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Сохранение национальной окраски при переводе художественных произведений

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 как блин. 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."


1.                Влахов С., Флорин С.  Непереводимое в переводе.    Реалии.  "Министерство Перевода". Сборник статей. 1969. М., "Советский писатель", 1970.

2.                Лилова А.  Введение в общую теорию перевода. "Высшая школа" М., 1985.

3.                Бархударов Я. С., Рецкер Я. И.  Курс лекций по теории перевода. М., Изд-во I МГПИПЯ, 1968.

4.                Комиссаров В. Н. Слово о переводе. М., "Международные отношнния". 1973.

5.                Комиссаров В., Рецкер Я.,  Тархов В. Пособие по переводу с английского языка на русский. Часть I М., Изд-во литературы на иностранных языках, 1960; Часть II М., "Высшая школа", 1965.

6.                Левицкая Т.Р., Фитермян А. М. Пособие по переводу с английского языка на русский. М., "Высшая школа", 1973.

7.                Толстой С.С, Основы перевода английского языка на русский, М., 2957.

8.                Фёдоров А.В. Русские писатели и проблемы перевода. Л., 1960.

9.                Левик В. "Мастерство перевода", М., 1959.

10.           Гачечиладзе Т.  Художественный перевод и литературные взаимосвязи. М., "Советский писатель", 1972.

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

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

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

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

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





















In the appendix the author of this course paper analyses the preservation of national coloring in the English novel written by Jane Austen Price and Prejudice translated into Russian and stories Chameleon and Yonich written by Anton Chekhov translaten into English. These both books are not the best example swhere the national colorin gexists. But it is possible to judge about the preservation of national coloring even basing on these books.

The preservation of English national coloring will be given at first.

1.                ‘He came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it that he agreed with Mr Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week.’

В понедельник он приезжал туда в карете, запряжённой четвёркой лошадей, осмотрел поместье и пришёл в такой восторг, что тут же условился обо всём с мистером Моррисом. Он приезжает к михайлову дню, и уже в конце будущей недели туда приедет кое-кто из его прислуги.

Here the English word Michaelmas means 29 September the feast of St. Michael and corresponds to “михайлов день” in Russian with only one difference that “михайлов день” is celebrated later in Russia because of difference in the calendars.  It is possible to say that the national coloring is preserved because in English and Russian text there was not said the date but the name of the feast.

2.                The ladies were somewhat more fortunate, for they had the                                                                                                                                                                              advantage of ascertaining from an upper window, that he wore a blue coat and rode a black horse.


 Дамы были несколько удачливей его: им         посчастливилось увидеть из верхнего окна, что на нём был синий сюртук и что он приехал на вороной лошади.

Here the English word coat means outer garment with sleeves, buttoned in the front and corresponds to the Russian word сюртук that is also outer garment with sleeves, buttoned in the front and in Russian it has long laps. It is possible for the Russian reader to imagine what kind of garment Mr. Bingley wore.

3.            Sir William Lucas had been formerly in trade in Meryton, where he had made a tolerable fortune and risen to the honor of knighthood by an address to the King , during his mayoralty.

         Сэр Уильям Лукас ранее занимался торговлей в Меритоне, где приобрёл некоторое состояние, а также титул баронета, благодаря специальному обращению к королю, когда он был мэром там.

          Here the English word mayoralty preserved its meaning and even form in the Russian translation. In the Russian language the word мэр does not exist that is why the translator used this word. But the author of this course paper considers that the Russian word мэр should be explained in Russian translation because only a few people of 19-th century could know the exact meaning of the word мэр.

4.      I flatter myself that my   present overtures of good will are   highly

  Commendable, and  that  the  circumstance  of  my  being  next in the

entail of Longborn estate, will be kindly overlooked on your side, and

         not lead you to reject the offered olive branch.

По этой причине я льщу себя надеждой, что вы благожелательно отнесётесь к моему настоящему изъявлению доброй воли и не отвергнете протянутую мной оливковую ветвь.

Here the phrase olive branch in English corresponds to Russian phrase оливковая ветвь because in both languages this phrase means the symbol of peace.

5.     ‘Pray, my dear aunt, what is the difference in matrimonial                     

affairs, between the mercenary and the prudent motive?’

-         Но, тётя, разве можно в матримониальных делах найти точную грань между расчётливостью и благоразумием?

 Here the English phrase matrimonial affairs fully correspond to the Russian phrase матримониальные дела because the word matrimonial has Latin origin. Therefore it is possible to say about preservation of coloring in spite of its Latin origin.

