Lingua-stylistic and lingua-poetic analysis as the important aspects of translating literary text
1 st year Master’s student
1 st year Master’s student
Translation, most intuitively, is about conveying in another language what the translator considers to be the essential meaning of the text. But what constitutes this ‘essential meaning’ is not a simple matter. For many everyday functional texts, such as a set of instructions for setting up a piece of equipment or a weather report, this unproblematically is concerned with the purely referential meaning. Translate this referential meaning adequately, and the translated text performs the same function as the original text. For a good number of text types, however, meaning beyond the referential may be considered ‘essential’.
LINGUA-STYLISTIC AND LINGUA-POETIC ANALYSIS AS THE
IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF TRANSLATING LITERARY TEXT
Urinboeva Saodatxon Maxammadjon qizi
Uzbekistan State World Languages University 1
year Master’s student
Translation, most intuitively, is about conveying in another language what the
translator considers to be the essential meaning of the text. But what constitutes this
‘essential meaning’ is not a simple matter. For many everyday functional texts, such
as a set of instructions for setting up a piece of equipment or a weather report, this
unproblematically is concerned with the purely referential meaning. Translate this
referential meaning adequately, and the translated text performs the same function
as the original text. For a good number of text types, however, meaning beyond the
referential may be considered ‘essential’. Critical discourse analysts, for instance:
would argue that news reports and historical accounts embed attitudes and implied
meanings, through how content is ordered, and through their linguistic or lexica-
– in other words, through how something is said, or through
style, and not just through what is said. So one of the most important analysis while
translating literary texts is lingua-stylistic analysis. As Boase-Beier (2011: 72)
remarks, it is also through their ‘stylistic signals’ that literary texts ‘indicate to the
reader that the text is to be read as literary, that is, as a fictional text that demands
engagement on the reader’s part and that in turn can have profound effects
on the way the reader sees the world’. In particular, literary translators would need
close awareness and understanding of lingua-stylistic patterns and issues in their
source texts, in order to consider the stylistic effects they wish to (re)create in their
target texts. It would seem clear then, that stylistics can make significant contributions
to translation theory and practice. Boase-Beier in her introduction noting the previous
lack of interaction between stylistics and translation studies in general and
expressing a hope that the special issue would ‘provide impetus for further study.
Indeed, the only major systematic study in English to integrate stylistic theory with
translation appears to be Boase-Beier (2006). Otherwise, the preoccupations of
English-using stylisticians have been stolidly monolingual, leading Boase-Beier
(2011: 71) to refer in her opening subheading to ‘The Strange Paradox of Stylistics
and Translation’. However, translation studies has moved beyond a focus on
equivalence and shifts in the linguistic texts alone, to more contextualised concerns.
For all of these concerns, stylistic analysis of both source and translated texts can
provide illumination in more than just ad hoc ways, but the stylistics involved must
come from theoretical orientations that embrace variables other than just text. Boase-
Beier (2006) suggests that the broadening of stylistics away from narrow
formalism/structuralism to encompass social, historical, psychological and pragmatic
aspects of style means that contemporary stylistics therefore has much to offer to the
understanding and practice of translation. The foregoing analysis suggests again
some ways in which stylistics can contribute to translation, literary translation in
particular. Most immediately, the comparative analysis demonstrates how a suitable
model can providea more founded, rigorous descriptive basis for evaluating a
If recreating and suggesting the aestheti
c achievement of Erkin Vohidov’s
poems were the aim of the translation, then the translation’s failure lies perhaps in
having too superfical a view of the aesthetics of verbal art, seeing it only in terms of
formal tropes and literary devices. What the translator has failed to do is to fashion
through interpatterning of English lexicogrammatical patterns a level of symbolic
articulation that may construe potential thematic sayings, the analysis points to the
lexicogrammatical patterning details that demonstrate this, so that the evaluation can
be argued for in grounded terms.
It can be seen in the example: a poem by Erkin Vohidov
It was ahatchet at the first set-
out, U dastavval oybolta bo‘ldi
Later was a cannon came about. So‘ng zambarak bo‘lib quyildi
It’s a pistol, a rifle and a sword, Qilich ham u, miltiq va nagan,
As a bomb one day it was restored. U bomba ham bo‘lib portlagan.
