Peculiarities of Reconstructing Russian Rhyme in English Translations

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Abstract


The article deals with the problem of preserving the rhyme traditional for Russian poetry in translations into English. A brief analysis of Russian and foreign linguists’ works on the theory and practice of poetic translation shows that rhyme in English poetry does not play such a significant role as it does in Russian poetry. Opinions of English-speaking readers coincide with the opinion of translators. However, adequate versions of Russian poems in English with preservation of rhymes of original verses are the preferred type of poetic translation. The article deals with the problem of preserving the rhyme, characteristic of Russian poetry, in translations into English. The purpose of this scientific research is to conduct a brief analysis of the works of Russian and foreign linguists on the theory and practice of poetic translation to reveal the role and significance of the category of rhyme in English and Russian poetry. The author pays special attention to the opinion of translators of Russian poetry into English and English-speaking readers of translated Russian lyrics in the context of preserving rhyme or deviation from it. As a result of the conducted research, the author comes to the conclusion that rhyme does not play such a significant role for foreign linguists and translators as it does for their Russian-speaking counterparts. A more attractive form of poetry for them is vers libre. Consequently, the issues of rhyme reproduction for English translators are not of paramount importance. The main emphasis is on the meaning of the translated text, not its form. Opinions of English-speaking readers coincide with the opinion of translators. In addition, the article presents summary information of the conducted comparative linguistic analysis of 275 poems by B. Okudzhava and their originals. The analysis shows that in percentage terms the number of rhymed translations from the total number of translated texts is about 40%. However, the overwhelming number of English translations of poems Okudzhava - about 60% - belongs to unrhymed translations. Nevertheless, the author of the article emphasizes the need to preserve rhyme in translations as an integral part of the Russian classical verse and believes that adequate versions of Russian poems in English with preservation of original rhyme are the preferred type of poetic translation.


About the authors

Anastasia V. Sycheva

North-Eastern State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: nastik-80@mail.ru
13, Portovaya Str., Magadan, 685000, Russian Federation

Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign Philology

References

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