Peculiarities of realities translation (on the material of literary work) | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

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Рубрика: Филология, лингвистика

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №15 (201) апрель 2018 г.

Дата публикации: 17.04.2018

Статья просмотрена: 1969 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Мусина, Н. М. Peculiarities of realities translation (on the material of literary work) / Н. М. Мусина. — Текст : непосредственный // Молодой ученый. — 2018. — № 15 (201). — С. 281-288. — URL: (дата обращения: 23.06.2024).

The problem of conveying realities as one of the most difficult tasks facing a translator attracts the attention of many linguists and translation theorists. V. S. Vinogradov, A. A. Reformatsky, A. D. Schweitzer, I. Leviy, S. Vlakhov, S. Florin, and other researchers’ works are devoted to the ways of conveying realities.

Among the difficulties that arise when translating realities one can distinguish the following:

‒ the lack of correspondences (equivalents) in the source language because of the absence of the object designated by the realities among the native speakers (referents);

‒ the necessity along with the objective meaning (semantics) of realities to convey a color (connotation) — its national and historical coloring.

When choosing the most suitable method of translation it is necessary to take into account the way the author delivers the original text and the means used by him or her to bring to the reader’s consciousness its semantic and connotative content.

Currently, in the translation theory only several points of view that differ significantly from one another about possible methods of conveying realities are expressed. In this paper, the schemes of translation methods in a literary text, proposed by different linguists are being considered.

Translation of realities is quite a challenge. For the adequate translation it is quite necessary to have sufficient knowledge. “When translating the realities one should keep in mind that they are inextricably linked with the culture of a particular country, and accordingly, the translation recipient may not have the same amount of background knowledge or background information that is necessary for a full perception of the text, i.e. the common information for communicants, which provides mutual understanding in communication”.

Various authors suggest certain sets of methods for translating realities, which somewhat differ in their composition, although they do have a number of common features (L. Latyshev, V. S. Vinogradov, S. Vlakhov, S. Florin). Next, we will describe the methods of translating realities considered by L. K. Latyshev, V. S. Vinogradov, as well as S. Vlakhov and S. Florin in detail.

S. Vlakhov and S. Florin generalize the methods of translating realities and reduce them to two: transcription and translation:

  1. Transcription (and transliteration)
  2. Translation (replacement):

1) Neologism:

a) loan translation (calque),

b) semi-loan translation,

c) mastering,

d) semantic neologism.

2) Replacement of realities.

3) Approximate translation:

a) aspectual and generic replacing,

b) functional analogue,

c) description, explanation, interpretation.

4) Contextual translation.

The scheme of realities transmission methods in literary translation proposed by S. Vlakhov and S. Florin looks as follows:

  1. Transcription (and transliteration)
  2. Translation (replacement):

1) Neologism:

a) loan translation (calque),

b) semi-loan translation,

c) semantic neologism.

2) Replacement of realities.

3) Approximate translation:

a) aspectual and generic replacing,

b) functional analogue,

c) description, explanation, interpretation.

4) Contextual translation.

I. The transcription of realities implies a mechanistic transference of realities from the source language to the target language by graphic means of the latter with the maximum approximation to the original phonetic form: French word “taverne” is «таверна» in both Russian and Bulgarian.

II. The transmission of realities (or substitution) as a method of transferring it to the target language is used usually in case when transcription due to one reason or another is impossible or undesirable.

1. Introduction of the neologism — the way of preserving the content and color of the realities that is being translated: by creating a new word (or phrase) it is sometimes possible to achieve almost the same effect. This method is called a loan translation (or a semi-loan translation).

a) Loan translation is a borrowing by means of a literal translation (usually in parts) of a word or a phrase. For example, “skyscraper” — «небоскрёб» (as opposed to «высотное здание»; because of this contrast there is a “western color” of a calque).

b) Semi-loan translation is a kind of partial borrowing, also new words or (stable) phrases, but “consisting partly of their own material”. For example, a German phrase “der Dritte Reich” — «Третий Рейх».

c) Semantic neologism is conditionally a new word or a phrase, “composed” by a translator and allowing to convey the semantic content of realities. It is distinguished from a calque by the lack of etymological connection with the original word.

