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Artistic translation

Literary or artistic translation: This kind of translation conveys the thoughts of the original in the form of a correct literary speech. Up to many researchers, the best translations should be performed not so much by lexical and syntactical correspondences as by creative research of artistic relations.

First of all, the linguistic principle of translation presupposes the re-creation of the formal structure of the original. However, the proclamation of a linguistic concept as the general rule can lead to an excessive follow-up of the original text’s translation – to the word-by-word translation, with respect of specific linguistic rules, but one which will be literary a weak, in itself it would be type of the varieties of formalism, the case, when the foreign language forms are accurately translated to the laws of a foreign language. In cases where the syntactic structure of the translated sentence may be expressed in a similar way in the translation, the literal translation can be considered as the final version of the translation without further literary processing. However, the coincidence of syntactic techniques in two languages ​​is rather rare. More often, in case of word-by-word translation occurs this or that violation of the syntactic norms of the translated language. In some cases, we translate in accordance with the content and form: the author’s thought is clear. Literally accurate translation is reproduced under the emotional effect of the original, therefore the verbatim precision and artistry reach the reader. Undoubtedly, the translation lends itself to language material, without translation of words and phrases the artistic translation can not exist, and the translation process itself must also rely on knowledge of both languages rules and ​​ on the understanding of their relations. Compliance with language rules is required for both of them, either for the original or for the translation.

The translation technique does not recognize modernizations of the text, based on the simple logic of equality of impressions: the perception of the original work by the modern reader should be similar to the modern reader of the translation. It is not a question of a philologically authentic copy of the translation language at the time when the original was written. Modern translation gives the reader information that the text is not up-to-date, and by means of special techniques tries to show how ancient it is. For this purpose, the following means of processing information in the artistic text are used.

1 Epithets – are transmitted taking into account their structural and semantic features (simple and complex adjectives, the degree of compliance with the normative semantic agreement with the word being determined, the presence of metaphor, metonymy, synaesthesia), taking into account the position of the word being determined and its function.

2 Comparisons – are transmitted taking into account the structural features, stylistic coloring of the vocabulary entering into it.

3 Metaphors – are transferred taking into account the structural characteristics, taking into account the semantic relations between the figurative and the subject plan.

4 Author’s neologisms – are transmitted according to the existing word-formation model of the translation language, similar to the one used by the author, with conserving the semantics of the word components and stylistic coloring.

5 Phonetic, morphemic, lexical, syntactic, leitmotif repetitions – are transmitted as far as possible with the retention of the number of repeat components and the very principle of repetition at a given linguistic level.

6 A word game based on the multi meaning of a word or the revitalization of its internal form – in rare cases the coincidence of the ambiguity of the playing word in the original and the translation conserve both the meaning and the principle of the game; In other cases the game is not transferred, but can be compensated by playing another word by its value, which is entered into the same text.
7 Irony – for its reproduction in translation, first of all, is transferred the very principle of contrasting collision, comparison of the incomparable.

8 «Speaking» names and place names – are transmitted with the conservation of the semantics of the «speaking» name and the word-formation model which is typical for the original language and exotic for the target language.

9 The syntactic specifics of the original text – the presence of the contrast of short and long sentences, the rhythm of prose, the predominance of composing connection, etc. – is transmitted through grammatical correspondences.

10 Dialecticisms – as a rule, are compensated by the common vocabulary; slang, swear words are transmitted using the vocabulary of the language with the same stylistic coloring.

Each translation as a creative process must be marked by the individuality of the translator, but the main task the translator have to do is still the transfer in the translation the characteristic features of the original, and to create an adequate original of the artistic and emotional impression, the translator must find the best language tools: to find synonyms, appropriate artistic images and so on.

Of course, all elements of form and content can not be reproduced with precision. In any translation, the following is inevitable:

  • some part of the material is not recreated and discarded;
  • some part of the material is given not in its own form, but in the form of various kinds of substitutions/ equivalents;

Therefore, the best translations can contain conditional changes in comparison with the original – and these changes are absolutely necessary if the goal is the creation of a form and content similar to the original work in the material of another language, but the accuracy of the translation depends on the volume of these changes – and it is the minimum level of such changes that suggests an adequate translation.

All interpretation decisions in the translation of a literary text are made taking into account the narrow and the large contexts of the whole work.

Poetic organization of artistic speech means the versification imposes an imprint of its own specifics and the principles of poetic artistic translation.

The translator must establish the functional equivalence between the structure of the original and the structure of the translation works, recreate the unity of form and content in translation, which means the artistic in a whole, that is, to convey to the reader the subtlest nuances of the author’s creative thought, his thoughts and images that have already found their utterly precise expression in the original language.

Artistic translation, either poetic or prose, is an art. Art is the fruit of creativity, and creativity is incompatible with literalism.

Translation is an art that has nothing in common with a literal craft, so the translator must be endowed with a writer’s gift. The art of translation has its own characteristics, and yet the writers-translators have much more similarities with writer’s original than the differences.
Translators, as well as writers, need a multifaceted life experience, a relentlessly replenished stock of impressions.

The language of the writer-translator, as well as the language of the original writer, consists of observations of the native people and of observations of the native literary language in its historical development.


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