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Translation Studies 16. Lexical TOs: contraction and distribution of meaning Krisztina Károly, Spring, 2006 Sources: Klaudy, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Translation Studies 16. Lexical TOs: contraction and distribution of meaning Krisztina Károly, Spring, 2006 Sources: Klaudy, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Translation Studies 16. Lexical TOs: contraction and distribution of meaning Krisztina Károly, Spring, 2006 Sources: Klaudy, 2003

2 1. Contraction of meanings

3 Lexical contraction concentration (Vinay and Darbelnet, 1958, 1995), integration (Klaudy, 1995), accumulation or condensation of meanings = a standard transfer operation whereby translators draw together the meaning of several words, and thus SL units consisting from two or more words will be replaced by a TL unit consisting of one word (Klaudy, 2003, p.214)

4 Explanation for contraction of meaning: the different segmentation of reality e.g., kinship relations, by the different word formation possibilities (e.g., long compound words are common in German) and by the synthetic or analytic nature of the lexical systems of different languages

5 Traditional classification of language typology: Hungarian belongs to the agglutinative type of Ls (words made up of several syllables: word base + affixes): e.g., fiú (‘boy’), fiú-k (‘boys’), fi-aink (‘our boys’), fi-aink-nak (‘to our boys’), szeret (to love), szeret-ek (‘I love’), szeret-l-ek (‘I love you’) When translating from an isolating, monosyllabic L like English into an agglutinative L like Hungarian, many obligatory contractions take place, which are not only obligatory operations but are automatic as well. E.g., morphological contraction in IE-H translation means that functional elements with grammatical meaning are incorporated into the main verb. (May I have it?  Elvehetem?)  automatic  not discussed here

6 Not obligatory and automatic  the contraction of different lexical meanings e.g., English: to say softly  Hungarian: suttog; English: You are making me nervous  Hungarian: Idegesítesz  presupposes some kind of decision-making on the part of translators for two reasons: (1) contraction of meanings is rarely suggested by bilingual dictionaries, (2) contraction of meanings is an optional transfer operation.  a good test of translators’ creativity.

7 Contraction as a transfer operation research shows (Baker 1993, Laviosa 1998) that it is not a universal translation strategy takes place first of all in IE-H translation as it results in a lower number of words in translation, translators often hesitate to choose the more implicit solutions

8 Subtypes: 1.Contraction of kinship terms 2.Contraction motivated by word formation potential 3.Integration of inchoative verbs into the main verb 4.Integration of adverbs of manner into reporting verbs 5.Merging change of state verbs with adjectives 6.Merging semantically poor verbs with nouns

9 1. Contraction of kinship terms Predominant direction: no for the expression of certain kinship relations one L may have a collective term while another may not: e.g., Hungarian testvér is a collective term for English brother and sister in other cases, it is Hungarian where a more detailed description can be found: e.g., öcs (‘younger brother’) and fivér (‘elder brother’) can be translated with one collective term into English brother; húg (‘younger sister’) and nővér (‘elder sister’) = sister

10 English  Hungarian: brother/sister (specific terms in E)  testvérek (collective term in H) English ST: Of course they wasn't brother and sister,... (Hemingway 62) Hungarian TT: Persze nem voltak testvérek,... (Szász 63) English ST: Then his sister was his manager, and they was always being written up in the papers all about brothers and sisters and how she loved her brother... (Hemingway 62) Hungarian TT: Aztán a nővére volt a menedzsere, s mindig kiírták őket az újságokban, hogy testvérek, és hogyan szereti a lány a fívérét.... (Szász 63)

11 2. Contraction motivated by word formation potential Predominant direction: Hungarian  German word combination is one of the most frequent forms of expanding vocabulary and creating new words in all the five languages under investigation it is especially frequently used in German (e.g., Kriegsfolgenbereinigungsgesetz ‘war consequences clearing act’).

