МАОУ «Гимназия №2»
Г. Нижнего Новгорода
Научное общество учащихся «ЭВРИКА»
Problems of transferring regionalisms in translation of modern TV-shows
Выполнила: Ученица 9 «Б» класса
Постоева В. И.
Introduction p. 3
Part 1 p. 3
Importance of translation p. 3
Translation as a kind of interlingual and cross-cultural communication p. 5
Part 2 p. 9
Difficulties of translation p. 9
Practical part p.11
Analysis of the problem of geographical actuality — regionalisms p. 11
Defining the significance of regionalisms in translations of TV-shows and separation regionalisms to categories p.11
Means of coping with “local realities”, translating them properly and clearly p. 16
An algorithm for translating subtitles p. 20
A list of regionalisms I personally met in my practice of translation an American TV-show “Pretty Little Liars” p. 22
Conclusion p. 32
List of sources of used information p. 34
Appendix p. 35
Nowadays, we are all surrounded by stress – complicated political situation, hectic pace of urban life, awfully polluted environment and so on.
Also, the importance of English increases day by day as increases the amount of people who want to speak English around the world, because English has become an international language and it is necessary for everybody to be able to use it to keep in touch with the modern society. Considering that, probably, the best solution to number of your problems would be watching TV-shows in English with subtitles at first, and without any, then. This can help you to study modern English, relax, and broaden your mind. Sounds magical, but when you try it you often meet these regionalisms, or “local reality”, or “geographical actuality” are things, that you are not able to understand just because you are not familiar with the life in English-speaking countries. This includes geographical reality, which is all associations connected with Mass media, language, art, mentality and remarkable features of the «homeland» of your text; slang, idioms and transformed idioms and quotes, rhetorical figures of speech, new clichés. Moreover, we should be objective, provided thatthis problem is serious for you, as a TV viewer, it is the way more difficult for a translator of TV-show to translate it the way you will understand it. Consequently, I would like to show you the inner side of the process of translation subtitles.
So when we start learning English deeply and seriously, as a science, we also met mentioned difficulty and others. And I still consider all of them as compelling and curiousways to explore, but the most intricate and challenging for me is the one I mentioned, the “local reality”, therefore, I understand, that if you want to be really good in translation, you got to be able to deal with it. Appropriately, this is the case I would like to explore.
I also consider this subject as a really worth exploring, and the explaining to this is quite simple – TV in English-speaking countries is transferring the slightest change in language and realities in the country of language, and the problem of understanding realities in TV-programs is as serious as it only can be considered. In addition, I am interested in this because, during my research is meant to be first in the kind and sort if unique.
The main purpose of this work – to study specifics and methods of transferring of the English realities when translating TV-shows.For this, I have to reach the following purposes doing this research:
To define the importance of correct and adequate translation in general and of TV-shows
To analyze all difficulties of translation
To analyze of the problem of “geographical actuality”
To learn more about ways to transfer a local reality
To decide which methods of translation suit here best.
Relevance of this subject is in a matter of fact that the translator frequently faces a problem of the translation of realities. Realities, which often belong to incoincident elements of language, new and unfamiliar to other cultures, constantly represent especial a special obstacle in translation process and demand further studying.
Translation as a kind of interlingual and cross-cultural communication
To fathom the significance of a correct and adequate translation first we should define what translation actually is.
Translation is ultimately a human activity, which enables human beings to exchange ideas and thoughts regardless of the different language used. People have been translating from one language into another for a really long time, however, nobody can precisely tell us when the first translation has been made, but it has occurred when communication of the people speaking different languages by means of intermediate language was carried out. Thanks to the translation the people speaking different languages could communicate in the multinational states, the translation provided interlingual and cross-cultural communication, thanks to the translations various dogmas and religions extended. It is necessary to give several definitions to the concept «translation». «Saying “the translation” we mean transferring of the contents of the oral statement or written text means of other language». Komissarov offers the following definition of the translation: «The translation is a type of language mediation at which in other language the text intended for full replacement of the original as communicative and equivalent to the last is created». «Translation — a social communicative function of mediation between people using different language systems, which is realized in the course of psycho-physical activities for bilingual reflection of reality on the basis of his individual abilities of the interpreter, the transition from one semiotic system to another in order to equivalent, i.e., fullest, but always partial, transfer of meanings contained in the initial message from one communicant to another «.
Therefore, as we can see from different definitions of this word — translation represents one of types of language mediation.
Recently views of the concept of «culture» have changed. In the past, the word «culture» was used to mean the totality of material and spiritual progress of society. Now the word covers all the historical, social and psychological features of the spheres of human activity. In works of domestic and foreign scientists, that special role which is played by the translation in cultural development, sciences, economies, literature and the language of communication is emphasized.
