Anton Chekhov in the Spanish language: a comparative study of two translations of the short story “THE BET”

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The article focuses on the different aspects of translating into Spanish a short story “The Bet” (1889) by A. Chekhov within the paradigmatic frame of equivalence. For the purposes of the comparative analysis of two literary translations (by Heino Zernask’s translation into a non-native language, and Víctor Gallego Ballestero’s into a native language), the stylistic analysis of the original is given as well as its peculiarities in Chekhov’s idiolect. Through the methodic use of reverse translation and its subsequent philological analysis, the conveyance of the original’s polyphony, the individual traits of the characters’ speech, and the translation and use of lexical and semantic tools are discussed, at the same time that inaccuracies in the translation are examined. The analysis shows that both versions are close to conveying through the mechanisms of the Spanish language, Chekhov’s idiolect (the polyphony, the lexical and semantic tools, the rhetoric). The conclusions reveal a shift of the narrative tone in both translations, showing a prevalence in the use of colloquial language in Heirno Zernask’s version. Víctor Gallego Ballestero’s text, on the other hand, lifts the tone of the narrative at the expense of the lexical and semantic tools from the original. Heino Zernask’s translation follows the original very close, but suffers from Russian interference, which gave way to translation mistakes. The article is useful for teaching the theory and practice of Russian translation into Spanish and vice versa, and also for theory courses on translation.

About the authors

Roberto V Monforte Dupret

Facultad de Letras de la UPV/EHU

5, Paseo de la Universidad, Vitoria-Gasteiz, España, 01006

O S Chesnokova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

6, Miklukho-Maklaya str., Moscow, Russia, 117198


Copyright (c) 2016 Монфорте Дюпре Р.В., Чеснокова О.С.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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