12 3. Integration of inchoative verbs into the main verb Predominant direction: IE  Hungarian IE verbs of beginning (e.g., start, begin) in auxiliary function (begin to rain, start to speak, etc.) often become more specific, more concrete in IE  Hungarian translation another operation that is connected with verbs of beginning is the integration of these verbs into the main verb began to speak  megszólalt. (the inchoative meaning expressed by the auxiliary verb is integrated into the meaning of the main verb, with the help of prefixes and suffixes)

13 English  Hungarian: English ST: Billy started sipping his tea. (Dahl 72) Hungarian TT: Billy belekortyolt a teába. (Borbás 73) Commentary: English started sipping  Hungarian bele+kortyolt (inchoative prefix +sipped)

14 4. Integration of adverbs of manner into reporting verbs Predominant direction: IE  Hungarian IE verbs of saying (e.g., say) in literary works often become more specific or more concrete in IE  Hungarian translation another way of concretisation is the merging of adverbs of manner and verbs of saying (said encouragingly  biztatta) this operation is not obligatory as the analytic solution mondta lágyan (lit: said softly), mondta biztatóan (lit: said encouragingly)

15 English  Hungarian: English ST: 'Before this day is done', Mr Boggis said softly, I shall have the pleasure of sitting down upon that lovely seat.' (Dahl 136) Hungarian TT: – Még mielőtt leáldozik a nap – suttogta Mr. Boggis –, erre a szépséges székre lesz szerencsém letelepedni. (Borbás 137) Commentary: English said softly  Hungarian suttogta (‘whispered’)

16 English ST: 'Yes Edna?' said Miss Marple encouragingly. (Christie 6) Hungarian TT: – Nos, Edna – bíztatta Miss Marple. (Borbás 7) Commentary: English said encouragingly  Hungarian bíztatta (‘encouraged her’)

17 5. Merging change of state verbs with adjectives Predominant direction: IE  Hungarian In IE Ls, the changes in the physical or mental states of things/persons are usually expressed analytically by verbal phrases: “verb of becoming” (e.g. turn) + an adjective expressing the specific content or direction of the change (e.g. turn sentimental). In Hungarian, where the word formation system makes it very easy to form verbs from adjectives, these two meanings can be contracted and expressed synthetically by one verb (turn sentimental  elérzékenyül).

18 English  Hungarian: English ST: And if it makes me smaller, I can creep under the door. (Carroll 16) Hungarian TT: Ha pedig eltörpülök tőle, akkor kimászhatok alúl az ajtórésen. (Kosztolányi 13) Commentary: English makes me smaller  Hungarian el+törpülök (prefix+dwarfed by)

19 6. Merging semantically depleted verbs with nouns Predominant direction: IE  Hungarian IE verbs of general meaning (take) are amalgamated with nouns of specific meaning (sip') resulting in a synthetic Hungarian verb form (kortyintott). The great variety of synthetic verb forms is a unique possibility of Hungarian, which does not mean, however, that here are no analytic forms. In the sentences below translators chose to use the synthetic forms:

20 English  Hungarian: English ST: Franny nodded, and took a sip of her milk. (Salinger 27) Hungarian TT: Franny bólintott, és kortyintott a tejből. (Elbert 28) Commentary: English took a sip  Hungarian korty+intott (sip + verbal suffix)

21 Summary comments on lexical contraction The contraction of meanings as a transfer operation is very close to the specification of meanings Contraction and specification of meaning are primarily characteristic of translation into Hungarian. They are among the most frequently used transfer operations, and sometimes they are used more than once in the same sentence:

22 English ST:... and it was a shock last week when one of the brood not only detected me in the act of observation but returned that knowing signal, as if he shared my knowledge of what the years would make of him. (Greene 124) Hungarian TT:... és a múlt héten jócskán megdöbbentem, mikor a fészekaljából az egyik nemcsak rajtakapott megfigyelés közben, de még vissza is kacsintott, mintha ő éppoly jól tudná, mit tartogat számára a jövő. (Borbás 235)

23 English  Hungarian was a shock  megdöbben (contraction); returned... a knowing signal  visszakacsintott (contraction): shared my knowledge  tudná (contraction); make  tartogat (specification) years  jövő (‘future’) (specification )

24 Summary cont. without applying these operations translators could produce lexically and grammatically correct Hungarian sentences these operations cannot be called automatic, and inexperienced translators do not use them. experienced translators often follow the synthetic principle, and perhaps, even more frequently than the authors of literary works originally written in Hungarian. as contraction results in a lower number of words in the TL text, it can be treated as a kind of broad translation-strategy, i.e. implicitation.

