
of concept with a precise meaning and
‘phraseological units’that mean “anything but
a legal concept” and “are used to indicate that
a legal defi nition is not required” (Voltmer,
2008: 81). The question here is whether the
German term, while being a term, should be
harmonized as phraseological item or whether
phraseology in other languages should be
classified as terminology and supplied with
defi nitions only because the draft document was
written in German. Or, may be, the question is
whether a concept designated by the German
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term is essential to the concept system of the
Alpine Convention. Anyway, in this situation
comparing linguistic strings in different
languages is a step that has to be taken at least at
a pre-harmonization stage.
The participants of the harmonization
process have made a few notable remarks
concerning the opposite type of discontinuity
in multilingual terminology. When analyzing
texts in different languages, they registered
differences in the meanings of similar concepts,
designated by labels, that appear to be harmonized
linguistically:
A similar
Е. Chiocchetti:
case
is
commented
by
Some… terms are apparently easy to
translate, yet at conceptual level there might
be discrepancies... In such cases, it is mostly
the meaning at national level that is applied
to a term such as zona montana in Italian or
Berggebiet in German (mountain area). In fact,
from a purely linguistic point of view, the two
terms are a perfect translation of each other.
However, if the legal background is analysed,
some important differences at conceptual level
can be detected. In Italy mountain areas can be
… terms may seem easy enough, but
considered such starting from 600 m above sea
their legal definitions might diverge all
level, in Austria and Germany only above 700
the same. For example, the two Romance
m. <…> The Protocol on Mountain Farming
languages Italian and French seem to have
refers to zone montane in the Italian version
a perfect correspondence for the terms
and to Berggebiete in the German language
protezione del clima and protection du climat
version without defining the concept. Hence
(climate protection). Even in English the Latin
arises a problem of interpretation at national
etymology is obvious, and the meaning seems
level (Chiocchetti, 2011: 537).
to be granted. Only when it comes to define the
concept for the Italian legal system on the one
hand and the French and Swiss legal systems
on the other hand, then we find out about the
profound difference. In Italy protezione means
protection of an object from negative influence,
for example protection of a child, a building
or a computer. The protection of something as
complex and constantly evolving as the climate
is always labeled salvaguardia, a word with
the same roots as safeguard. From this surprise
at definition level we have to go back to the
term level and couple the Italian salvaguardia
del clima with the French protection du climat,
even though the Italian protezione and the
French sauvegarde do exist. Any uninformed
user of the database would consider this,
judging from the linguistic point of view and
backed by any Italian-French dictionary as an
error (Voltmer, 2008: 81).
There is nothing unusual in such types of
inter-language terminology relations and both
cases may be accounted for as regular instances
within ISO standards on terminology work. The
first case appeals for harmonization at the level
of designations (term level proper), the second
case is a typical instance of ‘minor differences’
in concepts, that have to be reduced resulting in
harmonized definitions. Both procedures may
be agreed upon, performed and approved by the
stakeholders only at the pre-translation phase.
However, the case of the Alpine Convention
is not typical: the text had been translated
and formally declared equivalent before the
harmonization work started. It could be objected,
that harmonization basically starts only when
there is a certain amount of translations in the
related LSP and aims to normalize of professional
communication in the specialized sphere. If so,
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and following the procedures of harmonization, it
would be relevant to build up the concept system
of the Alpine Convention proper, and, as the
first step, harmonize concepts, not designations.
This could not be done within LexALP not
only because it embraces fragments of various
specialized spheres and is restricted to a very
limited number of parallel texts, but also because
the core of the ‘specialized sphere’ is multinational
and relates to six national legal systems and four
different languages. Some legal systems share the
same language, while the others are multilingual.
Thus, both inter-language harmonization and
harmonization within one language was required
at the concept level. If such a harmonization could
be carried out, a completely new harmonized
legal system would be built, just like international
treaty terminology in general “might easily reach
the level of secondary legislation” (Somssich R.
Fazekas, 2012: 53) only partly overlapping with
national legal systems.
Following this logic, no translation of the
Alpine Convention that would be equivalent in
a legal sense is possible. Indeed, going back to
the example of ‘phraseological equivalence’, if
the German legal term UVP-Recht is translated
by ‘the expressions in the other languages’ that
are not terms, then there is no point of translating
the source term at all. It is pointless both
ontologically and from a functional perspective
of ‘legal consequences’, because the German text
does imply a legal concept while the translations
represent ‘the expressions in the other languages’
without any reference to the national legal
systems. Such translation would make sense only
if the ‘the expressions in the other languages’
referred to the German legal concept. Moreover,
if documents are drafted, for example, in Italian
or French, then there is a good possibility that they
will operate with other national legal concepts
that might have only ‘phraseological equivalents’
in other languages. Then ‘the choice’ of concepts
operating within the Convention will depend on
the criteria of the ‘original language priority’.
The power of linguistic labels
The situation as thus described implies that
concepts should be defined prior to translation
or even drafting. And yet the fact is there: not
only were the Alpine Convention and the related
Protocols translated before any systematic
harmonization, but they were also formally
declared equivalent. Translating without
agreement on concepts and terminological
equivalents is a daily bread of LSP translators
in general. Knowledge in the related ‘subject
fields’ is not of great help due to rapid changes
in terminology and increasing interdisciplinarity
of LSPs. The question that stems from this is
what factors rule the ‘terminology transfer’ in
translation, or how translators make their choices?
The aspect of the quotations above that bears
emphasizing and partly answers this question, is
how the choice of terminological equivalents is
discussed by the members of the harmonization
project. L. Voltmer mentions that some ‘terms
may seem easy enough’. He describes the relation
between the terms protezione del clima and
protection du climat as ‘a perfect correspondence’
with a reference to their Latin etymology.
Е. Chiocchetti gives a similar remark mentioning
that some ‘terms are apparently easy to translate’,
and the terms zona montana and Berggebiet
‘from a purely linguistic point of view <…> are a
perfect translation of each other’. Both translators
and terminologists are, of course, well aware (or
are supposed to be) that there nothing ‘purely
linguistic’ about terminology equivalence, and
that ‘perfect correspondence’ has nothing to do
with Latin etymology. However, such analysis
to a certain degree emulates the way translators
come up with equivalent strings in translation.
Thus, the ‘power of linguistic labels’ overrides
rationale of relating concepts.
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A few aspects of the process of selecting
equivalent strings for source terms may be
illustrated by the empirical data gathered at the
SPbU Translation Laboratory. The results of the
experiment are partly discussed in (Achkasov,
2010). The process of translation was logged by
specialized software, including typing, deleting,
using reference materials, such as electronic
dictionaries, corpora and translation memory.
In addition, screenshots were made on each
mouse-click. Every step that translators made
selecting equivalent terms (labels) was tracked
and analyzed. The texts for translation on
branding and terminology management include
terms that have single and multiple equivalents
available in open source glossaries. Equivalents
for some terms, such as brand extension and
brand stretching, may be identified only through
concepts analysis as these concepts overlap
and are often translated both as rastiazhenie
brenda and rasshirenie brenda, though only
one correlation is correct. The texts also include
terms that have no conventional equivalents,
such as terminology extraction, automatic term
recognition, exact/fuzzy match, brand gap, brand
ecosystem etc. The objective of the experiment
was to measure time distribution in the process
of deciding on terminological equivalents. The
byproduct of this experiment is illustrative of the
steps that translators undertake in identifying
translation candidates.
Selection and in some cases coinage of
linguistic labels are a series of operations
registered by a keylogger. They predictably
represent a ‘label – to concept – to label’ process.
However, the process is often reduced to a plain
‘label – to label’ transfer and consists in consulting
bilingual dictionaries and glossaries with
subsequent verification of terms in a monolingual
corpus. Translators generally preferred to use
target terms that had similar formal structure or
were characterized by semantic ‘word-to-word
equivalence’. The same type of ‘word-to-word’
correspondence mattered when target terms
were coined for unlabeled concepts, such as
automatic term recognition or fuzzy match. The
attempts to identify equivalent concepts for such
terms in most cases were preceded by looking
up general dictionaries for the term components
such as recognition and fuzzy and subsequent
experimenting with various word combinations.
In the post-translation interview many translators
could not explicitly explain their choice of both
strings for unlabeled terms and of multiple
equivalents presented in glossaries. A common
explanation was that the term was verified
statistically, i.e. had more hits in the target corpus.
Concept analysis (searching for definitions and
contexts) was registered when translators were
dealing with designations that did not provide for
intuitive ‘on-the-spot understanding’ of concepts
(brand gap) or with overlapping concepts such as
brand extension and brand stretching. But even
in such cases the analysis was followed with
looking up general dictionaries for single words
equivalents (gap, extension, stretching). Thus, the
choice of designations was driven to a significant
degree by the ‘linguistic labels logic’.
Diversity vs. uniformity
I must assume that in the discussion
above I ignored an important issue, which I did
intentionally. The point of the LexALP project
was to build a new system of concepts. The
concepts had to be internationally recognized,
or, rather, the scope of application had to be both
national and international. The new concept
system was supposed to fit in, or, at least, not to
clash with a number of national systems. On the
contrary, the terminology in the experiment (the
fields of branding and terminology management)
does not need harmonization, partly because
it is not national and partly because it has been
and still is actively borrowed into Russian. So,
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whatever Russian designations translators choose
for new concepts, they, supposedly, will do. And
yet, no matter how significant the differences in
the transfer of legal terms in the LexALP project
and terms in the technical domain of terminology
management might be, in both cases translators
seem to follow the ‘linguistic labels logic’.
In fact, this is how new labels often appear
bringing new concepts with them. Whenever
new linguistic labels contradict patterns of
term formation in a related LSP, it brings about
dissatisfaction of the target LSP users and
‘stylistic problems’. In such cases designations
are subsequently modified and for some time
many competing designations may coexist. It
hardly causes any communicative problems albeit
often provokes irritation of both LSP users and
translators. The multiplicity of designation is as
well a regular issue for criticism in research.
In the reality of LSPs the desirable relation
‘one concept – one designation’ is rarely the
case. The diversity of designations is not solely
the result of translation, it is an intrinsic feature
of LSPs in general. A very illustrative example
is provided by M. Rogers. The focus is on the
instruction for a piece of medical equipment
“in which a ST term – TT term relationship
could reasonably be expected to have a textual
equivalence probability of one <…> as a need
for consistency in term selection and translation
is implied by the purpose of the text” (Rogers,
2008: 104). A part of this equipment is a valve
for which the original German text provides four
designations: Ausatemsystem Schalldämpfer,
Gerät, Schalldämpfer and Ausatemsystem.
Similar sets of synonyms are found in French and
English translations but the ‘patterns of variation’
are different in French (valve d’expiration de type
silencieux, silencieux, dispositif, produit, valve
d’expiration, vanne d’expiration, toutes les pièce)
and English (the exhalation and muffling system,
muffling system, exhalation system, device). Both
the number of occurrences of variants and the
scope of their reference (different functions of the
device) differ in the source and the target texts.
(Rogers, 2008: 105).
However, uniformity of terminology is
one of the prescriptive imperatives in LSP
translation and translation-oriented terminology
management: “Ensuring that translators and
others keep an organized and easily retrievable
record of term research and choices made ensures
that the same term will be translated in the same
manner whenever it appears in a similar context.
Hence, terminology management promotes
terminology consistency” (Gómez & Allard,
2012: 38). Surprisingly, in actual LSP translation
the imperative to preserve uniformity of
terminology has its flip side often bringing about
linguistic, and hence, communicative problems. It
is most visible when translators use terminology
management systems with ‘get term’ function,
i.e. automatic pasting of terms into the source
segments as is shown in the example below (the
source segment and the source segment with
pasted Russian terms):
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Cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) selective
nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory
drugs
(NSAIDs) are as effective as acetaminophen
and nonselective NSAIDs in treating of
osteoarthritis, and are equally effective in
reducing pain and inflammation and improving
of joint function for patients with rheumatoid
arthritis, when compared with nonselective
NSAIDs.
циклооксигеназы-2 (COX-2) selective
нестероидный противовоспалительный
препарат (НПВП) are as effective as
ацетаминофен and неселективный НПВП
in treating of остеоартрит, and are equally
effective in reducing pain and воспаление and
improving of joint function for patients with
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ревматоидный артрит, when compared
with неселективный НПВП
Getting target terms from a term base, no
doubt, provides for terminology consistency and
saves time. The task of a translator is to identify
correct word forms and fill the gaps between
terms. The problem is that translators are often
inclined to keep terms as nominal collocations
and preserve their positions in the sentence. As a
result, the final version of a target sentence turns
out to be a syntactically ambiguous utterance,
though truly consistent in terminology. It is even
more palpable when translation is done into a
foreign language, which is a dominant practice
in Russia. Inclination to keep terms as nominal
groups as they are found in glossaries and term
bases results in hardly readable linguistic chains
such as “…project implementation in continuous
and on-the-job training and retraining of
highly qualified post-graduate specialists with
independent research activities skills in different
specialties and areas of training” etc. This is,
of course in caricature, but the reality is not
appreciable either.
In the ‘ballpark’ the variability of
designation is admitted as a state-of-the-art
though definitely undesirable reality: “In the
initial stages of translation, variability of terms
in the target language (in our case English) is an
inevitable part of the decision-making process.
Variability of terms is dangerous for the integrity
of concepts…” (Wiseman, 2002: 12).
Terminology translation
as a problematic concept
The reason of term forms variation is not
solely the arbitrary choice of translators but, as
well, structural, pragmatic, functional, stylistic
and other features of LSP. Thus, the ‘linguistic
labels logic’ is not completely false, even in the
perspective of terminology work. According to
prescriptive strategies for LSP translation and
translation-oriented terminography, ‘to translate
a term’ implies, first and foremost, identification
of a related (identical) concept in the conceptual
system of the target language. On the other hand,
formation, standardization and harmonization of
designations in general presume a certain degree
of term motivation and LSP-dependent semantic
and formal patterns. Translation-oriented
terminography supplies prescriptive rules for the
selection and formation of designations as well:
When
specialized
knowledge
is
transferred between language communities,
the delimitation of concepts is not always
identical in a given pair of languages. In
comparative terminology, the process of
term identification reveals any discrepancies,
as proper designations may not be found
in one of the languages. In such cases, the
terminologist’s role is to describe the gaps and
propose designations to fill them. In order for
the proposed term to be acceptable and valid, it
must be based on sound knowledge of the target
language’s rules of lexical formation, must be
harmoniously integrated into the existing set
of terminology, and must be clearly presented
as the terminologist’s proposal. (Pavel, 2011:
xviii)
If we take a closer look at similar
prescriptive sets of rules that a translator should
follow when ‘translating terminology’, they
will be, again, concerned with designations,
not concepts. One of such sets provided by V.
Leichik and S. Shelov includes (1) identification
of the equivalent term in the target language,
(2) semantic convergence (creating a new target
term by assigning a new meaning to a target
word combination), (3) semantic and structural
calquing, (4) loan translation, (5) using Greek and
Latin components, (6) descriptive translation.
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Only point (1) relates to concept analysis proper,
while the other points imply manipulation
with labels. These prescriptive rules are often
unrealistic either.
Though prescriptive rules imposed by
terminology work in many ways contradict
performative aspects of LSP translation, it seems
that an LSP translator should do some sort of
terminology work, and to have competences of
both a terminologist and a translator:
and ‘identifying’ target concepts. Producing
‘equivalents’, which are not equivalent in
terminological sense, does not imply ‘translating
terminology’. Producing ‘textual equivalents’,
on the other hand, appeals to functional and
systemic equivalence through the complex task
of ‘producing texts’ thus implying the potential
non-achievability of “terminology translation”
proper.
Conclusion
Terminography must not be confused
with translation. Translators need specific
terminology for specialized texts, but this
does not imply that they themselves must
develop the terminology, nor that they have to
deal with all the terms in the special subject
field in question. Working in terminology
does not mean translating a term from one
language into another based on supposedly
equivalent designations, but gathering the
designations that users of a language use to
refer to a concept and ultimately, if necessary,
proposing alternatives in those cases where
speakers’ designations are unsatisfactory.
While translators are not terminographers, in
daily practice the distinction between these
two groups of professionals is often blurred.
(Cabré, 1999: 115)
A translator is not commissioned to
standardize or harmonize terminology, and is
able only to manipulate linguistic labels, though
it is not the same as ‘to translate’. According
to the quotation above, nobody seems to have
the commission to ‘translate terminology’.
Translators must not develop terminology.
Working in terminology does not mean translating
a term from one language into another. Thus, the
concept of ‘terminology translation’ turns out to
be an aoristic and unstructured one, relating both
to various manipulations with linguistic labels,
De rigueur scenarios for bilingual
terminology transfer impose imperatives for
coordination of concept systems and preserving
uniformity of designations. Translation-oriented
terminography and translator’s practical
guides address the criteria for the formation
of target linguistic labels. Such criteria appeal
to the general ideas of linguistic consistency
and ‘language rules’, and, in turn and more or
less explicitly, regard the systemic nature of
terminology. Thus, onomasiological approach to
bilingual terminology transfer implies the idea of
pre-translation equivalence.
As has been shown, the reality of LSP
translation contradicts theory. Regardless of the
type of ‘specialized sphere’ and professional
experience, translators often prefer ‘label-tolabel’ terminology transfer, following LSPdependent semantic and formal patterns of
term formation. Such practice is not completely
arbitrary, though it seems to disclaim essential
principles of terminology work.
Thus the concept of ‘terminology translation’
is challenged as relating to the conflicting
scenarios of manipulations with linguistic labels,
and ‘identifying’ target concepts.
These issues have multiple competing
and overlapping interpretations. My point was
not to give another perspective of the concept
of ‘terminology translation’, but to bring into
focus the gap between performative aspects
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of treating terminology and prescriptions on
how it should be done. Though this gap is very
visible, it has not become an issue in translation
studies.
References
1. Achkasov A. (2011) Distribution of activities in the process of terminology search.
[Raspredelenie tipov deistvii v protsesse terminologicheskogo poiska (na material log-dannykh)].
Universitetskoe perevodovedenie. Vip. 11. Materialy XI Mezhdunarodnoi konferentsii po
perevodovediniiu “Fedorovslie chteniia”, 20-23 oktiabria 2010. Proc. 11th Int. Conference “Fedorov
Readings”. Saint-Petersburg, 2010. PP. 48-66.
2. Adamska-Sałaciak, A. (2010) Examining Equivalence. International Journal of Lexicography
23(4). PP. 387–409.
3. Cabré, T. (1999). Terminology: theory, methods and applications. Amsterdam & Philadelphia:
John Benjamins Publishing Company. 247 p.
4. Chiocchetti, E. (2011) Harmonising legal terminology in four languages: the experience of the
Alpine Convention. Proceedings of the XVI International Conference of Euskaltzaindia Pirinioetako
hizkuntzak: lehena eta oraina (The Languages of the Pyrenees: Past and Present) 6-10 October 2008;
Pamplona (E). PP. 533–546.
5. Chiocchetti, E. Voltmer L. (2008) LexALP – Harmonising Alpine Terminology. Chiocchetti,
Elena / Voltmer, Leonhard (eds) Harmonizing Legal Terminology. Bolzano:EURAC. PP. 47–59.
6. Edelmann, G. (2012) Lexicography for specific purposes. Equivalence in bilingual and
multilingual specialised dictionaries with reference to conceptual systems. WU Online Papers in
International Business Communication, 2012/1. WU Vienna University of Economics and Business,
Vienna. 15 p. Available at: http://epub.wu.ac.at/3508/ (accessed 1 October 2013).
7. Gómez, P., Allard, M. (2012) Managing Terminology for Translation Using Translation
Environment Tools: Towards a Defi nition of Best Practices. University of Ottawa, Canada.
[Theses]
8. Hammond, M. (1995) A New Wind of Quality from Europe: Implications of the Court Case
Cited by Holz-Mänttäri for the U.S. Translation Industry. Translation and the Law Amsterdam/
Philadelphia, John Benjamins. PP. 233–245.
9. ISO 1087-1:2000. (2000) Terminology work – Vocabulary – Part 1: Theory and
application.
10. Morandini, M. (2013) New perspectives of Alpine research. New perspectives of Alpine
research. Dislivelli (Torino). PP. 6-12.
11. Pavel, S., Nolet, D. (2011) Handbook of Terminology. Minister of Public Works and Government
Services Canada. 154 p.
12. Pym, A. (2011) Translation research terms: a tentative glossary for moments of perplexity and
disput. Translation research project 3. Intercultural Studies Group. Tarragona. PP. 75-110.
13. Rogers, M. (2008) Terminological equivalence: probability and consistency in technical
translation. LSP Translation Scenarios. Selected Contributions to the EU Marie Curie Conference
Vienna 2007. Mutra Journal 02, 2 . ATRC Group, Germany. PP. 101–108.
14. Shelov, S.D. (1990) Terms, Termability and Knowledge. Terminology and knowledge
engineering. Vol. 1. PP. 108–111.
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15. Somssich, R. Fazekas, F. (2012) Language-related aspects of international treaties concluded
by the EU In: Studies on translation and multilingualism. Final report for the “Study on Language and
Translation in International Law and EU law”. European Commission. P. 35-64.
16. Voltmer, L. (2008) Experiences in Harmonising. Harmonizing Legal Terminology.
Bolzano:EURAC. PP. 71-93.
17. Wiseman, N. (2002) Against Anti-terminology. Issued on the Chinese Herbal Academy
Listserv. 12. Available at: http://www.paradigm-pubs.com/sites/www.paradigm-pubs.com/files/files/
Anti-Term.pdf (accessed 1 October 2013).
Как переводят терминологию:
предписания и практика
А.В. Ачкасов
Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет
Россия, 199034, Санкт-Петербург,
Университетская набережная, 7/9
Предметом анализа статьи является вариативность способов терминологической
номинации при переводе. Ономасиологический подход к терминологической эквивалентности
предполагает необходимость координации понятий и лексических субстратов и, как следствие,
однозначность межъязыковых терминологических соответствий. В практике перевода
ЯСЦ этот принцип почти никогда не реализуется. Несоответствие практики перевода
нормативным предписаниям традиционно рассматривается как результат некорректной
и произвольной интерпретации терминологии переводчиками. В действительности
вариативность терминологии в переводе ЯСЦ обусловлена системными, семантическими
и формальными характеристиками терминов. Понятие «перевод терминологии» в таком
контексте приобретает паллиативный характер.
Ключевые слова: терминология, эквивалентность, перевод ЯСЦ, перевод терминов,
вариативность терминов, правила перевода, практика перевода.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 222-229
~~~
УДК 811.521
Japanese–English Onomatopoeic
and Mimetic Parallels:
the Problem of Translatability
Olga A. Bartashova* and Anton E. Sichinskiy
St. Petersburg State University of Economy
30/32 Kanal Griboedova, St. Petersburg, 191023, Russia
Received 07.11.2013, received in revised form 18.12.2013, accepted 14.01.2014
The subject of this article is the research of Japanese – English mimetic parallels in the key of the
problem of translatability. The majority of linguists consider onomatopoeic and mimetic words to be
untranslatable lexis, which causes a set of problems when translating. Situation becomes even more
complicated as the onomatopoeic words of Japanese, though very widespread, remain low-studied
layer of lexis and their translation into English requires quite a translational challenge because of the
huge typological differences between these two languages. Nevertheless despite the mentioned above
typological differences, the researching method of phonosemantic analysis can give translators the
clue to find efficient methods of translating these lexical units, avoiding the loss of expressiveness and
semantic meanings.
Keywords: mimetic, onomatopoeic, Japanese language, phonosemantic, untranslatable lexis, mora,
phonesthem, isomorphism, translational methods.
Introduction
The subject of the thesis deals with
the possible ways of finding the translation
equivalents of Japanese onomatopoeic words
in English translation version of the Japanese
folklore fairy tale “Urashima Taro”.
The sound-symbolic words in the Japanese
language can be divided into mimetic adverbs and
mimetic nominal adjectives, most of them forming
idiomatic expressions in combination with the
copula /suru/ (Hamano, 1998:11). As some of the
words are difficult to translate without context,
they can be translated as adverbs, adjectives and
verbs although the copula /suru/ and other verbs
are omitted.
*
Unlike most European languages in which
onomatopoeic and mimetic words (in Japanese
linguistics mimetic is equal to sound symbolic)
are not differentiated or are considered to be a
privilege of baby talk, in Japanese they are an
indispensable component of the language and
reveal the subtle sensitivity of Japanese people in
the way they perceive the world. People of all ages
employ mimetic words in their communication,
believing that speech abounded in such words
sounds more natural and is full of life compared to
that which tends to avoid them. According to the
study by Noma (1998:30), Japanese has the second
largest layer of such words following Korean
with more than 2,000 onomatopoeic and mimetic
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: bartashova_o@mail.ru
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expressions. They overfill everyday speech,
literature and media due to their expressiveness
and load of information. Although they are never
used in official documents, one can hear them in
formal situations as well.
The translation studies of this kind of
expressions are normally focused on literary
translation. For example, Flyxe (2002) analyzes
the difficulties of translation of Japanese
onomatopoeic and mimetic expressions into
Swedish and tries to find the reasons for which
this lexis often remain untranslated. The author
gives various examples of earlier studies, such
as Eström (1989) and Hayase (1978), as well as
the two studies on the translation of the novel
Yukiguni (Snow Country) by Yasunari Kawabata
into English. Eström concludes that 60 of the total
200 onomatopoeic and mimetic expressions in the
original remain without translation, and according
to Hayase, 59 of the total 186 are not translated.
Flyxe also cites the study by Kubo (1997), where
he makes it clear that 78 % of the onomatopoeic
and mimetic expressions that appear in the novels
of Kenji Miyazawa have been translated without
using these types of expressions.
Flyxe declares some reasons why these
expressions cannot be translated. For example, it
might be so, that in the target language (in this
case, Swedish), onomatopoeic expressions are
considered to be childish and vulgar, and thus it is
impossible to maintain the register of the original
text if the translator uses such expressions.
Also he points out the absence of the complex
phonetic symbolism in the target language, and
therefore the impossibility to express the subtle
nuances of Japanese onomatopoeia and mimetic
words. Flyxe demonstrates the case in which the
translator uses the same Swedish onomatopoeia
plaskar to translate two different onomatopoeias,
bachabacha and bochabocha, which are both
water-splashing sounds but the second indicates
that the water is deeper than the first. Finally, the
author mentions the difficulty of maintaining the
style of the translation using these expressions,
either due to the excessive “informality” of
onomatopoeic or mimetic expressions in the
target language, or changes of the structure of the
sentences in the process of translation.
Flyxe identifies six methods used by
translators: (1) adjectives, (2) adverbs, (3) verbs,
(4) explicative paraphrases, (5) onomatopoeia
(and mimetic words), and (6) omission.
Minashima (2004) carried out the
investigation of the translation of soundsymbolic
words and expressions in the novel by Banana
Yoshimoto, Kitchen (1991) into English. In the
novel, 332 such expressions are identified (286
mimetic words and 46 onomatopoeic words).
The most frequent method is to translate them
as verbs, although translating mimetic words as
adjectives and adverbs is not exception either.
Omission occurs in 16.3 % of the cases, and
the author considers the possible lack of total
comprehension of these words by the translator,
pointing out that omission occurs more frequently
in cases of mimetic words (17.1 % of total cases),
which are more abstract and therefore more
difficult for translation than onomatopoeic ones
(10.8 %).
Theoretical framework
In the thesis the following contractions are
used: CV stands for mora, X means variable
which can be anything (verb, particle etc.), /N/
indicates the syllable-final nasal that constitutes
a full mora, and /Q/ signifies the first half of a
geminate cluster, and it also constitutes a full
mora.
The understanding of translational aspect
of mimetic words is related with researches in
the field of phonosemantic. The most extensive
research on sound-symbolism in Japanese
has been introduced by Hamano (1998). She
analyzes the phonosemantic associations of
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CV and CVCV-based mimetic adverbs and
draws important conclusions about the semantic
features attributed to consonants and vowels.
Hamano claims that whereas consonants appear
to be positionally differentiated, vowels do
not. She further argues that consonants act
independently from each other in words. The
symbolisms exhibited by the initial and the
second consonants, as well as by vowels are
shown below in tables 1 and 2 respectively.
In Table 2 above the values +/- mean
‘presence’ and ‘absence’ respectively. Hamano
specifies that “initial vowels generally control the
semantic dimension of the shape of the first object
or movement”, whereas “second vowels control
the semantic dimension of the size/shape of the
second object or movement”. The vowel /e/ is an
exception in both cases (Hamano 1998:172–3).
However, the assertion that sounds in words
evoke associations on their own seems dubious.
Table 1. Sound(consonants) – Meaning relationships according to Hamano(1998)
First consonants in CVCV
/p/
taut surface; light; small; fine
/b/
taut surface; heavy; large; coarse
Second consonants in CVCV
explosion, breaking, decisiveness
/k/
lack of surface; tension, subduedness light; small; hitting of surface, coming into close contact,
fine
complete agreement
lack of surface tension, subduedness; heavy; large; coarse
opening, breaking, swelling – in-out movement
hard surface; light; small; fine
/g/
hard surface; heavy; large; coarse
-
/t/
/d/
/s/
non-viscous body; quietness; light; small; fine
soft contact; friction
/z/
non-viscous body; quietness; heavy; large; coarse
-
/h/
weakness, softness, unreliability,
indeterminateness
breath
/m/
murkiness
-
/n/
Viscosity, slimness, sluggishness
/y/
leisurely motion, unreliable motion, swinging
motion
/w/
human noise, emotional upheaval
Softness, faintness, haziness
/r/
-
rolling; fluid movement
bending, elasticity, unreliability, lack of force,
weakness
sound of many sources, haziness – childishness
Note: (-) indicate that the given consonant never or rarely occurs in the position
Table 2. Vowel symbolic semantics
protrusion
line/tenseness
small
large
/i/
-
+
-
-
/u/
+
-
+
-
/o/
-
-
-
-
/a/
-
-
-
+
/e/
Vulgarity
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Counterexamples to Hamano’s classifications
in Table 1 and 2 can easily be found while
analyzing the meanings of the words containing
the same sounds. For example, according to
the classification in (I), in CVCV-based soundsymbolic adverbs, /m/ as an initial consonant
expresses “murkiness”, whereas as the second
consonant it has no particular meaning. Some
of the words with initial /m/ areまざまざ /mazamaza/ (clearly, vividly), めきめき /meki-meki/
(remarkably, fast), もやもや /moya-moya/ (hazy,
murky), むかむか/muka-muka/ (retch, go mad).
Obviously, “murkiness” is not their common
semantic feature.
Statement of the problem
Most of linguists tend to refer onomatopoeic
words to the sphere of untranslatable lexis, which
is defined in the dictionaries as lexical units of a
source language which do not have any regular
(dictionary) compliances in a target language.
Though widespread the class of onomatopoeic
words remain the byways of linguistic
investigations and often require the translator’s
challenge.
The situation becomes even more
complicated when the process of translation
concerns the onomatopoeic systems of two
typologically different languages such as
Japanese and English. The problem became the
subject of quite a number of research papers and
scientific articles, but for a long period of time
was considered to be unsolved until the it became
the interest of phonosemantic studies. The
method of phonosemantic analysis, elaborated
by S.V. Voronin, which in its essence presents
the trinity of phonosemantic, etymological and
typological analysis, made it possible to reveal
the correlation between the semantic structure of
an onomatopoeic word and the phonetic means of
its formal organization, demonstrating the unity
of the form and meaning for certain semantic
groups of words. Numerous phonosemantic
researches brought the serendipity of finding the
universal features of this phenomenon in many
languages, which were typologically different,
that made it possible to assume that finding the
corresponding equivalent of an onomatopoeic
word in the target language or, if there is no one,
to choose the proper translation method in order
to compensate the loss of an onomatopoeic word
when translating. Thus phonosemantic studies
gave a great impact to the theory of translation in
the sphere of such layer of untranslatable lexis as
onomatopoeic words.
As well as this, there is another approach
to the sound-symbolic effect in Japanese mimetic
words based on native Japanese speech, which is
presented by relatively complete and generally
acknowledged resources of sound-symbolic forms,
such as Giongo-Gitaigo Jiten, Kenkyusha’s New
Japanese-English Dictionary, Kokugo Dai Jiten,
New College Japanese-English Dictionary and
Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary. First,
all the CVCV-based mimetic words available
in the corpus (about 380) were divided into two
groups: a group of words with same initial mora
and a group of words with same second or postsecond moras. Second, the words falling into
the same group were closely examined to prove
existence or non-existence of common meanings.
Altogether 199 CVCV-based mimetic words
were put into categories based on similarities
in meaning. Next, each category was assigned
descriptors. The number of descriptors varies
across categories: for some only one descriptor
was sufficient, whereas for other categories more
than one descriptor was needed to represent all
the words included.
It became clear that many of the words
containing same phonological clusters have
similar meanings. Similar meaning in this
respect does not refer to synonymy. It indicates a
common semantic feature in words. As a result,
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37 phonaesthematic patterns typical of Japanese
CVCV-based mimetic words were identified. The
term phonaesthematic describes the presence
of sequence of phonemes shared by words with
some perceived common element in meaning.
Firth (1930) first noticed this phenomenon
and coined the term phonaesthesia indicating
the role of the ablaut implied in a series like
drip: drop: droop: drape (Grew, 1998:2). The
sequence of phonemes was called phonaestheme
(Grew, 1998:1). Phonaesthesia has not been paid
enough attention to due to the fact that it opposes
Saussure’s theory of arbitrariness of the linguistic
sign. Similarly, no attempt has ever been made
to apply the phonaesthematic approach to the
Japanese sound-symbolic system. Also, that kind
of approach can be applied to translational aspect
of linguistics.
The general mistake in the translation
practice is that translational equivalents of
onomatopoeic words are usually looked for in the
dictionary system of a certain language, while
they should be given a conceptual treatment.
In most cases classical methods of
comparative analysis do not give us an access to
the entire depth of the concept standing behind
the mimetic word. Proceeding from the incorrect
preconditions, linguists believe that natural
soundings objectively sound equally, so they
should be reflected in different languages equally,
irrespective of the phonological system of the
language. They consider that identical sounding
should be heard equally by representatives of
different nations, but the fact it doesn’t makes them
consider sound-symbolism to be untranslatable
lexis.
Discussion
The detailed consideration of the translation
strategy of sound symbolic lexis of the Japanese
fairy tale “Urashima Taro” into English makes
it possible to formulate the tasks and define
the problems the translator might face while
translating sound symbolic words, as well as
anticipate the possible ways of their solution.
何(なに)かとおもって浦島がのぞいてみると、
小さいかめの子を一ぴきつかまえて、棒(ぼう)でつつ
いたり、石でたたいたり、さんざんにいじめているので
す。
/Nani ka to omotsu te Urashima ga nozoite
miru to, chīsai kamenoko o ichi-piki tsukamaete,
bō de tsutsui tari, ishi de tatai tari, sanzan ni
ijimete iru nodesu/
Urashima decided to see what is going on.
He saw that they were torturing a baby turtle,
hitting it with sticks and throwing rocks.
In this text fragment the translator conveys
the meaning of the Japanese version of the text
using an English verb “to torture”, which is
marked with stronger connotative meaning.
According to Japanese-English online dictionary
Denshi Jisho gitaigo さんざん/sandzan/ has the
following meanings: severely; harshly; utterly;
terrible; scattered; disconnected. In the Japanese
version it bears the function of an adjective. In the
combination with the verb いじめる /idzimeru/ the
phrase has the meaning which can be translated
into English as “to bully harshly”. However,
the translator uses the verb “to torture”, which
also has a sound symbolic origin. According to
Margaret Magnus (Magnus 2001), the American
researcher in the field of phonosemantics, /tr/
in the initial position of monosyllables means
movement, as the energy of the sound /r/ gets
the direction which is set by interdental / t/
(travel, trip, to troop, to track). However, when
a vowel appears between these two sounds, the
seme of the directed movement vanishes, being
transformed into the seme of a rotary motion
(in the direct or metaphoric meaning), as in
the words turn, torque, tortment and torture.
The etymological analysis of the verb “torture”
showed the following: torture – late 15c. (implied
in torturous), from M.Fr. torture “infliction of
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great pain, great pain, agony,” from L.L. torture
“twisting, writhing, torture, torment,” from
stem of L. torquere “to twist, turn, wind, wring,
distort” (see thwart). The verb derived from the
noun in 1580s. The way the translator chose may
be considered as equivalent translation as the
meaning of the Japanese gitaigo was conveyed by
selecting an equivalent in the target language.
The next text fragment also presents the
example of equivalence of translation.
その奥(おく) にきらきら光って、目のくらむよう
な金銀のいらかが、たかくそびえていました。
/Sono oku ni kirakira hikatte,-me no
kuramu yōna kingin no ira ka ga, takaku sobiete
imashita/
Behind the gate he saw glittering roofs made
of gold and silver.
In this example the translator conveys the
Japanese adverb きらきら /kirakira/, belonging
to a class gitaigo, by the English verbal adjective
“glittering”. According to Japanese-English
online dictionary Denshi Jisho, this Japanese
gitaigo has the meaning: to glitter; to sparkle;
to glisten; to twinkle. Some attention should
be brought to the validity of the sound graphic
origin of the word “glittering” used in the
target language. According to the researches
of such authors as V. Kuzmich, S. V. Voronin,
O.A.Bartashova this adjective is a sound
symbolic word. According to Margaret Magnus
who made the thorough analysis of the group
of sound symbolic lexicon with /gl/ , the words
with the combination /gl/ in the initial position
has four types of meaning: 1) the reflected or
diffused light (glare, gleam, glim, glimmer,
glint, glisten, glister, glitter); 2) indirect use
of eyes (glance, glaze/d, glimpse, glint); 3) a
reflecting surface (glacé, glacier, glair, glare,
glass, glaze, gloss); 4) other lighting or visual
effects (globe, glower).
Besides these groups, M. Magnus allocates
some other categories, connected with sliding,
volumes, perception etc., however, prevalence
of the lighting effects is obvious. Etymological
research confirms the following: “glittering –
c.1300, glideren (late 14c. as gliteren), from a
Scandinavian source, cf. O.N. glitra “to glitter,”
from glit “brightness”, from P.Gmc. *glit”shining, bright” (cf. O.E. glitenian “to glitter,
shine; be distinguished,” O.H.G. glizzan, Ger.
glitzern, Goth. glitmunjan), from PIE *ghleid(cf. Gk. khlidon, khlidos “ornament”), from
root *ghel-”to shine, glitter” (see glass). Related:
Glittered; glittering. The noun is c.1600, from the
verb.to glitter”.
The Japanese mimetic word きらきら する
/kirakira suru/ has a synonym, which also has
a sound graphic origin: ぴかぴかする /pikapika
suru/. Comparing these two verbs, we see that
both words have intense front row vowel /i/ in
roots, which when combined with noisy and
explosive occlusive sounds, such as /p/ and / k/,
forms a phonestheme conveying the meaning of
glow, luminescence. Thus we can speak about
the equivalence of translation as the translator
considers the psycho-acoustic perception of
denotation and finds the most suitable sound
symbolic equivalent.
Conclusion
It is obvious that the distinctions of Means
of Sound Imitation in different languages
really seem considerable if their comparison is
made in the traditional way, which has become
obsolete – at the level of separate phonemes. The
features of isomorphism, which dominate over
the features of allomorfism in onomatopoetic
words in any couple of languages cannot usually
be identified at the level of concrete phonemes.
«Considerable phonetic distinctions» usually
appear insignificant or completely absent if the
only thing you see behind a separate phoneme
of an onomatopoeic word (root) is the (psycho)
acoustic type to which it belongs (Bartashova,
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2002; Razumovskaya, 2006). The understanding
of psycho-acoustic structure of denotation allows
to predict the structure of the corresponding
onomatopoetic word. Similar “prediction” is
valid only at the level of phonestheme, but not at
the separate phonemes level.
References
1. Amanuma, Y. Giongo gitaigo jiten. Tokyo: Tokyodo Shuppan, 1974. 125 p.
2. Baba, J. Pragmatic Functions of Japanese Mimesis in Emotive Discourse. from: http://web.
aall.ufl.edu/SJS/Baba.pdf. 2001.
3. Bartashova, O. The problem of the equivalent translation of the onomatopoetic vocabulary
(on the example, computer jargon of mimetic origin) [Problema ekvivalentnogo perevoda
zvukosimvolicheskoy leksiki (na primere komputernih zhargonizmov zvukosimvolicheskogo
proishozhdenia)]. St-Petersburg: SPbSU, 2002.
4. Edström, B. Japanese onomatopoetic words: A research note. Stockholm: Orientaliska Studier
No 65, 1989. P. 35–52.
5. Flyxe, M. 2002. “Translation of Japanese onomatopoeia into Swedish with focus on
lexicalization”. Stockholm: Africa&Asia 2: 54–73.
6. Hamano, S. The sound-symbolic system of Japanese. Ph.D. diss., University of Florida,
1986.
7. Hamano, S. Palatalization in Japanese sound symbolism. In Sound Symbolism, eds. L. Hinton,
J. Nichols, and J.J. Ohala, 148–157 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
8. Hamano, S. Sound-symbolic system of Japanese. Tokyo: Kurosio Publishers, 1998.
9. Hayase, M. [Eigoyaku wo toshite mita nihongo no giseigo no tokucho]. Tokyo: Kansai
gaikokugo daigaku kenkyu ronshu No 09, 1978. Pp. 28, 117– 127.
10. Hida, Yoshifumi, and Hideko A. [Gendai giongo gitaigo youhou jiten]. Tokyo: Tokyodo
Shuppan, 2002.
11. Ivanova, G. On the Relation between Sound, Word Structure and Meaning in Japanese
Mimetic Words. From: http://www.trismegistos.com/iconicityinlanguage/articles/ivanova.html, 2002.
12. Margaret M. What’s in a Word? Studies in Phonosemantics. From: http://www.trismegistos.
com/Dissertation/dissertation.pdf, 2001.
13. Razumovskaya, V. [Universalnaya kategoriya izomorfizma I yeyo svoistva v lingvisticheskom
I perevodcheskom aspektah (k postanovke voprosa)]. Krasnoyarsk: Vesnik KrasGU, No 3/2, 2006.
P. 220-226.
14. Voronin S. [Osnovi fonosemantiki]. St. Petersburg: Lenand, 1982. P. 26-30, 145-168.
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Японо-английские
звукоизобразительные параллели:
проблема перевода звукосимволической лексики
О.А. Барташова, А.Е. Сичинский
Санкт-Петербургский государственный
экономический университет
Россия 191023, Санкт-Петербург,
наб. канала Грибоедова, 30/32
Статья посвящена вопросам изучения звукоизобразительных параллелей между японским
и английским языком, в частности проблеме перевода звукосимволической лексики. Долгое
время данный тип лексики относился к безэквивалентной и непереводимой. Однако развитие
такого направления лингвистики, как фоносемантика, а также глубокое изучение вопроса
этимологии звукосимволических слов позволяет переводчику решить данную проблему.
Авторы статьи полагают, что наиболее эффективным методом перевода такой лексики
является поиск звукосимволических эквивалентов в языке перевода. Материалом исследования
послужила японская народная сказка “Urashima Taro”.
Ключевые слова: звукоизобразительность, звукосимволическая лексика, японский язык,
фоносемантика, переводоведение, фонемотип, фонема, мора, семантика.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 230-237
~~~
УДК 651.926:82.035
Film Translation: to Be or Not to Be
Vera E. Gorshkova*
Irkutsk State Linguistic University
8 Lenin Str., Irkutsk, 664025, Russia
Received 10.11.2013, received in revised form 11.12.2013, accepted 17.01.2014
In this era of globalization the very attitude toward the audiovisual translation (AVT) changes,
subtitling has become a growingly popular method that aggravates the culturological problems of
AVT of art films. The problem of rendering substandard vocabulary and obscene words remains one
of the most acute problems of translation. This problem is considered by studying Eric Rochant’s
Mobius (2013, France) which is interesting not only because French actors speak Russian and Russian
actors speak French, but also for high percentage of obscene words, whose pragmatic effect differs
considerably in oral speech and in subtitles.
Keywords: audiovisual translation (AVT), subtitling, dubbing, general and typical challenges of AVT,
obscene words translation.
Silent films are the easiest to translate
Andrey Gavrilov
Cinema penetrates every aspect of a
present-day person's life. And it surely has
entered the translation profession. There is one
funny thing about translators’ job: the way their
professional activity is represented in movies.
They are not so numerous but nevertheless
these films enjoy wide popularity and their
characters are loved by millions (Gentlemen
of Fortune, The Diamond arm, Kidnapping
Caucasian Style, Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the
Future, Russian Translation, The Interpreter…).
“Autumn Marathon” the hapless character
of which has everything of a translation pro
and nothing of a translation go getter is often
referred to as film directed “under the banner
of struggle with aggressive mediocrity”. As
D.I. Ermolovich says: “That struggle has never
*
been more urgent. And I wish I could say “They
shall not pass!” But, alas, they shall… I do wish
that not all of them will bluff way (to translator
jobs)” (Ermolovich 2013, p. 312). It seems those
words can also said about film translation in
order to improve its quality and increase the
audience confidence in the WORD that sounds
in cinemas or on TV.
We’d like to begin pondering upon the
subject of the article with a brief review of
opinions expressed by population of Translators
City website (http://www.trworkshop.net) and,
to be more exact, by those who dwell on one of
its pages with a symbolic name Localization and
Video Translation Lane as their comments raise
urgent questions of audiovisual translation. Here
are some of them:
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: gorchkova_v@mail.ru
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• Translation of movies is a kind of
translation which translators perform “for
the love of the game” generally.
• Give up your riotous idea and romantic
desire of translating films until it’s too
late. <…> It is a tiny segment of the
market where too much is subjective and
conditional!
• <…> what do you expect from counterfeit
DVDs? Sure, licensed ones are more
expensive but the quality is higher and, to
add to that, you can turn subtitles on and
get the right meaning.
• It is great that many licensed DVDs
have both dubbing and voice-over
translation and usually the latter is of a
higher quality. Here is an example of
the dubbed translation of “Bicentennial
Man”: Let’s make each other company! –
Присоединимся к другой компании!
(literally
“let’s
join
ANOTHER
company”).
We’d rather discuss topical problems in
earnest and won’t join that notorious company
leaving the thankless chore of analyzing
translator’s errors and blunders for translation
critics and those few sophisticated members of
the audience who pay attention to them. The last
remark can seem paradoxical and bewildering
to experts of audiovisual translation so we will
provide some proofs. After the French audience
watched «Möbius» (Eric Rochant, 2013) 815
comments were left on the website http://www.
allocine.fr/film/fichefilm-197303/critiques/
spectateurs/. 105 viewers commented on the
cultural linguistic aspect of the film, 30 of them
noted the international background of characters
and cast that caused multilingualism of the film
(English, French and Russian languages), 20
thought that Jean Dujardin failed to play a Russian
spy in a realistic way, 38 commented on the level
of his proficiency in Russian, 8 noted poor quality
of dialogues. And only 11 persons mentioned
subtitles and dubbing expressing disappointment
with the translator’s decision to dub into French
those dialogues that were in English but to use
subtitles in case of translation from Russian into
French as it made it more difficult to perceive
the movie that was already heavily loaded with
a cobweb of the plotline that prevented a viewer
from understanding who is who and who supports
who. But we’ll discuss it a bit later. Regardless
the audience national identity their opinions are
crucial especially if one considers the fact that
cinematography is a “one way communication”
(New Audiovisual Technologies 2005, p. 309)
and even though “speech and music on the screen
belong to the world of the movie” (ibid, p.313),
“the movie should be a single whole and provoke
future pondering upon the film after it was
watched” (ibid, p.331).
However, it’s time to return to our muttons.
The above mentioned movie as well opinions of
the Translators City population need no comments
as they exemplify challenges of audiovisual
translation in general and, in particular, of its
main types, dubbing and subtitling that are so
often discussed by film translation experts. These
challenges can be both of general and special
character (Guidère 2011).
As for general challenges a translator faces
certain difficulties of intersemiotic translation
caused first and foremost by the nature of the film
verbal component medium that, in order to avoid
confusion of terms, we refer to as film dialogue
and that requires simultaneous perception of the
text that sounds from the screen, image, sound
effects and music which often contributes to the
general tonality of a film. All these components
bear heterogeneous information transmitted both
by verbal / nonverbal and visual / auditive signs.
Thus, in film dialogue translation, it is necessary
to take into account the polysemiotic nature of
a film text while performing a pretranslation
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analysis during a movie preview and while
adjusting the final version of the scripts translation.
(We mean an ideal translation performed in the
environment optimal for the translator’s activity
but unfortunately the actual state of affairs is
often contrary to the ideal).
It clear that general challenges are
characterized by interdisciplinary nature and are
closely connected with the linguistic aspect.
What contribution do linguists and
translation scholars make to the solution of these
general problems? It should be mentioned that the
interest of Russian scientists to the analysis of film
text and its verbal component has been growing.
