Translation. TYPES OF translation. Translation as an act of communication
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LECTURE I. SUBJECT MATTER OF TRANSLATION. DIFFERENT TRENDS IN THE
THEORY OF TRANSLATION. GENERAL AND SPECIAL BRANCHES THEORY OF
TRANSLATION. TYPES OF TRANSLATION. TRANSLATION AS AN ACT OF
Problems for discussion:
1. The subject matter of the theory of translation.
2. The main directions in the history of linguistic theory of translation.
3. The nature of translation.
4. Linguistic and extra-linguistic aspects of translation.
5. Translation as a communicative act.
background, sender, receptor, target language, source language.
The last decade saw considerable headway in the development of the linguistic theory of
the translation. A number of fundamental contributions to this theory have been recently made
both in our country and abroad. Theoretical studies in translation have kept abreast (идти нога в
ногу с; ҳамнафас) with the recent advances in linguistics which provided some new insights
into the mechanism of translation and the factors determining it. The theory of translation has
benefited from new syntactic and semantic models in linguistics and from development of such
hyphenated disciplines as psycho- and socio-linguistics. Equally insightful was the contribution
to the theory of translation by semiotics, a general theory of sign systems.
A condensation of the major problems of translation introduces the reader to basic concepts
and defines the terminology.
The subjects discussed include the subject – matter of the theory of translation and the
nature of translating, semantic and pragmatic aspects of translation/these lectures were written by
I.D.Shvaytser/, Grammatical problems of translation and grammatical transformations
(L.S.Barkhudarov), Lexical problems of translation and lexical transformations (A.M.Fiterman),
Stylistics aspects of translation and its socio - regional problems (A.D.Shveitser). The summary
of the lecture is based on the syllables of foreign scholars: prof.A.Neubet, prof.E.Nida, prof. Roger.
T.Bell’s view points on theory and practical of translation.
1. THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE THEORY OF TRANSLATION.
The theory of translation is subdivided into general theory, dealing with the general
characteristics of translation, regardless of its type, and special branches, concerned with a
theoretical description and analyses of the various types of translation, such as the translation of
fiction poetry, technical and scientific literature, official documents, etc.
The general theory of translation has a clearly defined subject matter; the process of
translating in its entirely, including its results with due regard for all the factors affecting it. Each
special branch depends and specifies the general theory for it is the job of the general theory to
reflect what is common to all types and varieties of translation while the special branches are
mainly concerned with the specifics of each genre. The general theory of translation is an
interdisciplinary area, predominantly linguistic, but also closely allied to philology, sociology,
ethnography and etc. It is based on the application of linguistics theory to a specific type of speech
behavior, i.e. translating. It differs from contrastive linguistics in that the former seem to compare
different language systems with a view to determining their similarities and distinctive features
while the theory of translation has a subject matter of its own (the process of translation) and uses
the data of contrastive linguistics merely as a point of departure.
The earliest linguistics theory of translation was developed by Russian scholars
Y.L.Retsker and A.V.Fedorov who pioneered in a linguistic analysis of translation problems. Their
theory came to be known as the theory of regular correspondences.
Translation, they argued, is inconceivable without a sound linguistic basis, and this study
of linguistic phenomena and the establishment of certain correspondences between the language
of the original and that of the translation. The authors of this theory were mainly concerned with
the typology of relationship between linguistic units equivalents – permanent correspondences not
sensitive to context such as The League of Nations – Лига Наций, and context - Sensitive variant
correspondences , such as Slander – клевета нового поколения/ but also investigated some of
the translation techniques, such as antonimic translation (see below, thus mapping out some ways
of dealing with translation as a process.
In the 60 th some linguistics /N.U.Rozentsveig in Russia and L.E.Nida in the USA /
proposed a theoretical model of translation based on generative or transformational grammar.