The reason why a translation has to be equal and clear is that it can hurt people in other way. Sometimes a misreading of the audience merely results into innocuous boredom. Nevertheless, it can also have serious long-term effects. A remarkable example of insensitivity to the total context and the audience is the translation of a remark made by Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow on November 19, 1956. Khrushchev was then the head of the Soviet Union and had just given a speech on the Suez Canal crisis. Nassar of Egypt threatened to deny passage through the canal. The United States and France moved to occupy the canal. Khrushchev complained loudly about the West. Then, after the speech, Khrushchev made an off-hand remark to a diplomat in the back room. That remark was translated «We will bury you» and was burned into the minds of my generation as a warning that the Russians would invade the United States and kill all Americans if they thought they had a chance of winning.
However, the remark has never been reported by the official Russian Press. Rather a Russian-language newspaper called Novoe Russkoe Slovo, run by Russian emigrants in the United States, reported it. It reported that along with the famous remark, Khrushchev said flippantly:»If we believed in God, He would be on our side.» In Soviet Communist rhetoric, it is common to claim that history on the side of Communism, referring back to Marx who argued that Communism was historically inevitable. Khrushchev then added that Communism does not need to go to war to destroy Capitalism. Continuing with the thought that Communism is a superior system and that Capitalism will self-destructed, he said, rather than what was reported by the press, something along the lines of «Whether you like it or not, we will be present at your burial,» clearly meaning that he was predicting that Communism would outlast Capitalism. Although the words used by Khrushchev could be literally translated as «We will bury you,» (and, unfortunately, were translated in that way) we have already seen that the context must be taken into consideration. The English translator who did not take into account the context of the remark, but instead assumed that the Russian word for «bury» could only be translatedin one way, unnecessarily raised tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union and perhaps needlessly prolonged the Cold War.*
Safety issues come first into mind but lately many readers have noticed that mistakes and typos don’t fit well in the translated literature either. Bad or sloppy translation can ruin the reading experience because it moves the attention away from the content. The same goes with weird subtitles of a movie or a TV program. Savings of translation cost in wrong places can rebound later with negative outcomes.*
Moreover, is important not to forget that TV also still is one of the most popular mass media and it actually has a huge influence on modern culture. Therefore, correct transferring of original text to another language means keeping the same cultural message. As an example from past, USSR had a lot of nations and, consequently, languages, speaking in the country. In addition, it would be the way easier to understand other people’s features if all creations would have been translated to all languages.
Talking about learning a language by watching a show with subtitles – it is important for them to be correct for you to remember only right phrases. This also improves your iconic and echoic memory, and sort of connects them.
Therefore, it could be clearly seen why it is important for translation to be just as much equal to original as it is possible.
To be able to cope with it, a professional translator has to be able to:
define the main thoughts, accents, the attitude;
reveal communications of the text with the extra text phenomena, with reality;
consider a wide context including extralinguistic;
define and consider the style/register of the speech, and target audience (readers/listeners);
proceed from character of a situation in which the text, from the intention which is writing/speaking was born;
consider connotations and a possibility of difference from dictionary word meanings in a source text;
attract (and constantly to expand and deepen) the background knowledge;
use dictionaries, reference books, consultations of experts;
check all unknown names, toponyms, etc., which are mentioned in a source text;
proceed from logic of the statement and all text in general.
When a translator has all mentioned skills, he can almost easily overcome all adversities he might have. Talking about idiosyncrasy of TV-shows in English, it can be some unknown clichés, slang, transformed idioms and quotes, puns, rhetorical figure of speech, and also it happens to be a kind of difficulty to express in the same level of «emotional coloring». Nevertheless, all these problems have to be solved.
Difficulties of translation
Translation studies distinguish 2 main concepts: a concept of absolute translatability and of total untranslatability. However, some difficulties are faced. The problem of translatability or untranslatability is closely related to man’s understanding of the nature of language, meaning and translation. From the sociosemiotic point of view, «untranslatables» are fundamentally cases of language use wherein the three categories of sociosemiotic meaning carried by a source expression do not coincide with those of a comparable expression in the target language.
Three types of untranslatability, referential, pragmatic, and intralingual may be distinguished. On the understanding that the object of translation is the message instead of the carrier of the message, language-specific norms are considered untranslatable by some linguists should be excluded from the realm of untranslatables. In addition, since translation is a communicative event involving the use of verbal signs, the chance of untranslatability in practical translating tasks may be minimized if the communicative situation is taken into account.
