Головна Філологія Мовознавство EMILY DICKINSON’S POETRY TRANSLATIONS IN COMPARISON
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EMILY DICKINSON’S POETRY TRANSLATIONS IN COMPARISON
Філологія - Мовознавство

V. V. Yashkina Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University

Досліджено деякі особливості перекладів поетичних творів відомої англомовної поетеси Емілі Дікінсон, вивчено можливі шляхи досягнення перекладацької адекватності.

Ключові слова: переклад, перекладацька адекватність, еквівалентність перекладу, літе­Ратурний переклад.

Изучены некоторые особенности переводов стихотворений известной англоязычной поэтессы Эмили Дикинсон, рассмотрены потенциальные способы достижения адекватности при переводе.

Ключевые слова: перевод, переводческая адекватность, эквивалентность перевода, ли­тературный перевод.

Definite peculiarities of Emily Dickinson’s poetry translations are studied; possible ways of achieving adequacy are discussed.

Keywoods: translation, adequacy, equivalence, literary translation

The more translations come to being the more discussions start. At the same time, the theory of translation is a relatively young science. Taking this fact into consideration it should be mentioned that the topicality of the chosen theme is obvious on the account of the fact that the theory of translation has not been finally formed and, in addition, Emily Dickinson’s art is not widely covered by the scientists of our country. Conse­quently the aim of the research was to study the specific character and the problems of English language poetry translation on purpose of Emily Dickinson’s poetry translation adequacy analysis.

During the process of theoretical aspects of translation studying it was found out that, the theory of literary translation, as a science, does not possess vividly defined scope. That is why making one of the most difficult types of translation, namely literary translation of poetic works, a translator may face a number of difficulties. These diffi­culties are caused by the difference in the structure of the English, Russian and Ukrain­ian languages. For example English does not have gender endings of case and verbal inflexions, or one and the same word may be used as a noun, an adjective or even an adverb, plural form is created, as a rule, without syllable addition. At the same time for Russian and Ukrainian languages it is not typical to use the indefinite and definite arti­cles while the usage of personal pronouns is not obligatory [1, р. 38].

The difficulties of literary translation are also caused by the difference in the length of the original and translation language models, the accurate forms of versifica­tion and the difference in the perception of these or those images, specifically words with the help of which they are created in this or that language. A translator must not only perfectly know the languages of the origin and the translation, but also understand the context of the poem creation [4, р. 85]. Thus, it should be mentioned that even stated above requirements to the translator are not enough for the creation of a high quality literary translation.

Traditionally three types of written translation are distinguished:

© Yashkina V. V., 2011


1. Word-for-word translation. It is the translation of foreign text words in the or­der they are given in the text without taking into consideration their syntactical or logi­cal relations.

2. Literal translation aims to reproduce the idea of the source text saving syntacti­cal constructions and lexical content.

3. Literary translation. This type of translation reproduces the ideas of the origin in the form of literary language and results in a great number of discrepancies.

Literary translation is the reproduction of the origin by means of another lan­guage saving the unity of content and form.

The main question of the theory of translation can be put in such a way: whether it is possible or not to reproduce accurately the ideas in one language expressed by means of the other language. There are two opposite viewpoints concerning this ques­tion:

The main question of the theory of translation can be put in such a way: whether it is possible or not to reproduce accurately the ideas in one language expressed by means of the other language. There are two opposite viewpoints concerning this ques­tion. The first is known as Untranslatable in Translation Theory. According to this the­ory the translation of full value from one language to another is totally impossible as a result of considerable difference between various languages expressive means. V. Gumbolt was the first who proclaimed this idea. The other point of view, which was stated by P. Chesnokov and B. Uorf, says that any developed national language is suffi­cient for full-fledged reproduction of thoughts in another language [3, р. 17].

Among all numerous types of translation, undoubtedly, poetical translation is the most difficult and the most responsible. G. Gachichiladze singles out the following dif­ferences between the prose and poetry translation:

– poetry has a strict composition, poetry language is rather metaphorical and as a result it is difficult to find translational equivalents;

– it is difficult to find metrical equivalents;

– there is a problematic reproduction of rhymes [2, р. 90].

