Тranslation (стр. 2 из 2)

It is clearly seen when such close in meaning word like хайдутин and клефт are compared. Both of them mean peasant-partisans who fought against Turkish ruling; both of them mainly attacked local Turkish feudalists and representatives of Turkish Administration, and also their landowners who called them “thieves” or “bandits”; both of them acted in the same historical epoch (the time of Osman Dominion on the Balkans). These dates about клефт are related with хайдутин; the only difference is that хайдутин is Bulgarian and клефт is Greek. But it is enough to be impossible to translate хайдутин as клефт.

Connotations and coloring are part of meaning that means they can be translated equal with semantic content of a word. If a translator managed to convey only a semantic lexical unit the translated text lost its coloring for the reader.

But there are cases when connotation of a realia dies down, erasures. Such erasure logically leads to the turning of realia into common, uncolored word.

To distinguish this phenomenon from loss of coloring in a translation we use a term “erasure” of coloring or connotation (erased reality).

Some exotic words can be adopted by language and lose their exotic character.

To lose its status realia must lose quality that differs it from a common word, that is loss of coloring. Here are some examples.

1. It will take much time to turn proper realia such as Russian пирожок into national uncolored, neutral word entered in the kitchens and languages of many countries and to make people forget its strange origin.

Related to a strange realia it will also take much time to adopt it into a language. It can turn into usual borrowing in the result of intensive usage of this object in private life depriving it both original national coloring and a kind of alliance.

It seems that international and regional realias are to lose their status of realia at first owing to their wide-spreadness. Many international realias go around the world without losing their national originality. For example, the names of money. There is another case with regional realias. Their national coloring is almost equal to national but it is limited by its regional belonging. For example, “the eastern coloring” is close to Syrian, Turkish and Egyptian etc. All above-mentioned regarding to proper realias is equal for national and regional realias.

2. These are the general considerations about coloring erasure or color keeping that depends on peoples and countries. But there are positions where color erasure depends on proper realia and its function in speech.

Often the realias can have an extended meaning in the context.

3. Sometimes a realia can be used in a text not in the direct but in the figurative meaning. For example щербет can be used in Bulgarian language as an adjective in the meaning of something oversweet and it is almost similar with Russian сироп.

In general we may say about realia using in the figurative meaning in all cases of their usage as tropes, metaphor and comparison. When an author says about mushroom’s cap “about two kopecks size” he does not mean a kopeck as a kind of money but only its two signs: its size and its round form, so the kopeck here has only word cover.

For example, when an author describes land that is flat like a pan-cake he takes only one characteristics of a pan-cake: its flatness and plane and Russian reader even does not think about pan-cake as a food but it is only an image that author promoted with the help of trope.

The same with “stone jungles” and “cowboys of cold war” etc.

Some adjectives derived from mentioned realias can be literary comparisons and metaphors. Using such words as богатырский, стопудовый, аршинный, саженный at first we look at their figurative meaning, certain signs but not on their sign as a realia: for example, пудовый means very heavy, грошовый means very unimportant, cheap.

4. Among these examples there were phraseological units and set expressions as well, where realias lose their status more often than in the mentioned cases.

In these four cases realias are to lose their coloring that is the status of ralia is to turn into common language unit. However, if we look more attentively we shall see that a total erasure is not possible. If it happens it will be an exception.

For example, macaroni (international realia) and tyubeteyka (regional realia). Macaroni, also spaghetti entered in the languages by way of transcription. These words appeared in the languages having kept the meaning of national Italian dish. The best example is Italian scornful nickname baked macaroni pudding. Tyubeteyka also did not lose its oriental coloring in spite of its wide-spreadness in the USSR and even on Gorky’s and Kuprin’s heads reminds East.

One should take into account all above-mentioned choosing a translation style in these cases.

The transcription is usual way of translation of such words. Ruble, macaroni, tyubeteyka keep their form after translation.

Another case when realia is wrong used or when it is a part of phraseologism. Right translation is stipulated with finding the most concordant and equivalent words that is usually deprived of coloring in the translation as a usual lexical unit. For example, вершок in Goncharov’s story is translated into the English language as a miserable part. Дюйм translated from English inch is a realia but it also may have an extended meaning.

