Transferring the functions of the Russian dash in translation into Turkish (on the example of the story “Caucasus prisoner” by L. N. Tolstoy)

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2022, Vol. 8. № 1 (29)

Transferring the functions of the Russian dash in translation into Turkish (on the example of the story “Caucasus prisoner” by L. N. Tolstoy)

For citation: Tetik K., Aydın O. 2022. “Transferring the functions of the Russian dash in translation into Turkish (on the example of the story ‘Caucasus prisoner’ by L. N. Tolstoy)”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 8, no. 1 (29), pp. 19-37. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2022-8-1-19-37

About the authors:

Kevser Tetik, Dr. Sci. (Philol.), Assistant Professor, Department of Russian Language and Literature, Anadolu University;; ORCID: 0000-0002-1611-8594

Onur Aydin, Dr. Sci. (Philol.), Research Assistant, Department of Russian Language and Literature, Anadolu University;; ORCID: 0000-0002-7981-5821


The aim of this study is a comparative description of the functions of the dash in the story by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy “The Prisoner of the Caucasus” and its translation into Turkish. In this study, analyzing original text and its translation contextual, comparative and stylistic science methods were utilized. The subject of the research is the meanings and functions of dash sign (—) in short story and translated text. While the use of dash is quite limited in the Turkish language, it is one of the most frequently used punctuation marks in Russian. The similarity of the use of this sign is that in both languages it is used in direct speech, dialogue. Studies related to the comparative analysis of punctuation marks in literary texts in Russian and Turkish are almost nonexistent. The comparison and analyses of texts show that dash has been used more commonly in the Russian language compared to Turkish and these areas of use do not match with the use of dash in Turkish. While in the 22-page Russian novel “Prisoner of the Caucasus” written by L. N. Tolstoy, dash was used 332 times in total, it was never used in the Turkish translation. It is noteworthy that dash was mostly used for author-specific purposes in the original Russian text. In the Turkish translation, comma, semicolon or colon were used instead of dash, and sometimes no punctuation was used. Consequently, in the translation of the work into Turkish, Russian sentences containing the dash frequently lost their meaning. In this regard, the study draws attention to the fact that when translating texts from Russian into Turkish, it is necessary to take into account the functions of dashes in order to convey them accurately and adequately, for which other means of expressing these values can be used. And also, when teaching Russian as a foreign language, it is necessary to pay close attention to the study of the principles of Russian punctuation and the functions of punctuation in a sentence.


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