Ukrainian and English enigmatic texts: translation aspects

The structure of enigmatic texts, specificity in different languages. Features of displaying self-organization and self-control in English, Ukrainian enigmatic texts, methods of their translation. Verbal and empirical analysis of the main meta-values.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид статья
Язык английский
Дата добавления 07.10.2018
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Ukrainian and English enigmatic texts: translation aspects

In modem linguistics of the term «enigmatic text» is a new, one issue is motivated by the text pragmatic function [2, p. 27]. The enigmatic text is aimed at encoding a certain object of reality and inducing the recipient to decode it. The main features of the enigmatic text are question-answer structure, communicative charge, the absence of the author, information self-sufficiency and meaningful completeness. The structure and semantics of riddles reflect not only the linguistic features, but also the nature of everyday life, cultural and social traditions of people. An important semantic principle of the enigmatic text is allegory, manifestation metaphor.

I. Franko studied the topics of Ukrainian enigmatic texts in his work «The remains of the original outlook in the Russ and Polish folk riddles» [3, p. 7]. Classification is valid and scientifically motivated. I. Franko considers the thematic group of riddles animistic. The researcher refers them to inanimate objects, forces of nature represented as living beings - personified and spiritualized: the sky is a father, and the earth is a mother, cf. «Тато високий, мама широка, син кучерявий, невістка сліпа» (Небо, земля, вода, ніч). Later, I. Franko highlighted the second group zoomorphic. Riddles, where the forces of nature are depicted as beasts. The most expressive are the cow, ox, and bull cf. «Чорна корова всіх людей поборола, а білий віл всіх людей на ноги підвів» (ніч і день). The third group of riddles I. Franko called anthropomorphic. Ukrainian folk riddles prefer human relationship. For example: сонце - пан, місяць - пастух-най-мит; вітер - злодій; місяць - чумак, зорі - воли; замок - сторож etc [3, pp. 76, 78].

I. Berezovskiy singled out such thematic groups of English riddles: nature; man; material life of a person; work; abstract, general, conditional concepts; puzzles, charades, and various questions [4, p. 15]. The thematic group «nature» includes to the riddles of the planet, flora and fauna: «At night they come without being fetched, and by day they are lost without being stolen» (Stars); Which room has no doors, no windows? (A mushroom) [10, p. 73].To the English riddles of «human» belong the riddles about the relationship of people: «When is your uncle's sister not your aunt?» (Mother). Among the English riddles single out abstract, general and conditional concepts: «What kind of jokes did Einstein make? (Wisecrack)». A special place is taken by puzzles, charades and questions: «What dog has no tail?» (A hot-dog) [9, p. 35].

Enigmatic texts cover all aspects of the basic pictures of the world, reproducing the human worldview: habitation, dishes and household items, tools, plants and animals and flora.

The English folk riddles, like the Ukrainian ones develop figurative-associative thinking and logic. English riddles are of a literary origin. English folk riddles were presented in Old English poetry and Old English literature. English riddles go back to the Anglo-Saxon period (450-1050 years). Currently the English folk riddles are used in funny games for children [8, p. 346].

The Ukrainian riddle remains an independent genre of folklore. The Ukrainian word «загадка» is of ancient origin, as well as the English term «riddle». In the Old Russian language, the word «to guess» had the meaning of «to think». Hence the word «загадка» came into being [5, p. 96].

The English and Ukrainian enigmatic texts are based on a metaphoric description of objects or phenomena: «Між двох світил я в середині один» (ніс) [6, p. 79]; «Скатертина біла увесь світ одягла» (сніг) [7, p. 132]; «What is it that you must keep after giving it to someone else?» (a word); «What increases the more you share it with others?» (joy) [10, p. 78].

Enigmatic texts, regardless of their origin keep alive: they are educational, didactic and identifying. English or Ukrainian folk riddles reflect the history of culture rhemes and lingvorhemes and spiritual interests. Tales and other small genres open up a complete overview for the creative imagination of the people.

