Part 2: Transformations of lexical units in the process of translation

Part 2: Transformations of lexical units in the process of translation

Part 1: Transformations of lexical units in the process of translation

Diminutive and evaluative poetic and endearing (ласкаві) mean­ings of most other English nouns, unlike their Ukrainian equivalents, can be expressed (and identified) only or mostly in the form of word-groups, which convey these connotative meanigs:

small little fingers / dear little fin­gers – пальчики, пальчички, пальчинятка

sweet/dear little flowers – гарні / гарненькі / любі квіточки / квітоньки

little star (Cf. Twinkle, twinkle little star)(poet.) – зірочка/зіронька

sweet little lips, lovely little lips (poet, colloq.) – вустонька, губи, губоньки, губки, губенята/губенятка

sweet little girl, dear sweetheart – серденько (любка), любонька

No less, if not more, extensive is the use of the diminutive ad­jectives in Ukrainian which have no semantic and morphological/struc­tural equivalents in English because of which they have to be trans­lated in a descriptive way, which can only partly express their subtle Ukrainian meanings. Cf. білесеньке личко a beautiful white little face, dear/lovely white little face; молоденький козаченько – a handsome and lovely youth, тоненькії брівоньки very beautiful thin little eye­brows, ясненький/яснесенький місяченько a very bright and lovely/ beautiful little moon/ dear beautiful little moon.

Diminutive and evaluative meanings of Ukrainian numerals and pronouns are expressed in English practically in the same way: двієчко/двійко гарненьких діточок two nice little children/two dear little kids, трієчка a miserable C mark/a miserable satisfactory mark; нічогісінько (там не робиться) absolutely/practically nothing is being done there.

No need to emphasize that a miserable satisfactory mark or absolutely nothing by far from completely express the diminutive and evaluative meanings of трієчка and нічогісінько.

Diminutive and evaluative meanings of Ukrainian adverbs and verbs can be explicitly and implicitly expressed, though only to some degree, in the same descriptive way too. Cf.: тихесенько вітер віє… (Г.Шевченко) the wind breathes very softly, сядьмо рядком та поговоримо ладком (proverb) let us sit side by side and have a lovely talk/chat together; спатки/спатоньки, спатуні, спатунечки to have a little (sweet) sleep; їсти/їстоньки to have a nice/tasteful little bite/ dinner, supper, etc.

Neither has the English language any morphological means to express explicitly the augmentative and evaluative meanings of Ukrai­nian lexemes (mostly nouns). As a result, they acquire in English an objectively predetermined form of explicit expression by means of word-groups or sentences. For example, the pejorative (mostly contemptu­ous) meanings of a number of Ukrainian augmentative nouns will have the following English outer form expression: вовчище a big formi­dable wolf/a (big) monster of a wolf; дубище a very thick and tall/ ramous oak-tree; здоровило a healthy/robust fellow, a regular/robust maypole; п’янюга a miserable heavy drunkard, a disgusting inebriate, a three-bottle man, etc.

3. The third class of lexical units, which mostly require a differ­ent explicit/outer form presentation in the target language are cultur­ally biased elements/specifically national notions. When in the form of words not belonging to regular internationalisms like lord, mister, shilling, etc. лорд, містер, шилінг, they are mostly transcribed or transliterated and shortly explicated in the target language. Cf.:

haggis (шотл.) геґґіс посічені й перемішані з вівсяним борошном та спеціями овечі потрохи, зварені в жирі в овечому кендюсі; muffin маффин, солодка здоба, випечена в чашкоподібній формі з прісного чи сходячого тіста (споживається гарячою); sheriff шериф, поліційний начальник округи (США); бабка babka cooked noodles mixed with egg, sugar and raisins, baked in a pot (in oven) and served fresh/warm; веснянки vesnyanky Ukrainian songs hailing the coming spring; вишиванка vyshyvanka an embroidered Ukrainian linen/silk shirt; плахта plakhta thick checkered cloth wrapped by Ukrainian girls and younger women around the waist over the shirt (as a kind of skirt). All above-given structural transformations of lexical units through translation exemplify the objectively conditioned ways of expression pertained to the English or Ukrainian language respec­tively. The subjectively employed transformations of lexical units in the process of translation are predetermined not so much by the ob­jective, i.e., national linguistic factors, than by the stylistic aims real­ized by the translator. These are employed to achieve the necessary evaluation or a higher degree of expressiveness.

Thus, to render the meaning of (my) dear love the translator, guided by the context, is free to choose on his own will one of the following Ukrainian semantic equivalents: люба, кохана, любка/любочка, серденько, дівчинонька, дівчина-рибчина, ясочка, зіронька, дружинонька. No less difficult may also be, for example, the choice of the most fitting in a Ukrainian context diminutive equivalent, say, for the adjective teeny (colloquially teeny-weeny) or its Scottish variant wee, which may have the follow­ing synonymous word equivalents in Ukrainian: малесенький, манюній, манюнький, манюсінький, манюпусінький, крихітний.