In a larger sense, the problem of translatability is one of degrees: the higher the linguistic levels the source language signs carry meaning(s) at, the higher the degree of translatability these signs may display; the lower the levels they carry meaning(s) at, the lower the degree of translatability they may register.
Translation is, in Chabban’s words, «a finicky job,» as it has not yet been reduced to strict scientific rules, and it allows for the differences that are known to exist between different personalities. Translation is a heavily subjective art, especially when it deals with matters outside the realm of science where precisely defined concepts are more often expressed by certain generally accepted terms.
In the final analysis, translation is a science, an art, and a skill. It is a science in the sense that it necessitates complete knowledge of the structure and make-up of the two languages concerned. It is an art since it requires artistic talent to reconstruct the original text in the form of a product that is presentable to the reader who is not supposed to be familiar with the original. It is also a skill because it entails the ability to smooth over any difficulty in the translation, and the ability to provide the translation of something that has no equal in the target language.
In translation, the richness of vocabulary, depth of culture, and vision of the translator could certainly have very conspicuous effects on his/her work. Another translator might produce a reasonably acceptable version of the same text, which, however, may very well reflect a completely different background, culture, sensitivity, and temperament. Such differences cannot, in Chabban’s view detract from the merit of either translator. This is simply because translation is decidedly a more difficult job than creation.
There are identified three types of translation difficulty: (1) distinguishing between general vocabulary and specialized terms, (2) distinguishing between various meanings of a word of general vocabulary, and (3) taking into account the total context, including the intended audience and important details such as regionalisms.*
There are several categories of skills, which a translator should improve to be able to cope with mentioned types of common difficulties.
Here are some ways to develop reading comprehension skills:
Read for gist and main ideas.
Read for details.
Identify the meaning of new words and expressions using one or more components of the structural analysis clause; prefixes, suffixes, roots, word order, punctuation, sentence pattern, etc.
Identify the meaning of new words and expressions using one or more of the contextual analysis; synonyms, antonyms, examples, etc.
Identify the writer’s style: literary, scientific, technical, informative, persuasive, argumentative, etc.
Identify the language level used in the text: standard, slang, religious, etc.
Identify cultural references in the choice of words in the text.
In addition, a professional should have good researching skills; this is how it is possible to improve them:
Use bilingual dictionaries for looking up meanings of new words.
Use monolingual dictionaries to check the usage of the new words in the source language and in the target language.
Use related encyclopedias and glossary lists for specialized terms;
Use software dictionaries if necessary and available.
Refer to specialized magazines and journals to help you familiarize yourself with the text, particularly when it is a technical text. In my case it can be a TV-show with some narrow professional area – it can be about a school, a hospital and so on.
The other important thing – having analytical skills. Here are some strategies, which can help a translator develop them:
Identify beginnings and endings of ideas in the text and the relationships between these ideas.
Identify the «best» meaning that fits into the context;
Identify the structure in the target language that represents the original best;
Identify transitions between ideas and the «best» connectors in the target language that represent the original.
Composing skills are significant too – this is how they can be improved:
Use correct word order as used in the target language.
Use correct sentence structures as used in the target language.
transmit the ideas of the text in clear sentences in the target language.
Rephrase certain sentences to convey the overall meaning translated;
Make changes to the text as a whole to give it a sense of the original without distorting the original ideas.
Try one or more of the following strategies when facing problems of untranslateability.
These strategies can actually improve translator’s skills a lot. But they do not include regionalism, the most complicated point in translation.
Analysis of the problem of geographical actuality – regionalisms
Defining the significance of regionalismsin translations of TV-shows
To define significance of regionalismsin translations of TV-shows, firstly, we got to observe the meaning of the term.
Regionalism is a linguistic term for a word, expression, or pronunciation favored by speakers in a particular geographic area. In a comparative lingvo-regional geography realities considered as the words designating the objects or the phenomena connected with history or culture, economy or life of the country of the learned language which differ in whole or in part from lexical concepts and words of the compared language.
On the grounds that TV nowadays epitomize the most actual, modern and up-to-date language, to understand what an American TV-show is audience need to now all realities it represents. We should look closer to classifications of these realities.
There also is a concept called «nonequivalent vocabulary», which term is used only in the sense of lack of correspondence of any lexical item of one language in the vocabulary of another language. However, it would be wrong to interpret this term as «the impossibility of translation» of the vocabulary. Any language can express any concept: the absence of a specific designation for some concepts of one language in the vocabulary of another language in the form of a word or a phrase does not mean inability to express this concept by means of the language. Although a specific designation can be absent in the language system, the content can always be referred to in a speech or in a given text with a variety of means.*
Furthermore, a Russian scientist V. S. Vinogradov names all specific facts of history and a state system of a national community, feature of its geographical environment, characteristic household items of the past and the present, ethnographic and folklore concepts realities, carrying them to a class of nonequivalent vocabulary.