The riddles reflect experience of the people, representations related to the work, life and culture of people. Adequate translation of enigmatic texts keeps them alive and let them go.

Enigmatic texts are difficult to translate because of semantic «charge». The translator is expected to give adequate information and pragmatic value of the source text. Translation consists in process and results Tertium Comparationis is badly needed.

There are 5 available methods of translation:

Complete equivalent doesn't lose its lexical imagery of the original text: «What is without hands and without head or body, but can open a door?» (A Wind) [9, p. 433] - «Без рук, без ніг, хату відчиняє» (Вітер); «Clean, but not water, white, but not snow, sweet, but not ice-cream, what is it?» (Sugar) [10, p. 135] - «Чистий, але не вода, білий, але не сніг, солодкий, але не морозиво, що це таке?» (Цукор).

Partial equivalence presents lexical or grammatical divergences: «I am always hungry, I must always be fed, the finger I touch, will soon turn red» (Fire) [9, p. 429] - «Червоний гість, дерево їсть» (Вогонь).

The riddles in some cases are translated literally cf. language games work with riddles: «What has two hands and a face, but no arms and legs?» (Aclock) [8, p. 388] - «Що має дві руки та обличчя, але немає рук та ніг?» (Годинник).

A translator may fully preserve the content of the original text without any modifications of the original.

The wide conceptual view is badly for needed thesaurus: «What begins with Tends with T and has T in it?» (A teapot) [10, p. 43] - «Що починається з T, закінчується на T і містить в ньому Т?» (Чайник).

The main purpose of riddles is to induce the recipient to decode the text. Enigmatic texts, irrespective Ukrainian or English are identical in the destination. They train people's mind, mentalise.

An adequate translation of enigmatic texts is of a particular complex problem: one should remember some maxims about translation. They work wonders. Adequate translation renders both information and pragmatic intentions of parallel texts. Translation consists in process and results which provide congruent pragmatic information. Equivalence functiones with all blocks - textocentric approached. Equivalence is of tripertite nature - complete partial and zero in modi of language speech or speech activities. Partial equivalence presents divergences in outer structures while adequate translation stegs with deep structure. Institution proves the fact of lexical divergences of corelated texts and unsufficiency of metesign exact in the macrosystem of translation terminology.


enigmatic text translation

1. Kobyakova, I.K. (2013). Navchaty perekladu [To Teach Translation]. Sumy, Ukraine: Sumy State University.

2. Lukin, V.A. (1999). Hudozhestvennyj tekst: osnovy lingvisticheskoi teorii i elementy analiza [An artistic text: the foundations of linguistic theory and elements of analysis. A book for philological specialties of high schools]. Moscow: Os' - 89.

3. Franko, I. (1980). Ostanky pervisnoho svitohliadu v rus'kyh і pol's'kyh zagadkah narodnyh [The remains of the original outlook in the Russ and Polish folk riddles]. Works in 50 vols. Vol. 26.

4. Berezovskiy, I.P. (1987). Zahadaiu-vidhadaiu [I propose - you guess!] Riddles. Kyiv, Ukraine: Dnipro.

5. Kravtsov, N.I. & Lazutin, S.G. (1983). Russkoe ustnoe narodnoe tvorchestvo [Russian oral folk art] (2nd. ed.). Moscow: Vysshaya shkola.

6. Markovich O.V. et al. (1993). Ukrains'ki prykazky, prysliv'ia і take inshe [Ukrainian sayings, proverbs and so on]. Kyiv, Ukraine: Lybid.

7. Rybnikova, M.A. (Ed.). (1932). Zagadki [Riddles]. Moscow; Leningrad: ACADEMIA.

8. Dorson, R.M. (1972). Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

9. Taylor, A. (1951). English Riddles from Oral Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

10. Rosenbloom, J. (1976). Biggest Riddle Book in the World. Sterling Publ. Co., Inc.

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