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Rendering stylistic devices in translation

Tropes are ornamental lexical means of figurative language, or figures of speech. In the Russian linguistic tradition, they are the subject matter of stylistics, whereas English linguists consider them to be the subject of rhetoric. Tropes are mostly used in the literary style (prose, poetry and drama), but also journalistic style (newspaper, journalism, oratory, propaganda), in advertising and everyday conversation.

This passage discusses the following tropes: metaphors, similes, epithets, paraphrase, puns and allusions.

The crucial strategy of a translator in rendering all these types of trope is to make a similar impact upon the reader/listener of the target text as did a source text on its- receptor.

Functional styles and translation functional style, register: definition

A translator has to deal with diverse texts, belonging to various styles and registers. The term 'style' has several definitions. First, it means the how of the text, that is, the way something is said, done, expressed (elevated, or bookish, neutral, and low, or colloquial styles). Second, the combination of distinctive features of literary expression, execution, or performance characterizing a particular school, person, etc. (Byron's style, baroque style). Third, the term 'style' is often a reduction for 'functional style', i.e., a language variety specific of a certain social sphere and characterized by a definite predominant function.

There have been a number of classifications of functional styles. Most linguists single out everyday colloquial style, journalistic (publicistic) style, scientific and technical style, official, or bureaucratic style. All of them, except for the everyday colloquial style, are represented by informative texts, carrying an informative function.246 The status of literary style, or the style of imaginative literature, is controversial. Also disputable is the style of advertizing, as well as colloquial style.

All styles are subdivided into substyles and genres. They can be of written and oral


A translator has to know not only special features of each style, but also the differential peculiarities of a style in the source and target languages.


The main function of the scientific and technical style is informative. To convey logical information, prove its novelty and significance is the main goal of a scholarly, scientific or technical author. This style is used in professional spheres of science, humanities, technology.

The scientific and technical style involves the following substyles: scientific, technical, instructional (educational), popular science substyle. The substyles are classified into the following genres: monograph, manual, textbook, article, report, technical description, discussion, etc.

The distinctive features of scientific and technical style are preciseness, clear logic, compressive character, impersonality, formality.

Preciseness is a basic property of a scientific and technical text. A translator must

be fully aware of what s/he is translating to render precisely the content of the text.


Special attention must be paid to terms . To translate precisely, it is not enough to know an equivalent of the term. It is crucial to know the exact place of the concept, denoted by the term, in relation to other concepts. In fact, there are two types of translators: linguist translators and engineering translators. The former usually require penetration into the subject matter, the latter need good language skills.

Clear logic is achieved through a system of logical connections and interrelations. A stock of linking phrases will help a translator make a connection between a point in the past and future, to refer a receptor forward or back. For example, As we will see... - Как будет видно... As I said earlier... - Как было сказано раньше... Linking phrases help

to develop a point (.Moreover... - Кроме того... Despite this... - Несмотря на


это...According to our estimates,... - Согласно нашим подсчетам...)

Therefore, in the more explicit Russian text, a translator has to extend the sentence by adding an implied thematic element: The fundamental principles of alternating current are presented in this chapter. Included are the basic principles of some alternating current machines. - В данной главе изложены основные принципы переменного тока. Здесь же изложены основные принципы действия некоторых моторов переменного тока.

Economy and compressive character of the text. A scientific text must provide a reader with maximal information within a minimal time period and with minimal effort. This stylistic feature is achieved with lexical and grammatical means, such as: using compressive structures, like attributive clusters (a liquid rocket - ракета на жидком топливе), Complex Subject (these devices were proved to be sufficiently reliable), Complex Object (assume this to make...), reduced adverbials (iffound), article ellipsis (General view is that...); abbreviation (PC = personal computer; CD-ROM = Compact Disk-Read-Only Memory; NC = Norton Commander).

It is necessary that a translator decipher all the abbreviations in the original (by using every available dictionary and reference book) and render them according to the standards.

Impersonality is a measure of the extent to which the producer of a text avoids reference to him/herself or to the receptor. Using impersonal and indefinite structures, passive constructions, infinitive clauses, etc. provides the impression of the impersonal and objective style. Several experiments were run. - Было проведено несколько экспериментов. This results in a more frequent usage of personal pronouns (I, we, you) in English. Such sentences are often translated from English into Russian by infinitive clauses or impersonal constructions: If we introduce an extra member... - Если ввести лишний элемент...То observe impersonality as a characteristic feature of a Russian technical style, it is recommended translating the imperative verbs by Russian


To run test 3,... you need to attach the loopback plug to your EtherLink board. To Attach the Loopback Plug

  1. Identify the EtherLink board connector on the rear or side panel of the computer...

  2. Push the loopback plug onto the round BNC connector and twist the sleeve clockwise one-quarter turn until it stops.

Для проведения теста 3 необходимо прикрепить разъем к плате Эзерлинк. Чтобы прикрепить разъем, нужно

1. На задней или боковой панели компьютера найти гнездо платы Эзерлинк...

2. Вставить разъем в круглое гнездо BNC и повернуть муфту на ]/4 оборота по часовой стрелке до фиксации муфты.

Formality. This feature results from the author's tendency to avoid connotative words in the scientific text. Metaphors and bright similes are not infrequent in the English scientific text: Many of us are amused by grammatical acrobatics. Since this feature is so different in English and Russian, translators generally leave out metaphors in the Russian translation according to the rule of functional equivalence.

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