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Functional replacements

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In the framework of lexico-grammatical transformations the frequency of usage gives the priority to the technique of functional replacements. The functional replacement or the choice of the functional counterpart lies in conveying a substance situation described in the TL by reshaped or diverse lexical items that build up syntagmata and superphrasal units in accordance with norms and rules pertained to the TL grammar.


Stories are common of…

Нерідко можна почути історію про…

“Life and Light” Revisited.

Ще раз про “Життя і Світло”.


The word-for-word translation doesn’t suit the TL norms. Still translation of a newspaper heading or a phrase is to be shaped into a speech product of a native speaker – an educated Ukrainian.


The uninsured are the nearly poor – those above the income cut-off for Medicaid, which varies from state to state.

Ті, що не мають страховки, перебувають на межі бідності і мають прибуток, який дещо перевищує рівень, усталений для осіб, що користуються правом на безкоштовну медичну допомогу, причому ця цифра в кожному штаті визначається по-різному.


As we can see functional transformings appear not only in the wake of lexical and grammatical differences, but due to lingual traditions that govern building of sentences, expressions and superphrasal units. To furnish the final receiver with comfortable perceiving of information the translator is to constantly keep in mind the pragmatic aspect of translation, which in turn depends totally on reciprocal correlations of the two kinds of mentality hidden behind the two languages presented in contact.


Assignment. Analyse the following variants of translation on the subject of lexico-grammatical replacements.


With the Florida Supreme Court giving its blessing to manual recounts in some Democrat-leaning counties, but no decisive swing emerging in favour of Vice-President Al Gore, everything now depends on how the local canvassing boards choose to read the contested ballots.

Оскільки Верховний суд штату Флорида дав згоду на ручний перерахунок бюлетнів у деяких про-демократичних округах, де, однак, не виявилося вирішальної переваги віце-президента А.Ґора, все тепер залежить від того, як місцеві виборчі комісії кваліфікуватимуть спірні бюлетні.


As England’s defeated footballers and their reviled fans return home, it is time to offer some praise to a national football manager.

Коли збірна Англії після поразки повертається додому в супроводі своїх освистаних болільників, на часі дати гідну оцінку роботі одного з тренерів національної футбольної ліги.


Antonymous translation


Antonymous translation is a typical example of a complex lexico-grammatical transformation providing simultaneous modifications in lexical and grammatical structures. Antonymous translation rests upon the logical postulate that the negation of any meaning could be equalised to the assertion of the meaning opposite to the latter. This is supported by the formal logical category of contradictority. A is not Non-A, or Non-A is not A. In practice the antonymous translation as a rule is connected to the replacement of one SL items by its cross-language antonym. Simultaneously an affirmative construction in the SL text very often transforms into a negative one in the TL version and other way round.

Hold on, please.

Не кладіть слухавку, прошу.


In this phrase the affirmative structure in the English original transforms into negative one in translation. Otherwise the Ukrainian phrase would have sounded unnaturally. Similarly:


Keep off the grass.

По газонах не ходити.

Stay out of the sun.

Не лежіть на сонці.

Authorized personnel only.

Стороннім вхід заборонено.

Keep clear of the door.

Не притуляйтеся до дверей.

He didn’t say anything.

Він промовчав.

I’m not kidding.

Я серйозно говорю.


Practical translators resort to antonymous translation mostly when preserving or copying the SL syntactical structure may distort the traditional TL word usage because of different speakers’ mentality.


I’ve bought a nice padlock to keep thieves out.

Щоб до мене не залізли злодії, я придбав добрячого замка.


One hardly chooses some other form, for it’s organic to Ukrainian mentality.

The notion of antonymy embraces also the presence of qualitative properties that oppose; and besides – reciprocate actions. If this is the case the verb undergoes the change of the voice category.

There are few occasions when any juveniles need to be locked up.

Небагато випадків, коли малолітніх порушників слід садовити за ґрати.

The US economy is already open to Chinese products, and consumers reap the benefits of unfettered trade.

Американський ринок відкрився для китайських товарів, і споживачі користуються перевагами вільної торгівлі.


Rendering of English negative constructions with not… till, not…until, unless, without, may be considered as a variety of antonymous translation, with til l (until) transforming into тільки тоді, коли.


The United States did not enter the war until April 1917.

Сполучені Штати вступили у війну тільки у квітні 1917 року.


