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TRANSFORMATION OF SOME IDIOMS IN THE PROCESS OF TRANSLATING

As has already been pointed out some phraseological expressions singled out by the Acad. V. Vinogradov as unities and having mostly a transparent meaning may reflect various national features of the source language. The latter may be either of lingual or extralingual nature, involving the national images, their peculiar pic-turesqueness or means of expression with clear reference to traditions, customs or historical events, geographical position of the source language nation. Such phraseological expressions are often of a simple or composite sentence structure. Being nationally distinct, they can not have in the target language traditionally established equivalents or loan variants. As a result, most of them may have more than one translator's version in the target language. It may be either a regular sense-to-sense variant (an interlinear-type translation) or an artistic literary version rendering in which alongside the lexical meaning also the aphoristic nature, the expressiveness, the picturesqueness, the vividness, etc. of the source language phraseologism/idiom.

Taking into account the aims pursued and the contextual environment of the idiom, there must be acknowledged at least two main levels of translating the national idioms:

1) the level of the interlinear rendering, i.e., sense-to-sense translation only, which is quite sufficient to faithfully express the lexical meaning of most of these phraseologisms/idioms;

2) the literary/literary artistic level at which not only the sense but also the expressiveness, the vividness, the picturesqueness and the aphoristic nature (if any) of the idioms should possibly be conveyed as well.

Faithful translation of national idioms/phraseologisms is mostly achieved via deliberate transformations of all kinds performed by the translator. The transformations are aimed at making the national images, the sense and structure of these phraseologic expressions easier for the target language readers/listeners to comprehend .Such transformations, therefore, adjust in many a case the source language idiom as a sense unit to the requirements of the target language bearers. Here are some examples of translation with the help of transformations of particularly English phraseologisms performed first (1) at the interlinear (sense-to-sense rendering) level and then (2) at the literary/literary artistic level: the wind cannot be prevented from blowing 1. ; 2. /; ; he that doesn't respect, isn't respected 1. , ' ; 2. , ; it's an equal failing to trust everybody and to trust nobody 1. - ; 2. - ; the pleasures of the mighty are the tears of the poor 1. / - / ; 2. - ; , ; they must hunger in winter that will not work in summer 1. , ; 2. - , or: - .

No need to emphasize that some successful literary artistic translations/variants of specifically national idioms may in the end become regular translation loans of the target language.1

Transformations become absolutely inevitable when the English phraseologisms or mots contain a passive voice structure, the introductory it/there, or some other analytical constructions, as for instance, those with the auxiliary verbs (do, does, etc.). Cf.: there is no love lost between them / ; Does your mother know you are out? / . Can the leopard change his spots? . Though sometimes transformations may become necessary to make the denotative and connotative meaning of idioms/phraseologisms easier for the target language bearers to comprehend. Thus, neither the sense-to-sense nor the literary variant of the proverb the moon is not seen when the sun shines ( , / - ) can fully express its connotative (and denotative) meaning when the proverb stands for somebody or something eclipsing with his or its importance (fame, size, etc.) somebody or something meant by the moon. All in all, however, there are few such sentence-type phraseological expressions which need some additional explication in Ukrainian. More often the content of the kind of phraseologisms/idioms is clear already at language level, i.e., out of context, which enables their literary translation. This can be observed from a few more examples below: what matters to a blind man that his father could see , ; it is too late to shut the stable door when the horse is stolen , ; when two ride on one horse

1 See more about translation loans in: .. . -: . - -, 1983.

one must sit behind , / / / ..

 

 


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Descriptive Translating of Idiomatic and Set Expressions |

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