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Parts and Additional Explication of Units of the Nationally



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Parts and Additional Explication of Units of the Nationally Biased Lexicon

The proper meaning of some specific units of the national lexi­con can be faithfully rendered by way of regular translation of all or some of their componental parts and explication of the denotative meaning pertaining to the source language unit. The combined ap­proach in the treatment of this group of specific national lexicon units is called forth by the complexity of meaning inherent in the source language units. It is also due to the inadequacy of componental trans­lation, which does not reveal the essentials that are absolutely indis­pensable for correct comprehension of the real meaning of the cultur­ally biased lexical units of the source language.

Due to this the way of rendering the meanings of this kind of units practically involves two simultaneous performances. The first is a regular translation of the main, if not all, componental parts and the next, which follows it, is a more or less exhaustive explanation of the essence pertained to the specific national element of the source lan-

guage. The extent of the explanation in the target language is first of all predetermined by the nature of the specific unit of national lexicon, by the purpose of translation, and also by some characteristic possi­bilities of the text in which the unit is used. When translating at lan­guage level (out of context) the explanation may be practically unre­stricted: Battle of Britain Битва за Англію (повітряні бої англійської авіації з гітлерівськими бомбардувальниками над територією Великої Британії, особливо в районі Лондона і Південної Англії 1940-1941 pp.); bull's eye бичаче око (круглий великий різноколірний м'ятний льодяник); collective membership тимчасове колективне членство в лейбористській партії (наприклад, на час виборів), профспілок, кооперативних товариств; члени цих організацій автоматично стають членами лейбористської партії); ginger ale, імбірний ель/імбірне ситро (безалкогольний газований напій); inner Cabinet «внутрішній кабінет» (кабінет у вузькому складі), до якого входять керівники найважливіших міністерств на чолі з прем'єр-міністром.

Such and the like explanations can not, naturally, be made in the text of a translation, hence they are given usually in the footnotes, as in the following examples:

«Well, I can tell you anything «Ну, я тобі можу розповісти


that is in an English bluebook, все, що написано в англійській
Harry.» (O.Wilde) «Синійкнизі.»1

Labour Day was past, but День ПрацР був позаду

summer still pressed down on (минув), а літня спека


the city. (M.Wilson) продовжувала зморювати.

Frances wanted very little: а Франсіс хотіла зовсім небагато:

salad, foasf melba, no wine, салат, грінки «мельба»3, без

only ice water. (A.Cronin) вина, і тільки воду з льодом.

When the lexical meaning of the unit of specific national lexi­
con is not so complex, as the given ones, it is usually explained in
the target language text. The explanation then, of course, is not al­
ways as exhaustive as it can be in a footnote, cf.:
Keep your fingers crossedior Щоб мені була вдача, склади
me! (M.Wilson) навхрест (хрестиком)
пальці!.

1 «Синя книга» -збірник документів, що видається з санкції парламенту Великої
Британії в синіх палітурках.

2 «День Праці» - офіційне свято в США (відзначається у перший понеділок
вересня).

3 На ім'я австралійської співачки Н. Мельби.


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(I) Knew the Professor before he Я знав цього професора ще до

turned into a wooly West-Ender. того, як він став багатієм

(A.Cronin) аристократичного Вест-Енда.

Though veneered by his thirty Пройшовши за тридцять років

years in the Civil Service - he служби в державному апараті

had worked his way from boy від розсильного до завідуючого



clerk to principal - Gill was відділом, Джіл у душі все ж

human underneath. (A.Cronin) залишався людиною.

І will be in the Ladies Gallery Завтра о пів на дванадцяту я

tomorrow night at half past буду на жіночій гальорці в

eleven. (O.Wilde) палаті громад.

Левкові чи не вперше за своє It was probably for the first time



парубкування стало чомусь in all his mature boyhood that

тоскно. (М. Стельмах) Levko felt somewhat dull.

Згадав він поради свої... і Не recollected the pieces of advice

сільські весілля, на яких він he had once given - and the rural

грав весільного батька. (M. weddings at which he would perform

Коцюбинський) the honorary duty of the missing



bridegroom's or bride's father.

