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«  Август 2017  »
At University


The site was designed to offer advice on different aspects of University translatology.
Here you can find information on:

  • Peculiarities of translation at the faculties of foreign languages.

  • The ideology of a professional.

  • International standards of professional competence.

  • Classical works on translation and bibliography of academic papers.

  • The list of quotations thematically arranged.translate

  • Internet resources on translatology.

  •  The format of academic papers.

  • The explanation of the basic terms of translatology: equivalence, modality, the unit of translation, the network of translation problems, transformation, metonymy, vehicular languages, directionality of translation etc.

  •  You can find here examples of translation analysis that can be used in classroom discussions and in your scholarly papers.


17.08.17 Do you know the buzz word BFFs? Look at the examples of its translation neither of which happens to relate the cultural term:            

Partying, sipping mimosas with the BFFs, hanging around with half-naked men.

Вечеринки, потягивание коктейля "мимоза" с лучшими подружками, зависание с полуголыми мужчинами.

BFFs, as the kids say today.

Лучшие друзья навеки, как дети говорят.

BFFs, if we're speaking technically.

Лучшая подруга, если говорить точнее.

Your daughter and I aren't exactly BFFs, Walt.

Мы с ней не совсем закадычные подруги, Уолт.

We're BFFs, and she's one of the owners, like me.

Мы лучшие подруги, и она тоже совладелец, как я.

Why would you be lying to your two BFFs, anyway?

Зачем ты лжешь двум своим лучшим подругам?

Best friends, besties, BFFs, peas in a pod, sisters who would share traveling pants.

Лучшие подружки, горошинки в стручке, сестры, что делятся друг с другом одежкой.

13.08.17 Renaming parks and removing the statues always causes a split in the society... Is it worth fighting against one's history?

"For the third time in a few months, white nationalists had descended on the small, liberal city of Charlottesville in the old Confederate capital of Virginia, to protest against the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee. This time they came under the banner of the so-called "alt-right", for a rally they called "Unite the Right". They were a motley crew of militia, racists, and neo-Nazis, and some who said they simply wanted to defend their Southern history".


7.08.17 Pop anthropologist Kate Fox has written about the English “ban on earnestness” (an aversion to taking things too seriously) and the pervasiveness of humour in social interaction. This humour is of a particular kind: self-deprecating and given to understatement and irony.

It’s unsurprising that this national trait has made its way into the language. Romantic activities (like ‘snog’ and ‘shag’) are spoken of in childish terms. Classic dishes are made to sound deliberately unappetizing: ‘dead man’s arm’ and ‘Eton mess’ – respectively, a rolled cake filled with jam and a dessert combining meringue, strawberries and cream.


3.08.17 Arming Ukraine Is Still Folly 


Вооружать Украину — глупо, как ни крути

Emphatization in the translation may be interpreted by some scholars as an ideologeme playing on the negative impact of the message, but what is undeniable is that the prectice of "domestication", quite visible here, is currantly considered to be dominant in most cultures.

1.08.17 Cracking the ‘ahorita code’ takes not a fluency in the language, but rather a fluency in the culture.

When a Mexican says ‘ahorita’, it could mean tomorrow, in an hour, within five years or never.

Ahorita llego, which directly translates to ‘I am arriving right now’, in fact means ‘I will be there in an indeterminate amount of time’, while ahorita regreso (‘I will be right back’) means ‘I will be back at some point but who knows exactly when’. ‘Ahorita’ is even used as a polite way of saying ‘no, thank you’ when refusing an offer. 


31.07.17 The translator feels at his best when he has a large stock of variant correspondences within easy reach. Tha is the case with  the abstract noun “insolence” in the example below:

On Thursday, Vladimir Putin said a Russian response to the new wave of sanctions was inevitable. “We are behaving in a very restrained and patient way, but at some moment we will need to respond ... It’s impossible to endlessly tolerate this kind of insolence towards our country.”


В четверг Владимир Путин заявил, что российский ответ на новую волну санкций неизбежен. «Мы, как вы знаете, ведем себя очень сдержанно, терпеливо, но в какой-то момент нам придется отвечать,… потому что невозможно бесконечно терпеть хамство в отношении нашей страны».

insolence  - оскорбительное высокомерие, презрение, дерзость, наглость, нахальство

27.03.17 Take notice of Will Kymlicka's book "Politics in the Vernacular" (2001) The rallying cry of the book: "Minority rights must be seen in the context of state nation-building".

23.07.17 Slips of the tongue in speech cause many unpleasant moments for interpreters, while mistakes in writing are much less frequent and easier dealt with. However it takes some time for students of English to be ready for mistakes to be identified and corrected.  

A Saudi woman who sparked outrage in after sharing a video of herself wearing a miniskirt has been arrested, according to local media.


17.07.17 Dan Kovalik.The Plot to Scapegoat Russia


Kovalik presents a persuasive case that the demonization of Russia and Putin is being used to justify war and more conflict with ever increasing military budget.

13.07.17 Sometimes English mass media commit striking grammatical mistakes:

The EU wants an agreement on how the “Brexit bill” to be reached before launching talks on a free trade. 


Two variants are possible:

1) The EU wants an agreement on the “Brexit bill” to be reached before launching talks on a free trade.

2) The EU wants an agreement on how the “Brexit bill” is to be reached before launching talks on a free trade.  

11.07.17  New Yorkers — now convinced like Kievans that Putin is behind all their problems — have bought into the idea that the Russians manipulated the elections in Trump’s favor and the president is now in hock to the Kremlin’s wily leader. His actions during the next four years will only be a manifestation of Putin’s supreme will.


