Part 3: Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt
Certainly the most difficult may be the
When translated the woman’s question word-for-word as “Він вам напевне страшенно вдячний?” and the host’s answer as “Сподіваюся – ні,” the sense of the utterances would be completely perverted, i.e., wrong. This is because the woman made her emphasis on the adverb “terribly” (grateful).
Consequently, the Ukrainian equivalent must be “Він має бути вам страшенно-таки вдячним, правда ж?” The host’s answer “I hope not” as a reaction to the emphatically stressed adverb must not be translated word-for-word either as “Сподіваюсь, ні” but as “Думаю, нема за що (бути аж страшенно) вдячним”. This answer called forth the protesting reaction of the woman character who did not quite agree with the host by saying “I think it’s really terribly nice – I do”, which corresponds to the Ukrainian “А я вважаю, що все справді страшенно гарно… Певна/переконана на всі сто (відсотків)”. The concluding sentence, as had been said already, is merely an empty phrase, often used by the woman to substantiate her assuredness.
Block 10 of the woman’s utterances contains some sense units which should be analyzed semantically and stylistically with the aim of finding faithful Ukrainian versions for them. These utterances and word-groups are: 1. “Why on earth it isn’t perfectly all right” чому це в біса погано/що в тому в біса/чорта поганого, щоб знайомитися з кольоровим. Here even a broader transformation is possible: хто щось може мати проти/заперечити проти знайомства з кольоровим; 2. I haven’t any feeling about it at all – у мене взагалі немає нічого проти цього or: у мене немає жодних упереджень проти цього, or even: я це вважаю нормальним. It goes without saying that only one of these synonymous versions is to be used. No less interesting from the structural/stylistic and semantic points of view are other utterances that follow.
For example, utterance 11: “Did he come to-night?” which may have some faithful realizations: 1. “А він прийшов сьогодні?” 2. “А він тут/теж із вами?” 3. “А він теж на вечорі?” Any of these variants may be taken as a faithful Ukrainian version for this sentence, though not all of the woman’s cunning contemplations are quite easy to render fully and accurately into Ukrainian, as in case of “There’s no telling what I’ll do.” Only a thorough analysis of the whole story helps comprehend what the woman character meant by saying so. It becomes clear from the deeper analysis of the text, what she wanted to say by that (she was eager to shake hands with the coloured singer).
The Ukrainian variants of this utterance, consequently, may be only the following:
1. “Ти і не здогадуєшся/і гадки не маєш, що я надумалася зробити”;
2. “Ти і гадки не маєш, на який крок я зважилася”;
3. “Ти собі навіть не уявляєш, що я сьогодні втну”;
4. Ти навіть додуматися не здатний, на який неймовірний крок я наважилася сьогодні піти”. Needless to emphasize, that any of these versions may well fit in the , though only one and no more can be used.
Some colloquial style utterances of the woman character may cause even difficulty for the translator, as it is with one utterance in block 12, where it contains a somewhat obscure/not quite transparent lexical meaning of the verb “move”. Cf.: “Не was so tired out, he couldn’t move.” A thorough semantic analysis of the context proves that the verb’s semantics was not in any way connected with the state of Burton’s physical ability. What the verb “move” really means in this context is that Burton did not react\n any way to what his wife said to him after having decided to make a very courageous (in her judgement) “step”, i.e., shake hands with the well-known coloured singer, whom she, as a half-racist, in reality, despises. Hence, taking into consideration the lingual and extralingual factors, the only correct/faithfulof the utterance and its tag question (“Isn’t it a shame?”) should have the following Ukrainian version: “Він був такий стомлений, що навіть не (від)реагував на мої слова.” The tag-question may have respectively one of the following three versions: 1. “Сором та й годі, чи не так?” or 2. “Аж сором, може ні/не так?” ог З. “Просто ганьба, скажете – ні?”
Neither can there be only one single solution to the possible translation of the host’s laconic and clearly evasive answer “Ah” (sentence 13) to the above-cited tag-question. His “Ah” may be interpreted as a neutral answer, not sympathising with the judgement of the woman. Consequently, the Ukrainian variants of it may be simply “A…” or “гм”, “хм”, etc. It is clear from the context, that the host did not support but sooner rejected that woman’s “accusation” of her husband’s lack of attention.
The fourteenth block of utterances, which is a regular long monologue of the woman character contains some interesting ways of expression, emphatic colloquial phrases and structures worth a more or less thorough analysis as well. Among them is already the first sentence emphatically uttered by the woman: “Wait till I tell him I met Walter Williams!”, which contains wishful modality and is to be expressed with the help of some Ukrainian modal particles. The most fitting in this utterance will be хай/нехай-но: “Чекайте-но, хай я скажу йому, що познайомилася з Волтером Вільямсом!” or “Чекайте, хай-но я скажу йому…”
The following utterance ‘He’ll just about die” presents no difficulty for translators due to its transient meaning, which enables to suggest some equivalent versions in Ukrainian: 1. “Він упаде на місці”; 2. “Він цього не переживе”; .3. “Він просто лусне (від сміху)”. All these three variants are synonymous and fit well in the context. Consequently, each of them may be used in Ukrainian. The next utterance (“Oh, we have more arguments about colored реоріе”) contains a grammatical and logical error in the use of the indefinite pronoun/adjective more instead of many repeatedly testifying to the woman’s low (if any) education and her very low cultural level.