E.Nida subdivided the process of translation into 3 stages; analysis where an ambiguous surface
structure is transformed into non- ambiguous kernel sentences to facilitated semantic
interpretation / the foundation of school/ somebody founded a school or a school has a
foundation / transfer where equivalent in the target language are found at a kernel or near –
kernel level and restructuring where target – language kernel sentences are transformed into
It is true that in some cases it is necessary to paraphrase the source – language structure
to facilitate its translation. Such transformations come in hardly especially when the target –
language, /e.g. He stood with his feet planted wide a part; he stood, his feet were planted wide
apart = Он стоял, его ноги были широко расставлены; oн стоял, широко расставив ноги. У
турар эди, оёқлари кенг кўйилган эди; У оёқларини кенг тираб турарэди.
But transformations in terms of generative are not the only type of paraphrases used in
translation. What is more, in some cases, especially when close parallels exist between the
Source – and target language structures, they are not even necessary.
The structural model of translation is based on analysis in linguistics developed others. It
is based on the assumption that languages are somewhat different sets of semantic components
/constituents of meaning/ to describe identical extra – linguistic situations, Russian verbs of
motion contain the component of move but not always the direction of movement while their
English equivalents are often neutral, the direction of / Вот он идёт - Here he comes / Here he
The structural model provides some interesting insights into the mechanism of
translation, especially when a situation is described in different semantic categories of
/проточный пруд and spring – fed pond/ but does not seem to apply to sentences going beyond
a mere description of a situation.
Different translation models complement each other and should therefore be combined in
analyzing of translation as a process.
3 THE NATURE OF TRANSLATION. TRANSLATION AS A COMMUNICATIVE ACT
Translation is the expression in target language of what has been said in source language
preserving stylistic and semantic equivalence.
Traditionally under translation is understood:
1. the process, activity of reproduction source language originally in target language.
2. the product of the process of translation.
Translators must have:
a. knowledge of the languages / at least 2 languages /
b. cultural background: ability to interpret the text
c. the background of the subject knowledge of techniques, transformations and procedures of
The translator decodes messages transmitted in one language and records them in another.
As an inter-lingual communicative act in which at least 3 participants are involved: the
sender of source / the author of the source language message/, the translator who acts individual
capacity of the receptor of the source – language message and as the sender of the equivalent target
– language / message /, and the receptor of the target – language /translation/. If the original was
not intended for a foreign- language receptor there is one more participant: the source – language
receptor for whom the message was originally produced.
Translation as such consists in producing a text / message / in the target language,
equivalent to the original text /message/ in the source language. Translation as an inter-lingual
communicative act includes 2 phrases: communication between the sender and the translator and
communication between the translator and the receptor of the newly produced target – language
text. In the first phrase the translator acting as a source – language receptor, analysis the original
message. Extracting the information contained in it.
In the second stage, the translator acts as a target – language sender, producing an
equivalent message in the target – language and re – directing it to the target language receptor.
In producing the target – language text the translator changes its plane of expression /
linguistic form/ while its plane of context / meaning / should remain unchanged. In fact, an
equivalent / target – language/ message, should match the original in the plane of content. The
message, produced by the translator, should make practically the same response in the target –
language receptor as the original message in the source language receptor. That means, above all,
that whatever the text says and whatever it implies should be understood in the same way by both
the source – language user for whom it was originally intended and by the target – language user.
It is therefore the translator’s duty to make available to the target language receptor the maximum
amount of information carried by linguistic sighs, including both their denotational / referential/
meanings / i.e. information about the extra-linguistic reality which they denote / and their emotive
– stylistic connotation.
4 LINGUISTIC AND EXTRALINGUISTIC
ASPECTS OF TRANSLATION
However, the information conveyed by linguistic signs alone, i.e. the messages overtly
expressed in the text, would not be sufficient for adequate translation. Some linguists distinguish
between what they call translation, based palely on the meaning expressed by linguistic sighs, and
involving recourse to extra-linguistic information. In fact, the two are very closely inter-wined and
in most cases effective translation is impossible without an adequate knowledge of the speech –
act situation and the situation described in the text. The phrase “Two on the aisle” / Два места
ближе к проходу/ would hardly make much sense unless it is known that the conversation takes
place at a box – office /speech act situation/.
