Vol 23, No 2 (2019): Translation studies today and tomorrow


Translation Studies Today: Old Problems and New Challenges

Sdobnikov V.V.


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.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):295-327
pages 295-327 views

Paving the way to the text: Forms and Functions of Book Titles in Translation

Nord C.


When we are looking at the books displayed in the window of a bookshop, what first catches the eye is the title. Titles pave the way to the text, even in a literal sense. In any case, they establish a first contact with a potential readership, informing them, for example, about the genre (novel, non-fiction, children’s book) or the content of the book, praising its qualities, and, if all this raises the readers’ interest, appealing to them to buy and later read the book, or even guiding their interpretation of the text. This shows how important it is that a title is apt to fulfil all these functions - an original title in its own culture, a translated title in the target culture. It is a well-known fact that translators do not normally have the last word in the process of deciding on the title of a book they have translated. Nevertheless, if they can offer good arguments for or against certain title formulations, they might at least be heard. At any rate, just pleading for a “faithful” translation of the original title will not do. There may be a lot of arguments - and not only linguistic ones - against a literal translation, with which translators have to be familiar. The following study is based on a corpus including titles of fictional, nonfictional and children’s books in English, German, French and Spanish. After justifying the classification as titles as texts, and even a genre with its own culture-specific conventions, it aims at showing the forms and functions of book titles in order to provide a sound foundation for their translation, discussing some of the problems derived from this functional perspective.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):328-343
pages 328-343 views

Impact of technology on Translation and Translation Studies

Gambier Y.


The landscape in translation and interpreting is changing deeply and rapidly. For a long time, but not necessarily everywhere, translation was denied as a need (except for the political and religious powers), as effort (translation being defined as a kind of mechanical work, as substitution of words), and as a profession (translators embodying a subaltern position). Technology is bringing in certain changes in attitudes and perceptions with regards international, multilingual and multimodal communications. This article tries to define the changes and their consequences in the labelling and characterisation of the different practices. It is organised in five sections: first, we recall that translation and interpreting are only one option in international relations; then, we explain the different denials of translation in the past (or the refusal to recognize the different values of translation). In the third section, we consider how and to what extent technology is transforming today practices and markets. The ongoing changes do not boil solely to developments in Machine Translation (which started in the 1960s): community, crowdsourced/collaborative translation and volunteer translation encompass different practices. In many cases, users provide their own translations, with or without formal qualifications in translation. The evolution is not only technical but also economic and social. In addition, the fragmentation and the diversity of practices do have an impact on a multi-faceted market. In the fourth section, we emphasize that there are nowadays different concepts of translation and competitive paradigms in Translation Studies. Finally, we tackle the organisational challenge of the field, since the institutionalisation of translation and Translation Studies cannot remain the same as when there was a formal consensus on the concept of translation.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):344-361
pages 344-361 views

Intertextuality as Translation Problem: Explicitness, Recognisability and the Case of “Literatures of Smaller Nations”

Kaźmierczak M.


The paper focuses on the issue of translation of intertextual markers in literature, with a special emphasis on Polish poetry in English renditions. The material and perspective are chosen with a view to exploring source-culture references in the literatures less known internationally, which, it is argued, is a sphere of particular cultural resistance to translation. The aim is to survey the importance of the level of explicitness of intertextual links for the task of a translator, but also to investigate recognisability - the other crucial factor - as well the interrelation of the two. First some assumptions about the conditions conducive to a successful rendering of intertextuality are formulated and tested. Then, based on several poetry excerpts, it is shown how, on the one hand, the level of explicitness influences the translators’ choices and, on the other, how explicitating or implicitating procedures in translation influence the interpretative potential of the texts. Some instances of overcoming the resistance thanks to creative efforts are indicated. One of the author’s tenets is that even a not readily decipherable marker can serve as a signal of intertextual relations.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):362-382
pages 362-382 views

Translating Ideology: An Intergroup Mediation Perspective

Yarkina N.V., Yarkina L.P., Pougachev I.A.