1. Approximate translation is used to convey the real content of realities, but the color is almost always lost, because the expected connotative equivalent is being replaced by the one that is neutral in style, i.e. a word or a phrase with zero connotation.

a) The principle of the generic and aspectual substitution allows us to convey (approximately) the content of realities by a unit with a wider (very rarely — narrower) meaning, substituting the generic concept instead of the aspectual (generalization / specification).

b) A functional analogue is an element of the final statement that causes a similar reaction of a reader. This way of translation allows, for example, to replace an unknown wordplay to a familiar one.

c) Description, explanation, interpretation — the methods of approximate translation applied when the concept which is impossible to translate by transcription should be explained. For example, «армяк» — a piece of clothing made from coarse wool.

2. The term “contextual translation” is usually contrasted with a “dictionary translation”, thus indicating the concordances that a word can have in the context, unlike those given in the dictionary.

The methods of conveying realities according to L. K. Latyshev.

L. Latyshev does not distinguish between the concepts of “non-equivalent vocabulary” and “realities” and uses the term “non-equivalent realities”. In addition, he also uses the term “transliteration” in matters in which, in our opinion, it would be advisable to talk about transcription. This researcher identifies four ways of conveying the non-equivalent vocabulary [5, p. 126].

  1. Transliteration (coincides with the method of “Transcription” according to S.Vlakhov and S. Florin). The point is that at that time (the time of L. K. Latyshev’s “Translation Course (equivalence of translation and the ways to achieve it)” edition was in the year 1981), there was a tradition of transliteration, which was later replaced by transcription. Although the premise for this existed even then. L. Latyshev gives an example of translating “know-how” as «ноу-хау», which in its essence is a transcription, not a transliteration.
  2. Descriptive (“explanatory”) translation.
  3. Approximate translation (“Functional analogue” according to S. Vlakhov and S. Florin).
  4. The creation of a new term (essentially coincides with the understanding of the semantic neologism of S.Vlakhov and S.Florin).

The methods of translating realities words according to V. S. Vinogradov.

V. S. Vinogradov proposes a somewhat different division of the methods of translating words denoting realities from what was suggested by S. Vlakhov and S. Florin [4, p. 83–92].

This researcher offers five methods of translating realities [2, p. 118–122]:

  1. Transcription (transliteration). When appearing in the text for the first time the transcribed words are usually accompanied by footnotes or explanations that are entered directly into the text.
  2. Hypo-hyperonimical translation. This translation technique is characterized by the establishment of equivalence relations between the word of the original that conveys the aspectual realities concept, and the translation word that denotes the corresponding generic concept or vice versa.
  3. Assimilation. The difference between this method and the previous one is that assimilated words denote concepts “collaterally subordinated towards the generic concept, and not subordinating and being subordinated” [2, p. 119].

2. Circumlocutory (descriptive, explicatory) translation. In this case, there are correspondences between the word of the original and the translation phrase explaining its meaning: «альпаргаты» — «сандалии из пеньки или матерчатые сандалии» (sandals from hemp or cloth sandals), «пучеро» — «похлебка из говядины» (beef soup). This technique is often combined with transcription and is intended to replace a footnote, which makes the author’s speech more natural and appropriate to the original.

Thus, if there are a lot of methods for translating realities, it is necessary to think over all the variants and ways of translation in order to finally choose the most suitable one, which would accurately convey the meaning of realities without losing its color. It should be remembered that “there is no such word that could not be translated into another language, at least descriptively, i.e. as a combination of the words of a given language”.

Summarizing the proposed methods of translating realities, we believe that it would be advisable to talk about the following methods:

  1. Transcription (transliteration), practical transcription.
  2. Loan translation (calque) or semi-loan translation.
  3. Hypo-hyperonimical translation.
  4. A functional analogue introduction.
  5. Descriptive translation.
  6. Contextual translation.
  7. Transposition

When translating literary texts the transmission of realities moves to the forefront, as these lexical units convey a national and historical color. However, not all researchers distinguish between the concepts of “nonequivalent vocabulary” and “realities”. We think that such a division is necessary at least because non-equivalent vocabulary is considered for a pair of languages ​​while the realities are universal for all languages.

Existing classifications of realities differ in some characteristics, but in general the division of realities into certain groups is made on the basis of “friend-foe” identification, temporal and geographical parameters. It is worth to note that some researchers highlight allusive realities, which in our understanding are precedent names and texts related to the national level.