It can be shown by the list of research studies
published within the past decade (which is far
from been complete) (Efremova 2004, Gorshkova
2006-2012, Ignatov 2007, Nazmutdinova 2008,
Surgay 2008, Matasov 2009, Snetkova 2009,
Fedorova 2009, Mukha 2011, Zaretskaya 2012,
Kolodina 2013).
First of all, scientists who regard film
dialogue as a particular type of a literary text
try to establish new text categories. One of them
is a category of tonality that, as we see it, is a
conceptual category reflecting the culture studies
aspect of a movie and expressed in the translation
of realias and speech peculiarities of characters
(Gorshkova 2006). Among other established
textual categories specific character of which is
researched in application to film dialogue there
is, in particular, a category of informativity
defined as a typological feature of a film linguistic
system describing a capability of film dialogue to
represent information in the interaction with the
video image of the film. According to I.P. Mukha,
the above mentioned category can be subdivided
into four types:
1) full informativity – interaction of the
film dialogue and image is minimal
and the film dialogue is all-sufficient
and is structured in accordance with
communicative-pragmatic rules of a
dialogue interaction;
2) double informativity – in the film dialogue
there is an indication to some objects
on the screen and an effect of a double
statement is created;
3) integrative informativity – the film
dialogue interacts with nonverbal actions
of characters in the closest way;
4) complimentary informativity – the film
dialogue is aimed at creating a particular
environment and shifts the information
representation center from the verbal
component to the video image Mukha
2011).
Within the linguistic, text-centered
approach to film dialogue a number of linguosemiotic studies of interdisciplinary character are
carried out with application of the latest ideas of
philosophy and synergy. So, ideas of the French
philosopher G. Deleuze about the Space-Image
and Time-Image in cinema served as a basis
for us to develop an idea of the Sense-Image
of film dialogue (Gorshkova 2010), which was
further elaborated in the thesis of E.A. Kolodina
(Kolodina 2013). E.A. Kolodina regards film
text and film dialogue as components of film
discourse (as the whole). They are structural
linear formations that are deterministic, stable,
time sequenced, discriminated by sequence and
interpenetration of verbal and visual components
while film discourse is defined in terms of
integrity typical of non-linear systems. Thus
the Sense-Image can be described as an integral
entity, in other words, an internal entity that can
be cognized only in the context of the whole as
the essence of semiosis, unity of individual and
general, creating an authentic image in a viewer’s
mind.
The term “film discourse” is used in
translation studies in increasing frequency.
Thus S.S. Nazmutdinova develops a notion of
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harmony as a translation category on the basis of
the translation space concept introduced by L.V.
Kushnina. Taking into consideration the specific
character of the subject of research represented
by film discourse Ms. Nazmutdinova expands
the circle of explicit-implicit sense fields that
interact in a synergetic way by introducing the
audiovisual field and a new notion of iconic sense
that is simultaneously represented by the sound
and image (Nazmutdinova 2008). Hence, this
idea has something in common with the above
mentioned concept of the Sense-Image.
“Film translation has one striking
peculiarity – it is not taught anywhere” (S.
Kozin). In the context of our article it is worth
mentioning an interesting linguodidactic study
carried out by R.A. Matasov who complains about
the fact that now future translation specialists
rarely get professional training in film/video
translation (FVT). He stands for introduction
of FVT training in universities because digital
television successfully replaces the analogue one
in many countries and DVD format with up to
eight dubbed versions and 32 subtitle sets on a
disk and its successful competitor Blue-ray get
a worldwide distribution (Matasov 2009). The
author suggests introducing his own program
for training film/video translators and the only
question is whether it was tested in the education
process.
In our opinion any attempt of didactic
comprehension of audiovisual translation should
be welcome. Once we also developed a system of
film dialogue translation exercises in accordance
with the levels of education: either elementary or
advanced. We based the system on the principle
of “learning by mistakes”, intralinguistic
translation and comparative analysis of the
original text sounding from the screen and its
official translation. Students found the second,
advanced, level more challenging as its exercises
were based on texts rich in national realias of high
cultural importance and colloquialisms. Thus we
can conclude that our experiment completely
agrees with «the pyramid of semantic synthesis
competences» (A.V. Kozulyaev’s term) required
from a film translator; one of the most crucial of
them is a socio-cultural competence that provides
understanding of nonlinguistic, socio-cultural
aspects a translator needs in order to determine
the general translation strategy (Kozulyaev
2012).
The above analysis allows us to approach
challenges typical of audiovisual translation
predetermined by a number of questions a film
translator should answer and, first and foremost,
what type of film translation he/she is to be guided
by. (See a diagram below: Process-oriented
approach to film dialogue translation, where E –
emitter or speaker, S – sense, C – transmission
channel, R – recipient, SL – source language,
TL – target language):
We’d like to emphasize that the above
diagram is open for further elaboration, and in
particular as far as subtitling is concerned because
it is necessary to create 3- and more- D subtitles
for the modern cinematograph. It is a fact that
there are 7D movies and viewers who watch them
get quite a thrilling experience due to the moving
floor, armchairs with special effects, simulation of
environmental conditions (lightning, rain effect,
virtual smoke, smell). Such cinemas are equipped
with a circular screen and the image is distributed
at the centers of circular sections so that the field
of view is expanded up to 180 degrees. Thus a
translator who is to render subtitles for such
movie faces a great challenge.
Once the choice is made it determines
translation solutions connected with the
translation process dominant, to be more exact,
the factor that is of primary importance in the
translation process: is it linguistic component,
target audience, client’s demands, etc.? We leave it
for experts to perform a detailed analysis of these
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Diagram. Process-oriented approach to film dialogue translation
Legend:
dubbing
subtitling
voice-over
translation for the blind audience
constraints and turn the focus of our discussion
back to the film «Möbius» in the context of it two
versions – the original and the dubbed one. (One
should not confuse it with Kim Ki-duk movie
«Moebius» screened out of competition at the
Venice Film Festival in 2013).
The film is chosen for a good reason and
not for its artistic merits or demerits. Firstly, it
is a movie that required some kind of “internal
translation” due to international cast who play
spies of every stripe, including a number of
Russian film stars, Alexei Gorbounov being one of
them. The Russian background of their characters
who occasionally speak French is emphasized by
an inimitable Russian accent making the film
especially vivid and colorful. Vulgar invective
Russian expressions are not dubbed but rather
translated in subtitles in order to keep the “music”
of the original word intact. All these facts are
reflected in the above mentioned comments of the
French viewers.
And what impression does the film dubbing
leaves on the Russian audience? It appears
necessary to cite S. Kozin words that a translator
has to feel genre and style, match temper and
speech peculiarities of characters in the process
of dubbing: “If a character’s speech differs from
speech of others one has to notice it and keep it in
the translation otherwise the character will lose
his individuality and will be killed. Dubbing is
a bit like killing a part: an actor loses his major
tool – the voice.” That is exactly what happens
to the character of Alexei Gorbounov who plays
a bodyguard of a Russian tycoon (Tim Roth
who speaks English!). In the dubbed Russian
version Gorbounov has lost his peculiar husky
voice (he is not on the list of actors who dubbed
the movie), his incomparable French accent
(which was very nice!) and obscene words were
replaced by vulgar but more politically correct
Russian expressions (that’s what we agree with).
As a result the movie in general has lost some of
its charm, its sound tonality disappearing, the
Sense-Image of the film dialogue turning blurry
and insipid.
And the final remark. This summer the author
of the article got a chance to visit the Lumiere
brothers museum in Lyon (France) and was
excited to see their camera – “cinématographe”
that cinema owes its name to. It was the Lumieres’
camera that was used in 1995, the cinema’s
centenary year, by forty famous directors to
make forty films, each 52 seconds long, including
“The arrival of a train” starring a modern highspeed train (TGV). The directors mentioned were
interviewed and asked two questions: Why do
you make films and Will cinema die as an art?
The second question was answered unanimously:
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Cinema will live as long as a man lives on the
Earth.
As if to prove these words a similar
experiment was carried out again by August 2013.
That time seventy directors made seventy films
one and a half minute long each in honour of the
Venice Film Festival’s seventieth anniversary.
The films were shot with modern equipment while
their main theme was cinema’s FUTURE. So we
can conclude that a film translator’s job will be in
great demand as soon as modern cinema seldom
does without a WORD.
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11. Ermolovich, D.I. Translation in the Cinema Mirror [Perevod v kinozerkale. Slovesnaia
mekhanika. Izbrannoie o iazike, perevode i culture retchi] Verbal Mechanics. Selected works on
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materiale kinotekstov sovetskoi kulturi: avtoref. dis. … kand. filol. nauk: 10.02.19]. Abstract of the
thesis for a Candidate of Philology degree: 10.02.19. Volgograd, 2004. 15 p.
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of Implementation of Implications in the Film Discourse: monograph). Chelyabinsk: Abris, 2012.
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programming). Papers of International Symposium on Language and Communication: Research
Trends and Challenges (ISLC) (10-13 June 2012). Izmir, Turkey, 2012, available at: www.inlsc.org/
online/Book5.pdf.
17. Matasov, R.A. Translation of cinema / video materials: cultural linguistic and didactic aspects
[Perevod kino/video materialov: lingvokulturologicheskie I didaktitcheskie aspekti: dis. … kand. filol.
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18. Mukha, I.P. The Category of Film Dialogue Informativity [Kategoria informativnosti
kinodialoga: dis. … kand. filol. nauk: 10.02.19 Thesis for a Candidate of Philology degree: 10.02.19.
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and English film discourse [Garmonia kak perevodcheskaia kategoria (na materiale russkogo,
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thesis for a Candidate of Philology degree: 10.02.20. Tyumen, 2008. 21 p.
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Moscow: Editorial, 2005. 260 p.
21. Snetkova, M.S. Linguostylistic aspects of Translation of Spanish Film Texts: on the material
of Russian translations of feature films “Viridiana” (L. Bunuel) and “Women on the Verge of a Nervous
Breakdown” (P. Almodovar). [Lingvostilisticheskie aspecti ispanskikh kinotekstov: na materiale
russkikh perevodov khudojestvennikh filmov L. Bonduela “Viridiana” i P. Almodovara “Jenchini na
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Candidate of Philology degree: 10.02. 05, 10.02.20. Moscow, 2009. 29 p.
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22. Surgay, U.V. Interdiscursivity of a Film Text in a Cross-cultural Aspect [Interdiskursivnost
kinoteksta v kross-kulturnom aspekte: avtoref. dis. … kand. filol. nauk: 10.02.19] Abstract of the thesis
for a Candidate of Philology degree: 10.02.19. Tver, 2008. 16 p.
23. Feodorova, I.K. (2009). Film Text Translation from the Standpoint of Culture Transfer Idea:
translation adaptation problem [Perevod kinoteksta v svete kontzepzii kulturnogo perenosa: problema
perevodcheskoi adaptazii. Vestnik Chelyabinskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Vipusk 39:
Filologia. Kritika iskusstva]. Chelyabinsk State University Bulletin. Issue 39: Philology. Art Criticism.
Chelyabinsk, 2009. No 43 (181). Pp. 142-149.
Аудиовизуальный перевод:
“to be or not to be”
В.Е. Горшкова
Иркутский государственный
лингвистический университет
Россия, 664025, Иркутск, ул. Ленина, 8
В эпоху глобализации меняется само отношение к аудиовизуальному переводу, все более
склоняющемуся в пользу перевода субтитрами, что усугубляет культурологические проблемы
данного вида перевода в приложении к художественным фильмам. Одной из самых острых
проблем остается перевод сниженной и бранной лексики, все чаще присутствующей в речи
персонажей современных фильмов, рассмотренный на примере фильма «Мёбиус» (реж. Эрик
Рошан, Франция, 2013), интересного не только любопытным решением озвучивания
(французские актеры говорят по-русски, а русские – по-французски), но и насыщенностью
означенной выше лексикой, прагматический эффект которой в звучащей речи и субтитрах
значительно отличается степенью своей выраженности.
Ключевые слова: аудиовизуальный перевод, перевод субтитрами, дубляж, общие и
специфические проблемы АВП, передача бранной лексики.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 238-243
~~~
УДК 81.33
Relativity as a Translation Tool
for Mythology-based Texts
Tamara A. Kazakova*
St. Petersburg State University
7/9 Universistetskaya nab., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia
Received 02.11.2013, received in revised form 10.11.2013, accepted 21.12.2013
The methodology of this preliminary investigation involves the idea of translation as informational
process. Most of the challenges in translation are connected with the entropy that grows all the more
the wider the gap between the source and target cultures. In some cases, the gap is so wide that it makes
a text seem untranslatable. This article discusses another case of untranslatability vs translatability,
which results in translating of the untranslatable, i.e. of mythology-based texts, a special type of
stories where mythic allusions, personages, places and/or episodes are borrowed from the national
myth lore and immersed in a plot by a contemporary author. With this kind of information we face
numerous challenges of untranslatability. Meeting the challenges, the translator has to invent or
discover a variety of translation tools that can help to regulate the measure of informational entropy.
One of such tools is the relativity of variants that presupposes choosing compatibles rather than
standard equivalents. A few types of such compatibles have been explored on the examples of Irish
contemporary literature.
Keywords: entropy, literary translation, myth-based text, informational capacity, translation tools,
(un)translatability, relative compatibles.
Introduction
One of the everlasting mysteries of translation
is transplant of the source values to the target
culture. It becomes possible in the course of
creative efforts of the Translator who surmounts
challenges of the untranslatable. Mythology has
been always placed among those challenges and
never is entropy so intensive as in texts associated
with mythological images and ideas. On the one
hand, it may seem easy to transliterate or loan
mythic names and thus introduce them into the
target cultural use. But the borrowed signs turn
out to be malicious shape-shifters and begin to
live on their own in the foreign environment.
*
The Baba-Yaga in her hut-on-chicken’s-legs
acquires features that differ from those of her
Russian counterpart Баба-Яга в избушке на
курьих ножках. One may have a look at pictures
and illustrations in the books of Russian Fairy
Tales published in Russia – and abroad to see the
difference. It further spreads into all kinds of using
the word out of its habitual fairy-tale context as a
precedent-related name. The borrowed эльф is
not the elf of British tales, which becomes evident
when we translate literary works where the word
is applied to a human being: when Mr Rochester
compares Jane Eyre to an elf it does not imply
that she is a fairy beauty (which she is not) but
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: tamakaza@gmail.com
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implies only that she appears as unexpectedly as
a forest spirit and is as dangerous and hostile to
the human as her ‘folks’ in the forest.
So what happens to mythical names in
mythology-based texts when we transfer them
from one culture to another?
Myth and mythology-based texts
Discussing the issue of untranslatability,
Anthony Pym differentiates between “the basic
narrative and definitional structure of the myth”
(Pym, 1998). This is a valuable idea to apply
to studying informational challenge that any
myth presents in translation. Mythical values,
images, ideas and events are deeply rooted into
the cultural traditions of a people, perceived as
a part of the whole and, apart from scholars,
without explanation. For a native, a myth is a true
(or imaginative) narrative that does not require
any definitions and is accepted as a traditional
value rendered by a long chain of narrators.
Perhaps it is this value that makes myth wholly
or, at least, partly untranslatable. As soon as
the myth, clad in the dress of another language,
appears in the context of another culture it loses
its natural valuable structure first of all due to the
losses of information, in other words, it suffers
intensive entropy, which predicts all kinds of
misinterpreting.
Misinterpreting begins with the translator.
As a bearer of two cultures and two languages
the translator is usually stronger connected with
one of them, and this is especially true as far as
mythology is concerned. Mythology appears in
our early childhood and grows and transforms
with us in such a way that we perceive it as a
part of our cultural environment and our mutual
interrelation may be various but it is always natural.
With our modern world-views and education we
may doubt or reject the reality of gods, cultural
heroes, higher and lower demonology, spirits
and other personages, their deeds and misdeeds,
their dubious and ambiguous nature, yet all these
characters live in our informational space and
make part of our system of values. Verbal signs
that present them in this system, be it proper or
common names, phraseology or special order of
words, penetrate into basic structures of our mind
and appear promptly when the corresponding
association is needed (Лосев, 1991). When we
perceive and estimate a sign that belongs to
another mythological tradition it invariably and
subconsciously undergoes the impact of the
‘native’ myth, which results in some informational
shifting. Baba-Yaga as interpreted by an English
speaker (and reader) is ‘a wicked witch’ though
this steady definition may contradict the context
of the narrative where she helps rather than harms.
Эльф for a Russian speaker is beautiful (small or
tall) and attractive even if more stories describe
him or her as an ugly and malicious spirit.
Such contradictions and discrepancies form
the basis for entropy in translating mythology
and perceiving translated myths in the other
culture. Yet further misinterpreting develops in
recognizing and reconstructing textual functions
of mythological vocabulary and phrases when
they occur not in the original primal myths but
in the so called mythology-based texts. The
difference between myth and mythology-based
text is in the nature of authorship. Primal myth
is created as a collective text in the long run of
centuries when every myth-narrator is also its
interpreter and there may co-exist several if
not many versions of the myth in which names,
events, and phraseology can vary, split or merge
(Campbell, 1990; Campbell, 1973; Леви-Стросс,
2000; Малиновский, 1998; Леви-Брюль, 1994;
Стеблин-Каменский, 1976; etc.).
Unlike this collective process, mythologybased texts are created on the basis of primal
myth by the individual author and the author’s
message is at the same time more certain and
less universal than that of the collective myth.
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Among carriers of mythical functions in such
texts the translator can come across proper
names (overt mythical beings), common names
(covert mythical beings) and set magic phrases
of symbolic value (sacred mythical concepts).
These carriers acquire independent informational
value based on the interrelation between the
traditional stability of myth perception and the
individual author’s message. I offer to discuss
some translator tools, i.e. relative compatibles
that create the ‘supposed equivalence without
identity of meaning’ (Ricoeur, 2006) and help to
minimize informational losses and to avoid the
crucial growth of entropy in translation.
Overt mythical names in translation
Unlike proper names in general without
objective reference, mythological proper names
refer to a particular object that cannot be verified
in practical reality because it belongs to fideic
concepts and is not found in the material ‘world
of things’. Our perception of such objects rests
mainly on the corpora of mythological texts, i.e.
on the functions rather than constants.
In the primal myth such names are
directly or indirectly perceived as attributes
of sacred (mythical) beings whose nature is
incomprehensible (Померанцева, 1985). Thus,
primal myth-names may have any counterpart in
the target language to perform this basic function
of a sacred attribute of the incognisable and stay
beyond any standard logic (Казакова, 2013).
Under such condition the names are preferably
transliterated or semantically borrowed to produce
some mythical impression that may or may not
exist in the world-view of the source culture. This
illogical, paradoxical kind of information fits
the strange if not alien verbal signs that appear
in the target language as markers of the original
mystery and play the role of equivalents although
their informational capacity is limited. The Irish
Conan Maòl will appear in the Russian translation
of the Fionn myth lore as Конан Маол, which
sounds mysterious enough and fits the concept of
some cultural hero in the traditional mythological
context. The common reader does not even need
any definition or special knowledge to recognize
some mythical being whose particular features are
not important to learn. So the transliterated name
becomes more or less accepted as an equivalent
and presupposes to present total equivalence in
all coming texts.
However, out of the primal mythical
context where it is enough to know that Conan
Maòl is one of the Fianna heroes, one may come
across the name in a myth or myth-like tale of
an individual Irish author and thus face the
phenomenon of extra information implied in the
name without which the text lacks its associative
power. For instance, modern Irish myth collector
and narrator Eddie Lenihan (Lenihan, 2006)
develops the tradition of the living myth lore, and
his individual message is always slightly ironical;
in his tales it is significant to know that Conan
Maòl is a particular kind of a hero, a trickster,
even if he appears a brave and brutal warrior in
some myths. This information is implied in the
very name: Maòl means ‘bald-headed’ and this
is not only a feature of his appearance but a
personal quality that in the corpora of Irish myths
is characteristic for a trickster; Lenihan plays
upon this particular quality without comment,
and in his individual mythology Conan Maòl is
often made fun of, not really scorned, though.
In this respect, Maòl should not be regarded as
a proper name but an alias that requires semantic
method of translation. If so, the translator faces
the multiplicity of supposed equivalents; both
are only relatively compatible with the original
name and both lack the complete informational
capacity of the source word: Конан Лысый
(Плешивый, Безволосый). Besides, it comes into
contradiction with the traditional (total) equivalent
Маол and may appeal to hybrid strategy (Маол-
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Плешивый), which also implies relativity yet
reduces the entropy described above.
Covert mythical names in translation
It often happens that in a myth lore
supernatural beings bear names of things, human
beings and animals, i.e. common names that
serve as a sort of cover for their sacred nature.
Such covers may be even doubled in author’s
tales, especially those that develop a mythological
tradition in the form of individual myth narrative.
One of such common covers refers to a mythical
personage named ‘the hag’. Usually it is translated
into Russian as ведьма but its narrow meaning
may turn out to be insufficient since its expressive
and evaluative power limits the informational
capacity of the original name. ‘The hag’ implies
such semantic components as ‘female, old,
ugly, belligerent, malicious’, etc. Among many
attributes of the hag is a stick or a crutch which
she uses to support her crooked body of a cripple:
so there is another component – ‘disabled’.
In his myth-like tale of Fionn Mac Cumhail
(Finn McCool) Eddie Lenihan makes Fionn meet
such a hag by the road to the seashore. This tale
is a burlesque allusion to the famous episode in
the traditional Fionn myth lore when Fionn fights
the ugly water monster, defeats and disables him
and takes away his treasure, a purse with precious
magic items in it. Now, in Lenihan’s tale, Fionn,
deceived and betrayed by the hag (cailleach), takes
her by the throat, grabs her purse with money
and throws her up into the sky. This mock battle
alludes to the heroic fighting mentioned above,
and all the details of the original mythical battle
are reflected in it, as it were, in a curved mirror.
The hag is more often referred to as ‘a creature’,
and at first Fionn is not even sure whether it as a
woman or a man.
The informational capacity of the original
chain of names (hug, creature, cailleach, cripple,
discharged mermaid) is altogether enough to
restore the image of the mythical water monster
but turned inside out. If we choose the strategy of
direct (standard) semantic equivalence and pick
up such Russian words as ведьма, старуха с
клюкой, разжалованная русалка, the result will
be very far from productive: such counterparts,
compatible with the original words separate, are
not compatible with them as a group because of
the informational losses that lead altogether to the
entropy and destroy the natural mythical allusion
to the giant water monster defeated by Fionn in
the traditional myth. More than that, the group
also implies that the tale is related to the Irish
mythology, which is nationwide recognisable.
Once again, Lenihan’s story demands for the
relative Russian compatibles taking into account
not only the common meanings but also all
possible implications of these names.
Mythical phrases in translation
In the mythical vocabulary there are not only
names but also phrases that may look common on
the surface yet imply sacred or magical references
to the power of gods and other supernatural
beings. Of interest to translation among them is
swearing.
Lenihan’s Fionn and other heroes swear by
gods or their attributes that, supposedly, are wellknown to the reader so that he (she) could estimate
this or that nuance of connection between the
traditional mythical hero and Lenihan’s version.
Meeting the cailleach, Fionn swears By the
silver hand of Nuada! The standard translation
strategy results in the Russian phrase (Клянусь)
серебряной рукой Нуады! However, in the
context of Lenihan’s tale this phrase is equal
to an interjection of surprise and must sound
natural and mythical-based at a time. Mythical it
is for the common Russian reader but in no way
natural: the name Nuada may be associated with
some deity, although the nature of the deity is
too vague, especially with the silver hand. One
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will need a definition (Nuada, or Nuadu is a
warrior-god and since he lost his hand in battle
it was replaced with a silver equivalent by a
magic healer) and even with it the Russian phrase
does not fit the situation. The translator must
take into consideration possible communicative
consequences: the Russian reader would rather
expect a more energetic expression from Fionn,
the famous warrior and head of the Fianna. In
this case the relative substitute for the source
swearing formula By…! may be some expressive
verb or inverted set phrase, for example, Разрази
(порази, тресни и т.п.) меня Нуаду!
Complications may occur in case of
descriptions of a sacred or magic object,
especially when such a phrase hints at the magic
attitude as a prejudice, which often happens in
Lenihan’s mythical tales as a part of implicitly
ironical message. The ‘magic spot’ is mentioned
as Geata na Spioraid, which is the Irish name
for the Gate of Spirits, ‘the notorious haunted
spot on the road’ where trees grow especially
thick. This phrase makes a double problem for
translation. First, it is in Irish addressed to the
Irish audience in the English context. Second,
its standard Russian equivalent Ворота духов
is not structured properly as a message and its
ambiguity produces the effect of entropy. To
restore the message the translator can consider a
few functionally equivalent though semantically
different variants: Врата нечисти, Проклятое
место и т.п. Such a descriptive phrase to be
supplied with the transliteration of the Irish
phrase represents the original information in a
more explicit mode, yet it is more comprehensible
for a Russian reader.
Conclusion
These few complications associated with
mythology-based texts grow into entropy because
of the insufficient or wrong presuppositions with
which a reader in the target culture perceives
such a text, and then the choice of equivalent may
lead to conflict between the original message and
interpretation of the target text.
To differentiate the two approaches to the
translation of proper myth-names, we distinguish
two fundamentally different principles, standard
(superficial) equivalence and relative (supposed)
equivalence. Actually, with the former mode the
translator feels safe and sure, while ‘expanding
horizon’ of interpretation he (she) appears in a
tricky situation. Hopefully, this tricky strategy
of choosing relative equivalents will allow
something of value to be introduced into the
course of communication between languages and
cultures in the most shaky sphere of the usage and
abusage of mythological values in translation.
References
1. Campbell, Joseph. The Mythic Image. Princeton University Press, 1990. 620 p.
2. Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton University Press, 1973. 416 p.
3. Kazakova, T.A. “Semantic and pragmatic complications in translating of myth-words”,
(“Semantiko-pragmaticheskiye oslozhnenia pri perevode mifonimov”, in Studia Linguistica. Vol. XXII.
Language. Text. Discourse). St. Petersburg: Herzen University Press – Politekhnika-servis, 2013, p.
352-360, in Russian.
4. Lenihan, Eddie. Irish Tales of Mystery and Magic. Dublin: Mercier Press, 2006. 224 p.
5. Levy-Bruhl, Lucien. Le surnaturel et la naturel dans la mentalité primitive.
(Sverkhestestvennoye v pervobytnom myshlenii). M.:Pedagogika-Press, 1994. 603 p., in Russian.
6. Lévi-Strauss, Claude. La voie des masques. (Put’ masok). M.: Respublika, 2000. 399 p., in
Russian.
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7. Losev, A.F. The Dialectics of Myth. (“Dialektika mifa”, in A.F. Losev. Filosofia. Mifologia.
Kultura). M.: IPL, 1991. 525 p., in Russian.
8. Malinowski, Bronislav. Magic, Science and Religion. (Magia. Nauka. Religia). M.: Refl-buk,
1998. 290 p., in Russian.
9. Pomerantseva, N.A. The Aesthetic Origins of the Ancient Egyptian Arts. (Esteticheskiye
osnovy iskusstva Drevnego Egipta). M.: Iskusstvo, 1985. 255 p., in Russian.
10. Pym, Anthony. On the Translatability of Australian Myth. (http://usuaris.tinet.cat/apym/online/australia/myth.html – Published 1998. Accessed 12.04.2012). 12 p.
11. Ricoeur, Paul. On Translation. L.-N.Y., Routledge, 2006. 67 p.
12. Steblin-Kamensky, M.I. The Myth. (Mif ). Leningrad: Leningrad University Press, 1976.
103 p., in Russian.
Относительность как переводческий прием
при передаче мифологически связанных текстов
Т.А. Казакова
Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет
Росссия, 199034, Санкт-Петербург, Университетская наб., 11
Методология данного предварительного исследования основана на представлении о переводе
как информационном процессе. Многие проблемы перевода связаны с ростом энтропии в
зависимости от различий между исходной и переводящей культурой. В некоторых случаях
различия столь велики, что перевод представляется невозможным. В данной статье
рассматривается ситуация конфликта переводимости/непереводимости, когда переводу
подлежит непереводимый текст, а именно мифологически связанный текст, то есть особый
вид текстов, в которых из традиционной мифологии заимствуются мифологические аллюзии,
персонажи, места и события и в разнообразных функциях включаются в сюжет, построенный
современным автором как продолжение мифологической традиции. Построенная таким
образом художественная информация сопряжена с многочисленными проблемами в процессе
перевода. Решая такие проблемы, переводчик вынужден использовать или изобретать ряд
специфических приемов, направленных на снятие уровня информационной энтропии. Одним
из таких приемов является вариативная относительность, то есть выбор совместимых по
функции знаков вместо стандартных эквивалентов. Некоторые типы такой совместимости
обнаружены на примере перевода мифологически связанных произведений современной
ирландской литературы.
Ключевые слова: энтропия, художественный перевод, мифологически связанный текст,
перевод как информационный процесс, переводческие приемы, (не)переводимость,
относительная совместимость.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 244-254
~~~
УДК 81
Modeling Translating as a Dynamic Process:
Autopoietic Framework
Ksenya S. Kardanova-Biryukova*
Moscow City Pedagogical University
5b Maly Kazenny per., Moscow, 105064, Russia
Received 24.11.2013, received in revised form 03.12.2013, accepted 15.01.2014
The paper focuses on different approaches to modeling translation process. It argues that those models
which have been developed within conventional translation theory as well as some contemporary
approaches fail to unveil the very dynamics of translating. In order to construct an activity-focused
model which algorithmizes the steps made by a translator when effecting translation and accounts
for his/her translation-related choices one may consider adopting the concepts and foundations
of the theory of autopoiesis. This methodological framework enables the researcher to construct a
translation model with a focus on the translator whose ability to prioritize and choose between various
factors is key for translation process. These arguments are further supported by a brief analysis of
several translations of one text.
Keywords: translation models, autopoiesis, autopoietic system, structure of the autopoietic system,
adaptive behavior, recursive steps.
1. Introduction
One of the long-standing challenges
of translation studies has been the task of
algorithmizing translation process and devising
a model which would have sufficient prognostic
potential to account for translators’ divergent
choices given similar/identical contexts.
Conventional translation theory as well
as some contemporary approaches within
the framework of translation studies view
the mechanism of translation as a system of
transformations on various language tiers
which result in a translated version of the
text which is compatible (among commonly
employed terms are equivalent or adequate
translation) with the original (see works by
*
V.N. Komissarov, Ja.I. Rezker, L.K. Latyushev,
etc.).
Many popular translation models are aimed
at identifying a hierarchy of overlapping and
differentiating features in the original and the
translation. The situational-denotative model
proposed by I.I. Revzin and V.U. Rozentsveig
[17] views translation as a series of cognitive
transformations: a sequence of language units
(words) -> an arrangement of denotates (objects)
with a focus on their relations (situation) ->
recoding this situation in a different language.
Alternatively, the semantic translation model
(J. Catford [2]) focuses on analyzing the
semantics of language units. This analysis results
in a semantic map featuring the number and
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: kardanova81@yandex.ru
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the arrangement of the smallest semantic units
(semes). These findings are employed when
deciding which foreign word or word combination
offers an identical or similar semantic structure.
It is not critical to find a word which features
identical semantics: in some cases this job proves
futile. It is crucial that semantic structures are
relatively close (as in a popular example by
V.N. Komissarov: студент – student, where the
number of semes present is different, though these
differences are insignificant and can’t prevent
us from employing student as an equivalent of
студент in an English translation of the text).
Similar principles lay the foundation for other
translation models: transformational model based
on the premises of the generative grammar by
N. Chomsky [4], three-phase model by O. Kade
[7], interpretational model by D. Seleskovitch
[19] and M. Lederer [12], correlative model
described by J.I. Rezker [18], A.V. Fedorov [5],
L.S. Barchudarov [1], V. Koller [10], etc.
Even such a superficial overview of
approaches to modeling translating suggests
that conventional translation models focus
on individual practical steps, relevant when
translating, still they shouldn’t be seen as tools
to model translating as a complex activity.
Besides, they have limited prognostic potential
and can hardly be employed when algorithmizing
translator’s work. On the contrary they are meant
to classify and interpret those translation choices
which have already been made. A.N. Kryukov
suggests, that “contrastive paradigm is lagging
behind practical translation. This relates to
the fact that contrastive paradigm is based on
the assumption that the text of translation is
equivalent to the original. In other words, the
equivalence of two texts is merely stated rather
than seen as a scientific concern” (Translated
by the author. – K.K.) / «Сопоставительная
парадигма обрекает построенную в ее
рамках теорию на роль вечно идущей «в
хвосте» практики перевода. Дело в том, что
сопоставительная парадигма исходит… из
презумпции эквивалентности текста перевода
тексту оригинала, т.е. эквивалентность текстов
постулируется, но не проблематизируется и
не может проблематизироваться» [11, p. 50].
Therefore, even though this approach is
beneficial when training and coaching as these
operations can be implanted into the minds of
trainees and developed into skills to be applied
in translation practice, it is certainly a simplified
vision of the translation process. These models
turn translating which is a continuous activity
into a number of operations. However, when
performing real-life translating, these operations
are commonly arranged in a complex sequence
and this arrangement is by no means chaotic. In
other words, every new step a translator makes is
navigated by such factors as intention (motive),
goal, characteristics of recipient(s), features of the
text, translator’s background and experience, etc.
These factors cannot be reflected in
structural models. As a result, substitutionaltransformational approach appears to be irrelevant
when a researcher aims to unveil and interpret the
differences between several translations of the
same work (for instance, various translations of
poetic verses as with Shakespeare’s sonnets):
137
Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine eyes,
That they behold, and see not what they see
They know what beauty is, see where it lies,
Yet what the best is take the worst to be.
If eyes corrupt by over-partial looks
Be anchor’d in the bay where all men ride,
Why of eyes’ falsehood hast thou forged hooks,
Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied?
Why should my heart think that a several plot
Which my heart knows the wide world’s common
place?
Or mine eyes seeing this, say this is not,
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To put fair truth upon so foul a face?
Зачем из лживых глаз ты сделала крючок,
In things right true my heart and eyes have erred,
На жало чье попал я, словно червячок?
And to this false plague are they now transferr’d.
Зачем я должен то считать необычайным,
Что в бренном мире всем считается случайным,
Перевод С.Я. Маршака
А бедные глаза, не смея отрицать,
Любовь слепа и нас лишает глаз.
Противное красе красою называть?
Не вижу я того, что вижу ясно.
И так ошиблись глаз и сердце в достоверном —
Я видел красоту, но каждый раз
И рок их приковал к достоинствам неверным.
Понять не мог – что дурно, что прекрасно.
И если взгляды сердце завели
И якорь бросили в такие воды,
Где многие проходят корабли, –
Зачем ему ты не даешь свободы?
Как сердцу моему проезжий двор
Казаться мог усадьбою счастливой?
Но все, что видел, отрицал мой взор,
Подкрашивая правдой облик лживый.
Правдивый свет мне заменила тьма.
Перевод М. Чайковского
Слепой Амур, что сделал ты со мной?
Гляжу и вижу то, чего не вижу.
Ведь знаю, что зовется красотой,
Substitutional-transformational approach
can also prove futile when a researcher aims to
identify and account for translation flaws and
imperfections or assess how well the translation
reflects culture-specific context. When stating
such research problems the research object
can’t be reduced to the text translated and the
text of the translation, as translation process
incorporates at least one more domain – that
is the cognitive system of a translator, which
facilitates transformation of one text into another
(the contact of two languages and cultures).
U. Weinreich argues that it is the homo loquens
who enables the contact of languages [22].
Но высшая мне чудится всех ниже.
2. Modeling translating
as a dynamic process
Когда глаза в тенетах взора страсти
Должны пристать к приюту всех людей,
Зачем они, твоей поддавшись власти,
Связали сердце с лживостью твоей?
Зачем я должен видеть чудеса
В том, что в глазах у света заурядно?
Зачем в чертах немилого лица
Рассудку вопреки мне все отрадно?
Мой взгляд и сердце в правде заблуждались
И в этот омут лжи теперь попались.
Перевод Н. Гербеля
Слепой и злой Амур, что сделал ты с глазами
Моими, что они, глядя, не видят сами,
На что глядят? Они толк знают в красоте,
А станут выбирать — блуждают в темноте.
Когда глаза мои, подкупленные взором
Твоим, вошли в залив, куда все мчатся хором,
When focusing on comprehensive modeling
of the activity of a translator, a researcher
typically opts for a psycholinguistic approach, as
this framework offers those research tools which
are indispensable in constructing such models
and in the analysis of the translation-related
decisions. Besides, psycholinguistics offers a
variety of approaches to empirical verification
of hypotheses and scholastic models as well
as tools to construct a theoretical model (as
psycholinguistics brags a wide range of models
meant to outline and interpret speech production
and comprehension patterns). Psycholinguistics
(as it is viewed in the Russian tradition) focuses on
the senses (meanings) emerging in the cognition
of an individual both in monolingual and
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bilingual verbal interaction. When constructing
psycholinguistic models it is common practice
with Russia-based scientists to consider the
following aspects of speech production: motive,
goal, cognitive characteristics of communicants,
their worldviews and verbal aptitudes, to name just
a few. Such models are further verified in various
psycholinguistic experiments, which serve as a
workable tool to accumulate data on how different
people tend to translate from one language into
another, what strategies they employ and whether
there are apparent discrepancies in their outputs
(see works by A.N. Novikov, N.N. Nesterova,
T.G. Pshenkina, theses by E.A. Volokhova,
I.G. Proskurin and others).
Most translation models which focus on
translator’s choices language- and culturewise are labeled activity-focused. However, it
should be mentioned that these models are build
upon different foundations and can be roughly
compartmentalized into three clusters: (1) models
which give prominence to the mechanism of
probabilistic prognostication (G.V. Chernov [3];
A.F. Shiryaev [20], etc.); (2) models which focus
on translating as complex activity (A.N. Kryukov
[11]; N.L. Galeeva [6], etc.); (3) models which
focus on the cognitive and linguistic aptitude of a
translator/interpreter (T.G. Pshenkina [16], etc.).
An alternative vision of translation is
featured in the works by I.E. Klyukanov [8; 9].
The researcher views translation as a prerequisite
for any communication. This approach stems
from the fact that any communication implies
transformation and reconceptualization of signs
(from the perspective of semiotics). Hence
translation is viewed as continuous approximation
between the object and the interpretant which
aims to become identical with the object through
sign transformation.
These approaches are certainly very
promising when the research object lies in
modeling the very activity of a translator/
interpreter. However, most of them fail to grasp
the immanent dynamics of translation process.
Perhaps, this dynamic can be reflected in a
translation model build upon the foundations
of autopoiesis. This methodology was first
developed by H. Maturana and Fr. Varela [13; 14;
15, etc.] as a part of their large-scale research of
biological species. Since then it has transgressed
the domain of biology and has been successfully
adopted to explain the evolution and functioning of
various systems (in medical science, in computer
modeling and robotics, in social sciences, in
psychology, in linguistics, etc.).
There have been some attempts to employ
autopoiesis as the methodological foundations
for modeling inter-personal communication.
With translating viewed as a complex crosscultural and cross-language communication, a
similar approach may be applicable in modeling
translation process.
Within the autopoietic framework, a
translator can be viewed as an autopoietic (selforganizing and self-referential) system capable
of adapting in a new, hostile environment. To
ensure balance with the environment this system
undertakes a number of steps to coordinate
its own structure with the structure of the
environment, however each step it makes results
in a certain transformation taking place in the
environment whose structure and properties
are determined by the structure and properties
of the autopoietic system. This means that it
is impossible (and irrelevant) to consider the
universal environment which is perceived by
every species similarly. Alternatively, species
construct their own environment which is
referred to by H. Maturana and Fr. Varela as
the niche (for instance, a human being and a
cat would construct different niches). Even
within one biological kind different beings form
different niches. This implies that a translator
who is challenged with the job of translating
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somebody’s speech/text is in the position of an
observer incapable of grasping the message
to the brim (an observer invariably constructs
his/her own niche (discordant with that of the
author) with his idiosyncratic choice of relevant
factors and hierarchy of these factors).
Within the frame of this approach a
popular way of modeling translation as a dual
communication act (Fig. 1) receives an alternative
interpretation with the translator in the shoes of
an observer rather than an intermediary between
languages and cultures. On the other hand, he/she
is also an autopoietic system constructing his/her
own niche by identifying relevant factors and
prioritizing them.
This dual role of a translator is reflected in
his/her adaptive behavior aimed at ensuring a
sufficient overlap between his/her structure and
that of the author.
When a translator is challenged with the job
of translating a text, he should be aware of various
culture- and language-specific connotations
embedded in the text as well as the speaker’s
personality, his/her personal experience and
background. These latently featured in the text
meanings trigger such cognitive processes in the
translator that facilitate his/her adaptive behavior
and ensure that the translated version is an
accurate and linguistically-appropriate equivalent
of the original. Unlike monolingual interpersonal
communication in which adaptation reveals itself
in the form of a response, in translating adaptation
should go as far as to help the translator identify
with the author of the original text. In fact, he/she
Addresser
is expected to ensure such an overlap of his/her
structure with that of the author as to be capable
of grasping the motives of the addresser of the
original.
In other words, translation can be featured as
an activity incorporating a number of steps each
of which is meant to get a translator closer to the
message of the original text and its appropriate
representation in the translation. These are
recursive, or repetitive, operations which result
in activating certain knowledge / experience
in the translator and help him/her find an
appropriate cultural component to be explicated
in the translation.
The complexity of this adaptive behavior
lies in the fact that a translator is to deal with two
linguistic codes and two cultures which feature
different components and different hierarchies
of these components. Unlike a participant to a
monolingual communication act a translator
is expected to establish links between certain
components of the language and culture referred
to in the original text and the components of
the language and culture to be explicated in
the translated text. Needless to say, these two
languages and two cultures will feature sufficient
discrepancies. When effecting a translation a
human intermediary will often have to search
for alternative reference points in a referential
situation and feature this situation from a different
perspective, with the choice of words in the
original and translated versions metonymically
associated. A vivid example is to sweat over one’s
graduation paper in which the verb should be
Text
Addressee
Addressee1 /
Addresser1
Text1
Fig. 1. Communication model of translating by A. Shveytser [21, p. 61]
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Addresser2
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reconsidered and translated as много и усердно
работать rather than потеть. The use of
потеть is not out of the equation (www.gramota.
ru which is seen by many as a credible academic
resource specifies similar contexts – потеть над
чертежом, потеть над задачей – though they
are featured towards the end of the list), still this
is not a common choice with a native speaker of
the Russian language. Another example is the
phone buzzed to life which needs the translator
to identify both the action (to come to life) and
the accompanying sound (to buzz) implanted in
the predicate of the sentence and to reflect them
in the translation (for instance, телефон ожил и
зазвонил).
The choice of the shift and the wording hinges
on the translator’s experience and expertise, his/
her feel of the language and culture (both own
and learnt) and his/her creative potential. With so
many diverse factors at play the adaptive behavior
of the translator can pursue various avenues and
end up in unique, idiosyncratic translations of the
original. Within the framework of autopoiesis
this discrepancy is referred to as the structure
of an autopoietic system. In other words, when
stepping in the shoes of an intermediary translators
are limited in their choice of translation strategy
by their structural foundation which incorporates
his/her communication experience (enhancing
his/her awareness of standardized, clichéd uses),
his/her cognitive base (facilitating recognition of
the contents and implied references, genre and
stylistic features of the text) and his/her linguistic
potential (ensuring apt use of both languages).
Thus, when working on a translation of a text,
a translator is recursively fluctuating between
various factors at play (which are featured in his/
her niche) attempting to attain a balance between
his/her own structure and the structure of the
niche. The translator’s further steps are naturally
determined by the hierarchy of the components of
his/her niche. With the motives of the addresser
at the top of the scale, the translator focuses
on grasping the message (which hinges on the
structure of an autopoietic system: communication
experience, cognitive base, linguistic potential).
With the linguistic codes being most relevant,
the translator puts specific effort into wording.
With the culture-related factors weighing most
heavily, he/she searches for culture-determined
references attempting to fit his/her translation
into the cultural context.
Each recursive step implies prioritizing
factors and casting away irrelevant ones
(sacrificing certain elements).
Another component indispensible in
this translation model is an observer who
is responsible for the quality control of the
translation. What is unique about human beings
(unlike other species) involved in various types
of social interactions is their potential to step
in the shoes of an observer and view their own
communication patterns from the perspective
of an outsider. In the context of translation this
role is supported by the translator him/herself
aiming to ensure the required degree of quality.
This continuous activity of a translator can
be visualized in the chart to follow (Fig. 2):
To support these arguments with examples
we have considered several translations of “Fire
and Ice” by R. Frost, effected by professional
translators as well as translation studies majors
with Moscow City Teachers’ Training University
(Moscow, Russia).
FIRE AND ICE
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
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culture- and language-specific connotations
the translation of
the original text
communication experience
cognitive base
linguistic potential
translator
the original text
culture- and language-specific connotations
Fig. 2. Translation framework (relying on the key concepts and foundations of autopoiesis)
The choice of a poetic verse is arbitrary as
we argue that the same adaptation mechanisms
are at work when a translator deals in any text
regardless of its structure, genre or type. When a
translator is challenged with the task of translating
a poetic verse, he/she attempts to unveil the
message embedded in the text by the author and
simultaneously determine which choices can be
made to ensure its compatible translation into the
Russian language.
Before we look at various translations of
the verse, let us consider some of the messages
embedded in the original text:
On the surface there lies a contrast between
fire and ice as two opposing natural forces which
are conventionally associated with two alternative
yet likely finales of the mankind: fire resulting in
immediate and all-encompassing demise versus
ice inflicting gradual and tormenting death.
On another level fire an ice serve as metaphors
of human emotions which are further supported
by explicit nominations of desire (associated with
fire) and hate (associated with ice).
Yet, there is another tier for interpretation
and it relates to two visions of death – quick and
painless in case of fire and slow and torturous in
case of ice.
The contrasts are reconciled at the end of
the poem with an implication that we await the
same demise no matter what. Another avenue
for interpretation is that passion and indifference
as two forces navigating human behavior and
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interactions are also simply two roads leading to
the same cul-de-suc.
Moreover, the final four lines are overtly
ambiguous with destruction suggesting two
alternative interpretations: that of the demise of
the planet or the destruction of the human being
unable to survive hostile treatment (this is further
supported by the pronoun).
These meanings and interpretations are
intertwined in the original verse and make
translating this miniscule verse into Russian a
tedious, even tortuous job. Recursive steps made
by a translator call for certain choices: some are on
the surfaces and can easily be comprehended by
anybody, others are latent and require a complex,
sophisticated structure of an autopoietic system
(= translator) to be recognized. Let us consider
some of the translations suggested by professional
and student translators.
The opposition of fire and ice as two
similarly destructive forces has been recognized
by every translator. In fact, many translators then
reevaluated the factors and focused further on
linguistic code with this sole message featured
throughout their version of translation.
Most student translations are lacking
another opposition – that of passion and hate (and
hence metaphors peppering the original text are
lost) with only two exceptions (T. Popenkova:
Но испытал я вкус желанья… И ненависть,
познав сполна, могу сказать…; S. Amoyan:
Лишь раз, изведав горечь искушения… И
дважды испытав страдания…).
In fact, only two professional translators
gave prominence to this two-tier message of the
original (I. Kashkin: Поскольку мне знакома
страсть… То ненависти лед давно мне
довелось узнать…; T. Kazakova: Мы так
снедаемы страстями… То ненависть – все
та же страсть…). Some student translations
reveal the reference to human emotions either in
the first or the second parts of the verse with no
consistency in representation of both messages
(M. Kravchenko: и я, испив чашу желания…;
E. Yarkaeva: И мысли плещут изобилием
страстей…; A. Vasilieva: Но жизни страсть
опробовав слегка…; V. Chistyakova: Я тот,
кто страстью увлечен…).
The ambiguity of the final part of the poem
is reflected in one professional translation.
Similarly to the original, I. Kashkin supports this
controversy by employing a personal pronoun
меня: То ненависти лед давно / Мне довелось
узнать. / И, в сущности, не все ль равно, / Как
пропадать.
For students translators rhyme and rhythm
serve as a framework steering them along the
translation helping them to hold on to some
tangible benchmarks (V. Chistyakova: Но если
миру дважды пасть, / Мне злобы хватит, и
тогда / Я льду отдал бы эту власть / Вот
это – да! / Вот это – страсть).
In some cases logical links and sentence
structure are sacrificed to fit into the framework
of rhyme. Sometimes the text is intentionally
extended to embrace the intended message
(K. Grinenko: 19 lines vs. 9 lines in the original;
M. Kravchenko: longer 8/9-word lines).
The choices made by translators are
summarized in the table to follow (Table 1):
3. Conclusion
The fi ndings of this curtailed analysis
suggest the translation is always a choice between
different options, between different scenarios.
Autopoiesis offers a tool to analyze and interpret
these choices without merely criticizing one
translator’s work and favoring another’s. It
helps explain choices through the analysis of
the adaptive behavior of the translator and his
structure (communication experience, cognitive
base, linguistic potential).