A fuller and more detailed explanation of the kind of nationally specific notions, as given above, is not desirable, since it would con­siderably extend the text of the translation. That is why the student should be warned not to unnecessarily enlarge the explanation of the culturally biased notions, unless required for their exhaustive and cor­rect comprehension. Laconism, therefore, should be the prevailing principle when dealing with the kind of specific national elements, but not to the detriment of explicitness/lucidity and faithfulness of their translation.



5. By Ways of Word-for-Word or Loan Translation

When the componental parts making up the units of the nation­ally specific lexicon are at the same time the main transparent bear­ers of their proper sence, expressed through their meaning, a faithful translation of such sense units may be achieved either by way of word-for-word translation or by way of loan translation. Each of these ways can be well exemplified in English and Ukrainian.

A.Translated word-for-word are the specific national units of lexi­con as first (second, third) reading перше (друге, третє) читання (офіційне внесення законопроекту в англійський парламент); sec­ondary grammar school (середня граматична школа); стінгазета wall newspaper; студентське наукове товариство Students' Sci-

entific/Research Society; щоденник^учнівський) student's everyday record book, etc.

B. The denotative meaning of many units of the specific na­tional lexicon may be rendered by way of loan translating as well. Thus, from English: Salvation Army (USA, Gr.Britain) Армія порятунку; the Order of the Garter/of the Bath орден Підв'зки/Лазні; гле Order of St. Michael and St. George орден св.Михаїла і св.Георгія; fan club клуб прихильників/уболівальників (артиста, спортсмена тощо); from Ukrainian: орден Ярослава Мудрого the Order of Yaroslav the Wise/Yaroslav the Wise Order; орден св. княгині Ольги Київської the Order of St. Olga Princess of Kyivan Rus'. The denotative meaning of these and many other English/Ukrainin spe­cific units of national lexicon of the kind, thus translated, will undoubt­edly be correctly understood by the target-language speakers. And yet neither of the two ways of translating can often provide an exhaus­tive expression of all the extralingual details of meaning inherent in most of the units in the source language. Thus, the aim and purpose of issuing our «wall newspaper», which was a regular practice in all state institutions of the former USSR, as well as in this country today, would scarcely be understood by the British or Americans. Neither do most of our people understand the whole complexity of meaningful semes pertained, for example, to the British Order of the Bath. Hence, such culturally biased notions are to be given a more detailed explica­tion in the target language.

A considerable number of specific units of the national lexicon, both in English and in Ukrainian, consist of the component parts with seemingly transparent lexical meaning. But when conveyed verbally or word-for-word, however, they may lose their proper meaning to­gether with their nationally specific nature. That happens, because the real connotative meaning inherent in the semes, bearing the na­tional peculiarity, can not be achieved via these methods of transla­tion. For example, the «House of Lords» when translated as будинок лордів completely perverts the real meaning of the collocation as «House» here, like in the «Upper House» (or simply the «House» when capitalized), always preserves the connotative meaning of палата. Likewise with the «House of Commons» where both compo­nents are also endowed with a nationally peculiar meaning and can not be translated as будинок простих людей, but only as «Палата громад».

This method of translating is also widely employed when deal­ing with former Sovietisms as «Герой Соціалістичної Праці»,


