Translation Studies Today: Old Problems and New Challenges

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The article presents a review of the key trends in modern Translation Studies (TS) made after thorough analysis of the most fundamental works written in various fields of TS. The review proves that not only the range of problems within TS is now more diversified, which is related to many changes in the nature of translation activity, but Translation Studies are an interdisciplinary science now and uses data from neighboring disciplines. Specific “turns” have occurred in Translation Studies, and new paradigms of translation investigation have emerged. The most important phenomena in Translation Studies include “cultural turn” and the so called “anthropocentric turn” that has given birth to communicative-functional approach to translation. This approach implies “plunging” into the communicative situation of translation, and its analysis aimed at realizing the goal of translation by the translator/interpreter. It allows a more precise formulation of tasks solved by translators in both traditional types of translation (literary translation, religious translation, interpreting) and relatively new kinds of translation activity (audiovisual translation, localization). The article proves that translation proper is the main element of any activity performed by translators while any translation activity implies cultural adaptation of the text to the perception of the source text audience. The principal feature of Translation Studies is being practice-oriented, and their focus on the study of objective laws of translation activity. It enables translation scholars to understand peculiarities of various types of translation and to realize the essence of translation as a human activity.

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1. Introduction It is well known that translation studies acquired the status of a science in the second half of the 20th century. It was quite a natural phenomenon preconditioned, first and foremost, by the need to interpret the objectivity and peculiarities of translation activity that had changed dramatically and expanded its boundaries. It seems to be quite natural that the new science was created not from scratch but used a number of concepts that had appeared in previous epochs. Ideas that had emerged in translators’ minds in various countries and in various times paved the way to formulation and formalization of isolated views on translation in the form of an entity that eventually became a science. It is obvious that in previous periods the translators’ thinking was concerned with only two types of translation activity that had been dominant over centuries, specifically, religious translation, i.e. translation of sacred texts, and literary translation. It is not accidental that it was the literary approach to translation that became the first and the most dominant one in translation studies, if the term “translation studies” is applicable to translation investigations in the pre-scientific period, so to speak. It was only in 1930s when researchers paid their attention to problems of specialized, non-literary translation, which was preconditioned by the extended international cooperation in the scientific and technical, military and diplomatic fields as well as by the need to train translators for the fields (Sdobnikov, Petrova 2006: 54-55). Linguists’ interest in the comparative synchronic study of languages contributed much to the emergence of the linguistic approach to translation. Edwin Gentzler argues that “...a more systematic approach to translation was needed, and the discipline with the theoretical and language tools necessary to address the problem was first provided by linguistics” (Gentzler 1990: 67). Translation scholars of the time were mostly interested in types of the correlation between the languages that clashed in the process of translation and that influenced the translation process and its results. It was a kind of a “turn” from literary studies to linguistics resulting in a confrontation of and even hostilities between the two approaches, at least in Russia. The fight ended with the general recognition of the fact that even in literary translation linguistic factors play significant role at the both stages of the translation process, i.e. in the source text interpretation and the target text production (Larin 1962: 3). Thus, a reconciliation took place. But it was just the initial period of the development of the science of translating. Further I shall consider the main events in the history of translation studies and in the history of translation activity to which TS is linked and which let the science acquire its present form and status. 2. Turns in translation studies 2.1. Cultural Turn Further development of Translation Studies was marked by some important shifts, as Western scholars termed them (Snell-Hornby 2006). I shall mention only the most significant events that have predetermined the present state of Translation Studies, referring to more extensive literature on the matter (Gentzler 1990; Prunč 2007; Прунч 2015) for those who need more detailed information about the TS development Proceeding from the premise that any turn implies a change of direction, of a motion vector, I, first, shall note the approach that served as the start point of the further development of the science of translating. Based on the logic of how things unfold, it is quite natural to presume that it was the linguistic approach that appeared at the early state of the TS formation. Briefly speaking, the main task set according to this approach was seen as finding conditions of establishing equivalence of the two texts as well as