The phrase “Поворотом рычага установить момент поступления воздуха в цилиндр”
“Ричагни бураб цилиндрга хаво киришг вақтини ўрнатиш.” was translated “turn the handle
until the air comes into the cylinder” because the translator was familiar with the situation
described in the text, knowledge of the subject is one of the prerequisites of an adequate translation.
It should be noted that translation of technical and scientific texts demands some knowledge of
When you stop and think about it, everything in life is translation. We translate our feelings into
actions. When we put anything into words, we translate our thoughts. Every physical action is a
translation from one state to another. Translating from one language into another is only the most
obvious form of an activity which is perhaps the most common of all human activities. This
maybe the reason people usually take translation for granted, as something that does not require
any special effort, and at the same time, why translation is so challenging and full of
There is nothing easy or simple about translation, even as there is nothing easy or simple about
any human activity. It only looks easy because you are used to doing it. Anyone who is good at a
certain activity can make it appear easy, even though, when we pause to think, we realize there is
nothing easy about it.
Translation in the formal sense deals with human language, the most common yet the most
complex and hallowed of human functions. Language is what makes us who we are. Language
can work miracles. Language can kill, and language can heal. Transmitting meaning from one
language to another brings people together, helps them share each other’s culture, benefit from
each other’s experience, and makes them aware of how much they all have in common.
The conditions of oral translation impose a number of important restrictions on the translator's
performance. Here the interpreter receives a fragment of the original only once and for a short
period of time. His translation is also a one-time act with no possibility of any return to the
original or any subsequent corrections. This creates additional problems and the users have
sometimes to be content with a lower level of equivalence.
The purpose of the present work is to study the problems of oral translation.
To achieve this purpose it is necessary to find solve to the following tasks:
To give the definition to the notion “translation”;
To find out the difference between written and oral translation;
To characterize the types of oral translation;
To define the problems of oral translation;
To find various ways and translating devices for solving those problems.
This paper consists of two chapters. The first chapter describes the translation itself, its
development and types. In the second chapter there are the problems of translation and the ways
of its salvation.
Throughout history, written and spoken translations have played a crucial role in interhuman
communication, not least in providing access to important texts for scholarship and religious
Writings on the subject of translation go far back in recorded history. The practice of translation
was discussed by, for example, Cicero and Horace (first century BC) and St Jerome (fourth
century AD); their writings were to exert an important influence up until the twentieth century.
The theory of translation is subdivided into a general characteristics of translation. The general
theory of translation has a clearly defined subject matter — the process of translation including
its results. The general theory of translation reflects what is common to all types and varieties of
translation, such as the translation of fiction, poetry, technical and scientific literature and
official documents. As each special branch depends on special branches are mainly concerned
with the specifies of each genre. The main direction in the history of linguistic theory of
translation inconceivable the earnest. Linguistic theories of translation developed by Russian
scholars K. I. Retsver and A. V. Flodov, who pioneered in linguistic analyses of translation
problems. They suggested the theories of regular correspondence. They noted, the translation is
inconceivable without serious linguistic bases. They studied two main things while analyzing
linguistic phenomena: original language and transforming language. The authors of this theory
paid more attention to the typology of relationship between linguistic units and equivalents. They
defined permanent correspondence to be not sensitive to the context. E.g. the league of Nation.
