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 Translation of belles-lettres literature   

            A literary translation is a translation of belles-lettres works and literary texts.  This kind of translation is an instrument of cultural familiarization with the world, broadening of collective memory of humankind, a factor of culture itself. A theoretical basis of such translation is a literary studies theory of translation, aimed at solution of historical and literary tasks.

          In literary translation, the following things are important: preservation of form, content, structure and aesthetic influence of the original.  A translation of literary text is performed by professional philologists with consideration of all language peculiarities.  

Translation of literary texts may include:

  • literary translation of books, articles, essays etc.
  • literary translation of advertisement materials etc., that need not a word-for-word translation but a creative approach.
  • many other texts that can be included into the category of literary translation.  

Literary translation 

This kind of translation renders the ideas of the original presented in correct literary language.

Is it possible to render in absolutely correct and complete way in one language the ideas expressed by means of another language?

           Among philologists, a so-called "theory of «untranslatability theory» is popular. According to this theory, a full-fledged translation from one language into another is always impossible because of significant difference between the expressive means of different languages; a translation seems a faint and deficient reflection of the original presenting only a vague image of the original.

           Another point of view that laid foundation for work of many professional translators consists in that idea that any developed national language is a sufficient means of communication for full-fledged rendering of thoughts expressed in another language.

           The translators' practice shows that any literary work can be translated in a full-fledged (adequate) way in another language with preservation of all stylistic and other peculiarities characteristic of the author. But for accurateness of sense rendition it is often necessary to change the structure of a translated sentence in accordance with norms of a language, that means to rearrange or ever replace particular words and expressions. .

Main demandsfor translation of belles-letres literature that a translator should follow.

1) Accuracy. A translator is obliged to render all the ideas of an author to the audience.

Hereby not only the main theses but also details and tones of a statement should be preserved.

For the sake of completeness of statement rendered a translator should not add anything on their own behalf, and should not complement and explain the information given by the author. That would also be a corruption of an original text.

2) Brevity. A translator should not use excess words; the ideas of the text should be presented in a possibly brief and laconic form.

3) Clarity. Laconicism of language of a translation should never interfere with clarity of expression of ideas and ease of their understanding. A translator should avoid complicated and dubious expressions that complicate understanding. An idea should be expressed with a simple and clear language.  

4) Literariness. As it was mentioned before, a translation should completely correspond to the norms of literary language. Every phrase must sound naturally leaving no tracks of foreign syntactic constructions of an original text.