factors that contribute to or prevent it. It is not accidental that what is called linguistic approach in Russian Translation Studies is termed equivalence-oriented approach or equivalence paradigm (Gambier 2016a) in the West. With time, the limitations of this approach got to be realized. Ives Gambier argues that this approach “does not allow one to consider, describe, and explain the translation decisions and the translated output. The distinction between what is manifest (literal, direct, surface level) and what is latent (implicit, connotative, underlying) misreads the process of translation and relegates the translator’s act of interpreting the content to a task of relative obscurity” (Gambier 2016b: 889). TS could not stay in the grip of the linguistic approach for a long time, especially when the nature of translation activity itself was forcing scholars to consider the issues related to the impact of cultural factors on translation. Translation Studies dramatically changed when it was realized that in translation not only languages clash but cultures do as well. Alexander Shveizer claimed that in translation the clash of cultures happens both at the communicative level and at the level of the text (Shveizer 1988: 52). Talking about cultures scholars, at the same time, meant representatives of different cultures, i.e. people for whom translation is a means to ensure communication. Thus, the term “cross-cultural communication” became wide-spread. And in theoretical studies of translation a place that had used to be vacant got opened up - a place for humans. It was both a cultural and anthropocentric turn in translation. Extensive literature was devoted to the influence of culture on translation and the influence of translation on culture since 1980s (Bassnett, Lefevere 1998; Bassnett 2005; Cranmer 2015; Gentzler 2001; Hatim, Mason 2005; Katan 2009; Koskinen 2015; Nida 1973; 1993; 1996; Toury 1984). It is obvious that the notion of cultural turn is a very complex and multidimensional one, and in this respect is similar to the notion of culture itself. It could not but influenced the character of the science of translating which started to investigate various aspects of cultural manifestations and differences between cultures apparent in various types of translation. The fact is confirmed by the topics of the articles of the present issue of the journal discussing mechanisms of cross-cultural communication that must be taken into account by translators and studied by translation scholars. 2.2. Functionalist Approach to Translation: a Way to Future I believe that functionalist approach to translation (I call it communicative-functional approach) traces it origin to the works by Eugine Nida (Nida 1964; Nida, Taber 1969), authors of scopos theory Katharina Reiss and Hans Vermeer (Reiß, Vermeer 1984; 2013) and scholars of Leipzig school of translation (Jäger 1975; Kade 1981; Neubert 1973). However, if we take into account that the communicative-functional approach is based on the assumption that the translator’s task is to perceive the global meaning of the ST and to reproduce it in the target text, we can say that the list of precursors of this approach includes Cicero, St. Jerome and even Peter the Great (see, e.g., Fedorov 1983: 41). Among Russian translation scholars we should mention Zinaida Lvovskaya (Lvovskaya 2008) who paid special attention to rendering meaning for a definite audience (Sdobnikov 2017). Nowadays the communicative-functional approach dictates that any translation event must be viewed in the contest of a certain communicative situation with due account of the translation goal, needs and expectations of real or probable TT recipients (consumers), and the way the TT will be used by the text consumers in their substantive activity. In some cases it is important to take into account the communicative intention of the ST sender and the communicative effect produced by the ST on its recipients. I say “in some cases” because the equality of communicative effects produced by the ST and the TT is not always necessary and often is utterly impossible. For example, a translation of a speech initially addressed to the ST audience can hardly have the same effect on another audience. This statement contradicts the traditional views according to which translation is a process with the objective to reproduce the communicative effect of the source text (Shveizer 1988: 75). Since the analysis of the communicative situation in which translation is made is an indispensible condition of realizing translation brief by the translator (Nord 2005: 9-10), it is required to classify such communicative situations. The classification I have developed includes two types of communicative situations: those in which translation is planned initially, i.e. at the time the ST is created, and those in which translation is not initially planned. Each of these types is further subdivided on the basis of different criteria: in the first case it is the form of interaction of interlocutors (a presentation, a round table, an interview, a guided tour, etc.), in the second case it is the personality of the translation commissioner (Sdobnikov 2011; Sdobnikov 2015). I state that the parameters of a communicative situation determine the translation goal and are instrumental in choosing the translation strategy that conforms to the situation; translation strategy is defined as a general program of performing translation activity with due account of the parameters of the communicative situation (Sdobnikov 2011: 1450). Thus, the communicative-functional approach implies plunging - both in theory and practice - into a certain communicative situation, realizing the parameters of this situation and the tasks that must be solved by the translator. This approach is of special importance for professional training of translators and interpreters because it allows to get rid of the false vision of translation as a transformation of one text into another, as a philological game, and to implant the idea in would-be translators’ minds that translation is an activity aimed at satisfying the needs of people by producing a text in the target language on the basis of the source text. This conviction will be typical of future generations of translators if the communicative-functional approach becomes their ruling ideology. 