Language units and levels of their faithful translation

Language units and levels of their faithful translation

The theoretical principles of faithful translation and their realiza­tion through various devices of the target language testify to the fact that referential meanings of many language units can be equivalently expressed via the same level units of the target language. For ex­ample, the proper names of people and most of geographical names, like the international words can be faithfully translated at the level of words. The phraseological/idiomatic expressions and the bulk of words expressing specific nationally biased units of lexicon are mostly trans­lated at the level of words-combinations/phrases and sentences. Though sometimes the lexical meaning of an idiom or a unit of specific na­tional lexicon can be faithfully turned into the target language with the help of a single word as well (when international).

In other words, a considerable number of simple lexemes and word combinations, stable and idiomatic expressions can be faithfully translated when they are taken isolated, viz. at language level. Thus, the meaning of most pronouns and numerals remains unchanged whether they are used in context or taken as separate words at lan­guage level Cf.: three три, fifteen п’ятнадцять, fifty п’ятдесят, fifth/ sixth п’ятий/ шостий, one-third одна третя, zero point nine нуль цілих дев’ять десятих; І я, he він, she вона, nobody ніхто, etc.

Similarly with many nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and func­tion words which are monosemantic both in the source language and in the target language: the sky небо, the moon місяць, geese /swans гуси/ лебеді, lake озеро, the island острів, political політичний, black чорний, white білий, bathe купатися, sing співати, sleep спати, here тут, often часто, firstly по-перше, among серед/споміж, under під, or чи, that (conjunction) що; hallo! anno, ah ax, oh ox, even навіть, yet однак, etc.

A bulk of words belonging to the above-mentioned logico-grammatical classes of words may also have two or more semantically identical referents, i.e., synonymous meanings. The latter are often stylistically marked and should possibly be distinguished in the text under translation as well. Among these may be even such seemingly simple words as the English because бо, тому що, через те що; courage сміливість, відвага; dad/daddy тато, татунь/татусь; drake селезень/ качур; everywhere повсюди, скрізь or Ukrainian: дитя baby/kid/child; осел ass, donkey; тьху! phew, pie, pshaw, pooh!; чиж/ик greenfinch, siskin. These words have one referent similarly to many different terms which are translated both at word level and at word-group/sentence level. E.g.: sprint спринт, біг на короткі дистанції; steeple-chase біг з перешкодами; service first stroke (ten­nis) удар, яким уводиться м’яч у гру.

A faithful conveying of a referential meaning at word level may often depend upon some extralingual factors as well. Thus, depend­ing on the readers/listeners addressed, the translator/interpreter should use correspondingly either British or American lexical variants: lorry вантажна машина (Br. Engl.), truck (Amer. Engl.), tin консервна банка (Br. Engl.), can (Amer. English), timetable розклад (Br. Engl.), schedule (Amer. Engl.), sweets цукерки (Br. Engl.), candies (Amer. Engl.), bathroom ванна (Br. Engl.), туалет (Amer. English), maize кукурудза (Br. Engl.), corn (Am. Engl.), cloak-room роздягальня (Br. Engl.), coat-room (Amer. English), etc.

Regional peculiarities of the kind must be taken into consider­ation in order to achieve the necessary national orientation of a pur­poseful written or oral translation.

Most of compound English words having transparent componental semes are translated into Ukrainian either at the level of words (compounds) or at the level of word-combinations, the latter being formed from the componental parts which become separate words in Ukrainian: air-base авіабаза; but air-raid повітряний наліт; birthplace місце народження; cross-road перехрестя шляхів/доріг; steamship пароплав; tooth paste зубна паста; hour-hand годинникова стрілка.

The translation of compounds may sometimes look like de­scriptive though: breadthways у ширину/завширшки; longwise у довжину/завдовжки; southward на південь/у південному напрямку; tenfold десятиразовий; thousandfold у тисячу разів; westward спрямований на захід/у західному напрямку.

A similar approach is often made when translating many Ukrai­nian structural and semantic compounds into English: восьмина the eighth part of smth.; вузькоколійка the narrow-gauge railway; третина, the third part of smth./one-third of smth.; сімсотріччя the seven-hundredth anniversary.

Since the number of notions in any language does not coincide with the number of words expressing them, a word-level translation can not always provide a faithful rendering of any single word meaning. Thence, a large number of the source language words are to be translated into the target language by means of word-combinations or even sentences: hi-jack силою змушувати пілотів міняти курс літака з корисливою метою; abound бути багатим на щось; agape роззявивши рота (від здивування); armistice коротке перемир’я /припинення воєнних дій; asyndeton пропуск сполучників; aurist спеціаліст із захворювань вуха; banting лікування ожиріння дієтою; briber той, хто дає хабарі; casualize переводити на тимчасову роботу; didacti­cism схильність до повчань.

Part 2: Language units and levels of their faithful translation