Although the sets of methods for transferring realities do not coincide between different authors, still a number of basic translation techniques can be distinguished: transcription, loan translation, hypo-hyperonimical translation, a functional analogue introduction, descriptive and contextual translation.

Let’s consider these techniques in detail on the example of realities translation in literary texts.

The use of realities transliteration is very limited: it is usually used only by tradition with an erroneous reading of the corresponding word and in connection with the traditional rules of the certain letters transmission.

Transcription is the use of graphic means (letters) of the source language the transfer of phonetic appearance of the word with maximum sound proximity to the original. In the absence of letters that accurately convey the authentic sounds of a word, the nearest ones in their phonetic coloring are being used. From Latin to Latin the word is usually conveyed without graphic changes. When you transfer from Cyrillic to Cyrillic, from Latin to Cyrillic, or vice versa, you invariably use transcription as the most common and sometimes the only possible way of transferring nationally colored units of speech. Desirability, according to S. Vlakhov and S. Florin, and often the necessity of using transcription in realities transmission is due to the fact that with the successful transcription the translator can achieve the transfer of both the semantic content and the coloring.

The handbook of hymen (O’Henry, “The Heart of the West” collection). The translation is done by M. Urnova.

“I side-stepped the two-step, and asked permission to escort her home” — «Я отступился от тустепа и попросил разрешения сопровождать её домой»;

“The furnished room” (O’Henry, “Four million” collection). The translation is made by M. Lorie.

“They sing “Home, sweet home” in ragtime” — «Они поют «Родина, милая Родина» в ритме регтайма»;

“... above him a banjo tinkled with spirit” — «… над головой упоенно заливалось банджо»;

“A call loan” (M. Twain). The translation by O. Kholmskaya.

“So, out of the chaparral came Long Bill Longley from the Bar Circle Branch on the Frio—a wife-driven man—to taste the urban joys of success”.

«Вот как случилось, что Длинный Билл Лонгли, гонимый женой человек, покинул заросли чапарраля возле Бар Серкл Бранч на Фрио и прибыл в город, дабы вкусить от более утонченных радостей успеха».

Translation of realities as a method of conveying it to the source language is used usually in those cases when transcription for one reason or another is impossible or undesirable.

Introduction of the neologism, according to the authors is the most suitable (after transcription) way of preserving the semantic content and color of the translated realities. Such new words can be, first of all, calques. Calque is a “borrowing by means of a literal translation (usually in parts) of a word or a phrase” [1, p. 354], allowing us to transfer the realities with the fullest preservation of semantics. As a rule, calques can be phrases, rarely words. There are some examples.

“We were married last evening at 8 o'clock in the Little Church Around the Corner” — «Мы ведь обвенчались вчера в восемь вечера в Маленькой церкви за углом*» (*Церковь Преображения близ Пятой авеню, в одном из богатейших кварталов Нью-Йорка), “The romance of a busy broker” — (M. Brown).

The method of translation is a calque with an interlinear explanation.

“The octopus marooned” (N. Crook).

“First we went to the main saloon in Bird City, called the Blue Snake” — «Первым делом мы отправились в главный салун, который назывался Голубая Змея»

“The hand that rules the world” (N. Crook)

“Bill Humble, an old friend of mine in the Territories*…” — «Билл Хамбл, мой старый приятель, с которым я сдружился на Территории»... (*a region of the U. S. not admitted as a state but having its own legislature and an appointed governor).

“Mammon and the archer” (M. Brown)

“And then Anthony Rockwall, who never cared for bells, went to the door of his library and shouted “Mike!” in the same voice that had once chipped off pieces of the welkin on the Kansas prairies” — «И тут Энтони Рокволл, всю жизнь не одобрявший звонков, подошел к дверям библиотеки и заорал «Майк!» тем самым голосом, от которого когда-то чуть не лопалось небо над Канзасскими прериями».

“Telemacus, friend” (O’Henry).

“Well, a month afterwards me and Mrs. Jessup was married in the Los Pinos Methodist Church; and the whole town closed up to see the performance” — «Короче говоря, через месяц мы с мисис Джессап сочетались законным браком в методистской церкви в Лос-Пиньос, и весь город сбежался поглазеть на это зрелище».

