Home Random Page



A considerable intensification was witnessed in

The Renaissance period which began in the 14th century in Italy was marked by great discoveries and inventions, the most significant of which for cultural development was the invention of the moving printing press by the German J.Gutenberg in the middle of the 15th century (1435).

Its consequence was the appearance of cheaper printed books and a quick growth of the number of readers in West European countries. This demand of books for reading in its turn called forth an increase in translation activity due to which there was soon noticed an ever increasing number of fiction translations. Alongside of this, the birth and strengthening of national European states raised the status of national languages and reduced the role of Latin. Hence, translations began to be performed not only from classic languages but also from and into new European languages. These real changes resulted in a wider use of faithful as well as free translations which started almost at one and the same time in France, Germany and England. During this period Albrecht von Eyb (translator of T.PIautus' works), Heinrich Steinhowel (translator of Aesop's and Boccaccio's works), were active in Germany. The new free/unrestricted freedom of translation in France was also practised by the noted poet and translator of Ovid's poems Joachim du Bellay, who in his book Defence et Illustration de la Langue Frangaise (1549) also included some theoretical chapters on translation. Another outstanding translator, publisher and scientist in France was Etienne Dolet. He was put to the stake, however, in 1546 for his free sense-to-sense (and not word-for-word) translation of Socrates' utterances in one of the dialogues with the philosopher Plato. E.Dolet was also the author of the treatise De la maniere de bien traduire d'une lange en I'altre, 1540 (On How to Translate Well from One Language into the Other). Among other French translators who would widely practise the unrestricted freedom of translation were also Etienne de Laigle, Claude Fontaine, Amyot, and others.

Certainly the greatest achievement of the Renaissance period in the realistic approach to conveying the source language works was the translation of the Bible into several West European national languages. The first to appear was the German Bible in Martin Luther's translation (1522-1534). This translation of the Book of Books was performed by Martin Luther contrary to the general tradition of the Middle Ages, i.e. not strictly word-for-word, but faithfully sense-to-sense. What was still more extraordinary for those times, was that Martin Luther resorted to an extensive employment in his translation of the Bible of spoken German. Moreover, the principles of translating the Bible in this way were officially defended by Luther himself in his published work (1540) On the Art of Translation (Von derKunst des Dolmetschen). That faithful German translation of the Bible was followed in 1534 by the English highly realistic translation of the Holy Book performed by the theologian William Tyndale (1492? -1536). A year later (in 1535) the French Calvinist Bible came off the press. William Tyndale's version of the Bible was the first ever scientifically grounded and faithful English translation of the Holy Book. That translation served as a basis for the new Authorized Version of the Bible published in 1611. Unfortunately, Tyndale's really faithful sense-to-sense English translation of the Bible met with stiff opposition and a hostile reception on the part of the country's high clergy. William Tyndale's true supporters tried to justify the use of the common English speech by the translator (this constituted one of the main points of deadly accusations) by referring to Aristotle's counsel which was to speak and use words as the common people useth. W.Tyndale himself tried to defend his accurate and really faithful translation, but all in vain. In 1536 he was tied to the stake, strangled and burnt in Flanders as a heretic for the same sin as his French colleague Etienne Dolet would be ten years later. Hence, the faithful approach to translating (this time of ecclesiastic and philosophic works) introduced by W.Tyndale and E.Dolet and supported by their adherents in England and France was officially condemned and persecuted in late Renaissance period.

Despite the official condemnations and even executions of some outstanding adherents of the idea of sense-to-sense translation of any written matter (including the ecclesiastic and philosophic works), the controversy between the supporters of now three different approaches to translating continued unabated all through the periods of Classicism (17th - 18th centuries) and Enlightenment (the 18th century). These three trends which appeared long before and were employed during the Middle Ages, have been mentioned already on the preceding pages and are as follows:

1. The ancient strict and truthful word-for-word translation of ecclesiastic (the Septuagint) and philosophic works. The basic principles of the trend were considerably undermined by Luther's and Tyndale's translations of the Bible;

2. The unrestricted free translation introduced by Horace and Apuleius, which had established an especially strong position in France and gained many supporters there;

3. The old trend adhering to the Cicero's principle of regular sense-to-sense translation without the unrestricted reductions or additions to the texts/works in their final translated versions.