Translation act by two phases: Communication with the sender and translation communication
between the translation and receptor. The translation act as a target language and redirecting it to
the target large receptor. The translation of phraseological units is not easy matter as it depends
on several factor: different combinability of words homonymy, synonymy, and polysemy of
phraseological units and presence of falsely identical units, which make it necessary to take into
account the context. Besides, a large number of phraseological units have stylistic expressive
components in meaning, which usually have a specific national feature. So, it’s just necessary to
get acquainted with the main principles of the general theory of phraseology. The following
types of phraseological units may be observed: phrasemes and idioms. If unit of constant context
consisting of a dependent and a constant indicators may be called a phraseme. Many English
phraseological units have no phraseological conformities in Uzbek and Russian. In the first
instance this concerns phraseological units based on regalia. When translating units of this kind
it’s advisable to use the following types of translation. a) a verbatim word for translation b)
translation by analogy c) descriptive translation Verbatim translation is possible when the way of
thinking doesn’t bear a specific National feature.e.g. . — To call thing by their true names
(idiom) Называет вещи своими именами. - the arms race (phrase) Гонка вооружения. - cold
war (idiom) Холодная война. b) translating by analogy. This way of translating is resorted to
when the phraseological units has a specific National realias. 1. “Rick” said the dwarf,
translating his head in at the door, — “my pet”, “my pencil”, the apple of my eye, hey!. — Рик,
воскликнул карлик, просовывая голову в дверь, мой любимый, мой ученик, свет очей
моих. c) descriptive translation. Descriptive translation that is translating units by a free
combination of words, it is possible when the phraseological unit has a particular National
feature and has no analogue translation into. to enter the House (phraseme) Стать членом
Парламента. to cross the floor of the House (idiom) Перейти из одной партии другой. In the
examples given above the word “House” is translated as “Парламент” and “Партия” as a
political word. Functionally and semantically in separable units that are usually called
phraseological units. Phraseological units cannot be freely made up in Speech but are reproduced
as ready made units. The lexical components in phraseological units are stable and they are non
— motivated, that is its meaning outside the word group. E.g. red tape, to get rid of, to take
place, to lead the dance, to take care. A. V. Koonin thinks that phraseology must be considered
as on independent linguistic science and not a part of lexicology . His classification of
phraseological units is based on the functions of them in speech. They are: nominating,
interesting, and communicative. Translation is pure art and it demands translators to be fully
aware of all the principles of translation and creative hard work on translation. In this chapter we
are going to discuss and analyze the way of translation of some lexical, phraseological units and
idioms with the colors. The translation phraseological units and idioms belongs to the stylistic
problems of the Theory of translation. It is regarded to be one of the most important problems in
linguistic. The beauty of the literary work depends not only on its general plot, but also some
criteria of it the ornament of lexical, phraseological units and idioms. The art of literary
translation demands us to deal with this problem in an aesthetic taste and translate not word by
word, phrase by phrase but try to express their meaning, semantics and emphasis in translated
language as in the original one. We knew every notion has its own lexical and phraseological
units. Sometimes they are difficult to translate and keep original version. We should pay our
attention and do it as in as in the original one. One of the most actual tasks of the theory of
translation is to pay close attention to the words of National coloring and express them by every
Nation’s own lexical and phraseological units. Here we can observe this in example: 1. The
young man’s parents did not want him to marry the woman he had chosen, because they
considered themselves blue blood and thought their son was too good for her. Bu yosh yigitning
ota — onasi uning o’zi tanlagan qiz bilan turmush qurishiga qarshi, chunki ular o’zlarini oqsuyak
hisoblanib, o’g’illarini qiz uchun haddan ziyod yaxshi deb o’ylaydilar. Here we have taken the
component of “blue — blood” in Uzbek as “oqsuyak”. But in fact “blue” and”oq” are quite
different in lexical meaning. There is no phraseological units which the word “blue” –“ko’k” in
Uzbek language in this meaning. So, one receive such conclusion from the above example that
colors demonstrate different specific features in different Nations. 2. During the war each house
hold was allotted a small amount of sugar and butter each month. If you wanted more, you had to
buy it on the black market. Urush yillarida har oyda bir oilaga cheklangan miqdorda shakar va
yog’ tarqitilar edi. Agar ko’proq olishni hohlasangiz, qora bozordan sotib olishingizga to’g’ri
kelardi. Black market — qora bozor. The difficulty of translation is completely correspondence.
