Literary translation

Literary translation helps people speaking different languages to savour the masterpieces of world literature. When reading any literary work originally created in the English, or Chinese, language, we perceive all events as a literary text, being totally unaware of the gargantuan work that was undertaken to create such text. The overall purport of a literary translation is totally dependent on the meaning of each sentence being translated. An expert translator is supposed to be more than just a perfect linguist, but also (to a little extent) a writer. Therefore, any full use and study of the cultural heritage of European countries is totally dependent on the complex and creative work of professional translators.

Specifics of literary translation

Literary translation holds its specific place among the other types of translation. Literary translation differs from the other types of translation in that its primary objective is not just to literally convey the meaning of any text, but also to preserve all emotional aspects and peculiarities of that text.
The appropriate requirements to a literary translator include:
  • Translator is supposed to be familiar with mentality and culture of native speakers of a given language;
  • Translator is supposed to keep in mind that occasionally subtext and national culture may be important;
  • Translator is supposed to generally comprehend and analyze an original of a text prior to translation;
  • Translator is supposed to have a certain life experience and stock of personal impressions;
  • Translator is supposed to have imagination and a tremendous vocabulary.
No literary translation is possible without prior comprehension of original text, so mere knowledge of a foreign language is not sufficient, but shall be complemented with a skill of interpreting a play on words.
There are cases when different translators disagree in opinion, as some of them believe it necessary to correlate the nature of a mother tongue and habits of a reader, while others think that a reader should be accustomed with a new culture. This disagreement of opinions helps to understand that in the first case a translation would be arbitrary and unrestricted; while in the second case a translation would be more specific and even word-for-word. The two types of translation approaches replaced one another within a period from the past up to the present day. Another fact worth remembering is that, apart from literary poetry, translators deal with other types of texts, e.g. books, scientific articles, epistolary works, advertising, etc.


Considering the above, we may conclude that the field of literary translations would never accept any word-for-word translation of texts. A professional translator is supposed to be not only a perfect specialist in the language, but also to be knowledgeable in phraseological aspects, to property understand and render play on words, and, to be skillful in the sphere of artistic expression. So, we only involve the best specialists to handle such tasks.Literary translation

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