But it only conquered the world when Lekin olgan jahonni faqat
It was gently shaped as a pen. Pero bo‘lib quyilgach po‘lat
Translator A’zam Obidov
But beyond providing a descriptive basis for looking at translation
– and, in this
instance, thereby enabling more fine-grained evaluation
– stylistics can provide
insights that contribute to theorising translation. The foregoing analysis demonstrates
the challenge that translators of poetry face
– the perception and then re-creation of
artful interpatterning to produce consistent foregrounding of some element of the
poem. Such reproduction of verbal artistry is not easily done in translation, since the
range of lexicogrammatical resources available in different languages differ
artistry in Erkin Vohidov’s poem results in part from the pervasive possibility of verbal
stock of Uzbek language that is far less available in English. (Re-) producing the
verbal artistry of a successful poem such as Erkin Vohidov’s is therefore a highly
complex matter, perhaps too complex to be replicated in a translation using the
different resources of a different language. To be able to represent fully the aesthetic
achievement and sayings of a successful poem in translation is likely a fictional
translation goal. Translations that achieve a good degree of verbal artistry are
perhaps then necessarily the translators’ creative (re-)construals rather than faithful
representations, of the aesthetic and culture of the original poems. Otherwise, in both
the practice and evaluation of poetic translation, the goals and agendas of each
translation effort must be taken into account. For instance, translations may serve to
provide merely a literal sense of first-level meanings for bilingual readers such as
English-speaking students of Uzbek. Such readers may have some proficiency in the
language of the original text, but need some help from a translation, and with the help
may grow to appreciate and understand the original more deeply and richly. In such
a case, the translation does not have to be an aesthetically well-constructed effort:
there need be no pretensions to this and the translator’s Stylistics in translation job
becomes perhaps easier. The translation should likewise be evaluated not in
aesthetic terms, but for its sufficiency in conveying possible first-level meanings. If
ambiguities exist, perhaps multiple, variant translations may be needed. Similarly, if
a translation is to serve the purposes of cultural studies, a sufficient focus on first-
level accuracy may do, perhaps supplemented with glosses and explanations.
Evaluations of such translations, then, may focus on the aesthetic achievement itself,
and the image of the original that is subjectively constructed.
In summary, lingua-stylistic analysis can make important contributions to
translation studies, particularly literary translation, in the following ways:
* Descriptive: providing tool-kits, based on whatever theoretical model is
suitable, for rigorous descriptive analysis of both source texts and target texts. In
itself, this is valuable for descriptive translation studies, where, for instance, the
concern might be with discovering existing norms and practices in a set of translated
texts at a particular time and place, or of identifying particular translators’ stylistic
a’-vis the source texts.
* Theoretical: applying suitable theoretical approaches to comparative stylistic
analysis, so as to unveil issues inherent in translation, as demonstrated above. This
enables contributions to debates in translation theory by providing detailed evidential
support for arguments.
* Applied: using descriptive analysis to provide a grounded, more rigorous
basis for evaluating translations. Perhaps even more usefully, as demonstrated,
stylistic analysis before translation can enable more nuanced, effective translations
of style. Logic
ally, then, stylistics should be a key part of a translator’s training and
education. At the very least it will help to raise translators’ awareness of very
important considerations in their practice, even if it is impracticable for them to
analyze stylistically every text to be translated.
1. Bassnett S. and Lefevere A. (1998). Constructing Cultures: Essays on
Literary Translation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
2. Boase-Beier J. (2006). Stylistic Approaches to Translation. Manchester: St.
3. Erkin Vohidov (2017) Scene of morning Tashhkent: Nihol
– P. 27.
4. Kussmaul P. (1995). Training the Translator. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John
5. Leech G. and Short M. (1981). Style in Fiction: A Linguistic Introduction to
English Fictional Prose. London: Longman.
6. Snell-Hornby M. (1995) Translation Studies: An Integrated Approach.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
BassnettS. and Lefevere A. (1998). Constructing Cultures: Essays on Literary Translation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Boase-Beier J. (2006). Stylistic Approaches to Translation. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.
Erkin Vohidov (2017) Scene of morning Tashhkent: Nihol - P. 27.
Kussmaul P. (1995). Training the Translator. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Leech G. and Short M. (1981). Style in Fiction: A Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose. London: Longman.
Snell-Hornby M. (1995) Translation Studies: An Integrated Approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.