Rus Articles Journal

Whether it is easy to be engaged in a literary translation?

“ Of course “ - the translator scientifically - technical, medical or legal texts will tell. At first sight, this is true. In a literary translation scrupulous accuracy is not necessary (moreover, it often is even harmful). And degree of responsibility of the translator, would seem less. If he in the translation makes eyes of some princess not blue, but blue, will mix one rare illness with another and instead of “ codes about the rights “ will write “ situation “ nobody will suffer from it. But it only at first sight. “ Impetuous freedom “ in a literary translation is not present and cannot be. But there are features about which I also will try to tell.

At once I want to dispel one resistant delusion. Many consider that for a literary translation it is necessary to know a foreign language from which you translate in perfection. “ In perfection “ it is impossible to know any language, even native because language is too many-sided that one person managed to master all sides thoroughly. The one who undertakes to translate fiction surely has to correspond to two conditions:

1) to possess congenital (institutes will not teach) literary abilities;

2) very decently to know the native language with its spelling and a punctuation.
If to the second still can learn

, the first or is given, or, sorry, not.

And further … the nuances distinguishing the good translator from mediocre and bad begin further. Numbers at which they go, do not mean importance degree. Believe, all of them are equally necessary and important in translation work.

1. Work which you transfer has to be perceived as if it was written in Russian. dissimilarity of the Russian and English languages still does not cease to surprise Me. To take, for example, such phrase: “He had various problems to be solved immediately“. It can meet, anywhere: in the modern detective story, in the novel where action happens in the Middle Ages, in the fantastic story or in the multivolume fenteziyny saga. In English she not bad fits into any context. In Russian it is impossible. Of course, now word “ problem “ it is molded anywhere, to the place and out of place. Let`s tell, the modern detective story allows such variant of translation: “ Problems on it pulled hard - higher than a roof “. And if it is told by medieval knights? And if it is about the dragon who overslept one thousand years and suddenly wakened from a dream?

2. It is necessary to be able “ to translate untranslatable “ … No, not some intricate curse. Most often, it is the word-play constructed on features of original language.

Ya translated one fantastic story where the terrestrial administration sent orders on the remote base located at the devil on universal kulichka. As messages passed through a set of intermediate stations, each operator distorted them in own way. Yes, principle “ chinese whispers “. On language the story did not represent any complexity, however I struggled the whole week with texts of orders and response messages. Naturally, they had to be written anew, being applied to realities of Russian. And at the same time, I had no right to offer the general sense of work …

But as speak in advertizing zavlekushka, “ there is more to come “. True “ check on professional suitability “ happens when the acrostic, let us assume, comes across to you, and you stand both on ears, and on a nose, turning the English phrase ciphered in it into the Russian … It is not the theory. In the fall of last year I had pleasure (and need) to practise writing of an acrostic.

3. To observe laws of a genre, to consider an era, the place and identity of characters. Words, pertinent at the translation of the detective story where action happens in the middle of the 19th century, are no good at the description of a similar scene in a fantasy. Now quite often you meet the translations where translators pretty often mold “ sirs “ and “ lady “ though events are developed not in England. Well there cannot be in the thought-up worlds purely English titles and addresses! Unwritten laws of Russian do not allow it. “ Manager “ “ master “ “ master “ … unless it is not enough beautiful and sonorous words in our language?.

Now about identity. Again, we take the ordinary phrase: “I have not much time for conversations“. In lips of the secular talker it is better to translate it so: “ There is no time to me to continue our conversation “. And the peasant will tell: “ All right, me have no time to chatter " here;. The literality suffers? In some measure and. But you remember: the translation has to sound in Russian! Terribly, if dialogue reminds the shorthand report some “ round table “. Sometimes, to achieve vivacity of the speech, it is necessary the phrase and a remark to pronounce aloud and which - where to clean excessive “ correctness “.

4. “ Comment perev. “ One more indicator of professionalism of the translator - ability to feel where it is necessary to give the comment, and, naturally, - this comment to find ability. There passes time, realities change, and the yesterday`s everyday word stops being clear. For example, whether many know now that it “ greasing for the apartment “? Once the editor called me and asked and whether exists in word " Russian; solpa “ which I used in translation. I suggested it to consult Dahl`s dictionary or to rummage in Yandex. And the word not so hot is more ancient; in the not it the far childhood I often heard: “ Well, again zalyapat solpa? “ (that is, soiled trouser-legs) …

If already comments the novels written in Russian from the Soviet life 50 - demand x years what then to speak, for example, about the American province of the middle of a century before last! And that suddenly the hero will flaunt the phrase from some English poet who was never translated into Russian. And again you climb in the Internet, you shake search engines, you find both dates of life, and date of writing of the poem … Happens also that authors … not that invent, and it is very free handle historic facts. Let`s say in the mid-forties the 19th centuries somebody sends the telegram from London to Vienna. Again walk in the Internet where you find out that the telegraph those years existed only within London and connected the British capital with some English cities. And the cable under La - Mansh was laid only in 1851... More young generation can ask me: “ What you take a steam bath? “ Yes so, children; it was lucky me that in my childhood there were sound books where all unclear spoke. Here also got used.

5. Not to shift part of the work to shoulders of editors, proofreaders and maker-ups. the Editor is not obliged to be engaged instead of the translator in commenting; it has enough work to catch stylistic mistakes. The proofreader - not the teacher of elementary school checking the composition of ten-year-old blockheads. Verstalshchitsa - not the servant obliged to clean for careless “ barin “. The translator respecting himself surely will check the text for existence of excess gaps between words and will move away them. And competent possession of Word`om is not even discussed.

I remember, one good translator “ old school “ could not learn to establish a paragraph space in any way. It did as got used to do on the typewriter, - beat off the paragraph a probelny key. Repeatedly showed it, asked. In any! When it bothered, and it was hinted that rules are obligatory for all, the lady, as they say, “ left in a huff “ … Of course, such cases are rare, but the good translator, the true professional, always does more than the fact that has to. And it is not a rating and not in quotations for author`s page. In what? It is a question for independent reflection.

If say to you that to be engaged in something very easily and simply, it … almost the truth. As driving the bicycle when you learn. But even if fine learned, roads all the same happen different … And with a literary translation.