There actually is no agreement if regionalisms are equal to nonequivalent vocabulary in science, nevertheless my conclusion is that not all realities are nonequivalent, that is why it would be animmense mistake to count those terms as equal.
These are other several terms, which describe types of regionalisms:
— «gaps» — situations, usual for culture of one people, but not observed in other culture (I. I. Revzin, V. Yu. Rosenzweig;
— «barbarisms» — words by means of which it is possible to create a description of foreign customs, features of life and life, creation of local color;
— «aliyenizms» — words from little-known languages underlining stylistic function of «ekzotizms».
However, the definitions given above characterize the concept «words reality» considered by us as the language units designating the culture stranger elements having national, historical, local or household coloring, not having equivalents in other languages and cultures.
The causes of the phenomenon of nonequivalence, which is close toregionalism, are traditionally added up to the following:
1. The absence of some object or some phenomenon in the life of the speakers of the target language.
2. Lack of corresponding concepts in the target language.
3. Distinct lexical and stylistic characteristics.
The regionalisms refer to foreign words and phrases that represent objects, processes, and other realities of life, which at this specific stage of the target language’s development have almost no equivalents in it, so it is possible to identify reality in the text by the following criteria:
1. the word has no the constant equivalent in the translating language transferring its material meaning;
2. the word designates a subject or the phenomenon specific to culture of the original language and alien to culture of translating language.
Realities as translation elements are divided into:
At the moment there is no precise classification of realities. Different researchers offer various versions of the solution of this problem. Some scientists, proceeding from nature of maintenance of reality (communication of the designated subject with a certain country, a nationality, a social community) and its belonging to a certain period of time, allocates subject, temporary and local classification of realities. From a position of two languages realities are divided to into 2 types: external, when a reality is alien for both of languages (for example «Samurai» for the Russian and English languages), and realities, familiar and known for one language and alien for another(«рада» for the Ukrainian and Russian languages).
I.S. Alekseeva, for example, suggests subdividing realities by the thematic principle into three groups:
A. Geographical realities:
1) terms of physical geography: savanna (Africa);
2) endemics: kangaroo;
B. Ethnographic realities:
1) clothes and footwear: kimono (Japan);
2) structures and household items: needle (Alaska);
3) national kinds of activity and names of figures: bard (Ireland);
4) customs, rituals, games: vendetta (Italy);
5) mythology and cults: priest (Poland);
6) realities measures and realities money: lira (Italy);
B. Social and political realities: Bolsheviks (Russia).
Classification of realities of V. S. Vinogradov looks like this:
1. Household realities.
2. Ethnographic and mythological realities:
— ethnic and social communities and their representatives;
— deities, fantastic beings, legendary places.
3. Realities of the state and administrative device and public life:
— administrative units and state institutes;
— public organizations, parties, etc., their functionaries and participants;
— industrial and agrarian enterprises, trade institutions;
— main military and police divisions and ranks;
— civil positions and professions, titles and ranks.
4. Realities of the world of the nature:
— landscape, landscape.
5. Onomastic realities:
— names of literary heroes;
— names of the companies, museums, theaters, restaurants, shops, beaches, airports, etc.6. Associative realities:
— vegetative symbols (for example: madronyo-poetic symbol of Madrid);
— symbols of animals (for example: to a holster — a bird of prey whose feathers, according to a belief, have magic force);
— colorsymbolics (for example: green — color of hope (Panama, Chile);
— folklore, historical and literary and book hints. They contain hints on a way of life, behavior, traits of character, acts, etc. of historical, folklore and literary heroes, on historical events, on myths, legends, etc.
— language hints. They usually contain a hint on any phraseological unit, a proverb, a saying, a familiar expression or a current expression.
Despite a variety of groups, in cultural realities (ethnographic, state, geographical, household), in all cases there are similar problems in attempt of their translation: how to ask to speak and the corresponding concept from one language of another, and at the same time not to lose either a semantic, nor emotional element.
Some researchers (Fedorov A.V., Vereshchagin E.M.) refer realities to the category of nonequivalent vocabulary, claiming that they are not a subject to translation. However, the reality is a part of a source text and important component of any work of art therefore her transfer to the translation text is one of conditions of adequacy of the translation.
