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:
translation of books, articles, essays etc.
- literary translation of advertisement materials etc., that need not a word-for-word translation but a
- many other texts that can be included into the category of
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
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
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
Main demandsfor translation of belles-letres literature that a translator should
1) Accuracy. A translator is obliged to render all the ideas of an author to the
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.