Moreover, different elements of this dynamic
process can be further verified in a series of
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Table 1. Translation-related choices made by professional translators and Translation Studies majors
M. Kravchenko
E. Yarkaeva
A. Vasilieva
S. Amoyan
V. Chistyakova
T. Popenkova
K. Grinenko
8. Close to the original
structure-wise
T. Kazakova
6. Ambiguity of the final
lines
7. Rhyme / rhythm
S. Stepanov
5. Emotional void
I. Kashkin
1. Two opposing natural
forces
2. Opposing human
emotions
3. Two visions of death
(from fire vs from ice)
4. Similar demise
V. Vasiliev
Criteria
Translation Studies majors
M. Zenkevich
Professional translators
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
-
-+
+
-
+
-+
-+
-+
+
-+
+
+
-
+
+
+
-+
-
-
-
-
-
-
+
+
-
+
-
+
+
-
+
-
-
+
+
-
-
+
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-+
+
-
-
+
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-+
-
+
+
-+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
-+
+
+
-
+
+
+
+
+
-
experiments which can insulate a particular
component of adaptation process (communication
experience, verbal aptitude, cognitive base, type
of text, type of translation, etc.) and accumulate
data to see how relevant it is in the adaptive
behavior of the subjects.
Besides, autopoietic approach makes it
possible to view translator as the pivotal element
of translation process whose priorities and
choices result in a certain version of translation
rather than merely an intermediary between
cultures.
This translation model can also be helpful in
coaching. When training a prospective translator
it is key to implant in him/her awareness of
various factors which can be at play (help him/
her identify the niche) and train to prioritize these
factors. In most cases the equivalent in the other
language is not the first choice specifically when
some other factors affect this process.
References
1. Barkhudarov, L.S. Yazyk I perevod. Voprosy obshey i chastnoy teorii perevoda (Language and
translation. Issues in general and special translation theory). Moscow: LKI, 2008. 235 p.
2. Catford, J.C. A linguistic theory of translation. An essay in applied linguistics. London: Oxford
University Press, 1965. 678 p.
3. Chernov, G.V. Osnovy sinkhronnogo perevoda (Foundations of simultaneous interpreting).
Moscow: Vysshaya shkola, 1987. 255 p.
4. Chomsky, N. Vvedenie v formal’nyi analiz estestvennyh iazykov (Introduction to the formal
analysis of natural languages). Moscow: URSS, 2009. 62 p.
5. Fedorov, A.V. Osnovy obshey teorii perevoda (Lingvisticheskiye problemy) (Foundations of
general translation theory (Linguistic issues)). Moscow: Vysshaya shkola, 1983. 303 p.
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6. Galeeva, N.L. Osnovy deyatel’nostnoy teorii perevoda (Foundations of activity-focused
translation theory). Tver’: Tver state university, 1997. 80 p.
7. Kade, O. Problemy perevoda v svete teorii kommunikatsii [Translation problems in view of
communication theory]. Voprosy teprii perevoda v zarubezhnoi lingvistike (Issues in translation
theory in foreign linguistics). Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 1978. P.p. 69-90.
8. Klyukanov, I.E. Dinamika mezhkul’turnogo obshcheniya: sistemno-semioticheskoye
issledovanie (Dynamics of cross-cultural communication: systemic-semiotic study). Tver’: Tver state
university, 1998. 99 p.
9. Klyukanov, I.E. Kommunikativny universum (Communication universe). Moscow: ROSSPEN,
2010. 256 p.
10. Koller, W. Introduction to translation studies (Einführung in die Übersetzungswissenschaft).
Heidelberg; Wiesbaden: Quelle und Meyer, 1992. 343 p.
11. Kryukov, A.N. Teoriya perevoda (Translation theory). Moscow: Voenny krasnoznamennyi
institute, 1989. 176 p.
12. Lederer, M. Aktual’nye aspekty perevodcheskoy deyatel’nosti v svete interpretativnoy teorii
perevoda (Pressing issues of translation practice in view of interpretational translation theory). St.
Peterburg: Russian state pedagogical university, 2007. 223 p.
13. Maturana, H.R. Biology of language: the epistemology of reality. Psychology and Biology of
Language and Thought: Essays in Honor of Eric Lenneberg. Miller, G.A., Lenneberg, E. (Eds.). New
York: Academic Press, 1978. P.p. 27-63.
14. Maturana, H.R. Biology of cognition. Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the
Living. Dordecht: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1980. P.p. 5-58.
15. Maturana, H.R., Varela Fr. Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living. Boston
Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Vol. 42. Dordecht: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1980. 143 p.
16. Pshenkina, T.G. Psikholingvisticheskiye osnovaniya verbal’noy posrednicheskoy deyatel’nosti
perevodchika (Psycholinguistic interpretation for verbal mediating work of a translator/interpreter).
Barnaul: Barnaul state pedagogical university, 2005. 239 p.
17. Revzin, I.I., Rozentsveig V.Yu. Osnovy obshchego i mashinnogo perevoda (Foundations of
general translation theory and machine translation). Moscow: Vysshaya shkola, 1964. 243 p.
18. Rezker, Ya.I. Teoriya perevoda I perevodcheskaya practika: ocherki lingvisticheskoy teorii
perevoda (Translation theory and practical translation: essays on linguistic translation theory).
Moscow: R.Valent, 2010. 237 p.
19. Seleskovitch, D. Interpretation: A Psychological Approach to Translating. Translation:
Applications and Research. Ed. by R.W. Brislin. New York: Gardner Press, Inc., 1976. P.p. 92-116.
20. Shiryaev, A.F. Sinkhronnyi perevod: deyatel’nost’ sinkhronnogo perevodchika i metodika
prepodavaniya sinkhronnogo perevoda (Simultaneous interpreting: work of a simultaneous interpreter
and teaching simultaneous interpreting). Moscow: Voenizdat, 1979. 183 p.
21. Shveytser, A.D. Perevod i lingvistika (Translation and linguistics). Moscow: Voenizdat, 1973.
280 p.
22. Weinreich, U. Yazykovye kontakty (Language contacts). Kiev: Vysshaya shkola, 1979. 264 p.
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Моделирование перевода
как динамического процесса:
с позиций теории аутопоэза
К.С. Карданова-Бирюкова
Московский городской педагогический университет
Россия, 105064, Москва, Малый Казенный пер., 5б
В статье рассматриваются различные пути моделирования процесса перевода. Для
классического и отчасти современного переводоведения характерно рассмотрение процесса
перевода как системы разноуровневых трансформаций, применение которых позволяет
создать соотносимый с оригиналом текст на языке перевода. Однако представляется,
что при анализе переводческого процесса, предполагающем его препарирование до уровня
отдельных операций, не может (и не должна) решаться задача описания собственно
деятельности переводчика как сложного континуального процесса. Для решения этой
задачи исследователю необходимо опираться на методологию, основу которой составляет
имманентная континуальность. Так, перспективным представляется моделирование
переводческой деятельности с опорой на постулаты теории аутопоэза, поскольку в центре
внимания модели, построенной с опорой на аутопоэтическую методологию, оказывается
собственно переводчик, чья адаптивная деятельность лежит в основе процесса перевода.
Одновременно переводчик выполняет роль наблюдателя, благодаря чему оценивает
степень достигнутой эквивалентности между текстом оригинала и текстом перевода.
Теоретические доводы подтверждаются фрагментами анализа переводов одного текста,
выполненных разными людьми.
Ключевые слова: переводческие модели, теория аутопоэза, аутопоэтическая система,
структура аутопоэтической системы, адаптивное поведение, рекурсивные шаги.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 255-264
~~~
УДК 81.2
Phenomenon of Intertextuality
in Translation Studies
Natalya V. Klimovich*
Siberian Federal University
79 Svobodny, Krasnoyarsk, 660041, Russia
Received 10.11.2013, received in revised form 24.12.2013, accepted 16.01.2014
The study concerns the phenomenon of intertextuality in modern linguistics and translation and
interpretation studies. The main criteria for translation of the universal intertextual elements –
intertextual elements from the Bible in the process of translation of the fictional texts from English into
Russian are considered.
Keywords: intertextuality, intertextual element, fictional texts, translation and interpretation studies,
functions of intertextual elements, intertextual elements from the Bible, criteria for the equivalent
translation of the intertextual element.
Introduction
A lot of scientific works of the postmodernism
period are devoted to the research of the
intertextuality. G.V. Denisova [7, 9], N.V. Petrova
[29], N.A. Kuzmina [20, 21], N.A. Fateeva
[11] and others point out that theory of the
intertextuality came from the three sources –
polyphony literary studies by M.M. Bakhtin,
parody studies by Y.N. Tynyanov, historical
poetics studies by A.N. Veselovskyi. F. de
Saussure, H. Bloom, G. Genette, A.A. Potebnia,
V.B. Schlovskyi, U.M. Lotman, J. Kristeva,
I.P. Smirnov, I.V. Arnold, U.N. Karaulov,
B.L. Gasparov, R. Barthes are also among the early
researches of the phenomenon of intertextuality.
U.N. Karaulov, V.A. Lukin, N.A. Kuzmina,
G.V. Denisova, I.S. Alekseeva, N.A. Fateeva,
T.E. Litvinenko, N.V. Petrova, M.V. Verbitskaya,
A.A. Guseva, O.V. Kuznetsova and others study
*
this phenomenon in contemporary linguistics.
Intertextuality as a phenomenon of literary text is
closely connected with translation of the fictional
text. In this research we will deal with translation
of the intertextual elements from the Bible –
the most widely used intertextual elements in
fictional text.
Point of view
N.A.
Kuzmina
[20]
notes,
that
intertextuality is ontological quality of any text,
and, fi rst of all – fictional. It is intertextuality
that determines adoption of the fictional text
into the process of the literary evolution.
It means that fictional writing becomes a
text only when its intertextuality is being
actualized. However, actualization of the text is
impossible without human contribution (either
a author or a reader), as a result, N.A. Kuzmina
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: klimovich7979@mail.ru
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hypothesizes that intertextuality is the criteria
of the aesthetic value of a text, and if a piece
of writing doesn’t have this quality, it has no
chances to be excepted into the world literature.
Consequently, intertextuality is the quality
of the literary text and represents the ability
of a text to accumulate information not only
directly from the personal experience, but also
indirectly from other texts.
There is a tendency to connect the
phenomenon of intertextuality and translation
studies. I. Even-Zohar [10], P.H. Torop [36],
N.A. Kuzmina [22], G.V. Denisova [9] connect
“translation” and “intertextuality”. G.V.
Denisova [9], in particular, states that “now
translation is being understood not only as
the interlinguistic phenomenon, but as the
intertextual phenomenon” [9: 207]. I. EvenZohar mentions the change of the emphasis,
that has happened in the theory of translation
and interpretation studies from the dichotomy
“original text/ translated text” to “translation/
recipient culture”, and to the study of the role,
which the translated text enacts by introducing
of the formal and topical innovations into the
recipient culture. Thus, taking into account the
hypothesis of the connection of texts, it should
be noted that majority of the literary texts, which
had become precedent1 are translations from the
different languages (“Iliad” and “The Odyssey”
by Homer, Bible etc.), and later, these very
translations become prototexts2 and influence
the other texts of this language (metatexts3).
One of the current trends of the modern
researches is the problem of translation of the
intertextual elements, that are – elements of
prototext (or precedent text) which are used in
the fictional text. P.H. Torop [36], G.V. Denisova
[7, 8, 9], N.A. Kuzmina [22], I.S. Alekseeva [1],
M.V. Verbitskaya and A.A. Guseva [38] describe
the peculiarities of translation of the intertextual
elements.
When translating an intertextual element
there is a tendency to focus on the peculiarities of
the original text. However, currently, researches’
attention is focused on the social and culturological
function of translation [9]. In G. Toury’s work
[37] translation is considered as the intertextual
phenomenon, which peculiarity occurs in the
fact, that certain phrases and sentences are
evaluated not from the point of view of the
equivalence, but from the point of view of the
intertextual connections towards the language/
cultural system. Shifting of the emphasis from
the “original text/ translated text” to the recipient
culture is also mentioned in I. Even-Zohar’s study
[10].
As the majority of the fictional texts are
the cultural capital which have specific national
peculiarities and became accessible to the readers
from other countries by translation, it is necessary
to study characteristics of the translation of the
intertextual elements in fiction.
The most commonly used intertextual
elements in fiction are those from the Bible. There
are several types of the intertextual elements from
the Bible in fiction: words, quotations, idioms (or
phraseological units) and interjections which are
identified on the basis of the etymological and
lexicographical criteria. As elements of one text
(in this study – the Bible), transferred to other
texts (in this study – fiction), and are used in texts
as direct or indirect allusions to the biblical stories
and represent “quotations, which are kept in the
memory of a speaker and which consciously or
unconsciously introduced as “fragments” of the
other text” [7: 114], these elements from the Bible
are considered to be intertextual elements.
Being part of the worlds semiosphere
intertextual elements from the Bible are
considered to be the universal intertextual
elements. Depending on a type of the intertextual
elements from the Bible, the basic ways of their
signification are the following: 1) referential,
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2) exspressive-nominative, 3) quotational. In the
fictional text the intertextual elements from the
Bible may be identified by the textual markers
(inverted commas, italics, etc.), or used without
any textual markers. Intertextual elements from
the Bible may be used in any part of the fictional
text (title of a novel, head of a chapter, in the
epigraph, etc.). Some types of the intertextual
elements from the Bible (idioms, words, modified
quotations, interjections), in individuals’ mind
lost the connection with the Bible, thus, as
intertextual elements, becoming clichéd.
Inclusion of the existent texts into the new
forms and its cultural and literal transformation
on the different levels, makes it possible to
consider the intertextual elements from the Bible
as important components of the intertextuality,
which lies in correlation of definite textual
elements with the precedent fact. On the one
hand, intertextuality is connected by the ways
of signification and marking with the structural
level, and on the other hand – with creation of the
direct associations on the textual and discourse
levels.
Text with the intertextual elements from the
Bible is always stylistically marked, as due to the
frequent use, the intertextual elements «loose
their direct connection with the source, thus
becoming hackneyed phrases» [9: 222]. Thus, the
intertextual elements from the Bible correspond
with the criteria on perceptive and productive
marking, in particular:
1) are optional in use;
2) used only among “neutral” phrases;
3) give additional meaning to the phrase
(have intensive informational effect);
4) should be adequately perceived by an
addressee.
During the process of translation of the
fictional text one of the translation units will be
the intertextual elements. While translating the
intertextual elements from the Bible a translator
should consider proposed by N.K. Garbovsky
[12] onomoseological (from the sign to the
meaning) approach to the defi nition of the
translation unit. According to this approach,
the translation unit is identified as the unit of
meaning. “The process of translation – is not
the process of transformation of the signs of
one language to the signs of another language,
but the process of conservation and partial,
but unavoidable transformation of the system
of meanings of the signs of the language of
the original text during the process of their
transformation to the signs of the language of
translation” [12: 257]. At that, according to
N.K. Garbovsky the category of meaning is the
most important one. A translator manipulates
meanings, and the translation unit in this case,
considered as a certain piece of information –
a unit of meaning. In such a case, it is not
important where this meaning is contained – in
a morpheme, a word or a phrase.
The intertextual element from the Bible
can also be the translation unit. According to
this, during the process of translation of the
intertextual element from the Bible a translator
should consider onomoseological approach, as
the most important factor is to keep the meaning
of the intertextual element in the translated text.
In the process of translation of the
intertextual element from the Bible from one
language into another a translator should: 1)
identify the intertextual element from the Bible
in the fictional text, 2) relate it to the certain type
(word, idiom, interjection, quotation). These
conditions are considered necessary to keep the
meaning of the intertextual element from the
Bible, as intertextual element from the Bible as
translation unit requires translator’s special
attention. If intertextual element from the
Bible is not identified in the original text and
not related to the certain type, it may lead to
the mistake in the choice of the translation
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unit, what will cause the disturbance of the
equivalency of the translated text.
It appears that a translator may face
difficulties in the process of the translation of
the words, idioms, modified quotations and
interjections from the Bible. These types of the
intertextual element from the Bible may loose
connection with their source – the Bible (e.g.
proper names, that became common names;
idioms and modified quotations from the Holy
Scripture and interjections which are not
associated by the native speakers with the Bible).
Besides, the intertextual elements from the
Bible are special translation units, as they are
“stylistically marked speech patterns, that are
kept in collective mind of the native speakers
as “ready to use” elements, and, for this reason,
they are the most “favorable” signs to express
the definite meaning, which has expressive and
impressional connotation” [24: 588].
Translation of the intertextual element
from the Bible depends on its type. Thus,
interjections as translation units are clichés, as
in a speaker’s mind they are not associated with
the Holy Scripture, thus becoming hackneyed
phrases. Interjections as translation units do not
have connection between the significate (Oh,
Christ) and the denotate (Иисус Христос), and
a translator while choosing the correct variation
of the translation of the intertextual element
of this type will chose the cliché used in the
language of translation. Unlike interjections, the
intertextual elements of the other types always
have connection with the denotate, and the choice
of the equivalent will always be determined by
the Holy Scripture. It is noted [18], that in the
process of of translation the majority of idioms
and words from the Bible are translated by the
equivalents from the language of translation. To
keep the meaning of the intertextual elements
from the Bible is considered the necessary
condition of their translation.
Another important factor in the intertextual
element’s translation is to keep its function
in the translated text. During analysis of the
functioning of the intertextual elements from
the Bible in fictional text the following functions
were detected:
1. Stylistic function. Different types of
the intertextual elements from the Bible in the
fictional text perform the stylistic function. Thus,
words, idioms and modified quotations from the
Bible are used in fictional text as allusions:
The thunder crashed outside. It was like
being in the little ark in the Flood (D.H. Lawrence,
«Lady Chatterley’s Lover»);
Italy, as yet imperfectly seen and felt,
stretched before her as a land of promise, a land
in which a love of the beautiful might be comforted
by endless knowledge (H. James, «The Portrait of
a Lady»);
“Your desire shall be to your mate”
(T. Dreiser, «An American Tragedy»).
Direct quotations (complete and abridged)
from the text of the Holy Scripture, used in the
archaic forms are tools of creation of the high
style:
“Against Thee, Thee only I have sinned, and
done this evil in Thy sight, that Thou mightiest
be justified when Thou speakest and be clear
when Thou judgest” (T. Dreiser, «An American
Tragedy»);
Thy damnation slumbereth not (T. Hardy,
«Tess of the D’Ubervilles»).
The main function of the Biblical interjections
is expression of feelings and emotions:
“Dear Jesus, I hope it’s awright,” she said
(J. Stainbeck, «The Grapes of Wrath»);
“Oh Moses!” Edmond Ludlow exclaimed.
“I hope she isn’t going to develop any more!”
(H. James, «The Portrait of a Lady»).
The intertextual elements from the Bible in
the structure of fictional text are often used as
emotional-rhetorical structures, and make the
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text more vivid, expressive and emotional. Use
of different types of the intertextual elements
from the Bible in direct and in conversational
informal speech is emotionally highlighted, as
it is not only describes the event, but reproduces
the feelings and emotions of the characters.
Use of the intertextual elements from the Bible
is aimed at emotional impact. Emotionality of
fictional text is frequently created by the use
of the intertextual elements from the Bible. As
any other intertextual elements, the intertextual
elements from the Bible are optional in use,
but their absence makes a text less expressive.
Consequently, as elements of the emotionally
rhetoric structure which possess certain
expressiveness, the intertextual elements from
the Bible actualize the main function of fictional
text – the aesthetic function.
2. Compositional function. Being the element
of any level of the structure of fictional text, the
intertextual elements from the Bible take part
in organization of the contexture of fiction. In
fiction, the intertextual elements from the Bible
can be used:
– as the titles (e.g. “Aaron’s Rod” by
D.G. Lawrence, “Leviathan” by T. Hobbs, “The
Grapes of Wrath”, “East of Eden”, “The Pastures
of Heaven” by J. Stainbeck, «Paradise Lost» by
J. Milton; title of the story by O’Henry «Mammon
and the Archer»);
– as heads of chapters (the heads of chapters
in G. Eliot’s novel “Mill on the Floss” – “The Valley
of Humiliation”, “The Great Temptation”);
– as epigraphs to fictional texts, where
direct quotations from the Bible (complete and
abridged) are used;
– in fictional text the intertextual element
from the Bible of any type can be used.
3. Pragmatic function of the intertextual
elements from the Bible is becoming actual by:
1) The subject of speech – through the vision
of an author of fictional text by the pragmatic
meaning of the intertextual element from the
Bible. As the intertextual elements from the
Bible are used by an author intentionally (as
intertextual elements they are optional in use
and can be replaced by another (with the same
meaning) phrase), it is possible to say that use of
the intertextual elements from Bible “contributes
to the total illocutionary force of a speech act, as a
part of this act” [16: 35]. The intertextual elements
from the Bible give additional (indirect) meaning
to a phrase, showing by this, the attitude of an
author to the hero of a book. This very tendency
determines the intentionality in use of the
intertextual elements from the Bible and reveals
that they are aimed to subjectivity nature.
2) The addressee of speech – a reader of
fictional text, by the influence of a phrase with
the intertextual element from the Bible on an
addressee (perlocutionary effect, according to
J. Austin [3]): raise in an addressee’s cultural
awareness, changes in the emotional state,
judgments and views of an addressee, the
aesthetic effect.
By performing stylistic, compositional
and pragmatic function in the fictional text
the intertextual elements from the Bible are
characterized by the implied sense, may be
ambiguously understood by a reader and
oriented to show unrealistic facts and events.
The intertextual elements from the Bible in
fictional text are functioning as units that help to
convey information of a text, revealing its literal
meaning. Therefore, the intertextual elements
from the Bible are elements of the external
level of fictional text, as allowing to perform
stylistic and compositional order of a text, they
convey information of the implied sense of a text,
thus actualizing the main function of fictional
text – aesthetic. Consequently, retaining of the
intertextual element in the translated text and its
equivalent translation make the containment of
the same function of the intertextual element in
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the translated text possible. Besides, taking into
account the fact, that intertextual elements from
the Bible are universal intertextual elements, as
they are elements of a precedent text that is used
in many European cultures, but have differences
functioning in English and Russian, formation of
the plot line in the language of translation will
depend on their equivalent translation.
Discussing possibilities and methods of
translation of the intertextual elements into
another language/culture, it is necessary to assume
that culture itself is intertextual, and translation
(in the broad definition of this term) is a constant
sign of connection between different texts within
one culture and in intercultural communication.
Translation of the intertextual element from
the Bible, as translation of any other intertextual
element, is “a very difficult task, as it requires
from a translator to study the “nuclear” and
energetically strong texts of the different language
levels of the culture of the original text and text
of translation – intercultural and atemporal; texts,
that are common in several cultures and culturespecific texts” [22: 106].
In the process of translation of intertextual
elements, according to the study by I.S. Alekseeva
[1], the following results are possible:
1) full or partial loss of intertextuality;
2) replacement of an intertextual element of
the original text to the intertextual elements, with
the same connotations in the translated text.
However, as the intertextual elements from
the Bible are universal intertextual elements,
present both in English and Russian cultures and
may perform the same function in the original
and translated texts, they can be equivalently
translated by the intertextual element.
Besides, one shouldn’t forget that quite often
the original text and translated text are separated
by the several centuries. To N.A. Kuzmina’s
opinion [21], enrichment of the translated text
by the implicit energy should happened in the
frames of the culture of the translated text and
another time period (more or less distant from the
time of of the original text creation), as it is where
the recipient of the energy – a reader of a text
exists. Taking into account these circumstances,
the strategy of a translator in the process of
translation of the intertextual elements, comes to
the reproduction of prototexts, common to both
cultures, create imaginary prototexts, and for
the strain to be remained between prototexts and
translated texts, which is typical for the correlation
of of real prototexts and original texts.
Conclusion
According to this, in the view of the theory
of intertextuality, the translated text – is a text,
which, on the one hand corresponds with the
aesthetic criteria of evaluation of literature in
the language of a translated text (i.e. evaluated
according to the same axiological scale as original
fictional texts), on the other hand – includes signs,
codes of the “mother” culture that create the
strain of home/foreign in a translated text.
The strategies of translation of the
intertextual elements from the Bible can not be
purely fi xed of “recorded”, but identified in each
given situation, depending on translation case,
which lies in a pragmatic target of translation,
type of the original text and characteristics of
a possible addressee of translation. Based on
this assumption, a translator – is, fi rst of all,
a researcher, and translator’s work is based
on a pure scientific method. This, according
to G.V. Denisova [9], is the only demand to
translation activity, for a translated text in
the result of it’s contact with another semiotic
systems produced the “third” intertextual space,
conceptually different and unpredictable, and
become, in the frames of another language’s
culture, a producer of new meanings.
When choosing a method of translation
of the intertextual element from the Bible, the
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difficulty for a translator lies in identification
of the intertextual element from the Bible in
fictional text and relating it to the certain type.
1
2
3
Following this procedure is considered to be the
necessary condition to retain the intertextual
element from the Bible in a translated text.
Precedent text – is “any significant phenomenon of the national culture, which is known to the most part of it’s representatives, and references and citation to which happen quite often in the speech of representatives of a culture. References and
citations are understandable to an addressee and are easily deciphered by him/her” [Денисова, 2003, с. 219].
Prototexts – basic text, basis for the creation of the other texts, primary text.
Metatext – secondary/derivative text.
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Явление интертекстуальности
в переводоведении
Н.В. Климович
Сибирский федеральный университет
Россия, 660041, Красноярск, пр. Свободный, 79
Статья посвящена явлению интертекстуальности в современной лингвистике и
переводоведении. В исследовании рассматриваются основные условия эквивалентного
перевода универсальных интертекстуальных элементов – библеизмов при переводе
художественного текста с английского языка на русский.
Ключевые слова: интертекстуальность, интертекстуальный элемент, художественный
текст, переводоведение, функции интертекстуальных элементов, библеизмы, условия
эквивалентного перевода интертекстуального элемента.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 265-272
~~~
УДК 81’271.1
On Ways how to Translate
Mass Media Metaphors
and Language-game
Nataliya V. Lyagushkina*
Moscow City Pedagogical University
5b Maly Kazenny per., Moscow, 105064 Russia
Received 03.11.2013, received in revised form 09.11.2013, accepted 27.12.2013
Each culture enjoys its specific kind of humour thus its kind of a language-game as well. The article
deals in the kinds of metaphors and language-game, including the visual ones widely used in mass
media. Translators and especially interpreters being usually pressed for time face the challenge
of how to tackle metaphor and language-game. The article suggests a translation heuristics. The
first choice is to find the equivalent. Another way to render a metaphor or a pun is to rely on some
other stylistic device. In some cases we can resort to loan translation with a commentary. The most
common way is to reduce the expressivity and neglect the stylistic device. The last option is to leave
the original text.
Keywords: mass media language, visual metaphor, visual pun, translation strategies.
Contemporary mass media authors tend
to rely on various tropes, such as metaphors,
allusions, hyperbolae, etc. This trend can be
attributed to the need for persuasion the consumer
to interpret the product through imposed
associations, thus metaphor is a sort of a filter for
a consumer to perceive the reality.
Traditionally linguistics deals with language
metaphor – a figure of speech in which a word or
phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea
is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or
analogy between them. G. Lakoff and M. Johnson
argue that metaphors are pervasive also in thought
and action. They suggest a metaphor to be simply
understanding and experiencing one kind of thing
in terms of another. The authors provide several
*
examples of daily metaphors, such as argument is
war and time is money (Johnson, Lakoff, 1980).
Recent years have seen another type of
a daily metaphor – visual metaphor – to be
spreading. The visual metaphor is framed not in
words but in a picture or video portion. Such kind
of metaphor is especially frequent in mass media
and is also called practical. A. Serikov suggests
practical metaphor to describe the experience
related to one situation or one object transferred
into another situation or attached to another
object (Serikov 2007).
Fig. 1 illustrates visual metaphor in
advertising. The authors of the poster are aimed
to support the launch of Raiffeisen’s new deposit
program in Russia. They refer to a widely used
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: nwl2002@gmail.com
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Fig.1 Visual Metaphor
Russian metaphors переждать стихию and
крепко стоять (на ногах).
To proceed with the ways how mass media
authors appeal to the readers the wide usage of
comic sense should be mentioned. Different types
of language-game are frequent in press, internet
data portals, sport commentary, etc. Comic sense
is referred to contradiction and identity principles,
ambiguity, contrast, etc. Contrast by-turn refers
to such language means as simile, oxymoron,
antithesis, metonymy, etc.
Many linguists have claimed that humour
reflects national mentality. V. Karasik and
A. Karasik conclude that English jokes based on
puns or containing details of British life style being
translated into Russian lose their comic sense and
tend to be misunderstood or incomprehensible for
Russians (Karasik 2001). The next two pictures
illustrate the typical English jokes that are
difficult for the foreigners to understand (Ford,
Legon 2010) (Fig. 2, 3).
Since each culture enjoys its specific
kind of humour the language-game varies as
well, e.g. in English we can often see chiastic
patterns, A magician pulls rabbits out of hats.
An experimental psychologist pulls habits out of
rats.
Mass media rely on phonetic stylistic
devices, such as rhyme or alliteration. Schneller
voran mit Bus und Bahn; First against thirst;
Lecker, locker, leicht; Making the most of your
microwave. Play on proper names involved in a
pun is gaining momentum, e.g., If anyone can
Canon can; Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it.
Last decades have seen various types of graphic
play penetrating in our written texts. They include
acronyms and abbreviations, e.g., Польша
приговорена Тевтонскими Узурпаторами
Старательного Камердинера к приватизации
(the first letters form Polish leader’s name
D. Tusk), graphiohybrids, e.g., Жемчужина
эVOLVOлюции, and other graphic elements, e.g.,
Пролетарии всех стрaн, остерег@йтесь! Just
AAsk; Waagen fürs Leben.
The next type of a language-game is based
on word formation, e.g., девочка Инчовочка
(from Eng. inch). Besides there occurs a play on
similar morphemes in borrowings and words in
the mother tongue, e.g., В воскресенье в Москве
завершилась конференция «Власть прессы и
пресс власти».
It should be noted that puns in mass
media are often combined with other stylistic
devises, such as allusion. The example of such a
combination are advertising slogans, cf. The Old
Man and the Seafood (alludes to The Old Man
and the Sea by E. Hemingway) For Whom the
Dinner Bell Tolls (alludes to For Whom the Bell
Tolls by E. Hemingway), The Ketchup in the Rye
(alludes The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger),
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Fig. 2. Typical British Joke
Fig. 3. Typical British Joke
Lord of The Fries (alludes to The Lord of the
Flies by W. Golding). The slogans above refer
to British and American literature. English
allusions to foreign novels are spread as well,
cf. War and Peas (alludes to War and Peace by
L. Tolstoy), The Brothers Karamatzoh (alludes
to The Brothers Karamazov by F. Dostoyevsky),
The Count of Monte Crisco (alludes to The Count
of Monte Cristo by A. Dumas). The next slogan
refers to the contemporary film: The Girl with
the Dragon Tattoo – The Grill With The Dragon
Tattoo.
Being typical of advertising discourse
allusions are likewise spread in the political one.
Thus, political leaders of the end of the previous
century used to rely on them in their speeches,
cf. R. Reagan: We have it within our power to
begin the world over again (allusion to one of the
Founding Fathers Thomas Paine).
Similarly to visual metaphors visual pun
is gaining momentum in contemporary mass
media language. Again it is framed not in words
still in a picture or video portion. The surprise
effect created provokes the frame transformation
resulting in laugh reaction. The striking example
of a visual pun is the Shyrli-Myrli scene where
proper names, such as Oslo, Glasgow, etc.
undergo the sign language translation. The comic
sense appears due to similar sounds in Russian
words, cf. Oslo – осел, Glasgow – глаз.
Publicists often opt for visual puns, e.g.,
the Chevrolet poster advertising car and its
insurance (Fig. 4) is based on the homophony
of the insurance abbreviation (КАСКО) and
Russian noun каска (hard hat). In addition to
the similar sounding the word каска represents
the metaphors of building and security that are
beneficial for such an advertising issue.
Political and advertising discourse is
extremely rich in individual and creative tropes.
Thus, Russian leaders tend to tailor their speeches
with metaphors and puns usually relying on one
in each public appearance, ditto TV commercials,
advertising slogans and newspaper articles’
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Fig.4 Visual Pun
titles. Rendering such tropes is a challenge for
interpreters and translators.
Many linguists claim that such tropes fail
be translated in an adequate way. E. Budaev
underlines common metaphor patterns in
Russian and American political discourse:
elections in both languages are associated with
football match. Still American football as a game
has its own rules, thus rendering some football
metaphors from American English into European
languages and vice versa provides challenges
(Budayev, 2009). Metaphors and puns based on
national concepts (such as ‘хрущевка’, ‘Лубянка’)
provoke the same difficulties.
Let us deal with the strategies of how
to translate metaphors and language-game.
A. Nemirovskaya sums up six ways how
to render metaphors: whole translation,
interpretation, image change, metaphoric
equivalent, transformation, addition and
omission (Nemirovskaya 2009).
Acknowledging the author’s approach we
would like to suggest a little different heuristics
of how to translate metaphors and languagegame.
1) The first choice is to find the equivalent.
Rendering political speeches translators
aim to convey the expressive language. The next
three utterances illustrate how the challenge
is successfully met. Я только что узнал, что
господин Баррозу обсуждал с Президентом
Медведевым проблемы строительства
правового государства − I have just learned
that Mr Barroso has discussed the problems
of building a rule-of-law state with President
Medvedev.
Резкие
колебания
политической
и
экономической
конъюнктуры,
турбулентность
мировой
экономики
не станут поводом для демонтажа
демократических институтов − The sharp
fluctuations in the political and economic
situation, the turbulence in the world will not
serve as a pretext for dismantling democratic
institutions.
Всё это очень хорошая подушка
безопасности и в то же время хороший
ресурс для реализации всех наших проектов
с французскими партнёрами – This is a
good safety cushion and a good resource for
implementing all of our projects with French
partners.
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2) The second way is to rely on the equivalent
adding some other element more familiar to the
recipient.
Let us deal with the Nissan Qashqai trailer
where the city makes a series of attempts ‘to
kill’ the car, still the last one manages to escape
every paintball and ‘wins the battle’. The slogan
More tough, more stylish. Urbanproof Mastered
supports the trailer. The suggested rendering
runs as Ярче стиль, круче нрав. Бросая
вызов городской стихии. The video portion
is based on the visual metaphor of a battlefield
and victory, the linguistic level provides the
English adjective tough, translated into Russian
крутой. Besides the Russian translation adds
the idea of challenge, which is singled out from
the picture.
3) Another way to render a metaphor or pun
is to rely on some other stylistic device.
The Russian title Тбилиси «бушует»
накануне визита президента США contains a
pun based on the US president’s name. Since there
is no equivalent in English the translator opts for
colloquial phrasal verb to spruce up – Georgia
spruces up for Bush visit. Thus, negative author’s
vision is rendered with the help of lower stylistic
register.
4) In some cases we can resort to loan
translation.
Now that the age of leverage is over,
«Chimerica» – the partnership between the big
saver and the big spender – is key – … Химерика
(Chimerica – каламбур, составленный из двух
слов – Китай (China) и Америка (America). Оно
означает, что главным в мировой экономике
в последние 10 лет стали отношения между
Китаем и Америкой… Original phrase enjoys
blending – combining parts of two or more words.
The translation applies loan translation coupled
with a commentary. Another way could be
similar blending in Russian – Кимерика (Китай
+ Америка).
The next example deals with English idiom
to take a bite out of the apple of knowledge
rendered in Russian word for word. The translator
could have opted for the common idiom грызть
гранит науки, nevertheless suggested solution
can be regarded as a reasonable one as in that
case the pun would be omitted and the comic
sense would be lost.
But it was the shiny apple with the big bite
taken out of it, the symbol of Apple, Inc., that has
most entranced me in its profound theological
implications. The megabytes, the multiple units of
information storage on a computer, are somehow
also a way to take a bite out of the apple of
knowledge – Но на глубокие теологические
размышления меня навело именно сияющее
надкусанное яблоко, символ Apple. Мегабайты,
многочисленные
единицы
информации,
хранящейся в компьютере, тоже в некотором
роде являются способом вгрызться в яблоко
знания (игра на созвучии английских слов byte
(байт) и bite (откусывать).
It should be mentioned that while choosing
between an equivalent and a calque a translator
has to select the option with the similar message.
Let us compare two translation variants of
B. Obama’s remarks at the National Academy of
Sciences annual meeting. The first translation
is official, the second one was published in
alternative newspaper Troitsky Variant.
This is America’s story. Even in the hardest
times, against the toughest odds, we’ve never
given in to pessimism; we’ve never surrendered
our fates to chance; we have endured; we have
worked hard; we sought out new frontiers.
(1) Такова история Америки. Даже
в самые трудные времена, под самыми
жестокими ударами мы никогда не
поддавались пессимизму; мы никогда не
полагались на волю случая; мы терпели; мы
без устали работали; мы открывали новые
рубежи.
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(2) Такова история Америки. Даже
в
тяжелейшие
времена,
в
самых
неблагоприятных обстоятельствах, мы
никогда не впадали в пессимизм, никогда
не отдавали свои судьбы на волю случая.
Мы выдерживали все испытания. Мы много
работали. Мы искали новые рубежи.
The comparison reveals different approaches
of how to translate metaphors. Thus, in the
hardest times is rendered by Russian equivalents
в самые трудные времена and в тяжелейшие
времена. The fact that he idiom against the
toughest odds lacks the analog in Russian results
in the translators’ need to search for another
images familiar to the reader – под самыми
жестокими ударами and в самых неблагоприятных обстоятельствах. The second
way seems to be more appropriate being common
in Russian. Alternative translators suggested an
equivalent отдавать свои судьбы на волю
случая for English metaphor surrender one’s
fates to chance, while the official edition omits
the image of fate – полагаться на волю случая.
Such an omission seems to be reasonable in the
case. The third metaphor seek out new frontiers
is rendered in two ways as well: literal translation
(искать новые рубежи) and changing of the
predicate to meet the Russian language tradition
(открывали новые рубежи).
To sum up the comparison we can say
that the official translation appears to be more
adequate.
5) The next way how to deal with the
language-game and metaphors is to reduce the
expressivity and neglect the stylistic device.
The metaphor in the sentence В общем, у
нас целая палитра взаимодействия в самых
разных областях is lost in the translation – In
general, we are cooperating in many diverse
areas.
Выход – это, извините за каламбур,
приход, это приход этих предприятий в
технопарки – What’s the solution? The solution
lies in these small businesses becoming part of
the technology parks. The pun in the original
utterance is based on prefixion typical of the
Russian language, still English being inefficient
in such morphological device can’t suggest the
equivalent.
Another example when the language-game
is neglected by the translator is the title Jobs and
Jobs – Джобс и рабочие места. The author plays
on coincident forms of American entrepreneur’s
surname and a noun, the Russian language fails
to suggest such a pun.
6) Moreover in some cases a commentary
could be of great help as it makes up for the lost
comic sense or expressiveness. Sometimes the
commentary resembles a definition.
The so-called Great Firewall of China –
«Великая китайская стена огня» – это
английский каламбур с использованием слова
Firewall, которым называется система
компьютерной безопасности – брандмауэр –
и которое дословно переводится как «стена
огня».
«Infinitea» boasts tables made of tea bushes
and a slew of bold new tea concepts – Столики
в заведении под названием «Infinitea»
(каламбур, составленный из двух английских
слов: «infinity» – бесконечность и «tea» – чай)
вырезаны из чайных кустов.
The first case deals with the word-for-word
translation followed by a detailed commentary.
The second rendering suggests the original
English acronym followed by the translation of
its parts.
7) The last way of how to deal with metaphors
and language-game is to leave them in the
original language. Such an approach is gaining
momentum due to globalization and penetrating
American culture. It should be mentioned that
this trend relates mostly to visual metaphors and
language-game.
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Let us analyze the commercial of Renault
Koleos. The trailer shows a clan of meerkats
lying on the sun when heard a new Renault
approaching. The animals urged to put on
tuxedos and line up to meet the car. Thus, the
picture refers to the metaphor of courtliness. The
commercial is accompanied with Turandot’s aria
by G. Puccini, the attendant slogan runs Widely
civilized. We can resume that the combination
of the picture, sound and slogan are targeted
at producing the image of civilized gentlemen
that definitely clashes with our notion of wild
African animals. The Russian localization team
decided to neglect any translation leaving the
English version.
Conclusion. Thus, the strategy of how to
translate a metaphor or a language-game in mass
media is to search for the equivalent. Failing
this the translator is to look for another stylistic
device. The next option can be loan translation
with or without a commentary. The simplest way
is to neglect the trope and suggest an ordinary
rendering. And the last but not the least way
is to leave the original metaphor or language
game expecting the reader (or mostly viewer) to
understand the stylistic effect.
References
1. Budayev, E.V. Comparative Analysis of Political Metaphor [Sopostavitel’nyj analiz
politicheskoj metafory. Izv’estyja Ural’skogo federal’nogo universiteta) Proceedings of Ural State
University, 2009. No 3. Pp. 106-114.
2. Ford, M. & , Legon, P. The How To Be British Collection. – London.: Lee Gone Publications,
2010. 64 p.
3. Karasik, A.V. & Karasik, V.I. Misunderstanding of Humour in Crosscultural Communication
[Neponimanije jumora v mezhkul’turnom obschchenii. Jazyk, kommunikacija i social’naja sreda)
Language, Communication, Social Environment, 2001. No 1. Pp. 13-27.
4. Lakoff, G &., & Johnson, M. Metaphors We Live By. (IL: University of Chicago Press, 1980.
276 p.), Chapters 1–3. (pp. 3–13).
5. Nemirovskaya, A.V. Metaphor in Turkish Fiction as a Translation Object [Metafora tureckogo
hudozhestvennogo texta kak object perevoda. Vestnik Irkutskogo gopsudarstvennogo lingvistichesgogo
universiteta) Bulletin of Irkutsk State University, 2009. No 4. Pp. 57-62.
6. Serikov, A.E. Metaphor and Metonymy in Practical Use [Metafora i metonimija v
prakticheskom dejstvii. Vestnik Samarskoj gumanitarnoj akademii) Bulletin of Samara Academy for
Humanities, 2007. No 1. Pp. 132-142.
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Способы перевода метафор и каламбуров
в массмедиальном дискурсе
Н.В. Лягушкина
Московский городской педагогический университет
Россия, 105064, Москва, Малый Казенный пер. 5б
Юмористический дискурс в различных лингвокультурах имеет свои особенности. В статье
рассматриваются различные виды метафор и каламбуров, используемые в языке СМИ, в том
числе визуальные метафоры и каламбуры. Стратегии перевода представляют собой: передачу
каламбура или метафоры на том же языковом уровне; компенсацию эффекта, созданного
в оригинальном тексте, каламбуром/метафорой другого типа или иными стилистическими
средствами; комментарий или примечание; утерю комического эффекта; отсутствие
перевода как такового.
Ключевые слова: массмедиальный дискурс, визуальная метафора, визуальный каламбур,
переводческие стратегии.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 273-286
~~~
УДК 82-131=03.512.157=161.1
Problems of (Un)translatability
in the Yakut Epic Text Olonkho
Alina A. Nakhodkina*
North-Eastern Federal University
named after M.K. Ammosov
58 Belinskiy Str., Yakutsk, 677980, Russia
Received 12.12.2013, received in revised form 27.12.2013, accepted 13.01.2014
The author revisits the issues of untranslatability in the context of cross-cultural communication
and analyzed translation as a means of cross-cultural contact. The nature of the problem of (un)
translatability is discussed from Wilhelm von Humboldt’s view of language as “an expression of the
spirit of a nation” and from the perspective of the linguistic relativity hypothesis which views language
as “a mediator of thought”. The research as part of a large translation project is based on the material
of the Olonkho – a Yakut (Sakha) heroic epic poem. The analysis of various linguistic and cultural
barriers including lexical gaps as main stumbling blocks while translating is given as well as a brief
description of Olonkho.
Keywords: translation, (un)translatability, epic, Olonkho, translation strategies.
The article is published within the framework of the research project #14-14-14003 supported by the
Russian Fund of Humanities.
The nature of the problem
According to Catford (1965: 94), instances
of untranslatability can arise from two sources:
one is linguistic, and the other is cultural. (Cit.:
Dongfeng Wong et al., 1999: 87)
Throughout the history of the origin of
the field of literary translation, both practicing
translators and theorists, from different time
eras, often denied that it would ever be possible
to adequately translate literary works of art, due
to difficulties associated with conveying cultural
nuances encoded in the language of one culture to
the language of another. For example, the famous
German linguist and the eminent translator of
classical poetry, Wilhelm von Humboldt, in his
*
letter to August Schlegel wrote: “Any (such)1
translation certainly seems to me an attempt to
solve an unsolvable problem, for every translator
must inevitably fall into one of two pitfalls:
either an overly precise adherence to the original
at the expense of the style and language of his
own culture, or excessive conformance to the
peculiarities of his own culture at the expense
of the original; anything halfway, between one
and the other, is not only difficult, but is simply
impossible.” (Cit: Fedorov, 1983: 31)
Humboldt’s statements emanate from his
views on world’s languages, every one of which,
according to him, “determines and expresses
a national identity of the “spirit” (as well as
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: aan-2010@yandex.ru
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thought), characteristic of a given nation and,
therefore, is not reducible to any other language,
just as the identity of the “spirit” of one nation
is not reducible to the identity of the “spirit” of
another.” (ibid.) In other words, the culture of one
people is impossible to fit within the frame of a
culture of another people.
A similar idea lies at the foundation of the
now famous in linguistics conception known as
the principle of linguistic relativity2, which holds
that the structure of a language influences the
manner in which its speakers conceptualize their
world – i.e. their world view. In a critical review
of this theoretical stance, V.N. Komissarov
(Komissarov, 2000: 67), makes the following
conclusion: “The structure of language is
indeed capable of determining possible ways of
constructing utterances, organizing in particular
ways the expression of ideas, occasionally forcing
speakers to obligatorily use that or the other form.
But, it is equally true that the linguistic form of
an utterance does not uniquely determine its
content, deduced on the basis of the interpretation
of the meanings of its immediate constituting
units, but serves only as a starting point for the
comprehension of its overall sense. One and the
same meaning can be derived from different
linguistic structures, and conversely, one and the
same structure may serve as the starting point
for the formation and comprehension of different
messages. Thus, the dependence of expressed
thoughts on their linguistic means of expression
is relative and limited. Speakers may be cognizant
of the difference between the form of an utterance
and its essential subject matter and therefore,
have the freedom to overcome certain structural
constraints imposed by the formal aspects of
language.
Dongfeng Wong and Dan Shen write (quote)
“Translating works to bridge the cultural gap
between two worlds and make communication
possible between different linguistic communities.
Bassnett likens language to “the heart within the
body of culture,” pointing out that “the surgeon,
operating on the heart, cannot neglect the body
that surrounds it, so the translator treats the text
in isolation from the culture at his peril” (Bassnett
1992: 14). (Dongfeng Wong et al., 1999: 88).
From the perspective of language as
“an expression of the spirit of a nation” (in a
Humboldtian sense) or as a “mediator of thought”
(in a linguistic relativity sense), it is reasonable
to view translation as a means of cross-cultural
contact. “The interaction of cultures that occurs
as a result of translation presupposes, first of
all, the intention on the part of the translator to
make available for the reader the facts and ideas
inherent in another culture, with the purpose
of expanding their worldview, giving them the
opportunity to understand that other cultures have
different traditions and making them aware that it
is necessary to know and respect other cultures.”
(Hajrulin, 1999: 38) In addition, translation
enriches cultures, making a great contribution
to the development of their language, literature,
science and technology.
The cultural factor reveals itself in one way
or another in all genres and kinds of translation,
but most clearly in literary translation. As
Venuti (Cit.: Shvejtser, 1999: 183) notes, two
strategies always clash in translation – the focus
on the recipient’s cultural norms and values
(domestication) and the focus on the sender’s
norms and values ( foreignization). He notes,
“Domestication and foreignization are two
mutually balancing processes. Text, subjected
to excessive domestication, can be perceived
more as a parody of the foreign-speaking author
in the spirit of the Russian nursery rhymes than
as a reflection of the original author’s creation.
At the same time, excessive foreignization
occasionally makes the text obscure, and does not
meet the requirements expected of good-quality
translation.”
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Often translators attempt to skillfully
combine these two opposing tendencies. Incorrect
conveyance of cultural aspects via translation
may lead to the formation of an erroneous
representation of the culture of the original in the
mind of the reader. Therefore, in translation it is
always important to consider the cultural factor,
and when necessary to appropriately adjust the
text, in each case, trying to find the best solution
possible.
Olonkho
The Yakut folklore tradition is represented by
a powerful and picturesque genre – the Olonkho.