25 2. Distribution of meaning Lexical distribution – in other terms: dilution (Vinay and Darbelnet 1958, 1995), segmentation (Klaudy 1995) or division of meanings = a standard transfer operation whereby the complex lexical meaning of a SL word is distributed over several words in the TL

26 Distribution of meaning in translation can be explained by the different segmentation of reality e.g., kinship relations, by the different word- formation possibilities (e.g., long compound words are common in German), and by the synthetic or analytic nature of the lexical systems of different Ls due to their rich morphology and word-forming potential, Hungarian verbs can incorporate more meanings (synthesis) than IE verbs, which are characterised by an analytical structure. E.g., Hungarian: Becsomagoljam? (synthetic form) – English: Shall I wrap it up? (analytic form). The distribution of grammatical meaning the H-IE translation is obligatory  necessary to produce grammatically correct TL sentences  not dealt with here

27 More interesting  the distribution of lexical meaning synthetic nature of the Hungarian word formation system  to amalgamate many different shades and nuances of meaning in one word with the help of a large number of prefixes and suffixes. To distribute the meaning of semantically rich Hungarian verbs in H-IE translation is an almost obligatory transfer operation because translators translating from H into IE often cannot find IE verbs of a similar semantic complexity.

28 Subtypes: 1.Distribution of meaning in kinship terms 2.Distribution of meaning in complex nouns 3.Distribution of meaning in paraphrasing translation 4.Distribution of meaning in inchoative verbs 5.Separation of adverbs of manner 6.Distribution of meaning in reporting verbs 7.Distribution of meaning in change of state verbs 8.Distribution of meaning in semantically rich verbs

29 1. Distribution of meaning in kinship terms Predominant direction: no Kinship terms may have a more detailed classification in one language and a less detailed one in the other. Hungarian: has a collective term for testvérek (‘brother and sister’) while English does not  the meaning of the Hungarian word testvérek can only be rendered by two words in English: brother and sister

30 Hungarian  English: testvérek (collective term in H)  brothers/sisters (specific terms in E) Hungarian ST: Azután elment, mert már jöttek a varázsló rokonai és testvé­rei, s azokkal ő nem volt ismerős. (Csáth 64) English TT: Then she went away, because the brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins of the magician were gathering, and she didn't know any of them. (Kessler 204)

31 2. Distribution of meaning in complex nouns Predominant direction: German  Hungarian the preference for word combinations in German may produce very long words which can be translated into Hungarian only by several words: e.g., Kriegsfolgenbereinigungsgesetz  a második világháború anyagi következményeinek rendezéséről szóló törvény. (‘war consequences clearing act’).

32 German  Hungarian: German ST: Hexerei und Kartenlesen, Amulettgetrage, böser Blick, Beschwörungen, Vollmondhokuspokus und was sie sonst noch alles treiben... (Süskind 19) Hungarian TT:. a boszorkányság, kártyevetés, amulettviselés, szemmel verés, igézés, teliholdkor történő varázslások és hasonlók ellen... (Farkas 15) (‘wizardry by full moon’)

33 3. Distribution of meaning in paraphrasing translation Predominant direction: no in the absence of a precise TL term translators render the meaning of the SL term with a noun of general meaning and a concretising attribute: Hungarian kocsonya  English meat in aspic; Hungarian kondér  English great kettle.

34 Hungarian  English: Hungarian ST: Nem annyira, mint a kocsonya, erről az uramat lehetne faggatni,... (Esterházy 53) English TT: Not as much as meat in aspic, though, you should ask my husband about it,... (Sollosy 42).