2.3. Eternal Problems of Translation Studies Translation Studies continue to pay special attention to problems discussion of which began many centuries ago. The list of these problems includes issues of literary translation and religious translation covered, by the way, in some articles published in this issue. It might seem that everything that can be said about these problems has already been said, and there is nothing to add. But it is not the case. The thing is that the development of Translation Studies must be viewed as spiral movement: at each new cycle translation scholars embrace new aspects of eternal problems, their approaches to solving translation problems change, they approach the problems with a fresh perspective. Undoubtedly, it is the communicative-functional approach that is the basic and most promising approach to translation, which seems to be a very innovative fact, especially in relation to translating sacred texts. In particular, this approach is congruent to the task of ensuring a specific communicative effect on the recipients of a translated version of the Bible and taking into account the mission that must be performed by translations of the Holy Scripture in the target culture in a certain epoch (see, for example, the article by G. Khukhuni, I. Valuitseva and A. Osipova). I am happy with the fact that the communicative-functional approach is used as the theoretical framework that allows to make investigation of eternal (and new) problems of Translation Studies closer to the reality of the translation activity performed in the interests of specific ST recipients in specific situations. 2.4. Translation Studies Today: New Trends The brief overview of Translation Studies today will be completed with consideration of new fields, trends and topics that became topical over the last two or three decades. Certainly, it is hard to list all specific issues that are of great interest to translation scholars within the limited space of this review. The most important thing is that Translation Studies have already proved that it is practice-oriented; all innovations in Translation Theory are predetermined by changes in the translation activity’s character. A sketchily overview of the most significant changes and their role in diversifying Translation Studies agenda is given below. 2.4.1. Development of Interpretation Theory It seems that the development of Interpretation Theory is not a recent achievement. But we should take into consideration that the initial stage of the development of science of translating only left us with some landmark books that laid the foundations of Interpretation Theory and mapped out the ways of investigating interpretation as an activity (Minyar-Beloruchev 1969; 1980; Chernov 1987; Shiryaev 1979). The research used the purely linguistic (or text-oriented) approach that was dominant that time. Now translation scholars focus not only on describing the mechanisms of consecutive and simultaneous interpreting but on investigating psycholinguistic and neurophysiological processes that underpin the mechanisms (Moser-Mercer 1978; Moser-Mercer et al. 1998). The most innovative, even striking trend in simultaneous interpreting is the so called “solo” simultaneous made individually, i.e. without a partner. Some empirical research is carried out in field, though no fundamental works on the issue have been written so far. 2.4.2. Investigation of Audiovisual Translation The wider use of audiovisual translation (AVT), i.e. translation of movies, cartoons, video presentations, computer games, applications to smartphones, etc., could not but attracted attention of translation scholars (Gorshkova 2006; 2017; Matasov 2009; Malyonova 2017; Chaume 2016; Díaz Cintas 2009; Gambier 2008). Many of them treat AVT as an independent activity distinct from interpreting and translation (Kozulyaev 2013). This field embraces two spheres of research. First, it is investigation of specific peculiarities of AVT as a translation activity and its technologies, such as overvoice, dubbing, subtitling (Gottlieb 2009; Pettit 2009). Second, it is investigation of particular problems faced by translators in the AVT process, mostly, in film translation (translation of movie titles, puns, metaphors, etc.). It is encouraging that scholars decline the text-oriented approach in investigating the specific translation problems (Malyonova 2017: 40-41) and use the communicative-functional approach, or polydisciplinary approach, to be more exact (Malyonova 2017). The fact is confirmed by the articles of Olga Leontovich, N. Shchurik and V. Gorshkova published in the present issue. The vision of AVT as an individual translation activity is based on taking into account its polysemiotic character (Kozulyaev 2013; Malyonova 2017; Díaz Cintas 2009), which implies that AVT must be studied both as a type of intersemiotic translation and as a method of producing a specific communicative effect on a specific audience. 