Antonymic translation



Generalization is the opposite of concretization. In this case a SL word of concrete meaning is rendered by a TL word of general meaning. This type is not so wide-spread and occurs less frequently than concretization. May be this is due to the fact that abstract and desemantized words in English form, a numerous and diversified group, thus supplying a linguistic base to this type of transformation, whereas generalization appears to be lacking a similar linguistic foundation.

Sometimes generalization is resorted to for pragmatic reasons in order to avoid expanded explanations or footnotes.

And so the Mad Hatter Scheme as it was later to be called was launched.

, 㳿 .

In those days the British communist Party had neither money, no premises. The Mad Hatter is an allusion to a character in Lewis Carrols well-known book Alice in Wonderland. The suggested translation is based on generalization. Besides, recourse has been taken to interpreting translation.

Here are some examples of this type of lexical transformation.

In the Arctic of today the frozen face of the deep is changing and man seeks a scientific explanation for its growth and shrinkage.

, .

Much more than an effective gun control is going to be needed to cure America of the plague of violence that afflicts it.

쳿 , .

There is a tendency in the English language to use nouns denoting measures of weight, distance, length, etc. in describing people and things which do not require such precision in their description. This method of description is foreign to the Ukrainianpractice and recourse is usually taken to generalization.

He was a young man of 6 feet two inches.



It led him time and again into positions of fantastic danger and yet enabled him to win every ounce of advantage, especially against an irresolute enemy.

(Desmond Young).

, , .



Antonymic translation usually implies a comprehensive lexical and grammatical transformation: an affirmative construction is translated by a negative one or a negative construction by an affirmative one. But such grammatical transformation is usually accompanied by lexical transformation the key word of the SL utterance is translated by its antonym in the TL utterance, e.g. the undead past .

Let a sleeping dog lie. .

Nobody was ever sorry to see him. .


Antonymic translation is more frequently used when rendering negative constructions by affirmative ones. This may be accounted for by the stylistic use of negative constructions in English for purposes of expressiveness. The English language uses grammatically only one negative in a sentence either with a verb or with a noun but it maces a stylistic use of two negatives of which one is formed by grammatical means and the other by means of affixation (negative prefixes or suffixes) or by lexical means, i.e. by words with a negative meanings.

A sentence containing two negatives is negative only on the face of it, actually it is affirmative as the two negatives neutralize each other. The grammatical form in this case is not used in its direct meaning and consequently attracts attention, as does, for example, the rhetorical question which is no question at all but an emphatic statement. The clash between the denotative meaning of the grammatical form and its use in speech makes it highly emotive and increases its expressiveness. Thus a double negation has a special connotative meaning. It is not identical, however, with an affirmative statement. It contains a certain modification. It may be an overstatement or an understatement.


British imperialists never failed to recognize the value of tea and fought many a bloody battle to grab the plantations of India.

, .


The double negation is expressed grammatically by the negative adverb never and lexically by the semantics of the verb to fail is desemantized to such an extent that in some cases it is equivalent to a simple negative and is translated accordingly, e..g. he failed to appear he did not appear.

The combination of a grammatical negative with the comparative or superlative degrees of the adverb little is always emphatic and is rendered antonymically.


Dickens is hampered by his age, which demands sentiment and reticence, but in the space that is allowed to him he scampers as if he knew no restraintNever was he less embarrassed by restrictions than in the exuberance of Pickwick Papers.

ij , , , ... ͳ , ϳ , .


The double negative construction not until may be regarded as a cliché which is practically always rendered antonymously as , (), possessing the same degree of emphasis.


It was not until I reached the farmyard that I made the discovery. (Susan Howatch)

, .


He spoke in no uncertain terms. (Susan Howatch)

³ .



  1. B) Partial Translation Equivalents
  2. Basic translation theories
  3. By Descriptive or Interpreting Translation
  4. Faithful and equivalent translation.
  5. Free Translation
  6. Literal translation
  7. Map of disciplines interfacing with Translation Studies
  8. Objectively and subjectively conditioned transformations of lexical units in the process of translation.
  9. Original Metaphors and Their Translation
  10. Referential Meaning and its Rendering in Translation
  11. Rendering of stylistic meaning in translation

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Concretization | Paraphrasing

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