TYPES OF LEXICAL TRANSFORMATION
The existing models of the translating process are, in fact, based on the same assumptions which we considered in discussing the problem of equivalence, namely, the situational (or referential) models is based on the identity of the situations described in the original text and in the translation, and the semantic-transformational model postulates the similarity of basic notions and nuclear structures in different languages.
The process of translating consists in the identification of different types of operations performed by the translator. The type of operation is identified by comparing the SL text and the TL text. Such operations include all types of lexical transformation involving certain semantic changes. As a result, the meaning of a word or word combination in SL may be more specific and detailed, more general or somewhat modified as a way of discovering an appropriate equivalent in TL.
There are several types of lexical transformations.
Differentiation of Meaning is the choice of an appropriate equivalent which gives a contextually more exact description of the word in TL. In such cases a generic notion is substituted by a specific notion.
The Englosh word meal denotes “завтрак”, “обед” and ”ужин”. A separate word with such a meaning does not exist in the Russian Language. лексики. So in translation one usually has to make a choice between more specific notions comprised by the word meal. E.g. If one has to miss a meal, what comfort in the knowledge that many others had to miss it too? (J.Galsworthy) - Если нечего есть, разве утешает сознание, что и другие остались без обеда?
In this case the choice of the version “обед” for the translation of the word meal is mostly optional. At times the context itself determines the choice of the actual word. At seven o’clock a dull meal was served in the oak panelled dining room. Here we use the word “обед” to achieve adequacy in translation.
A number of words: don’t have a Russian word with the same meaning. you (ты, вы, Вы); power (власть, сила способность), associate (соратник, сообщник, пособник), path (путь, дорога, тропа, тропинка, магистраль, трасса, автострада, тракт, большак, линия, направление, провод, ход, маршрут, поездка, путешествие, вояж, стезя, курс и т.д.).
Drugstore – аптека, is not exactly a drugstore since there they also sell such items as magazines, soft-drinks, ice-cream, etc. A particular context will help to identify a specific meaning of the word: i.e. to explode a bomb – взорвать бобму, to explode a myth – развеять миф.
Detailing Technique (Concretization) is the choice of a more specific word in translation which gives a more detailed description idea than does the word in SL. It is based on the fact that English often makes use of general terms to describe very definite objects or actions. The following sentence refers an intruder who had suddenly burst into the room where she was pensively looking into fire: “My mother had left her chair in her agitation, and gone behind it in the corner (Ch.Dickens)”. An attempt to use regular Russian equivalents for such general English verbs as “to leave”, “to go ” will produce a ludicrous Russian phrase like this: “Матушка оставила свое кресло и пошла за него в угол”.
To cope with the problem a contextual substitute may be created by using the detailing technique, i.e. by describing how the woman performed those actions instead of just naming them, e.g.: Взволнованная матушка вскочила со своего кресла и забилась в угол позади него.
Detailing technique is very often referred to English verbs:
To go – идти пешком, ехать, лететь (to go on foot, to go by bus, to go by plane);
To be – висеть, стоять, лежать, валяться, болеть, работать, учиться. (The clock is on the wall. The table is in the room. The book is on the table. A piece of chalk is in the corner. He is in bed. He is in business. He is at Oxford.).
A wide-spread mistakes about translators can be like it can be seen from the following dialogue.
- Well, Bill, I have three things on my mind.
- And, John, I have two more things on my mind.
Here it will be completely inappropriate to translate the word thing as “вещь”, the words “идея,. мысль” would be right.
And he had another drink – он заказал еще стакан¸ик виски.
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