According to Yakut epic researcher Innokentii
Pukhov, the name Olonkho refers to the entire
Yakut heroic epic (Pukhov, 2013). It is of ancient
origin and “by its name, … is directly related to
the Buryat-Mongol epic – ontkho” (Okladnikov,
2013). Olonkho’s origin dates back to the times
when the ancestors of the modern-day people of
Sakha (Yakutia) lived on their former homeland
in the South, and had a close connection with
the ancestors of the Turkic and Mongolian tribes
living in the Altay and Sayan regions. (Pukhov,
2013)
Olonkho is written in an archaic language
enriched with symbolism and fantastic imagery,
parallel and complex grammatical constructions,
traditional poetical forms as well as metaphors,
similes, epithets, and hyperboles (or picturesque
words3). Traditionally, the Olonkho was an oral
genre in which male, female, good, evil …etc.
parts of the story were distinguished only by the
intonation and melody of the narrator’s voice
(Argounova-Low, 2001: 89). P.A. Oyunsky was
the first to divide it into separate parts and songs
that made it suitable for reading.
Translation of Olonkho
In the Soviet Union, thanks to the policy
of M. Gor’ki, many epic works of the peoples of
other national cultures were actively translated
into the Russian language. For instance, in the
period between 1934 and 1941 came to light in
the Russian language Shota Rustaveli’s poem,
“The Knight in the Panther’s Skin”, the Kazakh
national epic, “Kiz Zhibek”, the Armenian
national epic, “David of Sasun” and a collection
of poems by T. Shivchenko and many other works
of literature.
The Yakut heroic epic, Olonkho, was not
left on the sidelines. One of the first Olonkho
texts, recorded and re-worked by P.A. Oyunsky,
“Nurgun Botur, the Swift”, was translated into
Russian by V.V. Derzhavin in 1975, and to this
day it is the most publically popular Russian
translation in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
From the beginning of 1990s, Olonkho has
attracted the attention of translators from other
countries and of other languages. The first song
of Oyunsky’s version of Olonkho has been
translated into French (Ja. Karro) and English
(R.Ju. Skribikin; A.A.Skryabina). “Nurgun Botur,
the Swift” by K.G. Orosin, has been translated
into French (Ja. Karro) and “Er Sogotokh” in
prose into English by the American enthusiast
Douglas Lindsay. “Eles Bootur” by P.V. Ogotoev
is being translated into and published in Russian
(M. I. Alekseeva), English (A.A. Skryabina)
and Korean (Kang Duck-Soo) languages and
a French translation was published in 2012
(V.I. Shaposhnikova). The Yakut epic texts “Kyys
Debiriyee” (T.I. Petrova), “Myuldzhyu Boege”
(E.S. Sidorov) and P.A. Oyunsky’s “Nurgun Botur,
the Swift” (E.S. Sidorov) saw the day of light in
their Russian translation in 2011-2012. Olonkho
has also received attention from translators of
German, Turkic and Japanese languages.
On the initiative of the government
program aimed at the conservation, study and
dissemination of the Yakut heroic epic Olonkho
(2006-2015), adopted in the Republic of Sakha
(Yakutia), a project to translate the fundamental
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work of P.A. Oyunsky, “Djuluruyar Nurgun
Botur” into English was launched in 2007 at
the Institute of Foreign Philology and Regional
Studies of the M.K. Ammosov North-Eastern
Federal University (NEFU). Since its inception,
the work on this project has generated significant
research material.
Research Material based
on Olonkho
The Olonkho translation project has allowed
to collect substantial experimental material
on the basis of which it has been possible to
conduct cross-linguistic comparative research
in order to identify the main characteristics of
the poetics of the Yakut heroic epic, to reveal
features of translation which are peculiar to it,
and to create a typology of effective translation
methods which have achieved adequate levels of
interlinguistic equivalency. The relevance of such
research is attested by the fact that there is almost
complete absence of either theoretical or applied
foundations of such or similar kinds of translation
problems.
Of particular interest is the problem of
linguistic asymmetry which arises in the
translation of literary texts. This problem is
especially apropos in connection with the
preservation of the author’s individual style, in
our case, being the preservation of the literary
style of Olonkho embodied in the peculiarity of
the structure of the Yakut language and in its
unique poetic aspects such as formulaic language
(epic formulae), syntactic parallelisms, alliterative
verse, vivid imagery (picturesque words4),
hyperbole and the extensive use of metaphors and
epithets.
The task of preserving the literary style of
Olonkho is certainly most difficult and demands
of the translator utmost skill and effort. How
well the translator manages to accomplish this
task directly determines the extent to which the
translation would be perceived by the reader as
the true Yakut epic, rather than the creation of
the translator. The various aspects of Olonkho’s
literary style are directly linked with the national
worldview of the people of Sakha, with their
aesthetics and philosophy, with their culture and
history. Therefore, the translator must possess not
only excellent knowledge of the Yakut language,
but extensive background knowledge of the Yakut
culture to be able to convey the characteristic
features of the epic genre, the peculiarities of the
poetics of Olonkho, to the reader.
The language of Olonkho, abundant with
archaisms and to a considerable extent distinct
from the modern literary Yakut language,
deserves special consideration. P.A. Oyunsky,
an outstanding scholar of Yakut mythology and
Olonkho, has many names and concepts not
recorded in the E.K. Pekarsky’s dictionary. This
means that the translator is faced with the problem
of having to translate pieces of text without the
help of a dictionary, forcing him/her to generate
lexical and possibly grammatical equivalents in a
different language completely anew. In light of
these challenges, the translator should, therefore,
consider the linguistic and aesthetic expectations
of the reader and be mindful of certain conventions
of social consciousness. The translator should be
aware of the fact that his/her work contributes
to the development of the reader’s literary tastes
which may or may not be in accordance with
the intentions of the original . In light of these
challenges , we believe that the translator should
adhere to the original as much as is possible, so as
to avoid excessive interference from his/her side.
According to A.V. Fedorov (Fedorov, 1983:
293), the most acceptable translation is one which
preserves the linguistic means and stylistic
strategies employed by the author of the original.
Linguistically, it is important to preserve the
syntactic structure of the text, i.e. the length
and the volume of its sentences. Stylistically, it
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is necessary to preserve the uniqueness, richness
and other specific features of one of the most
salient aspects of the literary style of Olonkho,
its imagery of the personages, actions and
situations.
1) PHONETIC ISSUES
Phonetic problems started with the
transliteration of diphthongs. There are four
diphthongs in the Yakut language that are as
frequent as monophthongs: уо [uo], иэ [ie],
ыа [ϊa], үө [уo]. The diphthong consists of two
elements – a nucleus and a glide – and the nucleus
has priority in pronunciation. I used this phonetic
peculiarity in the translation to make Yakut
names and nouns shorter and more readable,
for instance “Суодалба” [suodal`ba] became
“Sodalba”; “Иэйэхсит” [iejeh`sit] – “Ekhsit”;
“ыhыах” [i`hieh] – “Esekh”; “Күөгэлдьин”
[kjuegel`jin] – “Kegeljin”. I made an exception
for diphthongs in one-syllable names and nouns
such as “уот” [uot], which was translated either
as “Uot” as part of a name, or as “Fiery” as part
of a constant epithet attached to the name.
I transliterated some exotic monophthongs
based on their phonetic environment and the
context, e.g. the Yakut letter “ы” [i] is transliterated
either as “y”, which is more traditional, or “i”.
In general, while translating the epic, I ignored
almost all the rules of IPA transliteration, since it
seemed to me that words transliterated according
to these rules would be cumbersome or at best
slow down the reading. My goal was not to put off
the English-speaking readers but to inspire them
to go on reading this long poem.
Another phonetic obstacle was long
vowels, for which I used the same strategy: I
shortened long vowels in polysyllabic words and
transliterated their approximate pronunciation,
e.g. “Туйаарыма” [tuja:ri`ma] was translated as
“Tuyarima”; but kept a similar graphic forms in
short words, e. g. “өлүү” [e`lju:] – “Eluu”, “Айыы”
[aj`i:] – “Aiyy”, “алаас” [a`la:s] – “alaas”, etc.
Some words are spelt with “h” in order to show
their length or different pronunciation: “илгэ”
[il`ge] – “ilgeh”, “сэргэ” [ser`ge] – “sergeh”.
Consonants were also a challenge. Thus, ҕ
[ҕ] does not have a direct counterpart in English
and may be interpreted as both [kh] and [g]. I
chose the last variant as the closest equivalent,
e.g. “Бохсоҕоллой” – “Bo(k)hsogolloi”; “оҕо”
[o`g(kh)o] – “ogo”. This choice was motivated
by a word “удаҕан” translated as “udagan”
(shamaness) in earlier translations. Sometimes
I used data from Russian translations, e.g. the
words “ыhыах” and “удаҕан” in Russian have
the following graphic forms “ысыах” [i`sieh]
and “удаганка” [uda`ganka]. That is why I used
“s” in the English translation “Esekh” instead
of “Ehekh” – besides, there is a character in the
Olonkho who has a similar name “Ehekh” spelt
with “h”.
According to the general theory of
translation, the transmission of the intralinguistic or syntactic meanings associated with
alliteration, consonance, rhyme, and such closely
related to them phenomena as rhythmicity
and linearity, from one language to another, is
impossible to accomplish due to interlinguistic
divergences. This is assumed to be true even
amongst genetically related languages, not to
mention such distinct languages as Yakut and
English. Nonetheless, it is possible to compensate
for these shortcomings by other linguistic means
(Chomsky; Vinet-Darbelnet; Shvejtser) in order
to approximate the features of the phonetic and
syntactic properties of the original language.
Furthermore, English, like Yakut, builds
versification upon the method of alliteration,
which greatly simplifies for the translator the
already difficult and seemingly impossible task.
This is so despite the fact that in modern English
alliteration has transformed into a non-functional
component of poetry, and is used as a mere
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decorative element of versification . The principle
of alliteration, however, characterizes all of the
monuments of the ancient Germanic poetry
(German, Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian) and in
many cases, only alliteration adds structural
integrity to the Teutonic and Celtic poetry, which
otherwise is rather monotonous and rhythmically
colourless. Therefore, the fact that alliteration is
one of the key elements of the ancient English
versification, coupled with the assumption that
the Anglo-American reader is well familiar with
it, justifies the use of alliteration in the translation
of the Yakut epic into English. For example,
1.
The fire burned
As big as a birch-bark barrel. (Song 6)
2.
His strong muscles
Swelled and strained; (Song 5)
3.
Where a fantastic sorcerous storm swirls
and plays (Song 1)
4.
To make a maidservant with no mercy
(Song 5)
5.
Black horse lost,
Broil broke out…
Bride was contested,
Battle commenced,
Blood was shed,
Bayonetted eyes,
Broken skulls –
Brouhaha brewed. (Song 7)
Careful attention should be given to the
translation of proper names which play an
especially important role in the creation of
Olonkho’s imagery and which “one way or another,
serve to define its literary character.” (Bernstein,
2001: 20). Indeed, proper (and common) names
are the essential elements of the form of any
literary work; they are the constituent elements of
the author’s style and one of the means of creating
literary imagery. They possess vividly expressed
semantics, have a hidden associative background,
and are embodied in special phonetic forms; they
are capable of conveying the national and cultural
attributes, reflect the historical epoch to which
the activities of that or another work of literature
are related; in a word, they are socio-cultural by
their very nature.
In those cases when the proper name does
not have a foreign language equivalent, it is
necessary to consider the following principles of
translation, identified by modern research.
- the principle of the national-linguistic
association
- the principle of euphony
In addition, it is important to remember that
in the translation of proper names from literary
works, the exact accuracy of reproduction usually
takes a backseat to the degree of readability and
ease of pronunciation . (Ermolovich, 2001)
These principles are directly applicable to
the translation of proper names and nicknames
of the personages in Olonkho as they do not have
fi xed foreign equivalents. The translator should
preserve the original aspects underlying the
structure of the phonetic, phonemic or graphic
aspects of the names in the foreign language, so
as not to lose their national features and at the
same time maintain a correlation with the norms
and the traditions of the original. Therefore,
according to the principle of euphony, the
Yakut word “Боoтур” [IPA transcription],
should not be translated into English using the
transliteration “Bootur”; the more preferred
form is “Botur”. In this case we can, fi rst of all,
avoid the unnecessary association of the Yakut
proper name “Bootur” with the common English
word “boot”, and secondly, bring the translated
word maximally close to the pronunciation of
the original.
The name of the main Olonkho character
contains an epithet or a name-epithet to use a
Mayer-Meletinsky’s term (Cit.: Neveleva, 1979).
“Djuluruyar” [IPA transcription], derived from
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the Yakut verb “djuluruy” [IPA transcription],
which in Russian means “to rush”, “to speed” or
“to sweep”. There are different versions of the
translation of this epithet in English, including
“impetuous”. However, this latter definition
has the meaning of “sudden, behaving without
thinking, without the necessary preparation,
rushing
headlong”,
which
diametrically
contradicts the characteristics of the main
character of the Yakut epic. Nyurgun Botur is
not a mindless personage who suddenly takes off
somewhere for no apparent reason; this character,
despite his proclivity for improvisation, carefully
thinks over his plans before acting. Therefore, the
closest English equivalent of the Yakut epithet
is the adjective swift, meaning “dashing”, in
the desired sense of the word. Hence, the final
version of the translation of the name of the main
hero, which is also the title of the epic story, is
“Nyurgun Botur, the Swift.”
T.A. Kazakova notes that “in many cases...a
meticulous recreation of phonetic features can be
simplified.” (Kazakova, 2001) Simplification here
in a phonetic sense has indeed been successfully
used to translate complex Yakut proper names
that would be particularly difficult to reproduce
in a foreign language, such as the name Ieyekhsit
[IPA transcription]– the patron-goddess and the
defender of the human race, protectress of horses,
livestock and dogs – which in English I translated
as goddess Ekhsit.
For a number of other Yakut names I have
also used simplification as a technique to render
them more easily readable and pronounceable in
English. For example, the Yakut summer solstice
celebration Ysyakh [IPA transcription] has two
English variants, Esekh or Ehekh, which are its
near homographs and homophones. In its writing
and pronunciation Ysyakh is comparable to the
name-epithet Timir Dzhigistey [IPA transcription]
whose English equivalent is by analogy Ehekh
Harbir.
The translation of the Yakut epic into the
English language represents a unique experience
of its kind that has no known precedence and this
is so for the following reason: in our translation
we do not strictly follow the tradition of the
international transliteration system; we attempt
to rethink and refine otherwise bulky and clumsy
words expressing Yakut names, nicknames and
realities so as to make their translations more
readable and pronounceable.
2) STYLISTIC ISSUES
Epithets are commonly abundant throughout
Olonkho, thereby linking and combining different
fragments of the epic story. For example , here
are the description of the main hero Nyurgun
Bootur – one of the most popular mythological
heroes of the Olonkho, a legendary giant from
the Upper World endued with force and dowered
with mysterious talents. His function is to defend
the Middle World and the sunny tribe Kun Aiyy.
Unlike the demons he never transforms into a
dragon but can significantly change his appearance
and easily become eagle, ermine, iron-scaled fish,
giant bee, spear, can take the form of an adjarai
(demon) and even can transform into a fog.
His nickname is the Swift. Quickness is one
of the most positive characteristics of someone’s
personality for the Sakha people. Cf. the constant
epithets of positive epic heroes: Дьулуруйар
Ньургун Боотур (Djuluruyar Nyurgun Bootur)
[IPA transcription] – Yakut. lit. Swift Nyurgun
Hero; another epic hero Элэс Боотур – Yakut
lit. Move Rapidly Hero, a name of a really fast
personage Eles Bootur. For the Sakha people
slowness has more negative connotation for its
association with laziness, stupidity and illness.
The constant epithets of Nyurgun Bootur
includes the epithets of his horse as a reflection
of his personality, this is a common tradition
for Olonkho style where male and sometimes
female parts are followed with the description
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of their horses). The most traditional epithet
widely used in Olonkho for male and creatures
parts is oburgu – a polysemantic word meaning
“bold”, “mighty”, “brave”, “cunning”, “smart
and quick”, sometimes its meaning is close to
an American expression “good on you!”. It may
be used both in negative and positive sense
but always has a sense “awe”. Below oburgu
is translated as mighty. The second example
includes the description of Nyurgun’s beautiful
sister Aytalyyn Kuo [IPA transcription] also of
a divine origin (a long braid was an obligatory
element of girl’s beauty).
1.
In the room
There was dear, fair-faced
Tuyarima Kuo
With the nine-bylas-long braid,
Her eyelashes fluttered lightly,
A faint smile stirred on her lips,
Then she beamed happily,
Shining as bright as the sun,
Dazzling
Like sunbeams.
Her tender, silver cheeks
Blushed prettily…(Oyunsky, 2013: 312)
On the whole, Olonkho is abundant with the
stylistic devices such as metaphors, comparisons,
hyperbole and imagery. For instance,
Mighty Nurgun Botur, the Swift,
With the black fleet of foot horse
Born standing
1.
On the border of the clear, white sky
2.
Who has the thunder-horse
Whipped by the lightning lash.
(Song 5)
2.
Aitalyn Kuo
That even a snow-bunting would not fly over
him,
Of the eight-bylas-long braid (Song 5)
Even a little mouse would not run by past
The examples from the text show
what translation strategies were used while
translating the Olonkho including those as
transcription, loan translation, functional
analog, and compensation. In the description
of Tuyarima Kuo, one of the famous brides
from the epic, an adjective “fair” is used – a
word traditionally used in English to describe
someone’s complexion, or colour of skin or
hair. Translators of the previous translations of
the Yakut Olonkho used either “white-faced”
or “bright-faced”, while “white-faced” means
“pale”, “whitened”, “become pale” (due to an
illness or fear), and “bright-faced” means “to
have a bright happy look connected with the
description of some emotion but not someone’s
complexion. Both words have the temporary
meaning, they are quite short and soon pass by.
Taking into account these aspects I chose the
variant with “fair-faced”:
him.
3.
With eyes shining like frosty morning stars,
With hooves clanking like lear-tempered
steel. (Song 6)
But in some other cases they could intensify
the cultural barrier, and make comprehension
more difficult. Example 4 presents a famous Yakut
olonkho formula of human-being’s description:
they are two-legged, two-armed, two-eyed, with
a face in the front of one’s head, a straight nose
unlike demons abaahy/adjarais – evil and ugly
creatures; they are one-armed and one-legged
Cyclopes (Pukhov, 2013) made of iron with their
faces in the back of their head. The only arm of an
abaahy that grows from the centre of their chest and
his only leg are forked in an elbow and a knee. As
Pukhov states, they represent all the possible sins
(wrath, lust, cruelty, infectious diseases, laziness,
bestiality, impurity and cannibalism). The abaahy
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(evil) characters attack people, rob and destroy
their land, and kidnap women. (Pukhov, 2013)
Their world is a vast dark icy land with low red
skies, fiery oceans and infinite swamps. Yakuts
were blacksmiths and found the iron ore in the
ground that is why they believe that underground
creatures are made of iron. Yakut word тимир
(timir=iron) has a figurative sense cruelty,
cruel. The most traditional transformation of the
abaahy is a dragon shape. The ugly face of the
demon resembles muddy rainy dale in example
5. A simile half-cooked fish soup in example 6 is
attached not only to someone’s description but to
natural phenomena too like weather or mist.
4.
The two-legged (Song 6)
5.
With an ugly face
Put her in his left
pocket. (Song 5)
Some images may be particularly exotic for
English-speaking readers, such as the description
of a wrathful Nyurgun, which may be especially
unusually striking,
His right eye
Stretched down
To his lips,
His left eye
Twisted up to his eyebrows. (Song 5)
But, at the same time certain descriptions
may be aesthetically delightful:
They got him ready as an arrow (Song 1)
Like a rainy alaas (Song 7)
6.
………….the old man
Looked at them
With dull, lackluster eyes
Like half-done fish soup (Song 6)
In translation hyperbolization, in traditional
or epic texts, can sometimes evoke astonishment
and perplexity from the reader, but, despite this,
we preserve these important features of the Yakut
epic poetics:
At first sight, one might assume that the
frequently recurring physicality, cruelty and
bloodthirstiness of the Yakut epic may be
excessively aversive to a foreign reader and
therefore may hinder his/her appreciation of its
artistic and aesthetic features. Nevertheless,
Olonkho’s vivid stylistic methods, its peculiar
poetic language, built upon a rich system of
figural speech and metaphorical allusions, is quite
familiar from the world epic tradition.
He kissed the upper lip
3) SYNTACTIC ISSUES
Of Aitalyn Kuo
Of the eight-bylas-long braid
Three times
As three bowls of blood
Brimmed over;
He kissed her lower lip
Six times
As six bowls of blood
Leaked out,
The task of preserving the syntactic
parallelism in translation to a large respect
depends on the degree of overlap between
syntactic structure of the Yakut and English
languages. Elements of syntactic parallelism
which fall outside this overlap are best dealt
with in the same way as with the other forms of
syntactic meanings. For instance,
Touching her skin tenderly,
He rolled her up
1.
Into a bundle and
Who has never been tamed,
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Whose father is Sung Jahin,
‘Urui-aikhal! Narin-naskil!
Who has the thunder chariot,
Urui-tusku! Kegel-nushal!
Who flashes lightning! (Song 7)
Let us praise
Akhtar Aiyyhyt,
4) LEXICAL ISSUES
Let us praise
We strive to preserve, as much as possible,
a few exoticisms, denoting Yakut realities,
including, the traditional Yakut units of
measurement, such as bylas [IPA transcription],
tutum, kes, etc. However, to avoid congesting the
translated text with the national-cultural attributes,
which could detract the reader’s attention from
the scenes of Olonkho’s developing plot, already
suffused with rich and vivid metaphor and
imagery, we introduce along with the exoticisms,
English translations. Thus, the unit of measure
“ilii”[IPA transcription] is translated as “handsized”; a hitching post is represented in English
in two ways, as a sergeh [IPA transcription] and
as a tethering post; the traditional Yakut dwelling
“urasa / uraha” [IPA transcription] is equated
with the yurt because it is a more familiar concept
to the English reader; “choron” or “hamyyah”
/ “kytya” [IPA transcription] is translated as
“(wooden, silver) cup or bowl”; “kymys” [IPA
transcription] is given as “kumis” which, in
our view, would be much more readable for an
English reader; and Olonkho’s fire-breathing,
winged and many-legged monsters, which before
were translated as serpents or snakes, are now
translated as dragons, which, we think, better
represents the true identity of these creatures.
Onomatopoeic
lexical
units
and
interjections, such as “Art-tatai!”, present
particular translation challenges, as it is especially
difficult to find foreign language equivalents that
could convey the same emotional content. With
a rare exception we are forced to preserve such
lexical units via translator’s transcription and
transliteration. For example, the onomatopoeic
word expressing giggling Hy-hyk! Hy-hyk!, we
translated as Ha-ha!.
Kurye Jehegei,
Let us praise
Ekhsit Mother Khotun… (Oyunsky, 2013: 315)
The table below gives a translation of an
excerpt from Olonkho which describes how
Nyurgun Bootur sets off to the Under World,
and the sunny Middle World continues to shine
behind him, like a white spot on a cow’s head. The
imagery verb (the picturesque word),”tunaly” [IPA
transcription], literally means “to whiten-glisten”,
“to brighten-glisten”, “to shine”, “to glow” and
therefore, its semantic structure consists of two
components <to glisten, to shine> and <white,
light>. As can be seen from the table, in the
translation is used only the verb “to shine” which,
we believe is completely justified but the fact that it
is immediately followed by the word combination
“Like a white patch on a cow’s head”.
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Орто дойду улуу дуолана
Аан ийэ дайдытыттан
Арахсан барда,
Аабылааҥҥа тиийдэ,
Күнүн сириттэн
Күрэнэн истэ,
Туналҕаннаах толооно
Туoһахта курдук
Туналыйан хаалла... [Oyuunuskay, 1959: 125]
The great giant of the Middle World
Had left
His primordial Motherland,
And come to the thicket,
He was running away
From the sunny land,
The bright surface of which
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Was shining far behind
Like a patch on a cow’s head…
Another one of the serious issues was the
translation of polysemantic words which are
used profusely in the Olonkho. For example, the
word “түhүлгэ” [tjuhjul`ge] – “tuhulgeh” has a
few meanings that hamper the choice of the right
word: 1) a place where a festival is celebrated, or
where people dance their round dance ohokai,
which also refers to the name of the dancing
circle, or a place for wrestling, or an Olonkho
performance, etc. 2) the festival itself, i.e. it can
be a synonym for the summer solstice festival
Esekh or any other fest (wedding party, etc.).
Thus, in Song 9 the word has all the meanings
simultaneously but I had to choose a concrete one
and it was the festival Esekh:
күн – literally. «white sun» (divine sun), cf. Russ.
«белый свет», «белый день» (literally: white
world, white day); үрүŋ алаас – literally: «white
alaas /field» (fertile, rich land/place). As you see,
a seme “white” is displaced by differential semes;
moreover «үрүŋ» does not oppose «хара» –
literally. «black» – and is rarely connected
with the meaning of the colour itself. However
Derzhavin translates it as white colour which is
not typical of the epic text:
Как белое восходящее солнце… [Derzhavin,
1975: 210]
[As white rising sun]
Не надеялись больше мы
К белому солнцу глаза поднять! [Derzhavin,
1975: 213]
[We did not hope to raise our eyes
They made
To the white sun]
A wide and vast,
Joyful and bright
Esekh festival – tuhulgeh
On a beautiful copper surface
Of their blessed Motherland…
Colours are the universal phenomena and
conventionally there are no special difficulties
in translation colours. There are two words in
the Yakut language with the meaning “white”:
of a Turkic үрүŋ [ju`rjuŋ] and Mongol ма5ан
[ma`gan] origins. They differ in connotations.
Turkic “үрүŋ” derives to milk food but can be
decoded as “sacred; divine; god’s; light”. It is
normally used in the names of supreme deities
or good spirits, e. g. Urung Uolan – literally: the
White Young Man where “үрүŋ /white” means
“of a divine origin/good”. Sometimes it can be
used in addressing or description of rich fields,
pastures, dales, etc., always with a positive
meaning, e. g. “radiant white sky”, “white alaas”
where “alaas” is a valley with a lake. F. e., үрүŋ
In the meaning of colour the word “ма5ан”
of a Mongolian origin is used, e. g. “ма5ан
хаар” [ma`gan ha:r] – “white snow”. The Sakha
as blacksmiths and jewelers value metals: iron,
copper, gold and especially silver. They prefer
silver probably for its disinfectant quality. They
called gold as “red gold” (red because of much
copper added) and silver as “white gold” that
is why they often mention silver in describing
beautiful white teeth; they never call teeth
silver-white but just “silver teeth” implying its
white colour, cf. with universal “pearl teeth”.
Yellow also derives from the colour of the most
precious milk product – butter. It can be used
in a description of a valley; it is used often in a
combination with gold/golden especially in a
human appearance description, e. g. “yellowgolden cheeks”. Both white and yellow symbolize
beauty, richness, abundance and are used in a
description of “ilgeh” – an energetic substance
of symbolical white and yellow colours. In the
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Yakut-Russian translation of olonkho Vladimir
Derzhavin ignores the most important semes/
differential components of these words and
erroneously translates the rich fields as yellow
abundance/richness:
Изобильную желтую благодать
Среднего мира –
Цветущей земли
Мы не надеялись увидать! [Derzhavin, 1975:
213]
(We did not hope to see
The abandon yellow fertility
Of the Middle World –
Flourishing land)
Где
земля
изобильем
желтым
полна…
[Derzhavin, 1975: 215]
(Where the land is full of yellow abundance)
Золотая желтела там благодать…[Derzhavin,
1975: 241]
(There
was
a
golden-yellow
abundance
flourishing)
“Oburgu” – a traditional epithet attached to
the names of heroes. According to the Dictionary
of the Yakut language by Edward Pekarsky it
has the following meanings: обургу [cf. with
Mongol «абурҕу, абурҕа» huge, big] 1) average,
quite, mediocre; quite big ДП.; bigger, more;
big in size: однако! Изрядно! – Quite!; ай да
молодец! Ай да парень! – these expressions are
close to an American expression “good on you!”.
2) an addition (sic) to the names of mythological
heroes богатырь удалой – literally hero brave,
молодец – literally young brave hero, and a loan
1
2
3
4
word обургу и пр. [Pekarsky; 1958: 1777-1778].
But in olonkho the word has more differential
components including “bold”, “mighty”, “brave”,
“cunning”, “smart and quick”, sometimes it may
be used both in negative and positive senses. But it
always expresses “awe”. In the Russian translation
all differential components are omitted that again
proves the idea of the importance of cultural
factors in overcoming the untranslatability: «…
удалой его сын Бохсоголлой Боотур», lit. “…
his brave son Bohsogolloi Bootur”, «Удалой
Нюргун Боотур», lit. “Brave Nyurgun Bootur”
[Derzhavin, 1975: 181], «…исполин Нюргун
Боотур», lit. “…the giant Nyurgun Bootur”
[Derzhavin, 1975: 188].
5. Conclusion
In the course of our work on the translation
of Olonkho into English, we have come to the
recognition that the problem of untranslatability
can be solved with the help of special
‘foreignization’ or ‘domestication’ tendencies and
translation strategies in the translator’s approach.
An epic text contains a high degree of nationalcultural presence of a specific ethnic group with
ancient roots and history without a direct Western
cultural analog. This significantly constraints the
choice and the realization of a translation strategy
and hence, heavily complicates the process of
translation from Yakut into English. Therefore,
in translation it is always important to consider
the cultural factor, and when necessary to
appropriately adjust the text, in each case, trying
to find the best solution possible. This article
discussed some of these problems, giving clear
examples of each, and suggested some ways of
obviating them.
Author’s addition
It is also known as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, Whorfianism or the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis. The fi rst term is
now less frequently used in linguistics and other academic fields concerned with issues of language-thought relations, as
it is generally assumed to be a misnomer.
A term coined by A.E. Kulakovsky, a famous Yakut writer and philosopher.
See footnote 3.
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References
1. Dongfeng Wong, Dan Shen. Factors Influencing the Process of Translating // Meta : journal
des traducteurs / Meta: Translators’ Journal, vol. 44, n° 1, 1999, p. 78-100. Pp. 87, 88.
2. Fedorov, A.V. Basics of general theory of translation (Osnovi obshei teorii perevoda), Moscow,
1983. Pp. 31, 293.
3. Komissarov, V.N. Modern translation studies (Sovremennoe perevodovedenie), Moscow,
2000, p. 67.
4. Hajrulin, V.I. Culture within the paradigm of translation studies (Kul’tura v paradigme
perevodovedeniya) // The Translator’s Diary, issue 24, Moscow, 1999, p. 38.
5. Shvejtser, A.D. Translation as an act of cross-cultural communication (Perevod kak akt
mezhkul’turnoi kommunikatsii) // Actual problems of cross-cultural communication, issue 444,
Moscow, 1999, p. 183.
6. Pukhov, I. V. Olonkho – the ancient Yakut epic (Olonkho – drevnii yakutskii epos). Yakutsk,
Saidam publishing house, 2013. p. 30.
7. Okladnikov, A.P. Yakut epic (olonkho) and its connection to the south (Yakutskii epos (olonkho)
i ego svyaz’ s yugom). Yakutsk, Saidam publishing house, 2013. p. 44.
8. Argounova-Low, T. The scapegoats of natsionalizm: ethnic tensions in Sakha (Yakutia),
northeastern Russia. (Unpublished version for Russian translation).A dissertation submitted in
completion of the requirements for a Ph.D. at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of
Cambridge, 2001. p. 89.
9. Derzhavin, V.V. Nyurgun Bootur Stremitelnyi. Yakutsk, Yakut book publishing company,
1975. 432 p.
10. Flory, A. “The English Language” in V. Sirin // The Translator’s Almanac. Moscow, 2001,
p. 52
11. Popovich, A. Problems of literary translation. Moscow, 1980, Pp. 119, 138.
12. Oyunsky, P. Nurgun Botur the Swift. Song 7. London, Renaissance Books, 2013. P. 292.
13. Bernstein, I. English names in Russian translations // The Translator’s Almanac, Moscow,
2001, p. 20.
14. Ermolovich, D.I. Proper names at the intersection of languages and cultures. Moscow, 2001,
Pp. 21, 25, 31.
15. Neveleva, C.L. Questions of Poetics of the Ancient Indian Epic. Moscow, Nauka, 1979,
135 p.
16. Kazakova, T.A. Practical Principles of Translation. English ↔ Russian, St. Petersburg,
Soyuz, 2001, 319 p.
17. Oyuunuskay, P.A. Duluruyar Nurgun Botur / P.A. Oyuunuskay. Yakutskay: Sakha sirineegi
book publishing company, 1959. V. 5. 287 p.
18. Oyuunuskay, P.A. Duluruyar Nurgun Bootur / P.A. Oyuunuskay. Yakutskay: Sakha sirineehi
book publishing company, 1960. V. 6. P. 310.
19. Unpublished English translation of 1st, 5th, 6th, and 7th song of Olonkho “Nyurgun Bootur, the
Swift”, Department of Translation, Institute of Foreign Phiology and Regional Studies, NEFU, 2012.
20. Yakut Dictionary / E.K. Pekarsky, Yakutsks. 1958, V. 1. 1281 p.
21. Yakut Dictionary / E.K. Pekarsky, Yakutsks. 1958, V. 2. 1226 p.
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22. Yakut Dictionary / E.K. Pekarsky, Yakutsks. 1958, V. 3. 1351 p.
23. Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners. International Student Edition.
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2002, 1692 p.
24. Large English-Russian & Russian-English Dictionary. 200 000 words and expressions /
V.K. Muller, Moscow, Eksmo, 2009, 1008 p.
Проблемы (не)переводимости
в якутском эпическом тексте олонхо
А.А. Находкина
Северо-Восточный федеральный университет
имени М.К. Аммосова
Россия, 677000, Якутск, ул. Белинского, 58
Автор исследует проблему (не)переводимости в контексте кросс-культурной коммуникации
и перевода как средства межкультурного контакта. Проблема (не)переводимости
рассматривается с точки зрения Вильгельма фон Гумбольдта, который считал язык
«выражением духа нации», и гипотезы лингвистической относительности, которая
определяет язык как «медиатор мысли». Настоящее исследование является частью
крупного проекта по переводу олонхо – якутского (Саха) героического эпоса «Нюргун
Боотур Стремительный» П.А. Ойунского. В статье проводится анализ различных языковых
и культурных барьеров, дается краткое описание олонхо.
Ключевые слова: перевод, (не)переводимость, якутский эпос, олонхо, «Нюргун Боотур
Стремительный», переводческие стратегии.
Публикация подготовлена в рамках поддержанного РГНФ научного проекта № 14-14-14003.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 287-293
~~~
УДК 81’255.2:821.111-1(73)
Rhythmical Principles of Walt Whitman’s
Poetry Underlying the Approach to Translation
into Russian of the ‘Leaves of Grass’
(as Exemplified by the Poem
Once I Pass’d Through a Populous City)
Irina V. Nikitina*
Nizhny Novgorod State Linguistic University
named after N.A. Dobrolyubov
31a Minin Str., Nizhny Novgorod, 603155, Russia
Received 05.11.2013, received in revised form 10.12.2013, accepted 27.12.2013
The article discusses an alternative approach to translation of the ‘Leaves of Grass’ by Walt
Whitman into Russian which is thought to ensure most accurate transfer of ‘the essential model’ of
Whitman’s verse. For illustrative purposes the author analyzes the poem ‘Once I Pass’d through a
Populous City’ in line with the fundamental rhythmical principle and consequently offers his own
translation version.
Keywords: Walt Whitman, rhythmical principles, rhythm of thought, phonetic recurrence.
Walt Whitman has never outlined the
principles on which his system of versification is
built1, he rather hinted at them in his poetic theory.
It wouldn’t be difficult to enumerate those cues –
they serve the basis for interpretations provided
by researchers of his prosody:
1. He has no art except the art of nature –
‘the only complete, actual poem’ (Whitman,
2002: 772).
2. His ‘form has strictly grown from [his –
I.N.] purports and facts, and is the analogy of
them’ (Whitman, 2002: 660).
3. He is very careful and thorough about
choosing the words2 and determining the length
of the lines (Allen, 1935: 220).
*
It cannot go unnoticed that only the last of
them has some practical value for us. The first
two clues are so broad and general in terms of
interpretation that they can hardly be of any use
while working out an approach to translation of
the ‘Leaves of Grass’.
In solving the translation problem set out in
the article we shall rely on conclusions drawn by
researchers from practice. Of undoubted interest
for us is a conclusion made by an American
professor Bliss Perry in 1960: for Whitman
‘essential model… was the rhythmical pattern
of the English Bible… [in which he] found the
charter for the book he wished to write’ (Perry,
1906: 96).
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: irene.nikitina@gmail.com
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Irina V. Nikitina. Rhythmical Principles of Walt Whitman’s Poetry Underlying the Approach to Translation into Russian…
We do not set ourselves a goal to figure
it out whether Whitman borrowed his poetic
technique from the Bible or was guided by
intuitive principles thus defending his own, most
natural for him style of versification3. Something
else is more important for us: the Old Testament
avails us of such rhythm-formative principles that
provide an opportunity to analyze and interpret
Whitman’s prosody and which we reckon shall
determine the ultimate approach to translation of
the ‘Leaves of Grass’.
So the first and fundamental rhythmical
principle is that of parallel structure. Whitman’s
line is a rhythmical unit, each line is balancing its
predecessor, and completing or supplementing its
meaning. Such ‘parallelism’ G.W. Allen called ‘a
rhythm of thought’.
In the usual sense the word ‘rhythm’ is used
in poetry with regards to regular alternation of
stressed and unstressed syllables. However in the
general sense rhythm means repetition, reiteration
of identical elements, processes… Repetition of
thoughts, ideas in a poetic text in accordance with
a particular scheme also represents some rhythm,
and such repetition will actually be perceived
by a reader as a rhythm once his mind has been
trained for such perception.
The second core rhythmical principle of the
‘Leaves of Grass’ is a technique that Allen called
‘phonetic recurrence’. A rhythmical sound pattern
created through a variety of phonetic recurrences
has different manifestations in the text space
of the ‘Leaves of Grass’: in some instances it is
easily discernible, but other times it is hardly
distinguishable.
The given research does not imply detection
of those principles that subordinate a combination
of thought rhythm and phonetic rhythm – that is
unachievable through the example of one short
poem. However it is beyond dispute that parallel
thoughts in the ‘Leaves of Grass’ generally
acquire a parallel means of expression at the
level of phonetic recurrences and grammatical
structures.
When choosing an approach to translation of
the ‘Leaves of Grass’ into Russian the issue of
rendering the rhythm of Whitman’s verse seemed
to have never been made the cornerstone by
Russian translators4. Let us consider the example
of the poem entitled ‘Once I Pass’d through a
Populous City’ to see how far K. Chukovsky
moves away from rhythmical principles of
Whitman’s verse, and whether adherence to these
principles is enough to outline the approach to
translation in general.
Once I Pass’d through a Populous City
Once I pass’d through a populous city imprinting my
brain for future use with its shows,
architecture, customs, traditions,
Yet now of all that city I remember only a woman I
casually met there who detain’d me for
love of me,
Day by day and night by night we were together--all
else has long been forgotten by me,
I remember I say only that woman who passionately
clung to me,
Again we wander, we love, we separate again,
Again she holds me by the hand, I must not go,
I see her close beside me with silent lips sad and
tremulous.
K. Chukovsky offered
translation of the poem:
the
following
Однажды, когда я проходил городом
Однажды,
когда
я
проходил
по
большому,
многолюдному городу, я пытался
внедрить в свою память его улицы, зданья, обычаи,
нравы,
Но теперь я забыл этот город, помню лишь некую
женщину,
которую я случайно там встретил, и она удержала
меня,
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потому что полюбила меня.
День за днем, ночь за ночью мы были вдвоем, – все
остальное я давно позабыл,
Помню
только
ее,
эту
женщину,
которая
страстно прилепилась ко мне,
Опять мы блуждаем вдвоем, мы любим, мы
расстаемся опять,
Опять она держит меня за руку и просит, чтобы
я не уходил,
Я вижу ее, она рядом со мною, ее грустные губы
молчат и дрожат.
The solution to the problem of rendering the
rhythm of Whitman’s verse implies no searching
for some most subtle regular patterns of alternating
stressed and unstressed syllables. Whitman has
never been into that: ‘I have never given any study
merely to expression: it has never appealed to me
as a thing valuable or significant in itself’ (Allen,
1935: 218). Elsewhere he further clarifies: ‘… what
I am after is the content not the music of words.
Perhaps the music happens – it does no harm’
(Traubel, 1906: 163). The following explanation
of Whitman quoted by H. Traubel also casts
some light on Whitman’s attitude to the rhythm
in his verse: ‘… rhythm and uniformity he will
conceal in the roots of his verses, not to be seen
of themselves, but to break forth loosely as lilacs
on a bush, and to take shapes compact, as shapes
of melons, or chestnuts, or pears’ (Traubel, Bush,
and Harned, 1893: 16). If we compare the above
statements by Whitman we can after G.W. Allen
conclude that the ‘intangible’ Whitman’s rhythm
is actually his rhythm of thought. And for this
rhythm to freely break through, for any prepared
reader to perceive the rhythm of thought (and
for the translator to render it as well) it is crucial
to grasp the principles of text arrangement, the
nature of its content movement.
The goal of the translator in this case
is not only to preserve the communicatively
meaningful semantic core of the original text, but
also to accurately reproduce all ‘building blocks
of meaning’ (V.N. Komissarov) without breaking
their sequence and more importantly hierarchical
relationships. Each line5 shall be treated not just
as an integral unit of the arrangement, but as a
functional unit – a linguistic unit characterized by
communicative intent included into the situation
or text. In the given context this will be not just
the text of the poem under consideration, but the
text space of the ‘Leaves of Grass’ in general6.
Such actualization of the line implies thematicrhematic structuring of its content.
Let us get down to line-by-line analysis
of the poem with an emphasis on thematicrhematic relations. Those linguistic means using
which thematic-rhematic arrangement of lines
is highlighted will undoubtedly be of primary
importance for us.
Communicative intent of the first line is
determined through its inclusion into the context
of the ‘Open Road’ which is deemed to be one of
the most determinant in the ‘Leaves of Grass’7. The
thematic part of the line ‘Once I’ is represented by
the subject group. The fact that the subject (first
person pronoun ‘I’) is the core of the plot scheme
in the ‘Leaves of Grass’ attributes higher degree
of thematicity to it8. The syntactical element
‘Once’ is becoming thematic due to its primary
position in the line. The rhematic part (rheme)
comprises the rest of the line which informs us
about passing through a populous city (‘through’
since the road is open at both ends) with a certain
aim in mind. The rheme is a group with predicate
‘passed’ characterized by high rhematicity due
to its semantic completeness conditioned by the
context9.
When rendering this line the translator
introduces new words lacking any correlation
with the original: ‘когда’, ‘большому’, ‘я
пытался’ which actually distort thematicrhematic relationships. As a result we get a
thematic part with a subordinate clause of time:
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‘Однажды, когда я проходил по большому,
многолюдному городу, я…’. Thus while
in the original the syntactic element ‘I’ has
higher thematicity than ‘Once’ (as undoubtedly
confirmed through intonation), in translation the
adverbial modifier ‘Однажды’ becomes more
thematic and draws over intonational stress due
to the subordinate clause of time which causes
this shift. Speaking about the predicate ‘pass’d’
it also loses its operating effect after becoming a
part of the subordinate clause. When translating
the participle ‘imprinting’ with a compound
verbal predicate ‘пытался внедрить’ (i.e.
compelled oneself to memorize) the translator
gets into collision with the context. Proceeding
from the general situation, any compulsion is out
of the question – the poet is invariably gazing at
houses, or streets with ‘loving and thirsting eyes’
(Whitman, 2002: 139). Besides, when rendering
the rheme of the first line the translator missed out
one of the components of the original semantic
structure – ‘for future use’. Obviously after
distorting the thematic-rhematic arrangement of
the first line, and consequently the nature of its
content movement, its idea, the translator thus
reduced its operating effect in the first place
and secondly violated its rhythmic and melodic
harmony, its intonation.
Whitman is making the thematic part of the
second line, as compared to the first one, more
detailed implying that he no longer has a notion
to report something new about the city: ‘Yet
now of all that city I’. The rheme is composed
of a group with the predicate ‘remember’10. The
syntactical element ‘woman’ introduced through
this predicate due to rhematic signals, which are
the particle ‘only’ and the syntactic structure
beginning with ‘who’, is becoming no less
significant than the predicate itself.
In translation the thematic part of the second
line is folded up into three words – ‘но теперь
я’. The rheme is built on the antithesis ‘забыл’ –
‘помню’, thus using the predicate ‘забыл’ which
has no match in the original the translator creates
internal antithetic parallelism11. So whereas
Whitman is making the best use of the line-byline antithetic parallelism – the second line denies
or contrasts the first (once – yet, populous – only,
city – woman), the translator through reducing
the operating effect of the first line, and as a result
of introducing the internal antithetic parallelism
into the second line and ignoring the opposition
‘populous’ – ‘only’ (the epithet ‘большой’ is
clearly superfluous, it is not counterbalanced
by the subsequent line, while the syntactical
element ‘некую’ is too neutral) actually blurs this
effect, and consequently loses Whitman’s rhythm
of thought in its broad aspect – at the interline
level.
Analysis of the third and fourth lines of the
original poem suggests line-by-line synonymous
parallelism – each succeeding line enforces its
predecessor by repeating the thought. The third
line – through internal antithetic parallelism
confirmed by punctuation ‘–’, the fourth – through
persistent ‘I say’ acting as a means of special stress
bearing the impress of the emotional emphasis. In
the fourth line Whitman exhausts the theme of
‘city’ – ‘woman’ conflict. Syntactical elements ‘I
say’, ‘only’, ‘who’ are the signals of high-degree
rhematicity in the message ‘remember a woman’.
The translator neglected Whitman’s ‘I say’
and used its own rhematic signal – demonstrative
pronoun ‘её’. This has lead to a decrease in
rhematicity of the predicate verb ‘помню’,
whereas the object ‘женщину’ introduced
through it gained its significance. Thus having
distorted the thematic-rhematic arrangement of
the line the translator also distorted its internal
rhythm of thought, its intonation.
In the final lines (lines 5, 6 and 7) Whitman
elaborates on the memories of his persona about
the woman. The relationship between these lines
is arranged on the basis on climactic parallelism12
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or in other words ‘ascending rhythm’ – each
succeeding line adds up to the previous one
making the thought more vivid.
Upon the whole the translation manages
to render the climactic parallelism of this text
fraction, i.e. the original thought rhythm is
preserved at the interline level. The internal
parallelism of the fifth line is rendered as well.
By introducing the predicate ‘просит’ and
hereafter the object clause with the conjunction
‘чтобы’ the translator thus replaces an implicit
message coming from the woman and perceived
by the persona as ‘I must not go’ with an explicit
one – ‘и просит, чтобы я не уходил’. Here
we encounter the case of redundant translation.
Consequently the rhythmical and melodic
order of the line turned to be different from the
original.
While rendering the seventh line the
translator through pronouns ‘она’, ‘её’, which
have no counterparts in the original text,
distorts the nature of the content development.
It becomes obvious, if we break up this line
into groups of parallel ideas we shall get the
following arrangement: ‘I see her / close beside
me / with silent lips sad and tremulous’. So the
basic statement is made first: ‘I see her’, then the
statement is expanded: ‘close beside me’ and ‘with
silent lips sad and tremulous’. Within the seventh
line the translator creates synthetic parallelism13
which is lacking in the original thus slacking
the verse movement which in turn reduces the
efficiency of the climactic parallelism completing
the poem (the last three lines).
The above analysis allows the following
conclusion: Whitman’s rhythm of thought is
a sophisticated rhythmical scheme; generally
speaking it is a line-by-line parallelism, the type
of which is determined by the nature of relations
between the lines, in the narrow sense it is internal
parallelism determined by the nature of content
movement within the line. Although line-by-line
analysis is playing a crucial role in the ‘Leaves of
Grass’, still the above analysis shows that internal
parallelism is not an accidental phenomenon
with Whitman – it contributes to the maximum
final effect in creating a rhythmical scheme of
the poem. Rendering of parallelism or thought
rhythm of the original shall constitute a toppriority task for the translator. Adherence to this
fundamental principle of the ‘Leaves of Grass’
implies most accurate conveyance of the original
meaning and its rhythmically structured content.
To our mind all the other problems related to
the translation of the original – at imaginative,
stylistic levels – shall be solved in keeping with
this key rhythmical principle. It is noteworthy in
this respect that putting emphasis on rendering the
roughness of the style (Chukovsky’s translation)
means intentional disregarding of the ‘essential
model’ of Whitman’s verse.