For saving the poetical image it is essential to save metre and rhythm of the ori­gin. Rhythm depends on the number of syllables, interchange of stressed and unstressed syllables and the structure of the language. That is why the length of the word is of great importance, because it is conditioned by rhythm and metre. Taking into consideration the facts mentioned above, the conclusion can be made that it might be impossible to reproduce the rhythm and metre accurately. The preservation of rhyme is essential for showing the peculiarities of the author’s style. The translator may have a number of dif­ficulties because male rhyme, which is typical for the English poetry, looks inaccurate for Russian or Ukrainian female rhyme.

Talking about the poetry translation we should also mention such notions as equivalence and adequacy of translation. Translation equivalence is defined as a meas­ure of semantic similarity between the source text and the target text. The degree of this similarity may vary. V. Komissarov distinguishes five levels of equivalence: the level of communicative goal, of the situation, of message, of utterance and of signs. The goal of adequate translation is the conveyance of content and form of the original by means of the foreign on the maximum level of equivalence.

Translational transformation is the basis method of the translation adequacy achievement. It is the change of formal or sentimental components of the source text saving the information assigned for reproduction.

The common classification of transformations does not exist. N. Fitermann and M. Levizka single out grammatical, lexical and stylistic transformations. I. Rezker, on the contrary, singles out only two types of transformation: grammatical and linguistic.


L. Barhudarov reduces all translation transformations to four elementary types: rear­rangement, replacement, addition, omission.

The goal of adequate translation is the conveyance of content and form of the original by means of the foreign on the maximum level of equivalence. Poetry, in con­trast to prose, by its nature submits special rules, has specific form, which a translator has to follow. Sometimes this task stays unreached, because any poet has specific, common only for him, the system of images and the language, with the help of which he creates it. As long as complete preservation of the poem form is not always possible and sometimes even not desirable, the adequacy of the translation depends on the ability of the translator to single out the main images in the poem. Also it should be mentioned that making the poetical translation, the main demands to the adequate translation also take place.

These demands are the following ones: accuracy, brevity, lucidity and literacy [5]. In that way, poetical translation submits general basic theory of literary translation, on which the art of a translator is based – preservation of the substantial images and the adequate replacement of some elements according to the literary reality of the origin.

The carried out analysis has shown that translation can have conditional changes, in comparison with the origin, and these changes are completely essential and reason­able if the aim is creation of similar to the origin unity of form and content on basis of the another language, but the adequacy of translation depends on the number as well as on the type of these changes.

The practical analysis confirmed that as a result of a great difference among the listed above aspects of the English, Russian and Ukrainian languages the complete pre­servation of form and images of the poetic work is not always possible. That is why translators always face the choice, as a result of which they have either to change the poem size in order to save its main idea or to «distort» its sense for accurate reproduc­tion of form. Choosing between the form and the system of images, on the first place stands the system of images, because exactly into it is put the author’s main idea and neglecting of it is not acceptable. Taking this into consideration, the majority of transla­tors save, first of all, the profundity of the author’s philosophic idea and only after that the poem’s structure.

Comparative analysis is in an important method of translation research. Emily Dickinson’s poems should be studied as the unity of content and form, they require at­tentive and sensitive reading and understanding. During the research such poems as «I died for Beauty», «The Sky is low», «My life closed twice», translated by A. Gavrilov, V. Markova, T. Kazakova, E. Linezka, L. Sitnik and A. Kudryavizkiy, were analyzed.

One of the peculiarities of Emily Dickinson’s style was emphasizing of words and ideas with the help of the capital letter. The analysis has shown that not all translators fol­lowed it accurately (for example, A. Gavrilov, V. Markova, A. Kudryavizky), while L. Sitnik and T. Kazakova did not emphasize any word with the help of the capital letter. By doing that the translators have misrepresented the poems’ images (Table 1).

Table 1

«I Died For Beauty»

E. Dickinson: «Beauty», «Tomb», A. Gavrilov: «Красота», «Правда».

«One», «Truth», «Room», «Brethren», «He», «Kinsmen», «Night», «Moss».

«The Sky Is Low»

E. Dickinson: «Sky», «Clouds», «Travel - V. Markova: «Небо», «Туча», «Ветер»,

Ling Flake», «Snow», «Barn», «Rut», «Nar - «Диадема». row Wind», «Day», «Us», «Diadem».

«My Life Closed Twice»


E. Dickinson: «Immortality». A. Kudryavitsky: «Завеса», «Веч-

Ность», «Рай», «Ад».

If we look at the metre of the analyzed poems we can single out that all of them are written with the help of iambic metre. All translators, except V. Markova and L. Sitnik save this form in their translations, while the mentioned translators use free verse, which was quite popular in the 20th century (Table 2).