35 Paraphrasing is especially often used in translation of so-called "cultural words", otherwise referred to as "realia". a descriptive Adjective +Noun combination: English  Hungarian: English ST:..., his immaculate suit, stiff collar and Homburg hat making a strange contrast to the nets, bags and boxes full of testtubes with which he was surrounded. (Durrell 109) Hungarian TT:... Makulátlan öltönye, kemény gallérja és széles karimájú puhakalapja különös ellentétben állt a hálókkal, zacskókkal, kémcsővekkel telt dobozokkal, melyekkel körülrakta magát. (Sárközi 114)

36 4. Distribution of meaning in inchoative verbs Predominant direction: Hungarian  IE The complex meaning of Hungarian inchoative verbs (e.g., elpityeredett) is rendered by two separate verbs in IE languages: one expressing the beginning of the action (start, beginnen), and other expressing the action itself (snivelling).

37 Hungarian ST: Erre aztán Rozsákné is felkelt, felöltözött és elpityeredett. (Mikszáth 23) English TT: This was enough to make Mrs. Rozsák get up too, put on her clothes and start snivelling. (Sturgess 27) German TT: Da stand nun auch Frau Rozsák auf, zog sich an und begann zu flennen. (Schüching - Engl 291)

38 5. Separation of adverbs of manner Predominant direction: Hungarian  IE in translating from Hungarian into IE languages adverbs of manner are often separated from the IE verb the complex meaning of the Hungarian verb including not only the action but also the way or method of doing it (beront, belibbent, elcipelt, bevillamosozik) can only be rendered by two separate words in IE translation: an adverb for expressing the manner, style or way of the action (hurriedly), and a verb for expressing the action itself (return).

39 Hungarian  English: Hungarian ST:... berontott az asszisztens (Csáth 12) English TT:... the assistant returned hurriedly. (Kessler 184) Commentary: The complex meaning of the synthetic Hungarian verb berontott (‘rushed in’) is distributed between the English verb returned and the adverb hurriedly.

40 6. Distribution of meaning in reporting verbs distribution of meaning takes place when translating reporting verbs from Hungarian into IE languages Hungarian reporting verbs of complex meaning felhördül ‘to exclaim in protest’, hajtogat ‘to say a thing over and over again’, kötekedik ‘to pick a quarell’ or other verbs occasionally serving as reporting verbs (sír ‘to cry’, csodálkozik ’to be astonished’, mosolyog ‘to smile’), are divided into a verb with general meaning and an adverb of manner expressing the way of saying: mondta szünet nélkül ‘said again and again’ mondta csodálkozva ‘said with astonishment’, mondta mosolyogva ‘said smiling’.

41 Hungarian  English: Hungarian ST: – Eltitkolta-e? – vigyorgott a káplán gonoszul. (Mikszáth 35) English TT: ‘Has he?’ said the chaplain with a nasty grin. (Sturgess 42)

42 7. Distribution of meaning in change of state verbs sometimes it is impossible to render changes in state with a single IE verb: elvörösödik (‘turn red’), elkékül (‘turn blue’) elérzékenyül (‘turn sentimental’). Hungarian verbs indicating a change of state are also frequently distributed in translation into a verb of general meaning and an adjective describing the state.

43 Hungarian ST: Egészen belevörösödtem a próbálkozásba, hogy a gyanús közmondást kiegészítsem. (Karinthy 273) English TT: My struggles to complete the shady-looking proverb actually made me quite red in the face. (Barker 12)

44 8. Distribution of meaning in semantically rich verbs Predominant direction: Hungarian  IE distribution of the meaning of verbs is one of the most common transfer operations in translating from Hungarian into English, French, German and Russian Semantically rich Hungarian verbs are very often rendered by IE verbs of general meaning (English: take, make, do) and one or two nouns of specific meaning.

45 Hungarian  English: Hungarian ST: Mikor a gróf felébredt, kikocsizott, ha ugyan Estella megengedte. (Mikszáth 16) English TT: When the count awoke he went out for a drive in his coach, if Estella allowed him to. (Sturgess 18) ***


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