While studying Whitman’s prosody
G.W. Allen concludes – the rhythm of thought
in the ‘Leaves of Grass’ ‘produces a phonetic
recurrence’ (Allen, 1935: 221), i.e. in Whitman’s
verse (in the Old Testament likewise) two
rhythms are possible: rhythm of thought and
rhythm of sounds. Actually Whitman himself
is highlighting this: ‘… half-tints, and even less
than half-tints’ bear some message (Whitman,
2002: 660). The nature of relations between these
rhythms is undoubtedly of interest to the translator
of the ‘Leaves of Grass’, however here we have
no opportunity to conduct some reasonable
analysis of such relations – principles underlying
combinations of thought rhythm and phonetic
recurrence shall be identified based on longer
poetic texts. It may be just noted that the poem
under consideration proves that parallel thoughts
in the ‘Leaves of Grass’ tend to bear phonetic
recurrences, i.e. Whitman’s parallelism like
biblical parallelism requires such a formal method
as a phonetic recurrence. Phonetic recurrence
‘me’ is quite clearly traced in Whitman’s poem –
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it chiefly determines the rhythmic sound pattern
of the poem. This recurrence is mostly felt with
the final word of the line. Analogy to the Psalms
is transparent:
to see that with climactic parallelism (lines 5, 6
and 7) Whitman generates phonetic recurrence
‘again’.
The above analysis suggests the following
translation to the poem:
O Lord my God, in Thee have I put my hope: save me
Однажды я проходил
from all them that persecute me, and deliver me.
через многолюдный город
The pangs of death compassed me, and the floods of
Однажды я проходил через многолюдный город,
iniquity sore troubled me.
отпечатывая впрок в своем мозгу его зрелища,
The pangs of Hades compassed me about; the snares
здания, обычаи, нравы,
of death prevented me.
А теперь из всего того города я помню только
женщину,
случайно
встреченную,
которая
Yea, though I walk in the midst of the shadow of death,
удержала меня из-за любви ко мне,
I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me.
День за днем и ночь за ночью мы были неразлучны –
Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me.
все прочее не оставило и следа во мне,
Thou hast prepared a table before me, in the presence
Я помню, говорю вам, только эту женщину, что
of them that trouble me.
страстно прижималась ко мне,
Thou hast anointed my head with oil, and like the best
Вновь мы блуждаем вдвоем, мы сливаемся, мы
wine doth Thy cup inebriate me.
разлучаемся вновь,
Moreover Whitman follows another rule
of the Old Testament: it is well-known that
biblical climactic parallelism is characterized by
borrowing words from the previous line. It is easy
Вновь она держит меня за руку, я не должен
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
уходить,
Я вижу ее рядом, так близко, с безмолвными
губами, печальную и дрожащую.
We fi nd it justifiable to talk about the system of versification or prosody of Walt Whitman since all of his poetic technique
was based on an intent to set up a new “school” of American prosody.
‘I take a good deal of trouble with words…’ [Traubel, 1906: 163].
Citing Whitman Traubel wrote: ‘Nature may have given the hint to the author of the ‘Leaves of Grass’, but there exists no
book or fragment of a book which can have given the hint to them [sic]» [Traubel, 1906: 16].
The conclusion was made based on the Russian edition of the ‘Leaves of Grass’ published in 1970.
The fact that Whitman’s line shall be treated as a separate unit is confi rmed through punctuation as well.
Whitman was known to state that his ‘Leaves of Grass’ ‘when complete should be a unity, in the same sense that the earth
is, or that the human body, (senses, soul, head, trunk, feet, blood, viscera, man-root, eyes, hair) or that a perfect musical
composition is’ [Whitman, 2002: 783].
Situation and context serve as a powerful means to neutralize any systemic-linguistic oppositions.
Thematicity and rhematicity are gradable, can be of higher or lower degree.
To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go <…>
To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls [Whitman, 2002: 133]
Allons! the road is before us!
<…> my own feet have tried it well… [Whitman, 2002: 134]
Owing to its predicative nature the personal verb is usually rhematic.
Antithetical parallelism – the second line denies or contrasts the fi rst. Internal parallelism rests entirely on rhythmical
principles underlying the line-by-line analysis.
Climactic parallelism – each succeeding line adds to its predecessor, usually taking up words from it and completing it.
Synthetic or cumulative parallelism – the second line, or several consecutive lines, supplements or completes the fi rst.
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Irina V. Nikitina. Rhythmical Principles of Walt Whitman’s Poetry Underlying the Approach to Translation into Russian…
References
1. Allen, G.W. American Prosody. American Book Company, 1935. 342 p.
2. Perry, B. Walt Whitman. A Biography. Houghton: Mifflin and Company, 1906. 318 p.
3. Traubel, H. With Walt Whitman in Camden. March 28-July 14, 1888. Volume I. Boston: Small,
Maynard & Boston, 1906. 473 p.
4. Traubel, Bush and Harned. In re Walt Whitman. Philadelphia: David McCay, 1893. 220 p.
5. Whitman, W. Leaves of grass and other writings: authoritative texts, prefaces, Whitman on his
art, criticism. New York: A Norton critical edition, 2002. 919 p.
Ритмообразующие принципы поэзии У. Уитмена
как основа подхода к переводу на русский язык
«Листьев травы» (на примере стихотворения
Once I Pass’d through a Populous City)
И.В. Никитина
Нижегородский государственный лингвистический
университет им. Н.А. Добролюбова
Россия, 603155, Н. Новгород, ул. Минина, 31а
В статье рассматривается вариант подхода к переводу «Листьев травы» на русский
язык, который, как предполагается, способен обеспечить максимально точную передачу
«сущностной модели» уитменовского стиха. В качестве примера автор анализирует
стихотворение Once I Pass’d through a Populous City в русле основополагающего
ритмообразующего принципа и, как результат этого анализа, предлагает собственный
вариант перевода.
Ключевые слова: Уолт Уитмен, ритмообразующие принципы, ритм мысли, фонетический
повтор.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 294-304
~~~
УДК 81.33
Self-Translation as Science-Art:
Joseph Brodsky Legacy
Veronica A. Razumovskaya*
Siberian Federal University
79 Svobodny, Krasnoyarsk, 660041, Russia
Received 29.11.2013, received in revised form 20.12.2013, accepted 15.01.2014
The article deals with the issues of self-translator’s creativity which are considered in the context of
the linguistic concepts of identity. When creating a secondary translated text self-translator’s efforts
are directed towards the creation of a text which is culturally symmetrical to an original text. Effective
strategies of translation in the situation of self-translation are self-commentary and self-editing. The
Russian text of the series “Chast’ Rechi” and English self-translation “A Part of Speech” by Joseph
Brodsky are research material.
Keywords: self-translation, creativity, linguistic identity, self-commentary, self-editing, “A Part of
Speech”, Joseph Brodsky.
Introduction
Translation has a centuries-old history
including a comparatively long period of theoretical
reasoning about translation-related issues. The
diversity of views on the problems of translation
theory and practice has led to appearance of a
considerable number of definitions reflecting the
constitutive features of translation: translation
as a process and as a result of this process;
translation as socially oriented interlanguage
communication; translation as a complicated
act of communication; translation as intended
approaching of multilanguage communication
to monolanguage communication (Sokolovsky
2009). Without the purpose of making a
comparative analysis of many existing definitions
of translation suggested at different times and by
various schools of translation studies, we believe
*
it necessary to draw attention to the definition of
translation as creative activity (Alekseyeva 2004:
7; Solodub 2005: 5). Understanding of translation
as creative work does not refer to a certain kind
of translation determined by the classification
basis being used, which makes creative work a
universal characteristic of any kind of translation
as a complex communicative activity. It should
be noted that the division of translation into three
main types suggested by R. Jakobson in 1959
(intralingual, interlingual and intersemiotic) is
still highly relevant at the present stage of the
development of translation thought. Obviously,
the most well-studied type of translation is
interlingual translation.
It goes without saying that translation is not
only creative work, it is also a technology. The
ratio of creative and technological components in
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: veronica_raz@hotmail.com
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translator’s work varies depending on subjective
and objective circumstances: form and type of
translation, translator’s competencies, translation
time, linguistic and sociocultural characteristics
of the original etc. In this context, the following
view of translation scholars, linguists and literary
critics can be useful: literary translation as a
special kind of written translation is situated at
the intersection of subject areas of science and art.
Such understanding of literary translation was
frequently expressed by famous translators and
translation scholars (Etkind 1970; Chukovsky,
Fyodorov 1930; Levy 1974). Defining translation
as a special form of art, translation scholars have
never denied its considerable scientific component.
Literary translation has always been thought of
as a complex and unique combination of science
and art that is impossible to separate. To be more
specific, literary translation can be defined as
a complex creative process including different
creative processes typical of both science and art.
Being a creative individual, a literary translator
combines artistic and scientific creative abilities.
That is why the term “science-art” can be applied
to literary translation. According to the Egyptian
translation scholar M. Enami studying literary
translation issues in Arabic and English in
synchrony and diachrony, literary translation is a
modern science at the confluence of philosophy,
linguistics, psychology and sociology (Enami
2001). Literary translation – and especially
translation of poetry – is an unique, individual
and creative process in which each translator
makes his own translation decisions aimed at
reaching the desired results in each specific
translation situation for each specific translation
object. Literary translation has a compulsory
ad hoc status that varies depending on literary
fashion, translation “politics” of the recipient
culture, and dominating translation tradition at
the time of translating. That is why literary texts
of certain cultures having been regular objects
of translation for a long time (for example, texts
by Homer and Pushkin) are translated differently
into different languages and at different times.
Literary Self-translation
and Linguistic Identity
This study is focused on such form of
interlanguage translation as self-translation. In
a broad sense, self-translation is translation of
a work into a foreign language by the author of
such work. The possible objects of self-translation
include written texts of any genre and style
(scientific article, report, instruction, story, novel)
or oral texts (presentation, greeting speech).
In most cases, self-translation is made not
by a professional translator, but by an expert in
a certain field of knowledge who is the author of
the original text and a bilingual speaker. In other
words, the subject of self-translation is a person
who is knowledgeable about the domain to
which the original text belongs and who has the
language and translation abilities necessary for
interlanguage interpretation of the original text.
A particular variant of self-translation is
literary self-translation where the author of the
original text is a prose or poetry writer. In the
situation of “classic” interlanguage translation an
author of the original text and a translator are two
different physical persons. The unique feature
of self-translation is that no doubling of physical
person occurs in the process of interlanguage
and intercultural communication. In case of
self-translation an author and a translator are
one and the same person. In this connection,
self-translation can be studied in the context
of linguistic concepts of identity: linguistic,
discursive and communicative. Every person as a
personality (in a broad scientific sense implying
social and psychological characteristics of an
individual) combines the above mentioned types
of identity in terms of linguistics. In modern
linguistics linguistic identity is defined according
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to Yu.N. Karaulov as “the totality of a person’s
abilities and characteristics enabling him to create
and perceive speech products (texts) differing by:
a) degree of structural and language complexity,
b) depth and accuracy of reflection of reality, c)
certain goal” (Karaulov 1989: 3). The possible
number of linguistic identity of a translator is
determined by the sum of his primary language
personality which traditionally develops as a
result of his birth circumstances and upbringing
in the native language and cultural environment
and secondary language personalities developing
as a result of learning foreign languages or living
in a different (non-native) culture and language
environment. Having two or more linguistic
identities, an individual (a translator, in our case)
simultaneously possesses several languages
systems. In its turn, a communicative identity is a
language personality performing communication.
The owner of a communicative identity interacts
with other participants of a communicative
act, which means following a specific model of
communicative behavior, and thus acts as an
addressor or addressee of a message. The notion
of discursive identity is also a derivative from
the notion of language personality and implies
production of a certain discourse in the form of a
certain message (Plotnikova 2008а). Speculating
on the similarities and differences of language,
discursive and communicative spaces, S.N.
Plotnikova makes a conclusion that “the essence
of a translator’s work is substitution of the missing
linguistic identity of a communicator and enabling
his interaction with interlocutors in the given
communicative space. In these conditions the
communicator has one communicative identity
and two linguistic identities one of which belongs
to another person – translator” (Plotnikova 2008b:
135).
Developing the idea about the differences
between
language,
communicative
and
discursive identities, it is possible to conclude
that the principal feature of self-translation is that
communicative, discursive and two linguistic
identities (of the original and translation) actually
belong to one person – author and translator.
This essential characteristic obviously affects the
process of perception and understanding of a text
being translated by a translator. A translator’s
perception and understanding of the original text
at the initial phase of translation process, in the
case of “classic” interlanguage translation, are
identical to the mental actions of a “classic” reader
perceiving the original text and understanding
(deciphering, decoding) the information complex
of a literary text in the process of reading. At the
initial stage of translation, a translator is first of
all a reader. A translator is a very attentive and
highly motivated reader intending to perceive
and understand as much as possible information
from the text being read. Information in a
literary text is expressed by means of a certain
language system aimed at formal implementation
of the author’s artistic concept and is refracted
through the language consciousness of every
person reading this text. The modern cognitive
concept of language consciousness states that
a language system can be a very important
means of information categorization and can act
as a special cognitive filter or cognitive matrix
(Boldyrev 2002). In every natural language there
is a unique conceptual grid making it possible
to divide and shape the cognitive and semantic
space of every language in a certain way, which
manifests itself primarily in the meanings of
lexical units belonging to a specific language
system.
Information Ambiguity
in Translation Process:
Perception and Understanding Issues
Perception of information seen by
psycholinguists as the initial stage of understanding
and subsequent understanding of the original
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text as the initial stage of translation implies
that both a “classic” reader and a translator must
overcome the original informational ambiguity
of the text being read. Informational ambiguity
is found at the intersection of understanding and
failure to understand information in the process
of reading. A literary text undoubtedly has a
high degree of regular informational ambiguity.
Ambiguity implies that more than one variant
of interpretation is possible with regard to the
information contained in a specific information
carrier. Ambiguity can often be found in works
of art, because one and the same object (piece
of music, graphic image, architectural structure)
necessarily implies ambiguity during perception.
Ambiguity is the basis for such universal semantic
properties of natural languages as polysemy and
homonymy. The category of ambiguity is closely
related to the information category of uncertainty.
But in case of uncertainty the possibility to make
the right conclusion is predetermined to a greater
extent than in case of ambiguity. In case of
uncertainty there can be several conclusions as
a result of interpreting the information and all of
them will be characterized as correct.
Ambiguity in terms of translation has a
heterogeneous character and includes different
types of ambiguity: ambiguity of the information
complex of the original text (original ambiguity),
ambiguity of understanding of the original’s
information complex by a reader (and, thus, by
a translator as a reader), ambiguity of chosen
strategies and decisions in translation, and
ambiguity of the information complex of the
secondary text (translation) in the process of its
perception by a potential reader. Ambiguous
information characteristics of the original and
of the translation, in their turn, can be cognitive,
aesthetic, semantic, pragmatic, cultural, etc.
Ambiguity also characterizes each participant
of such complicated communicative act as
translation: an author of the original literary text,
a translator and a reader of translation. Studying
the scientific category of ambiguity at an artistic,
cultural and psychophysiological level (level
of perception), the Italian physicist G. Caglioti
convincingly demonstrates the modern process
of blurring distinctions between the humanities
and exact sciences and believes that the category
of ambiguity can be found in all academic fields
and forms of art: architecture, art, graphic arts,
sculpture, literature, music, choreography, theater,
photography, and cinema. It is the category of
ambiguity that not only unites different objects of
science and art in a certain way, but also makes
it possible to characterize human activity in these
spheres as scientific and artistic creative work.
In the process of such creative work the flow of
irregular external signals perceived by organs
of senses is transformed into regular states of a
human’s brain (visual and auditory images). It is
in the creative process that the original ambiguity
and uncertainty of our thought are overcome.
Thus, it can be stated once again that ambiguity
plays a central role among factors unifying
science, art and translation. “At the very place
where science meets art, truth meets beauty,
beauty meets nature, language becomes at the
same time analytical and syntactical, precise and
polysemantic, rational and intuitive, esoteric and
exoteric. In one word, it becomes ambiguous.
Thus, we obtain an «unshaped shape», a surprise
shape. Lost like in a maze and stimulating in its
dynamic instability, this form becomes a factor
of varying stability of taste that is passed on from
one generation to another. And ambiguity goes
up to become an eternal cultural value” (Caglioti
1992: 171). Ambiguity appears at critical points of
any choice: where entropy meets order, evolution
meets stability, and symmetry meets asymmetry.
The existence of two mutually exclusive
incompatible aspects gives rise to ambiguity.
Understanding information in an original
literary text consists in multiple processes of
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decoding and interpreting of ambiguous aesthetic
information of the original text by a translator
who: isolates the aesthetic focus of the original
text; builds the structure of dominant meaning;
interprets the author's meaning and replaces it
with his own variant of meaning choosing the
most adequate of possible translation decisions.
Studying the problems of meaning in literary
texts, V.A. Pishchalnikova makes a conclusion
that the author-reader interaction in cognitive
aspect can be described as relationships between
the conceptual systems of the author and the
recipient (reader). The larger is the degree of
coincidence (correspondence) between the
conceptual systems, the more fully and adequately
a reader can understand the “author's” content of
the text. If the conceptual systems of the author
and reader do not coincide, a literary text can also
be perceived, but the nature of such perception
is mostly interpretational and probabilistic;
adequate understanding is impossible and even
total misinterpretation can occur (Pishchalnikova
1992).
Certain differences between the conceptual
systems of the author and reader result in cognitive
dissonance. This phenomenon was described
in psychology as a special type of intrapersonal
conflict and as a certain mental state caused by
collision of contradictory knowledge, judgments,
behavioral attitudes in a person's conscience
which makes him want (often without realizing it)
to overcome such contradictions (Festinger 1957).
Studies of cognitive dissonance soon exceeded
the bounds of psychology and became one of the
objects of cognitive linguistics. Scientists explored
the appearance of cognitive dissonance and
described verbal means to reduce it using English
language diplomatic discourse as a material
(Weber 2004). In modern translation studies
cognitive dissonance was thoroughly looked
into in the context of translation equivalence
(Voskoboinik 2004). Full coincidence of the
conceptual systems of an author and a reader is
impossible due to the individuality, singularity and
uniqueness of their language personalities, as well
as due to objective and subjective differences in
their personal life experience. And, consequently,
equally impossible is understanding of a text by
the reader that would be totally identical to the
author's intention expressed in a literary text.
Thus, success of translation is directly related
to the invariance of the conceptual systems of
an author, a translator and a reader that are often
separated in time and space.
In view of the above, it becomes obvious
that in the situation of self-translation the
information of the original text is available to the
author-translator in its immediate “pure” form.
The author-translator doesn't have to perceive
and understand the information contained in
the object of translation, because the whole
information complex of the original already exists
in the language consciousness of the authortranslator. All cognitive efforts of the authortranslator are directed at the search for a language
form in the target language that would match the
transferred content. Relationships between the
translator and his own text are outlined in the
following statement of the well-known Bulgarian
translation theorists: “Being the sole master of his
own work, not limited in his translator’s activity
by any translation attitudes, he is free to rethink
and rewrite the text in any way and to any extent,
change the composition, images and expressive
means <…> In such conditions a new work of
art can appear. The positive moment of selftranslation is that the author-translator sees his
work «from inside» which allows him to produce
a really impeccable translation” (Vlakhov, Florin
1986: 189). However, one cannot but agree with
the opinion of А. Popovic that self-translation
is similar to any kind of translation in that it
does not guarantee optimal results. “Creative
coexistence of an author and translator in one
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person does not necessarily lead to the identical
outcome of text realization” (Popovic 1980: 57).
However, the history of literary translation and
literary self-translation, in particular, demonstrates
examples of successful self-translations made
by the authors of the original texts. One of the
most outstanding poets, translators and selftranslators is undoubtedly Joseph Brodsky, the
1988 Nobel Prize winner in literature. Brodsky's
activity as a poet and translator was very diverse:
creation of poetic texts in Russian and English,
translation of his own works, translation of
other poets' works. Creative diversity combined
with high exactingness towards himself and his
colleagues allowed Brodsky to become not only
an outstanding poet, but also a highly professional
translator. Translation issues were part of the
wide spectrum of the poet’s interests, though he
did not leave any separate and complete author’s
theory of literary translation or self-translation.
Speaking about poetry translation, Brodsky never
shared the widely spread view of V.V. Nabokov, R.
Frost and many other theorists and practitioners
of poetic translation that poetry is what is lost
in the process of translation (Volkov 1998: 58).
Joseph Brodsky was firmly convinced that any
poetic text is translatable. His motto in translation
was “Nothing is impossible” (Polukhina 1998:
52). However, he rightly noted that translations
of one and the same poetic text can be different
in quality. One of the key ideas of Brodsky’s
translation concept is the idea of congeniality:
the translator should be congenial to the poet,
and if it’s impossible to find such a translator, the
poet himself should become his own translator.
Brodsky defends the idea that translating his own
texts he becomes congenial to the author of the
original, i.e. to himself (Brodsky 1999). Presentday Brodsky studies have produced multiple
works dedicated to studying of the poet’s selftranslations from the point of view of literary
studies, culturology and translation theory
(Razumovskaya 2011). Looking at the creative
workshop of Brodsky as a self-translator from a
cognitive angle is of great interest. The working
assumption is that the original and the target texts
are connected by the relationship of translation
equality as the reflections of the poet-translator’s
cognitive activity at the border of two languages,
two cultures and two cognitive spaces.
From “Chast’ Rechi”
to “A Part of Speech”:
Self-commenting and Self-editing,
A special place in the artistic legacy of
Joseph Brodsky is occupied by the cycle “A Part
of Speech” (1975-1976). The significance and
importance of this cycle is explained by the fact
that it includes the poetic texts created by Brodsky
during the first years of his emigration. Creation
of the cycle convinced Brodsky to continue his
poetic activity away from Russia and became his
first self-translation experience. It is necessary to
note that the Russian original text and the English
version were created and published almost
simultaneously which is extremely important
for understanding of the fact that both texts were
produced by one creative person not separated
in time by background, creative and emotional
experience. The researchers of Brodsky’s
works note that this cycle undoubtedly has a
“representative” function reflecting the facts
of his real biography: hardships of his creative
career, love story, expulsion – everything that
makes this cycle extremely personal (Smirnova
2011).
The original composition of the cycle consists
of 20 small poems. All poems are connected into
a single whole by deep conceptual and figurative
bonds (Semenova 2001). In the English-language
version of the cycle the author-translator changed
the order of the poems of the original, thus giving
new logic and new integrity to the resulting
sequence of poetic texts, and reduced the number
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of poems to 15. Since the Russian-language cycle
“Chast’ Rechi” and its English-language version
are poetic, semantic and aesthetic-informational
unities, in this research we compare the Russian
and English variants of the cycle, not separate
poems. The artistic worldview of the author
includes such topics as loneliness, creative work,
love, expulsion, memories of the home lost
forever – represented by descriptions of nature,
winter, cold, water areas etc. Researchers of
Brodsky’s artistic legacy, in particular of the cycle
“Chast’ Rechi” and its English-language version,
underline that using the material of the translation
it is possible to trace the transformation of the
artistic worldview of Joseph Brodsky as an author
and translator (Smirnova 2013). The result of such
transformation is reflected in certain differences
between the conceptual spaces of the original and
translation.
In this context it is especially important to
understand self-translation as self-commenting
and self-editing, which are forms of complicated
cognitive activity of an author-translator, just like
self-translation. Analyzing the self-translations
of Brodsky published by Farrar, Straus and
Giroux in 2000, A.V. Nesterov comes to the
interesting conclusion that the self-translations of
the poet are in fact self-commentaries of a certain
kind (Nesterov 2001). Comparative analysis of
original texts and translations makes it possible to
determine what the author-translator gives up in
the process of translation. In connection with the
above, one cannot but remember that traditionally
translation (especially poetic translation) was
regarded as necessarily leading to information
losses. In this context it would be reasonable to
turn to the notion of “remainder” described in the
works of L. Venuti as a phenomenon complicating
communication, making it polyphonic and
focusing on linguistic, cultural and social
conditions of a communicative act. L. Venuti
uses the term “remainder” to describe all types of
information losses in the process of assimilating
translation (Venuti 1998: 226).
Having set his mind to preserve the
form (rhyme) of the original, which made the
English language of the translation slightly
artificial, Brodsky remains true to the Russian
poetic tradition. Asymmetry of the original
and translation manifests itself in changes of
tonality, intonation and losses of cultural realia.
What is the most evident in Brodsky’s selftranslation is the cultural asymmetry standing
out against the background intention of the
author-translator to create cultural symmetry
within the boundaries of two poetic and cultural
spaces that are connected in a thematic, semantic
and aesthetic way (Razumovskaya 2012). The
author-translator deliberately gives away a
number of information details of the original
that might not make sense to an Englishspeaking reader. A figurative description of selftranslation compares interlanguage translation
with “alchemic sublimation” of meanings which
implies isolation of meaning from form and
reshaping the meaning within another language
(Nesterov 2001). In this case information losses
are not caused by the failure of the translator to
understand the cultural meanings of the original
(which he created himself) or by his inability to
recreate such meanings within other languages
and cultures. Translation losses are in fact
deliberate and targeted translation substitutions
aimed at making the secondary poetic text more
available and clear for a reader speaking another
language and belonging to another culture.
Remarkable examples of combining selftranslation with self-commenting and self-editing
are replacements of proper nouns in translations.
For example, the personal name “Sedov” was
replaced with “Scott” in translation. Indeed, the
images of famous polar explorers have much in
common. The Russian organizer of the expedition
to the North Pole G.Ya. Sedov experienced a
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failure and died during the expedition in 1914 at
the age of 36. The fact that the polar explorer came
out of the poorest social strata and his voyages
made his name famous and popular during Soviet
time. Many objects were names in honor of G.Ya.
Sedov: settlements, ships and airplanes, naval
schools, an island, a cape and a glacier. Several
works of art were dedicated to the Russian
explorer: poems (“Sedov” by N. Zabolotsky, “Ice
Ballad” by E. Asadov), a play (by N. Podorolsky)
and a feature film (“Georgy Sedov”, 1974). G.Ya.
Sedov is considered to be one of the prototypes of
Ivan Tatarnikov in the novel by V. Kaverin “Two
Captains” – a popular adventure novel that was
frequently reprinted, and was filmed and staged
several times. The Englishman Robert Falcon
Scott was one of the discoverers of the South Pole.
Having reached the goal of his expedition, on the
way back, Robert Scott and his comrades died
from a combination of exhaustion, starvation and
extreme cold in March 1912 at the age of 43. The
success of his first expedition to the Antarctic in
1901-1904 made him a hero in Great Britain.
From the information above it is evident
that both real people whose names are used
by Brodsky in parallel poetic texts have many
biographic facts in common: both were polar
explorers, both died during expeditions (were
“killed” by the harsh land they wanted to reach
and to understand (Smirnova 2011)); both were
young and almost the same age (36 and 43); both
were famous at their motherlands. An important
fact uniting the images of Sedov and Scott at a
symbolic level is the use of the precedent-setting
text from the poem “Ulysses” by Lord Alfred
Tennyson, written in 1833 and dedicated to the
tireless traveler Odysseus – “To strive, to seek, to
find, and not to yield”. The last line of the poem
is carved at the memorial cross erected in honor
of Robert Scott and his comrades on Observation
Hill in the Antarctica. The same line is the motto
of Kaverin’s novel “Two Captains”. This suggests
that Robert Scott is, too, in some way a prototype
of the literary character Ivan Tatarinov. It should
be noted that the figure of Odysseus (Ulysses) can
often be found in the works of Brodsky at different
periods: “I, like Ulysses” (1961), “Odysseus to
Telemachus” (1972). The proper nouns “Sedov”
and “Scott” can give rise to similar cultural and
emotional connotations in Russian- and Englishspeaking readers, respectively: brave explorer,
exhausting struggle with harsh circumstances,
death from cold. Therefore, this example of selfcommenting and self-editing can be deemed
reasonable and adequate.
Another interesting example of selfcommenting is the replacement of the Russian
word combination “kaisatskoye imya” with the
English version “Kazakh name”. It is possible
to suppose that the replacement of the ethnonym
“Kaisak” with “Kazakh” was also caused by the
author’s intention to make the text information
clearer for readers of the translation. The
ethnonym “Kaisak” (coming from “KyrgyzKaisak” or “Kyrgyz-kazak”, a common name
for the Kazakhs in the official documents of
the Russian Empire) is not always clear even
for Russian readers. Since the cycle “A Part of
Speech” is deeply autobiographic, it is possible to
suppose that “kaisatskoye imya” is a direct allusion
to the name of Marina Basmanova, Brodsky’s
Leningrad love. The anthroponym “Basmanova”
has Turkic origins, and the ethnonyms “Kaisak”
and “Kazakh” both refer to the representatives of
Turkic peoples.
One more example of cultural replacement
is the use of the word combination “Persian pie”
instead of the original “khalva Shiraza” (“halva
of Shiraz”). The author-translator applies the
generalization method replacing the name of
the Iranian (Persian) city Shiraz with the name
of the country. The toponym “Persia” is easier
to understand for Western readers. The author
also took a translation decision to change the
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name of the Middle Eastern sweet “halva”, which
is a piece of cultural realia, to “pie”, in order to
avoid possible problems with understanding by
English-speaking readers.
Conclusion
The translation decisions made by Joseph
Brodsky in the process of self-translation of poetic
texts (“A Part of Speech”) are certain forms of
self-commenting and self-editing with regard to
the target text aimed at overcoming the potential
cultural asymmetry of the original and translation.
These types of cognitive activity become effective
translation methods due to the author-translator’s
situation at the border of two languages
(possession of two language personalities), two
cultures and two cognitive spaces. Exclusion of
the perception and understanding processes from
a translator’s activity allows him to concentrate
his creative efforts on production of a target text
which is conceptually and culturally symmetric
to the original text.
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Автоперевод как Science-Art:
наследие Иосифа Бродского
В.А. Разумовская
Сибирский федеральный университет
Россия, 660041, Красноярск, Свободный, 79
Статья посвящена вопросам переводческого творчества автопереводчика, рассматриваемых
в контексте лингвистических концепций личности. При создании вторичного переводного
текста усилия автопереводчика направлены на создание текста, который культурно
симметричен тексту оригинала. Эффективными стратегиями перевода в ситуации
автоперевода становятся автокомментирование и авторедактирование. Материалом
исследования послужил русский текст цикла «Часть речи» и английский автоперевод «A Part
of Speech» Иосифа Бродского.
Ключевые слова: автоперевод, творчество, языковая личность, автокомментирование,
авторедактирование, «Часть речи», Иосиф Бродский.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 305-311
~~~
УДК 81’25
Translation Quality Assessment
in Various Communicative Situations:
the Problem of Assessor
Vadim V. Sdobnikov*
Nizhny Novgorod State Linguistic University
named after N.A. Dobrolyubov
31a Minin Str., Nizhny Novgorod, 603155, Russia
Received 03.11.2013, received in revised form 08.12.2013, accepted 27.12.2013
The article highlights the principal difference between the traditional text-oriented approach to
translation and the functionalist approach. According to the functionalist approach, an act of
translation must be viewed as a means to enable ST author, TT recipient and the initiator of the
translation to perform their activities. Each of them can be an assessor of translation in various
communicative situations, while the distribution of assessors among communicative situations shows
that a TT recipient is the key evaluator of translation. In an assessor’s perspective, a translation is
adequate if it fits the given communicative situation, corresponds to the translation goal and can be
used successfully by the TT recipient and/or translation initiator.
Keywords: translation quality assessment, communicative situation, assessor, adequacy,
equivalence.
At a recent translation conference I asked
a question: “Who evaluate the translation
quality?” An immediate answer by the workshop
chairperson, a representative of a highly esteemed
academic institution, was: “We do!” My efforts
to explain that in a real life situation “we” do
not participate in any communication across
languages and cultures, and for that simple reason
do not perceive any message whatsoever, turned
out to be futile…
This example illustrates the stereotyped
approach according to which translation is viewed
as an activity per se, as an act performed by a
translator without any definite purpose. It seems
that the action is triggered by the mere existence
*
of the source text (ST) and is terminated with the
production of the target text (TT). According to
this text-oriented approach, the translation quality
assessment (TQA) is based on the comparison of
the TT with the ST, and the result is described
in terms of translation equivalence and adequacy.
The terms are treated as synonyms by some
scholars and as different words by other. Usually
the term “equivalence” is used to describe some
relationship between the ST and the TT or,
in other concepts, some kind of semantic and
structural resemblance of the two texts. The
meaning of “adequacy” is more vague: usually
it refers to a “good translation” that meets some
requirements which may be unspecified. Maybe
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: artist232@rambler.ru
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this is the reason why “adequacy” as a term is
used rarely in Western translatology; suffice it to
say that “Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation
Studies” does not contain it.
It is obvious that according to the textoriented approach, translation as an activity is cut
from the real life, and that is why the approach is
limited. Translation is presented as a game that I
would term “Translate Me”: the source text tells
the translator “Translate me”, the translator plays
the game, i.e. performs some actions, and the
target text emerges. Game over.
I insist that translation is not a game. It is
a purposeful activity, as Christiane Nord would
call it, performed in a certain situation of an
even wider activity. Practically, translation
serves as a means of performing some other
activity by representatives of different language
communities. Translation is made within a
certain communicative event which unites the
ST author, the translator, the TT receiver and
the translation initiator. The presence of the ST
receivers is not obligatory; at least, they do not
participate in some communicative situations (for
example, in the situation of business or political
talks the ST author addresses his/her counterpart
directly through the mediation of the interpreter
who is the only true receiver of the ST).
The approach I insist on may be called
communicative-functional, though in Western
translatology the term “functionalist” is also
widespread. According to this approach, TQA
can be made only in some real life situations, with
reference to a certain communicative situation in
which translation/interpretation is performed. A
question arises then: who assesses the translation
quality? Theoretically, any participant in the
communicative event can perform the role of the
translation quality assessor.
Before I proceed with the discussion of
TQA, some basic notions must be defined. The
first one is the notion of translation itself. I define
it as the translator’s speech activity the result
of which must serve as a tool of performing
any activity of the ST sender, TT receiver and/
or the translation initiator. Translation as the
speech activity of the translator/interpreter is
oriented to the ST and is based on it. The key
criterion of TQA is adequacy that is defined
as such quality of the TT that allows to use the
TT for the purpose of some activity of the ST
sender, TT receivers and/or translation initiator
in a certain communicative situation. Translation
is adequate when it is made in accordance
with the expectations of the communicative
situation participants. I realize, though, that the
communicative situation participants, assessing
the translation quality, rarely or even never use
the term “adequate”. They may think in terms of
“good”, “excellent”, “acceptable” or, otherwise,
“bad”, “poor”, “unacceptable”, but theoretically
their evaluations may be described in terms of
“adequate” and “inadequate”.
It might seem that I ignore completely the
relations between the ST and the TT, which is
certainly not true. As I have already mentioned,
translation is made with orientation to the ST and
is based on it. For this reason, the TT resembles
the ST semantically and structurally to a certain
degree that can vary in different situations. I
shall use the traditional term “equivalence”
while referring to this resemblance. But it should
be borne in mind that neither ST sender nor TT
receiver can assess the translation quality in terms
of equivalence since they cannot compare the two
texts. Thus, the notion of translation equivalence
is valuable only in theoretical investigations made
by translation scholars, and is useless in practical
assessment of the translation quality in a real life
situation.
Earlier I have divided all the communicative
situations with the use of translation/interpretation
(CST) into two types: 1) CSTs in which translation
is initially planned; 2) CSTs in which translation
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was not initially planned (Sdobnikov 2011). In a
CST-1 translation is used as a means of establishing
communication between the ST sender and the
audience of the TT. CSTs of the first types are
mostly situations of oral communication. CST-2
is a communicative situation in which a text is
initially addressed by the Sender to the source
language audience (Receiver). Translation is
made after the communication between the
two has been established, i.e. after the initial
communicative event.
CSTs of the second type are further
subdivided into four subtypes depending on
who initiates the translation activity. It may be
initiated by 1) the ST sender, 2) the TT receiver,
3) the client who actually “buys” the translation
service and 4) the translator. Thus, I postulate the
existence of four CST-2 subtypes: 1) CST-2author,
2) CST-2recipient, 3) CST-2buyer, 4) CST-2trans.
In CST-1 situations the ST sender, the TT
receiver and the translation initiator perform the
role of TQ assessors. The TT receiver is the key
assessor. (S)he is the end evaluator of the “worth”
of the translation, and assesses it as meeting
his/her requirements and expectations. From
the recipient’s perspective, the following set of
criteria must be met:
• the information contained in the TT must
be consistent with the communicative
situation and the message must contain
the expected meaning;
• the TT must be logically composed;
• stylistic peculiarities of the TT must be
consistent with the genre norms of the TL
and socio-cultural factors;
• delivery of the TT must conform to the
communicative situation parameters.
It is argued that the importance of the criteria
is not the same: the first two are the most essential
ones. The TT receiver would nobly forgive the
interpreter’s grammar and lexical mistakes as well
as slips of the tongue. But illogical composition
of the text as well as the information that does
not fit the recipient’s vision of the subject matter
would arise suspicion on the part of the recipient
who would think that the interpreter has omitted
some pieces of information or distorted it.
The text-oriented approach to translation
ignores such criterion of TQA as delivery.
But it is treated as an essential one when the
communicative-functional approach is applied. Its
importance is due to the integrity of two aspects of
a message – the content and the form. Each of them
can affect the other, strengthening it or making
it weaker. It is known that even an inaccurate
interpretation can be positively perceived by the
audience when it is delivered with confidence.
Anne Schjoldager argues that “an interpreting
performance should be comprehensible, pleasant
to listen to, linguistically and terminologically
acceptable, as well as coherent and plausible.
AIIC… even warns its members to pay particular
attention to voice and delivery, because: “Less
able, less accurate colleagues have been preferred
because of a pleasant voice and reassuring
delivery” (Schjoldager 1995:190).
The ST sender also performs the role of the
TQ assessor. This statement can be disputable
because the TT is not addressed to the ST sender
who is not able to evaluate the translation quality
unless he knows the target language. But I am
driven by the conviction that both the ST sender
and the TT receiver are bound by their interaction
in the framework of their common activity. The
success of their activity depends largely on the
interpretation quality. The quality is assessed by
both of them. The ST sender’s conclusions about
the translation quality do not result from the
TT analysis because (s)he is not able to analyze
it. They result from his/her analysis of the TT
audience’s reactions to the text. Thus, in the
situation of contract supervision the correctness
of the operations that have been described in the
ST and that are performed by the workers after
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the interpretation has been made is an indicator of
the high quality of interpretation, of its adequacy.
During a guided tour the acceptable quality
of interpretation is proved by the relevance of
the tourists’ questions. From the ST sender’s
perspective, the translation is adequate when the
audience reacts to the TT in the way that has been
anticipated by the ST sender. Linguistic criteria
are not applicable in the situation.
The translation initiator is the third TQ
assessor in CST-1. The translation can be initiated
by representatives of departments of linguistic
services (e.g., of Foreign Ministry), divisions of
Protocol, heads of companies and organizations,
tourist companies, mass media, etc., who organize
various events of cross-cultural communication.
From the initiator’s perspective, the translation/
interpretation is adequate when comments of the
immediate participants of the communication
(delegates, reporters, interviewees, etc.) are
positive. It is not incidental at all that nowadays
many organizers of international conferences
and forums conduct questionnaire surveys to
be sure that the delegates are satisfied with the
interpretation quality. If they are not, decision is
made not to hire the interpreter in question any
more.
It is noteworthy that in CST-1 translation
quality assessments made by different evaluators
are assessments of different levels. The translation
initiator assesses the interpretation as worthy and
useful for conducting the event. The ST sender
assesses it from the point of view of his/her
communicative intention and worthiness for his/
her personal activity. Assessment of these levels
is made by the TT receiver who also evaluates
both the text quality and its delivery.
In CST-2author situation both literary texts and
non-literary texts (e.g., scientific articles) can be
translated at the initiative of the author. Thus, we
should differentiate between two situations. It
is much easier to specify the TQ assessor when
a non-literary text is translated. Apparently, it
is a representative of the editorial board who is
responsible for the quality of publications in a
certain journal. Readers of the TT, i.e. the end
users of the text, play a secondary role: they can
express their discontent with the TT, if any, but
in reality such situations are rare since the text
has already been corrected by the editorial board
representative, probably, in cooperation with the
author.
When a literary text is translated in CST2author situation, the role of the literary critic is
most essential. The critic is not an immediate
participant in the communicative situation. But it
is (s)he who ultimately evaluates the success of
the interaction between the ST sender and the TT
receiver, the degree to which the communicative
intention of the ST sender has been implemented
in the TT, and states the reasons why it has not
been implemented in full, if it is the case. Yet, we
should not undervalue the role of the readers who
also make their judgments concerning the TT.
But it should be borne in mind that in the readers’
total assessment aspects related to the text as a
piece of art prevail over the aspects related to
the translation of the text. The latter become
meaningful and significant when the reader
explains his/her feeling of discomfort not by the
peculiarities of the given piece of art (the author’s
position, ideas, images, etc.) but by the drawbacks
in the translation (alogisms, violations of the TL
norms, poor style). Thus, in this situation the role
of the TT receiver is not that insignificant as in
the case with a scientific article translation.
In CST-2recipient situation the TT receiver
performs the role of the translation initiator and
its assessor simultaneously. The TT (e.g., an
operating manual, therapeutic drug management)
is used by the receiver while performing a certain
personal activity. In the recipient’s discourse,
his/her assessment of the translation comes
down to “I understand/I do not understand” or
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even “I like it/ I dislike it”. Taking into account
the translation goal, the translator is free to
transform the text, thus lessening the degree of
equivalence as compared with a translation that
would be made for specialists. The translator can
abridge the text, providing the recipient with the
“bare bones” information only, replace terms
by plain, simple, common words, alter the style
of narration making it more colloquial and less
technical. Both translation and interpretation (at
sight translation) can be made in the situation.
The TT is equivalent to the ST in the degree that
fits the parameters of the communicative situation
and is in line with the translation goal, in line
with the recipient’s expectations. This kind of
equivalence is established to ensure the adequacy
of translation, i.e. the possibility to use the TT in
accordance with the receiver’s needs.
In CST-2buyer situation (where a client
performs the role of the translation initiator) the
problem of the TQ assessor seems to be more
complicated. The fact is that in this translation
“constellation” any of its constituents can become
the TT assessor, depending on the text type and
the translation goal.
Both literary and non-literary texts can
be objects of translation in the situation. The
translation of a literary text can be initiated by
a publishing house or a film-distributing agency.
The translation quality is assessed, first, by a
critic and, second, by the readership/audience.
Placing an order for translation of a nonliterary text, the client plans to use the TT as a
tool of his/her business activity, though it is not
necessary that (s)he will make any personal use
of the text. We can consider the situation when
technical documentation required for installation
and operation of equipment is translated from one
language to another. Specialists – the end users
of the translated documents – perform the role of
the TQ assessors. The role of the client as a TQ
assessor is a secondary one: (s)he plays it only
when his/her subordinates complain that they
have problems in using the documents due to the
poor translation.
A situation can occur in which neither the
client nor his/her representatives are not going
to use the translation of a non-literary, special
text. Examples of such texts may include powers
of attorney or proxies required for purchase and
sales transactions in other countries, diplomas or
certificates of education that must be submitted
for receiving education abroad. It is obvious
that the client (buyer of the translation) has no
personal interest in the translation of the papers,
but it is essential for him to submit it to the
appropriate body or authority for his activity
(purchase/sale of property, receipt of education)
to be effected with an expected result. The final
and primary assessor of the translation quality
is the end user of the document, i.e. its recipient.
When (s)he is not satisfied with the TQ, (s)he
informs the client about it, and the client makes
his/her own judgments concerning the translation
(and the translator), thus performing the role of a
secondary TQ assessor.
In CST-2trans situation, the translation
event is initiated by the translator who thinks
it to be necessary and important to translate a
literary text or a text of journalistic genre that,
as (s)he believes, possesses some exceptional
aesthetic value (it should be noted in passing that
“Gettysburg Address” of Abraham Lincoln has
been translated into Russian at least six times,
and in four cases translation was initiated by
translators themselves).
When a literary text is translated, the
distribution of roles between the participants in
the communicative situation is typical of literary
translation: critics assume the role of the key
assessors of the translation quality while readers
perform the role of secondary assessors.
When a speech or presentation of a special
value is translated, the role of the principal
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assessor of the translation quality is performed by
the recipient. But it is noteworthy that the recipient
gets interested in the TQ only when the quality is
not up to his expectations, in other words, when
the recipient is not comfortable with the TT due
to the poor translation. In other instances the
recipient is not aware of the problem, since the
problem does not exist.
In the same situation essential is the fact that
the translator can strive to solve an additional
task that does not result from the author’s
communicative intention. The task may be to
highlight specific stylistic features of the ST or
to present the text as an outstanding example
of eloquence. Obviously, the translator uses the
strategy of tertiary translation (see Sdobnikov
2011) in this case, and does not attempt to cause
the same response from the TT audience as
has been got from the ST recipients. It means
that the translator’s role as the TQ assessor
becomes more significant: while analyzing the
TT (auto-assessment), the translator is eager
to understand whether (s)he has managed to
achieve his/her goal, i.e. to solve the additional
task. From the translator’s perspective, if (s)he
has managed to achieve his/her goal, to satisfy
his/her needs, the translation is adequate. Thus,
in this situation adequacy of translation is based
on the translator’s vision of the TT as consistent
with his/her own expectations. When the TT
does not meet the translator’s expectations, (s)
he would rather refrain from submitting it for
publication.
The distribution of TQ assessors among the
communicative situations may be presented as
follows:
Table 1 shows that TT recipient is one of
the TQ assessors in all types of communicative
Table 1
CST
Initiator
Text Type
Assessor
CST-1formal
Client
Special (Non-Literary)
CST-1informal
Client
Colloquial
CST-2author
ST author
Special (Non-Literary)
TT recipient
ST author
Client
TT recipient
ST author
Client
Editor (client)
TT recipient
Critic
TT recipient
TT recipient
Literary
CST-2recipient
TT recipient
Special (Non-Literary)
CST-2buyer
Client (Buyer)
Literary
Special (Non-Literary)
CST-2trans
Translator
Literary
Journalistic*
Critic
TT recipient
Client
TT recipient
Client
Critic
TT recipient
Translator
TT recipient
Translator
*The term “journalistic” refers here to texts of oral presentations usually made by politicians and other public figures.
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situations; in most cases, (s)he is the key assessor.
The fact proves that his/her role is of utmost
importance in shaping the general attitude
towards the quality of a specific translation. What
follows from this observation is the requirement
to take into account the expectations of the
prospective TT recipient while translating and
evaluating the TT. This provision is completely
in line with the communicative-functional
approach to translation according to which
translation is an activity that is performed in the
interests of other persons who act with a certain
purpose in view. The goal of translation, thus, is
production of a text that can be used as a tool of
performing an activity by the TT users and/or
translation initiators.
References
1. Schjoldager, A. Assessment of Simultaneous Interpreting. Teaching Translation and
Interpreting-3. New Horizons. Papers from the Third Language International Conference. Amsterdam/
Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1995. Pp. 187-195.
2. Sdobnikov, V. Translation Strategy Revised: the Communicative-Functional Approach.
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences, 2011. Vol. 4. Pp. 1444-1453.
Оценка качества перевода
в различных коммуникативных ситуациях:
проблема субъекта оценки
В.В. Сдобников
Нижегородский государственный лингвистический
университет им. Н.А. Добролюбова
Россия, 603155, Нижний Новгород, ул. Минина, 31а
В статье рассматриваются основные различия между текстоцентрическим подходом к
переводу и коммуникативно-функциональным. Согласно коммуникативно-функциональному
подходу перевод – это средство обеспечения собственной предметной деятельности
автора исходного текста, получателя перевода и инициатора перевода. В различных
коммуникативных ситуациях каждый из них может выступать в качестве субъекта оценки
качества перевода. Распределение субъектов оценки качества перевода между разными
коммуникативными ситуациями свидетельствует о том, что именно получатель перевода
является основным субъектом оценки. С точки зрения субъекта оценки качества перевода
перевод адекватен, если он соответствует условиям данной коммуникативной ситуации
и цели перевода и может успешно использоваться получателем перевода и инициатором
перевода в рамках их предметной деятельности.
Ключевые слова: оценка качества перевода, коммуникативная ситуация, субъект оценки,
адекватность, эквивалентность.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 312-319
~~~
УДК 81’1
English-to-Russian Translation:
Traduttore. Traditore
(The Day of the Triffids)
Olga A. Souleimanova*
Moscow City Pedagogical University
5b Maly Kazenny per., Moscow, 105064 Russia
Received 28.11.2013, received in revised form 18.12.2013, accepted 13.01.2013
The paper focuses on translation mistakes in the Russian translation of the book by J.Windem. The
author analyzes translator’s inefficiency and mistakes and offers a typology of translation mistakes
which might be instrumental in teaching translation.
Keywords: translation, metonymy, mistakes, translator.