Ideology is an important component of text production and reception, and therefore of translation. In the paper, we address the translation of ideology through the prism of the intergroup threat theory. The resulting intergroup mediation perspective is a practical framework aimed at helping translators to evaluate whether an ideological recontextualisation may be desirable when dealing with divergence in ideological contexts between the author, the source text readership and the target text audience. The framework includes ideology shifts analysis in terms of the roles ideology can play in a text: it can constitute a part of the message (foreground) or belong to the background. Although applicable rather generally, the framework is derived from an example-based study of news translation. The study focuses on translation between French, English and German using examples form online versions of major European news media, such as the French Le Monde and Le Figaro , the German Zeit Online and Die Welt , and the British The Independent , The Telegraph and Guardian . The paper allows for a better understanding of ideology-related problems in translation, helps identify essential factors influencing translator’s choices and could be used as a guidance in translation practice. Also, considering the formal character of the framework, it could eventually serve as a basis for handling ideology-related issues in machine translation in the news industry.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):383-398
pages 383-398 views

“A Sensible Image of the Infinite”: Intersemiotic Translation of Russian Classics for Foreign Audiences

Leontovich O.A.


The article is a continuation of the author’s cycle of works devoted to foreign cinematographic and stage adaptations of Russian classical literature for foreign audiences. The research material includes 17 American, European, Chinese, Indian, Japanese fiction films and TV series, one Broadway musical and 9 Russian films and TV series used for comparison. The paper analyses different theoretical approaches to intersemiotic translation, ‘de-centering of language’ as a modern tendency and intersemiotic translation of literary works in the context of intercultural communication. Key decisions about the interpretation of original texts are made by directors and their teams guided by at least three goals: commercial, creative and ideological. Intersemiotic translation makes use of such strategies as foreignization, domestication and universalization. The resignifying of a literary text by means of the cinematographic semiotic system is connected with such transformations as: a) reduction - omission of parts of the original; b) extension - addition, filling in the blanks, and signifying the unsaid; c) reinterpretation - modification or remodeling of the original in accordance with the director’s creative ideas. A challenge and at the same time one of the key points of intersemiotic translation is a difficult choice between the loyalty to the original, comprehensibility for the target audience and freedom of creativity. The research shows that transformations and use of different translation strategies can have both positive and negative consequences. Positive outcomes include: visualization and comprehension of the Russian cultural space; adaptation of Russian experiences for the target culture; retranslation of universal values expressed by the original. Negative consequences result in: the distortion of the original due to insufficient cultural literacy; purposeful deformation of cultural meanings for ideological reasons; erroneous interpretation of the literary text; deformation of the original macromeaning; preservation of the plot, but loss of the in-depth meaning of the original text. Any degree of creative freedom still requires intercultural competence and a careful choice of semiotic signs aimed at expressing the key ideas of the original.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):399-414
pages 399-414 views

Magic Folk Tales in Intersemiotic Translation

Shchurik N.V., Gorshkova V.E.


The present paper examines intersemiotic translation of magic folk tales. Research objective is to show the structural identity of the surface structure which can be described as a sequence of plot elements (“functions”) of fairy-tale characters; in semiotic terms it is explained by the existence of a universal matrix defining the law of genre. The authors go on to the cognitive-culturological aspect of fairy tales in terms of N. Chomsky. This research paper has clearly shown that “functions” of the surface structures correspond to plans, scenarios and frames of the deep structures, which differ in British and Russian magic fairy folk tales (wonder folk tales). Numbers and proper names are the main permanent elements of fairy tale narrative: on the level of the surface structures they connect the universal matrix of a fairy tale discourse organizing space and rhythm and at the level of the deep structures - they help to understand the main features of the national character. The study is based on 13 fairy-tale film corpus, under the common theme “Beauty and the Beast”, film adaptations of the fairy tales “La Belle et la Bête” by J.-M. Leprens de Beaumont (1757) and “The Scarlet Flower” by S.T. Aksakov (1858). Hence, the analysis of the latter based on the works of R. Jacobson and W. Eco and understood by the authors as a kind of intersemiotic translation / interpretation that, on the one hand, proves universality of the proposed algorithm for studying fairy discourse in synchrony and diachrony. On the other hand, it plays the most important role in intersemiotic translation of diachronic aspect because it deals with changing the “integral model of reality”, which is reflected, in particular, in changing the on-screen presentation / interpretation of certain aspects of the fairy-tale narrative. Finally, it is worth pointing out that the conclusions can be used to study plurality of film adaptation as a form of intersemiotic translation.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):415-434
pages 415-434 views

Linguocultural Localization of Movie Titles

Anissimov V.E., Borissova A.S., Konson G.R.


