Part 2: Objectively required and subjectively introduced/contextual transformations of language units
Often occurring among various translators’ transformations are also omissions, which may be of two types: a) objectively required, i.e., inevitable and b) casual or subjectively introduced. The former are conditioned by the grammar phenomena which are not available in the target language. Thus, objectively omitted are auxiliary verbs, determining articles or pronouns (cf. he has his hands in hjs pockets він тримає руки в кишенях), individual barbarisms, as in the sentence below:
“Oh, I like them. I really do.” (D.Parker)
“О, вони подобаються мені. Справді.“
“Goodness, I’m so crazy about music and everything. I don’t care what colour he is.” (Ibid.)
“Боже мій, я у такій нестямі від музики, що мені байдуже, якого він (артист) кольору.”
Here the sentence “I really do.” is reduced to one-word sentence “Справді.” The word “everything” in the second sentence is a barbarism of a character in the story, which the translator found obsolete, of no need to transplant it to the Ukrainian translation of this sentence.
Very often, however, a sense unit may be omitted in the language of translation for stylistic reasons, when it is necessary, for example, to avoid a repeated use of the same sense unit in adjacent sentences, as in the following sentence:
She turned aghast towards the bed. (Salinger)
Вона з жахом/приголомшена обернулась.
Since the noun bed was already mentioned in,the preceding sentence of the passage, the translator found it necessary to omit it in the Ukrainian version, which could not be made, naturally, if the sentence were singled out (separated) from the text and translated as a separate language unit.
Casual subjective omissions of this kind usually do not change the general content of the sentence/passage, though they may alter to some extent the author’s emphasis made in the sentence of the source language, as can be seen in the following translation:
I was learning fast, but I learned not fast enough to realize then the peril of our position. (London)
Я навчалася швидко, але не настільки швидко, щоб усвідомити, яка над нами нависла загроза.
The omitted adverbial modifier then in the Ukrainian translation changes the temporal emphasis of the author in his original version of the sentence where he pointed out the time (“then”) of “the реril”.
A somewhat similar (and also deliberate) omission of the adverbial modifier, though for the sake of achieving faithfulness, can be observed in the Ukrainian sentence below:
Tamales are very good when the air grows chilly at night. (Ibid)
Тамали (товчена кукурудза з м’ясом) – дуже добра річ, надто (…) коли ночі бувають холодні.
The translator (O.Senyuk) found the specifying adverbial modifier at night not explicatory enough for the Ukrainian reader or stylistically aggravating for the structure of the target language sentence. This way of economizing the lexical means on account of the original content could not, naturally, be justified, as the content of the Ukrainian version would be simplified. To avoid it, the translator employed an extension (коли бувають холодні ночі). Hence, the deliberate omission of the part of the sentence (at night) was made for the sake of achieving a more exhaustive faithful rendering of this English sentence. Reduction is often employed for stylistic reasons, especially in translations of belles-letters texts, when there exists an incompatibility between the structural forms of the syntactic units of the source language and their semantic and structural equivalents in the target language. The forms of reduction depend on the peculiarity of the under translation, on the means of expression or units to be reduced, and sometimes on the aims pursued by the reduction . The most often occurring reductions are the following:
1) Changing of an extended word-group into a simpler sense unit (reduction or contraction):
She gave him a little smile and took his hand. (Maugham)
Вона грайливо усміхнулась і взяла його за руку.
The objective verbal word-group “gave him a little smile” may also be transformed in Ukrainian into other word-groups: 1) (вона) окинула його грайливою усмішкою 2) (вона) подарувала йому грайливу усмішку. Each of these two variants, naturally, would be quite acceptable, but the translator avoided them as stylistically and semantically less fitting in this particular sentence.
Shortening of syntactic units in the target language is often conditioned by the stylistic aim of individualizing the speech of some literary character as in the sentences below:
“What politics have уои?” I asked. “I am without politics.” he said. (Hemingway)
“Ви за кого?” – запитав я. “Я ні за кого.” – відповів старий чоловік.
Instead of the direct translation of the underlined English sentences “Яких політичних поглядів ви дотримуєтесь” and “Я ніяких політичних поглядів не дотримуюсь” the translator used a more natural for the old and seemingly uneducated shepherd, a shortened and an elliptical sentence characteristic of colloquial Ukrainian :”Ви за кого?” and logically natural “Я ні за кого”.
2) Transformation of an English complex sentence into a simple one in the target language because of the structural incompatibility of the former in the Ukrainian language:
“That’s what I say.” she said. “That’s the way I feel.” she said. (D.Parker)
“Оце така моя думка.” – сказала вона. “Отак я ставлюсь до цього“, – підсумувала вона.