Methods of translation of “local realities”
Mostly «realities» give a translator the problem of the choice which way should they be transferred. The choice of a way depends on several prerequisites:
1. The text content.
2. Importance of realities in a context.
3. Nature of the reality, its place in the lexical systems of translated and translating languages.
4. Languages themselves, which includes their word-formation opportunities, literary and language traditions.
5. From readers of the translation (in comparison with readers of the original).
Then, for an adequate translation, it is necessary to have sufficient knowledge. «When translating realities it is necessary to consider that they are inseparably linked with culture of this or that country, and respectively, the recipient of the translation cannot possess the same the volume of background knowledge, necessary for full perception of the text, or background information, i.e. that information, general for communicants, which provides mutual understanding at communication».
Various authors offer certain sets of methods of the translation of realities which differ on the structure a little, though have a number of common features (L. Latyshev, V. S. Vinogradov, S. Vlakhov, S. Florin). Further we will dwell upon the methods of transfer of reality considered by L.K. Latyshev, V. S. Vinogradov, and also S. Vlakhov and S. Florin.
Methods of transfer of realities according to S. Vlakhov and S. Florin.These researchers generalize methods of transfer of realities and reduce them to two: to a transcription and translation.
I. The transcription of reality assumes mechanistic transferring of reality from original in translated text using graphic means of the last with the maximum approach to an original phonetic form: fr.taverne will be identical «tavern» both in Russian and in Bulgarian.
II. The translation of reality (or replacement, substitution) as reception of transfer it on translated text is used usually when the transcription is for one reason or another impossible or undesirable.
1. Creating of a neologism – a way of saving the contents and color of the translated reality: by creation of the new word (or phrases) sometimes it is possible to achieve almost same effect. Loan translation and partly loan translation can be an example of this kind of new words.
a) Loan translation– loan by a literal translation (usually in parts) the word or a turn. For example English skyscraper – a Russian skyscraper (unlike «the high-rise building»; thanks to this opposition «the western color» of a loan translation is felt).
b) Partly loan translation– some kind of partial loans, too new words or (steady) phrases, but «consisting part of own material». For example, it is mute. Der Dritte Reich – the third Reich.
c) Development – adaptation of foreign-language reality, i.e. giving to her on the basis of foreign-language material an appearance of the native word. For example, fr. concierge in a feminine – the Russian concierge.d) A semantic neologism – conditionally new word or the phrase «composed» by the translator and allowing to retell the semantic matter of reality. From a tracing-paper he is distinguished by lack of etymological communication with the original word.
2. The approximate translation is used to transfer of the subject contents of reality, but significance is usually lost since there are replacements of the expected connotive equivalent neutral on style, i.e. the word or the phrase to a zero connotation.
a) The principle of generalization replacement allows to retell (approximately) the matter of reality unit with wider (very seldom – narrower) value, substituting a generic term instead of specific (generalization/specification).
b) The element of the final statement causing similar reaction in the reader acts as functional analog. This way of the translation allows to replace, for example, a word-play unfamiliar to the reader of the translation with the acquaintance.
c) The description, an explanation, interpretation – the reception of the approximate translation applied when the concept which isn’t transferred by a transcription needs to be explained. For example, «армяк» – clothes from rough wool.
3. The term «contextual translation» is usually opposed to «the dictionary translation», indicating, thus, compliances which the word can have in a context unlike provided in the dictionary.
Methods of transfer of realities according to L.K. Latyshev.L. Latyshev does not differentiate the concept «nonequivalent vocabulary» and «reality» and uses the term «nonequivalent reality». Besides, he also uses the term «transliteration» in questions in which, in our opinion, it would be expedient to speak about a transcription. This researcher allocates four ways of transfer of nonequivalent vocabulary.
1. A transliteration («Transcription» according to S. Vlakhov and S. Florin coincides with reception). The matter is that at that time (L.K edition time. The tradition of a transliteration which has been replaced later with a transcription existed Latyshev of the book «Translation Course (Equivalence of the Translation and Ways of Her Achievement)» (1981)). However, prerequisites to it existed already then. L. Latyshev gives an example of a know-how broadcast as a know-how that in essence is a transcription, but not a transliteration.
2. Descriptive («explanatory») translation.
3. The approximate (assimilating) translation (see. «Functional analog» according to S. Vlakhov and S. Florin).4. Creation of the new term (in fact coincides with understanding of a semantic neologism of S. Vlakhov and S. Florin).
Ways of the translation of words realities according to V. S. Vinogradov.
V. S. Vinogradov offers a little excellent division of methods of transfer of the words calling realities from what was offered S. Vlakhov and S. Florin.
This researcher gives five methods of transferring of realities:
1. Transcription (transliteration). At the first emergence in the text the transcribed words usually are followed by the footnotes or explanations entered directly into the text.
