Elements Activated in the Sentence English Ukrainian

  1. American English
  2. An English house
  4. Ask all the possible questions to the following sentences
  5. B. Rewrite each sentence and open the brackets.
  6. Bhagavad Gita in English
  7. British English

he він

used, come приїздив

Past Indef. минулий час

to none

Comparing the paradigm sets used to form the above English and Ukrainian sentences and paradigm elements activated in the syntagmas of these sentences one may easily spot numerous replacements.

Of interest for student translators are changes observed in Complex Sentences where transposition of the Subjects is combined with their mutual replacement. To prove the statement, let us consider the following example:

No sooner did he start his speech than the President was interrupted. -He встиг президент розпочати промову, як його перервали.

The replacements are necessary because English and Ukrainian possess different language systems. It goes without saying that this fact is very important for translation and explains many translation problems.

Thus, replacement is a universal and widely used translation device. One may even say that replacements in that or another form are observed in any translation from English into Ukrainian and even more so - from Ukrainian into English.

The following basic types of replacements are observed in English-Ukrainian translation:

1. Replacement of Noun Number and Verb Tense and Voice Paradigms, e. g. replacing Singular Form by Plural and vice versa; replacement of Active Voice by Passive; replacement of Future by Present, Past by Present, etc.

2. Replacement of Parts of Speech (the most common is replacing Ukrainian Nouns by English Verbs when translating into English /see in more detail below/; common enough is the replacement of English 'Nomina agentis' /drinker, sleeper, etc./ by Ukrainian Verbs).

3. Replacement in translation of a negative statement by an affirmative one is an efficient device called antonymous translation. It is a means of text compression extensively used in interpretation and discussed in more detail elsewhere in this Manual (viz. Lecture 15 Interpretation: Professional Skills and Training)

Replacements of all kinds are so common in English-Ukrainian translation that even a beginner is sure to use this device more than once, so to save space we shall give examples in the attached exercises.


-► Addition in translation is a device intended for the compensation of structural elements implicitly present in the source text or paradigm forms missing in the target language

Additions in translation from English into Ukrainian stem from the differences in the syntactic and semantic structure of these languages. In English, being an analytical language the syntactic and semantic relations are often implicitly expressed through order of syntactic elements and context environment whereas in predominantly synthetic Ukrainian these relations are explicit (expressed in relevant words). When translating from English into Ukrainian a translator is to visualize the implicit objects and relations through additions. So-called 'noun clusters' frequently encountered in newspaper language are especially rich in 'hidden' syntactic and semantic information to be visualized by addition in translation:

Green Party federal election money - гроші Партії зелених, призначені на вибори на федеральному рівні

fuel tax protests - протести, пов'язані з підвищенням податку на паливо

peer-bonded goods - товари, розраховані на споживання певною віковою групою


-► Omission is reduction of the elements of the source text considered redundant from the viewpoint of the target language structural patterns and stylistics

Omission is the opposite of addition - to understand it consider the literal translation into English of the above noun clusters from their Ukrainian translation and compare these translations with the original English text.

Green Party federal election money - гроші Партії зелених, призначені на вибори на федеральному рівні - Green Party money intended for the elections at the federal level

fuel tax protests - протести, пов'язані з підвищенням податку на паливо - protests related to the increase of the fuel tax

peer-bonded goods - товари, розраховані на споживання певною віковою групою - goods designed for use by certain age groups

Furthermore, the meaning of their constituents being the same, a number of expressions do not require translation into Ukrainian in full, e.g., null and void - недійсний.

So, as one can see, proper omissions are important and necessary translation devices rather than translator's faults as some still tend to believe.

Thus, basic translation devices discussed in this lecture are, indeed, the only 'tool kit' available to a translator, however, a big question remains unanswered: Where and when to use that or another device? A complete answer is hardly possible, but we shall try, at least, to give some recommendations in the lectures that follow.


1. Комиссаров В. Н. Современное переводоведение. Учебное пособие. - М.: ЭТС. - 2002. - 424 с.

2. Комисарова В. Н., Кораллова А. Л. Практикум по переводу с английского языка на русский. - М., 1990.

3. Комиссаров В. Н. Лингвистика перевода. - М, 1981.

4. Корунець І. В. Теорія і практика перекладу. - Вінниця, 2003. - 448 с.

5. Мірам Г.Є. Дейнеко В. В. Основи перекладу. - К., 2003.

6. Мирам Г. Е. Переводныe картинки. Профессия: переводчик. - К., 2001.

7. Мирам Г. Е. Профессия: переводчик. - К., 1999.

8. Нелюбин Л. Л. Переводческий словарь. - М., 1999.

9. Федоров А. В. Основы общей теории перевода. - М., 1975.


1. What are the basic translation devices?

2. What is partitioning and integration? Define them and give examples.

3. What is replacement? Define it. What are the basic types of replacements in practical translation? Give examples.

4. What is addition? Give definition and examples.

5. What is omission? Give examples of Ukrainian-English translation.

6. What is a transformation?

7. What types of transformations do you know?

8. What is an occasional transformation? Give examples.

9. What regular transformations are typical for English-Ukrainian translation?

10. Which type of transformations presents major translation problems and why?

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LANGUAGE SYSTEM: PARADIGMS AND SYNTAGMAS | Elements Activated in the Sentence | Lecture 2. Сommunicative aspect of translation. | TRANSLATION DEFINITION | And shows both the strength and limitations of each. | TRANSLATION RANKING | Lecture 4. TRANSLATION EQUIVALENCE AND EQUIVALENTS | A) Full Translation Equivalents | B) Partial Translation Equivalents | Lecture 5. TRANSLATION AND STYLE |

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