2.4.3. Translation vs Localization? Obvious “technologizing” of the translation process, the usage of translation in creating such products as computer games, mobile applications, interfaces of websites, etc., have resulted in the differentiation of translation proper and the so called localization in practical activities and in emergence of new paradigms in translation theory (Gambier 2016a; 2016b). For example, Anthony Pym argues that IT are not just additional tools but systems that “...are altering the very nature of the translator’s cognitive activity, social relations, and professional standing” (Pym 2011). Localization must satisfy the need to modify the functions and features of the applications in such a way that they would fulfill the requirements and demands of local consumers (Gambier 2016b: 890). It is defined as “the process of modifying products or services to account for differences in distinct markets” (LISA 2003: 13). Localization of a product for another cultural environment implies addressing three types of issues - linguistic, cultural and technical. Adaptation of accounting software to comply with local generally accepted accounting principles in the target culture is just one example of cultural issues (Ibid.). Redesign and re-engineering of software to support local languages and content is a technical issue. Thus, localization is closely related to translation but is more extensive, and implies some technical operations necessary to adapt the text to the needs of consumers in another culture. I do not think that opposing localization to translation proper is fully justified. Unfortunately, it is a trend both in the translation theory and translation business. Some managers of translation agencies view translation as transformation of one text into another, replacement of signs (words) of one language by signs of another. At the same time, localization is presented as a process in which significant cultural (pragmatic) adaptation of the text to the reality of the target culture is made (Fridge). It is stated that no cultural adaptation is performed in the process of translation proper (Ibid.). Certainly, it is not the case. We know pretty well that any translation implies cultural adaptation (Komissarov 1990: 211-215), especially translation of publicistic, literary, advertising materials and even specialized texts. Therefore, localization is distinct from translation proper in the use of certain technical tools needed to create a product in conformity with the requirements of a local market. Moreover, I can conclude that Translation Studies are expected to define precisely the place and role of translation in the localization process and the place of localization in the general structure of translation activities. 3. The Articles of this Issue In her article Christiane Nord considers peculiar features of book titles and possible paradigms of their translation from one language to another. At the first glance, the issues seem to be purely technical, and do not require any theoretical insight into the matter. Yet, the fact that the author discusses these specific issues from the functionalist perspective proves that any translation problem can be viewed in a broader context, on the basis of some theoretical approach. It is well-known that Christiane Nord is a faithful disciple of Hans Vermeer and Katharina Reiss, founders of the scopos theory (Reiss, Vermeer 1984), and has contributed a lot to the development of the functionalist approach to translation (Nord, 1991). One of the most outstanding premises of the scopos theory is that translation activity should be always audience-oriented and performed in accordance with the translation brief. This approach is evident in the consideration of all aspects of the issue. E.g., talking about such standards of textuality as cohesion, coherence, intentionality, acceptability, informativity, situationality, and intertextuality, Nord argues that recipients need an experience of titles in order to be able to recognize the title as a signal for an offer of communication about a text, and to make sense of the information given in the title. Intentionality means that authors or senders who produce a text usually have some communicative intentions in mind. Acceptability implies that recipients must be willing to make sense of a text. Informativity of the title should therefore spark the reader’s interest in the co-text. We may conclude, therefore, that behind or, to be more exact, within any act of translation we see figures of the ST sender and the TT recipients. The result of the translation act is dependent on the Sender’s communicative intention, the needs of the TT recipients, thus, on the translation goal. Nord concludes that since a title is a text “about” another text, it can be regarded as “metatext”, and, at the same time, it has a specific relationship with its object text, without which it cannot fulfil its function as a title. Being communication tools, titles perform the following functions specified in the article: distinctive, referential, expressive, phatic, appellative functions. The mere composition of the article is a hint at the need to render all these communicative functions in translation. In doing this, a translator is expected to grasp the situationality of a title, which is determined by such extratextual factors as medium, time, place or motive of production and reception. For a title, audience and function orientation is extremely important because a translated title must be appropriate to achieve the desired functions in the title corpus of the target culture and fidelity or faithfulness with regard to the source-text title. Thus, the author comes to the conclusion that the methodology used for the analysis of title translation can serve as a paradigm for a functional translation of other texts or text types. The article of Ives Gambier presents an overview