Translation during the period of classicism and Enlightenment.

Translation during the Renaissance period.

Translation and interpretation during the Middle Ages.

The MiddleAges(500 AD 1450 AD)are characterized by a general lack of progress. Translations and interpretations are known to have been performed in the domains of ecclesiastic science and the church. Written translation as well as oral interpretation naturally continued to be employed during the Middle Ages in interstate relations, in foreign trade and in military affairs. Due to the work of an army of translators, practically all Christian literature was translated during the Middle Ages in most European countries. Moreover, in some countries translations greatly helped to initiate their national literary languages and literatures. The example may be found in English history the translation of the Latin work Cura Pastoralis under the English title The Shepherds (Pastors) Book by the abbot Aelfric.

The first approach of word-for-word translation was practiced in the Toledo school in Central Spain (12-13th AD). Among the works translated there were scientific (in alchemy), mathematical works, philosophy, medicine, etc. In Northern Spain there existed another school of translation of sense-to-sense approach with many omissions, additions. It dominated in Europe up to the 18th century. The only voice against freedom in translation was raised by the English scientist and philosopher Roger Bacon (1214? 1297).


The Renaissance period which began in the 14th century in Italy was marked by great discoveries and inventions, the most significant of which was the invention of the moving printing press by the German J. Gutenberg in the middle of the 15th century (1435). There appeared a quick growth of the number of readers in Western European countries. This demand in its turn called an increase in translation activity. Translation began to be performed not only from classic languages but also from and into new European languages. Translating started almost at one and the same time in France, Germany, and England.

Certainly the greatest achievement of the Renaissance period was the translation of the Bible into several West European national languages. The first to appear was the German Bible in Martin Luthers translation (15221534), not strictly word-for-word, but faithfully sense-to-sense. It was followed in 1534 by the faithfully English translation of the Holy Book by William Tyndale.

The controversy between the supporters of three different approaches to translating continued unabated all through the periods of Classicism (17th 18th centuries) and Enlightenment (the 18th century). They are as follows:

1) the word-for-word translation of ecclesiastic and philosophic works. The basic principles were undermined by Luthers and Tyndales translations of the Bible;

2) free translation introduced by Horace and Apuleius, which had strongly established in France;

3) the Ciceros principles of regular sense-to-sense translation without reductions or additions to the works.

John Dryden (1630-1700), English literary critic, demanded from translators faithfulness to the spirit of the original which became a regular motto in this period.

5. The epoch of Romanticism and establishment of the principles of faithful translation in Europe.

Constant and persistent in his intention to discard the harmful practice of strict word-for-word translation as well as of the unrestricted freedom of translating belles-letters works was J. G. Herder(1744-1803) from German. He demanded that all translations of prose and poetic works render strictly, fully and faithfully not only the richness of content, but also the stylistic peculiarities, the artistic beauty and the spirit of the SL works. His criticism of freedom and verbalism found support among Göthe, Schiller, in other countries. This new approach began slowly to gain ground in the 1st decades of the 19th century. Naturally, it was not employed in all European countries at once.


6. Translation in Kyivan Rus during the 10th13th centuries and in Ukraine during the 14th16th centuries.

Ukrainian history of translation began soon after the adoption of Christianity in the 10th century. The very first translations, however, are supposed to have been made several decades before that historical date, namely as early as 911, when the Kyivan Rus Prince Oleh signed a treaty with Byzantium in 2 languages (Greek and then old Ukrainian). According to Nestor the Chronicler Yaroslav the Wise gathered together in 1037 in the St. Sophia Cathedral many translators (n) to translate books from Greek into the Old Slavonic language, which was in those times the language of many ecclesiastic works and was understood in all Slavic countries.

Soon the Bible began to appear in different cities of Kyivan Rus. These Bibles are historically identified after the names of places where they first appeared or after the names of their translators or copiers. Among the fully preserved Bibles of those times today are the Reims Bible, belonged to Princess Anna, the Ostromyrs Bible (1056), the Mstyslaws Bible (1115).

In the 11th and 12th centuries there also appeared several Psalm book () which were followed by the Apostles (1195, 1220).

These semi-ecclesiastic works, which were called apocrypha became well-known. These works included also Syrian, Greek legends.

In the period of the 11th13th centuries a regular upheaval in translation with many ecclesiastic and secular works were observed, among them didactic precepts Addresses, wise expressions and aphorism selected from the works of Plutarch, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle.

The Tartar and Mongol invasion in 1240, the downfall of Kyiv, the seizure of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, which completed the collapse of Byzantium, considerably slowed the progress of translation in Ukraine-Rus, which despite these tragic events, did not die out completely. 1307 The Bible of Polycarp. The attention of Ukrainian translators during the 14th 15th centuries now turned to numerous philosophic and aesthetic works. From the purely literary works are known the narratives: A Story of the Indian Kingdom, The Passions of Christ.

The 15th centurymarked a noticeable change in the orientation of Ukrainian culture and translation towards Western Europe. The first Ukrainians went to study in the universities of Khrakow, Paris, Florence, Bologna, from which the scientist Yuriy Drohobych had graduated and soon was elected rector.

This time up till the end of 16th century Ukrainian translators as well as German, English, were engaged in bringing mostly ecclesiastical works into our language.

The year 1581 saw a new Bible Ostroh Bible published by Fedorov. It was the first ever completed translation of the Hole Book in Slavic countries.


  1. Antonymic translation
  2. B) Partial Translation Equivalents
  3. Basic translation theories
  4. By Descriptive or Interpreting Translation
  5. Faithful and equivalent translation.
  6. Free Translation
  7. Identify the period of borrowing of the French, Greek, Russian and German words given in task 6.
  8. Literal translation
  9. Map of disciplines interfacing with Translation Studies
  10. Objectively and subjectively conditioned transformations of lexical units in the process of translation.
  11. Original Metaphors and Their Translation
  12. Referential Meaning and its Rendering in Translation

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