Expenditures for rent, electricity, water, and fuel shall not be made unless authorized, and the amount for each item shall not be exceeded.

Видатки на оренду приміщення, електрику, водопостачання та опалення можуть здійснюватися тільки тоді, коли це передбачено кошторисом, причому вони не повинні перевищувати усталені суми за кожним пунктом.

No person may be reinstated to a position in the classified service without passing an appropriate examination.

Бути поновленою на державній штатній посаді може лише особа, що склала відповідний іспит.


Assignment. Explain the implementation of the complex lexico-grammatical replacement “antonymous translation”.


He did not have much time at his disposal.

У нього залишалося мало часу.

He was eager to start climbing.

Йому не терпілося почати сходження.

She wasn’t looking too happy.

Вигляд у неї був досить нещасний.

The railroad Unions have been a hotbed of Jim Crow – even the American Railroad Union, headed by Eugene V.Debs, excluded Negroes from its membership.

Залізничні профспілки завжди були розсадником расизму, навіть американські залізничні профспілки за головування В.Дебса не приймали в свої ряди негрів.

Nothing changed in the Foreign Office, neither the policy itself, nor those who implement it.

У Міністерстві Закордонних Справ все залишилося по-старому: і сама політика, і ті, хто її здійснює.

“…What wind blows you here? Not an ill wind, I hope?” (Ch.Dickens).

Яким вітром вас занесло сюди? Сподіваюся, благодатним вітром?

He was brought up in middle-class environment ignorant of much of the stern reality of life.

Він виріс у родині середнього достатку, де не знали суворої дійсності життя.

“ I have an old suit, my lord, that I stopped wearing in – (A.Huxley).

Маю старий костюм, мій пане, я його вже не ношу.





Lexico-semantical transformations


Up to now we have been considering only lexical, grammatical and lexico-grammatical transformations, which do not disturb the semantic structure of the translational item and its set of semes remained untouched. From now on we’ll face more complicated task: to plunge into deeper lexico-grammatical transmutations, namely those that transform the item’s arrangement of semantic components, since one and the same situation substance could be described using diverse assortment of semes. For instance:


He is a member of the college team. (predicate of state)

Він грає у студентській команді. (predicate of action).


As a matter of fact the point is to achieve invariance of the sense being actualised by the words’ meanings in a given context. This postulate is being used as the base for the following strategies: logical development of notions, metonymic and metaphoric shifting, integral transmutation technique and compensation of losses.


Logical development of notions (modulation)


Regarding the morphologic composition of sentences to be translated one can observe that all notional words could be divided into three categories that express accordingly things (beings), processes and modifiers. The point is that in the translation process one category could replace another. It means that a thing (a being) may be replaced by its modifier or a process relevant to it. Similarly a thing may replace its modifier or the relevant process. This is the essence of the logical development.


Would you let me have the price of a cup of tea? (K.Mansfield).

Чи не дали б ви мені грошей на філіжанку чаю?


When translating the above sentence the modifier the price was replaced by the subject of the conversation – the money needed for one cup of tee. When we deal with expanded sayings featuring verbal syntagmata the opportunity arises to discern the presence of certain cause-effective relations, the chain: the cause ® the process ® effect appears. In the translation process for the sake of improving it one category could be replaced by another. Here a chart of six potential variants of changes comes into vision. All of them rest upon the logical development of notions.


· The cause replaced by the relevant process;

· The cause replaced by the relevant effect;

· The process replaced by its effect;

· The process replaced by its cause;

· The effect replaced by its cause;

· The effect replaced by its process.



Finally the definition has been elaborated: the lexico-semantic transformation of logical development of notions lies in substitution of one cause-effective relations component for another logically related to it with the invariant of the content preserved.

Let’s consider some examples:


Cosmo Monkhouse, who is soon after to have his obituary notices as a Civil Servant by necessity, and by choice a loving student of the arts, and even a bit of a poet. (G.B.Shaw).

Козмо Манкгавз – чиновник за необхідністю, в душі любитель мистецтв і навіть на дещицю поет, якому невдовзі судилося полишити цей світ.


What is the reason of translator’s notifying about the personage’s death? For the original text does not relate it directly. Still we cannot translate it word-for-word in Ukrainian to have his obituary notices. But why do people receive obituary notices? Because they die, leave this world. Therefore the result (effect) has been changed for the relevant reason.