Ньюйоркцы — сегодня они, как и киевляне, убеждены в том, что Путин стоит за всеми их проблемами — поверили в идею о том, что русские повлияли на исход выборов в пользу Трампа, и что теперь американский президент в долгу перед коварным кремлевским лидером. А его действия в течение ближайших четырех лет будут всего лишь проявлением верховной воли Путина.

have bought into the idea - купились на идею is better because it emphasyzes the absurdity of the situation (the connotations of the original must be retained!)

7.07.17 The brilliant short story by the great Austrian writer Stefan Zweig  Die Weltminute von Waterloo” (The World Minute of Waterloo) leaves a lasting impression about one of the most crucial events of the world’s history: Napoleon's defeat at the battle of Waterloo. The chef d'oeuvre is not included into school programmes (compiled by people of modest intelligence and competence), let alone the peculiarities of its translation.

The Russian translation of the story is a brilliant example of the translator’s decision: «Невозвратимое мгновение».

The omission of  Ватерлоо and the addition of the epithet невозвратимое makes the title more mysterious and dramatic in comparison with the original. The result is that of emphatization and, what seems more significant, the translation measures up to the stylistic norms of the Russian prose and makes it sound natural. The battle of Waterloo is known to the Germans as Schlacht bei Belle-Alliance and to the French as „Bataille de Waterloo“ or  „Bataille de Mont-Saint-Jean“.

Belle-Alliance (прекрасный союз) is the name of a former hotel where Napoleon had his last  headquarters.

Mont-Saint-Jean is a hamlet located in the province of Walloon Brabant, Belgium, south of Waterloo.

2.07.17 For some reason the Server has not functioned for several days. 

Funny "political correctness" that has turned tolerance into a meaningless word. An example of "hate speech" that masks itself behind the image of a crusader fighting against "sexism" can be found at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40466301

21.06.17 Do you want to sound like a Brit? Hardly achievable! Take, for example, this piece of intralingual translation

“That wazzock dared to gazump me; I'm gobsmacked by this sticky wicket full of codswallop that's gone pear-shaped!”

That sentence may not sound serious. But the situation it describes is. Translated into standard English, it would be something like “That idiot dared to offer more money for the house after my offer already had been accepted; I'm shocked by this tricky situation full of nonsense that's gone awry!”


17.06.17 A curious singularity of human mind makes us always look for a more precise variant that is often found outsid“That wazzock dared to gazump me; I'm gobsmacked by this sticky wicket full of codswallop that's gone pear-shaped!”
e one’s mother-tongue. It is the case when intralingual translation goes side by side with interlingual translation, or translation proper (the search begins with the examination of the resources of one’s mother’tongue, and then passes on to a foreign language or languages). This can be illustrated by a resort of the English-speaking author to a German word that seems to him to be a more ‘beautiful’ choice. As far as I am concerned I am happier with снятие сливок:

In any union of entities with diverging interests, cherry-picking -- or, to use a beautiful German word, Rosinenpickerei -- is an issue. The European Union is no exception, and right now, the bloc's post-Communist members stand accused of cherry-picking from EU rules. It may cost them.

В любом союзе, объединяющем субъекты с различными интересами, проблемой становится «снятие сливок» — или, если использовать красивое немецкое слово, Rosinenpickerei («выковыривание изюма» — прим. перев.). Европейский Союз — не исключение. В данный момент некоторые из присоединившихся к блоку посткоммунистических стран сталкиваются с обвинениями в том, что они занимаются именно этим, вступая в противоречия с правилами ЕС. Возможно, им вскоре придется за это расплачиваться.

13.06.17 Vodka shots in the Kremlin, right? Not exactly.

В Кремле уже празднуют победу? Не совсем.

Why does the original look stylistically more impressive than the translation? Generalizations and omissions of cultural terms are unavoidable in the translation. And it is a powerful argument for the towering posture of the original over the text of translation and at the same time it is a question that has been haunting translators since times immemorial: how come that these unavoidable losses of information never prevent the languages’ demonstrating their equality through innumerable bridges established by translation with the cultures that are deliberately hiding themselves in isolated and forbidding places? 

11.06.17 "The Catalonian regional government has chosen a date for its referendum on independence that Madrid has ruled illegal" The fools should have known better and fo;;wed the British suit. The ban will only give a boost to separatism!

7.06.17 An opinion of an editor about the options around Quatar: "I do not think that Turkey will risk any conflict with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and the US over Qatar. Russia is increasingly cosying up to Saudi Arabia, and I also don’t believe Iran would enter into a war to support Qatar".  When a child is cosying up to a parent this is stylistically normal : someone small  is snuggling up to someone who is big and gives comfort and protection.  When someone describes Russia's actions as cosying up we are confronted with three possible interpretations: 1) someone is ignorant about Russia's place in the world; 2) someone is ignorant about stylistic norms of English; 3) someone is trying to humiliate Russia. Anyway, it is a sample of "hate language" unanimously denounced by Western mass media as violation of political correctness. Alas, they do not practice what what they preach!   

5.06.17 On the 4th of June the BBC informed that "The hero police officer rugby-tackled a knifeman" .  The ambivalence provides room for imagination in the choice of translation correspondences: блокировать захватом; сбивать с ног, обезвредить, выбить нож. Clarification с помощью приёма регби turns translation into a very awkward unit. That's why generalization seems to be unavoidable for stylistic reasons. 

1.06.17 Trump - the father of a new word: "One word was close to breaking the internet on Wednesday morning: "covfefe". It was an apparent typo in a tweet by US President Donald Trump, and internet users have been mocking him mercilessly. "Despite the constant negative press covfefe," he tweeted just after midnight, Washington time. And he then appeared to have gone to bed, without finishing his thought or correcting his mistake. It took six hours before he acknowledged it with a good-humoured response, and by that time a lot of people had had a lot of fun".