“A call loan” (M. Twain)

“For miles they had ridden in silence save for the soft drum of the ponies’ hoofs on the matted mesquite grass, and the rattle of the chaparral against their wooden stirrups” — «Много миль они проехали молча, и тишину нарушали лишь дробь копыт о примятую мескитовую траву и потрескивание кустарника, задевавшего за деревянные стремена».

“The ethics of the pig” (R. Johnson)

“Buy low and sell high — don't Wall Street endorse it? Bulls and bears and pigs--what's the difference?” — «Дешево купить и дорого продать — чем, как не этим держится Уолл-стрит? Там «быки» и «медведи»*, а тут была свинья». (*Термины американской биржи).

The method of translation is a loan translation with an explanation in a footnote.

Semi-loan translation implies creating new words or word combinations, but consisting partly of their own material, and partly from the material of a foreign word.

“The cop and the anthem” (R. Johnson)

“He was shaven, and his coat was decent and his neat black, ready-tied four-in-hand had been presented to him by a lady missionary on Thanksgiving Day” — «Он был чисто выбрит, пиджак на нем был приличный, а красивый черный галстук бабочкой ему подарила в День Благодарения* дама-миссионерша» (*Ежегодный официальный американский праздник. С 1863 г. он всегда назначается президентом на последний четверг ноября).

The method of translation is a semi-loan translation with an interlinear explanation.

“Cupid a la carte” (O’Henry).

“…Uncle Sam* owes his greatness to fried chicken and pie…” — «… дядя Сэм обязан своим могуществом пирогам и жареным цыплятам…» (*a personification of the government or people of the U. S.: represented as a tall, lean man with white chin whiskers, wearing a blue tailcoat, red-and-white-striped trousers, and a top hat with a band of stars).

Semantic neologism is conditionally a new word or phrase “composed” by a translator and allowing to convey the meaningful content of realities. It is distinguished from calque by the lack of etymological connection with the original word.

Replacing realities with the realities of the target language as a means of translation is quite rarely used, since it leads to a color substitution of the original image with the color of the target language, which is highly undesirable. However, there are situations where the closest analogue of realities, alien to the language of translation, proves to be international realities, understandable to the reader, and therefore preferred ones.

Approximate translation of realities is used more often than any other method. It allows one to accurately convey the objective content of the realities; however, almost always there is an erasure of the national color, as there is a replacement of the connotative equivalent by a neutral in style.

The principle of an aspectual and generic replacement as a special case of approximate translation allows us to convey the content of realities with a unit of a wider meaning, substituting the generic concept instead of the aspectual one.

“Jeff Peters as a personal magnet” (O’Henry).

“I’ll have to close you up till you do, ‘says the constable*” — «Ну, а до той поры я вынужден прикрыть вашу торговлю, — говорит полисмен» (*constable is an officer of the peace in a town or township, having minor police and judicial functions).

According to A. D. Schweitzer the functional analogue is “an element of the final statement that causes a similar reaction among Russian readers”.

“Little speck in garnered fruit” (S. Fletcher)

“In my precinct*?” — growled the captain” — «В моем околотке**?» — зарычал капитан» (*precinct — a district, as of a city, marked out for administrative purposes or for police protection, **околоточный — в дореволюционной России, чин городской полиции, ведавший небольшой частью территории города– околотком).

“The hand that rules the world” (N. Crook).

“…to be appointed United States Marshall” — «… чтобы правительство Соединенных Штатов назначило его шерифом».

The description, explanation, interpretation as an approximate translation method is usually used in those cases when there is no other way: the concept impossible to transmit by transcription has to be conveyed descriptively, i.e. to use lexicographical interpretations.

“The cop and the anthem” (R. Johnson).

“Tomorrow he would go into the roaring downtown district and find work” — «Завтра утром он отправится в деловую часть города и найдет себе работу».

“Cupid a la carte” (O’Henry)

“That tent was joyful with placards on it calculated to redeem the world-worn pilgrim from the sinfulness of boarding houses and pick-me-up hotels” — «Палатка эта была разукрашена плакатами, расчитанными на то, чтобы вырвать усталого пилигрима из греховных объятий пансионов и гостиниц для приезжающих».

Contextual translation is distinguished from other ways of translating realities by the absence in the text of any correspondences of the translated word itself (zero translation) — its content is transmitted by means of a context that has been transformed accordingly. As in the case of approximate translation, in a contextual one the realities as carriers of a certain connotation disappear.

