Religious vocabulary in the novel Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and peculiarities of its translation

The highlighting of the main features of the religious vocabulary in the source text of the Dan Brown’s novel Angels and Demons according to the existent principles of its classification. The analyzing of the vocabulary translation in the target text.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
Вид статья
Язык английский
Дата добавления 04.11.2018
Размер файла 43,6 K

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Vorobiova I.A.

No doubt, problems of translation are worth discussing. Actually, we speak not about the problem of translation as a process but about its practical side, about adequacy and equivalence of translation, about the extent of domestication or forenization of the source text, about methods and techniques used. The problem is urgent and requires a special study because we still face with poor translations caused by an inadequate choice of methods that leads to misunderstanding of the essence. At the same time, a translator stumbles upon problematic words and phrases such as culture-specific concepts, realias, or terms, and it is of the most challenging tasks to be performed by a translator.

Despite the fact that translation of the terms is not a complicated task considering their translation equivalence, the problem of their interpretation in the literary text still exists. One of the factors that influence the choice a word in a target language is the context, especially if it refers to literary works. It is necessary to find such lexical unit that should not violate grammatical and substantive integrity of the text, match the stylistics of the text, and carry the certain pragmatic meaning. Terms perform nominative function and are stylistically neutral; thus, they do not normally characterize the literary text. Therefore, the translation of such units demands for special tools.

Thus, the aim of the article is to study the terms (religious vocabulary in particular)used in the source text of Dan Brown's novel Angels and Demons and to analyze the translation techniques used by A. Kamianets for their translation in the target text.

One of the most powerful factors that influence the formation of a culture of a certain ethnos is its religion. Any national language includes units of lexical level with religious and cultural marking. Since the religious tradition of Orthodoxy and Catholicism includes phenomena similar in form but differing in content, there are variants of lexical means of languageto verbalize those issues. In addition, certain difficulties of translation may arise in the transfer of some elements of church and liturgical utensils [1].

Problems of interaction of language and religion were the focus of many researches, which gave impetus to the formation of such a section of modern linguistics as theolinguistics (A. Gadomskii, E. Ku- harska-Dreys). Semantic, lexical, stylistic, and syntactic features and peculiarities of a religious text were studied by S. Bulavina, N. Miechkovskaia, A. Antonova, etc.

In modern linguistics, the concept of “religious vocabulary” is treated ambiguously, since the problem of its correlation with the concepts of “church vocabulary” and “biblical vocabulary” has not been completely solved.

S. Bulavina understands the religious vocabulary as units that name “basic Christian concepts mostly represented in the Bible, the main source of Christian doctrine. Religious vocabulary does not correlate with the material side of the life of the church that is its main difference from church vocabulary” [2, p. 9]. However, A. Chetyri- na argues that everything related to the church should be included in the concept of religion. She states that, “Church vocabulary is a part of religious vocabulary as a broader semantic unification” [3, p. 107]. Moreover, it is erroneous to refer only “basic Christian concepts” to religious vocabulary (S. Bulavina), since Christianity is one of the world religions (along with Islam, Buddhism). K. Timofieiev and P. Yakimov proves Christian religious vocabulary is only a part of religious vocabulary as a whole and offer three groups of religious vocabulary:

- general religious vocabulary (words denoting the concepts of all monotheistic religions: God, soul, holiness, prayer, etc.);

- general Christian vocabulary (words denoting concepts of all Christian denominations: Holy Trinity, Holy Spirit, apostle, Gospel, church, shrift, etc.);

- separate Christian vocabulary (words denoting the concepts of separate Christian confessions: father, pastor, priest, curate, abbot, cardinal, mass, matins, vigil, litany, etc.) [4, 5; 5, p. 66-68]. The concept “religious vocabulary” is semantically more capacious, because it combines a set of lexemes that denote the concepts of all world religions (modern and ancient, traditional and non-traditional); the concept of “church vocabulary” combines a set of lexemes, denoting the concepts of a certain religious trend and the concept “biblical vocabulary” includes lexical units derived from the Bible itself.

Considering the peculiarities of religious vocabulary is extremely important during translation as the texts with religious content carry a certain idea and a pragmatic orientation that should be preserved in the translation. In this regard, the translation of such texts requires understanding of the church tradition from the interpreter to avoid any semantic distortion.One of the problems that a translator encounters while working is terminological variability.