The soldier worked his dry throat, but could not speak. (D.G.Lawrence).

Солдат силкувався вимовити хоч слово, але це йому ніяк не вдавалося.

Why did the soldier work his dry throat? He tried to pronounce a single word. Here the process – working one’s throat – was replaced by the expected result. Analogous operations are to be traced in the following phrases:


I don’t blame them.

Я їх розумію.


Why I don’t blame them? Because I understand them.


… he behaved as if he had been bowing out duchesses a moment before. (G.K.Chesterton).

…він поводив себе так, неначе щойно приймав вищу знать.


Similarly in the following sentences:


He always made you say everything twice.

Він завжди перепитував.

… his life will have passed uncommunicated. (T.Capote).

…його життя пройде безслідно.


The method of logical development embraces a broad stripe of typical cases with implementation of metonymic and metaphoric functional replacements.


Metonymic shifting


Metonymy is known as a figure of speech; the use of one word for another that it suggests, as the effect for the cause, the cause for effect, the sign for the thing signified, the container for the thing contained, the instrument for the action, etc. In most cases spatio-temporal associations work to create metonymy.


Here the noble lord inclined his knee for the woolsack (Hansard)

І тут шляхетний пан схилив коліно перед лордом-канцлером.


The round game table was boisterous and happy. (Dickens).

Гравці за круглим столом голосно веселилися.


There was perfect sympathy between Pulpit and Pew.

Між панотцем і парафіянами була довершена злагода.


Це її образило.

She was hurt.


This case is closely connected to the synecdochal transformation, in which a part of a thing is used instead of the whole or other way round: pistol wedding – одруження під дулом пістолета.

These are the cases when the SL items denoting institutions, organisations or officials are mentioned indirectly, e.i. by names of the street or the building of their residing, while the TL norms require unambiguous nomination.


Fleet Street – the street in London where major publishers are situated, figuratively: British press.

White House – the place of residence of the US President in Washington, his administration, as well himself.

Whitehall – the street in London, the place of most important ministries, namely, the British government.

10, Downing Street – the London residence of the Prime-Minister of Great Britain, his/her administration, properly himself/herself.

Broadway – the central thoroughfare in New York, the district where the most known theatres are situated, figuratively: the theatrical world of New York.

Off-Broadway, off-off-Broadway theatres – fig.: vanguard theatres.

Madison Avenue – the street in New York, where major advertising agencies are situated. Madison Avenue means advertising business.


Metaphoric transformations

Semantic alterations also cover metaphoric transformations based on relations (associations) by similarity, by analogy, usage in figurative meaning. Here we can distinguish several types.


· Metaphorisation: replacement of a non-metaphoric expression by a metaphoric one.


…and here Jephson thought of Mason – let him counteract that if he can. (Dreiser).

…тут Джефсон згадав про Мейсона: нехай спробує відбити такий удар!


· Remetaforisation, which lies in rendering a SL metaphor by a TL metaphor.


Their thin white hair and drooping skin, their faltering lips and rusted clothes, the huddling bones of their bodies had come to winter. (H.E.Bates).

Поріділе сиве волосся, зморшкувата шкіра, тремтливі губи й іржавого кольору одіж, а ще скоцюрблені тіла свідчили, що для них вже настала зима.


· Demetaforisation, i.e. elimination of the metaphor, its replacement by the descriptive mode of speech.


The leaves fell sorrofully.

З дерев опадав лист, додаючи печалі.



© © ©


In cases considered the semantic fields of both SL and TL translational items overlap. Therefore we can assert that the logical development of notions device rests upon the formal logical category of overlapping.


The scheme of the formal logical category of overlapping






Assignment. Analyse the following phrases. Prove the necessity of using logical development technique in the translation process.


But Geraldine died for me to touch him. (T.Capote).

Але Джеральдина терпіти не могла, коли я доторкалася до нього.

… and she wore … a pearl choker. (T.Capote).

… вона носила … перлове намисто під саме горло.

You always nigger-lip. (Ibid.).

Ти завжди розпускаєш губи.

Get them cotton-picking hands off of me… (Ibid.).

Прийми свої брудні лапи.

Even before the paralyzed man began to read Andrew felt himself dismissed. (A.Cronin).

Хворий ще не взявся за книгу, але Ендрю зрозумів, що йому пора йти. + gen.



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