2. Hypo-giperonimictranslation. Establishment of the relations of equivalence between the word of the original transferring specific concept reality and the word of the translation calling the corresponding generic term or on the contrary is characteristic of this reception of the translation.
3. Likening. The difference between this reception and previous is that the assimilated words call concepts, «coordinated in relation to a generic term, but not subordinated and subordinating».
4. Periphrastic (descriptive, descriptive, explicative) translation. In this case compliances between the word of the original and the phrase of the translation explaining its sense are established: alpargata – sandals from hemp or sandals made of cloth, puchero– beef soup. This reception is often combined with a transcription and is urged to replace the interlinear comment that does the author’s speech more natural and corresponding to the original.
Thus, at existence of a large number of methods of transfer of realities, it is necessary to consider well all variants of translation, at last, to choose the most suitable of them, which precisely would transfer value of reality, and at the same time, its color was not lost. It is necessary to remember, «There is no such word,which couldn’t be translated into other language, at least descriptively, that is a combination of words of this language».
An algorithm for translating subtitles
From different methods of translating regionalisms in general we would like to transfer to the specifics of the translation of subtitles of modern American TV shows, to be exact through an operations procedure when translating subtitles to tell you about all subtleties of this process.
Before translating an unknown show you got to look up the spellings of main characters names, understand what is the conception and audience of the show to figure out the functional styles of language you are going to use.
1. After understanding the atmosphere of the show, you got to see the exact episode you are going to translate. In case English subtitles are available, you can watch the episode with them. But what is really important here – there can be no English subtitles translation without watching the episode, because it can turn out to be amazingly ridiculous. You have to know the context.
You should pause the episode every time you meet an unknown word and look it up. Keep watching only after making sure you have fully understood the entire unit of speech or you know meaning of every word in a phrase, but did not catch the meaning of the remark. In this case, you should make a mark with timing of the moment somewhere to remember it further.
2. After watching the episode make sure you have understood it. Have a look at your notes, probably after understanding the context, you will understand most of them. Next, talking about the meaning of the episode – try to understand what the director and screenwriter wanted to say by this episode. It will help you avoid some stylistic and meaning problems.
3. Start the translation itself. Translate the English equivalent to Russian considering the context. It should not be perfect, just adequate.
4. After primary translating the subtitles is done, watch the episode with them and you will be able to see most of your mistakes like:
Sometimes it just happens that the translation of the phrase looks quite exact, but it is just not the way they speak here. Of course, it can seem to be subjective, but still has a huge influence on perception of the episode by audience. All characters of the serial are to have easy and understandable language.
Loosing secondary meanings
It is important to transfer all secret jokes and meaning that the director wanted to be in the episode, to make a scene more dramatic or tragical.
Misunderstanding of regionalisms – information, which Russian audience is not able to understand
Abusive words, swearingsThe thing about this subject is that the degree of roughness of the translations of swearings, and the attitude to them in general are different in Russia and the USA.
The size of a phrase
Sometimes you need to choose relevant details and miss unimportant ones to keep the size readable. Usually it is comfortable to read 1-2 lines, no longer, to have enough time to monitor the screen.
5. Now, when you understand all the lines of the plot and know all director’s hidden messages you probably are tired and full of thought about the episode – make notes and take a rest. After a rest take a look on your notes and if they still seem to be significant, think how you can transfer them into Russian version of the episode.
6. When all the work seems to be done, have a watch of the episode once more. It will be pleasant, and probably you will see some more small mistakes.
So the subject I have chosen is actual for me, as a translator* of an American teen drama, mystery–thriller television series called Pretty Little Liars. The action takes place mostly nowadays and it often happens to me to find some difficulties in translating regionalisms used there.
