Rendering of Form in Translating Emotive Prose


The requirements of equivalence in thetranslation of emotive prose differ considerably from these in other styles where form merely serves to convey the content of the utterance and do not fulfill any expressive and aesthetic function (publicist style in all its genres being to a certain extent an exception). In these styles stylistic means and devices are merely used as their indispensable markers. But in the Belles-Lettres style form and content are inseparable whole; their common goal is to affect the reader emotionally, to appeal to his feelings and to stir his imagination, to arouse his sense of values both ethical and aesthetic. The approach to the problems of equivalence is broader and more flexible in this style. Losses may be greater here but so are the possibilities of compensation because the object in view is to produce as forceful a stylistic effect as that produced by the original. While in the translation of official, scientific and newspaper texts the losses are grammatical or lexical, in the translation of Belles-Lettres texts the losses are also stylistic affecting the expressive value of the translated text. This point may be illustrated by the following example taken from H.W.Mortons book In Search of London, the style of which comes very close to imaginative prose. It is a picturesque and impressive description of the funeral of Henry V.


As the two miles of pompous grief passed through the streets of London, every citizen stood at his doorway holding a lighted taper.

, , , .


The striking metonymical transference of meaning (two miles of pompous grief) cannot be preserved in translation. The combination is against the norms of Ukrainian valency. The loss in expressiveness is evident here but absolutely unavoidable.

Emotive prose abounds in images which are created by a variety of stylistic devices. A writers imagery is always subjective, striking and original his images bear the imprint of his individuality. The choice of stylistic devices and the system of imagery determined by the writers design and form one interdependent whole.

When she paid the coachman she took her money out of a hard steel purse in a very jail of a bag which hung upon her arm by a heavy chain, and shut up like a bite. I had never, at that time seen a metallic lady altogether as Miss Murdstone was.

, , , , , , . , .

Dickens uses many stylistic devices which are built around the same image hard steel: the translation is just as expressive and no losses have been incurred.

These examples especially the latter prove that the conception of equivalence in the translation of emotive prose is flexible, broad and comprehensive. Equivalence in this case is functional, aimed at producing a similar effect in the TL, conveying the same degree of tension, and of emotive colouring in conformity with the authors design. Substitutions must be qualitatively equivalent. Losses which are inevitable in translation can nearly always be compensated for by a skilful use of substitutions because the same effect can be achieved by different stylistic devices.

Prichards questions stung him to silent bottled up fury. (J.Hilton).

The causative verb + complex object structure is peculiar to the English language and there is no corresponding structure in (stung him to fury). The semantics of the verb to sting can be regarded in the Ukrainian translation at the expense of compactness.

, , .

The epithet bottled-up (fury) cannot be preserved in translation because of different collocability ( ). Hence a certain loss of imagery, but the referential meaning is rendered by the verb .

It is clear from the preceding analysis that fundamental principles of translation are inviolate, but equivalence is not a rigid concept and varies in the rendering of texts belonging to different styles.



  1. Descriptive Translating of Idiomatic and Set Expressions
  2. Referential Meaning and its Rendering in Translation
  3. Rendering of Names of Institutions and Organizations
  4. Rendering of Names of Months, Seasons and Days of the Week
  5. Rendering of stylistic meaning in translation
  6. Rendering of terms
  7. Rendering of Trite and Original Devices
  8. Scientific Prose Style.
  10. Translation of words of emotive meaning
  11. Violation of Phraseological Units and its Rendering

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Newspaper and Publicistic Styles | Polyfunctional Character of Stylistic Devices

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