of the changes in attitudes toward translation as activity and profession as well as toward its roles and the need in it in the past and present. The author argues that translation and interpreting are but one possible solution among many implemented in multilingual communications (people can learn foreign languages and, thus, do without translation; languages can co-exist with speakers practicing bilingualism; a lingua franca can be used). Further, the author considers denial of translation as a need, an effort and profession. It is noteworthy that those who deny translation as effort stick to the naïve and simplified opinion according to which translation comes down to replacement of words of a language with words of another language, and this replacement can be done by any person lacking special training. Those who deny translation as profession view the translator as a hardworking hermit or an impostor, instead of a mediator or an expert. Gambier also claims that denial has long been present with regard to translation as an autonomous discipline; as a result, many translator training programs are still reluctant to give Translation Studies a place they deserve. The author considers thoroughly many changes in the activity of translation caused by the use of information technologies; he argues that due to the wide use of various technical tools translation users adopt an illusory view of translation as an instantaneous activity performed without any effort. It can also be noted that cloud technologies and real-time data exchange facilitate the activity of translators and managers and help cut costs. The author notes that in real life there is a differentiation between professional translation in the process of which translators can build teams and exchange data using CAT systems, and amateur translation (translation by fans, volunteer networked translation and the like). The topic relates to the author’s considerations of the peculiarities of the global, regional and local translation markets. Gambier notes a multiplication of labels created nowadays for “translation”. Alongside with the term “translation” the translation discourse is abundant with such new terms as localization, adaptation, multilingual documentation, editing, trans-editing, multilingual technical writing, language mediation, versioning, revision, co-writing. Not infrequently translation is opposed to these kinds of activities and sometimes is denied as a need. The opposition is based upon incorrect vision of translation as replacement of words of one languages with words of another language, though the notion of translation as a creative activity has been returning to Translation Studies recently. The author notes that the diversity of labels for translation ruins the stability of Translation Studies since the object of investigation becomes vague and defused. Ives Gambier concludes that two paradigms are evolving in Translation Studies: on the one hand, the more conventional paradigm of equivalence has evolved into the one more oriented toward the audience, i.e. the paradigm of the ‘cultural turn’; on the other hand, the paradigm oriented toward the digital culture has emerged. A question arises: can Translation Studies become a trans-discipline or shall we witness emergence of many disciplines (Adaptations Studies, Intercultural Studies, Transfer Studies, Knowledge Management, Internet Studies, etc.)? The author claims that instead of absorbing neighboring disciplines Translation Studies must recognize the complexity of communications and behaviours. Marta Kaźmierczak addresses the problem of rendering intertextual markers in translation of poetry. Though the problem is not new, and has been widely discussed in the Translation Studies literature, the article published in this issue must be treated as innovative for, first, the author’s approach toward the solution of many problems faced in rendition of intertextuality and, second, for the observations made by the author. The peculiar character of the approach lies in the consideration of the problems arising during translation among languages and cultures the distance between which is noticeably large (in our case it is English and Polish cultures). Thus, the article explores source-culture references in the literatures less known internationally which, as Kaźmierczak puts it, is a sphere of especial cultural resistance to translation. The author focuses on the importance of the level of explicitness of intertextual links for the task of a translator and on the degree of recognisability of intertextual markers. Undoubtedly, the author’s approach can be termed a functionalist one: it is evident from the text that since intertextual markers perform certain functions in a source text it is necessary to render them in a way that allows to trigger a certain reaction on the part of the target text recipient. Kaźmierczak analyses the crucial factors that can hinder the TT recipient’s perception of intertextuality, with low recognisability of the source-culture referent being the most important one. The author argues that this is due to the “imbalance of power” between the cultures from which and into which translators are working. Among interesting observations concerning rendition of intertextuality I would mention the following ones. First, the author insists that even an illegible (not readily decipherable) marker would be a signal of intertextuality for the TT recipients. For example, a transferred foreign name would have been a stronger (a more explicit) intertextual marker than a naturalised, semantically transparent one while footnotes is a means of explicitation of limited applicability and not suitable for poetry. The most important conclusion made