Tamara I. Leontieva Lectures on Translation Theory Department of Cross-cultural Communication and Translation Study



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Tamara I.Leontieva Lectures on Translation Theory

  • Department of Cross-cultural Communication and Translation Study

  • Foreign Languages Center

  • Vladivostok State University of Economics

  • 2008


SPEECH FUNCTIONS AND TRANSLATION

  • Theory and Practice



Language Functions

  • Communicative



Karl Buhler (Austrian linguist)

  • 1. Expressive function

  • 2. Appealing (focusing on the receptor)

  • 3. Referential (representing objects and phenomena)



Yuri Stepanov (semiotic principle)

  • 1. Nominative function

  • 2. Syntactic function

  • 3. Pragmatic function



Language vs Speech Functions

  • Language Functions

  • a) Are universal and constant

  • b) Are realized through speech



Speech Functions (according to Roman Jakobson)

  • 1. Referential (informative)

  • 2. Expressive (emotive)

  • 3. Conative (voluntative)

  • 4. Phatic (contact-making)

  • 5. Poetic (aesthetic)

  • 6. Metalingual (describing language)



M.A.C. Halliday

  • Following M.A.C.Halliday, translation theorists added one more speech function to the list, it is interpersonal function which

  • a) implies the speaker’s intervention in the use of language and

  • b) the expression of attitude.



Interpersonal Function and Modality in Translation

  • Objective modality

  • 1) category of mood [particles, adverbs: hardly, scarcely and the like]

  • 2) Assertion or denial of facts [categorical character of Russian speech]



Expressive Function in Translation

  • 1. Emotive semes: «You, old fool», said Mrs. Meade tenderly.

  • 2. Expressive semes (intensifiers):

  • a) They attacked him violently (physical assault). They violently attacked him (verbal assault).

  • b) He’s kind of clever - Он вроде умный (infl. AmE). To be continued.



Expressive Function in Translation - 2

  • c) У меня скорее лапы отсохнут, чем я прикоснусь к чужому … I’d rather have my paws wither and fall off than touch what belongs to someone else [special syntactic constructions].

  • d) Similes, metaphors: Don’t dirty your hands with that money. Весна уже на пороге - Spring is coming very soon.



Expressive Function in Translation - 3

  • 3. Appreciative semes (approval, disapproval): What a man!

  • a) Какой человек!

  • b) Ну и тип!

  • Ванечка, подожди минуту!

  • Vanya! Wait a minute [Lost form of diminution].



Expressive Function in Translation - 4

  • 4. Stylistic semes (lower or elevate the tone of speech): K.Chukovsky’s famous example: Светловолосая дева, чего ты дрожишь?

  • a) Рыжая девка, чего ты трясешься?

  • b) He commenced to scratch his back.

  • c) Мамаша, что вы мелете?



Expressive Function in Translation - 5

  • 5. Pragmatic semes: They arouse the communicants’ particular background associations:

  • a) Союз нерушимый … Stars and Stripes, Star-Spangled Banner, Old Glory;

  • b) Different symbolic associations (The Moon for an Uzbek is a girl’s beautiful face. For A. Pushkin: Кругла, бледна лицом она, как эта глупая луна).



Phatic Function in Translation (calling somebody’s attention, greetings, interruptions, vocatives, small talk, etc.)

  • a) Phrases for calling attention and asking to repeat::

  • Excuse me – Простите, девушка, вы не скажете…

  • AmE: I beg your pardon / Pardon.

  • To be continued



Phatic Function in Translation (calling somebody’s attention, greetings, interruptions, vocatives, small talk, etc.)

  • b) Forms of address: Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms. – the latter is for a female who does not want others to know if she is married or not. Tr.: Mrs. Mary Brown – Mrs. John Brown (г-жа Браун, супруга Джона Брауна). “Miss” is becoming rare. Position or vocation: Mr. President, Ms.Chairperson, Officer, Doctor Brown – д-р Браун (an Am. Professor).



Conative Function in Translation (commands, prohibitions, requests, permissions, advice, invitations, etc.)

  • 1. A translator should be aware of the differences in expressing requests: May I introduce my wife to you? In Russian it is imperative: Разрешите представить вам мою жену.

  • 2. Imperatives in English are accompan -ied with “please”: Give me a call, please. To be continued.



Conative Function in Translation (commands, prohibitions, requests, permissions, advice, invitations, etc.)

  • 3. Conative function may signal s/th different: У вас есть часы? – What time is it now?

  • 4. Utterances with performative verbs: I inform you, I congratulate you.



Home assignments:

  • 1. Read Proshina’s book of Theory of Translation, 1999. - Pp. 200-217.

  • 2. Enlarge on the examples basing on the English or American literature you are reading.

  • 3. Prepare 2-3 interesting questions on the material covered for the seminar.





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