In another example we can see such translation from Russia into Uzbek. У нее глаза были
красивые и черные как смородина. Into English we can not translate is as: As black as grapes
but we shall take the existing equivalent in the English language with this meaning as: Her eyes
were beautiful and as brown as berries. In the expression the word “brown” means “black”. The
comparison of phraseological units and idioms with the names of colors in the Uzbek, English
and Russian languages given us opportunity to prove that any phraseological unit or idiom with
the same of colors of a certain meaning can have its equivalent or component in the second
language but in the third language this unit can’t have the these at all . We can see such
examples that some colors mean national coloring of people and in translation they are
considered to be national realiac and translated by analogy. 3. e.g. red coat — ingliz zobiti. Here
we know English Guards wear red coats, so they are called red coats, but into Uzbek we not
translate as “qizil palto”, because it will not be understandable for the Uzbek reader. 4. In the
English language the color green means the freshness of something and in some phrases this
word is metaphorically transferred: Green goods — yangi keltirilgan sabzavotlar, ko’katlar.
Green wound — yangi jarohat. In this example green means the newness of wound but doesn’t
refer to color. In this article we tried to investigate the Phraseological units which have word
synonyms: to make up one`s mind to decide to haul down colours to surrender. According to the
degree of idiomatic city phraseological units can be classified into three big groups:
phraseological fusions, phraseological unities, and phraseological collocations. Phraseological
fusions are completely non-motivated word-groups, as mad as a hatter utterly mad; white
elephant an expensive but useless thing. Phraseological unities are partially non-motivated as
their meaning can usually be perceived through the metaphoric meaning of the whole
phraseological unit, e.g. to bend the knee to submit to stronger force, to obey submissively, to
wash one`s dirty linen in public to discuss or make public one`s quarrels. Phraseological
collocations are not only motivated but contain one component used in its direct meaning, while
the other is used metaphorically e. g. to meet the requirements, to attain success.
I. TRANSLATION IS A MEANS OF INTERLINGUAL COMMUNICATION
Translation is a means of interlingual communication. The translator makes possible an
exchange of information between the users of different languages by producing in the target
language (TL or the translating language) a text which has an identical communicative value
with the source (or original) text (ST). As a kind of practical activities translation (or the practice
of translation) is a set of actions performed by the translator while rendering ST into another
language. These actions are largely intuitive and the best results are naturally achieved by
translators who are best suited for the job, who are well-trained or have a special aptitude, a
talent for it. Masterpieces in translation are created by the past masters of the art, true artists in
their profession. At its best translation is an art, a creation of a talented, high-skilled professional.
The theory of translation provides the translator with the appropriate tools of analysis and
synthesis, makes him aware of what he is to look for in the original text, what type of
information he must convey in TT and how he should act to achieve his goal. In the final
analysis, however, his trade remains an art. For science gives the translator the tools, but it takes
brains, intuition and talent to handle the tools with great proficiency. Translation is a
complicated phenomenon involving linguistic, psychological, cultural, literary, ergonomical and
The core of the translation theory is the general theory of translation which is concerned with the
fundamental aspects of translation inherent in the nature of bilingual communication and
therefore common to all translation events, irrespective of what languages are involved or what
kind of text and under what circumstances was translated. Basically, replacement of ST by TT of
the same communicative value is possible because both texts are produced in human speech
governed by the same rules and implying the same relationships between language, reality and
the human mind. All languages are means of communication, each language is used to
externalize and shape human thinking, all language units are meaningful entities related to non-
linguistic realities, all speech units convey information to the communicants. In any language
communication is made possible through a complicated logical interpretation by the users of the
speech units, involving an assessment of the meaning of the language signs against the
information derived from the contextual situation, general knowledge, previous experience,
various associations and other factors. The general theory of translation deals, so to speak, with
translation universals and is the basis for all other theoretical study in this area, since it describes
what translation is and what makes it possible.
The general theory of translation describes the basic principles which bold good for each and
every translation event. In each particular case, however, the translating process is influenced
both by the common basic factors and by a number of specific variables which stem from the
actual conditions and modes of the translator's work: the type of original texts he has to cope
with, the form in which ST is presented to him and the form in which he is supposed to submit
his translation, the specific requirements he may be called upon to meet in his work, etc.