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«соціалістичне змагання», etc. Here too the verbal translating of «праця», «змагання» like other notions of the kind would completely distort the proper sense of the collocations which they are compo­nents of. The variant *Hero of Socialist Work* would also be inad­equate stylistically, because the componental part «work» belongs to the neutral style lexicon. Similarly in case with the former term «so­cialist competition» in which the noun component had nothing to do with the meaning or «competition» proper. Therefore, a faithful trans­lation of the kind of units of lexicon is predetermined by the correct choice of equivalent units for the semes bearing the national peculiar­ity. The latter may be expressed both verbally or word-for-word and by means of translation loans, which should be resorted to when verbal translating ruins the national peculiarity of the source language cul­turally biased units. The number of English genuine translation loans in Ukrainian, as well as Ukrainian in English, is considerable. So is the number of verbal and word-for-word translations, as can be seen from some of the examples below: English: cornflakes кукурудзяні пластівці; English Industrial Revolution промисловий перевороте Англії (18-19 століть); skyscraper хмарочос; supermarket універсальний магазин (універсам); brain washing промиваная мізків (ідеологічна обробка); oat-flakes вівсяні пластівці (геркулес). Ukrai­nian: карбованець karbovanets', гривня hryvnia, Верховна Рада Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's Parliament), Герой України Hero of Ukraine; заслужений діяч мистецтв України the Merited Worker of Arts/ Ukraine's Merited Worker of Arts; голова районної/обласної Ради народних депутатів, Chairman of the District/Region Rada of People's Deputies; медаль за трудову доблесть the Medal for Labour Distinction; орден Богдана Хмельницького 1,11,111 ступеня the Or­der of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi (First, Second, Third Degree).

It is worth mentioning that some of the above-given and other Ukrainian units of the kind may be translated into English either as asyndetic structures or as syndetic (prepositional) word-groups. The latter are absolutely predominant in conversational English, while the former are more common in written (or official) language: заслужений учитель/артист України the Honoured Teacher/Artist of Ukraine or Ukraine's Honoured Teacher/Artist; медаль «За трудову відзнаку» the medal for Labour Distinction or the Labour Distinction Medal. But: герой України Hero of Ukraine.



6. Translating by Means of Semantic Analogies

Despite the differences in economic, social, political, cultural

.mil in many cases also geographical/environmental conditions, un­der which the nation of the source language and that of the target language lives and develops some peculiar notions in both the lan­guages may be identical or similar/analogous in their meaning and functioning. It happens due to the existence of common routine or habitual actions, common occupations, social services, food, etc., in tin'so two contrasted language communities.

The appearance of analogous units in the national layer of lexi­con of different languages may also be the result of bilateral or multi­lateral contacts and influences, to which the nations may have been oxposed for centuries. Consequently, similar/analogous national no-lions in different languages may appear as a result of direct or indirect (tluough an intermediary language) borrowings. No wonder, that analo-QOi is units of national lexicon directly correlate in the source language and in the target language in their denotative meaning and mostly in the common sphere of their functioning - social, cultural, political, etc. Though far from all the analogies ever possess an absolute com-l iloxity of meanings inherent in the source language units. The conno-l.ilivo divergences and sometimes the spheres of use may not always fully coincide in the target language, as can be seen from the follow-ii x | low examples. English: the City/Town Board of Education міський ІІдділ освіти; pop corn кукурудзяні баранці; gingerbread імбирний пряник, коврижка; shop-steward цеховий староста (голова профкому); stewed fruit узвар/компот; Well done! Well done! (spoils) Мо-лод-ці! Мо-лод-ці!; come! come! Вгамуйся, заспокойся/ цить, цить, не плач. Ukrainian: залік preliminary/qualifying test/examina­tion; дипломна робота graduation essay/project; курсова робота term/yearly essay/project; доцент principal lecturer/reader, associ­ate professor; курси вдосконалення refresher course; підвищення кваліфікації in-service training course; кватирка hinged window pane/ pilot window; консультація tutorial.

No doubt some of the English /Ukrainian units mentioned above are mainly functionally approximate analogies (cf. доцент principal loader/lecturer reader, associate professor, кватирка hinged win­dow pane). Their complete denotative meaning can naturally be un­derstood only from a larger context. Functionally analogous are also some nouns in the forms of address in both the languages as can be seen below,:

Sir, she, being his wife will not, Пане, їй, як дружині, згідно
according to custom, mention звичаю не можна називати ім'я
his name. (M.R.Anand) свого чоловіка.