List of sources of used information
During the research the following ways of transferring English realities into Russian language were acknowledged the most popular:
transliteration and transcription
using functional equivalents
Realities, which are distributed on ways of the translation, are given in the table below (some of them you can also see in appendix illustrated with a screenshot):
№ Reality Commentary Translation Reception of the translation
Sheriff шериф loan translation
VIPs Высокие гости descriptive translation
Newsreel cameramen операторы кинохроники loan translationLunchbox I met this word about 2 years ago, when lunchboxes were not available and occurred in Russia контейнер с перекусом Descriptive translationthe Commissioner комиссар Loan translationHe felt a tightening in tub stomach У него засосало под ложечкой Functional equivalent
Obvyteen slang, short from obviously
ясно, очевидно, понятно Functional equivalent
Wallflower A type of loner. Seemingly shy «folks» who no one really knows. Often some of the most interesting people if one actually talks to them. Одиночка/ тихоня/ девушка, оставшаяся без кавалера Descriptive translationthe Special Assistant to the President of the United States специальный помощник президента США Loan translationAdmissions officer
Profession in police, translated as « полицейский », because other details were not relevant. Сотрудникприемнойкомиссии/ полицейский Functional equivalent
A good example of a regionalism. In Russia we mostly do not elect presidents in classes and schools, and actually have a completely different structure of school education. староста Functional equivalent
the gossip columns светскаяхроникаFunctional equivalent
Jimmy A highly attractive person. Someone who is caring, loving and will always be there for you. Any girl would be lucky to be dating a jimmy. You will easily fall in love with his personality. Парень-мечта Functional equivalenta black-tie din-party званый обед Descriptive translationthe ouzo греческая анисовая водка Descriptive translationbrandy коньяк Functional equivalentPeriods
school term уроки Functional equivalentBurner phone
kind of illegal slang НеотслеживаемыйтелефонDescriptive translationRosewood
The town the action in the show takes place. РоузвудTransliteration and transcriptionSuburb пригород Loan translation «His barque was his bight» «не бойся собаки, которая лает» Functional equivalenta movie star кинозвезда LoantranslationBrownie
cake, widely spread in the USA пирожок/ брауни/ кекс Functional equivalent/loan translationraven black черные как смоль волосы Functional equivalentshoemaker сапожник Loan translationpasty skin нездоровая, одутловатая кожа Descriptive translationtrucks передвижки Loan translationJesus Fish People who would rather put a symbol of modern Christianity on their cars than actually live the Christian life. Usually seen on vehicles speeding and cutting people off in traffic. Святоша Functional equivalentCab
a taxi (a yellow car with a sign on top that will drive your ass around town for a price calculated per minute or per mile) такси Functional equivalentQueen bee
A girl who, usually in a high school setting, is the «leader of the pack.» she doesn’t always have to be the prettiest, but she is extremely confident. She knows all of the «important» gossip, and people emulate her style. If the queen bee wears something new and different, others will wear it the next day. She always has the coolest boyfriend, and is at all the parties. Everyone always talks behind her back about how much they hate her, even though everyone secretly wishes they were her friend. КоролеваульяFunctional equivalentSoccer In the USA usually means the football with red ball (and other differences, of course). футбол Functional equivalentLorenzo name of an Italian character
Лоренцо transliteration and transcription
Ewteen slang фу Functional equivalentEmail often equal to text смсFunctional equivalentJet-laggyslang акклиматизацияпослеперелетаDescriptive translationKing Kong Кинг Конгtransliteration and transcription
Knee-jerk A spontaneous, thoughless, predictable and stereotypical reaction to something, usually an opinion or a statement. Автоматически Functional equivalentThe Cinderella and Prince Charming story рассказ о Золушке и Прекрасном Принце Functional equivalentThe warehouses складские помещения Descriptive translationPeasant woman крестьянка LoantranslationLandslideWhen one party standing in an election takes a massive majority over all others, including the reigning party. The name comes from bar chart presentation, where the drawings resemble a landslide. победа на выборах с большим перевесом голосов Descriptive translationWhistle stop speechагитационное выступление кандидата во время остановки поезда Descriptive translationA curfew A defined time or restriction. комендантскийчасFunctional equivalent
A déjá vu Even though deja vu is French for «already seen», it actually is used to describe the strange feeling you get when you’re in a situation, and feel like you’ve been in the exact same situation before, but really haven’t. Most people think it means the same thing happening twice, which is wrong. дежавюFunctional equivalent
спекулянт, играющий на повышении биржевых ценностей Descriptive translationBearспекулянт, играющий на понижении биржевых ценностей Descriptive translationCoronerSomeone whoinvestigate dead bodies that look like they didnt die a «natural» death, and probably were murdered следователь, производящий дознание в случае насильственной или скоропостижной смерти Descriptive translationHoney детка Functional equivalentThe ambulance карета «скорой помощи» Descriptive translationFloorerсильный удар, сшибающий с ног, (в переносном смысле) озадачивающий вопрос, трудная задача Descriptive translationIn this research we apportion 4 main receptions of the translation realities — transliteration and transcription, loan translation, descriptive translation, using functional equivalents.
Analysis of the selected corpus of language units demonstrate that using transliteration and transcription 6% of realities were translated, 20% were translated by the mean of loan translation, descriptive translation was used for 32% of realities, and 42% were translated using functional equivalent.
