Campus: page 3  

The “inconsonant place names” also cause some difficulties. In a short article on history we found a mention about Duke of Brunswick, who was invited to the court of the young Gauss. The translator had the bad luck: in Russian “prizhilas (settled down)” with the German spelling - Braunschweig. Although this is not the best translation, because in this case it’s correctly to speak about the Prince Elector of Hannover. And this case of shoes advertising: “Vena Moda”, Austria! The ignorance in toponymy of its creators was a clear sign of the fraud for experts: if the shoes were really made in Austria, the title would be Wien (German) or Vienna (English).

The editors of “Practice” publishing house compiled and posted on its website a lot of fun pieces of medical translation. Among them there were the mysterious method of inoukulyatsia (inoculation), incomprehensible excreta and secrets of a house mouse, and the real “masterpiece”: Delirium tremens – a tremor in alcoholic delirium (delirium tremens only – colloquially alcoholomania). [4] However, in the Internet there are “outstanding” examples: Whatever the case – Chto bi v etom keise ne bilo (Whatever there is in the bag); Hungry like the wolf – Vengry lyubat volkov (the Hungarians like the wolf); Silver is the best conductor of electricity – Silver (as the name of the person) is the best guard of the train.

Often the cause of the error is a failed choice of words when you want to select paronymous, synonymous or close in meaning: bed patients, mortality of patients, drug users, the pressure of the metal. Such errors also occur at the level of phrases: punches were sick; and this is what we should sometimes sidestep; the forest was impenetrable [for people]; [archaeologists] were thinking over the function of the columns; Demeter ruled crop growing cycles.

These kinds of errors are common in belletristic literature. Thus, in the journal “Fool Around” from time to time the translated phrases from women's novels are published. The reader is amused, and, as a teacher, I’m sad about the fact that: He watched as balls were spinning in her mind; Deep in his chest, she heard laughter; When she spoke, his lips curved with a thousand possible ways; Without turning, he looked back; He began to go upstairs, pressing it to her lips; The blue eyes moved over her face; Her cheeks had gone numb a little, but otherwise everything was fine. Sometimes generally correct or acceptable equivalents in the context create a comic effect: Sleeping Mary shivered with cold. In the morning he would make it hot for her, but now she needed to keep warm; And aren’t you going to built a fire? – Grace grumbled. Jake flushed (the Russian translator used the word “vspychivat” which can mean not only “flush” but also “blaze up, take fire”). In such cases, the translator shows carelessness or lack of knowledge of the native language.

One can agree with the recommendation that “only vigilance and self-criticism, as well as a careful study of the context with possible using of dictionaries and reference books allow to avoid “the lexical trap” that leads to meaningful and logical absurdity” [3, pp. 95]

The errors in the translation of scientific and technological, especially medical, texts are particularly dangerous. At the best, they refer to the genre of “black humor”: However, this treatment isn’t completely safe, even for practically healthy people; it is used with caution for cardiovascular diseases – it may increase mortality. Often the cause of a mistake is negligence: connecting tissue diseases; Cat bites often affect women. Most of them localize on the hands; but reproductive function of only 50–60% of men is restored (pregnancy occurs); 60% of infertile men begot children; or blatant ignorance on some issues: Men–s ovulation can cause pain in the testicle.

Sometimes, it simply can’t be understood what is meant by the recommendation: Maintaining dose – 2 breaths a day; the medicine must be injected with a buffer in chewing or liquid form; the injection must be immediately stopped if rubber percussion cap appears in the viewing window. In general, the process of clinical thinking is difficult to explain – as well as the translation thinking, we can add.

Thus, in addition to the objective complexity, the important role is played by the “human factor”: the level of training of the individual graduate with a degree in translation, or even the lack of specific training (we know the cases when pupils and undergraduate students who had “satisfactory” and “good” marks got involved in the translation activity).

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