Part 5: Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt

Part 5: Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt

Part 1: Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt
Part 2: Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt
Part 3: Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt
Part 4: Lexico-Semantic and Structural Analysis of Language Units of the Excerpt

As could be ascertained, transformation through extension (cf. “Now те” “ось хоча б я, взяти хоча б мене”) is often the only way of adjusting the English peculiar expressions (and their expressive­ness) to literary colloquial Ukrainian. Transformations of any kind help avoid literalism (cf. “Now me” is not тепер мене, тепер я), which would be absolutely unacceptable in any literary translation. A word-for-word translation (without any transformations with the aim of “adjusting” the English language and its peculiar features to the Ukrai­nian literary standards) is therefore an obligatory means in the pro­cess of translation.

Because of this and due to the performed trans­formations, the utterance “I haven’t the slightest feeling about colored реоріе” also acquires a quite natural Ukrainian version (and sound­ing). When translated word-for-word, it would express an almost op­posite meaning: “Я зовсім не відчуваю/ я не маю найменших відчуттів до кольорових”. No need to emphasize that “відчуваю” (feel) does not in any way correspond to the real contextual implicit meaning of this verb, which can be seen from the following Ukrainian translation: “У мене немає ні/навіть найменшої відрази/зневаги до кольорових”.

Practically the same, as in the initial utterance of the excerpt, is the meaning of the adjective crazy in the sentence that follows the previous one: “Why, I’m just crazy about some of them”, which can have only the following realization in Ukrainian: “Ну я просто в нестямі від декого з них”, though “в нестямі” may equally be substituted in this utterance for the semantically equivalent prepositional phrase “y захопленні”. The essence of her “craziness”, however, is far from real or sincere, which can be seen from the following utterance: “They’re just like children – just as easy-going, and always singing and laughing, and everything”. This utterance is not easy to translate first of all because of the concluding pronoun “everything”, whose contextual meaning, naturally, is not “все” or “і все”, or even “і все таке інше”, but “собі”.

Only this pronominal particle semantically completes the authoress’ content of this utterance, which will then have the following wording in Ukrainian: “Ну, та вони ж просто як діти: такі безтурботні і завжди то співають, то сміються собі”. The introduction of different Ukrainian particles (ж, та, то, собі) helps fully express the inner/psychological state of the woman character and makes the whole utterance sound as natural and as convincing in Ukrainian, as it is in the source language.

The use of particles helps express optative and grammatical modality in the next utterance (“Aren’t they the happiest things you ever saw in your life?”), in which the noun “things” may become a lexico-semantic stumbling block. Its contextual meaning here is “істоти” or “створіння”. It is not easy to quickly choose the most suitable between these two practically equivalent lexically and stylis­tically variants. Taking into account the woman’s falsehood and her double-dealing, any of the two variants may well fit in the context.

Cf.: “Хіба ж вони не найщасливіші істоти/створіння, яких вам траплялося будь-коли бачити на світі?” or “То хіба ж вони не найщасливіші створіння, котрих вам траплялося будь-коли бачити на білім світі?” Both these variants, naturally, are fully in line with the philosophy and conduct of the woman character, so brilliantly depicted by the authoress in her story. The choice of the suggested substi­tutes in the utterance may be well justified by the woman’s conclud­ing sentence of the excerpt: “Honestly, it makes me laugh just to hear them”.

Here the adverb “honestly” can scarely be substituted for one Ukrainian adverb “чесно” only. The deep context requires some other substitutions for it, namely “справді”/ “таки справді”/ “геть і правда” and even “їй-богуЯй-же богу”. Neither can the verb laugh (“they make me laugh”) be translated in this excerpt as simply сміятися or still less as реготати. The deeper context prompts a quite different synonym, as the cunning woman considers the coloured people to be “like children”, who could entertain the grown-ups like her by their behavior.

This is the main reason why the Ukrainian equiva­lent сміятися can not be used and should be substituted for the only suitable in this utterance synonym тішити. For this reason the verb “hear” can not (and does not) mean “слухати”, but only “чути”. Hence, the only possible, i.e., faithful translations of this utterance may be as follows: “Слово честі, мене просто тішить, коли я чую їх or “Ій-богу, мене просто тішить, коли я їх чую.”

The final two utterances of block 16 present no great difficulty for translation with the exception of the concluding one: “I really do.”

Here one of the already employed above versions may be helpful (as in “Oh, I like them. I really do.”) “О, вони мені подобаються. Справді.”

It must therefore be repeatedly emphasized in conclusion that the right choice of an appropriate target language synonym for a source language sense unit is always predetermined by some factors: a) by its semantics in the context; b) by the stylistic or genre peculiarities of the text; and c) by the texts’ pragmatic orientation/toning. Any disregard of these requirements may bring unnecessary distortions into the author’s conception (and content).

The student, who has closely followed the above-performed translator’s grammatical/structural, semantic and stylistic analysis of the excerpt from D.Parker’s brilliant psychological story must have obtained a much clearer idea about the ways and means of achieving faithfulness in written translation. Naturally not all texts require such kind of deep and scrutinized analysis on the part of the translator and not always so much inventiveness as in the belles-lettres texts. Nev­ertheless, the beginning translator must be always on the alert and ready to do everything to overcome the many stumbling blocks that are often hidden even in texts belonging to other than the belles-lettres style. There will be a good chance to ascertain it while working at various texts on the forthcoming pages, which are assigned to se­mantic and stylistic analysis or to written/oral class and home trans­lation.

The samples of the analysis must be carefully studied first in order to establish the peculiarities characterizing the publicists and newspaper style texts. Only in this way can a student acquire the necessary knowledge and skill in translation. Of great help in this can also be the practical use of the principal theoretical rules, which were given in the preceding chapters and which must be followed while working at any type of texts, extended syntactic unit or even at single/ isolated sense units.