The supporters of the latter approach, whose voices began to be heard more and more loudly in the 17lh and 18th centuries in various West European countries, strongly condemned any deliberate lowering of the artistic level or changing of the structure of the original belles-lettres works. They demanded in J.W.Draper's words that Celtic literature be as Celtic as possible and Hottentot literature as Hottentot in order that the thrill of novelty might be maintained1. The English critic meant by these words that the translator should faithfully convey not only the content but also the artistic merits of the source language works. John Dryden (1630-1700), another outstanding English author and literary critic, tried to reconcile these two historically opposite trends and sought a middle course between the very free, as he called the second trend, and the very close (i.e. word-for-word) approach. He demanded from translators faithfulness to the spirit of the original which became a regular motto in the period of Classicism and Enlightenment, though far from all translators unanimously supported this idea. Thus, the German translator and literary critic G.Ventzky put forward the idea (and vigorously supported it) that the translated belles-lettres works should seem to readers to be born, not made citizens.2 This was not so much a demand for a highly artistic rendition, in the true sense of present-day understanding of faithful artistic translation, than a slightly camouflaged principle of adjustment of the source language works to current readers by way of free, unrestricted sense-to-sense rendering. And he realized this postulate in his translation practice.

Alongside of these trends regular free adaptation was widely practised during the 17th -18th centuries. The latter was considered to be a separate means or principle of translation as well. The most outspoken defender of this kind of translation in Germany was Frau Gottsched and her adherents Kriiger, Laub and J.E.Schlegel. She openly recommended to modernize and nationalize the foreign authors' works, to change their scenes of events, customs and traditions for the corresponding German customs and traditions.1 Moreover, Frau Gottsched recommended the use of dialectal material in translation and practised unrestricted free interpretation of original belles-lettres works.2 These views of Frau Gottsched, G.Ventzky and their adherents on translation radically differed from those expressed by their sturdy opponent, the noted critic and translator J.Breitinger, who considered the source language works to be individual creations whose distinguishing features should be fully rendered into the target language.

In the second half of the eighteenth century, especially during the last decades, the controversy between the opponents of the strict word-for-word translation, and those who supported the free sense-to-sense translation (or simply the unrestricted free interpretation) continued unabated. In fact, new vigorous opponents appeared within both trends, the most outspoken among them were J.Campbell and A.F.Tytler in England, and the noted German philosopher and author J.G.Herder (1744-1803). Each of them came forward with sharp criticism of both extreme trends in belles-lettres translation and each demanded, though not always consistently enough, a true and complete rendition of content, and the structural, stylistic and artistic peculiarities of the belles-lettres originals under translation. These proclaimed views regarding the requirements of truly faithful artistic translation were also shared by several authors, poets and translators in other countries, including France, where free/unrestricted translation was most widely practised. Campbell's and Tytler's requirements, as can be ascertained below, are generally alike, if not almost identical. Thus, Campbell demanded from translators of belles-lettres the following: 1) to give a just representation of the sense of the original (the most essential); 2) to convey into his version as much as possible (in consistency with the genius of his language) the author's spirit and manner, the very character of his style;) so that the text of the version have a natural and easy flow (Chief Things to be Attended to in Translating, 1789).

A.F.Tytler's requirements, as has been mentioned, were no less radical and much similar, they included the following: 1) the translation should give a complete transcript of the ideas of the original work; 2) the style and manner of writing should be of the same character with that of the original; 3) the translation should have the ease of an original composition. (The Principles of Translation, 1792). These theoretical requirements to belles-lettres translation marked a considerable step forward in comparison to the principles which existed before the period of Enlightenment and Romanticism. At the same time both the authors lacked consistency. Campbell, for example, would admit in his Essay that translators may sometimes render only the most essential of the original and only as much as possible the author's spirit and manner, the character of his style. This inconsistency of Campbell could be explained by the strong dominating influence during that period of unrestricted freedom of translation. Perhaps this explains why Campbell and Tytler quite unexpectedly favoured approval of the indisputably free versification by A.Pope of Homer's Odyssey into English.