Contemporary translation activities are characterized by a great variety of types, forms and levels
of responsibility. The translator has to deal with works of the great authors of the past and of the
leading authors of today, with intricacies of science fiction and the accepted stereotypes of
detective stories. He must be able to cope with the elegancy of expression of the best masters of
literary style and with the tricks and formalistic experiments of modern avant-gardists. The
translator has to preserve and fit into a different linguistic and social context a gamut of shades
of meaning and stylistic nuances expressed in the original text by a great variety of language
devices: neutral and emotional words, archaic words and new coinages, metaphors and similes,
foreign borrowings, dialectal, jargon and slang expressions, stilted phrases and obscenities,
proverbs and quotations, illiterate or inaccurate speech, and so on and so forth.
The original text may deal with any subject from general philosophical principles or postulates to
minute technicalities in some obscure field of human endeavour. The translator has to tackle
complicated specialized descriptions and reports on new discoveries in science or technology for
which appropriate terms have not yet been invented. His duty is to translate diplomatic
representations and policy statements, scientific dissertations and brilliant satires, maintenance
instructions and after-dinner speeches, etc.
Translating a play the translator must bear in mind the requirements of theatrical presentation,
and dubbing a film he must see to it that his translation fits the movement of the speakers' lips.
The translator may be called upon to make his translation in the shortest possible time, while
taking a meal or against the background noise of loud voices or rattling type-writers. In
simultaneous interpretation the translator is expected to keep pace with the fastest speakers, to
understand all kinds of foreign accents and defective pronunciation, to guess what the speaker
meant to say but failed to express due to his inadequate proficiency in the language he speaks.
In consecutive interpretation he is expected to listen to long speeches, taking the necessary notes,
and then to produce his translation in full or compressed form, giving all the details or only the
main ideas.In some cases the users will be satisfied even with the most general idea of the
meaning of the original, in other cases the translator may be taken to task for the slightest
omission or minor error.
1.2 A BRIEF HISTORY OF INTERPRETATION
In mid-fifties of the last century conference interpreter was still in its infancy with the first
simultaneous interpretation having been used after World War II at the Nuremburg Trials
(English, French, Russian and German).
In the interwar years consecutive interpretation alone was provided at international gatherings,
such as at meetings of the League of Nations in Geneva where English and French were used.
The first interpreters were not trained but entered the profession on the strength of their mastery
of languages, prodigious memory, and their impressively broad cultural background. Some of the
legendary figures of interpreting include Jean Herbert, Andre Kaminker and Prince Constantin
Andronikof, who was personal interpreter to General de Gaulle and one of the founders of AIIC,
which was established in 1953.
With the setting up of international and European organizations (United Nations – 1945, Council
of Europe – 1949, European Community - 1957) there was a growing need for a much larger
number of trained professionals. To meet this continuing challenge, the course has expanded and
now encompasses the languages of the European Union and the UN family.
The situation in the early 20th century was totally different from what is known now as
conference interpreting – a highly professional field requiring advanced learning and special
training. Conference interpreting actually started during World War I, and until then all
international meetings of any importance had been held in French for that was language of the
19th century diplomacy.
After the Armistice had been signed on November 11th, 1918, interpreters were invited to work
for the Armistice Commissions and later at the Conference on the Preliminaries of Peace. This
was the period when conference interpreting techniques to be developed. According to the
conference interpreter and author Jean Herbert, they interpreted in consecutive in teams of two,
each into his mother tongue. So conference interpreting was becoming a profession, assuming
certain standards in the period between the two World Wars. It started as a non-professional
skill, developed from sentence-by-sentence interpreting into consecutive proper and involved
special techniques of taking notes as well as many others. This interpreting process required
special qualities on top of an excellent command of two languages, among others tact and
diplomacy; above average physical endurance and good “nerves”. All this applies to both
consecutive and simultaneous interpreting and interpreters.
