Official style

Different Aspects of Stylistic Problems



1. Different aspects of stylistic problems

2. Official style

3. Scientific prose style

4. Newspaper and publicistic styles

5. Rendering of form in translating emotive prose

6. National character of stylistic systems

7. Polyfunctional character of stylistic devices

8. Rendering of trite and original devices

9. Original metaphors and their translation

10. Original metonymies and their translation

11. Transferred epithet and its translation

12. Violation of phraseological units and its rendering

13. Foregrounding and translation

Stylistic problems of translation may be approached from several angles: styles of language, their peculiarities, their goals and their interrelation; stylistic meaning of words; stylistic devices, their nature and structure, their expressive function; foregrounding of linguistic means for stylistic purposes and its attention-compelling function.

The translation of texts belonging to different functional styles of the language presents a vast comprehensive problem.

A style of language is dependent upon the sphere of communication and the aim of communication which determine the peculiar choice of language means. These means are interrelated and form a system is characteristic of each style. Texts belonging to different styles of language possess distinctive stylistic features and thus are easily recognizable although they may to some extent vary from language to language. These features can be classified as leading or subordinate, obligatory or optional. The leading or dominant features form a common core in the S and T languages. They are reflected in the composition of each text, in its syntactic structure, in the choice of linguistic means and stylistic devices. The same means naturally occur in different styles but their use and functions are different.

Official style is a sub-system of the language, a form of communication functioning in the sphere of official relations. The aim of communication in this stile is to reach agreement between two or more contracting parties. The term of such agreements must be formulated clearly and unambiguously in order to exclude any possibility of misinterpretation. Consequently this style is characterized by the use of words in their direct referential meaning and by the absence of words of emotive meaning. Another outstanding feature of this style is the abundance of special terms, clichés and set expressions of a special nature which make this style distinct from other styles and easily recognizable. Some of them have their counterparts in the target language are to be used by the translator, e.g.

The Security Council shall, where appropriate, utilize such regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under its authority. (Charter of the United Nations, article 53).

Рада безпеки використовує, де це доцільно, такі регіональні угоди або органи для примусових дій під її керівництвом.

The corresponding Ukrainian text is very close to the English text. Yet in three cases there is no formal correspondence due to morphological and syntactical factors:

· The special form “shall + infinitive” (shall utilize), typical of official style, corresponds to the Present indicative (використовує) – its Ukrainian counterpart in official style.

· The parenthetical phrase “where appropriate” precedes the notional verb (utilize) while in Ukrainian it comes after the verb використовує.

· The attributive combination N1 + N2 (enforcement action) has its counterpart “an adjective + noun group” – примусових дій.

In accordance with the aim of communication the translation of official documents requires utmost precision. Equivalence in the rendering of form is to a considerable extent ensured by the existence of correlated SL and TL patterns, but it cannot be achieved at the expense of the Ukrainian language. For example, synonymous pairs which have an age-long tradition in literary English are also frequently used in official style: the treaty was declared null and void; just and equitable treatment; in good and due form, etc. such use of synonymous pairs in official documents is not so widespread in Ukrainian official stile as they are regarded as pleonastic and therefore they are commonly translated by one word: угода була оголошена недійсною, справедливе відношення, у належній формі.

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