XXV Open Conference for Philology Students at St. Petersburg State University

Proper names in young adult fiction as translation problem (based on the novel «Divergent» by V. Roth)

Анастасия Андреевна Бакараева
магистрант 1 курса
Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет

Переводоведение (онлайн)
14:40 - 15:00

Ключевые слова, аннотация

The research aims at complex analysis of translations of proper names from English into Russian in the novel «Divergent» by V. Roth. Different translation strategies are brought into focus, the variations of translations are contrasted. The semantics of «speaking names» is taken into account.


Along with non-equivalent words, polysemantic lexemes, idioms and stylistically marked units, proper names create sufficient difficulties for translators of prose fiction.
The current research aims at comparative analysis of the novel «Divergent» by V. Roth and the official Russian translation by A. Kilanova, an amateur translation and the film adaptation, focusing on the form and semantics of proper names in the original text and their Russian equivalents.
In the result of the study a number of strategies of translating proper names have been identified, such as transliteration, transcription, a combination of transliteration and transcription, transposition, loan translation/calque. The following types of proper names have been distinguished: character names, formal names, nicknames, names of social groups. It has been found out that formal names and some nicknames are usually transliterated (Tris — 
‛Трис’, Tobias — ‛Тобиас’, Four — ‛Фор’). In this case the hidden meaning of the nicknames is lost. «Speaking» nicknames, used to portray a character, can be translated (Stiff — ‛Сухарь’). In both versions of translation, the authors tried to find expressive equivalents for the names of social groups. For example, in the official version Amity is translated as ‛Товарищество’, though the meaning of this name is ambiguous due to its polysemantic nature. The amateur version conveys Amity as ‛Дружелюбие’, which fits the context better. Both versions of translation offer a different kind of a calque: Fractionless is conveyed as ‛Бесфракционщики’or ‛Афракционеры’. The main distinction between these two variants is that the first lexeme contains a negative prefix of native origin, while the second one — a borrowed prefix; both words lack the connotations of the original. In this regard, the variant given in the film adaptation seems to be more appropriate — ‛Изгои’. The analysis of the above-mentioned groups of lexemes allows us to conclude that while translating young adult fiction it is necessary to take into account such factors as connotations, polysemantic character of words, the context and the general atmosphere of the book.