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Reference:

Forenization and domestication as basic strategies of translation from Russian into Chinese (on the example of the works of A. P. Chekhov)

Du Sin'

Postgraduate Student, Department of General and Russian Linguistics, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia

117198, Russia, Moskovskaya Oblast' oblast', g. Moscow, ul. Miklukho-Maklaya, 6, aud. -

du.xin.2022@yandex.ru

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8698.2022.6.38108

EDN:

RLGKZB

Received:

20-05-2022


Published:

04-07-2022


Abstract: The subject of the study is the specifics of the implementation of oppositional translation strategies: forenization and domestication, which contribute to the adequate translation of a literary text from Russian into Chinese, including the elimination of interlanguage lacunae. The object of the study is the artistic works of A. P. Chekhov and their translations into Chinese. The author examines in detail the aspects of the choice of unified methods and approaches to the elimination of interlanguage gaps that arise when translating the works of A. P. Chekhov into Chinese; examines the dependence of this choice on the specifics of the lacuna: stylistic / nominative, lexical / grammatical, etc. Particular attention is paid to the consideration of interlanguage lacunae in the translations of the works of A. P. Chekhov in the context of motivation / unmotivation. The main conclusions of the study are to determine the specifics of the implementation of forenization and domestication during the translation of the works of A. P. Chekhov into Chinese. In particular, it is noted that the strategy of domestication is used to eliminate lacunae: grammatical motivated, lexical compensated motivated, etc.; the strategy of forenization to eliminate lacunae: lexical vacant motivated, stylistic motivated, etc. The author's special contribution to the research of the topic is to identify the features of the use of strategies during the translation of a literary text due to eventual conditions, therefore, it is argued that it is inappropriate to unify the ways of eliminating language inconsistencies. The scientific novelty of the study is that for the first time in the framework of considering the implementation of oppositional translation strategies: forenization and domestication, the features of eliminating interlanguage gaps during the translation of works by A. P. Chekhov of the Russian language into Chinese were presented.


Keywords:

forenization, domestication, translation strategies, interlanguage gaps, artistic text, lacunarity, elimination, cultural realities, translatology, adaptation

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

1. Introduction

Understanding language as a set of means of objectification of elements of consciousness, it can be argued that the translation of verbal units of one system into another acts as a secondary decoding of some mentality. The translation of a text is always an adaptation, a kind of duplication of the original conceptual signs of the image of the original narrative. The actual speech organizations of the text not only manifest fragments of the author's conceptual sphere, their dictum and modus properties, but also consolidate nonverbal propositions characteristic of informants of an authentic linguistic system [18]. The task of the translator is, guided by a certain set of tools, to represent the realities of the primary text to the recipients of the translator's language.

The relevance of this work is due to the fact that the theoretical universals of translating works of Russian fiction into Chinese today do not meet the specifics of the difficulties encountered when working with the translation of signs of Russian-language works. In this regard, in translation studies there is a need to adjust the base of recommendations concerning the use of certain methods of linguistic adaptation of the image of the source text [4]. The above also applies to the translation of Chekhov's works into Chinese. However, the choice of translation tools: means, techniques, a priori cannot be universal, always depends on the communicative purpose of the text, the type of interlanguage gaps and, as a consequence, on the establishment of the "type, preference strategy for their successful elimination" [8, p. 128].

The field of view of this study is to identify the specifics of the implementation of strategies for forenization and domestication in the framework of eliminating interlanguage gaps in the translation of works by A. P. Chekhov from Russian into Chinese, which serves as the purpose of the work. To achieve the research goal, it is necessary to solve the following tasks:

1) to present the theoretical aspects of the study of strategies of forenization and domestication in the translation of works of art;

2) to identify the specifics of the practical implementation of strategies for forenization and domestication in the translation of works by A. P. Chekhov from Russian into Chinese

The scientific novelty of this work is that for the first time in the framework of the consideration of the implementation of oppositional translation strategies: forenization and domestication, the features of eliminating interlanguage gaps during the translation of works by A. P. Chekhov from Russian into Chinese were presented. In addition, an attempt was made to deduce the universals of the translation of the writer's works into Chinese by the example of the "Man in a Case" (translators: Wang Shouben, Qu Qubo), "The Bear" (translator: Cao Jinghua), "Uncle Vanya" (translator: Li Ni), "Guseva" (translator: Li Heling) and "Sakhalin Islands" (translator: Ru Long).

