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TRANSLATION IN UKRAINE DURING THE LAST DECADE OF THE 20th CENTURY AND THE ROLE OF THE VSESVIT JOURNAL

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The gaining of independence by this country in 1991 awoke an unknown before increase in the employment of both oral and written translation, which became needed for the establishment of international relations with the rest of the world. These two types of translation provided the newly independent country in its first years with the mass of the official international texts of diplomatic and legal nature (treaties, agreements, memoranda, etc). Due to the active employment of written translation and translation in viva voce Ukraine could successfully establish and maintain its international ties and good relations with the outside world as a whole and not only with the countries that recognized it.

The required level of the necessary international relations with the help of translation as well as interpretation had been achieved by Ukraine already in 1993 - 1994.

It was not so, however, with the artistic translation. The economic and financial crisis that followed after the collapse of the Soviet Union forced all major publishing houses of Ukraine to temporarily or completely suspend their operations. As a result the belles-lettres translation in state publishing houses during the second half of the 1990's came practically to a standstill.

The only functioning organ except some small capacity private publishing houses, which continued to publish the works of foreign literatures in Ukrainian translation unabated at the close of the twentieth century remained theVsesvit journal. During its forty-two years of active and fruitful participation in the literary process of Ukraine the journal has succeeded in publishing thousands of belles-lettres works - novels, narratives, short stories and poetic works of classics and promising foreign authors, poets and playwrights from one hundred and ten foreign languages. The Ukrainian reader has received mostly high quality artistic translations of works by many foreign classics and mostly prominent contemporary authors/poets, whose works have never been published in Ukrainian before or which were published only in shortened versions. Hence, our readers had an opportunity to get acquainted with the latest achievements of most national literatures of the world. Beginning from its rebirth in 1958, theVsesvit journal had regularly published apart from belles-lettres works of mainly noted authors, poets and playwrights also several adventure and detective stories of all known authors from European, Latin and North American, Asian, Australian and African countries. Among the translators, who have greatly contributed to the recognition of the journal as a reliable source of foreign literature and who are partly obliged to it as their nursery, which made them later known in Ukrainian literature, were M.Pinchevs'kyi, V.Mytrofanov, V.Pasichna (a prolific translator from Czech, Slovak and Polish literatures) and some others. Closely collaborated with the journal in some years also our well-known translators M.Lukash, H.Kochur, I. Steshenko, BorysTen, Yu.Lisniak, A.Perepadia, Y.Popovych, O.Senyuk, H.Filipchuk, M.Lytvynets', O.Mokrovolskyi, M.Moskalenko, V.Shovkun, to name but a few. It was this journal that gave a chance to the literary critics D.Zatons'kyi and V.Skurativs'kyi as well as to each of its editors-in-chief to establish closer contacts with many national literatures of the world. A prominent place among them belongs to the English language authors both from the British Commonwealth countries and from the USA. The German language works were represented by several noted authors and poets from the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. No less often published in this journal were also the works of several French language authors and poets from France itself as well as from Switzerland, Algeria and some former French colonies. An equally rich representation had also different Spanish language authors both from Spain and from all Latin American countries. A noticeable place on the pages of the journal has always been occupied by the classical and contemporary authors and poets from Italy, Portugal, and Brazil. Often published in Ukrainian translation during the second half of the twentieth century (and not only in this journal) were works from all Scandinavian, Western Slavic and Baltic countries. Ukrainian readers were given an unprecedented opportunity to get acquainted with some classics and contemporary authors of the Arab, the Near Eastern, the Far Eastern, the South Asian and some young literatures of Central and Equatorial Africa. It is therefore only natural that the numerous staff of translators from various publishing houses not only well understood each other but also cooperated with one another. Consequently, their aims in elaborating common approaches to the methods of faithful translation never differed in the main. As a result, due to the social requirements and on the ground of the long practice and rich experience of the preceding and present (post-war) generations of belles-lettres translators, there were elaborated and unanimously (though tacitly) agreed upon, and naturally employed in the publishing houses of Ukraine, some basic principles of artistic translation. The main of these principles, which may equally be applied, at least partly, when translating any other type of written matter, may be defined as follows:

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· To maintain in the target language version all the structural peculiarities of the matter/work under translation.

· To hold strictly to the author's conception and render faithfully the content of the source language matter/work under translation.

· To maintain in the version of the target language the main pecu­liarities/features of the syntactic organization and stylistic means of expression of the source language matter/work.

· To maintain in the version of the target language the fidelity in the means and ways of the author's depicting the artistic images and expressiveness pertained to the source language matter/work.

· To avoid deliberate omissions and any other forms of free inter­pretation/rendering unless required of the source language matter/work.

· To restrain in the process of translation of a text/work from any deliberate shortening or enlargement of it, as well as of any embellishment of its stylistic or artistic qualities in the target language version.

· To render/maintain as fully as possible in the target language variant the ease of expression pertaining to the source language matter/work.

· To render/maintain in the target language version the pragmatic intention/orientation of the author and his force of influence on the reader.

 

 


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