SIGNIFICANCE OF TRANSLATING/INTERPRETING
The importance of translating and interpreting in modem society has long been recognized. Practically not a single contact at the international level or even between any two foreign persons speaking different languages can be established or maintained without the help of translators or interpreters.
Equally important is translating and interpreting for uninterrupted functioning of different international bodies (conferences, symposia, congresses, etc.) to say nothing about the bodies like the E.E.C. (European Economic Council), the I.M.F. (International Monetary Fund) or the United Nations Organization with its numerous councils, assemblies, commissions, committees and sub-committees. These can function smoothly only thanks to an army of translators and interpreters representing different states and working in many different national languages.
Numerous branches of national economies too can keep up with the up-to-date development and progress in the modern world thanks to the everyday translating/interpreting of scientific and technical matter covering various fields of human knowledge and activities. The latter comprise nuclear science, exploration of outer space, ecological environment, plastics, mining, chemistry, biology, medicine, machine building, electronics, linguistics, etc. In the present days translation of scientific and technical matter has become a most significant and reliable source of obtaining all-round and up-to-date information on the progress in various fields of science and technology in all countries of the world.
The social and political role of translation/interpretation has probably been most strongly felt in the 20th century when it provided the dissemination of political (doctrinal) ideas, of social and political knowledge in various fields of sciences.
Translating is also a perfect means of sharing achievements and enriching national languages, literatures and cultures (operas, artistic films). The many translations of the prose, poetry and drama works of the world’s famous authors into different national languages provide a vivid illustration of this permanent process. Due to masterly translations of the works by W.Shakespeare, W.Scott, G.G.Byron, P.B.Shelley, C.Dickens, W.Thackeray, O.Wilde, W.S.Maugham, A.Christie, H.W.Longfellow, Mark Twain, J.London, T.Dreiser, R.Frost, E.Hemingway, F.C.Fitzgerald and many other authors their works have become part and parcel of many national literatures. The works by Ukrainian authors have also been translated into English and some other languages, the process being increasingly intensified after Ukraine’s gaining independence in 1991. Hitherto only the works of Ukrainian classics had mainly been published in some foreign languages.
Among them are first of all TShevchenko, I. Franko, Lesya Ukrainka, M.Kotsyubynskyi, V.Stephanyk, V.Vynnychenko, I. Bahryanyi, O.Honchar, O.Dovzhenko. Now the works of V.Symonenko, L.Kostenko, I. Drach, HryhirTyutyunnyk, V.Stus and others are also translated into various foreign languages and have become available for many readers abroad.
Whatever the type of matter is translated (belles-lettres, scientific or didactic, social or political, etc.) and irrespective of the form in which it is performed (written or oral) the linguistic and social or cultural significance of translation/interpretation remains always unchanged. It promotes the enrichment of lexicon and of the means of expression in the target language. Due to the unceasing everyday political, economic, cultural and other contacts between different nations the lexicon of all languages constantly increases. Thousands of words and phrases, which were unknown in national languages before, become an integral part of their lexicon. Among them are units like steppe, Cossack/Kozak, Verkhovna Rada, hryvnia, various scientific/technical and other terms (кібернетика, комп’ютер, дискета, аудит, бартер, менеджмент, спонсор, моніторинґ, екологія, etc.). Consequently, translation/interpretation is a very effective means of enriching the national and international lexicon of all languages. But, as has been said, it is not only the word-stock (or rather the vocabulary) of languages that is constantly enriched. And it is not only separate words that are borrowed by national languages as a result of translating/ interpreting; a lot of expressions and regular sentence idioms have come to national languages in this way as well. For example: the first/second, third reading (Parliament) перше/друге/третє читання, Olympic calmness олімпійський спокій, the Ten Commandments десять заповідей, to see a mot in one’s eye бачити порошинку в чужому оці, to take part брати участь, time is money час – гроші, black ingratitude чорна невдячність, the Trojan horse троянський кінь, Judah’s kiss поцілунок Іуди, and many others.
Among the adopted sentence structures are, for instance, the idioms God defend me from my friends; from my enemies I will defend myself захисти мене, Боже, від друзів, а з ворогами я сам упораюсь; an old dog will learn no new tricks на старості важко перевчатися; ле laughs best who laughs last-гой сміється найкраще, хто сміється останнім, to be or not to be бути чи не бути, the game is not worth the candle гра не варта свічок, etc.
These few out of many more sentence idioms are a testimony to the versatile influence of translators’ activities upon the enrichment of languages through translation. The idiomatic word-groups and sentences of the source language almost always partly influence the placement of their component parts in the Ukrainian target language and thus facilitate their memorizing as well.
SUGGESTED TOPICS FOR SELF-CONTROL AND CLASS DISCUSSION
- Social and political significance of translating/interpreting.
- Translating as a successful means of enriching national languages, literatures, and cultures.
- Translating/interpreting in establishing, maintaining, and strengthening diplomatic, political, economic, scientific, cultural and other relations between different nations in the world.
- The role of translating/interpreting in providing the successful proceedings of international conferences, congresses, symposia, meetings, etc.
- Translating/interpreting and the progress of world science, technology and dissemination of new ideas/doctrines.