Grammatical transformations play an essential role in the translation process of literary texts from English into Russian. Translation is a complex process that involves understanding and transferring not only the meaning but also the style and cultural references of the source text into the target language. Grammatical transformations are necessary to achieve this objective.
One common grammatical transformation is the change in word order. In English, the subject-verb-object (SVO) structure is standard. In Russian, the standard word order is subject-object-verb (SOV). This difference in word order means that translators must change the order of the words in a sentence to make it grammatically correct in Russian. For example:
English: She opened the door.
Russian: Она открыла дверь. (lit: She opened door)
In the English sentence, the subject comes first (She), followed by the verb (opened), and then the object (the door). In Russian, the subject (она) comes first, followed by the object (дверь), and then the verb (открыла).
Another common transformation is the use of different grammatical cases. Russian is an inflected language with six cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental and prepositional), while English only has two (nominative and objective). This means that in order to convey the correct meaning, Russian translators have to use the appropriate case for the noun depending on its function in the sentence. For example:
English: I gave the book to him.
Russian: Я дал ему книгу. (lit: I gave him (dative) a book (accusative))
In this case, the noun “him” is in the objective case in English, but in Russian, it must be in the dative case (ему) because it functions as the indirect object in the sentence.
Tense and aspect is another grammatical feature that translators must consider when translating literary texts from English into Russian. English has a system of tenses (past, present, future) and aspect (simple, progressive, perfect) that are different from that of Russian. Russian has a verbal aspect system that distinguishes between perfective and imperfective aspects. This means that translators must use the appropriate aspect to convey the meaning of the original text. For example:
English: He was walking in the park when it started to rain.
Russian: Он гулял в парке, когда начался дождь. (lit: He was walking (imperfective) in the park when it started (perfective) to rain)
In this example, the English sentence uses the past progressive tense to describe an action that was in progress when another event occurred. Russian, however, uses the imperfective aspect to describe the ongoing action (гулял) and the perfective aspect to describe the sudden onset of the rain (начался).
In conclusion, grammatical transformations are an essential aspect of translating literary texts from English into Russian. Translators must be aware of the differences in word order, grammatical cases, and aspect/tense systems between the two languages to ensure that the target text conveys the same meaning, style, and cultural references as the original text. By using appropriate grammatical transformations, translators can create a translation that is accurate, fluent, and natural in the target language.