Realia preservation in trope function (comparison, juxtaposition, metaphor etc.) could mean the volume definition of one thing unknown by author. If, for example, an English faces with two kopecks coin with the help of that we define a size of mushroom cap in Russian translation he would never know the mushroom size. Here a realia almost totally lost its natural coloring: in one language a reader almost does not understand its meaning, seeing only the given quality indicator. Transcription is possible in two languages only as an exception, for example, international realia that indicator is known in both languages. But it is easier to translate a realia as a neutral function equivalent because in the original text realia is used without connotative meaning.

But even in the third and fourth positions realia is kept. For example, translating comparison we usually substitute a strange realia for ours: it is not always convenient to use such phrases as какблин. The same is with a realia that forms phraseologism.

In conclusion one should notice that translating a realia in one or another means it is wanted to lose a trope and accordingly phraseologism. Trope should be transferred by tropes, phraseologism by phraseologism; only “fulling” will differ from origin one.

5. There are many cases of realia translation in the comparison when the realia not only loses its coloring but also receives excessive connotation and they are wide-spread. An author compares the contents of strange realia with his own realia. And in a translation one notion is happened to be denoted with the two realias: internal and external. What should a translator do to convey the content of realia without coloring losing?

There are some theoretical variants.

At first a translator should transcribe each separate realia. For example, we can face with such translation from the Czech language: “In the evening a young teacher couple … invited us for barbecue. It reminded us our evening by the camp fire where we did not do shpekachkis.” These two words: barbecue and shpekachkis are explanations of one unknown word by another.

At second place a translator can substitute an internal realia for his proper realia. For example, he should substitute shpekachkis - for a regional realia – Caucasus shashlik. As a result a reader would be able to get more clear notion about Australian dish (barbecue is a Haitian word that was taken by the English language from Spanish and then was borrowed by Australian). But a reader would be astonished hearing from Czech about “evenings with shashlik”. Theoretically this variant is more vicious because it leads to mixture of different realias that belong to different nations.

The third possibility is to refuse transcription of both realias and to convey their contents with the help of descriptive translation that approximately can sound so: “… in the evening we were invited for a picnic that reminded us our evenings by a camp fire and we ate meat grilled on a spit.” But this translation deprives the text of Australian coloring.

And, at last, the fourth variant consists in transcription of external realia and conveying internal realia with its functional equivalent. And we shall have the next sentence: “In the evening … a young teacher pair invited us for barbecue. It reminded us our evenings by camp fire when we ate meat grilled on a spit.”

The last variant is considered to be more successful because the translation is true and the translator managed to keep coloring having transcribed main realia.

In Margaret Aliger’s notes “Chilean summer” we face with more difficult case: “… it is possible to eat here, one woman bakes pies – empanados. Empanados is something similar with chebureks, they are very hot, tasty and big.” Here we have three realias: the main external Spanish - empanados that is explained as Russian national pies and one regional Caucasus – chebureks. In the translation one should keep the main realia because it stands in the center of the author’s attention and other realias should be substituted for neutral.

Analogisms and anachronisms.

Let’s suggest that a translator working at a novel about Indian life decides to use only means of his own language, without admitting strange realias and he substitutes pagoda for temple, sari for dress or national suit, akhoby he substitutes for man-launder, etc. As a result of such national coloring extermination specific Indian features of the novel will vanish: it will be possible to consider any place as a place of act or this place is neutral, uncolored, nameless country. This method leads to coloring losing that spoils very much any translation. The mark of this translation is bad.

But it is worse when a translator substitutes origin realias for realias from his own language. Doing it he also substitutes coloring of the translated work for a strange coloring. If we wear a Kazak in Bulgarian aba or anteria, tsarvulis, iamurluk, if we make him drink a wine from buklista and to eat banitsa, a reader will recognize a Sofian shope but not a Kazak.