Due to intensive growth of film production and the expansion of the “market of film consumption”, the need for high-quality translation of feature films into different languages is becoming more and more pressing. While a foreign language film is localized, text elements are not only translated, but also adapted to the culture of the target audience, i.e. we are witnessing transition from one language and cultural code to another. Taking into account their structural, semantic, and functional pragmatic features, film titles are vivid representative materials for the study of modern translation practices in the light of the cultural transference concept (Bassnett 2005, Bastin 1990, Cranmer 2015, Jurt 2007, Кatan 1999, Leinen 2007, Thill 2007, Schreiber 1998, Slyshkin, Efremova 2004, Obolenskaya 2013, Snetkova 2009, Fedorova 2009). The purpose of the article is to identify the strategies of linguocultural localization of French film names for the modern Russian-speaking audience, as well as to determine the degree of its adequacy. Regardless of the choice of the translation strategy, the title should correspond to the plot, thematic focus and ideological and figurative content of the film, while remaining interesting and attractive to the audience. We analysed of eighty-seven French feature films of various genre affiliations (detectives, action films, dramas, melodramas, comedies, thrillers and fantasy), released in Russian from 2000 to 2018, and their translation equivalents. We used the methods of semantic, pragmatic, contextual and linguocultural analysis to identify a set of problems arising in the process of localization of film titles and to offer recommendations for their translation into Russian, considering the communicative specifics of the modern film discourse and the ethnic and cultural characteristics of the target audience.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):435-459
pages 435-459 views

The Deformation of Language in James Joyce’s Literary Works: Interpretation and Translation Challenges

Nesterova N.M., Naugolnykh E.A.


The paper deals with studying language deviations of different types in James Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake . Deviations in general are known to be a departure from a norm or accepted standard; in linguistics deviations are viewed as an artistic device that can be applied in different forms and at various textual levels. The author’s language deformation is analyzed as a form of deviation used for expressing the writer’s language knowledge. It is concluded that in Ulysses the destruction of the language is thoroughly thought out and multi-aimed. For instance, occasional compound units that dominate the novel imitate the style of Homer, reviving the ancient manner in contemporary language. Despite the use of conventional word-building patterns, rich semantic abundance being the basic principle of Joyce's poetics seriously complicates interpretation of the new words in the source language. The attempt is also made to systematize deviation techniques in Finnegans Wake . In particular, multilinguality is found to be the base of the lexical units created by J. Joyce. Such hybrid nonce words produce the polyphony effect and trigger the mechanism of polysemantism together with unlimited associativity of the textual material, broadening the boundaries of linguistic knowledge as a whole. Additionally, certain results of a deeper comparative analysis of the ways to translate the author’s deviations into Russian are given. The analysis of three Russian versions of Ulysses and the experimental fragmentary translation of Finnegans Wake show that there exists some regularity in the choice of translation method, particularly its dependence on the structural similarities/ differences of the source and the target languages, as well as the language levels affected by J. Joyce in the process of lingual destruction. The impossibility of complete conveyance of the semantic depth of the text and stylistic features in the target language is noted.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):460-472
pages 460-472 views

Translation of Words with a Cultural Component (Based on the Spanish Translation of the Novel by Eugene Vodolazkin “The Aviator”)

Tirado R.G.


This article is dedicated to some aspects of translation of vocabulary with a cultural component (realia, idioms, metaphors, comparisons, etc.). In the frame of our Spanish translation of Evgeny Vodolazkin's novel Aviator are analyzed some issues of literary translation of this kind of words. This translation (first Evgeny Vodolazkin's work translated to this language), financed by a a grant of the Institute of Translation in Moscow, was published in November 2018. When answering the question which instruments have the translator to make possible the transfer of words with a cultural component from one language to another and whether it is possible to convey cultural realities without losing a significant share of sense, our research shows with a rich variety of examples taken from Aviator that the translation text does not always create the same effect and does not always have the same emotional effect on the recipient, since vocabulary with a cultural component is closely related to the culture and language of the realities of the text culture. In the article shows some of the strategies, used by the translator to translate these words and how the cultural factor and the lack of prior knowledge create great difficulties, requiring more attention from the translator and serious operational intervention in the literary text he works with.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):473-486
pages 473-486 views

Cultural Words in Sacral Text and their Translation: Linguistic and Extra-Linguistic Factors

Khukhuni G.T., Valuitseva I.I., Osipova A.A.