The theoretical basis of the research is the scientific works of modern linguists, philologists, translators, who consider as a whole the actual problems of the theory of translation (I. V.Voynich [4], N. K. Garbovsky [5], D. A. Kulmankova, L. A. Spector [8], V. V. Sdobnikov [14], T. N. Chibirov [17], E. V. Shelestyuk, E. D. Gritsenko [18], Yang Wenfen [21]), and, in particular, the problems of lacunarity revealed during the study of the theory of literary translation (M. D. Bekasov [1], E. V. Berdnikova [2], G. V. Bykova [3], T. Yu.Danilchenko [6], Zh. V. Petrosyan [12], M. V. Ryabova [13]), including during the translation of A. P. Chekhov's works of fiction from Russian into Chinese (A. I. Ivanova [7], O. N. Melnikova, V. A. Beloded [11], Wu Xiaoxuan [15], Jianhua Zhang [16], Shen Haitao, co-authored with V. V. Bashkeeva [19], Yang Li [20]), etc. Nevertheless, practical recommendations for the use of a particular strategy for translating both works of fiction of Russian literature in general and works of A. P. Chekhov into Chinese have not yet been developed.

The basis of this research is a systematic approach to the study of the problems of implementing strategies of forenization and domestication in order to eliminate interlanguage gaps in the translation of works by A. P. Chekhov from Russian into Chinese. Within the framework of the system approach, the following set of methods is used: analysis (including component, comparative, semantic-cognitive), synthesis, generalization, comparison, dialectical method, descriptive method, etc. The use of all these methods in combination provided reliable results of the study, as well as justification of all conclusions.

The practical significance of the conducted research lies in the fact that its results can be used in further study of the specifics of the implementation of forenization and domestication strategies during the translation of Russian-language works of fiction into Chinese, which (specificity), in turn, is directly dependent on the nature of interlanguage lacunae.

2. Theoretical aspects of the study of strategies of forenization and domestication in the translation of works of art

In translatology, there are two types of strategies, the use of each of which excludes the simultaneous use of the other, forenization and domestication. Forenization, as a translation strategy, is aimed at preserving the realities of the source text through the adaptation of the means of the translating language (forenization causes the need to learn new ideas about the world from a foreign recipe, without which interlinguistic communication can undergo destruction). Domestication, in turn, is aimed at reducing the realities of the source text, their adaptation for the perceptual properties and cognitive mechanisms of native speakers of the translating language: domestication seeks to assimilate the conceptual signs of the signs of the authentic language to the signs of the secondary language, which is due to the goal of achieving convergence between native speakers of sociocultural communities involved in communication [21].

As noted by D. A. Kulmankova and L. A. Spector, a positive feature of the forenization of the text is the preservation of the communicative effect of the text, the author's uniqueness, authorship marks, cultural signs (this strategy ensures the equivalence of the source and translated text); a negative feature is the inconvenience in the perception of the text that occurs in the native speaker of the translating language. The positive feature of domestication is convenience, conceptual closeness, and the clarity of the signs of translation for the recipient; there are many more negative features of the domestication strategy, among them:

rationalization: adaptation of syntax and punctuation, changing the stylistic saturation and functional characteristics of the text;

excessive explanation: "expansion" due to descriptive compensation of cultural and linguistic gaps, changing the shape of the text, therefore affecting the composition;

neutralization and stylistic coloring: the translator uses either neutral vocabulary as an equivalent of the emotionally colored vocabulary of the source text, or expressive vocabulary instead of neutral vocabulary;

elimination of contextually significant elements: omission of some repeated signs bearing the semantic load of the text, etc. [8].

The oppositional nature of the relations between forenization and domestication strategies lies in a system of provisions and approaches to eliminating cross-cultural inconsistencies that arise when translating a text into a foreign language.The degree of use of dichotomy a combination of methods opposite in nature in translation should vary depending on the communicative effect of the source text. The translator is free to choose and alternate methods of forenization and domestication.The choice of strategy is determined not only by the specifics and communicative effect of the text, but also by the purpose of the broadcast. Translators often resort to alternation of forenization and domestication, and this alternation is situational in nature this is due to the peculiarities of the culture and language of the receiving party, their difference from the culture and language of the author of the primary text.