General
I argue that in practical translation teaching
practices it might be instrumental to look
into translation (I use terms translation and
interpretation here indifferently as this distinction
is irrelevant for the purposes I am pursuing here)
mistakes / follies / failures / malpractices and
translator slips and to systematically relate them
to each other.
It is an open secret that a considerable
fraction of the translation market is usurped
by
“innocent”
translators
(sometimes
complimentarily referred to as natural
translators), as the supply-and-demand ratio
is still relatively low, and the market seems
lucrative to those who opt for translator /
interpreter career. These translating agents,
more or less, mastered the practical language
but when asked to rationalize their translation
choice (why this particular version / word /
*
phrase) they normally fail to rationally explain
the decision, stating they ‘just feel’ that the text
must be translated the way they did it.
True it is that, provided life-long translation
practice, the seasoned veteran translator (though
even without professional training background)
does ‘feel’ how to translate. On the contrary,
for translation teaching / learning practices this
‘feeling’ is not instrumental – the instructor has
to teach his students to
– first: find the best translation version,
– then translate, and
– finally analyze and explain his / her
decision (Koмиссаров 2002).
It is at this final stage that the analysis of
translator’s mistakes could be helpful.
By no means is it new to try and research into
the mistaking practices – translation scientists
have long been focused on analyzing translation
mistakes, some typologies were offered. The
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: olgasoul@rambler.ru
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typologies rely on a variety of criteria, to name
only a few. Let us address some of them.
1. Mistakes Typologies –
State of the Art
In (Гарбовский 2008) the author distinguishes
four basic reasons which lead to mistakes: lack
of linguistic competence in the original language,
lack of background encyclopaedic knowledge,
lack of understanding of the subject-matter, and
translator’s inability to grasp individual styles of
the speakers (Гарбовский 2008, 514).
Later the author actually relates the mistakes
to the levels of language (concept, complex
concept, proposition and situation) and looks into
the semantic misinterpretation at those levels.
Actually, he analyzes, first, lexical mistakes
resulting from misunderstanding the meaning of
culturally-specific concepts (шляпа пирожком,
абрикосовая, буйвище, Лисий оток – ibid. pp.
517-521), then word combinations and, finally,
utterances. In the latter case the mistakes in
question are practically reduced to the “lower”
level – misunderstanding of words and word
combinations (or simply to translator’s negligence
due to the wrong representation of the situation
and the frame). Stylistic mistakes are related to
ignoring register (ibid. p. 533).
In other words, the mistakes here can be
reduced to misunderstanding the meaning of the
original word / word combination due to the lack
of linguistic / cultural / encyclopaedic knowledge
or simply translator’s negligence.
This approach to mistakes interpretation
cannot be instrumental in didactic perspective.
The only logical conclusion we can arrive at here is
that the prospective translator / interpreter should
learn the language, read books and accumulate
culture-related data – this statement cannot be
challenged and goes without saying.
What we practically need in teaching
translation in a step-by-step format is a
“mechanism”, “algorithm” which can help
prospective translators / interpreters structurally
analyze the resulting text and ultimately learn
how to avoid statistically potential mistakes.
Forewarned is forearmed.
Let us take a radically different typology –
the one that is offered in (Бузаджи 2009).
Within this frame the authors distinguish two
mistake groups. Within the first cluster there
the ones which distort the original message
by way of deliberate additions, omissions, and
substitutions; then those which distort precise
factual information. (I argue that here again we
deal with translator’s negligence.) Next comes
relative information (ibid. p. 46) which implies
distorting functional sentence perspective (FSP)
and wrong logical connectors.
The second – they claim, less frequent ones –
are stylistic mistakes; distorting the register and
usage, expressivity – and author’s axiologyrelated. It seems, however, that to qualify the
mistake as the usage mistake is not enough – it
would be instrumental to further specify the
types: for example, distinguish structural ones
(adjective-to-adverb change – English-Russian, or
deverbal noun-to-verb change– Russian-English)
and others (see below). A special group is formed
by wrong translation / transliteration of foreign
names and foreign graphic traditions.
Both of the above typologies have much in
common (as well as are significantly different).
Meanwhile, what one misses in both is a
technically detailed typology, a kind of “formal”
algorithm which can be taught, and learned.
2. Mistakes Typology
Let us try and analyze practical translations
and deduce the common mistakes to see what to
teach students, get some statistics and outline
some research vistas.
For the purpose of the paper an EnglishRussian translation of a well-known novel by
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J.Windem The Day of the Triffids was scanned
(pp.50-129) for errors. The error corpus covered
words / word-combinations, sentences which
seemed / were allegedly judged incorrect or at
least provoke the native speaker of Russian. It
explains why (and to save the space, as well) we
focused on the translated text only. In some cases
the insight guesses were related to the original.
I was surprised to discover that most of the
mistakes were explained in terms of the targetlanguage competence (though there were some
which were source-language-related).
The typology of mistakes looks as follows:
most typically they are related to
1.register (low colloquial);
2.sructural;
3.culture-related;
4.lexical (prevalent): to be divided further
into sub-classes (see below).
2.1. Register and Culture-Related Mistakes
What surprised me was to discover that the
current perception that culture-specific terms
and stylistic register are a serious challenge
translation-wise is not well-grounded. The
research revealed that in translating the book
where the scenery is Britain-based the translator
did not have to face such terms very often.
Ironically, culture-related terms were not a
problem which can be accounted for by the plot
and heroes who are pictured in everyday settings –
there are no intertextual allusions, though some
cultural terms provoked the translator to make
mistakes. For instance, *Тиншэм Мэнор actually
comprises one name Tinsham and one common
noun manor, so the translation is поместье
Тиншэм; and *лужайка для игры в шары is
actually either игровое поле (generalization,
without specifying the game), пoле для игры в
гольф.
Register-wise, we found only a few mistakes:
first, using low colloquial instead of the original
neutral style, e.g. *живо разогнала комитет по
креслам – быстро рассадила; *рыжеволосый
убийца implies some romantic attitude towards
the hero, which is absolutely out of place in
the context of mass manslaughter, so the word
рыжий must be used here (it can carry slightly
negative connotation in Russian). Take wrongly
used obsolete vocabulary – *к вящей (obs.,
iron. – Ожегов) пользе обитателей замка. We
can say к вящему удовольствию, радости (here
I would suggest – что будет даже выгодно
для обитателей замка). On the whole, there
were surprisingly few register-related translation
mistakes.
2.2. Lexical Mistakes
The next misleading belief is that one
of the challenges the translator has to meet is
international words, or translator’ false friends.
It is true only of innocent translators who tend to
make most common mistakes of this kind, though
the scope of potential challengers is gradually
changing – for example, in practice such mistakes
as translating Medical or Law school as Russian
школа, or hospital as госпиталь are dying out
(though they are still practiced in mass media
discourse) and are giving way to new ones, which
are “perfectly” exemplified in the book we are
scrutinizing. Among these is conference which
is translated as *конференция (here we mark
with an asterisk * the wrong translation variant).
In fact, this word has another meaning (which
is at present quite common and is reflected in
Russian business practices – the meeting room
is often called conference room, is meant for
talks between partners and is usually quite
small), which is обсуждение / сбор / совет /
совещание. Another example is orthodox which
makes a common stumbling stone as well – it is
usually translated as *ортодоксальный. This
translation is undoubtedly wrong in religionrelated contexts; it must be translated in such
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contexts as православный; in other contexts
it can be translated as обычный (as is the case
here: *в добавление к ортодоксальным
напиткам should be rendered as вдобавок к
обычным напиткам). Another set of examples
are discussion - * будет общее собрание и
дискуссия – here the word обсуждение is
the only option, as the informal meeting is
meant; the utterance *Атмосфера в деловых и
коммерческих кварталах была мрачной should
be changed into – Обстановка / ситуация в
деловой части города / деловом и торговом
центре была мрачной (commercial = торговый,
атмосфера = обстановка, кварталы = центр
/ часть города); as there were no people in empty
streets who make the atmosphere. Сf. also *Стал
подниматься по трапу – лестнице (the setting
is in a shop); *претенциозное украшение –
нелепое; *романтическая меланхолия – грусть
(*в грядущие годы кто-нибудь исполненный
романтической меланхолии придет взглянуть
на аббатство – романтической грусти).
Some other examples are – *вечерние
классы (=вечерняя школа instead is
recommended); *стал практиковаться в их
жаргоне – старался усвоить их жаргон
(here the metonymical shift is accompanying the
change – if a person is practicing the language
he is trying to master it). When the heroes found
the place where they could take refuge, the
place was defined as *отвечает требованиям
компактности и изоляции (compact and
isolated) – though in fact it could be said to
be уединенное местечко (the word местечко
combines the concept of space and smth small);
*гротескные пародии на (породы?) собак –
becomes нелепые породы, *обреченный на
деградацию – вырождение, *двор не имел
никаких утилитарных устройств – becomes
во дворе / доме не было удобств (here
inanimate English subject logically transforms
into Russian adverbial modifier of place, and
utilities here relates to modern conveniences – cf.
utility bills); while *вакуумированная упаковка
сигарет becomes новая пачка сигарет
(metonymy – as a new pack is definitely meant),
then *тренированный голос turns into хорошо
поставленный голос.
2.3. English Adjectives
in Translation Perspective
Lexical mistakes (not related to international
vocabulary) are usually accompanied by
structural mismatching between the languages.
We found several typical mistakes, one of them
focusing on adjectives.
Within this group metonymy is common –
instead of *причастный к медицине we
recommend
понимающий
в
медицине,
*домашние манеры – непринужденные
манеры, *женщины с подрывными идеями –
женщины со своими прогрессивными /
феминистскими идеями, *находка была
более счастливой – удачной, *зловещая
чувствительность к звукам – их вселяющая
страх / ужас / пугающая чувствительность к
звукам (the talk is about the triffids), *негодная
попытка – неудачная попытка (in addition,
the wrong register – low colloquial is used
here). Cf. also *тоскливо-умозрительное
выражение – напряженное / тоскливое,
*смешной дом – нелепый, на *другом берегу –
противоположном.
The second translation mistake with the
adjectives is related to the well-known feature
of English – preference of adjectives to adverbs
(which should be eliminated in translating into
Russian) – of the kind he is a fast runner vs он
быстро бегает ( not *он быстрый бегун). The
translated text abounds in such mistakes, to list
only a few: *будьте с ним хороши – here a short
Russian adjective in the predicative function
is translated by an adverb in the predicative
function относитесь к нему хорошо (besides,
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a typical transformation is at work here: an
English state predicate be (wrongly translated
here as *будьте) is translated by a Russian action
predicate относитесь). Another example is *во
всем была неразгаданная новизна, where the
adjective and the abstract noun are rendered as
adverbs – все было ново и непонятно. In the
sentence *глядя в зал темными глазами the
translator, first, mistakingly interpreted the
meaning of the word dark as relating to the lack
of light rather than more appropriate here as
sinister, gloomy, second, the adjective takes on
the adverbial form, to make the correct version
мрачно глядя в зал. Or in the utterance *два
флага ...висели.., вялые в теплом воздухе we
would suggest either неподвижно (adj-to-adv
change) or без движения (adj-to-abstract noun
change); and in either of the cases in Russian there
is an (implied) negation (very typical in Englishto-Russian relationships), the translation is based
on antonymy. Cf. also *трудно находить
свободный проезд – свободно проехать; or
*Мои слова вызывают у них этакий двойной
смех – что было вдвойне смешно.
The third type of adjective-associated
mistakes is exemplified by a regular translation
pattern, i.e. an English state predicate (with an
adjective as the nominal part of the predicate, a
predicative) and a corresponding Russian action
predicate (Грамматические аспекты 2011). The
two factors are at play here (as V.N.Komissarov
observed, a translator’s choice is determined
by several simultaneous factors – Комиссаров
2002): English adjective is translated as either
an adverb (e. g. легко instead of легкий),
or – due to a regular metonymical transfer in
English-to-Russian translation the verb of the
category of state is rendered as an active one:
*Я официальный летописец – state predicate
(in a broad sense – the term state refers to all
nominal predicates expressing state, quality, etc.)
is expressed as Я веду учет / назначена / мне
поручено вести учет / протокол, where the
component official is transferred to the nouns
referring to officialdom – протокол, учет. Cf.
also *Не такой ...человек, чтобы утешаться
легковесными ободрениями – которого
можно легко убедить, where легковесный
turns into легко; *Я буду очень удивлен – Я
удивлюсь . Or *Вы ведь будете добры ко мне
(in the context of a single physiological contact)
vs не сделаете мне больно (of special note in
this context is the meaning of the word good
which normally radically differs in its semantic
scope from the seemingly respective Russian
word хорошо / хороший; cf. also English happy
which is seldom translated as счастливый, and
the expression Are you happy here? at a party, for
instance, is translated as У вас все нормально?
Палажченко 1998).
2.4. Syntactical Mistakes
Syntactical (structural) mistakes which the
text in question abounds in (though they cannot be
reduced to) can be divided into two basic clusters,
the first one relating to FSP, and the second one –
to one type of infinitive constructions.
FSP-related problems are numerous, to name
only a few word order cases: so *постарайтeсь
как можно больше сделать до темноты the
rheme is with сделать как можно больше and it
should be transferred to the end of the sentence –
до темноты сделать как можно больше. Or in
*как мало можем мы предложить им – (мы)
можем (мы) им предложить the verb takes
the rhematic position (rather than a normally
unstressed personal pronoun им – unless specially
put in the contrasting position).
Syntactical mistakes – quite surprisingly –
often relate to the sentences with the infinitival
constructions of the type she woke up to see that
it was raining heavily which are mistakingly
interpreted as conveying purpose (which is
missing here), rather than a simple consequence
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of events: *Я повернулся, чтобы идти vs a
correct variant я повернулся и пошел or ...*
поехали дальше, чтобы забрать звонкую
груду кастрюль, сковородок vs и нашли и
забрали (no purpose was implied in the text –
the protagonist was looking for something that
might be useful in the circumstances. Cf. also
*он вышел, чтобы обследовать наш взнос vs
вышел осмотреть / и осмотрел то, что мы
нашли / привезли (=взнос).
3. Semantic Mistakes
Then comes a cluster of semantic mistakes
when the translator ignored the difference in the
semantic scopes of the original and translated
words (I would suggest qualifying it as a
semantic mismatching): in the source language
the scope can be wider as in *привели четыре
полные грузовика – пригнали where the mistake
is provoked by a wider scope in the English
word brought – it does not distinguish moving
by means of transportation vs walking. Cf. also
*пригнали грузовик и слепую девушку vs … и
привезли слепую девушку.
The scope can simply differ, and in this
case the translator opts for generalization, or,
vice versa, – concretization. (In most cases here
the transformation is based on metonymy.) :
*засверкают светофоры vs more general
загорятся or even more general заработают;
*мои каблуки отчетливо стучали vs стук
моих ботинок or even звук моих шагов
отчетливо раздавался в тишине. One more
example is *отломил у дерева сук vs …ветку;
*негромкий скрип шагов – звук. *Облегчил
свои чувства – выразил…, or *те из нас, кто
владел зрением – видел / мог видеть, or even
зрячие. In *cвертки одеял и пледов (something
small is implied here) turn into кипа, узлы; while
*звонкая груда кастрюль, сковородок – груда,
куча кастрюль (here the word звонкая can be
omitted as the objects in question are usually
made of metal which is expected to produce
specific metallic noise – it makes the word
звонкая unnecessary. Moreover, this choice is
supported by Russian non-occurrence of this
word with the noun). In the sentence *Затем я
уловил в сумерках двигающийся огонек it is
necessary to express a more concrete trajectory
of the moving fire – я увидел приближающийся
огонек / что ко мне приближался огонек. In
*Сказал он, широко расставив пустые руки
the translator may specify the intention of the
protagonist as in… поднял руки, показывая,
что не вооружен; cf. one more example with
the hands *показал ему пустые руки, where the
purpose should be explicitly worded, otherwise
the activity remains unmotivated – показывая,
что у него нет ничего в руках. *Это делает
мои чувства по поводу произошедшего
менее безнадежными – this clumsy sentence
generously offers a variety of mistakes: those
related to English adjective-to Russian noun,
English state predicate-to Russian active verb,
and others – вселяет в меня надежду несмотря
на все произошедшее. *Война приносит с
собой общественные обязанности – взывает
к чувству долга (cause-effect metonymy – if
the war brings in some social duties it appeals
to our sense of duty, among other duties). In
the utterance *обнаружили находку there
are, first, a semantic mistake (a find cannot be
found) – so, we recommend either нас ждала
находка, second, we could move on even further
and suggest concrete object from the context
обнаружили три грузовика (these lorries made
the find in question).
This cause-effect metonymy is a typical
kind of crosslinguistical metonymy: *делает
все как минимум понимаемым (понятным!) vs
позволяет хотя бы понять (cause-effect + state
vs action); *поставил меня перед проблемой vs
создал мне проблему. In *В траве зашелестели
легкие шаги the potential observer / implied
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experiencer is made explicit, and the trajectory of
movement is worded; besides, the kind of noise
the agent produced is made more general – я
услышал легкие шаги – кто-то шел ко мне по
траве / через поле / по лужайке etc. In *внушить
ей представление об истинном положении
вещей the word истинном implies that the state
of affairs is hidden and calls for uncover, which
does not imply to instill, or bring home smth to
smb – so here we have instead донести до нее
правду об истинном положении вещей.
I spotted quite a new group of mistakes –
the ones that result from either ignoring or, vice
versa, ungrounded introduction of semantic
feature intentional – e.g. *Машинам удалось
так сцепиться – no intention can be attributed
to automobiles, so the verb умудрились (lack of
intention) is used. When speaking of radioactive
emissions the sentence …*так высоко, что
люди во всем мире смогли получить прямое
излучение is impossible, the recommended
translation is either оказались or подверглись
сильному излучению, where no intention is
implied.
Another 9 sentences exemplify the wrong
interpretation of the meaning of to be going
to–phrase. When applied to inanimate entities it
conveys the idea of inevitable consequences of the
present state of affairs, while speaking of human
(animate) beings it implies intentions. Sentences
like …*из камня, которому предстоит
медленное разрушение are better translated as
…в конце концов разрушится.
One more typical structural mistake is
ignoring Russian linguistic map of the world
which prefers adverbial modifiers in the initial
position as compared to the English sentence
structure which easily admits “formal”
(=inanimate) subjects (to actually denote place,
time, or reason) – a running example is *Она
имела причины улыбаться vs у нее были
причины для / inf ; *Расспросы кончились тем
что я всем страшно надоел – в результате
расспросов я всем страшно надоел; мы очень
полюбим его – он нам очень понравится.
Conclusion
The research into translation mistakes
revealed that, first, they are often related to the
target language competence of the translator;
second, a detailed practical analysis can forearm
the would-be translator with statistically grounded
instrumental mechanisms which can help him /
her in the job for the years to come.
References
1. Buzadji, D.M., Gusev, V.V., Lanchikov, V.K., Psurtsev, D.V. A New Approach to Classification
of Translation Mistakes [Noviy vzgl’ad na klassifikatsiju perevodcheskih oshibok]. Мoscow.: R.Valent,
2009, 173 p.
2. Garbovskiy, N.K., Theory of Translation [Teoriya perevoda]. Moscow, 2007.
3. Grammatical Aspects of Translation [Grammaticheskiye aspecty perevoda]. Мoscow.:
Academia, 2011, 239 p.
4. Komissarov, V.N., Modern Translation Theory [Sovremennoye perevodovedenije] Мoscow.:
ETS, 2002, 421 p.
5. Palazhchenko, P.R., My Non-Systematic Dictionary [Moy nesistematicheskij slovar’],
Moscow.: R. Valent, 1998, 212 p.
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Перевод с английского языка на русский:
переводчики–предатели
(типология переводческих ошибок
и их учет в практике преподавания)
О.А. Сулейманова
Московский городской педагогический
Россия, 105064, Москва, М. Казенный пер., 5б
В статье рассматриваются ошибки перевода на русский язык английского романа «День
Триффидов» Дж. Уиндема. Автор анализирует существующие типологии ошибок и
предлагает – на основе анализа переводческих ошибок – типологию ошибок на различных
уровнях языка. Данная типология может использоваться при обучении переводу, может быть
полезна для начинающих переводчиков.
Ключевые слова: перевод, метонимия, ложные друзья переводчика, переводчик, ошибка.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 320-325
~~~
УДК 81.33
On Entropy in Simultaneous Interpreting
Yaroslav V. Sokolovsky*
Siberian Federal University
79 Svobodny, Krasnoyarsk, 660041, Russia
Received 29.11.2013, received in revised form 09.12.2013, accepted 10.01.2014
The paper dwells upon the concept of entropy in connection with information theory, linguistics and
simultaneous interpreting. The linguistics-based mechanism of defining the degree of entropy within
simultaneous translation is among the main focal points of the paper. Some examples are analyzed.
Keywords: simultaneous interpreting, translation, entropy, the problem of understanding the
message.
No structure, even an artificial one, enjoys the
process of entropy. It is the ultimate fate of everything, and
everything resists it.
Philip K. Dick, Galactic Pot-Healer
Introduction
By investigating the role of entropy in
simultaneous interpreting modern scholars are
trying to reach a number of objectives. The first
one is to formulate a definition of the concept of
“entropy” in translation studies and linguistics,
to present a classification of personal factors
of entropy: determined by the speaker (pace of
speech, pronunciation norms, lexical norms,
grammar norms, etc.) and determined by the
interpreter (listening skills, cognitive readiness
within the skill of “switching between languages”,
knowledge of the topic and terminology, etc.).
The second objective is to provide an
overview of the available experimental data
concerning the factors that provoke additional
entropy in the process of interpreting; the review
is combined with an attempt to quantitatively
*
measure the degree of importance of the entropy
for some of the individual factors. For example,
consider such factors as the rate of speech: studies
show that for the simultaneous interpreter 100120 words per minute is the optimal speech rate,
and at a rate of speech about 150-200 words per
minute the quality of interpreting significantly
degrades (Chernov, 2009, 17).
The third objective is to provide an overview
of points of view on the possible strategies used by
simultaneous interpreters in practice, to overcome
the excess entropy. For example, probabilistic
forecasting strategy, Stalling strategy, linguistic
prediction, etc. (Ilyukhin 2001).
Entropy as a Measure of Understanding
Simultaneous interpreting per se is conducted
in specific conditions: “unlike translation,
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: sokol_rus@mail.ru
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interpreting requires attention sharing and
involves severe time constraints. Many recurrent
interpreting errors may well prove to be the result
of either saturation in or improper management of
the interpreter`s processing capacity” (Routledge
Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, 2001, 41).
Despite the fact that simultaneous interpreting
can be “artistically subtle in a way science
cannot capture” (Steve Jobs` 2005 Stanford
Commencement Address), the conference
interpreter deals with the problems, which are
needed to be treated scientifically. The scholarly
approach contributes to putting forward practical
guidelines for conference interpreters. Here we
intend to discuss the difficulties, which may arise
when the interpreter listens through a headset to
what is being said in the original language or,
in other words, the problem of understanding.
We depart from the view that the problem of
understanding the message is supposed to be
treated as a separate aspect of the linguistic
properties of interpretation. The problem of
understanding has existed since the beginning
of time and traditionally was scrutinized by
hermeneutics. Nowadays this area of academic
knowledge is being studied by philosophers,
psychologists, cyber-experts (who are trying
to teach a computer right from wrong) and,
certainly, by linguists. Since understanding is an
absolutely significant phase (an inseparable part
if you will) of the conference interpreter`s work,
it has to be put under intensive scrutiny, which
may contribute to the development of a theoretical
descriptive model of the interpreting.
The cognitive approach to translation and
interpreting with the reference to the subject of
this paper we shall discuss later. First, we need
to define the very concept of entropy in science,
linguistics and translation studies. One of the
ways to tackle the problem of understanding is
building up the entropic descriptive model. The
notion of entropy historically was applied in
thermodynamics. The term was initially used by
the German physicist Rudolf Clausius, and later
it was developed by Ludwig Boltzmann, Josiah
Willard Gibbs, and James Clerk Maxwell –
scientists who gave entropy its statistical basis
(Second Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy).
From this part of physics we know that entropy
is often defined as “a measure of the “disorder”
of a system” (What is entropy, Energy Concepts
Primer, Solar Energy Association) or, giving it
a more concrete definition is “a thermodynamic
quantity representing the unavailability of a
system’s thermal energy for conversion into
mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree
of disorder or randomness in the system: the
second law of thermodynamics says that entropy
always increases with time (Oxford Dictionaries).
The idea of entropy has become an ubiquitous and
universal approach to many scientific problems
(e.g. Nature journal1 by now has published over
4700 articles which contain the term “entropy”
in their headings. We believe that the journal can
serve as a benchmark of productivity for scientific
terms). We can trace direct analogies between
the application of entropy concept in natural
sciences and social sciences and humanities (e.g.
translation studies): as the level of entropy grows
inside the message received by the interpreter
through his (her) headset the understanding
linkages between the concepts will weaken just
like “replicated Escherichia coli daughter strands
will spontaneously demix as a result of entropic
forces, despite their strong confinement within
the cell” – a biological type of entropy driven
process (Jun, Wright, 2010).
We believe that one of the most fruitful ways
to view the problem of understanding the message
departs from the standpoint that it belongs to the
domain of information theory (Shannon 1963).
One of the main points of this theory states
that the information transmitted by a certain
communication channel is always characterized
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by a certain amount of entropy, which is defined
as “the value of the uncertainty of information”
(Kolmogorov 1987, 35). The higher the entropy
value, the higher the percentage of information
loss. Entropy as a measure of information
uncertainty is a category defined by a number
of factors affecting its magnitude. The factors
can be divided into external (technical) and
internal (personal). T.A. Kazakova, relying on
the definition of information offered by Wiener,
notes that “the content (meaning) of the text” in
the information approach can be represented as
“a structure to be reconstructed, in particular
in the process of translation”, meanwhile the
concept of information in translation is defined
as “a more or less distinct (informational) image
of the original text in the perception of the
interpreter (translator)” (Kazakova 198-199). In
addition to that it is necessary to point out that
entropy as a phenomenon hinders the process
of reconstruction, conducted by interpreters
(translators). Initially it occurs at the stage of
“decoding” the image of the source text, and we
face “secondary” entropy at the stage of “coding”
the image of text to be interpreted (translated).
Another significant feature of entropy in
connection with simultaneous interpreting is its
anisotropy, i.e. since in simultaneous interpreting
the interpreter quite often speaks one language
more fluently than the other the information
channel is anisotropic.
One way to reduce entropy in the interpreting
process (in particular – simultaneous interpreting)
is to use the mechanism of probabilistic
forecasting. One of the most respected and
recognized Russian researchers of simultaneous
interpreting, G.V. Chernov indicates that the
mechanism of probabilistic forecasting relies
upon “the fundamental methodological concept
of anticipatory reflection of reality, events of the
outside world in the living protoplasm, which
was put forward by the scholars of the Soviet
school of physiology, and is defined as “the basic
form of adjustment of living matter to the spacetime structure of the inorganic world, where
consistency and reproducibility are key timing
parameters” 2 (Chernov, 2009, 56). G.V. Chernov
insists that “along with the process of auditory
speech perception the interpreter`s brain proposes
hypotheses about variants of particular semantic
or verbal development or completion of the
speaker’s intentions” (ibid.). In this case the term
“redundancy”, as was noted by G.V. Chernov,
“appeared in the theory of information and
was associated with the name of its creator C.
Shannon, now widely penetrated in linguistics,
psychology and related disciplines” (ibid. ).
If the interpreter failed to understand
(failed to hear out or to comprehend) what
was said by the speaker, the interpreter may
fall into the trap of “completing (virtually
making up) the message”, arranged by his (her)
own consciousness. Within the psychological
framework “understanding” is “stability,
certainty”, and in this context simultaneous
interpreting is a very vivid illustration of the fact
that human “mental organization continuously
strives for stability, however at the same time
this stability is consistently violated by the
same mental organization. So if something
happens (with us, or in us, in particular) , which
disrupts the stability of the virtual mental well
being, it triggers primitive defense mechanisms
designed to restore the disturbed balance with
the help of “white spots”. For this purpose we
use explanations, starting with elementary
naming (labeling) and ending with coherent
theories (compilations of meanings). Moreover,
the explanation – a simple one (labeling) and
a complex one (theory) – can be absolutely
ridiculous, based on nothing but absurd, yet for
the sake of stability, for the sake of feeling of
certainty , we agree with it without batting an
eye (Kurpatov 2001).
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Metaphor as a Basis
for Probabilistic Forecasting
Despite the fact that linguistic methodology
for defining a measure of entropy is still under
development, we may try to conduct the most
basic analysis of the semantic factors that may act
as complications for understanding the message.
Absence of presence of the metaphor may serve
as one of such factors. E.g. medical terms, most
of which are metaphors in its structure, are
easy to understand, hence the interpreter may
guess their meaning (applying heuristics as a
mechanism for defining the meaning), provided
that the interpreter is able to reconstruct the
metaphorical link between the term and the
“default semantics” of the parts, which the term
consists of. The following medical terms require
special knowledge in the corresponding domain
of medical science in order to be interpreted
correctly from English into Russian3. We have
divided them into two groups:
Group A (possible to guess)
• weaning period – a period for stopping
the respiratory support of a patient and
transferring the patient to spontaneous
breathing (Russian: период отмены
респираторной поддержки). There is a
clear semantic analogy between “weaning
the child” and “weaning the patient”.
• alveolar recruitment – re-opening
of previously gasless (collapsed) lung
units (Russian: вовлечение в работу
максимального
числа
альвеол;
альвеолярный
рекрутинг).
There
is a clear semantic analogy between
“alveolar recruitment” and “recruitment
of employees”.
• pulmonary compliance (or lung
compliance) – the ability of lungs
to expand (Russian: растяжимость
лёгочной ткани, комплаенс). There is
a clear semantic analogy between “lung
compliance” and “spring compliance”.
• tidal volume – the volume of air moved
into or out of the lungs during quiet
breathing
(Russian:
дыхательный
объём). There is a clear analogy between
“tidal volume” and “tidal wave” or “tidal
waters”.
• stress and strain of lungs – the
primary determinants of ventilatorinduced lung injury (Russian: лёгочное
напряжение и нагрузка)4. There is a
clear semantic analogy between “stress
and strain of lungs” and “physical stress”
and “physical strain”.
• anesthetization – blocking of sensations
with the help of special medications
(Russian:
анестезирование);
This
example stands aside, since there is no
evident metaphor to comprehend, but
there is a clear phonetic analogy between
English and Russian.
Despite the metaphorical link that seems
to be “evident”, in some cases the “guessing
strategy” can be misleading. For example in the
Russian medical term “остаточная кураризация”
the word “кураризация” can be mistakenly
understood as a loan word, i.e. a derivative
from the English verb “to cure” + “-ization”
(a suffix denoting the act, process, or result of
doing something), whereas this term has nothing
to do with “curerization” (which in this case
turns out to be a “made-up word”), but originates
from the word “curare” (Russian: кураре) i.e. a
metaphor for muscle relaxant, therefore the whole
term should in fact be interpreted as “residual
muscle relaxation”.
Group B (difficult / impossible to guess)
The following terms are impossible to guess,
hence they are abbreviations and do not convey
any evident metaphorical meaning:
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• ECMO
(extracorporeal
membrane
oxygenation)
–
(Russian:
экстракорпоральная
мембранная
оксигенизация).
• ARDS (acute respiratory distress
syndrome)
–
(Russian:
острый
респираторный дистресс-синдром).
• Lungs
FRC
(functional
residual
capacity) – (Russian: функциональная
остаточная емкость лёгких).
Conclusion
It is evident that the application of the concept
of entropy to translation studies has become ripe
for discussion. When it comes to the analysis of
1
2
3
4
simultaneous interpreting along with focusing
on the properties of communication, we need
to bear in mind that this field of research goes
far beyond communication only. We believe that
for better understanding of this issue we need
to make a confession that the use of language
cannot be reduced to mere communication:
“A fundamental dogma, which almost never
questioned, which is certainly false is that
language is just a system of communication.
There is every reason to believe that it`s not
true. In fact again obvious reasons if you just
introspect…almost all use of language, like 99
percent of it, is internal. You can`t go a minute
without talking to yourself” (Chomsky).
According to the statistics of the official web-site, Available at http://www.nature.com/ (accessed 17 November, 2013)
This defi nition belongs to academician P.K. Anokhin. For more details about the Soviet physiological school in connection
with this defi nition, see (Chernov, 2009, 55)
The following medical terms were a part of the glossary of terms to be interpreted from English into Russian for the
IV International Congress for Respiratory Support, which was held in Krasnoyarsk (Russia), September 14-17, 2013. Me
and my colleague, Professor Veronica A. Razumovskaya were providing simultaneous interpreting for the event.
Doctors – participants of the Congress noted that terminologically it was difficult to fi nd precise equivalents in Russian for
the given pair of English terms.
References
1. Chernov, G.V. Teoria i praktika sinhronnogo perevoda [Theory and practice of simultaneous
translating], Moscow, Publishing House “LIBROKOM”, 2009, 208 p.
2. Chomsky, N., Language and Other Cognitive Processes (video lecture, 00:24-00:25 min),
Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i_W6Afed2k (accessed 8 October 2013).
3. Ilyukhin, V.M. Strategii v sinkhronnom perevode [Strategies in simultaneous translation.
Dissertation for the degree of Candidate of Philology, 10.02.20], Moscow, 2001. 223 p.
4. Jun, S., Wright, A. Entropy as the driver of chromosome segregation (2010) Nature Reviews
Microbiology 8, pp. 600-607 doi:10.1038/nrmicro2391
5. Kazakova, T.A. Perevod kak pererabotka informatsii [Translation as information processing],
11 Fodorovskiye chteniya. Universitetskoye perevodovedeniye [Fedorov Readings XI, University
Translation Studies], Saint-Petersburg. Pp. 197-201.
6. Kolmogorov, A.N. Teoriya informatsii i teoriya algoritmov [Information theory and theory of
algorithms], Moscow, Nauka (Science), 1987. 304 p.
7. Kurpatov, A.V., Language is what we have not learned to use [Yazyk – to, chem mi ne nauchilis
pol`zovat’sya] Real’nost’ i Sub`yekt (Reality and Subject), 2001, № 1. Pp. 91-94
8. Oxford Dictionaries, Entropy, Available at: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/
english/entropy (accessed 18 November 2013).
9. Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, London and New-York, Routledge, 2001,
655 p.
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10. Second Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy (Lecture 24). Yale University Open Courses.
Available at: http://oyc.yale.edu/physics/phys-200/lecture-24 (accessed 8 October 2013).
11. Shannon, C. Raboty po teorii informatsii i kibernetike [Works on information theory and
cybernetics], Moscow, Foreign Literature Publishing, 1963, 832 p.
12. Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address (video), Available at: http://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=Hd_ptbiPoXM (accessed 20 September 2013).
13. What is entropy, Energy Concepts Primer, Solar Energy Association, Available at: http://
www.nmsea.org/Curriculum/Primer/what_is_entropy.htm (accessed 7 November 2013).
К вопросу об энтропии
в синхронном переводе
Я.В. Соколовский
Сибирский федеральный университет
Россия, 660041, Красноярск, пр. Свободный, 79
Рассматривается понятие энтропии во взаимосвязи с теорией информации, лингвистикой
и синхронным переводом. Лингвистически обоснованный механизм определения степени
энтропии в рамках синхронного перевода является одной из основных подтем для обсуждения
в рамках данной статьи. Автором приводятся результаты анализа некоторых примеров.
Ключевые слова: синхронный перевод, энтропия, проблема понимания сообщения.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 326-333
~~~
УДК 37.046.14
Innovative Approach
to Teaching Translation and Interpreting
Elena G. Tarevaa* and Boris V. Tarevb
a
Moscow City Pedagogical University
5b Maly Kazenny per., Moscow, 105064 Russia
b
National Research University Higher School of Economics,
20, Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russia
Received 10.11.2013, received in revised form 17.12.2013, accepted 29.12.2013
The article is devoted to the overview of innovations applied to teaching translation and interpreting
(T&I). The authors represent both parameters of the innovations and the main trends of modern
approaches to teaching T&I.
Keywords: translation and interpreting (T&I), innovation processes in teaching translation and
interpreting, parameters of innovations, technologies for teaching translation and interpreting.
Introduction
Strengthening the trends of the development
and implementation of innovations in various
fields of human activity is the objective law of
the development of any society. The present
day calls for intensified innovation processes,
the quality of which influences the progress
in different industries, business, and finance.
Illustrative is the penetration of innovations into
the areas that have traditionally been recognized
conservative, classic, not subject to rapid
changes and modernization. The latter include
the humanitarian sphere, which having been
formed in the epoch of the ideas of liberalization
and humanization, long retained its vector at
permanence of values, and, consequently, was
“reluctant” to adaption of innovations, especially
those that were characterized by the need to shift
from the existing values.
*
Humanitarian sphere is the sphere of culture,
politics, education, human science research,
which includes such areas as philosophy,
linguistics, sociology, psychology, education,
economics, and others. Humanitarian “space of
knowledge” for a long time was like outside of
the innovation processes due to orientation of the
sphere at human beings in the aggregate aspects
of their life (spiritual, mental, moral, cultural,
and social). This orientation “washed away” the
subject and the object of the humanitarian studies,
making them intangible and not determinable
qualitatively.
Recently the situation in this area has
dramatically changed. Today we need an
individual who can act independently, take
a distinctive position, and apply his own
strategies and tactics for problem solving. This
must be a person ready for self-realization
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: elenatareva@mail.ru
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and self-actualization, for changing ways of
thinking and living. We need people willing to
innovate, able to act as business leaders of the
new generation. According to A.A. Ponukalin,
in today’s society we speak about the need
in the formation of individual evolutionary
consciousness, which should evolve in the
direction of developing the sense of personal
responsibility for the process and the result of
the evolution of society, not only for his personal
well-being. Hence, we support the idea of the
development of innovative personal qualities
and choice of evolutionary path through the
ideology of innovative lifestyle (Ponukalin,
2008).
Bringing up of a required by the time
individuality aimed at his development and
improvement becomes unachievable in the
“Procrustean bed” of obsolete vision of him
as a social value, application of outdated
ways, methods, and techniques of influence.
It is required to implement innovations in the
humanities, and to consider it in the context of
the necessity of human evolution with innovative
thinking, consciousness, readiness to innovative
creation.
The Problems of Research
of Humanitarian Innovations
It is clear that the format, content, and nature
of humanitarian innovations are distinguished
by their nature, being difficult for detection,
scientific comprehension, and objectification.
The difficulty lies in the fact that in the science
of innovation – Innovatics – it’s a common
practice to operate with precise categories
such as “innovation and investment process”,
“investment”, “innovation”, “management of
innovation process,” “diffusion of innovations”,
“commercialization of innovations”, etc. While
grouping these categories constitute a single
algorithm of sequential actions involving the
development, implementation, and dissemination
of innovations.
It is extremely difficult to apply these strictly
formalized concepts to the sphere of humanitarian
innovations as it is impossible to study a human
being in terms of the existing Innovation
Thesaurus, to employ the already formed
ideas about methods of innovation generation,
innovation management, and promotion.
There is a need for a special accentuation of
the conceptual apparatus for the humanities. Thus,
we see that there emerged and began actively
explored such areas as “Social Innovatics”, “Sociocultural Innovatics”, “Pedagogical Innovatics”,
“Lingvodidactical Innovations” (T.F. Berestova,
E.G. Tareva, A.A. Ponukalin, E.A. Malyanov,
T.K. Klimenko, A.A. Kazantseva). The researchers
have highlighted the scope of human knowledge
that has particular potential for innovation; these
are the spheres of pedagogy, art, culture, sociocultural and educational activities. In these
spheres innovations are linked with originality
and unconventional thinking, creative audacity,
with the result of intellectual activity, materialized
in the form of new facilities, which differ from
the previous ones by their novel properties. In
connection with the development of this trend
of innovation processes research the products of
humanitarian sector can be assessed in terms of
economic indicators (cost and benefit).
Despite the availability of a certain number
of approaches to understanding of innovative
trends in the sphere of humanities, it is necessary
to admit that in this area only the first steps
are being made. According to E.A. Malyanov,
here is ambiguity and confusion of concepts
and terminology, as well as “the impropriety of
equating of innovations in the sphere of culture
and social relations to innovations in technology,
production, economy” (Malyanov, 2009: 101).
These “growing pains” did not pass the
sphere of education, in the context of which from
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long ago there exists Pedagogical Innovatics,
which can be regarded as a doctrine of the creation
of pedagogical innovations, their assessment,
acquisition and application by the pedagogical
community (Khutorskoy, 2005). Pedagogical
innovations are considered to be innovations
in educational system aimed at improvement
of the process and outcomes of the educational
process. Thus, application of new methods,
techniques, tools, new concepts, new textbooks,
new curricula, methods of education and training
are often referred to as innovations. With such
a spread of possible areas of implementation of
innovation processes the emasculation of the
idea of innovation as something fundamentally
new and different from the previous one, from
something familiar is inevitable. Innovation is
segmented into tiny elements, and happens to
be ever-present. Because of this, it is difficult to
distinguish it from the usual flow of educational
processes, define it in the “cut” of usual standard
educational procedures. Inevitably, the questions
arise: is an innovation in this case, an innovation
at the request of its creator, not in substance?
Isn’t there the substitution of concepts? Isn’t
it a falsification of the idea of innovation in
education?
If you look at the lists of innovations in
education, driven by the modern educational
researches, then the answers to the questions
raised above suggest being affi rmative.
For example, as innovations in education
are considered the application of modern
technologies, the principle of integration of the
content of education, developmental education,
differentiated
instruction,
project-based
learning, programmed instruction, modular
training, distance learning – the phenomena that
have long been introduced in theory and practice.
And even personality centered education as
a holistic concept and a set of technologies
and practices is unlikely to be regarded as an
innovation (too many years have passed since
the declaration and approval of the personality
centered paradigm). We agree with the opinion
of scientists that “the authors of pedagogical
innovations develop new concepts, principles,
technology, new terms, and so on, but do not
always provide a reasonable justification for the
novelty and utility of the proposed innovations,
including a comparative analysis of their content
with the content of known objects of educational
research and practice” (Zeer, 2011: 5).
From the said above follows the obvious
problem. Still there are no objective criteria and
indicators, based on which we can accept this
or that innovation as a true innovation: there is
no mechanism of diagnosis, expert evaluation,
recognition (at the level of patenting) of educational
innovations, copyright protection and, finally, the
dissemination (commercialization).
Innovations in Teaching Translation
and Interpreting:
the Basics of the Problem
Science of teaching translation – Translation
Didactics – is experiencing the same difficulties
in the evaluation of innovative technologies
as the General Didactics and Linguodidactics.
As a result, among such innovations are
considered computer-aided, project, problem
solving technologies of teaching translation,
which,
possessing
universal
optimizing
opportunities have no specific features related to
the actual teaching translation. In addition, these
technologies are widespread and have long ceased
to be innovations in the full sense of the word.
To confirm this, let’s analyze the publication
activity of the authors who, specialize in teaching
translation, focusing on the base of scientific
digital library e-LIBRARY. The analysis was
applied to articles published in the years 20082013. The criteria for the selection and evaluation
were the category “innovation”, “innovative”,
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“novelty”, as used in the titles and the texts of the
publications.
The results of the analysis show that
the authors regard as innovative for teaching
language and culture, the “problem method”,
creation of “virtual learning environment”, the
use of project-based, cooperative learning, the
use of various information and communication
technologies, etc. It is clearly seen that Translation
Didactics is not ready nowadays to comprehend
the essence of innovation in teaching translation
and interpreting. Meanwhile, the modern does
not always mean the innovative. For example,
computer technology, of course, being modern,
can hardly be qualified as innovative, whatever
new formats and features do appear in recent
years.
It must be said that this situation is due to
objective reasons. First, Innovatics is a young
science, and it is just beginning to strengthen
its positions and to proclaim its categorical
apparatus, its laws, principles, diagnostic criteria,
and characteristics of innovation. Second, not
all is well defined within the framework of the
Innovatics itself, thus, making it possible for
a false or not quite adequate understanding of
certain categories and phenomena of innovative
realities. Third, being a sphere of humanitarian
studies does not properly give the opportunity
to perceive the subject of innovation in teaching
translation. Humanitarian innovations, as
mentioned above, are far from complete and final
shaping of their form and content.
Thus, innovation in training translators is
still waiting for its researchers, able to establish
a methodology for determining the parameters of
innovation in the field of training of translators,
suggest the diagnosis and approval (at the level
of patenting) of these innovations and to consider
mechanisms for their implementation in the
practice of teaching translation at different stages
of educational process.
Innovations in Teaching Translation
and Interpreting:
Approaches to Problem Solving
As can be concluded from the analysis of
existing approaches, there are several trends in
Translation Didactics that can be considered as
innovative. It is interesting to analyze them in
terms of the parameters of innovativeness. These
parameters in General Didactics are as follows
(Zeer, 2011: 11):
(1) Relevance: the approach meets
social requirements that determine the
need for younger generation to be ready for
participation in cross-cultural communication;
(2) Novelty: the approach is completely
different from what was used earlier;
(3) Productivity and Efficiency: long-term and
multiple studies support the effectiveness of the
approach in the process of education;
(4) Optimality: the acceleration of skills
development, saving mental, emotional efforts of
students;
(5) Educational Value: the approach has a
direct impact on development, education, and
training of students;
(6) Practicability: should be obvious practical
value of the approach;
(7) Feasibility: the innovation is realistic, it
is reproducible in different educational contexts,
does not require much effort, re-training of
teachers, introduction of absolutely new and
costly training facilities;
(8) Non-obviousness: the approach is not
a truism; in that interpretation it has never
been assessed by anyone due to fundamentally
different interpretations admitted by the absolute
majority of its supporters.
The first approach is traditionally based on
the integration of various scientific fields into a
single entity. This is the combination of different
areas of Linguistics, Translation Studies, and
Translation Didactics. These include, for example,
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the so-called Metalinguistic Approach, which is
designated as an innovative direction in teaching
translation (Loginova, 2008). This approach
is seen as a necessary tool for the analysis of
translation as a learning process and product of
communication, taking into account the potential
of translation universals.
Metalinguistic approach incorporates, on
the one hand, all that has been accumulated in
General Linguistics. It focuses on WHAT is
behind the word, namely, the “cultural alloy”,
“mysterious links of which entangle direct,
nominative meaning of the word” (Ter-Minasova,
152), speaker’s / writer’s emotions, etymology of
the word – that referred to as «the history hidden
in words» (Denning, 2007), socio-cultural
connotations.
On the other hand, this approach is based
on the integration of different areas of research
in the Theory of Translation: Linguistic – from
the position of compliance and non-compliance
between languages; Pragmatic, taking into
account extra-linguistic factors; Communicative,
involving the analysis of communicative aspect
of translation as a process of transmission of
information and cultural data; Communication
and Cognitive, being based on consideration
of the picture of the world and background
matches.
The analysis of this approach leads to
the conclusion that its innovative potential
manifests itself in the parameters (1) and (2).
The available research material from related to
Translation Didactics fields, taken in a complex
and integrated way, in fact, can give new impetus
to improving the training of “intermediaries”
in the field of intercultural communication.
Consequently, it is characterized by relevance
and novelty. But this approach is only at the
very beginning of its development, and its
dominant idea is just defi ned. The evidence
of its productivity and efficiency, optimality,
educational value, practicability, feasibility,
and non-obviousness (parameters 3-8), is to be
proved in the future.
The second approach, which is considered
as innovative, is aimed at change of strategy and
technology of teaching translation of scientific
written texts, taking into account the origin of
the terms (Nikolaeva, 2010). According to the
author, the translator must possess etymological
competence – the ability to ensure the adequacy
of the translation being based on consideration
of the acquired knowledge about the origins
of common words and terms, as well as their
functional features and original meaning. The
criteria of formation of this competence are the
adequacy of the translation, the independent
translation decisions making, and efficiency
of translation skills. A special place in the
model of teaching translators is taken by such
methods of teaching translation as etymological
analysis, differentiation, comparative and
historical comparison, quantization, typological
classification.
The very process of teaching translation of
scientific texts consists of the following stages:
− pre-translation: understanding of what
sphere of scientific knowledge the text
is referred to, identification of scientific
terms, definition of their etymons,
meaning and function in the text;
− translation: the selection of equivalents for
the terms on the basis of the techniques of
translation activity;
− post-translation: assessment of the
translated product, the interpretation
of the communication and pragmatic
functions of the text on the basis of the
etymological components of the terms,
evaluation and forming judgments on
the translation results, practical use of
the terms in different communicative
situations.
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The analysis of this approach shows that like
the first one, it can hardly be seen as innovative,
despite the fact that it is based on the theoretical
foundation and has technological parameters.
The most vulnerable are the parameters of
its Novelty (2) (the importance of relying on
the etymology of words in the translation was
repeatedly stated in linguistic studies, and the
three-stage sequence of teaching translation is a
well-known fact), Optimality (4) (it is likely that
determination of the origin of terms would add
time for the translation). Practicability (6), and
Educational Value (5) require serious study. Thus,
this approach might be qualified as a didactic
technique that is able to improve the quality of
the translation of scientific text.