The purpose of this article is to study the issue of key features of the so-called cultural words (realia) in sacred texts (the Bible is taken as an example) as well as a distinctive nature of their cross-language transfer. This problem is essential not only for the Bible translation as such but it also enables to clarify some aspects related to the representation of the vocabulary with cultural identity in the target language that is explained by the very nature of the Old and New Testaments containing a wide variety of the realia that refer directly to a religious cult and to the everyday life of Palestinian people and their neighborhood in the Bible times. The material for the present research includes versions of the Holy Writ created in different periods in a number of languages (Latin, Church Slavonic, Russian and English). While analyzing, the classical translations labelled often as “national” ones have been used (the King James Bible, Synodal Translation), as well and the versions created in the 20th and 21st centuries. The main approach applied herein is the identifying of the corresponding units in the said Bible texts, the ascertainment of the possibility of their ambivalent interpretation, the correlation within the considered versions of translation, the determination of translation strategies used for representing the realia and their comparative analysis. When considering the options presented, special attention has been paid to extra-linguistic factors, since they often play a decisive role in solving the said task. The key results of the made survey can be formulated as follows: 1) since translations could have been made from different versions of the source text, there are cases when certain realia are available in some translations but are missing in others; 2) the use of transcription / transliteration of the realia in Russian versions of the Old Testament in some cases is determined by their representation in the Greek and Church Slavonic texts of the Bible and therefore in both the Synodal and the new translations they can be presented in a form different from that available in European languages; 3) the representation of the Greek word diopetês ( fallen from heaven ) as the proper name Diopet in the Synodal Translation is usually qualified as an elementary mistake, but it could have been also provoked by an intention to follow Greek and Church Slavonic traditions; 4) the existence of the so-called ‘undefined realia’ in the source text, an exact meaning of which is not known, causes their various interpretations in the target language; 5) during the analysis of the units of the target language used in the translation of the Holy Writ, the diachronic aspect must be taken into account considering, on the one hand, the possibility of losing or changing the meaning in the course of linguistic evolution, and on the other hand, avoiding vesting the reality with the meaning that it could not have; 6) a number of translations made in recent decades are characterized by a pronounced pragmatic orientation, in some cases causing a significant neutralization of the national-cultural specificity or its adaptation to the corresponding cultural environment, the degree of admissibility of which in some cases is controversial. The above items enable to clarify a number of aspects related to the methods of translating the realia and the importance of such aspects for attaining the translation adequacy.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):487-508
pages 487-508 views

Mode in Arabic-English Translation: with Reference to the Quran

Najjar I.I., Kwee S.B., Abu al-haj T.A.


A rhetorical question has the form of a question but does not perform its function, i.e. does not seek any information but rather, is used to give a specific or rhetoric function such as denial, assertion, testing, equalization and negation. The present study investigates the two English translations that were used in the translation of the Quranic rhetorical questions. In a nutshell, this is a comparative study that aims to discover if the grammatical shifts that had occurred in the two English translations would have an effect on the denial, assertion, testing, and equalization and negation modes of the Quranic rhetorical questions. For this purpose, we had adopted the register theory of Halliday and Hassan (1985) as well as the translation shifts of Catford (1965) in the comparison of the two English translations, namely the Koran Interpreted that was authored by Arberry (1955) and the Noble Quran: English translation of the meanings and commentary as transcribed by al-Hilali and Khan (1996). According to the analyses, the occurrence of grammatical shifts between the two translations had in fact affected the mode of the ST rhetorical questions, their rhetorical meanings and consequently, issues on mode sustenance. Therefore, it can be said that the register theory of Halliday and Hassan (1985) had been a beneficial tool used in the analysis of the translation process.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):509-522
pages 509-522 views

Gender-Neutral Linguistic Transformations of Messianic Scriptures in the Modern Anglican Homiletic Literature

Sharov K.S.