In this regard, the choice of strategy in the course of translating works of Russian classical literature into Chinese is of great research interest. The peculiarity of Chinese culture largely determines the specifics of translation: the range of connotations of language markers and syntagmatic conventions peculiar to the Chinese linguistic system, as well as approaches to the implementation of the semantic content of Russian literary texts. A lot of attention from Chinese translators since the beginning of the XX century has been focused on the work of A. P. Chekhov. As Zhang Jianhua notes, the writer's indifference to the literary art in different historical epochs was caused by the diverse needs of Chinese society. During the periods of cultural and political reforms of the first half of the XX century in China, A. P. Chekhov was regarded as an ideologist and revolutionary, and from the 1980s to the present, the author's work has been considered within the framework of pluralistic traditions [16]. The opinions of Chinese translators and biographers about A. P. Chekhov's philosophical concepts differed in many ways. For example, Mao Dun, calling the writer a shrewd man with an analytical mindset, argued that at the same time "it is characteristic of him (the writer) to fall into a thick fog of despair" [10, p. 317]. A similar point of view was held by Ba Jing. However, there were other interpretations of A. P. Chekhov's views, which were embodied in his work. Thus, Lu Xin perceived the author's ideas as innovative, meeting the demands of modernity [9]. It should be noted that it was this interpretation that marked the reassessment of the works of A. P. Chekhov, making him one of the most popular foreign authors in China, both in the last century and today.

Both during the XX century and in modern times, the need for the selection of unified methods and approaches to eliminate interlanguage gaps that arise when translating stories, plays and other works of A. P. Chekhov into Chinese is clearly expressed. As mentioned above, the set of elimination tools that cause the finding of compensators or equivalents is determined by the use of a specific translation strategy forenization or domestication.

Considering the problems of Chinese translations of the writer's works, many scientists (A. I. Ivanova [7], O. N. Melnikova, V. A. Beloded [11], Wu Xiaoxuan [15], Jianhua Zhang [16], etc.) point out that often the choice of one or another means of replacing the linguocultural component of the text is based on the establishment of the character lacunar unit: "depending on the motivation of its occurrence, its relation to the appropriate language level, the spectrum of connotations of the lingueme, and other factors affecting the functioning of language units" [4, p. 105]. At the same time, it is noted that it is important to take into account not only the functional and semantic potential of the verbal markers of the original text, but also the specifics of the actual and possible correspondences of the translator language.In addition, it should be borne in mind that the preference for methods of a particular strategy will depend on the following features of the lacuna: implicit / explicit; lexical / grammatical; stylistic / nominative; motivated / unmotivated; vacant / compensated, etc. Lacunary units, as a rule, in the aggregate of formal and substantive qualities are multidimensional "poly-formations" [18, p. 205], therefore, when eliminating lacunae, several levels of the translating language are affected.

3. Practical implementation of strategies of forenization and domestication in the translation of works by A. P. Chekhov from Russian into Chinese

The success of the application of forenization and domestication is illustrated by the examples of the following translations of the works of A. P. Chekhov into Chinese: "The Man in the Case" (translators: Wang Shouben, Qu Qubo), "The Bear" (translator: Cao Jinghua), "Uncle Vanya" (translator: Li Ni). Also, during the research, we will use the translation of the story "Gusev" (translator: Lee Heling) and the translation of travel notes "Sakhalin Island" (translator: Ru Long).