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teach them the three R's. (P.Abrahams) 14. The lady looked some­what surprised. His Lordship arrived first escorting Mrs. Mallaby. (A.Christie) 15. Down Whitehall, under the grey easterly sky, the tow­ers of Westminster came for a second in view. 16. And, removing their hats, they passed the Cenotaph. (J.Galsworthy) 17. She was busy loading the table with high tea. 18. He was afraid that as K.C.he would get no work. (S.Maugham) 19. Mr. Huges was on the Bench. (Gor­don) 20.1 can get you a seat in the Distinguished Strangers' Gallery. (J.Galsworthy)

Exercise II. Definite the ways in which the Ukrainian units of the national lexicon are translated (or should be translated) into English.

A. 1. President Leonid Kuchma issued a decree obliging col­lege graduates to work in the State sector after graduation. 2. The Ukrainian Nuclear Power Industry Workers' Union addressed their demand to President Leonid Kuchma, Verkhovna Rada, and the Cabi­net of Ministers. 3. Resulting from the sale of 60 per cent of an emis­sion of municipal loan bonds totalling 15.000 hryvnias, the Kharkiv municipality will purchase 20 used Mercedes minibuses. 4. She is one of the 20 top ballet stars who will take part in the Christ­mas season of international ballet at London Albert Hall, opening on Boxing Day. 5. Photo reproductions in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg show huge burial mounds of Chemihivpr/ncesand boyars of the 11 th-12th centuries. 6. The desire to create, invent and experi­ment leads schoolchildren of Lviv and the Lviv Region to the «Evrika» Junior Academy of Sciences». 7. In 1931 Arkadiy Filipenko was en­rolled at the robitfak, worker's faculty, under the Lysenko Music and Drama School. 8. His first teacher - a kindly old herdsman - taught him to play on a simple reedpipe, sopilka, when he was only nine. 9. Then music and songs were performed by the Trio of Bandore Play­ers. 10. Both families call the groom and the bride «knyaz and knyahynya» (prince and princess), the best men are «boyaryns», the bridesmaids are «druzhky». 11. The occasion was celebrated by Ukrai­nian families with kutya (boiled peeled barley or wheat/rice with honey and ground poppy seeds). 12. There are several types of pysanky. one when the egg is painted in one colour; when with the aid of a special sharp tool one scratches the pictures on the painted egg (such an egg is called «dryapanka» or «scrobanka»); when one puts thin layers of. wax on the egg while dipping the latter in paint, usually going from light colours to dark («krapanka»); when the egg is painted with oil paint («malyovanka»); and, finally, when with the help of a special

instrument one draws a picture with wax, then fills it with different colours.



B. Give Ukrainian equivalents for the following traditional
folk rites, customs, and religious feasts of our people:

1. commemoration of ancestors; 2. Whitsuntide/Whitsunday, Pentacost; 3. the feast of Presentation; 4. to bless water; 5. stuffed cabbage (leafs); 6. Holy supper; 7. pious and righteous; 8. Epiphany; 9. the feast of the Annunciation; 10. Warm Alexis; 11. miracle-work­ers; 12. Willow Sunday/Palm Sunday; 13. «Passion Friday»; 14. Holy Shroud; 15. the Easter Matins; 16. the High mess; 17. unleavened bread; 18. Seeing off Sunday; 19. Forty Martyrs; 20. water nymphs; 21. Maccabees' Day; 22. the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord; 23. the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin; 24. Twelfth-day; 25. the pre-Christmas fast; 26. The Birthday of the most Holy Mother of God; 27. The Elevation of the Holy Cross; 28. The Feast of Inter­cession of the Most Holy Mother of God; 29. The Archangel Michael's Day; 30. St. John the Baptist.