“The handbook of hymen” (O’Henry).

“I’ll play you a game of seven-up, the winner to pick up his choice of the book, the loser to take the other” — «Мы сыграем с вами до туза, и выигравший выберет себе книгу, а проигравший возьмет оставшуюся».

“The cop and the anthem” (R. Johnson).

“For years the hospitable Blackwell’s had been his winter quarters” — «Уже несколько лет гостеприимная тюрьма на Острове служила ему зимней квартирой».

When choosing the method of translating realities it is necessary to consider:

‒ genre features of the text,

‒ the significance (i.e. the degree of semantic load) of realities in the context,

‒ the place of realities in the lexical systems of source language and target language,

‒ features of the original and translation languages — their word-building capacities, literary and linguistic traditions,

‒ “understandability” of the introduced realities to the reader of the translation.

Translation of realities denoting measures.

The category of measures combines the names of units of weight, length, area, volume of liquids, solids and etc. They are considered realities due to the their non-ubiquitous distribution in the synchronic and diachronic plans.

In the literary text, the realities that denote measures perform the following functions:

‒ associated with numbers or quantitative words, they are carriers of information about certain values;

‒ participate in creating an image of the described fragment of reality.

The problem of their translation, from our point of view, is best covered in the scientific works of S.Vlakhov and S. Florin.

Possible methods of translating realities that denote measures in the text of the source language are:

‒ transcription;

‒ transcription with subsequent explanation in footnotes;

‒ translation by means of a functional analogue/equivalent.

Transcription is used when it is necessary to preserve the original digital data or measures, in particular, if the “measure realities” are the focus of attention in a narrow context or the name of the national measure is used in direct speech. Any other way of translating can lead to a substitution of national color.

Transcription with subsequent explanation in footnotes completely preserves the national coloring of the work, however it makes it difficult to read and perceive what was written, therefore from the point of view of a number of theorists and translation practitioners (V. S. Vinogradov, N. M. Lyubimov), it seems the least desirable. Nevertheless, the choice of a translator in favor of transcription in the absence of the equivalent of the translated concept or reality in the language is fully justified.

The translation of units of measures, taking into account their semantic or quantitative content is used by translators, according to observations of S. Vlakhov and S. Florin, more often than transcription. Translation by means of a functional analogue/equivalent will be deemed adequate if the particular case of substitution of measure reality for a neutral one does not significantly affect the color of the work as a whole.

Measure realities that are a part of phraseological units, metaphors, comparisons lose a significant part of the national color and when translated require reproduction by neutral means.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the choice of a strategy for transferring units of measure depends largely on the context and artistic intent of the author.

Translation of realities denoting money.

The names of monetary units, according to S. Vlakhov and S. Florin, can be divided as follows:

‒ national monetary units with a certain value;

‒ units that have lost their exact value, as well as their national color.

Thus, only units of the first group are considered realities. The units of the second group can only be regarded as historical realities. They are quite often used to refer to money in general and are part of stable combinations.

The method of transferring “money realities” in the text of the target language is mainly transcription. However, in many languages ​​there are traditional forms for the names of “foreign” monetary units, more similar to translation of the corresponding realities (for example, English “pound” — «фунт стерлингов»). The choice of the transfer of the name of a monetary reality-unit takes place on the basis of transcription taking into account already adopted form in the language of translation.

Translation of phraseological units

Word combinations “…being used in speech as prepared verbal blocks” are called phraseological units [2, p. 180].

In soviet linguistics, phraseological units have been thoroughly studied and classified on the basis of their semantic, grammatical, stylistic and other characteristics. A number of researchers (Y. P. Retsker, V. N. Komissarov, S. Vlakhov and S. Florin) note the national coloration of phraseological units, both stylistically expressive and neutral in style, which brings them closer to realities.

Considering the phraseological units from the positions of translation study, let us turn to the division proposed by V. S. Vinogradov, who distinguishes the following groups of stable word combinations:

‒ lexical, semantically correlated with words;

‒ predicative — complete sentences, fixed in the language in the form of stable formulas;

‒ comparative, fixed in the language as stable comparisons.

S. Vlakhov and S. Florin unite phraseological units according to their structural-semantic type, color, metaphoricity, stylistic coloring in the following groups:

‒ figurative, non-figurative;

‒ proverbial type / non-proverbial type;

‒ national / borrowed / international;

‒ having a color / not having a color;

‒ folk / authorial;

‒ original / authorized.