The third approach, pretending to the
status of innovative, has a strictly technological
orientation. Without a radical change in the
fundamentals of teaching translation in the
field of professional communication, the author
offers a new sequence of stages of development
of translation competence for non-linguistic
students: reception (assimilation) → production
(application) → social interaction → mediation
(Bogatyreva, 2011). These steps are described
in detail, down to the steps of actions of a
teacher and students at a particular translation
lesson.
It is easy to see that the desire is unlikely
to be related to the didactic innovation, rather
to speak about perfection or optimization of the
existing approach to training of translators.
There are other approaches that are declared
by the authors as innovative. Among them – the
system that is aimed at developing a translator’s
conceptual picture of the world by providing him
with cognitive maps, realization in the translation
process of cognitive models, such as association
schemes of meaning, lingvo-cultural fields,
introduction of interactive technologies, parallel
corpuses of different genres, teaching translation
via Internet technology (Trados system that
is used to translate texts of different formats
and maintaining terminological databases of
different formats, automation translation project
management XTRFTM – Translation Management
Systems, etc.). Of course, the development
of these new systems and their application in
practice is fully justified. But they are unlikely
to be regarded as innovative technologies, as they
do not meet the required parameters.
The stated above data clearly indicate
that today the desire to improve the training of
translators through the introduction of innovative
teaching technologies is obvious. However, in
current practice, this tendency manifests itself
mainly at the level of development of individual
techniques, presentation of separate teaching
methods that do not radically change the existing
teaching approach.
Most probably such conservatism in
teaching translation makes sense, and is
justified. This, in particular, is supported by
D.M. Buzadzhi, when he states the dangers
caused by introduction in the educational
process of new technological developments.
These dangers are based on the fact that
sometimes new technology does not help to
solve the challenges posed by an academic
discipline. It may require from a teacher and
/ or students extra costs and efforts, without
providing a significant improvement in the
quality of education. As a result, the decision
to introduce new technology into use should,
according to the scientist, be taken only if
there is a reason to respond positively to
questions about whether the technology is
useful for teaching, and whether it significantly
increases the effectiveness of teaching. “If
we want students to acquire the subject faster
and translate better, if we train them to the
conditions of work, that they will encounter
in practice, it is necessary not to curse all
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Table 1. The passport of innovation for teaching translation
1.
Innovation
2.
3.
The sphere of educational activity where the
innovation can be applied
The object of educational innovation
4.
The description of similar innovations
5.
The criticism of similar innovations with
consideration of positive outcomes of the
proposed innovation
The purpose of the innovation
6.
7.
The essence of the innovation
8.
Correspondence to the criteria of novelty
9.
The expected outcome
new things, but not to rush with delight at
every enticing new product, and to adopt that
all technological progress can really help us”
(Buzadzhi).
A special expertise is required to make a
decision about the true innovative character of
teaching translation technology. This work can
be carried out with the help of the passport of
innovation for teaching translation, which fixes
the characteristics of a particular educational
technology in correspondence with the declared
parameters. Above is a layout of the passport
(Table 1). At the same time, this table may be
regarded as an application/justification of the
proposed technology innovation.
Careful and thoughtful completion of
the passport will help the author of didactic
innovations to understand the degree of novelty
of the proposed ideas, to determine their place
in the existing system of translation and didactic
knowledge.
Conclusion
It is a well-known slogan that innovation
determines the future. But not all that is called
innovative is actually innovative. Pedagogical
innovations in general and innovations in
teaching translation in particular are designed to
ensure the evolution of the educational system,
its modernization, based on a balanced approach
to the creation of innovations, not in the race for
the number of them at the expense of quality.
We need a wise, profound concept that allows to
name as innovations only those achievements of
science and practice, which have all the necessary
features and parameters
References
1. Ponukalin, А.А. Innovatis: Scientific and Humanitarian Basics [Innovatika: estestvennonauchnye i gumanitarnije osnovanija] (2008) Innovations, No 10. Pp. 57-63.
2. Malyanov, Е.А. Socio-cultural Innovations in the Sphere of Modern Culture [Sotsialnokulturnije innovatsii v prostranstve sovremennoj kultury] (2009) Bulletin of the Tschelyabinsk State
Academy of Culture and Arts, No 4 (20). Pp. 97-106.
3. Zeer, E.F., Novosyolov, S.A., Davidova, N.N. Institutional Provision of Educational
Innovations [Institutsional’noje obespetschenije obrazovatel’nih innovatsij] (2011) Education and
Science, No 9 (88). Pp. 3-20.
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Elena G. Tareva and Boris V. Tarev. Innovative Approach to Teaching Translation and Interpreting
4. Loginova, E.G. Metalinguistic Approach to Teaching Translation and its Methodological
Potential [Metalingvistitscheskij podhod k obuscheniju perevodu i ego metodischeskij potentsial]
(2008) Foreing Languages in High School, No 7. Pp 104-108.
5. Denning, K., Kessler, B., Leben, W.R. English Vocabulary Elements. Oxford University
Press, 2007. 337 p.
6. Bogatireva, M.A. Modern Approaches to Teaching Translation in Non-linguistic University
[Sovremennije podhodi obutscheniju perevodu primenitel’no k nejazikovomu vuzu] (2011) Labor and
Social Relations, No 7. Pp. 28-33.
7. Buzadzhi, D.M. http://www.thinkaloud.ru/featureak.html
8. Nikolayeva, О.S. The Technology of Teaching Translation of Scientific Written Texts, with
Consideration of the Origin of the Terms [Metodika obutschenija perevodu nautschnih tekstov na
osnove utscheta etimologitscheskoj sostavlyaushchej terminov]: Abstract dis. … Candidate of
Pedagogical Sciences. (М., 2010).
9. Ter-Minasova, S.G. War and Peace of Languages and Culture: Theory and Practice of Crosslingual and Cross-cultural Communication [Vojna i mir jazikov i kultur: voprosi teorii i praktiki
mezh’ jazikovoj i mezhkulturnoj kommunikatsii]. М.: Slovo, 2008. 344 p.
Инновации в обучении переводу
а
Е.Г. Тареваа, Б.В. Таревб
Московский городской педагогический университет
Россия, 129226, Москва, Малый Казенный пер., 5б
б
Национальный исследовательский университет
Высшая школа экономики
Россия, 101000, Москва, ул. Мясницкая, 20
В статье речь идет о специфике инновационных процессов в дидактике перевода.
Предлагаются параметры инноваций в обучении переводу. Намечаются пути развития
основных инновационных тенденций в обучении переводу.
Ключевые слова: инновационные процессы в лингводидактике, параметры инноваций,
технологии обучения переводу.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 334-340
~~~
УДК 81.2+81’25
On Translating Verbal Etiquette Phrases
Tatyana P. Tretyakova*
St. Petersburg State University
7/9 Universistetskaya nab., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia
Received 21.11.2013, received in revised form 12.12.2013, accepted 26.12.2013
The paper deals with the problem of finding general integrative models for translating speech etiquette
forms. It is argued that these forms exist as a part of the interactive scenario that is aimed at establishing
social contacts through verbal polite ritual phrases. The first part of the article concerns several areas
in research of the etiquette that provide integrative components of the semantics: first, different types
of polite cultures and historical pragmatics data; second the context of stereotyping and third, the
contrastive analysis and inter-cultural rhetoric. Further, translation examples of etiquette forms in
English and Russian show the necessity of integrative components for presenting correct equivalents
in interpretive and sequence translations. Time and social environment can change the meaning of
some etiquette forms but the interactive situational scheme remains the same.
Keywords: Speech etiquette, speech stereotypes, integrative semantics, communicative situation,
contrastive analysis, inter-cultural rhetoric, translation theory.
Introduction
Multidimensional communication patterns
in global communication lead to the development
of certain polite verbal ritual which is known as
verbal etiquette. Etiquette was a part of ritual
and ceremony and to a certain degree supported
universal order and affirmed its continuation.
Societies change and entail the change of ritual
and consequently etiquette. Nowadays a rather
vague status of etiquette is connected with
cultural norms, traditions as they are mostly
reflected in professional communication within
institutionalized patterns such as diplomatic
protocol, patient and doctor dialogue, classroom
etiquette etc. Etiquette can be defined as a
collection of specific features of behaviour
aimed at sustaining socializing through the
“interplay” of communicative status of partners
*
in the communication (Baiburin &Toporkov
1990:5). Thus role-play competence reflecting
the stereotypes of verbal behavior becomes very
important for communication process.
The aim of this paper is to show the
relevance of incorporating integrative semantics
in the analysis of etiquette phrases as stereotypes
and to show examples proving that contrastive
analysis is indispensable for translation studies of
etiquette phrases as polite speech stereotypes.
The methodological background lies within
the framework of context studies carried out at the
department of English Philology and Translation
studies of St. Petersburg University. The idea of
constant and variable context was introduced by
Natalia N. Amosova in 1961 and later developed
in a number of research areas in St. Petersburg
State University (Context 2012). One of them lies
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: tretyakova.tp.50@gmail.com
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Tatyana P. Tretyakova. On Translating Verbal Etiquette Phrases
in the field of context pragmatics which allows
incorporating into research life-situational
models in the context of different cultures where
etiquette phrases belong.
Major theoretical trends
There are several important aspects
integrated in the study of etiquette phrases – the
concept of politeness in different cultures, and
different historical periods, context analysis
and the process of stereotyping and contrastive
analysis. All these approaches are very important
for translation studies.
1. Traditionally scholars dealing with polite
speech ritual look at concept of etiquette from
the vantage point of effective socializing. They
are concerned with the ceremony of exchanging
speech formulas in a certain rigidly structured
format, i.e., small talk, business negotiations,
corporative meetings, etc. for creating cultural
awareness of the communicative situation. In this
case the concepts communicative culture and
politeness are included in most language studies.
There are such well known definitions as high
context and low context communication cultures,
or positive and negative politeness cultures in the
framework of cross-cultural studies (Brown and
Levinson 1987; Hofstede 1980; Ogiermann 2009,
Jucker 2012). In the majority of cases polite verbal
interaction is as a social memory, looked upon as
a cognitive scheme, a collective programming of
the mind, that allows to distinguish one group
of people from another. It can also be defined
as “unwritten rules of the social game”. All
cultures have devised different models for polite
socializing. The grading of politeness is not
necessarily connected with the abundance of
polite clichés. It only means a different cultural
model. Studying Polish and Russian acts of
socializing against their English counterparts one
might draw the conclusion that “Poles/Russians
are never polite” (Leech 1983: 84). This statement
appeared only because of the lack of cultural
awareness and other expectations in a similar
politeness context of socializing.
2. The second semantic aspect integrated
in the translation studies of the situation
situation deals with the degree of relevant
information necessary for interpretation of
situational pragmatic meaning. This relevance
of interpretive technique allowed scholars
belonging to historical pragmatics to describe
speech etiquette of remote times. In synchronic
and diachronic studies one can find necessary
data for calculus of polite language forms used
in a particular period of language development.
Moreover, recent studies showed there is enough
language data for describing polite socializing
models relevant to different epochs (Jucker
2012; Jucker, Taavitsainen. 2003; Третьякова
2012). Present-day research on the English polite
language development showed that it is possible
to spot a certain politeness phenomenon even in
an Anglo-Saxon world with its feuds and militant
hierarchy (Tretyakova 2013). One more example
is the etymological description of the Russian
etiquette is undertaken by A.Balakai with unique
information of place and time the etiquette phrase
was/is used.( Балакай 2001).
3. Context analysis in this paper is connected
with the interpretation of etiquette forms as
stereotype phrases used within a particular social
context. Knowledge of this stereotypical context
is important for translation. By stereotyping here
we mean a cognitive process of creating a speech
idiom used as a cliché in representation of some
typical situation of verbal polite communication.
This situation itself is constructed by polite
rudimentary phrases the main goal of which is
to provide polite socializing. In this case these
phrases are called communicative etiquette
clichés. The formulas of greetings, farewells, turn
taking, apologizing and so on make the repertoire
of the etiquette field. The context semantics of
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these phrases, lies in the field of cultural habits
and social memory. The only verification which
can be applied to them is whether these phrases
are acceptable or non-acceptable in a particular
context. Stereotyping can be presented in a frame
model in a most generalized manner. Etiquette
verbal stereotypes in diverse types of discourse
provide necessary contact ritual that can be
brought into the following scheme:
[I come into contact and express <my positive
attitude>--<I receive your positive contact and
respond<with best wishes>; I express {gratitude,
congratulations, toast, best wishes}>; [I close the
contact and express <best wishes> >--<I receive
best wishes and say good bye ].
Most general components of the etiquette
scheme remain of course <addressant> and
<addressee> whose main goal is exchanging
stereotypes as pragmatic markers showing
speaker’s cultural background, organizational
choice of future conversation. The addressant
should have maximum of information on the
addressee so that he/she uses just the right
etiquette cliché in response.
As long as etiquette clichés can be initials and
feedbacks, the two aspects of speech activity—
speech production and perception—prove to be
equally relevant for the social situations. It is the
social factor, the distance between the speakers,
their interpersonal relations and the power and
social status that come into the variety of options
for semantic description.
This formula can be applied to any etiquette
situation and the interpretation technique is
connected with the acceptability of the phrase
in a particular setting. This idea is close to the
concept of “practical context” introduced by
Eugene Nida (Nida 2001). By practical context he
means the circumstances of communication: its
stimuli, participants, their relation to one another
and to circumstances and the response of the
listeners.
One more practical issue is worth mentioning
in discussion of the context. The scheme discussed
above is relevant to any etiquette situation in any
language but the repertoire of the slots in the
scheme is to be compiled for different registers
and languages Independently. By retrieving
the components from the scheme, the language
learner or translator actually is decoding the
communicative stereotype in order to shift the
etiquette form to another context which can be
called “bi-context” as cognitive etiquette situation
may be entirely different.
4. Contrastive and comparative analysis is
a very efficient way for finding equivalents in
relatively similar contexts. Moreover, contrastive
rhetoric starting with the analysis of written
matter, we believe, could be applied in to the
study of etiquette models as discourse practices..
U.Connor offers in his work the expansion of the
topic of contrastive rhetoric to cross-cultural and
intercultural studies. In addition, intercultural
studies are sensitive to context and they consider
influences both due to inter-person and interculture influences (Connor 2008). When
integrating this matter in the analysis of translation
the etiquette situation one can look for crosscultural divergence on one hand and intercultural
technique of persuasion on the other. In this
case the matrix for interpretation might include
comparative analysis of different languages and
different media forms, e.g. netiquette (electronic
(virtual) communication etiquette).
The four mentioned above trends could be
integrated in the analysis of translation studies.
Translation examples
In this part we return to intercultural rhetoric
mentioned above (Connor 2008) and to the
context which provides a mapping for mishaps in
translation. Let us look at two types of etiquette
translation presentations. One type deals with
stereotype phrases and situations they represent
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in the source and target languages. Here we
rely on lexicographic interpretation of etiquette
phrases. The other type of translation concerns
sequences of dialogical turns and their literary
translation.
1.There are a number of examples that
L.Visson describes as possible address forms
and greeting phrases in a polite context that may
have difficulty with Russian speakers (Виссон
2003:86-114). It may bring misunderstanding
among speakers. For example a response I am
good to the greeting How are you? is impossible
in an American standard situation. The phrase I
am good sounds like a descriptive one and it is
never used as a greeting.
The etiquette phrase How are we today?
entails the situation of doctor–and patient–
dialogue and the greeting cliché as an etiquette
formula addressed not to many patients but to one
person only. Compare Russian : Ну, как мы себя
чувствуем сегодня?
There may be examples of OK not as a
marker of agreement, but a part of closing
sequence in closing the conversation: Okay.
Bye-bye. The English form of greeting How do
you do? keeps being misinterpreted as a general
greeting formula, whereas the prescription goes
that this utterance is used only when people meet
for the first time.
There is difference in English Please and
Russian Пожалуйста. Please is escorting English
directives and in this case it is close to the Russian
equivalent. If we turn to Russian examples the
situation of request is never translated directly –
there is either the difference in the word order or
in the wording of an etiquette phrase:
«Садитесь, пожалуйста» – Please, sit
down/ Please have a seat
«Дайте мне пожалуйста» – Could you
please give me… (Виссон2003:97).
There can be a functional shift with Please
from escorting a directive act to rendering a
certain amount of irritation. In the latter case
it is pronounced in a specific way puh-leeze.
(“pu(h)leez(e).“) In this case it means Give me
a break!
«Avatar is here and there taken perfectly
seriously as a kind of caring, environmental
parable. My own response to this is: puh-leeze».
The suggested translation into Russian is the
following: То тут, то там «Аватар» на полном
серьезе называют притчей о заботливом,
этичном отношении к природе. Я лично по
этому поводу могу сказать только одно:
Как же, как же! Other options of translating
the version of please are Ну да!, Конечно!, Ещё
чего!, Да ладно.
If we look the Russian etiquette formula
Пожалуйста it is used mostly in four major
cases: 1) an intensifier in requests ;2) an invitation
to do something; 3) a reply to “Thank you” ;4) a
reply to begging pardon. This polite formula is
not always translated with English Please.
1) – Будете чай? Да, пожалуйста. (Would
you like some tea? – Yes, please.)
2) – Можно я налью себе еще чаю? –
Пожалуйста, угощайтесь!» (Can I have some
more tea? – Sure! Help yourself.)
3) Пожалуйста – you’re welcome.
4) – Спасибо. –Пожалуйста – (It's OK/
It's fine/Never mind) and it is synonymous in
Russian with phrases like «Ничего»/»Ничего
страшного»/«Пустяки».
What makes the situation tricky with
etiquette formulas are their functional shifts that
make translation on lexemic level impossible. If
we take Russian greeting phrase здравствуйте
and add it to пожалуйста and use special
intonation pattern the meaning of здрасьте
–пожалуйста would be an ironic comment
to some unpleasant situation. Functional shifts
which are a part of communicative social
knowledge do not always appear in dictionaries
which makes the translation of etiquette phrases
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even trickier than looking for descriptive
interpretations in dictionaries.
The lexicographer is doomed to quit from a
structural syntactic presentation of the etiquette
verbal formulas, concentrating on the fact that
utterances express degrees of polite attitude
and cooperative interaction. Many modern
dictionaries and reference books of etiquette
utterances don’t provide enough information.
Etiquette formulas of social interaction demand
on the part of a professional lexicographer a
very tentative approach, because immediate
understanding may be insufficient. That is, only
double checking of possible interpretations of
the components of communicative situation,
especially of the remote epochs, can provide us
with reliable data. This refers to the changing
of address forms to women in English in the
end of the 20-th century ( Ms). The reference
to some address forms that are not used any
more even more difficult: For example it is
extremely difficult to fi nd equivalents to Russian
XIXth c. address forms. Ваше сиятельство,
Ваше благородие, Ваша светлость, Ваша
милость, Ваша честь in reference to people
of a higher rank or друг мой, душа моя,
голубушка, душечка маменька, тятенька,
батюшка when addressing some very close
people from the family and friends. The same is
relevant to барин (барыня), сударь (сударыня),
милостивый государь (государыня).
2) Sequential translation is connected with
the presentation of etiquette episodes that show
several turns of <addresant-addressee> relations.
In English translations of two etiquette episodes
taken from A.P. Chekhov’s plays one can easily
find a few discrepancies which violate the
stereotypes of communication practice. Examples
are taken from the The Sea-Gull.
The fi rst episode deals with the greeting
situation. Such a common Russian phrase
as «Здравствуйте» gets sometimes weird
translations as good evening and how
do you do.
Нина:.(выходя из-за эстрады). Очевидно,
продолжения не будет, мне можно выйти.
Здравствуйте! (Целуется с Аркадиной и
Полиной Андреевной.)
(1) Nina:[сomes in from behind the stage]
I see that the play will never be finished, so
now I can go home. Good evening. [She kisses
ARKADINA and PAULINA.]!
(2)NINA. (coming from behind the stage).
Evidently we’re not to go on. I can come out.
How do you do? (Kisses ARCADINA and
PAULINE.).
The second episode is farewell situation.
Аркадина: До свиданья, мои дорогие...
Если будем живы и здоровы, летом опять
увидимся… [Горничная, Яков и повар целуют
у нее руку] Ну, не поминайте лихом. (Якову.)
Я дала рубль повару. Это на троих.
Повар:
Покорнейше
благодарим,
барыня. Счастливой вам дороги! Много вами
довольны!
Яков: Дай бог час добрый!
When these clichés are translated into
English, the necessity of stereotypical comment
becomes obvious. Here are two translations of the
scene:
1) Arkadina: Good-bye, all! We shall meet
again next summer if we live. [The maid servant,
Jacob and the cook kiss her hand] Don’t forget me.
[She gives the cook a rouble] There is a rouble for
all three of you.
The Cook: Thank you, mistress; a pleasant
journey to you.
Jacob: God bless you, mistress.
2) Arcadina: Good-bye, everyone. If
we’re alive and well, we shall meet again
in the summer. (Housemaid, man-cook and
Yakof kiss her hand.) Don’t forget me. (Giving
the cook a rouble.) There’s a rouble to divide
among you.
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Cook: Our humblest thanks, lady. A good
journey to you! We are very content with you!
Yakof: Heaven send you happy times!
(Chekhov, 2006).
In these translations neither of the addresses
Moи дорогие, барыня, nor the expression of
thanks by servants Покорнейше благодарим,
Много Вами довольны adequately reflect Russian
etiquette forms. Time and social environment
wrongly understood changed the interactive
scheme. Thus we can state that this translation
shows ineffective socialising and produces a
wrong impression on the readers and spectators.
Conclusion
Etiquette verbal forms provide a system
of “filters” used in the dialogue for effective
socializing. They work as formulas encoding
social memory, situational context and pragmatic
meaning. Integrated semantics of etiquette
phrases lies in the fields of cultural studies,
context analysis and the schemata of stereotyping.
The general model of translation process includes
contrastive analysis and intercultural rhetoric
where mapping for equivalents is connected with
the place of the etiquette formula in the schemata
if communicative situation.
References
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( U istokhov etiketa. Etnograficheskiye ocherky) L.: Nauka. 168 р.
2. Balakai, A.G. (2001) Dictionary of Russian speech etiquette: forms of hospitable behavior.
6000 words and expressions. (Slovar’ russkogo rechevogo etiketa: formy dobrozhelatel’nogo
obkhozhdenia.) Moscow: AST press. 672 р.
3. Brown, P., Levinson, S.C. (1987). Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge,
UK: Cambridge University Press.
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www.gutenberg.org/files/1754/1754.txt (accessed September 12, 2011).
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intercultural rhetoric. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. P. 299-355.
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statey v chest’ 100-letiya so dnya rozhdetniya professoraN.N.Amosovoy ( 1911-1966)).
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К вопросу об интегративном характере
перевода этикетных высказываний
Т.П. Третьякова
Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет
Россия, 199034, С.-Петербург, Университетская наб., 11
Статья посвящена проблемам перевода этикетных высказываний как элементов
интерактивного сценария, отражающего основные компоненты коммуникативной ситуации.
В качестве методологической основы исследования послужили принципы контекстологических
исследований, позволяющих разрабатывать интегративный подход к описанию этикетных
формул. В первой части статьи рассматриваются теоретические вопросы интегративной
семантики речевых этикетных формул. К ним относятся представление следующих
направлений исследования: во-первых, принадлежность к определённому типу культурного
и исторического контекста; во-вторых, представление этикетной формулы как речевого
стереотипа в рамках интерактивной ситуации; в-третьих, взаимодействие разных культур
с использованием элементов контрастивного анализа и интеркультурной риторики. Далее в
статье рассматриваются примеры русских и английских переводов некоторых этикетных
формул и определяется необходимость учета интегрированных компонентов значения
этикетной формулы при переводе в рамках минимального и последовательного контекста.
Ключевые слова: речевой этикет, речевой стереотип, контекст, интегративная семантика,
коммуникативная ситуация, контрастивный анализ, теория перевода.
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УДК 130.122
Humanistic Content of Spiritual Outlook
like Vector of Development
Human and Society
Yury F. Abramova* and Svetlana P. Shtumpf b
a
Irkutsk State University
1 Karl Marx Str., Irkutsk, 664003, Russia
b
Krasnoyarsk State Pedagogical University
named after V.P. Astafiev
89 Ada Lebedeva Str., Krasnoyarsk, 660049, Russia
Received 14.10.2013, received in revised form 22.11.2013, accepted 12.01.2014
This article investigates the phenomenon of spiritual outlook; the phenomenon that genetically
determined for national socio-cultural tradition. The topicality of the theme is determined by the
state of the contemporary social situation. The spiritual outlook is able to withstand the destructive
global trends toward dehumanization of social life, expanded changing of world outlook positions,
and technicalization of thinking. The problems of the value content of individual and social life,
their correlation with the universal humanistic dominants have the paramount importance. The
author believes that the premises of humanistic attitude to life are laid in a man as natural spiritual
characteristics. He analyzes the meaning of humanism, its practical value in different historical epochs,
interconnectivity and function in the spiritual space of the individual and society. Article confirms the
statement of the humanitarian nature of the phenomenon of spiritual outlook, demand for value based
cues of spiritual outlook and humanism at the individual and public-social levels.
Keywords: spiritual outlook, humanism, humanistic upbringing, moral, personality, society.
Introduction
In the space of human knowledge, the
humanistic ideas are closely connected with
the problems of development of the person
and society. The study of humanistic bases of
spiritual outlook is very important in connection
with a difficult situation of times we live in. The
ideological, moral, spiritual crisis that is present
in our society determines the need and sets
the conditions of search for ways to overcome
the present circumstances, and renewal of the
*
existential strategy of mankind. The adoption of
spiritually oriented direction of the development
seems a possible way to overcome the conflict.
The actualization of the spiritual vector
of development takes a centre stage in the
personal space, makes it possible to overcome
the subject-object dichotomy in a person. With
this approach it is possible to develop not only
the natural and creative potential with the aim
to achieve harmony on a personal level, but
also involvement of separate-individual in
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: philosophy@chair.isu.ru
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public-social, establishment of communication
between these worlds (Abramov, 2009).
Therefore, the explication of humanistic bases
of spiritual outlook in the individual and the
social space of human existence seems quite
objective.
Statement of the problem
During the existence of human society, one
can trace the interest to the essence of spiritual
outlook that is closely connected with the attempt
to understand the phenomenon of a man and the
conditions of achievement by it the maximum
level of development of its essential powers. The
spiritual space of the person includes a variety
of manifestations of human nature: good and
evil, sublime and sinister, earthly and heavenly.
And only through the development, the person
achieves a gradual ascent to the spirit and
understanding of the supreme culture values.
This process involves awareness, determination
of the compliance of their actions and thoughts to
the moral and aesthetic criteria; comprehension,
experience of personal life and relationships with
other people – neighbors and distant ones, and
with the society as a whole.
To disclosure essential manifestations
of humanism, we turn to the meaning of the
phenomenon of spiritual outlook itself, which,
according to L. P. Bueva, “... there is an integrative
quality referring to the area of life-purpose
values determining the content, quality and focus
of human existence and the “human image” in
every individual” (Bueva, 1996). We use it as
the initial statement: namely humanism serves as
the substantial basis of spiritual outlook. In our
opinion, the central issue of spiritual outlook is
solved here: what other person means for us –
the aim or tool, what is the value of human life,
honor, and dignity? Our starting premise can be
confirmed by the words: “Key characteristics,
around which a humanistic sense of spiritual
outlook focuses, are faith, hope, and love” (Bueva,
1996).
Discussion
Specifying the term “humanism”, we turn to
the references. The etymological meaning of the
term refers to the Latin word “humanus” – human.
In a philosophical sense, it is anthropocentric,
historically changing system of ideas that
recognizes the value of human as a person, his
right to freedom, happiness, development and
expression of their abilities. It establishes the
human benefit as a criterion for evaluation of social
institutions, the principles of equality, justice, and
humanity as a desired norm of relations between
people. A narrower meaning – it is a direction of
social thought emerged in the times Renaissance
that was addressed to the human as an individual,
person, active, creative subject, and based on the
recognition of the supreme value of the human.
The term itself came into use to indicate the
area of culture dealing with the study of its classic
examples, and which own spirit is revealed in its
opposition to the field of scientific disciplines. It
was believed that the literature (poetry, rhetoric,
history, and philosophy) has played the main role
for the formation of the liberal education and
spiritual nurture of the human. Indeed, these
sciences study human in terms of its general
characteristics, give it a special knowledge
in a particular area, and promote its general
education (Rybin, 2004). But the important thing
is that among all of the other disciplines they
are most favorable for the human formation and
development of his spiritual nature.
Basic principles of humanism are based on
the humane attitude to people. The ideal image of
such relationships was present since ancient times.
Motives of humaneness, philanthropy, dreams
of personal happiness and just organization of
society are universal for the folklore, literature,
moral-and-philosophical and religious concepts
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of thinkers from different cultures. Thus, in
the teaching of Confucius, the one of the basic
concepts is the concept “zhen” that in translation
means “humanity”, “human” or “philanthropy”
and represents one of the criteria of the utmost
virtue.
In ancient Greece and Rome, the problems
of humanism, humanistic education and,
indirectly, spiritual outlook, were in the focus
of many philosophers. Initially these ideas
designated the ideal of the Greek community
life and way of thinking that just might be
worthy of human life. In the ancient world, the
term “humanism” covered the set of the various
aspects of life, but was subsequently reduced to
the meaning of an attribute of the educational
system. This narrowing of the term indicates
formed conception of a human that underlies
requirements for institutions of education,
harmonious development of personality. This
idea was reduced to the physical and spiritual
formation of the person, realization of all its
potentials. A. A. Kontarev draws attention to the
fact that “... the specifics of humanism of ancient
Greece is the cultivation of value norm of human
life activity, which is in harmonious relation
of the natural and the supernatural principles
providing his commensurate existence in space
as an element” (Kontarev, 2002). The idea of the
universality of human in ancient Greek culture
finds expression as the idea of “harmonious
human”. In this form, the humanism further
became the ideology of ancient Rome. The basis
of its success was cosmism of humanism, and its
inclusiveness.
A new era – the Middle Ages – gives a
new form of humanistic attitude to world. The
Christian humanism is based on antiquity,
but denies the leading role of the natural side.
Human now represents not just a corporalsensual substance animated by mind, but a divine
creation. The spirituality sets the perfect examples
of true ideal existence, which are a reflection and
origin of values of a supreme order – the divine
ideas. For religious people, God plays a role of
Absolute. Almighty is the Good, which finds its
expression in the laws and moral principles given
in Scripture, which are humanistic in nature. He,
when creating a man in His own image, gives
him the ethics, commits to coordinate his actions
and thoughts with norms and commandments
introduced by Him. That ethical principle obliges
man to philanthropy, sets conditions of spiritual
existence.
A true flowering of humanism falls on the
Renaissance. The culture is formed, in which the
interest awakens to knowledge the inner world
of human and to human relationships, the idea
of human dignity, his right to freedom and full
development of abilities asserts. Getting rid of
the traditional relations of the feudal system,
where their belonging to a particular caste, shop,
and family was leading, people find their own
personality, their own face. Humanism meant
going beyond the medieval world outlook with
its theocentrism, asceticism, belittling earthly
life of human. It was not homogeneous, various
tendencies and schools found their place in
it. People involved in them called themselves
“humanists”. Ideas developed by them, their
freethinking were little compatible with religious
dogmas. Their activities initiated the development
of secular literature and art, found reflection in
the thinking of philosophers, works of writers
and poets of that time, in the new teaching relied
on ancient traditions, as opposed to medieval
attitudes (Avdeeva, 2013).
The attitude towards past culture and to the
history in general clearly defines the essence of
humanism. The feature of this relationship is
not in just a delight, not in the broader coverage,
but in certain historical consciousness, in a
way, in which this past is known. This way of
understanding of the past is the “sense of history”
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and the historical dimension with the appropriate
attention to objectivity, knowledge of distancing
with the object of history, to the knowledge
of historical circumstances. In the humanistic
approach, the discovery of the ancient world and
the discovery of human are not distinguished,
because they are a single process. To discover the
ancient world as such, it means to commensurate
oneself with it, separate, establish a relationship
with it. During the Renaissance, the synthesis
of a new spirit manifested in Western European
countries with the antiquity itself happens, and,
at the same time, this spirit finally destroying
the medieval theories opens the way to the
New times. “If we understand humanism as a
mission of humanizing by means of humanistic
literature and art perfecting human nature, then it
coincides with the renovation... It is the revival of
the human spirit: so humanism and renaissance
are two sides of the same phenomenon” (Reale,
Antiseri, 1994).
In the XIX century, the concept of
“humanism” originally came into use to describe
the specifics of the Renaissance, and only later it
acquired independent meaning as a motivational
system of all-European culture. Thinkers paid
great attention to the combination of personal and
public interests, laid the foundation for the concept
of freedom and individual rights, and legal state.
Within of this direction, the humanism developed
as a system of views, in the center of which a man
stands in the fullness of individual and social
manifestations. The environmental conditions
of human life play an important role. These
include the cultural and historical circumstances
(relationships), in which a person has to live and
create, implementing internal potentials. The
humanistic direction of worldview of society
surrounding the person takes in this case the
paramount importance. However, the fact remains
that the humanistic tendencies finding effective
expression in society become the most pointed in
the personal space of a single individual, and in
the sphere of his spiritual development.
The inner world of a human and his
subjectivity are formed with the participation of
many intentions. Under them, the intangibles,
priceless for people items of worship are implied;
life, health, freedom, honor and independence
of their families and themselves. These are
behavioral influences, from which you can not
deviate, and they cannot be avoided. In our
opinion, values named are directly correlating
with the humanistic nature of spiritual outlook,
characteristics of its existence within individual
existence (Stumpf, 2012).
The humanistic principle of spiritual
outlook gives a starting point for comprehension
and obtaining personal life experience of life
experience, brings to the problem of finding the
meaning of life, which is becoming particularly
actual moving to the common to mankind level.
We are talking about the conditions, under which
the meaning of life as a complex awareness of
the possibility of contented being fulfills its basic
function – allows a person to feel happiness,
satisfaction with the process of life activity
and communication with the outside world,
and in its supreme manifestations – to achieve
spiritual perfection. These conditions are directly
dependent on the presence of the humanistic
components in the humanistic and spiritual space
of a person – philanthropy, striving for moral
perfection, dynamic self-development and selfrealization of a dynamic, experience of cognitive,
ethical, and aesthetic aspects of life (Schweitzer,
1992). They express the degree of positive
influence on the process of personality formation
and success of its activities. This paradigm is
adhered by the humanistic concept of the XX
century.
The modern humanism comes from the fact
that the supreme value and measure of all things
is the man himself and his life. The basis of
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humanism today is considered to be a scientific
knowledge of the world based on naturalscientific empirical experience of a man, on faith
in the infinite possibilities of self-organization
and cognition. However, it should be noted that
nominating as the single basis for the humanistic
outlook only the science as the only reliable source
of knowledge and understanding of the universe,
thinking mankind in the person of the President
of the International Academy of Humanism Paul
Kurtz, the author of Humanist Manifesto 2000,
stops in front of questions about the meaning of
life, moral motivation and human capabilities
to define his place in the overall picture of the
world. Taking into account the fundamentalism,
criticality and reliability of scientific research,
it is impossible to ignore the fact that they are
based on a study of reality artificially constructed
by science itself, which does not cover all the
field of the free action and thought and, most
importantly, does not take into account the
emotional involvement of a person. It should
be also taken into account, the V. A. Kuvakin’s
argument about the possibility of the existence of
humanism only as an ideal ideological structure,
to which we can strive for, but we cannot achieve
it under any circumstances (Kuvakin, 2006).
It is only model that assumes the stability and
vector direction of human development, which is
confirmed by the process of history never having
the experience of living in conditions of absolute
humanism.
Conclusion
We believe that the basic premises of the
humanistic approach to life are laid in man as
natural spiritual characteristics. These include the
moral qualities of a person, emotional empathy in
the world, dignity and aspiration for knowledge,
comprehension of existence.
In this context, the universal humanistic
principles – philanthropy, beauty, perfection,
harmony, truth, morality, hope, faith, love – are
sinking in a meaningful space of the concept
“spiritual outlook”. This confirms our assumption
on the integrality of spiritual outlook and
humanism, humanitarian nature of the spiritual
outlook phenomenon, revealed in the variety of
existing capabilities, values and responsibilities
that make human life commendable.
References
1. Abramov, Y.F. Sotsial’no-filosofskaia priroda dukhovnosti kak basovoi gumanitarnoi
tsennosti. [Social philosophical natural of spiritual outlook like basic humanitarian value]. Irkutsk,
ISU, 2009. 62 p.
2. Avdeeva, E.A. Gumanitarizatsiia obrazovaniia v zerkale ontoantropologii [Humanization of
education in mirror ontological anthropology: monograph]. Krasnoyarsk, KrasSMU, 2013. 464 p.
3. Bueva, L.P. (1996). Spiritual outlook, art creation, moral. Questions of philosophy, (2),
P. 3–9.
4. Kontarev, A.A. (2002). Phenomenon of Western European humanism: universalism,
rationalism, globalism. Philosophy of law, (1), P. 68.
5. Kuvakin, V.A. (2006). Science worldview and humanism. Vestnik, MSU. Ser. 7: Philosophy.
(4), P. 84–92.
6. Reale, J., Antiseri, D. Zapadnaia filosofiia ot istokov do nashikh dnei. [Western philosophy
from beginning to our day]. In 4 t., translate from Italian. St.P., 1994. Book 2: Antiquity. P. 224.
7. Rybin, V.A. Gumanizm kak eticheskaia kategoriia. [Humanism like ethica category]. M.:
Logos, 2004. 272 p.
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8. Schweitzer, A. Blagogovenie pered zhizn’iu. [Reverence before life]. Translate from Germany.
M.: Progress, 1992. 576 p.
9. Shtumpf, S.P. Sotsial’no-filosofskii analiz fenomena dukhovnosti. [Socio-philosophical
analysis of phenomenon of spiritual outlook]. Irkutsk: ISU, 2012. 123–151 p.
Гуманистическое измерение духовности
как вектор развития человека и общества
Ю.Ф. Абрамовa, С.П. Штумпфб
a
Иркутский государственный университет
Россия, 664003, Иркутск, ул. К. Маркса, 1
б
Красноярский государственный педагогический университет
им. В. П. Астафьева
Россия, 660049, Красноярск, ул. А. Лебедевой, 89
Статья посвящена исследованию феномена духовности – явления, генетически обусловленного
для отечественной социокультурной традиции. Актуальность тематики определена
состоянием современной общественной ситуации. Духовность способна противостоять
разрушительным глобальным тенденциям, направленным на дегуманизацию общественной
жизни, экспансированное изменение мировоззренческих позиций, технизацию мышления.
Первостепенную важность приобретают проблемы ценностного наполнения индивидуального
и социального бытия, их корреляция с универсальными гуманистическими доминантами. Автор
полагает, что предпосылки гуманистического отношения к жизни заложены в человеке в
виде природных духовных характеристик. Анализируется содержательное значение понятия
«гуманизм», его прикладное значение в различные исторические эпохи, взаимосвязанность
и функционирование в духовном пространстве личности и общества. Подтверждается
положение о гуманитарной природе феномена духовности, востребованности ценностных
ориентиров духовности и гуманизма на отдельно индивидуальном и общественно-социальном
уровнях.
Ключевые слова: духовность, гуманизм, гуманистическое воспитание, нравственность,
личность, общество.
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“Soft Power” and “Smart Power”
of Modern China
Sergey A. Podyapolskiy*
Private-practice lawyer
Received 21.09.2013, received in revised form 18.10.2013, accepted 22.12.2013
The researcher shows that modern China is actively developing a whole set of humanitarian
technologies. For this it integrates the best world conceptions and practices with its own rich and very
old social-and-cultural practice. The best Chinese intellects are working at the technologies of strategic
thinking, public relations, mass-media, public diplomacy, lobbyism, mass events organization, etc. At
the same time much attention is given to “soft power”. The country’s leaders and analysts realize that
preservation of integrity and the effective state’s foreign activity require the concord of “soft” and
“hard” powers, giving rise to “smart power”.
Keywords: “soft power”, “smart power”, China, humanitarian technologies, molüe, public
diplomacy.
According to E. Shostrom, a psychologist,
“it’s amazing but in any conflict between a
Hooligan and a Nice Fellow it is a Hooligan
who loses”1. At that the researcher treats “a
Nice Fellow” not as an unselfish romantic but
as a calculating manipulator who counts on
exaggerated care, love and attentiveness2. E.
Shostrom probably absolutized his conclusion,
paying little attention to direct physical conflicts
that spring up in interpersonal as well as in
intergovernmental relations. In our point of
view, the importance of military force can be
neither under- nor overstated. H. Kissinger
believes that “almost all empires were created by
force, but none of them can rely on it”3. Modern
world is hardly kinder than it was centuries
ago. However, as J.S. Nye (J.) argues, nowadays
“power comes in many guises, and soft power is
not weakness”4.
*
More than once Chinese leaders have pointed
out to a great part they assign to “soft power” in
the course of preservation and strengthening of
the People’s Republic of China. In this regard
Hu Jintao’s call “to raise the state’s cultural soft
power” at the XVII congress of the Communist
Party of China should be especially mentioned.
Many visitors to China wrote about
Chinese élites’ primordial devotion to a “soft”
style of political actions. V.I. Ivanenko who
worked as a Soviet consul in the city of Hotan in
southwestern Xinjiang in the years of 1940-1943
wrote in his memoirs: “In front of us there was
not a wall even. It was something as amorphous,
enveloping, flexible and light as Chinese silk. You
pressed but there was nothing to press: everything
flexed, everything backed away. But when your
pressure stopped, everything took its initial
shape. Cold steel masters say, and not without
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: spodyapolsky@yandex.ru
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reason, that it’s easier to cut a blacksmith’s anvil
than a silk headscarf thrown in the air”5.
Sun Tzu wrote: “The skillful leader
subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting;
he captures their cities without laying siege to
them; he overthrows their kingdom without
lengthy operations in the field”6. Even
“revolutionary operas” of the Maoist period paid
much attention to various ruses and tricks. In
1971, pending the USA President R. Nixon’s visit,
“Hongqi” magazine published the article which
suggested “opposing a revolutionary twofaced
tactics to the enemy’s counter-revolutionary
twofaced tactics” and carrying on an international
struggle “flexibly”7.
In M. Leonard’s opinion, the conception
of “soft power” has got a better development
in modern Beijing than in Washington. This
approach “implies the ability to give others
the opportunity to apprehend what you would
like them to”. It doesn’t depend on economical
doles or political tricks, but mainly bases upon
attractiveness of your culture and ideological
views to others, upon your devotion to legal
standards and your abilities to set the tone in
international organizations”8. Liu Jianfei believes
that in the future “in the course of quite a long
period of time China’s international responsibility
will be apparent not on a material level but mainly
on a spiritual one. In other words, sharing the
responsibility for the state of affairs in the world,
China will substantially resort not to hard power
but soft power. China brought forward many
approaches and ideas corresponding to common
interests of peoples of the world and to the
course of history. Their influence will eventually
grow”9.
In Gao Hui’s point of view, it is “China’s
practice in successful promotion of reforms,
transparency and following its independent way
of development” that can be considered to be
China’s soft national power”10.
N.M. Spafarii, who visited China at
the end of the XVII century, mentioned its
residents’ special devotion to “writing and
learning”11. According to I. d’Hooghe, in
modern world China takes the second place
regarding the volume of produced scientific
knowledge12. By the year of 2004 the number
of scientists had reached 926 thousand people,
the number of students was 23 million people13.
By 2020 China should become a state of an
innovative type14. Not long ago Yan Xuetong,
a Chinese outstanding political scientist in the
sphere of international relations, stated that “if
China fails to provide 80% of its youth with
higher education it will not be able to catch up
or excel others in technological innovations.
To become an international center China has
no other choice but to develop education”15.
If only those domestic figures, speaking
about “overproduction” of specialists with the
diplomas of higher education in Russia, could
hear this. Yet, it’s clear that there is a difference
between educations.
N.M. Spafarii also stated that the Chinese
yield to the Europeans in bravery but excel
them in acumen and political pragmatism16. The
Celestial Empire possesses an ancient tradition
of strategic thinking the peculiar features of
which are thorough analysis of long-term trends,
attention to psychological and political factors,
scrupulous study of tactical opportunities, search
for unexpected moves and impartial evaluation
of decision variants17. “Shi”-concept, the art of
understanding things in their development, has a
great importance18.
H. Kissinger explains the difference
between western and eastern types of strategic
thinking dwelling upon the difference between
chess and guo (Chinese: “weiqi”). In chess they
play a decisive battle and the main battle is for
the centre of the chess-board. Guo develops the
flexibility of thinking: a player searches for a
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relative advantage, strives to encircle a rival and
risks to be unexpectedly encircled himself 19.
In Chinese social philosophy there is the
“molüe” concept. This word is roughly translated
as “super-planning” that means a specific form
of wisdom focusing on antagonism in its broader
sense. “Мolüe” implies work with various
conflict situations which includes analysis and
evaluation of opportunities20. Thus, it is a specific
humanitarian technology21 of preparation and
making strategic decisions.
Traditional literature glorifies the strategists
of the past who were able to benefit from
advantageous factors, minimizing opportunities
their rivals might use. Long ago, in the legendary
epoch of the Three Kingdoms Shu Han actively
used non-violent strokes of tactics which were
supposed to undermine the enemy’s fighting
efficiency22. From time immemorial they
valued the skill to summit talks undermining
the opponent’s confidence and thus gaining a
psychological (if not material) superiority23.
According to X. Liao, the process of
decision-making by Chinese leaders evolved from
centralized to pluralistic elitism24. From December
2002 the “fourth generation” of Chinese leaders
“made it a rule to hold the so called jiti xuexi
(collective meetings) for the politburo members to
arm the top of the elite with “progressive practice
of the whole mankind” (these were Hu Jintao’s
words at the first meeting). By July 2004 fifteen
“collective meetings” of such a kind had been
held. Legal, economical, political, historical,
military, technological and cultural issues were
considered at these sessions. All the meetings
were held by Hu Jintao. Outstanding scientists of
the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, leading
universities and military institutes were invited
to participate in the discussions. These meetings
equipped supreme leaders with a wide scope of
new thoughts and knowledge. They also gave
the specialists of “clever tanks” the opportunity
to play the role of leaders’ assistants in the
formation of a new vision of certain issues of the
world importance”25.
The turn to humanitarian technologies of
“distributed cognition” takes place on the local
level as well. In the course of the experiment,
conducted in the city of Tzego, small groups of
citizens with the right to vote were chosen by a lot to
make important and socially significant decisions.
The groups of population were randomly chosen,
given consultations by professional experts and
then offered to vote for this or that decision 26.
In modern world there often occur situations
which require the quickest analysis of huge
volumes of information as well as taking into
account various variants of numerous actors’
actions in a constantly changing “battle field”
for making a decision. According to N.V. Abaev,
under such circumstances the ability to grasp the
situation integrally in its outwardly discrepant
unity and development, which was developed
by Chinese Chán practitioners, may turn out to
be more effective than a standard subject-object
thinking limited in speed and efficiency of
processing information (especially in a stressful
situation)27. One treatise runs: “The arrow goes
up from the bow string but it doesn’t fly direct to
the target; the target’s place is also not at the same
place where it was when the calculations started.
The latter turn out to be miscalculations. Thus,
shooting comes to nothing”28. Chán psychotherapy
focuses on development of intuitive wisdom
(jñāna) instead of (or, probably, in addition to)
conceptual thinking limited in its potential29.
Integrating these practices with modern computer
and info-psychological developments, China can
get a unique humanitarian technology.
Dwelling upon humanitarian technologies
of public relations, it should be noted that
traditionally China’s power was devoid of
publicity30. This tendency was inherited by
communist China as well. For example, in
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1970 Mao Zedong made only one political
statement, in 1971 there were no statements
at all31. In Maoist period a powerful but at the
same time very straightforward system of mass
information was developed. Its peculiar features
were tough distribution of access (public mass
media, military newspaper and a special bulletin
for executives), idle talk, and formalism. Many
events were either not mentioned or informed
about with a considerable delay (for example,
this or that leader’s dismissal was sometimes
announced years later)32. However, the events
that took place on Tiananmen Square in 1989
clearly demonstrated the force of global mass
media (and television, in particular) to Chinese
leaders. The conclusions were drawn. Chinese
thinkers speak of a discursive hegemony of West
which makes such countries as China voiceless33.