In my research I learned a number of ways to translate regionalisms in English. As it was proved, there is no one and only perfect solution, to solve this problem you got to have a “feeling” of language, learn traditions of a country it is used in, consider the audience, which will watch the show you translate and so on and on!
To sum up, now I can say, that:
The concept «nonequivalent vocabulary» includes lexical units which have no full or partial equivalents in «translated language». Realities are understood as the words transferring national and historical color, i.e. those lexical units which are inseparably linked with various historic facts, a state system, features of the geographical environment, life and culture of certain people. Thus, differentiation of the concepts «nonequivalent vocabulary» and «reality», at least is necessary because nonequivalent vocabulary is considered for a pair of languages while realities are universal for all languages. Besides, the lexical nonequivalence in translation has not absolute, but relative character; its emergence is generally connected with distinctions in language systems and an unequal categorization of reality.
Moreover, there is a number of classifications of realities, which, though are crossed in some cases, nevertheless have some differences. In myresearch, I offer the classification, which, in fact, unites in itself some of previous and doesn’t contradict views of the researchers who were engaged in development of this subject.
In addition, I would like to say that by the time you understand and will be able to transfer all the regionalisms, you will know the language and everything connected with it really great, develop your mind, memory, logic and moreover just have a good time spent on studying all the details of the language and translation.
The main purpose of this work was achieved. We studied specifics and methods of transferring of the English realities when translating TV-shows. Nevertheless, it would be preposterous without me defining the importance of correct and adequate translation in general and of TV-shows; analyzing all difficulties of translation; doing analysis of the problem of “geographical actuality”; learning more about ways to transfer a local reality; deciding, which model of translation suits here best.
However, this subject is still quite unexplored and has plenty of space to observe. It is caused not only by different views of translators on the subject, but also by abundance of the factors and nuances influencinghis decision. The problem of the translation of realities has formed a basis of a large number of scientific works. The matter, in essence, consists of several disputed issues: interpretation of the concept «reality»; a question of classification of realities (in particular based on what signs it is necessary to subdivide the considered language units into groups), and also allocation and differentiation directly ways of the translation of realities.
Relevance of this subject still is huge for me, as a translator, which faces a problem of the translation of realities very often. Realities, which often belong to incoincident elements of language, new and unfamiliar to other cultures, always represent especial complexity in translation process and demand further studying and my research just a drop in the ocean of linguistics.
Thus, the solution of a question of the choice of a certain reception when translating reality will depend directly on a task which faces the translator: to keep color of language unit with possible damage to semantics or to transfer value of reality (if it isn’t known), having lost at the same time sense-coloring.
In my opinion, this trouble cannot also be solved completely clearly because language is the mirror of humans soul. What kind of algorithm is capable of solving it? Of course, it cannot be solved for now. Nevertheless, humanity develops ours opportunities, and there still is a chance that this important problem will be solved in future.
List of sources of used information
1. V.N. Komissarov «Лингвистикаперевода» / V.N. Komissarov / М., 1980. – 253 p.
2. СчотчиковаОленаАндрївнаnonequivalent-vocabulary / СчотчиковаОленаАндрївна // http://117.klasnaocinka.com.ua/ru/article/nonequivalent-vocabulary.html3. Alan K. Melby «Why Can’t a Computer Translate More Like a Person?» / Alan K. Melby// http://paginaspersonales.deusto.es/abaitua/konzeptu/ta/melby96.htm4. Multilizer | Iina The Power of Mistakes / Multilizer | Iina // http://translation-blog.multilizer.com/the-power-of-mistakes/Researches:
5. Clifford E. Landers «Literary Translation: A Practical Guide» / Clifford E. Landers // Publisher: Multilingual Matters – 2001. 219 p.6. Susan BassnettTranslation Studies / Susan Bassnett // Publisher: Routledge – 2002. 400 p.Articlles:
Макаревич А.В. Специфика перевода англоязычных реалий на русский язык / Макаревич А.В. // 2013.23p.
An online dictionary // http://www.dictionary.com/A satirical crowdsourced online dictionary of slang words and phrases // http://www.urbandictionary.com/An online dictionary // http://www.thesaurus.com/ An online encyclopedia, thesaurus, and dictionary // http://www.reference.com/
*5. http://notabenoid.org/, http://cotranslate.net/ — websites, where I mostly do my translations for TV-shows.
Data of my profile on cotranslate.net
Example of regionalism in my practice – in this piece there is a phrase “class president”, which I translated by a functional equivalent “староста”.
Another example of regionalism in my practice — in this piece there is a phrase knee-jerk reaction, which I had translated by a functional equivalent “наавтомате”.
One more interesting example – honey here is translated not as “милая/любимая” but “дорогуша/милочка”.