The above mentioned indicators largely determine the ways of translating phraseological units.

The basic methods of translating phraseological units can be represented in the form of the following scheme:

1. Phraseological translation:

‒ phraseological equivalent (absolute, partial, relative);

‒ phraseological analogue;

‒ lexical-phraseological translation;

‒ individual equivalent.

2. Non-phaseological translation:

‒ lexical;

‒ descriptive;

‒ contextual;

‒ loan translation.

Phraseological translation implies the re-expression of stable combinations of the language of original by stable combinations of the target language — from the total equivalent to the approximate phraseological correspondence.

Absolute phraseological equivalent is the phraseology of the source language, equivalent to the unit being translated in all parameters (in particular, with respect to semantic content, stylistic attribution, component composition, lexical grammatical characteristics and what is also important — the lack of national color).

A partial phraseological equivalent is a unit of the source language, which is the absolute equivalent of a stable combination of target language, but not in all its meanings.

The relative phraseological equivalent is a full value correspondence of the translated phraseological unit, differing from it by some of the indicators: other, often synonymous, components, small changes in form, a change in the syntactic structure, a different morphological relation, and so on.

Phraseological analogue is a relative equivalent with a complete or partial replacement of the image, and the images can be either close, contiguous, or not having anything in common.

Lexical-phraseological translation is an adaptation to the context of an already existing phraseology by changing the structure, adding new components, making a kind of proverb using phonetic means, combining one unit out of two.

Phraseology created by a translator on the basis of a translatable stable combination in case when it is not possible to apply a different method of translation is called an individual equivalent. Successfully designed individual phraseological units have indicators of the usual phraseological unit, differing from it only by one thing — they are not reproducible.

Non-phraseological translation consists in the transmission of the phraseological unit of the language of original by means of lexical means and, as a rule, leads to a partial or complete loss of the shades of meaning, imagery, connotation. Non-phraseological methods of translation are only resorted to, after it was made sure that in this particular case the phraseological translation is not applicable.

The lexical translation is spoken in the case when the concept expressed in the target language by phraseological unit is represented in the source language by lexical means — a word or a free phrase.

Descriptive translation is reduced to the translation of not the phraseology itself, but its interpretation. Variants of this method of translation, including explanations, descriptions, comparisons should not only convey the content of the phraseological unit in the most clear and concise form, but also strive to reflect its metaphoricity, to partly transmit expression, connotation, stylistic coloring.

The content of the concept of contextual translation is that none of its components of original language phraseology is reflected in translation (zero translation). Contextual translation is resorted to in the absence of suitable correspondences in a source language.

Loan translation (a literal translation) is possible only in cases of sufficient motivation of the meaning of phraseological unit by meanings ​​of its components.

Translation of proper names.

A proper name is a “word or phrase that serves to highlight the object named by it among other objects: its individualization and identification» [3, p.95]. In modern linguistics, proper names are often defined as nominative lexical units in contrast to nominal words that are considered units that communicate meaning.

Proper names have a bright connotative meaning, informing about the local and national affiliation of the designated object, which gives grounds to reckon proper names among realities.

A number of researchers (in particular V. S. Vinogradov) define proper names as realities on the grounds that in speech it refers to a really existing or made-up object of thought, a person or place unique in their own ways and unrepeatable.

The point of view of others is directly opposite. Thus, S. Vlakhov and S. Florin, proceeding from the criteria of translation theory, consider the proper names as an independent class of “non-equivalent lexicon”, noting the existence of common features in both classes.

In linguistic classifications, proper names are divided into:

‒ names of persons to whom the names (patronymics, surnames) refer as well as nicknames of people, nicknames of animals;

‒ names of objects, unifying the names of geographical and space objects, works of culture and science, holidays, institutions, enterprises, societies, vehicles, etc.

The following methods of translation are inherent for proper names as a lexical category:

‒ transcription (translation at the level of phonemes);

‒ transliteration (translation at the level of graphemes);

‒ the actual translation.

In view of the fact that transliteration often significantly distorts names, transcription is currently preferred as a way of transferring the phonetic form to the text of the source language with maximum accuracy.