by the author is as follows: it is the projection of the reader, of his/her cultural competence and needs that shapes the translation strategy, even more so with respect to intertextual elements. In other words, a successful translation of intertexts is possible if the translator construes his role as levelling the differences in erudition between the primary and the secondary recipients. The paper of Natalia Yarkina, Liudmila Yarkina and Ivan Pougachev is remarkable for its attempt to deal with situations where the ideologies of the ST audience and the TT audience clash. Ideology is defined in the paper as a set of beliefs and values shared by a social group. It affects all the parties involved in the translation process and influences the work of the translator in various ways. The authors claim that the goal of the intergroup mediation approach to translation of ideology is to find an adequate way to convey the author's message under the conditions of an ideological conflict. The paper attempts to answer the questions regarding the conditions under which ideology-related interventions may be desirable and deemed acceptable and what factors influence the translator's decisions, in particular, ideological shifts in translation. By “ideology shift” the authors mean a situation where an ideology-motivated element or feature of the source text is transformed in the target text in such a way that it does not express the source ideology any more, or, vice versa, an ideological element or feature is introduced in the target text, thus adding an ideology that was not present in the source text. Therefore, the paper discusses problems which relate to situations when ST expresses an ideology that contradicts the ideology of the text commissioner and/or TT audience. Ideology can be expressed in the text in the foreground or in the background, and it is essential that even if the ideology in the text was expressed in the background by the author, it will be received in the foreground by the reader if the latter belongs to a different ideological context. What is observed in this case is not a shift in the ideology itself but a shift in its role in the text. It is somewhat surprising that translation scholars dwell extensively now on the notion of intersemiotic translation introduced by Roman Jacobson sixty years ago. Strange as it might seem, the fact can be easily explained by, first, the greater role of visual audio perception nowadays and, second, by the expansion of screening or staging literary works, which implies interpretation of verbal signs by means of non-verbal ones. The paper by Olga Leontovich may serve as an example of the keen interest of translation scholars to the problems of intersemiotic translation and to the mechanisms used in it. Based upon in-depth analysis of many examples of screening Russian classics for foreign audiences (English, Chinese, Indian, etc.), the article testifies to the fact that what is traditionally called audiovisual translation becomes a very important activity together with audio description as a more marginal translation activity. The author proceeds from the premise that every translation is primarily a form of interpretation of the macromeanings of the source text with the aim of rendering them in another text. She demonstrates that in the process of intersemiotic translation transformations inevitably occur, and the text components building up the macromeaning are redistributed in the screened or staged version of the work. This can be conditioned by extralinguistic factors mentioned in the article as commercial, creative and ideological goals of directors. And here I would like to note a flaw in the author’s reasoning. She argues that a research of intersemiotic translation should show its impact on social reality. At the same time, the analysis made demonstrates that the social reality influences intersemiotic translation and its mechanisms dramatically. Suffice it to recall that all forms of resignifying mentioned in the article are conditioned by the directors’ desire to make a movie as understandable to the target audience as possible or to express creativity of their own. The mere choice of such translation strategies as foreignization, domestication and universalization is predetermined by extralinguistic factors. Yet, the final conclusion of the author is unquestioned: an adaptation is good when it manages to express the macromeaning and to preserve the spirit, values and essence of the original. The article by Natalia V. Shchurik and Vera E. Gorshkova also confirms that scholars are very much concerned with problems of intersemiotic translation. At the same time it testifies to the fact that interdisciplinary approach can be applied to the investigation of the peculiarities of intersemiotic translation. In particular, the research shows that the notions of the surface structure and the deep structure the content of which is inverted in the paper are applicable. Similar to the previous article, this paper proves that screening of folk fairy-tales is a variety of intersemiotic translation, “interpretation of interpreted” (Garbovsky 2008, 34). The authors argue that elementary plots of the surface structure build up the fairy-tale narrative and are developed in plans, scenarios and frames of the deep structure that are different in British and Russian fairy-tales. It is concluded that national peculiarities that determine the appurtenance of a fairy-tale to a certain culture are encoded in the deep structures of the fairy-tale discourse. Two previous articles convince us that problems of audiovisual translation are most topical in modern Translation Studies. These problems are also discussed in the article by Vladislav Anisimov, Anna