Actuality. Our time is characterised by the penetration of egalitarian ideas of Western liberalism and political correctness in the sphere of language. Language, speech, communication practices are reviewed and revised to determine if they are politically correct. Religious and sacred texts of Christianity and Judaism do not stand aside from the careful examination of the followers of the ideas of compiling a politically correct Bible. The purpose of this article is to find out if it is possible to change the texts of English translations of the Christian Bible, from a theological and linguistic point of view, and if it is possible to consider gender-neutral versions of Messianic passages of the English Bible as authentic, suitable for the correct transmission of meaning, i.e. reading, theological and historical analysis, as well as liturgical practice. The object of the research is represented by the texts of several widely used in modern Anglicanism gender-neutral English versions of the Bible: The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation by Priests for Equality (IBFET, 2009); New English Translation (NET, 1998); New International Version Inclusive Language Edition (NIVI, 1995). King James’ Bible original version (KJV) of 1611 edition is used as a reference point. Research techniques include the method of contextual analysis, comparative method, structural method, comparative historical method. Such taxonomic units of sacred Messianic texts as son of God, son of man, the lord, the master, the king, heaven kingdom , constructions of common grammatical gender are analysed. It is demonstrated that in almost all cases of gender-neutral constructions use, the meaning of the text changes: from insignificant changes to the reproduction of openly heretical views from the viewpoint of traditional Anglicanism. Our study shews that gender-neutral language introduces new feminist meanings into Messianic sacred texts, which were not previously contained there. Gender-neutral English translations of the Christian Bible cease to be canonical from the point of view of Christian theology. Nevertheless, gender-neutral philological strategies of modifying the ways of modern Anglican preaching can be an extremely interesting and instructive example of the fact that in the modern world certain social and political discourses can stand behind Christian homiletics.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):523-543
pages 523-543 views

Working on Сomputer-Assisted Translation platforms: New advantages and new mistakes

Ovchinnikova I.G.


The paper presents analysis of errors in translation on the CAT platform Smartcat, which accumulates all tools for computer-assisted translation (CAT) including a machine translation (MT) system and translation memory (TM). The research is conducted on the material of the translation on Smartcat platform (a joint project of a tourist guide translation (35,000 words) from Hebrew to Russian, English, and French). The errors on the CAT platform disclose difficulties in mastering text semantic coherence and stylistic features. The influence of English as lingua franca appears in peculiar orthographic and punctuation errors in the target text in Russian. Peculiar errors in translation on the CAT platform reveal the necessity of advanced technological competence in translators. The peculiar errors uncover problems associated with a source text segmentation into sentences. The segmentation can trigger a translator to preserve the sentence boundaries and use a Russian complicated compound sentence that provoke punctuation errors. Difficulties of the anaphora resolution in distant semantically coherent segments are also associated with the source text segmentation and working window formatting. A joint project presupposes different translators to translate different files of the source document. To generate the coherence, contiguity and integrity of the whole document, the files have to be revised by a third-party editor to avoid conflict of interest. The editor-reviser is also responsible for improving the target text pragmatic and genre characteristics while applying top-down strategy to target text analysis. Thus, the translator’s errors while applying CAT tools reveal the effect of bottom-up text processing alongside with cross-language interference.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):544-561
pages 544-561 views


New Trends in Modern Translation Studies Review of Mishkurov E.N., 2018. “Hermeneutics of Translation” (Theoretical and Methodological Standard). Moscow, 299 p

Novikova M.G.


The article provides a review of E. Mishkurov’s monograph “Hermeneutics of Translation” (Theoretical and Methodological Standard). Attention is drawn to the introduction to scientific use and a comprehensive analysis of the concept of “hermeneutic translation paradigm”, which is based on the hermeneutic-translation methodological standard. It is illustrated that this standard reveals the essence of the translation process and includes four interrelated and complementary stages: pre-understanding, understanding, interpretation and the stage of making a translation decision. The advantages and perspectives of the hermeneutic translation paradigm over existing methodologies in modern translation studies are proved.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):562-568
pages 562-568 views
pages 569-574 views



Henry L.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):575-580
pages 575-580 views


Viktor K.L.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):581-583
pages 581-583 views


Naimushin B.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):584-590
pages 584-590 views


Zubanova I.V.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2019;23(2):591-594
pages 591-594 views

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