For example, when replacing grammatical lacunae of a motivated nature of occurrence associated with ellipsis or inversion, which are characteristic of the Russian language and not characteristic of the Chinese language, translators often use a strategy of domestication, which is due to the conventions of morphology and syntax of the receiving language. For example, Van Shouben translates the omission of the Russianlanguage predicate in the title of A. P. Chekhov's short story "The Man in the Case" as "A man dressed in a cover" conditionally: "A man dressed in a cover" (the verb "to put on / put on" is replaced by one of its forms - a participle) [22]. The use of means of domestication in this case is advisable, since it is conditioned by the conventions of the grammar of the receiving language.Van Schouben often resorts to a forenization strategy, using the calculus method to translate stable expressions (phraseological units). For example, the translator translates the attributive construction of the class lady from the story "The Man in the Case" as ( (literally: the woman who runs the school). Despite the fact that the sema "mentor" does not appear in the translation of the phrase, the "leader" component is clearly expressed in the minds of the Chinese. This example illustrates the partial compensation of the lacuna, but provides the most successful perception of the informants by the receiving party.

Often, when eliminating lexical lacunae motivated by a cultural component (with the sign "tradition"), the translator uses "a descriptive translation characteristic of the domestication strategy" [11, p. 37]. For example, when translating the borscht lexeme into Chinese, the translator uses the periphrasis: (literally: soup of red tomatoes and purple beetroot) [22]. Of course, the denotation adapts to the perception of Chinese recipients, but in this case, the color association does not act as the dominant manifestation of the general components of the concept: the definition is incomplete. It was necessary to turn to transcription or transliteration and provide a footnote with a description of the word. Note that today in China there is an equivalent of the Russian lexeme borscht ?.. Therefore, the gap at the moment can be considered not vacant, but compensated.

Separately, attention should be paid to the translation of the story "The Man in the Case" by A. P. Chekhov, made by Qu Qubo, in which there are many inconsistencies with the original. Qu Qubo often refers to the strategy of domestication, while making significant lexical and semantic mistakes. For example, the translator transforms a complex three-component phrase watch in a gray suede case into a ( (literally: a pocket watch made of gray deerskin [7]: watches cannot be made of fabric). In Chinese, at the time of translation, the word suede already existed . In this case, the lexico-grammatical unmotivated lacuna is formed artificially. It was necessary, using the technique of forenization, to turn to the literal translation: the watch was placed in a gray suede case, which would not lead to intercultural maladaptation. There are quite a lot of such inconsistencies in translation.

When replacing grammatical lacunae of an unmotivated nature, the choice of a domestication strategy may be justified and unjustified, which depends on the semantics of the translated expression, i.e. the stylistic coloring of "lexemes or phraseological units included in the original utterance" [11, p. 35]. Thus, when translating the comedy joke "The Bear" by A. P. Chekhov, Cao Jinghua admits excessive stylistic simplification of syntactic constructions caused by the modulation of stylistic shades of idioms by matching analogs: I also had the honor to tell you in Russian - ( (literally: I also told you clearly) [19, p. 98]. The translator allowed a grammatical and stylistic gap not filled when it was possible to do only stylistic. In a particular case, it was necessary to "preserve" the phraseological unit by translating it literally, applying a forenization strategy: of course, the winged expression would lose its stylistic coloring and its added significance, but it would remain close to the original, especially since in the consciousness of the Chinese recipient such abandonment in this situation would not cause destruction or maladaptation.

Russian stylistic lacunary units appear to be laborious for translation into Chinese: butuz (a playful shade) (literally: little fat man a dismissive shade) [19; 20]. This example illustrates the confrontation of the translator in the perception of the emotives of the lexeme. Moreover, often the Russian emotionally-colored lexeme has a suffix in its composition that complements the main meaning of the root morpheme, which cannot be fully compensated for when transferred to Chinese: faithful wife (the suffix k complements the word wife with a pejorative shade) (literally: a good woman is a neutral shade). "Faithful wife" this is what the heroine says about herself, defining her life as lived, devoid of meaning: the heroine was left without a husband. This connotation may correspond to the Chinese expression: (faithful widow). Using emphatization and neutralization as a means of domestication strategy when translating lexemes with pronounced emotive components, Cao Jinghua simplifies, shades and distorts the semantic content of constructions in which stylistically colored words are contained.