Borisova and Grigoriy Konson that highlights various strategies of localization of titles of French movies translated for the Russian audience as well as the degree of the localization adequacy. The authors argue that localization of a movie implies both translation of the text and its adaptation to the target culture, i.e. transfer from one language code to another. It is concluded that regardless of a translation strategy, the translated title must conform to the plot, theme and content of a movie while the movie itself must be interesting and attractive for the foreign audience. Traditional problems of reproducing characteristic features of literary texts in translation, although they seem to be purely technical, still are of great interest for translation scholars and linguists, and always will be. Because reproduction of the source text in its entirety, creation of the functional analogue of the ST is next to impossible if the said problems are not solved in each act of translation. The idea is illustrated by the article of Natalia Nesterova and Evgenia Naugolnykh that discusses deformations of language in James Joyce’s works and probable methods of their rendition into Russia. The conducted survey proves that multilingualism that is so typical of Joyce’s texts and that is manifested in the use of alien material to coin occasional compound units is the main challenge for translators. So far, the problem has not been solved successfully. Its complexity is due to plurality of interpretations of the functions performed by deformed English units and nonce words in a text as well as their meanings. The article of Rafael Guzmán Tirado highlights translation problems posed by linguistic and speech units with a cultural component, i.e. the units closely related to the source culture (realia, idioms, metaphors, comparisons, etc.). For Translation Studies these problems are not novel, at least since the moment that has been defined by Snell-Hornby as the “cultural turn” (Snell-Hornby 2006). Still it is very fruitful and expedient to consider the dependence of the translator’s decision on the peculiarities of the target culture and the distance between the two cultures clashing in the translation process, both in Translation Studies and in translators’ practical activity, regardless of how we treat the notion of culture. Tirado’s article is of both theoretical and practical importance: using the material of his translation of Evgeny Vodolazkin’s novel “Aviator” from Russian into Spanish, he demonstrates that the emotional effect felt by the source text readers can be lost in translation to some extent, and concludes that a translator needs to make drastic interventions in the text to ensure some kind of similarity between the communicative effects produced by the ST and the TT. The author does not confine himself to consideration of instances when realia is used in the ST (those problems have been discussed in Translation Studies abundantly and in detail; moreover, they are solved quite successfully in translation). He argues that the cultural component of the meaning or, to be more exact, of the sense rendered by the text segment being translated is conditioned by the peculiar world outlook and world perception of representatives of the source culture, by their peculiar mentality and ethnic identity. I have already noted the diversity of fields within Translation Studies which still includes investigation of characteristic features of religious translation. The persistent interest of scholars to this type of translation which once used to be the main translation activity is substantiated by two articles published in this issue. The first article written by Georgy Khukhuni, Irina Valuitseva and Anna Osipova discusses the peculiar features of cultural words (realia) in the Old and New Testaments and peculiarities of their translation. Analysis of a large number of sources enables the authors to make conclusions that disclose both peculiarities of realia and their functioning in the Bible and specifics of their rendition conditioned by extra-linguistic factors. These factors include the choice of the original, the influence of the tradition of translating the Bible in the given culture, the orientation of the translated text to a specific audience (missionary translation), the goal of translation and the impact of certain translation theories on those who are engaged in translation. It implies that religious translation, similar to other types of translation, is always made in accordance with the so called conventional norm (Komissarov 1990: 231-232), i.e. the society’s views concerning the tasks of translation activity prevailing in the given epoch. The second paper on religious translation published by Ibrahim I.I. Najjar, Soh Bee Kwee, Thabet Abu al-haj addresses another specific problem, namely, the issue of preserving the mode of an utterance in English translations of the Quran. The authors investigate what roles are played by rhetorical questions in the text of the Quran and what translation shifts occur in its two English translations. The investigation is based on Larson’s (Larson 1974: 14) premise that the communicative situation and the attitude of the speaker relate to the grammatical forms used as well as on Wilss’s (Wilss 1982: 71) premise that if the context of situation changes, “changes will inevitably take place in the linguistic texture. Conversely, if a shift is carried out on the linguistic level, this context of situation will also change.” Accordingly, the mode of an utterance also changes. Analysis of many examples of the use of rhetorical questions in Quran and in its two English translations convince the authors that translation shift, i.e. changes in