There are many classifications of religious vocabulary (G. Skliarevska, R. Goriushyn, K. Timofieiev, and others). One of the commonest is the classification of K. Timofieiev; it was presented above. G. Skliarevska in the “Dictionary of Orthodox Church Culture” presents the thematic classification of Orthodox ecclesiastical vocabulary, which with some variations can be projected on religious vocabulary in general [6, p. 8]. I. Bugaieva distinguishes religious terms that do not have common equivalents and religious dialect words that have common synonyms in language [7, p. 29-30]. N. Miechkovskaia classifies religious vocabulary in accordance with the classification of religious beliefs of a person. She identifies five groups of religious vocabulary:

- vocabulary that characterizes the concept of God (the Absolute or the Aesir), his history and / or doctrine;

- vocabulary that characterizes ideas about the will of God, about his testament or requirements to people;

- vocabulary that characterizes ideas about a person, society, and world depending on the concept of God;

- vocabulary that which characterizes religious, ethical, and legal notions and norms;

- vocabulary that characterizes the notions of the proper order of worship, church organization, the relationship between the clergy and the world, etc., as well as ideas about the history of development and the solution of these problems [8, p. 33].

It is often possible to overcome gaps (or lacunae) between the source language and the target language by transposing the source language message piece by piece into the target language. This can be accomplished with direct translation techniques: borrowing, calque (lexical and structural), and literal translation [9]. Traditionally, they are used for introducing borrowings or when the translated text retains the same syntax, the same meaning and the same style as the original text.

Sometimes, upsetting the lexis or the syntactic order in the target text is necessary to attain the same stylistic or any other effect of a source text. In such cases, the oblique translation procedures help translators to exert a strict control over the reliability of their efforts [10, p. 84]. Oblique translation techniques operate at the grammatical level and mean the replacement of a word class by another word class without changing the meaning. It is used when the structural or conceptual elements of the source language cannot be directly translated without altering meaning or upsetting the grammatical and stylistics elements of the target language. These techniques include: transposition, modulation, reformulation or equivalence, adaptation, and compensation [11].

Transposition involves replacing one word class with another without changing the meaning of the text. The original expression is referred to as the base expression, and the result as the transposed expression. Modulation means altering a phrase from one language to another to convey the same meaning when translator generates a change in the point of view of the message without altering meaning and without generating a sense of awkwardness in the reader of the target text [11]. Equivalence, or reformulation, produces an equivalent text in the target language by using completely different stylistic and structural methods and relates to the whole of a message [12]. Adaptation is used when the type of situation referred to by the source language message does not function in the target language culture. In such cases, the translator should recreate a situation that can be regarded as more or less equivalent [13]. Compensation can be used when something cannot be translated, and the meaning that is lost is expressed somewhere else in the translated text [9].

According to the topic of our article, we classified the examples of religious vocabulary from the source text (Dan Brown's novel Angels and Demons) and then analyzed translation techniques used for their introduction in the target text (translation made by A. Kamianets).

We used the classification of religious terms offered by A. Antonova to categorize the religious vocabulary (NB. We present just several examples in each group as their total amount is quite large):

- conceptual terminology - brotherhood / brothers, worshiper / true believer, god/ goddess / god-making / God-fearing man / God's people, divine / the School of Divinity, Catholic / Catholic church / Catholicism, etc.;

- agionyms (names of saints and gods) - Holy mother of Jesus / Virgin Mary / the Blessed Mary / Mother Mary / Blessed Mother / Hail Mary / Mother of God, Satan, Jesus Christ, Antichrist, Shaitan, St. Peter, St. Ann, Lucifer, Buddha, Yahweh, etc.;

- anthroponyms (names of personalities) - Pope Pius XII, Gregory XIII, Father Jaqui Tomaso, Urbano II, Boniface IV, Pope Urban VIII, Pope John Paul I, etc.;

- ecclesionyms (names of temples) - St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, Saint Agnes in Agony;

- names of religious holidays -Christmas;

- historical vocabulary - the crusading armies / the Crusade, Masonic lodge, inquisition, Knights Templar, tabernacle;

- names of religious movements and sects - Illuminati, the Freemason / The Mason, Buddhism, etc.;

- names of objects of religious utensils - cross /four arms / cruciform, ekuaba, idol, boccus, frankincense vessel, pendants, etc.;

- the names of the priests' vestures - papal crown, pallium, cassock, rosary bead, robe. etc.;

- liturgical vocabulary - rite / ritual, congregation, Devil's Advocate,

- church art (names of canvases here) - Habakkuk and the Angel, Daniel and the Lion, The Ecstasy of St. Teresa, Last Judgment, etc.;

- literature - the Bible /Holy Bible, the Koran, etc.;

- architecture and the internal structure of the temple - crypt, Pantheon, ossuary annex, alcove, etc.;

- clergymen and church hierarchy - Holy Conclave / The Vatican Conclave, His Holiness, priest, Pope, Cardinal, chamberlain, cleric, Supreme Pontiff, bishop;

- folk religious traditions - ancient pagan holiday of sol invic- tus Unconquered Sun, sun worship) [14, p. 10-11].