C. Read the Ukrainian passage below, identify the cultur­
ally biased notions in it and translate it into English.

Іран живе за власним відліком часу і має свій календар (сонячна хиджра), яким встановлено новий рік 20 березня -дня переходу пророка Могаммада з Мекки в Медину 621 року. Хоча Іран є однією з мусульманських країн, проте святкування Нового року (Ноуруза) походить ще з доісламських часів. Ноуруз (в буквальному перекладі «новий день») припадає на період весняного рівнодення, що означає з давніх давен у багатьох народів пробудження природи. Наші пращури, дажбожителі, теж пов'язували з весною своє новолітування. За іранським звичаєм на святковому столі має бути сім речей, назви яких починаються з літери «с» (за перським правописом): часник, гроші (щоб наступний рік був багатий), яблука тощо. Обов'язково присутні дзеркало (аби в ньому було видно лише добро), живі рибки у воді (символ життя), Коран (священна книга мусульман) і миска з зеленими паростками пшениці. І у нас, в Україні, існує звичай до Великодня посеред столу разом із пасками ставити проросле збіжжя. Традиційними до Ноуруза вважаються також добре знайомі українцям писанки. Цей давній звичай фарбувати або розписувати яйця має глибокі корені, що беруть свій початок з дохристиянських та доісламських часів (в Ірані, як і в Україні, яйце є символом життя). І хоча техніка розпису яєць в Ірані відрізняється від виготовлення традиційних українських писанок, сам факт свідчить про спільне в культурі двох народів.




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Exercise III. Read carefully the sentences containing some American/British nationally peculiar notions and translate the sentences into Ukrainian.

A. 1. USAir has gone to «sporks», a combination of fork and
spoon to cut down on the number of utensils used. The USA Today
asked some Road Warriors who are best described as «grumpy gour­
mands» because they probably eat more meals on jets than at home.
Here's what they say: «The scrambled eggs were OK, moist with
decent flavour. The waffles were almost soggy. The coffee was good,
but they always serve it in a Styrofoam cup, which drives me crazy.»
(J.Y.Oakton) 2) «Breakfast was a cheddar cheese omelette, it not
only appeared to be stable - as compared to some that swim in uni­
dentifiable liquid - but it also tasted like cheddar cheese and eggs. It
was enough cholesterol to have caused a block in my arteries, but it
was good.» 3) «I had the grilled chicken, it was a good portion, but it
was dry with a fake, smoked flavour. The salad was fresh and cresp.
But it was served in a bowl, not on a plate. The wheat roll was moist
and served with real butter. For dessert, I had chocolate cake. But, it
was too sweet, which was good.» (K.W.) 4) «I had two choices for
breakfast: cold cereal or an omelet. I had Quaker Oat Square, a small
carton of 2 milk, low-flat peach yoghurt, orange juice and a banana.»

  1. «This time, the plate had an ample amount of grapes, pineapple and orange slices, but only one strawberry. I didn't eat the yoghurt or the dry cereal, but I did have a warm blueberry muffin.»

  2. «They served a health-food concoction that tasted like the card­board box it came in. It was a sort of corn-flavored, crispy, chiplike thing, it had no flavour at all. We also had fruit. I like that they serve milk, but I hate that low-fat stuff, it insipid - all airline food is insipid.»

B. Translate the list of meals of a common American res­
taurant.

1. Traditional barbeque foods: smoked brisket and ham, or tur­key; pig picking pork, smoked chicken wings, baby back ribs (half-slab, full slab), spare ribs (short ends, long ends); grilled chicken and greens; Texas chicken, a boneless breast grilled with spicy Texas sauce, topped with thinly sliced smoked brisket and melted cheddar cheese; burnt ends, smoked apple sausage or brisket. Smoked ribs... tender meaty ribs basted with maple - mustard, glaze, slow roasted and then lightly grilled; hickory chicken... 1/2 chicken smoked and basted with the original BBQ (barbecue) sauce; burnt ends... tender chunks of twice-smoked brisket drenched in our famous sauce; Texas-size beef ribs marinated, slow-smoked and flame-grilled. 2. Garnishes:

BBQ baked beans, cole slaw and potato salad, whole wheat, white bread or buns, pickled and barbecue sauce. 3. Apetizers: cheese and assorted crackers, French onion soup, onion straws, corn fritters (hot and fresh long ends), a hickory-grinned chicken breast sliced and served atop, fresh veggies and greens, with our honey-mustard dress­ing; assorted relishes; vegetable tray with dip. 4. Accompaniments: dirty rice, tossed salads. 5. Desserts: creamy cheesecake, choco­late peanut butter, ice-cream pie; old fashioned cheesecake, apple fritters served hot with powdered sugar and sweet honey butter.


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