Loss and Compensation in Literary Translation

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2018, Vol. 4. №2

Loss and Compensation in Literary Translation

For citation: Mikriukova L. I. 2018. “Loss and Compensation in Literary Translation”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 4, no 2, pp. 84-94. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2018-4-2-84-94

About the author:

Liudmila I. Mikriukova, Senior Lecturer, Department of French Philology, University of Tyumen; ludmilamik@mail.ru


Literary translation is a field of study, in which there is a large number of debatable issues and opposing opinions, including transformation of the original text in the translation process, the relationship between the original and the translation, the interpreter’s personality and style, and the criteria for assessing the quality of translation. The purpose of this article is to study the theoretical issue of losses inevitable in the process of translation, on the one hand, and methods of their compensation, on the other hand. To achieve this goal, the works of national and foreign linguists devoted to the study of these problems were analysed. The research was based on the novel by the French writer K. Pancol “A Man at a Distance” and its translation into Russian, performed by Maria Blinkina-Melnik. Both books were published in 2002. The translation of this novel into Russian contains the material relevant for the research, it allows us to trace the individual approach of the translator to solving the difficulties constantly arising in the process of translation. Transformations of omission and compensation used by the translator make us think about the reasons for the selected translation decisions, their effectiveness and possible alternative versions of the translation. Practical analysis revealed discrepancies between the text of the original and its translation, due to the peculiar translator’s interpretation of the novel, the heterogeneity of languages, and the socio-cultural differences between the two countries: France and Russia. The study showed that, contrary to the interpreter’s aspiration to achieve the best translation in terms of quality, as much as possible to preserve its content and ideological and aesthetic value, he is always doomed, according to U. Eco, to say “almost the same thing” in his version of translation.


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