We should note that we found no examples of terms from the following groups: iconography, music, and names of church periodicals.

The analysis of the text put as problem of absence of some thematic groups in the above classification.Thus, we expanded it and added some of them:

- toponyms - The city of God, Vatican, Mecca, Ufficio di Papa, Levant, etc.;

- names of religious symbols - swastika, yin yang, Jewish stars, Holy Trinity, pentagram, 666, Tau Cross;

- names given in Latin and Italian languages - Basilica San Pietro, Capella Sistina, Il camerlengo, Maria benedetta, Pietroil Erimito, porta sacra;

- quotations - God rest his soul, Upon this rock I will build my church!, The work of God!, His will be done, And the truth shall set you free...

The analysis of the translation made by A. Kamianets allowed us to divide the examples of the religious vocabulary into the eight groups described above.

Direct translation.

Borrowing: Universi Dominici Gregis, Citta di Dio, Ufficio di Papa, Basilica San Pietro, Maria benedetta, Pietroil Erimito, Ponte Sant'Angelo, Citta di Dio, etc.

Calque: religion - релігія, cross - хрест, Illuminati - Ілюмінати, Janus - Янус, brotherhood / brothers - братство / браття, faith - віра, temple - храм, god - бог, cathedral - собор, Holy Conclave - святий конклав, dogma - догма, Lucifer - Люцифер, Yahweh - Єгова, inquisition - інквізиція, crypt - крипта, alcove - альков, pallium - палія, etc.

Literal translation: worshiper - вірянин, have faith - вірити, mysterious rites - таємні обряди, Holy Trinity - Свята Трійця, heaven and hell - рай і пекло, immaculate conception - непорочне зачаття, martyr - мученик, parochial school - парафіяльна школа, Supreme Pontiff- Верховний понтифік, etc.

Oblique translation.

Transposition: four arms хрест, the crusading armies - хрестоносці, theologian - богослов, Satan - дідько, the Bible - Святе Письмо, Vatican event - ватиканський обряд, doom - Страшний суд, Knights Templar - тамплієри, etc.;

Modulation: like heaven - божественний, Christen dom - християнський світ, true believer - правовірний, Holy Bible - Євангеліє, Men of God - Служителі Бога, etc.;

Reformulation or equivalence: all of world religion - християнський світ, reign - перебування на Святому престолі, frankincense vessel - кадило з благовонним ладаном, oil lamp - лампада, Tau Cross - Хрест святого Антонія, etc.;

Adaptation: sanctimonious bastard - святенник, a pit of fire - геєна огненна, office - престол, etc.

We can conclude that in the translation A. Kamianets used direct methods of translation in the greatest percentage of examples. The majority of religious vocabulary used by Dan Brown in the source text belongs to religious terms and has common and traditional translation. Violation of tradition of such terms translation would destroy the whole aesthetic effect of the text. That is why the translator did not need to paraphrase words and sayings in order to transfer the main idea and content of the original text. However, sometimes we could see a necessity to use descriptive language in the translation. In common, it concerns repetition of similar words in the source text, e.g. angel - ангел, янгол, янголятко; sacred - найсвятіший, священний, святий; church - Церква, церковник, церковний. Using modulation technique allows A. Kamianets to avoid tautology and adds colouring and verbal variety to the translated text.

It is interesting that the interpreter does not translate some personal names (toponyms and anthroponyms) and titles from Italian, for example: Citta di Dio, Ufficio di Papa, Basilica San Pietro, Capella Sistina, Il camerlengo, Maria benedetta, Pietroil Erimito, porta sacra, Castel Sanf Angelo, Ponte Sanf Angelo, Citta di Dio, Capella Sistina. We think it was done because of the wish to save the national connotation of the text and to highlight Italian realia in the target language.

religious vocabulary brown novel


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