The transcription of the proper name in translation implies:

1) conveying it into the text of the source language;

2) its detection and the identification of an established, sometimes traditional, form, if the name is already familiar to native speakers.

If it is established that the name occurs for the first time, that there is no established transcription, then when creating a translation one should:

a) know the rules of transcription;

b) be able, in an exceptional way, to somewhat deviate from them in case of “uncomfortable” names (unprintable in the source language, ridiculous, from the point of view of the native speakers);

3) take into account the color, i.e. nationality of the referent.

As a rule, the barriers of a national color are the proper names, and in particular anthroponyms — names (and patronymics), surnames of people and, above all, personal names.

When translating toponyms (geographical names) in the text of the source language one should take into account the presence of traditional toponyms (names of more widely known geographical objects) which are, in essence, part of its vocabulary. From the point of view of translation, it is important to know that these names don’t need to be transcribed, they should be found in the available geographical directories.

With regard to the names of streets, squares, quarters and other details of settlements, which are so-called microtoponyms: the names of natural physical and geographical objects, less often — the names created by humans, having a narrow sphere of use, according to Fedorov’s observations, the translation is most often applied.

Considering the proper name in the literary text, S. Vlakhov and S.Florin represent their own classification, developed on the basis of names division according to V. S. Vinogradov and A. V. Superanskaya:

‒ natural names;

‒ fictional names, in their turn divided into

a) used along with natural;

b) “bookish”

‒ having a neutral internal shape;

‒ possessing an evaluative function, i.e. in one way or another characterizing the object.

From the point of view of translatability, in the opinion of the aforementioned authors, the proper names can be divided into:

1) mainly denoting ones, as a rule, semantically empty,

2) predominantly denoting, in which the internal form and emotional-evaluative value is sort of prevailing,

3) gravitating toward one of the first two groups, depending on the context,

4) the combining qualities of the first two groups, i.e. generating wordplays.

It should be noted that the third group includes both nominative and “speaking” proper names, the conveying method of which, either translation, replacement, or transcription, depends entirely on the context. The distinctive feature of the “speaking” name is its internal form (i.e. the presence of qualities of the nominal name), allusiveness (i.e. the ability to bring the reader’s thought to the desired objects) and/or a peculiar phonetic form.

Transcription does not allow transferring the internal form of the name, therefore, does not convey the author’s intention. For this reason, most meaningful names are subject to reproduction.

In order to create colorful images, writers often use nicknames. The inner form of the nickname prevails over the outside, pointing to the remarkable features of the character, appearance, activity of its bearer.

From anthroponyms, names are usually transcribed, and nicknames are translated.

As a means of artistic representation, the “natural” proper name is used as a metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, comparison, paraphrase.

To the number of “symbol” names one should include the names of popular mythical, historical, biblical, fairy-tale characters, characters of well-known books and films, among which there are many names with passing popularity. Unlike most “speaking” names, they are usually transcribed, but in each case the translator must take into account the “familiarity” of the name.

Translation of appeal.

Among the appeals — the words or combinations of words used for naming persons and objects to which the speech is addressed, there is a significant number of both actual realities (units — the bearers of the national color) and false realities, elements that do not possess color in the original language.

Depending on their use, appeals can be grouped into the following groups:

‒ appeals of ordinary courtesy;

‒ appeals depending on the social status;

‒ appeals depending on related and other close relations;

‒ appeals depending on the emotionally expressive content;

‒ usual turns;

‒ hails, cries, shouts, appeals toward animals [4, p. 298].

When translating appeals, one usually resorts to such methods as:

‒ transcription,

‒ functional equivalent,

‒ a functional analogue,

‒ zero translation.

So, depending on the context, polite appeals are either transcribed, if they contain a bright national color, or are translated with the help of equivalents.


  1. Ахманова О. С., Словарь лингвистических терминов, 2-е изд.— Москва, Советская энциклопедия, 1966.— 608c
  2. Виноградов В. С., Введение в переводоведение (общие и лексические вопросы). — М.: Изд. института общего среднего образования РАО, 2001.
  3. Подольская Н. В. Словарь русской ономастической терминологии. — М., 1978.
  4. Влахов С., Флорин С. Непереводимое в переводе. — М.: Высшая школа, 1986.
  5. Латышев Л. К. Перевод: Проблемы теории, практики и методики. М.: Просвещение, 1988.

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