grammatical forms of rendering rhetorical questions, do occur, although to different extents, and distort the mode of the ST rhetorical questions. Specific as it might be, the issue discussed is relevant to the global problem of the translator’s being loyal to the ST sender: the message contained in the ST must be communicated correctly to the readership of the TT, especially in religious translation. Perhaps, one of the most striking signs of our times manifested in Translation Studies is evolving of the feminist movement (see Prunč 2015), representatives of which insist on political correctness even when it is not intended by the ST Sender. Attempts of some theologists to replace gender-specific linguistic forms by gender-neutral ones in the texts of messianic Scriptures seem to be the most “outstanding” manifestation of political correctness in translation. The article by Konstantin Sharov that uses the material of modern English translations of the Bible discusses such attempts and their consequences. In this case we can speak only about intralingual translation, as it was termed by Roman Jacobson (Jacobson 1957; Jacobson 1975). The author concludes that gender-neutral language introduces new feminist meanings into Messianic sacred texts, which were not previously contained there, and gender-neutral English translations of the Bible cannot be treated as canonical since the original meanings of the Bible can be distorted completely. Thus, from the perspective of the traditional theology the attempts to affirm the social equality of genders in translation of the Holy Scripture can hardly be justified. At the same time the author argues that investigation of gender-neutral strategies allows tracing the evolution of Christian homiletic genre. New trends in translation generated by the wide use of information technologies (see article by Ives Gambier in the present issue) are discussed in detail in the article by Irina Ovchinnikova. The paper focuses on translation errors that result from the use of computer-assisted translation (CAT) systems, in particular, SmartCat platform. The article does not confine itself to the analysis of types of errors, the more so they turn to be the same as in translation without CAT systems. What matters here is the combination of usual translation errors with incorrect versions suggested by the MT system, which seems to be a specific feature of computer-aided translation. The article also aims at disclosing the causes of translation errors related to the use of SmartCat platform. Based on a thorough analysis of translation errors made in a translation project and their causes, the author concludes that application of CAT systems and machine translation requires a translator to have some additional competences to be able to control the whole text of translation. Moreover, investigation of translation errors will enable CAT systems developers to improve these tools together with their interface. 4. Concluding Remarks The presented review testifies to the fact that Translation Studies today are practice-oriented and are more focused on understanding the objective laws of translation activity than in the past. Translation Studies as a science is of inter-disciplinary character, which is predetermined by the complex nature of all types of translation, of the translation activity as a whole. At the same time modern Translation Studies can serve as a basis for didactics of translation, the need of which is extremely urgent now. A new section is introduced in the present issue to give the floor to experienced translators and interpreters reputed internationally for their achievements in the profession. The interviewees represent different fields of translation activity, which is evident from their responses. Henry Liu is the man who has contributed much to acquiring a higher social standing by the translators’ profession. He was very instrumental in the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution 71/288 in recognition of 30th September as the International Translation Day (ITD). He is the 13th President of the International Federation of Translators (FIT) and presently Honorary Advisor to the Federation. Boris Naimushin is an experience interpreter, since 2009 an interpreter for the Presidency of Bulgaria. He is actively engaged in the education activity in Bulgaria, Russia and other countries. Victor Lanchikov, professor of School of Translation and Interpreting of Moscow State Linguistic University, is a well-known translator of English literature and initiator of many translation projects. As Editor-in-Chief of the Bridges journal (R.Valent Publishers, Moscow), he does a lot to disseminate professional knowledge about translation in Russia. Irina Zubanova, Associate Professor of Moscow State Linguistic University, is an experienced simultaneous interpreter, a member of the Union of Translators of Russia (UTR) and National Translators League. She has written very interesting works on problems of interpreting, and does a lot to improve training of translators/interpreters in Russia actively participating in Summer and Winter Schools of translation and other events held by UTR. The interviews published in the issue illustrate vividly the problems and issues faced by translators/interpreters in their everyday activity and conceptualized by translation scholars.

About the authors

Vadim V Sdobnikov

Linguistic University of Nizhny Novgorod

31-a, Minina Str., Nizhny Novgorod, 603155, Russia Professor at Linguistic University of Nizhny Novgorod, Head of Department of the English Language and Translation Theory and Practice, Chairperson of the Board of the Union of Translators of Russia


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