HARD PROSE OF POETRY TRANSLATION: POETRY WRITTEN NOT BY A GENIUS, TRANSLATED NOT BY A NATIVE SPEAKER...

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Abstract


The article deals with a practical analysis of translation strategies used for the translation of poetry from the translator’s native language (Russian, Belarusian) into a foreign one (English). The academic literature on the theoretical problems of poetic translation is scarce, therefore, in their work a translator relies on publications that have an empiric character. The main goal of the article is to single out specific translation strategies and methods for the translation of poetry into a language which is foreign for the translator. The research was conducted with the use of anonymous material, for ethical reasons, and it is based on the author’s own translation of two poems and subsequent analysis of the strategies applied. Special attention is paid to the consistent application of such techniques as defining the general syntactical structure of the source poem, identification of images and stylistic devices for the realization thereof, adherence to the dominant elements of the given poetic form - metre, rhyming pattern, syntactic emphases. A separate and final stage of translation is verification, e.g., checking the acceptability of the resulting text against a native speaker’s perception. While working with complex syntactical constructions and multiple metaphors, the author of the article has included one more stage: search for phraseological equivalents in English. Besides, it is worth analyzing the omissions and additions, and a balanced approach to the necessity of “sacrificing” some of the poetic elements of the original text. The article also provides references to the dictionaries of rhymes, which are indispensable sources for poetry translation. The theoretical significance of the article consists in its contribution to the study of means of rendering poetic structures and imagery from Russian/Belarusian into English. The practical value of the article consists in a detailed empirical analysis of consecutive steps and strategies when doing poetic translation. The main conclusions and concepts of the article can be used in the university teaching, in general and special courses in the theory and practice of fiction and poetry translation.


About the authors

Marina S Ragachewskaya

Minsk State Linguistic University

Author for correspondence.
Email: marinaragachewskaya@gmail.com
21, Zakharova st., Minsk, Belarus, 220034

PhD, Associate Professor at the Department of world Literature, Minsk State Linguistic University (Belarus); translator. Academic interests: Contemporary world literature; fiction and poetry translation; psychoanalysis

References

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