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Translation varieties.

  1. A) Full Translation Equivalents
  2. B) Partial Translation Equivalents
  3. Basic translation devices.
  4. Exercise 5. Find in the text all the instances of Passive constructions and give their best possible translations.
  5. Lecture 2. Сommunicative aspect of translation.

This Lecture:

- introduces the classification of translation based on physical parameters;

- familiarizes the students with sub-categories of translation depending on genre;

- outlines approaches translators use when handling these varieties.

Generally speaking all translation varieties have much in common -similar approaches, similar translation means and devices. According to physical parameters of translation process, however, translation is divided into written translation (or simply translation) and oral (or interpretation).

Interpretation, in its turn, is traditionally divided into consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation. Chuchotage and at-sight interpretation are commonly regarded as alternatives of consecutive interpretation despite minor differences in physical procedures.

Written translation is also divided into several sub-categories depending on the genre of the text being translated, such as literary translation (fiction, poetry and publicistic texts), translation of official documents, etc.

-► In consecutive interpretation the interpretation follows the source utterance, whereas simultaneous interpretation is performed simultaneously with the original speech.

This time lag of the interpreter relative to the speaker is the main distinction of consecutive interpretation, which determines the peculiarities of the approach and translation devices used by the interpreter.

In a similar way almost zero time lag of the interpreter during simultaneous interpretation is critical for the choice of translation devices and approaches as well as determines the necessity of using special equipment for interpretation.

-► Without special equipment simultaneous interpretation is impossible.

The equipment for simultaneous interpretation comprises earphones, a microphone and a sound-insulated booth which serves as the interpreter's work-place. Because of physical and mental strain simultaneous interpretation is considered the hardest and most stressing interpretation variety that requires special skills and qualities. It is regarded as a top class of interpretation and demands special vocation and training. Basic skills and training methods of consecutive and simultaneous interpreters are discussed below in this Manual (Lecture 15).

As it has been already mentioned all translation varieties use similar approaches and translation devices. Both in written translation and during the interpretation the translator (interpreter) may use either transformational or denotative approach.

Basically, the choice of one or another approach in written translation depends on the genre of the text being translated rather than on the translation variety. In interpretation practice, however, there are two instances when the choice of approach is determined by the working environment.

-► Consecutive interpreter generally prefers denotative approach since it is virtually impossible to memorize the entirety of the long text passages being translated and translate close to the source text.

Simultaneous interpreter is bound to keep to transformational approach interpreting the source text by small fragments.

It should be added that in translation the decisions made by the translator are the results of thorough speculation and, ideally, are conscious, whereas in interpretation the interpreter's decisions are mainly subconscious and intuitive.

As concerns translation devices, they are basically the same for all translation varieties. Moreover, it is hardly possible and feasible to explain when to use which device - in many aspects translation is an art implying constant search for unprecedented decisions. However, in this Manual we attempt to file a sort of translation device inventory when it seems rational (Lectures 10 and 15). For example, one of the instances when particular devices are feasible is text compression during interpretation (see below in Lecture 15).

Chuchotage and at-sight interpretation are two specific alternatives of consecutive interpretation proper. During chuchotage the interpreter speaks in low voice, almost whispers so that only the interpretation user can hear. This interpretation alternative is rather hard for the interpreter who has to control the pitch of his or her voice. As concerns the approach it is similar to that used in standard consecutive interpretation.

At-sight interpretation is another variety of consecutive interpretation. The difference is that the interpreter reads a written text in a source language rather than listening to the speaker as in ordinary consecutive interpretation. However, there is a peculiarity of this interpretation variety which, unfortunately, is often overlooked.

It is stylistical discrepancy between the written document and its oral interpretation: the styles of written documents (literary, official, etc.) radically differ from the colloquial style any interpreter tends to use in interpretation (the expressions used in written language are different and the interpreter has to adapt to them which is not as easy as it might seem at first sight). To check the truthfulness of this statement do exercises after this lecture.

Completing this discussion of translation varieties it is worth discussing the translation accessories and working environments of translation and interpretation. The difference is substantial. A translator has at hand dictionaries and reference materials and, as a rule, observes no specific time limits for the work; translation may be self-edited and redone if so required.

An interpreter is entirely self-dependent and cannot rely on any outside help: mistakes, slips of tongue are immediately noticeable and derate the translation. In other words, the interpretation and translation tasks are equally hard, but different as different are the required skills and training methods discussed below in the lectures that follow.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1. What varieties are distinguished in translation?

2. Are translation approaches and devices similar in different translation varieties?

3. What are the principle differences between consecutive and simultaneous interpretation?

4. What are chuchotage and at-sight interpretation?

5. Describe differences in working environment of a translator and interpreter?

  6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   Наступна

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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