Simultaneous interpreting came into life much later although first attempts to initiate this new
conference interpreting procedure were occasionally made at multilingual gathering in the late
twenties and the early thirties. In the USSR simultaneous interpreting was first introduced at the
VI Congress of the Communist International in 1928 with interpreters sitting in the front row of
the conference hall trying hard to catch the words of speakers, coming from the rostrum, and
taking into heavy microphones hanging on strings of their necks. Isolated booths for interpreters
started to be used five years later, in 1933. Attempts to introduce simultaneous interpreting in the
International Labour Organisation were made a few years before the Second World War.
Interpreters there were seated in somewhat like an orchestra pit just below the rostrum. They had
no earphone to facilitate listening and had to do their best to understand what came over the
loudspeakers. They whispered their translations into a sort of box called a Hushaphone.
With the establishment of the United Nations Organisation which opened up an era of
multilateral diplomacy, and the development of multilateral economic relations a new era for
conference interpreting also began. Simultaneous interpreting gained ground, particularly as
Russian, Spanish and Chinese languages were introduced as UN working languages./28/
The theory of translation is subdivided into general theory, dealing with the general
theory, dealing with the general characteristics of translation, regardless of its type,
and special branches, concerned with a theoretical description and analysis of the
various types of translation, such as the translation of fiction, poetry, technical and
scientific literature, official documents, etc. The general theory of translation has a
clearly defined subject-matter: the process of translating in its entirety, including its
results, with due regard for all of the factors, affecting it. Each special branch deepens
and specifies the general theory to reflect what is common to all types and varieties
of translation while the special branches are mainly concerned with the specifics of
The general theory of translation is an interdisciplinary area, predominantly linguistic,
but also applied to psychology, sociology, ethnography and area studies. It is based
on the application of linguistic theory to a specific type of speech behavior, i.e.
It differs from cоntrastive linguistics in that the former seeks to compare different
language systems with a view to determining their similarities and distinctive features
while the theory of translation has a subject-matter of its own (the process of
translation) and uses the data of contrastive linguistics merely as a point of departure.
The main directions in the contemporary linguistic theory of translation. The earliest
linguistic theory of translation was developed by Soviet scholars Y. I. Retsker and A.
V. Fedorov who pioneered in a linguistic analysis of translation problems.
Their theory came to be known as the theory of regular correspondences. Translation,
they argued, is inconceivable without a sound linguistic basis, and this basis can be
provided by a contrastive study of linguistics phenomena and the establishment of
certain correspondences between the language of the original and that of the
translation. The authors of this theory were mainly concerned with a typology of
relationships between linguistic units (equivalents - permanent correspondences, not
sensitive to context, such as The League of Nations - Лига Наций, and context-
sensitive variant correspondences, such as slander- клевета, навет, поклёп) but also
investigated some of the translation techniques, such as antonymic translation (see
below), thus mapping out some ways of dealing with translation as a process.
In the '60 some linguists (V. Y. Rozentsveig in the USSR and E. Nida in the USA)
proposed a theoretical model of translation, based on generative or transformational
grammar. E. Nida sub-divides the process of translation into three stages: analysis
where an ambiguous surface structure is transformed into non-ambiguous kernel
sentences to facilitate semantic interpretation (the foundation of a school - <-
(somebody) founded a school or... <- - a school has a foundation), transfer where
equivalents in the target language are found at a kernel or near-kernel level
and restructuring where target-language kernel sentences are transformed into surface
It is true that in some cases it is necessary to paraphrase the source-language structure
to facilitate its translation. Such ' transformations come in handy especially when the
source-language structure is ambiguous or when it has no parallel in the target
language (e.g. He stood with his feet planted wide apart - <- He stood; his feet were
planted wide apart -> Он стоял, его ноги были широко расставлены... " Он стоял,
широко расставив ноги.
But transformations in terms of generative grammar are not the only type of
paraphrases used in translation. What is more, in some cases, especially when close
parallels exist between the source- and target-language structures, they are not even
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