Of interest are emotive lacunae that have arisen on the basis of associations, or so-called connotative lacunae of an unmotivated nature. Turning again to the Chinese translation of the comedy joke "The Bear", made by Cao Jinghua, we note that the hieroglyphs of the name are translated into Russian as a fool, a fool [19]. In Russian culture, the image of a bear can be a symbol of rudeness, uncouth; as well as strength. For Chinese culture, only the symbol of power is characteristic. Cao Jinghua resorts to using a domestication strategy adapts the content through lexical and semantic substitution, but the semantic saturation of the name changes: "rudeness" is not the same as "stupidity". The hero of the work, called "the fool" in translation, is illustrated by A.P. Chekhov as a brute. It was necessary either to translate the title verbatim, referring to the methods of forenization, because the intention of the author of the work, as can be judged, was to objectify the main quality of one of the characters through animistic symbolism, or to adapt the translation (domestication) through the semantic component objectified in the lexeme (rude).

When eliminating compensated lexical gaps that are not motivated by the cultural realities of the original language, a domestication strategy is often used. A vivid example of this is the presence in the Russian language picture of the world of units meaning kinship: "mom", "dad", "uncle", "sister", "brotherin-law", "aunt", etc., and the presence in Chinese of similar signs that are not expressed in one word, as In Russian: ("grandson from daughter"), : ("sister's son"), etc. Thus, when translating the title of A. P. Chekhov's play "Uncle Vanya", Li Ni resorts to a simple substitution of the Russianlanguage lexeme uncle with the corresponding Chinese language - (father's older brother) [20], which is justified and constructive.

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First Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The article "Forenization and domestication as basic strategies of translation from Russian into Chinese (using the example of the works of A. P. Chekhov)" submitted for publication in the journal "Litera" is undoubtedly relevant, due to the consideration of the work of one of the famous Russian writers of the 20th century A. P. Chekhov through the prism of translating his works into the Chinese language. Structurally, at the beginning of the work, the author provides theoretical information about forenization and domestication, although we believe that these strategies are known to any specialist who graduated from the Faculty of Foreign Languages, which, in fact, the article is focused on. These strategies are stated as basic, but such a conclusion does not follow from the text of the article, since they were not shown as basic. The article provides examples of forenization and domestication, and as far as we understood from the example of translations by only one translator. There is no information about the analyzed corpus, information about the peculiarities of the translator's style (perhaps these are not the basic strategies for translating Chekhov's works, but the basic strategies of this translator's work), research tasks that would correlate with the conclusions. The author's conclusion boils down to when to use the forenization strategy, and when to use the domestication strategy. The question arises what is the novelty and scientific nature, these strategies are already stated in the title as basic, what was proved then?! Based on the text of the work, the reader is constantly faced with the subjective evaluative perception of the author, which is not proven by scientific facts, as well as some uncertainty. The author reports: "Referring to the well-known Chinese translations of the writer's works, we can conclude that ...", however, no information is provided about which translations are in question and what they are so famous for. Clarification is also required. Are we talking about translations of the same work performed by different translators or about the translation of a cycle? Reading the sentence "some syntactic constructions caused by the modulation of stylistic shades of some idioms by matching analogs ..." the question arises what is meant by some? The study violates generally accepted scientific approaches, namely the structure of the work, which traditionally consists of an introduction containing a statement of the problem, which is missing from the reviewed article. In this connection, the question arises about the methodology used by the highly respected author, the goals and objectives of the research. Due to unclear tasks, it is impossible to analyze the final part of the study, which traditionally contains conclusions that, in fact, are virtually absent. In the main part, which traditionally begins with a review of theoretical sources and scientific directions, it can be noted that several surnames are given. However, the author does not delve into the history of the issue under study, as it is unclear from the text of the article: 1) how widely the problem of the issue has been studied, 2) what scientific gap has been identified, and what problem is being solved within the framework of the peer-reviewed work. We believe that strengthening the introductory part from the point of view of studying the history of the issue. The bibliography of the article contains 13 sources, among which both domestic and foreign works are presented. However, the logic of the author is unclear, who violated the traditional alphabetical principle of building a bibliography, and also allowed a mixture of domestic works and works in foreign languages, which are traditionally placed after sources in Russian. The article contains no references to fundamental works such as monographs, PhD and doctoral dissertations. A greater number of references to authoritative works, such as monographs, doctoral and/or PhD dissertations on related topics, which could strengthen the theoretical component of the work in line with the national scientific school. The article will undoubtedly be useful to a wide range of people, philologists, undergraduates and postgraduates of specialized universities after significant refinement, which consists in strengthening the theoretical part, clarifying the research methodology, the corpus of the analyzed text material, and formulating conclusions correlating with the objectives of the study. The article "Forenization and domestication as basic strategies of translation from Russian into Chinese (using the example of the works of A. P. Chekhov)" is recommended for substantial revision and re-review.