6.            It was two ladies stopping in a low phaeton at the garden                       gate.

 Они увидели двух дам, сидевших в низеньком фаэтоне,           который остановился у садовой калитки.


Here the English word phaeton corresponds to the Russian word фаэтон in the meaning and form as well. In English and Russian phaeton means a vessel for noble people.

Now the author of this course paper would like to analyze the non-preservation of national coloring.

1.       Sir William Lucas had been formerly in trade in Meryton, where he had made a tolerable fortune and risen to the honor of knighthood by an address to the King , during his mayoralty.

         Сэр Уильям Лукас ранее занимался торговлей в Меритоне, где приобрёл некоторое состояние, а также титул баронета, благодаря специальному обращению к королю.

         Here the honor of knighthood was translated into Russian as титул баронета. The translator managed to reveal for Russian reader what the honor of knighthood meant but the national coloring of the phrase was erasured.

2.     ‘Yes; these four evenings have enabled them to ascertain that   they both like Ving-un better than Commerce.

-Да, эти четыре вечера позволили им установить, что оба они игру в «двадцать одно» предпочитают игре в покер.

 3.     Then, turning to Mr Bennet, he offered himself as his antagonist at backgammon.

  И, повернувшись к мистеру Беннету, он предложил ему сыграть партию в триктрак.

         Here the national coloring of English games does not

         preserved because in the Russian translation  they are only

         substituted for their Russian equivalents.

4.      About a month ago I received this letter.

         Около месяца назад  я получил вот эту эпистолу.

         Here the English word letter has not national coloring but in

         the Russian translation it has historical coloring that is used   

          to convey the formality of this  letter.

Now the author of this course paper would like to analyze the preservation of national coloring of Russian book by Anton Chechov translated into English. Here two of his stories Chameleon and Yonich are analyzed.

The author of this course paper took some examples to show   where the national coloring is preserved and where it is not preserved. At first you will see the examples where the national coloring is preserved.

1.                Очумелов пересёк базарную площадь.


         Ochumelov crossed the market-place.

2.                В этом человеке он узнал Хрюкина.


          He recognized in this individual Khryukin.

 Here the Russian surnames Ochumelov and Khryukin preserved their national coloring owing to footnotes in the English translation.

3.                Доктор Старцев был назначен земским врачом.


         Doctor Startsev was appointed Zemstvo medical officer.

 Here the Russian word земский врач preserved its national coloring but the author of this course paper thinks that the translator should add a footnote with the explanation of this word.

4.                Зато он охотно играл в винт.

But he played vint.

Here the national Russian game preserved its national coloring in the translation.

Now the author of this course paper analyses the non-preservation of national coloring.

1.                   За ним шагает городовой с решетом.

After him constable carried a sieve.

Here the Russian rank городовой does not preserve its national coloring in the English translation because городовой  is lower rank in the city police in tsarist Russia and English constable is only a policemen.

2.                   Я ему покажу Кузькину мать!

I’ll show him what’s what!

Here the non-preservation of Russian coloring is clearly seen. The phrase показать Кузькину мать is very often used in the Russian language even now.

3.                   Сердиться, шельма

The little rascal’s angry.

Here the Russian word шельма is translated as little rascal. Шельма in Russian means rascal but in English even using word little the coloring is not completely conveyed because here Chekhov uses this word to show Ochumelov’s tenderness towards this dog and he does not offence it.

4.                   Он цигаркой ей в харю…

He burned the end of his nose with lifted cigarette.

Here the Russian word цигарка is translated into English as lifted cigarette. Yes, цигарка is lifted cigarette but in the English translation the Russian historical and national coloring of this word is lost because now, for example, the word цигарка is not used any more but it is quite understandable for Russoan reader.

5.                   Цуцик этакий!

What a pup!

Pup in English is only a small little dog but in Russian цуцик besides these meaning also has a meaning of a person who feels cold and is affreid. So it is clearly seen that the national coloring was not preserved.

6.                   В губернском городе.

In a town.

Here is clearly seen the absence of the word губернский so the national coloring is not preserved and the author of this course paper thinks that the translator should explain the meaning of the word.

7.                   С полверсты он прошёл пешком.

The last part he went on foot.

 Here the Russian   measure of length верста is not translated at all. The author of this course paper thinks that the translator should use this word in the English translation and give its meaning in the footnote.

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