Table 2

«I Died For Beauty»

E. Dickinson: Iambic. A. Gavrilov: Iambic.

V. Markova: free verse.

«The Sky Is Low»

E. Dickinson: Iambic. E. Linetskaya, T. Kazakova: Iambic.

V. Markova, L. Sitnik: Free verse.

«My Life Closed Twice»

E. Dickinson: Iambic. A. Kudryavitsky: Iambic.

V. Markova, L. Sitnik: Free verse.

From the point of rhythm all the translators use typical for Emily Dickinson mod­el ABCB.

The examples of separate, successfully translated lines, showed that the accurate preservation of the content of origin is not rarely connected with the necessity of literal translation refusal, but the creation of adequate meaningful correspondence is essential. That is why in case of dilemma between the literal accuracy of the poem’s form preser­vation and the accuracy of its poetical content, if it is impossible to save both – the ac­curacy of the poetical content should be chosen. Talking about the adequacy of transla­tion, it should be added that in the translations of some of analyzed poems translators not always followed one of the adequacy requirements – lucidity. This phenomenon can be seen in the translations of T. Kazakovoy «The Sky Is Low» and «My life closed twice» by V. Markova (Table 3).

Table 3

«I Died For Beauty»

E. Dickinson: He questioned softly A. Gavrilov: «За красоту», – сказала я

«Why I failed»? И поняла – он рад.

«For Beauty», I replied.

«The Sky Is Low»

E. Dickinson: The Clouds are mean T. Kazakova: Нищебродство туч.

«My Life Closed Twice»

E. Dickinson: E. Dickinson: My life L. Sitnik: Я дважды скончаюсь, и пе-

Closed twice before its close ред концом.

E. Dickinson: So huge, so hopeless to V. Markova: Огромное – не предста-

Conceive as these that twice befall вить себе – в бездне теряется взгляд.

That is why, one should not forget that any translation should be creative only in the scope set by the origin, any addition to the author’s thought or the image may distort the content of the origin.

During the comparative analysis of the Emily Dickinson’s poetry translation it has been also found out that in separate cases the translators are maximally close to the


Unity of the content as well as to the form of the origin. For example, the translation of «I died for Beauty» by A. Gavrilov, «The Sky is low» by E. Linezkaya, «My life closed twice» by A. Kudravizkiy harmonically reproduce bright images characteristic for Emi­ly Dickinson’s art and the iambic form of the poems (Table 4).

Table 4

«I Died For Beauty»

E. Dickinson: Until the Moss had A. Gavrilov: Шептались мы – покуда

Reached our lips – мхи

And covered up -- our names – Нам губ не оплели.

«The Sky Is Low»

E. Dickinson: Nature, like Us, is some - E. Linetskaya: Как нас, Природу в

Times caught затрапезе

Without her Diadem. Застать совсем нетрудно.

«My Life Closed Twice»

E. Dickinson: Parting is all we know of A. Kudryavitsky: В Прощаниях есть

Heaven, сладость Рая,

And all we need of hell. Но все же их придумал Ад.

In conclusion it should be said that it is not always possible to save all the peculi­arities of the author’s style and the poem’s content. That is why it essential for the trans­lator to preserve the main image and idea which the author wanted to create and show to his readers. In addition, despite the variety of ideas concerning the problem whether literary translation is possible or not, new translations constantly appear giving us the unique opportunity to widen our mental outlook and enrich our culture.

References

1. Бархударов Л. С. Некоторые проблемы перевода английской поэзии на русский язык / Л. С. Бархударов // Тетради переводчика. – Вип. 21. – М., 1984. – С. 38–48.

2. Гачечиладзе Г. Стихосложение и поэтический перевод / Г. Гачечиладзе // Поэтика перевода. – М., 1988. – С. 88–100.

3. Комиссаров В. Н. Теория перевода / В. Н. Комиссаров. – М. : Высш. шк., 1990. – 253 с.

4. Нелюбин Л. Л. Переводоведческий словарь / Л. Л. Нелюбин. – М., 1999. – 427 с.

5. Общие вопросы перевода. – Режим доступа : Http://www. philosoft. ru/_subsites/tcportal/ Perevod/tr01_1.htm.

6. Emily Dickinson. Poems. – Режим доступа : Http://www. mith2.umd. edu/WomensStudies/ ReadingRoom/Poetry/Dickinson/.

Надійшла До Редколегії 08.02.11


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