Second Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The material submitted for publication concerns the issue of the specifics of translating Russian-language texts into Chinese. It is worth noting that this vector of study is quite specific, the importance and necessity of such a study is beyond doubt. The author sees "the relevance of the work in the fact that the theoretical universals of translating works of Russian fiction into Chinese today do not meet the specifics of the difficulties encountered when working with the translation of signs of Russian-language works", "in translation studies, there is a need to adjust the base of recommendations concerning the use of certain methods of linguistic adaptation of the image of the source text. The above also applies to the translation of Chekhov's works into Chinese. However, the choice of translation tools: means, techniques, a priori cannot be universal, it always depends on the communicative purpose of the text, the type of interlanguage gaps...". The article has all the main features of scientific work proper: the goals and objectives of the research are specified, the methodological component is relevant. The analysis of the principles of translation is carried out using the example of such works by A.P. Chekhov as "The Man in the Case" (translators: Wang Shouben, Qu Qubo), "The Bear" (translator: Cao Jinghua), "Uncle Vanya" (translator: Li Ni), "Gusev" (translator: Li Heling), "Sakhalin Island" (translator: Ru Long). The work is distinguished by a verified theoretical qualification, this database is maximally expanded. Therefore, the material can be used further in the formation / writing of thematically related works. The style and language of the article correlates with the scientific type itself: for example, "in translatology there are two types of strategies, the use of each of which excludes the simultaneous use of the other, forenization and domestication. Forenization, as a translation strategy, is aimed at preserving the realities of the source text through the adaptation of the means of the translating language (forenization necessitates the knowledge of new ideas about the world from a foreign-language recipe, without which interlinguistic communication can be destroyed). Domestication, in turn, is aimed at reducing the realities of the source text, their adaptation to the perceptual properties and cognitive mechanisms of native speakers of the translating language...", or "the oppositional nature of the relations of forenization and domestication strategies lies in a system of provisions and approaches to eliminate intercultural inconsistencies that arise when translating a text into a foreign language. The degree of use of dichotomy a combination of methods that are opposite in nature in translation should vary depending on the communicative effect of the source text. The translator is free to choose and alternate methods of forenization and domestication. The choice of strategy is determined not only by the specifics and communicative effect of the text, but also by the purpose of translation," etc. The fragmentation of the work, the option of dividing into semantic blocks is justified, thus, a potential reader can follow the development of research thought. There are enough illustrative examples, they are commented on fairly objectively, and the estimated option (the fact of critical dominance) is available. Links are made correctly in the course of work, technical editing is unnecessary. It seems that the work will find its practical application among students, graduate students, and professional translators. In the final section, it is noted that "the choice of a strategy for forenization and domestication in the translation of works of art is determined not only by the purpose of translation, but also by the peculiarities of the culture and language of the host party, as well as their difference from the culture and language of the author of the original text. The use of certain means of forenization and domestication is due to the species belonging of non-equivalent linguistic units and often depends on the contextual environment", "from the point of view of the practical implementation of forenization and domestication strategies in translating works by A. P. Chekhov from Russian into Chinese: the most effective use of the domestication strategy is in conditions when the lacuna appears grammatically motivated, grammatical unmotivated (in some cases), lexically compensated motivated, connotative unmotivated ...", "when translating A. P. Chekhov's works of art from Russian into Chinese, the use of one or another strategy is dictated by eventual conditions, therefore, it is not rational to assert that the methods of eliminating linguistic inconsistencies can be unified ...". The fullness of the bibliographic sources is beyond doubt and criticism. The material fully corresponds to the profile of the publication, the purpose of the work has been achieved, a number of tasks have been solved. I recommend the article "Forenization and domestication as basic strategies for translation from Russian into Chinese (using the example of the works of A. P. Chekhov)" for open publication in the journal "Litera".
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