Modern People’s Republic of China is carrying
on the policy directed towards overcoming this
state of affairs. According to A.V. Shugaev,
“if previously the Chinese authorities strove
to protect national television against foreign
influence, then now they actively involve its
opportunities for the formation of favourable
internal and external conditions of the country’s
development”34. Central television has become
“one of the most important instruments for the
formation of the People’s Republic of China’s
cultural identity… Its organizational structure,
principles of functioning and making TV
programmes, normative and legislative regulation
are directed at strengthening of the Chinese
nation’s traditional spiritual values, search for
and adoption of new strategies of the country’s
socio-cultural development”35. Broadcasting
focusing on foreign audience is also actively
developing. As the Chinese authorities plan it,
CCTV should grow into a global informational
station capable to compete with CNN36. By the
way, this television station has been broadcasting
in Russian since 200937.
At the beginning of 1970-ies the volume
of the Xinhua News Agency’s foreign-policy
reports, oriented towards foreign audience, was
ten thousand words a day on average38. In 1997
Xinhua’s number of words was approximately
five hundred thousand words a day39, now it’s
about two million. However, it’s not much in
comparison with the Associated Press agency
with approximately seventeen million words
a day40. The country’s authority would like
Xinhua to work at the same quantitative and
qualitative levels as the world leading agencies
do41. CRI (China radio international) produces
1100 programme hours in 38 foreign languages
(apart from broadcasting in Chinese dialects) a
day42.
The journalists definitely face specific
difficulties caused by ideological policy of diktat
of the Communist Party of China. According to
X. Zhang, contradictions between a party logic
and a market one as well as between the demands
for professionalism and a party line are quite
often in the work of Chinese media43.
Xu Angang and Zhang Xiaojun suggest
working at strengthening of the main state news
Internet portals as well, increasing the volume of
news and the number of languages. At that it is
vitally necessary to carry out structural reforms
of Chinese media, contribute to their merging
in large intersectoral corporations, keep up
their going into the world, and provide Chinese
companies, publishing newspapers and journals
and establishing broadcasting companies abroad,
with financial support and tax benefits. Experts
believe that in a 5-10 years’ period of time China
could create several media corporations of a
world level44.
Millions of Chinese bloggers and Internet
users are an important instrument of “soft
power”. A number of the English language sites
broadcasting the digest of a Chinese blogging
sphere is growing45.
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In China humanitarian technologies
alternative to the western ones are well developed.
It was in Mao Zedong’s lifetime when “hospitality
technologies”, the art of charming foreign guests,
was perfectly mastered in China. The receiving
party used the arsenal typical for this purpose:
excursions which were carefully thought over, the
accompanying persons’ psychological mastery,
skillful organization of “chance meetings”,
delicious cuisine (in the country where an
average peasant’s consumption level hadn’t
grown since the beginning of the XX century)
and subtle flattery. According to P. Khollander,
“the degree of the intellectuals’ susceptibility” to
such frauds is “directly proportional to the degree
of their alienation from their own society”46. The
representatives of the opposite subculture worry
about their society’s shortcoming. That’s why
other states’ criticism is not of a great importance
for them47. The mechanism worked successfully.
O. Topping, an American journalist, wrote: “I
felt how China’s charm is penetrating into my
body and soul. The whole world was becoming
new and more colourful”48. The most significant
guests were charmed by the Great Helmsman’s
personal image of a “king-philosopher”49.
“Hospitality technologies” work nowadays
as well. The Chinese willingly invite western
intellectuals to their country, though giving
priorities to luminaries in western thought but not
to marginal revolutionaries as before. With the
support of the Chinese leading higher education
institutions the Naisbitt China Institute was
founded especially for J. Naisbitt, an outstanding
American futurologist. Expressing their deep
gratitude to the receiving party, the Naisbitt
couple enthusiastically describe dinners they
were treated to by the distinguished officials of
the People’s Republic of China50. The “China’s
Megatrends” book by John and Doris Naisbitt
became the result of this project. The book is
extremely informative. It contains the elements
of criticism but is complementary to the Chinese
authorities (especially in “Tibet issue”51) in its
general development of thoughts. The authors are
certainly far from the idea that an outstanding
thinker “sold himself for a mess of pottage”.
Everything is much more subtle here. However,
the potential of “hospitality technologies” must
be neither under- nor overstated.
The concept of “guan-xi” takes an important
place in Chinese social reality. Its English
equivalent is probably “relations”. The “zouhou-men” expression (“through the backdoor”)
is close to this term which means establishment
of informal relations making it possible to
“settle issues” within the frames of centralized
hierarchical structures though unofficially but
effectively52. The researchers state that fellow and
old friendly relations were very important even
in Maoist period53. It was then when the skill to
establish informal communications, which was
traditional for China, was used for creating a new
humanitarian technology. Foreign guests, the
Chinese leaders were concerned with for some
reason or other, were given an unofficial status
of “friends”. Following some conditions (for
example, that of non-touching upon “three T-s”
and namely the issues of Tibet, Taiwan and the
Tiananmen Square protests of 1989) a foreigner
keeps up “friendship” and is given honour,
respect as well as material wealth. However,
this status could be recalled any moment and
without explaining the reasons54. Thus, in the
period of “cultural revolution” even E. Snow,
the first western journalist who wrote about
the communist power in China, was refused a
Chinese visa55.
Lobbyism is one of China’s humanitarian
technologies deeply rooted in ancient times. One
of the ministers of the Han Dynasty suggested
the following way of treating the Xiongnu: “Give
them skillfully dressed clothes and carts to win
their eyes; give them delicious food to win their
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mouths; give them music and females to win their
ears; provide them with magnificent buildings,
storehouses and slaves to win their liver… and
those who agree to obey will be honoured by
the emperor who will invite them to dinner and
personally serve them with wine and food, thus
winning their brains. These can be called five
baits”56. As H. Kissinger states, traditionally the
aim of such policy was a compliant scattered
periphery rather than a Chinese direct control57.
“Guan-xi” ancient method of organization
together with a scientific approach (the China’s
Academy of Social Sciences is focusing its
studies on the processes of taking decisions in
the key countries of the world) made it possible
for the People’s Republic of China to organize
an effective system of lobbying its interests in
legal and executive (and, probably, in judicial58)
authorities within the shortest period of time. A
bright example of this system’s successful work is
blocking the initiative of W. Clinton, a President
of the USA, and W. Christopher, a Secretary
of State of the USA, to deprive China of the
MFN (most favoured nation) status giving the
possibility to trade with America on very good
terms59. The researchers state that the richest
people of the USA, including B. Gates, one of the
“Microsoft” founders, are in China’s lobby.
R. Bernstein and R. Munro define a “new
China’s lobby” as a multifaceted network structure
governed mainly by promises and providing
with material wealth60. In our opinion, lobbyism
can’t be minimized to bribery as it implies the
mastery of psychological analysis as well as the
technology of psychological manipulation. A
skillful lobbyist develops long-term systems of
relations rather than distributes envelopes with
cash. The activity of “China’s lobby” is, of course,
not isolated. It is enriched by different methods,
including PR-technologies61. According to a Hong
Kong researcher, the Chinese government hires
the most influential American law firms and PR-
companies. From 1997 till 2005 not less than 19
million dollars were spent on this activity62.
One of humanitarian technologies closely
connected with the conception of “soft power”
is gongong waijiao (“social diplomacy”). J.
Wang defines it as the country’s interaction and
communication with foreign public in the form
of a monologue, dialogue, or cooperation63.
According to I. d’Hooghe, the subjects of China’s
social diplomacy are such non-state actors
as non-commercial organizations, business
communities, universities, research institutes
and individuals. Yet, a greater number of issues
and events of public diplomacy are still initiated
by public authorities (the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, in particular). This partly reduces the
target audience’s confidence. However, certain
interaction of state authority and civil society
is inevitable here as public diplomacy yields
no results in case it contradicts the state policy.
The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship
with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), Institute
of Foreign Affairs (IFA) and student and
youth organizations are among organizational
structures working in the sphere of public
diplomacy64. In some developing countries
(Ethiopia, Laos and Myanmar, in particular)
volunteers from the Chinese Young People’s
Volunteer Army work65.
Chinese societies abroad play a
special role in public diplomacy. According to
I. d’Hooghe, they act as both actors and aim of
public diplomacy. They are a target group as
China’s authorities are eager to win Chinese
diasporas, existing in many countries, over to
their side. On the other hand, such diasporas
enable to popularize Chinese culture and
lobby the People’s Republic of China’s political
interests66. For example, Krasnoyarsk public
organization “Chinese community” was one on
the first to help those who suffered damage from
the fire in Kazachinskoe village and contributed
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to the organization of “Beijing – Moscow” motor
race.
One of the fundamental bases of
Confucianism is the “li” (ceremony, ritual)
principle. According to N.V. Abaev, a ritual
has been regarded as an important means of
the world organization and integration of the
members of society since ancient times. In one of
Confucius’s pupil’s point of view, a ritual “leads
people to concord”. Music aiming at ennoblement
of people, suggestion of the feelings of joy and
harmony was attached a great importance in
Confucian rituals67. A very old mastery of mass
holidays organization showed its worth in the
course of a 4-hour long ceremony of the opening
of the Olympic Games in Beijing. One of the
spectators gave the following descriptions of his
feelings: “Conceptually it seemed a session of
mass hypnosis: a sequence of unclear charming
pictures to a melodic, subordinating rhythmic
music. The pictures were such that a viewer
couldn’t hide, abstract away from them even
when in front of a TV-set”68. According to an
Internet publicist, the ceremony’s conceptual
base was a new life initiation; and, on the whole,
the ritual can be characterized with the “Dragon
is conceiving its generation” phrase69. The image
of a spiral, representing the DNA structure and
life, development in general, was actively used.
There was a hint of an ambitious and energetic
generation of the Chinese of the XXI century70.
Three thousand “Confucians” reciting the
passages from “Selected Sayings” as well as
symbolic images of such Chinese inventions as
paper and press were slotted in the scenario. It
should be noted that in the respect of music the
organizers managed to solve a most difficult task
of integrating Chinese and European traditions71.
Focusing our special attention on the
opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in
Beijing, it is worthwhile mentioning that both this
large-scale event and sport as it is are made use
of as a humanitarian technology by the Chinese
authorities. It is no coincidence that the first step
to establishing good relations between America
and China was the American ping-pong team’s
trip to Beijing72. Humanitarian and technological
potential of cinematograph is also made use of.
On the 2nd of February 2012 Guan Moye, a writer
and a Noble prize winner, Yao Ming, a retired
Chinese professional basketball central player
who played for the Houston Rockets (NBA)
and the richest sportsman in China, and Jackie
Chan, a famous actor, were appointed counselors
of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative
Conference, the supreme advisory body in the
political system of China73.
Modern China is actively using the charm
of Confucian tradition as its “soft power”.
According to I. d’Hooghe, it is partly connected
with the fact that the Chinese authorities treat
the symbols of Chinese culture as apolitical and,
thus, less potentially dangerous74. We argue the
reasons lie deeper: the Chinese authorities realize
that Marxism as it is doesn’t provide with the
socio-cultural basis, quite strong for preserving
the Chinese society’s integrity. However, it is
indisputable that the name and image of Confucius
is used for purely technological aims.
At the beginning of 2007 there were 123
Confucius Institutes in 49 countries (12 of them
functioned in Russia). They were founded in
order to popularize the Chinese language and
culture abroad. By 2010 the number of foreigners
studying Chinese had to reach one hundred
million people75.
The experience of the Goethe-Institute in
Germany and the Cervantes Institute in Spain
served the examples for the Chinese. Confucius
Institutes were established in many countries of
the world at an unprecedented speed: in 2006 a
new branch of the institute appeared every four
days76. By 2011 more than five hundred Confucius
Institutes and their classrooms functioned in more
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than eighty countries77. Moreover, there was a
project on translation of Confucius’s Pentateuch
into nine major languages in Europe and its
publishing78.
N.V. Abaev points out to Confucianism’s
limitedness. In his opinion, this tradition’s rules
aiming at suppressing egocentrism and anarchic
tendencies are, on the contrary, heighten these
negative traits and thus increase entropy79.
According to L.Z. Eidlin, in China’s life and
culture Confucianism formed a dialectic unity
with Daoism being as if opposed to it80. In
connection with this it is quite appropriate to
remember the conception of functional interethnic
conflict developed by S.V. Lur’e. This conflict
enables people to achieve their various aims and
purports and thus brings necessary dynamism to
culture81. The Daoists asserted: “The solid and
strong dies, the soft and weak lives”82.
According to V.G. Nemirovskii, orientation
to the world’s integrity close to modern synergy
is peculiar for Daoism. This tendency was also
taken in by Chan imbibing many features peculiar
to Daoism83.
During the civil war many spiritual leaders
of Chan had to leave the country. The Chan
legendary Shaolin Monastery suffered from
the red guards’ raid. In 1970, however, it was
restored84. The present Chinese leader Xi Jinping
was reported to go in for traditional martial arts
and Qigong respiratory gymnastics85. It can be
supposed that today’s generation of the Chinese
leaders fully involves the opportunities opened
by Chan in the sphere of strategic thinking.
Humanitarian and technological success
of China is differently appraised by foreign and
domestic observers. In J.S. Nye’s (Jr.) opinion,
“China hasn’t cultural industry yet that can
be compared to Hollywood or Bollywood; its
universities yield to the American ones; this
country lacks many non-commercial organizations
generating soft power in the USA”86. In his article
published in 2011 I. d’Hooghe argues that after
several years of its constant growth the popularity
of China in the West has recently gone down.
Yet, many African countries and the countries
of the Near East are still benevolent to China87.
It should be noted that modern Chinese political
analysts admit that China shouldn’t delude itself
and rest on its laurels. True disclosure of China’s
humanitarian-and-technological
potential
requires persistent systemic work.
According to O. Borokh and A. Lomanov,
“on the whole Chinese politicians proceed from
the assumption that combination of soft and
hard powers is needed to increase the state’s
“joint power”. After “hard power”, including
economical, scientific and technical as well
as military components, has reached a certain
level, accumulation of “soft power” and cultural
attractiveness in particular can lead to the effect
of a national power “multiplicator”88.
Yang Suetun, a political scientist, notes:
“Within the boundaries of Chinese Asia we
followed the Wang system. Outside its boundaries
we followed the line of “hegemony” in our
relations with the “barbarians”89. The political
scientist suggests restoring the Wang system in
today’s Asia on the basis of justice and observance
of the rights of Asian subjects of international law.
At that, naturally enough, Yang Suetun doesn’t
name the countries to which the Ba system will
be applied90.
According to Zhai Decyuan, “China’s
defense policy is active defense”91. However, it
should be noted that phraseology can be deceptive:
invasion of Vietnam in 1979 was officially called
a “self-defensive counter attack against Vietnam”
in Chinese press92.
One of the issues of modern Chinese military
and political analytics is “unlimited techniques of
waging a war”. Three main forms of such actions
are distinguished. These are military actions
(from an atomic bomb to terrorism), non-military
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actions (diplomatic war, war in informational
networks, war with the use of contraband, drugs,
war to frighten) and hostile actions (financial and
trade wars, war by means of influence on control
systems, war with the use of media, ideological
war)93. According to Iu. Afanas’ev, Chinese
military men are actively researching the means
of psychological influence on an opponent,
studying the experience of informational wars
and consider it extremely important to pursue
the military policy on the basis of international
documents that can justify its own actions and
denounce an opponent’s actions94.
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Thus, modern China is actively developing
a whole set of humanitarian technologies. For
this it integrates the best world conceptions and
practices with its own rich and very old socialand-cultural practice. The best Chinese intellects
are working at the technologies of strategic
thinking, public relations, mass-media, public
diplomacy, lobbyism, mass events organization,
etc. At the same time much attention is given to
“soft power”. The country’s leaders and analysts
realize that preservation of integrity and the state’s
foreign activity require the concord of “soft” and
“hard” powers, giving rise to “smart power”.
Shostrom, E. Manipuliatorami ne rozhdaiutsia [Man, the Manipulator]. Kontrol’ soznaniia i metody podavleniia lichnosti
(Control over consciousness and methods of a personality’s suppression). Minsk, Kharvest, 2004. P. 158.
Ibid.
Kissinger, H. On China. Penguin Press, 2012. P. 13.
Nye, J.S. Soft Power. The Means to Success in World Politics. NY: Public Affairs, 2004. P. x.
Ivanenko, V.I. Tropoiu pamiati [On the memory path]. Moscow, Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 1968. P. 56.
Cit.: Kissinger H. Op. cit. P. 29.
D’erd’, I. Cherez prizmu Pekina [Through the prism of Beijing]. Moscow: Progress, 1975. P. 127.
Leonard, М. O chem dumayut v Kitae? [What does China Think?]. Moscow: AST, 2010. P. 150-151.
Borokh, О., Lomanov, А. Skromnoe obaianye Kitaya [The humble charm of China] // Pro et Contra. 2007. NovemberDecember. P. 45.
Cit. by: Arin, О.А. (Aliev, R.Sh.) Rossia: ni shagu vpered [Russia: no one step ahead]. Moscow: Exmo, 2003. P. 191.
See: Nikolai Milesku Spafarii. Sibir’ i Kitai [Nicolae Milescu. Siberia and China]. Kishinev, Kartia Moldaveniaske, 1960.
P. 163.
See: d’ Hooghe, I. The Expansion of China’s Public Diplomacy System // Soft Power in China. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
P. 25.
See: Kireev, A.A. Social’no-ekonomicheskoe razvitie KNR [The Socioeconomic Development of PRC] // Sovremennyi
Kitay. Socialno-ekonomicheskoe razvitie, nacional’naya politika, ethnopsychologia [The modern China. Socioeconomic
development, nationalities policy, ethnopsychology]. M.: KRASAND, 2011. P. 39.
See: Tzi Minian’. Stanovlenie tsennostnoi paradigmi obrazovania v “sociocul’turnom prostranstve” sovremennogo Kitaya
[The making of value paradigm of education in “sociocultural space” of Modern China]. Synopsis of the PhD thesis. Chita,
2011. P. 3.
Cit.: Arin, О.А. (Aliev, R.Sh.) Op. cit. P. 214.
The full quotation is the following: “The Chinese are as brave in front of Europeans as wives in front of husbands, but they
excel them in acumen being resourceful inventors, sly deceivers and quick-witted at any matter. They are always ready to
deceive strangers and thus show them that they excel all other peoples in acumen. They always pretend to be very ordinary
and truthful to deceive others. Moreover, they are fickle; always try to get their profit. But, frankly speaking, they are
incredibly hardworking” (Ibid., p. 196).
See: Kissinger H. Op. cit. P. 135, 188.
See: Ibid. P. 235.
See: Kissinger H. Op. cit. P. 23-25. V.G. Nemirovskii also thinks that “in the eastern type of thinking the centre is everywhere and nowhere at the same time and thus can appear anywhere, in any point. It is no coincidence that the the Daoists
consider the centre to be between the sides, between the opposites: “Dao is the axis of the world”. A single dao pierces
through all things. It is a single way of the universe and every item individually” (Nemirovskii, V.G. Sotsiologiia [Sociology]. Moscow, Prospekt, 2010. P. 51.)
Rothlin, S. Molue: Philosophical approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility as strategic wisdom. P. 6, available
at:http://www.ceibs.edu/ecclar/images/2012/03/27/637E003B3892D7FA4D0DB714BB25E10C.pdf
Using the “humanitarian technology” term, the author bases upon P.V. Klachkov’s terminological system in which “technology is a system of methods of some activity directed towards the most effective achievement of a certain result. Social
technologies are those aimed at targeted influence on social structures and social processes. Humanitarian technologies
are defi ned as a type of social technologies based on advantageous use of “soft” methods (persuasion and psychological
manipulation) but not of the methods of compulsion, orders or encouragement” (Klachkov, P.V. Poniatie gumanitarnykh
tekhnologii v sisteme sotsial’no-filosofskikh kategorii [The concept of humanitarian technologies in the system of socio-
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philosophic categories], Sovremennye problemy nauki i obrazovaniia, 2012, No. 3, available at: www.science-education.
ru/103-6452 (accessed 19 June 2012).
See: Naisbitt, J. and D. China’s megatrends: the 8 pillars of a new society. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2010. P. 90.
See: Kissinger, H. Op. cit. P. 348.
See: Liao, X. Chinese Foreign Policy Think Tanks and China’s Policy Towards Japan. Hong Kong, The Chinese University
of Hong Kong, 2006. P. 239. It should be noted that in late Soviet epoch similar tendencies were typical for Russia as well.
According to A.V. Shubin, politburo in Brezhnev’s time was really a collective body. The Secretary General was rather a
moderator (quite effective during the fi rst decade of his governing) than a single leader despotically dictating his opinion
on any issue (See: Shubin, A.V. Zolotaia osen’, ili Period zastoia. SSSR v 1976-1985 gg. [Golden autumn, or Stagnation
Era. The USSR in 1976-1985]. Moscow, Veche, 2008. Pp. 174-175). But this practice was supported rather intuitively,
without proper theoretical thinking. As a result, nothing similar to the Chinese “system of generations” appeared in the
Soviet Union.
Ibid. P. 259-260.
See: Leonard, М. Op. cit. P. 115-116.
See: Abaev, N.V. Ch’an-Buddhism i kulturno-psichologicheskie tradicii v srednevekovom Kitae [Ch’an-Buddhism and
cultural-psychological traditions in medieval China]. Novosibirsk: Nauka, 1989. P. 142-147.
Cit.: Ibid. P. 143.
See: Ibid. P. 147.
See: Kissinger, H. Op. cit.
See: D’erd’, I. Op. cit. P. 58.
See: D’erd’, I. Op. cit. P. 17, 39, 157.
See: Hongying, Wang. Op. cit. P. 45.
Shugaev, А.V. Formirovanie kul’turnoi identichnosti kak factor globaliziruiushegosia kitaiskogo obshestva (na primere
televidenia) [The formation of cultural identity as a factor of globalizing Chinese society (by the example of television)].
Synopsis of the PhD thesis. Chita, 2011. P. 21.
Ibid. P. 9.
Leonard, М. Op. cit. P. 152.
http://russian.cntv.cn/
See: D’erd’, I. Op. cit. P. 42. Experienced readers certainly mastered the skill of “reading between the lines” to perfection.
Weber, Lai. Taiwan, China fight war of words, available at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2007/08/31/2003376609
See: Hongying Wang. China’s Image Projection and its Impact // Soft Power in China. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. P. 44.
Leonard, М. Op. cit. P. 153.
See: Xiaoling, Zhang. China’s International Broadcasting: A Case Study of CCTV International. Soft Power in China.
Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
See: Xiaoling, Zhang. Op. cit. P. 66-68. According to A.V. Shugaev, “In China television journalists only seem to be free
while compiling their stories. Due to legal control politicians created a system when it is script writers and producers who
censor everything, in fact” (Shugaev, А.V. Op. cit. Pp. 20-21).
Borokh, О., Lomanov, А. Op. cit. P. 53.
See: d’Hooghe, I. Op. cit. P. 23.
Khollander, P. Politicheskie piligrimy (puteshestviia zapadnykh intellektualov po Sovetskomy Soiuzu, Kitaiu i Kube 19281978 [Political pilgrims (western intellectuals’ travels in the Soviet Union, China, Cuba in 1928-1978]. St.-Petersburg,
Lan’, 2001. P. 20.
See: Ibid. P. 42.
Cit.: Ibid. P. 415.
See: Ibid. P. 433.
See: Naisbitt J. Op. cit. P. 20.
See: Ibid. Pp. 223-225.
See: Bernstein, R., Munro, R.H. The coming conflict with China. NY, 1998. P. 111.
See: D’erd’, I. Op. cit. P. 190.
See: Bernstein, R., Munro, R.H. Op. cit. Ibid. P. 113.
See: D’erd’, I. Op. cit. P. 116.
Cit.: Kissinger, H. Op. cit. P. 21.
See: Ibid. P. 22.
See: Bernstein, R., Munro, R.H. Op. cit. P. 125.
See: Ibid.
See: Ibid. P. 110.
See: Ibid. P. 124.
See: Hongying, Wang. China’s Image Projection and its Impact, Soft Power in China. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. P. 44.
See: Wang J. Introduction: China’s Search of Soft Power // Soft Power in China. NY: Palgrave Macmillian, 2011. P. 3.
See: d’Hooghe I. Op. cit. P. 19-21.
See: Ibid. P. 23.
See: d’Hooghe I. Op. cit. P. 23.
See: Abaev, N.V. Op. cit. P. 36-39.
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68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
Petrov, V.V. Zvukovoe reshenie shou “Otkrytie Pekinskoi Olimpiady 2008 goda” [A sound solution of the “Opening
of Beijing Olympic Games 2008” show], available at: http://referat.yabotanik.ru/iskusstvo-i-kultura/zvukovoe-reshenieshou-otkrytie-pekinskoj-olimpiady/139527/130374/page1.html
See: Zagadka kitaiskoi tseremonii [The mystery of Chinese ceremony]. Part 3, available at: http://captain-ts.livejournal.
com/8048.html
See: Zagadka kitaiskoi tseremonii [The mystery of Chinese ceremony]. Part 4, available at: http://captain-ts.livejournal.
com/8951.html
See: Petrov, V.V. Op. cit. For example, G.Ye. Grumm-Grzhimaylo, a traveler visiting China at the end of XIX century,
regarded Chinese music as “a set of wild sounds without any rhythm”. Grumm-Grzhimaylo, G.Ye. Op. cit. P. 178.
See: D’erd’, I. Op. cit. P. 120.
See: Dzheki Chan, Mo Ian’ i Iao Min’ vkliucheny v sostav vysshego organa v politicheskoi sisteme Kitaia [Jackie Chan,
Guan Moye and Yao Ming are allotted to the supreme advisory body in the political system of China], ITAR-TASS, available at: http://www.itar-tass.com/c11/638397.html
See: Ibid.
Leonard, М. Op. cit. P. 153.
Borokh, О., Lomanov, А. Op. cit. P. 53.
See: d’Hooghe I. Op. cit. P. 25.
See: Tsi Minian’ Op. cit. P. 21.
See: Abaev, N.V. Op. cit. P. 47.
See: Ibid. P. 68.
See: Lur’e, S.V. Istoricheskaia etnologiia [Historical ethnology]. Moscow, Akademicheskii Proekt: Gaudeamus, 2004. P.
484.
Cit. by: Abaev, N.V. Op. cit. P. 56.
See: Nemirovskii, V.G. Op. cit. Pp. 50-51.
See: Fochkin, O. Shaolin, available at: http://vatanym.ru/?an=vs207_mm5
Kuda letit Kitaiskii Drakon [the place where Chinese dragon flies], available at: http://newsland.com/news/detail/
id/1082725/
Nye J.S. Jr. The Future of Power. NY : Public Affairs, 2011. P. 178.
d’Hooghe I. Op. cit. P. 28.
See: Borokh, О., Lomanov, А. Op. cit. P. 50.
Cit.: Leonard, М. Op. cit. P. 179.
See: Ibid.
Zhai Decyuan. Kitay: istoria I sovremennye geopoliticheskye vyzovy [China: the history and the modern geopolitical
challenges]. URL: http://www.geopolitica.ru/article/kitay-istoriya-i-sovremennye-geopoliticheskie-vyzovy
See: Kissinger H. Op. cit. P. 368.
See: Leonard, М. Op. cit. Pp. 172-173. According to Chinese sources of information, during the siege of Albazin ostrog
(the Chinese called it Ajax) “the Qin government applied the following strategic policy – “fi rst goes a ritual, then follows a military force”. The policy provided the following: “to accumulate enough military provision, to eternally guard
Heilongjiang boarders, to constantly suppress giving troubles to an opponent”. Cit.: Popov, I.M. Rossia I Kitay: 300 let
na grani voiny [Russia and China: 300 years on the verge of war]. Moscow, 2004. P. 121. About that tactics which implied
encirclement and rapture of communications see: Ibid. P. 124.
The ability of the Chinese to a military science was differently appreciated by prehistoric authors. N.M. Przheval’skii considered the Chinese army’s fighting efficiency to be extremely low. He stated soldiers’ and officers’ craze for opium (See:
Popov, I.M. Op. cit. P. 236). Characterizing the Chinese army, B. Grombchevskii pointed out to general corruption, careless use of arms and infrequent field fi ring (See: Ibid. Pp. 175-176). However, in 1895 already the General N.I. Grodekov
suggested in his analytical report that they shouldn’t exaggerate the defiance of the Chinese to the military science which
was truth on two feet then (See: Ibid. P. 182). In 1913 General A.N. Kuropatkin stated that the Chinese could make excellent soldiers due to such traits of national character as high working capacity, unpretentiousness, persistence, cruelty,
strong nerves and ability to face their death in cold blood (See: Ibid. P. 451).
Afanas’eva, Iu. Kitaiskii spetsnaz: lichnoe znakomstvo [Chinese special mission units: personal acquaintance], available
at: http://www.bratishka.ru/archiv/2009/9/2009_9_8.php
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Sergey A. Podyapolskiy. “Soft Power” and “Smart Power”of Modern China
«Мягкая сила» и «умная сила»
современного Китая
С.А. Подъяпольский
Частно-практикующий юрист
Исследователь показывает, что современный Китай активно развивает целый комплекс
гуманитарных технологий, совмещая лучшие мировые концепции и практики с собственным
богатым и древним социально-культурным опытом. Лучшие умы КНР работают над
технологиями стратегического мышления, «связей с общественностью», массмедиа,
«общественной дипломатии», лоббизма, организации массовых мероприятий и т.д. Вместе
с тем, уделяя большое внимание «мягкой силе», руководство и аналитики этой страны
понимают, что сохранение целостности и эффективная внешняя деятельность государства
требуют сочетания «мягкой» и «жесткой» сил, порождающего «умную силу».
Ключевые слова: «мягкая сила», «умная сила», гуманитарные технологии, Китай, «молюэ»,
общественная дипломатия.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (2014 7) 359-365
~~~
УДК 94 (571.51): 351.741
Some Aspects of Economic Conditions
of Police of Yenisei Governorate
in the 1st Half of 1920s.
Yuriy N. Boyko*
The Krasnoyarsk State Teachers’ Training University
named after V.P. Astafiev,
89 Lebedeva Str., Krasnoyarsk, 660049, Russia
Received 31.05.2013, received in revised form 13.06.2013, accepted 30.10.2013
In the article a process of supplying of the Yenisei provincial police during first half of 1920th is
considered. This process is studied on the facts of clothing, weapon, housing and pecuniary allowance
which is taken mostly from the local archive.
Keywords: Yenisei provincial police, administrative department, police, regimentals, housing,
armament, penalty policy, budget of administrative department.
The important factor, making essential
impact on effective implementation by lawenforcement bodies of objectives on protection of
a public order and fight against crime, is worthy
pecuniary guaranteeing. However in the heaviest
conditions of revolution and civil war when
there was a formation of the Soviet power and
structures of the Soviet police, law-enforcement
bodies had serious difficulties in this sphere.
According to the resolution of the Council
of labor and defense (CLD) «About supplying
of police with food, fodder and articles of prime
necessity» from June 11, 1920 all available
personnel of employees was supplied with all
types of an allowance in accordance with general
practice with the military units of Red army
drawing garrison duty. Policemen monthly joined
in the plan of the army supply established for its
rear parts.1 In spite of the fact that, the power gave
*
particular attention to stabilization of pecuniary
security of law-enforcement structures of the
province, situation remained very intense.
One of the most dramatic was a situation
with clothing allowance. The chief of the Yenisei
provincial police S.T.Moiseenko in his report
to the manager of Siberian police described the
situation in provincial police in June 19, 1920:
«The province police doesn’t have any uniform
at the moment. As commanding officers, so,
mainly, policemen have to carry their own
clothes. Impossible mixture of different attire
turns out. And if it isn’t armband signs it would
be inconvenient to define that it is a police.
With approaching of warm time the problem
of providing with footwear became especially
aggravated. While it was cold, policemen which
most part are locals, wore felt boot, but when
the snow started to melt and becoming of spring
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Corresponding author E-mail address: borgir-666@mail.ru
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waters it became impossible. Who had some
footwear, by this time absolutely wore it out».
(Bugaev P.1, 1993: 279-280) The local Provincial
Revolutionary committee (PRC) tried to render
a certain help with regimentals for police. For
several times it allocated the money to the staff of
external policemen as compensation for bearing
of own clothes. Such assistance, undoubtedly,
promoted to improvement of the situation, but the
question, in fact, didn’t solve.
The problem with supply of police employees
with regimentals remained critical in the province
during the first half of 1920th. It especially became
complicated during the winter time. In Minusinsk
uyezd new winter uniform was allocated only for
1/5 policemen in October, 1921. The police of
Achinsk uyezd got only 2 sheepskin jackets and 7
pairs of felt boot for 20-30 persons at that month.2
The chief of the Achinsk uyezd police P.Dedov
noted that the situation with regimentals was
wretched. «Many policemen are so bare that it is a
shame to put them on a post». (Bugaev P.2, 1993:
76) In June, 1921 the new chief of the provincial
police V.F.Emelyashin in conditions of lack of
stocks of warm regimentals for the forthcoming
winter suggested within the confidential order to
chiefs of uyezd departaments to organize in areas
and volosts procurement and manufacture of
dogs’ fells for tailoring of warm clothes. In whole,
in December, 1923 police of the Yenisei province
was supplied with regimentals for 75 %, footwear
and linen – for 50 %, warm things – for 60 %,
equipment – for 30 %, bedding – for 10 %.3
Such circumstances sometimes led officers
in charge to perpetration of malfeasances. So,
according to the data of the inspection of the
Yenisei uyezd police during autumn 1923, the
fact of sale of material evidences by its chief
Chelyshev for the sum of 65 rubles in gold was
revealed. On this money he bought regimentals
for his employees, doing it allegedly with
the consent of local executive committee.4
Usually such crimes had forced character
which was repeatedly ascertained by the police
administration. In the report of provincial
administrative department concerning with the
situation of ordinary policemen of Krasnoyarsk
in the first half of 1924 it was noted that «earning
at that time … about 8-9 rubles as a salary and
living in a dirty and cold hostel without having
regimentals, a policeman had to shirk his duties
and think more of his existence, than about
interests of his service».5
Besides the staff of the Yenisei provincial
police had a critical situation with housing.
Originally because of a heavy criminogenic
situation in the province it was planned to move
all the city police departaments to confine them
to barracks. This arrangement would allow to
have the group which is capable to react against
gangster actions and disorders of rural population
in nearby rural areas operatively and to solve a
question with housing for a while. However the
lack of money didn’t allow to realize this idea.
During 1920-1922 any city police departament
had no hostels for its employees. In 1923 in
Krasnoyarsk two hostels for employees of the 1st
and 2nd departments where 15-20 employees with
their families could live were equipped. In the
Yeniseisk uyezd a police hostel was equipped only
in 1924. The situation in other uyezds remained
unresolved. According to results of inspection of
living conditions of employees which had been
carried out at the end of 1924 in the 2 uyezds (in a
source it isn’t specified where specifically), 10 %
of employees lived in good apartments, 33 % had
satisfactory conditions of apartments, 40 % –
unsatisfactory, 17 % of employees lived in bad
conditions.6
Another problem was an unsatisfactory
situation with armament in police during the first
years of the Soviet government. At the beginning
of 1920 nearly a half of police staff had no
weapon. The main sources of its replenishment
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were requisition from the population, using
the weapon left by Kolchak’s ex-troops and
confiscation from armed bands. However in May,
1920 rifles (of an old sample) and cartridges for all
the state of uyezd and city police were allocated
by the provincial military commissariat. (Bugaev
P.2, 1993: 279) From that time supplying of police
with weapon and ammunition started to be carried
out regularly and uninterruptedly.
But after settlement of this problem there
were certain incidents. So in the summer of 1920
policemen of the 5th district of the Kansk uyezd
(settlement Ilanskoe) had to lock at nights in
their district’s office and didn’t let anybody, as
they had no cartridges for their guns. Meanwhile
in Krasnoyarsk the uyezd brigade commander
V. Grishenkin in his order to the Krasnoyarsk
separate police battalion from June 7, 1921
demanded to take the most drastic measures for
those employees who spend cartridges for firing
«on a game and simply “so-so”» during combatant
operations. Most of them got from 4 to 7 days of
arrest for the such offense.7
Since February, 1922 in the provincial police
uniform standards of arms for the employees had
been brought in. For command and administrative
structure revolvers of “Nagan” system were
introduced; a senior policeman was armed with a
cavalry sword, a three-linear rifle and a revolver;
a cavalry policeman got a cavalry sword and a
rifle, a foot policeman had a rifle only.8
Due to difficult economic situation in which
the province police was staying during the spring
of 1921 the chief of the Krasnoyarsk uyezd
and city police ordered to all police stations to
busy themselves with sowing of grain crops for
supplying needs of the principal city and uyezd
police. Later this practice extended through the
whole province. Since 1922 the staff of Minusinsk
police had started to be engaged regularly in
earth cultivation, supplying all the uyezd police
with bread and vegetables. The practice of annual
logging of firewood for heating of working spaces
and houses of employees during the winter
period, and also laying-in of fodder for service
horses became regular. In the Krasnoyarsk uyezd
it was authorized to send up to 25 % of staff of
external service, and also up to 10 % of whitecollar workers for these needs.9 (Bugaev P.2,
1993: 106)
To improve the pecuniary guaranteeing of
the province police a rewarding of the staff of
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was
introduced in July, 1922. Rewarding expenses
depended on percentage allocations from the
sums of returned property. At the congress of
employees of the provincial police, taking place
on August 28-29, 1922 the offer concerned
with creation of police workers’ cooperatives
(workcoops) for improvement of position of the
local police which could servicing subsections
of militia was brought. With support provided
by the Yenisei province executive committee
in 1922 the Krasnoyarsk police organized the
cooperative “Ekonom”, which thrashed grain on
a rented steam mill and sold a flour to the local
police for 50 % cheaper than the market cost.
(Udalnov, 1922: 171; Bugaev P.2, 1993: 107) Since
August 29, 1923 according to the All-Russian
Central Executive Committee (ACEC) offered to
award employees for the active struggle against
woodviolators.
During the New Economic Policy for the
purpose of reduction of an account part of the state
budget the maintenance of police and criminal
investigation department had been transferred
to the means of local budgetary funds since
November, 1922. It is obvious that the provincial
budget wasn’t ready to take over new expenses.
Thus, predicted budget deficit of the Yenisei
province for 1923 was 5 trillion rubles at 15 trillion
all provincial expenses. After such step financial
and pecuniary position of police that hadn’t
been too good before, began even worse. Local
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budgets were based on the income of municipal
services, organizations and enterprises, and also
from state and local taxes and fees. But because
of unprofitable municipal services and weakness
of the tax system local budgets were weak. On the
average about the country in 1922-23 economic
year their deficiency made about 25 % from the
revenues. (Shabelnikova, 2002: 176)
The situation in police was improved by the
account of «penalty policy». The department of
administration of the Yenisei province executive
committee on March 13, 1923, being guided by
the resolution of Council of Peoples Commissars
from 20.12.1922, declared a contribution to
the local police departments of administration
of 50 % from the sums exacted as penalties on
affairs, connected with illicit manufacturing,
storage and sale of alcohol drinks and alcoholcontaining substances. In the spring of 1923 the
local executive committee of Turukhansky region
gave out a credit to the police of 1000 squirrels
(300 rubles in a gold equivalent) for improvement
of pecuniary life of employees. It was paying off at
the expense of a percent from penal contributions
to the regional police.10
By 1925 bonuses from penalties for
administrative offenses began to play an
important role in life of a rural policeman,
reaching 25 % from his salary (information on
the Krasnoyarsk district). Such a considerable
increase was reached, generally at the expense
of imposing of penalties on the moonshiners
(so called samogonschiki) who mainly lived in
a country. While the income of city policemen,
thanks to assignments from penalties, increased
by 2 rubles only.11
In September, 1923 the rate of salary of chiefs
of provincial, city, district police, their assistants
was equated to the rates of provincial senior
officers and thus increased for 15-25 %.12 (Kharlov
2002: 55) An additional measure to increase of the
income of employees was the decision of Siberian
province executive committees to increase rates
to policemen for 15 % at the expense of partly
payment of municipal services. Turukhansk’s
policemen according to the order of their regional
executive committee were released from payment
of municipal services.
For the purpose of partial deliverance
from the weight of maintenance of the police
machinery, which had appeared an excessive
toil for the provincial budget, the maintenance
of city police laid down on city budgets, volost
police – on volost budgets since October, 1924
(with completion of division of the province
into districts). There were uyezd administrative
departments and, partially, bodies of police who
stayed on the balance provincial and city budgets.
Absence of the regulatory acts regulating the
order of its maintenance negatively affected the
level of financial and pecuniary security of the
police. It allowed to local Soviets to establish
independently an order of percentage assignment
from the budget on the maintenance of police,
ignoring needs of uyezd police departments.
Apparently from the Table 1, local budgets
also weren’t ready to accept of police bodies on
their balance. It is obvious from understating
of the volume of credits allocated by executive
committees relatively demanded by the police at
almost a third (29 %) for all territorial formations
of the province.
The utility (writing, operative, confidential)
needs, and also expenses on regimentals and
ammunition were mainly exposed to reduction.
Provision of uyezd policemen with summer and
winter regimentals made at that time 30 % from
the norm. Thus papakhas (caps) were provided
for 50 %, fur coats – 8 %, short fur coats – 34 %,
felt boots – 50 %, underwear – 25 %. There
wasn’t any footwear at that moment. Besides all
the policemen receiving a salary over 15 rubles
(i.e. practically all police officers) had to pay for
public services again since October, 1924.
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Table 1. The report of demanded and planned sums of credits for the maintenance of staff of uyezd police for
1924-1925 budget year*
14076,17
Planned according
to the province
budget, rubles.
7708,54
Achinsk
20518,12
13462,52
7055,60
34 %
Kansk
24238,66
15714,40
8524,26
35 %
Police departments
Krasnoyarsk
Required, rubles.
Difference, rubles.
Per cent of reduction
6367,63
45 %
Tayshet
1921,93
1879,04
42,89
2%
Minusinsk
19672,57
12234,94
7437,63
38 %
Khakass
5902,22
3701,22
2201
37 %
Yeniseisk
3658,33
2974,35
683,98
19 %
Turukhansk
2945,71
2221,77
723,94
25 %
* Extracted from: SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 58, l. 308.
Table 2. Change of range of a salary of police officers in the province in 1923 and 1925*
Position
Chief of a district
Senior policeman
Younger policeman
Годы
1925
Руб.
28
18,60
16,80
1923
Руб.
9,45
8,40
6,65
% к 1923г.
296 %
221 %
253 %
* Extracted from: SAKR F. R-863, inv. 1, c. 39, l. 1; SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 59, l. 114; SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 101, l. 23-24.
In essence the wages fund did never
decrease as a salary was very low enough. In
1923 the average salary of an industrial worker of
the Yenisei province made 32,3 rubles while the
average salary of a policeman (in a range from
younger policemen to the chief of a district) made
up 8-9 rubles. The minimal set of food and articles
of prime necessity, cost 7,14 rubles in May, 1923.
By 1925 the salary of a younger policeman grew
approximately in 2,5 times (21,1 rubles), but it
was still much lower than the compensation of
an industrial worker making 48-52 rubles at that
time.13 (Table 2)
The situation with regimentals of
employees started to change at the end of 1924
when the maintenance of uyezd police was
passed from the provincial budget to local
ones. This measure caused on the one hand,
a sharp reduction of the staff of employees in
police, but with another, allowed to supply the
remained employees in full. But sometimes this
improvement didn’t always have a qualitative
character. For example instead of new overcoats
employees might get old renewed short winter
coats. Old jackboots also were taken under
repair and distributed to employees again.
Bedclothes hadn’t updated at all since 1920. In
the same 1924 it was supposed to release on
100 rubles to every Krasnoyarsk policemen
for regimentals, however, in reality it was
allocated only on 62 rubles. Thus, provision
with regimentals turned out to be equal 100 %
on paper, however it didn’t even reach 50 % on
quality in reality.14
# 363 #
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Yuriy N. Boyko. Some Aspects of Economic Conditions of Police of Yenisei Governorate in the 1st Half of 1920s.
Table 3. The estimate on the maintenance of PAD and the police of Krasnoyarsk for 1924-1925 budget year
business
expenses
Regimentals
Whole
sum
Salary
business
expenses
Regimentals
Regimentals
Whole
sum
Province
35314
36000
--
71314
City
27050
15876
7124
Budget
Paid out from the
required, %
Salary
business
expenses
Allocated by executive
committees, rubles.
Salary
Obtained by the police,
rubles.
35314
18698
--
54012
100
52 %
--
50050 27000
8162
3090
38252
100
51 %
43 %
* Extracted from: SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 101, l. 31-32.
From the volume of credits allocated for
the maintenance of the provincial administrative
department (PAD) for 1924-25 budget year
(Table 3), it is obvious that appropriations for
economic needs were cut down at almost twice
by provincial and city executive committees.
Expenses on regimentals were reduced by 57 %.
Thus the percentage of the budget of PAD to the
all-provincial budget made only 1,2 %, to the
city – 3,7 %.
Such situation had to treat to the means
allocated for the regimentals very economically.
So in the report on the Yenisei PAD for 19241925 budget year it was fixed that PAD and
Krasnoyarsk police in 1924 were compelled to
buy warm clothes in Minusinsk because it cost
for 20 % lower there than in the province center.
Thus, all attempts of the central, regional
and local authorities to solve the question of
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
pecuniary guaranteeing of the Soviet militia
throughout the fi rst half of 1920th appeared
unsuccessful. The reasons of it are closely
connected not only with severe conditions of
life in the days of civil war and the fi rst postwar time, but also with the fundamental attitude
to police as an auxiliary and even minor body
during the period of New Economic Policy.
Transfer of the maintenance of police on local
budgets led to considerable staff reduction
and temporarily promoted to stabilize the
situation with regimentals. But it still remained
insufficient and the salary of employees, despite
of its increase and «penalty policy» remained
low. All of this created such problem as personnel
turnover, also promoted the growth of crimes
among employees and didn’t allow executing
the main functions on prevention of crime and
protection of a public order adequately.
The collection of statutes and orders of Soviet workers and peasants' government. April 25, 1920. P. 259-260.
The State Archives of the Krasnoyarsk region (SAKR) F. R-742, inventory 3, case 8, lists 2-4, 7.
SAKR F. R-742, inv. 3, c. 10, l. 108; c. 56, l. 28-30; SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 8, l. 27.
SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 39, l. 11.
SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 27, vol. 1, l. 221.
SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 90, l. 49.
SAKR F. R-49, inv.1, c. 8, l. 301; SAKR F. R-742, inv.3, c. 3, l. 6; SAKR F. R-741, inv. 1, c. 24, l. 125.
SAKR F. R-741, inv. 1, c. 128, l. 24.
SAKR F. R-741, Inv. 1, Д. 24, Л. 125.
SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 49, l. 12.
SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 101, ll. 18, 23.
SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 96, l. 34-35.
Newspaper The worker of Krasnoyarsk, December 6, 1924; May 11, 1923; October 29, 1925.
SAKR F. R-874, inv. 1, c. 101, l. 18.
Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Yuriy N. Boyko. Some Aspects of Economic Conditions of Police of Yenisei Governorate in the 1st Half of 1920s.
References
1. Bugaev, D.A. At the police service. Book 1, Part 1. (Krasnoyarsk, 1993).
2. Bugaev, D.A. At the police service. Book 1, Part 2. (Krasnoyarsk, 1993).
3. Kharlov, N.A. The police of Siberia during 1920th. A dissertation (Novosibirsk, 2002).
4. Shabelnikhova, N.A. Police of the Russian Far East, 1922-1930: historical experience of
organization and activity. A dissertation.(Vladivostok, 2002).
5. Udalnov, M. “About the police of Siberia”, The life of Siberia, 2 (1922), 170-172.
The list of abridgements
Государственный архив Красноярского края (ГАКК) Фонд (Ф.) Р-742, опись (оп.) 3, дело (д.)
8, листы (л.) 2-4, 7.
The State Archives of the Krasnoyarsk region (SAKR) Fund (F.) R-742, inventory (inv.) 3, case
(c.) 8, lists (l.) 2-4, 7.
Совет Труда и Обороны – СТО.
The Council of labor and defense – CLD.
Губернский революционный комитет – Губревком.
The Provincial Revolutionary Committee – PRC.
Отдел Уголовного розыска
The Criminal Investigation department – CID.
Всероссийский центральный исполнительный комитет – ВЦИК.
The All-Russian Central Executive Committee – ACEC.
Губернский административный отдел – ГАО.
The Provincial Administrative department – PAD.
Некоторые аспекты
материального обеспечения милиции
Енисейской губернии в первой половине 1920-х гг.
Ю.Н. Бойко
Красноярский государственный педагогический университет
им. В.П. Астафьева
Россия, 660049, Красноярск, ул. Ады Лебедевой, 89
В статье рассматривается процесс материального обеспечения милиции Енисейской губернии
в первой половине 1920-х гг. Рассмотрение ведется по нескольким пунктам: обмундирование,
вооружение, жилье и оплата труда. Исследование построено преимущественно на материалах
местного архива.
Ключевые слова: милиция Енисейской губернии, административный отдел, милиция,
обмундирование, вооружение, жилье, штрафная политика, бюджет административного
отдела.
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