And it will be the worst translation when a translator conveys original means of motley words of different coloring and when a mixture of realias takes place. For example, translated into Russia novel For Freedom by St. Dichev. A redactor substitutes Bulgarian, Turkish, Greek and other realias for regional and national realias of Soviet Union. Historical realias he substitutes for modern words. Therefore Bulgarian gadulka was turned into Ukraine bandura, gamurluk was turned into Caucasus burka, pastarma was described as dried meat and Bulgarian banitsa was conveyed as Russian pie. Several historical notions closely tied up with Bulgarian culture have totally lost their national content. As a result of such vicious attitude to the realias translation a reader gets unclear, contradictory notions about described reality; the novel loses its cognitive meaning and bright national coloring and considerable part of its literary merits. Here we speak about distortion of original images in the result of substitution of national and historical realias for not characteristic to it realias, in other words, about leading to analogisms and anachronisms in a text. Analogisms and anachronisms are realias that do not correspond to local and time surrounding of origin text.

For example, we face with the word guillotine in the Bulgarian translation of Sheakspear’s work: “Essex slowly mounted the guillotine.” The mistake is not very grave from temporal point of view. There already existed the machine for execution in XVI – XVII centuries in Italy and Scotland and also in France where Duke de Monmorancy was beheaded with the help of such machine. The mistake is that famous doctor Josef Ignak Giyoten invented his machine that got his name only 200 years later. Here we see the translator’s history unknowing. Of course, the word scaffold should be used there. We can see it from the context: “ He slowly mounted…” One can never mount the guillotine but only scaffold.

The reason of such mistakes regarding national and historical coloring is connected with author’s or translator’s personality, his unknowing of real facts and historical situation and sometimes their unknowing of some principal positions of theory translation, for example, about bad results of strange realia substitution for a realia from translator’s native language.


In 1827 Goethe wrote that translating labor was and remains one of the most important and worthy matters connecting the entire universe together. These words characterize translator as creative person who carries works beyond the limits of one national culture and who serves to people giving these fruits of this culture, created in new language form or vice versa, including achievements of other nations in his national science and culture. It is one of the evidences of the huge human role of translation in the history of human civilization.

Every national culture solving its problems carries its contribution in treasuring house of literature creating something that belongs only to it, has significance for all nations and proves that there are not small or big nations or inferior languages.

Extending of national culture confines with the help of translation has a great positive and enriching influence on the language. It is true that together with the translation many new ideas, discoveries, notions and so on penetrate in the language and it leads to the appearance of new language elements and figurative meanings. This fact is very important while translating from literary language that is not fully developed. Therefore the literary language enriches figurative possibilities, national culture, and spiritual development of this nation. Creative beginning of translation is premise of creative attitude to native language, its source of faith in its possibilities and beauty. Concerning this point the translator also has another task to defend his native speech from borrowings-parasites that clog and make it ugly, from strange forms that artificially could crowd out its own national coloring.

The task and mission of the translator especially the translator of feature literature is defense of the riches and beauty of the native language, its unlimited abilities to convey all that is kept in the greatest masterpieces of world literature.

Translated literature can also be the indicator of condition, degree of development of national language. Poetical translation of Shakespeare’s works by Boris Pasternak that are very rich, refined and expressive in language might not appear if Russian language of his time remained on the same level of development. In this case concrete condition of our national language at the times of B. Pasternak can be put as condition and factor of development of poetical and translating talent and vice versa Pasternak's works are great contribution in the development of Russian language.

The level of translated literature, the quality of translation also assists to the development of national beginning in the literature of nation.

"National beginning of literature, - I. R. Beher wrote, - is defined with the fact of preservation, proceeding and creative development of other literatures. The choice of elements that adopt it from literature of other nations shows its own character and is judged if its indeed national originality no."

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Бархударов Л. С. Язык и перевод. М., 1975.

Комиссаров В. Н. Теория перевода. М., "Высшая школа", 1990.

Фёдоров А. В. Основы общей теории перевода. – М., 1983.

Швейцер А.Д. Теория перевода. – М., 1988.

Латышев Л.К. Курс перевода (эквивалентность перевода и способы её достижения). – М., 1981.