Much more consistent in his views, and still more persistent in his intention to discard the harmful practice of strict word-for-word translation as well as of the unrestricted freedom of translating belles-lettres works was J.G.Herder (1744-1803). He visited several European countries including Ukraine and studied their national folksongs, the most characteristic of which he translated into German and published in 1778-79. Herder was captivated by the beauty of the national songs of the Ukrainian people, for whom he prophesied a brilliant cultural future. Herder himself, a successful versifier of songs, understood the inner power of these kinds of literary works and consequently demanded that all translators of prose and poetic works render strictly, fully and faithfully not only the richness of content, but also the stylistic peculiarities, the artistic beauty and the spirit of the source language works. His resolute criticism of the unrestricted freedom of translation and verbalism found strong support among the most outstanding German poets such as Gothe and Schiller among other prominent authors. He also found support among the literary critics in Germany and other countries. This new approach, or rather a new principle of truly faithful literary translation, was born during the period of Enlightenment and developed during early Romanticism (the last decades of the eighteenth century). It began slowly but persistently to gain ground in the first decades of the nineteenth century. This faithful/realistic principle, naturally, was not employed in all European countries at once. After centuries long employment the word-for-word and unrestricted free translation could not be discarded overnight. As a result, the free sense-to-sense translation/unrestricted free translation as well as free adaptation (or regular rehash) continued to be widely employed in Europe throughout the first half of the nineteenth century and even much later. In Russia and in Ukraine, free sense-to-sense translation/free adaptation was steadily practised almost uninterruptedly both during the first and second halves of the nineteenth century. Among the eighteenth century Russian poets who constantly resorted to free sense-to-sense translation and free adaptation were Lomonosov, Sumarokov, Trediakovskii and others. In Ukraine, free sense-to-sense translation in the second half of the eighteenth century was occasionally employed by H.Skovoroda (in his translations from the Latin). During the nineteenth century the number of free interpretations increased considerably, among the authors in Russia being Zhukovskii, Pushkin, Katenin and Vvedenskii, and in Ukrainian P.Hulak-Artemovs'kyi, P.Bielets'kyi-Nossenko and others. Every translator mostly employed free sense-to-sense translation or even free adaptation of foreign poetic and prose works. Only Zhukovskii would sometimes change his former practice and try to versify some poetic works as, for instance, Byron's Prisoner of Chilton (1819) faithfully, i.e., conveying full sense, the poetic meter and the artistic merits of the original work.

Ukrainian history of translation is today more than one thou-sand years old. It began soon after the adoption of Christianity in the tenth century (988) and continues in ever increasing measure up to the present day. The very first translations, however, are supposed to have been made several decades before that historical date, namely as early as 911, when the Kyivan Rus' Prince Oleh signed a treaty with Byzantium in two languages (Greek and the then Ukrainian). Regular and uninterrupted translation activity, which started in the late tenth - early eleventh centuries had continued almost uninterrupted for some 250 years. According to Nestor the Chronicler the Great Prince of Kyivan Rus', Yaroslav the Wise, gathered together in 1037 in the St. Sophia Cathedral many translators (nucapi as they were called) to translate books (from Greek) into the (Old) Slavonic language ( ), which was in those times the language of many ecclesiastic works and was understood in all Slavic countries. In many translations, as will be shown further, it contained local old Ukrainian lexical and grammatical elements.

Initially, in the last decades of the tenth - early eleventh century, only the materials necessary for church services were trans-lated, but soon the Bible began to appear in different cities of Kyivan Rus'. These Bibles are historically identified after the names of places where they first appeared or after the names of their owners, translators or copiers. Among the fully preserved Bibles of those times today are the Reims Bible (first half of the eleventh century), which belonged to Princess Anna, daughter of Yaroslav the Wise and later queen of France, the Ostromyr's Bible (1056-1057), the Mstyslaw's Bible (1115 1117), the Halych Bible (1144). In the eleventh and twelfth centuries there also appeared several Psalm books (Psalters) which were followed by the Apostles (1195, 1220). In those times, semi-ecclesiastic works, which were called apocrypha became well-known. These works included such titles as The Life of Mary of Egypt, The Life of Andrew the Insane ( ), The Life of Eustaphius Plakyda as well as stories on the life of monks including numerous Egyptian, Syrian and Greek legends composed between the third and fifth centuries AD. Apart from these some historical works of Byzantine chroniclers G.Amartol and J.Malala were translated and read in Kyivan Rus'. It is important to note, that the Old Slavonic translations of Psalms and larger works as The Jewish Wars by Joseph us Flavius (37-after 100) contained several lexical, morphological (vocative case forms) and syntactic features of the then old Ukrainian which are used also in present-day Ukrainian. This influence of the Ukrainian language is one evident proof of it having been in common use in Kyivan Rus'. This fact completely discards the ungrounded allegations cited by official Soviet and Russian linguists who portray the Ukrainian language coming into being as a separate Slavic language only in the fourteenth or even in the fifteenth centuries, i.e., at the same time with the Russian language.

The underlined words and word-combinations (. . . , ) have each a close or practically identical orthographic form and almost the same meaning in modern Ukrainian. Thus, means , ; can be understood as not being afraid of or not thinking of their death, i.e., fully engaged in fighting ( ). The latter noun () is in contemporary Ukrainian poetic (and archaic) for fight or fighting. The only word in the above-cited fifth line, which is not quite clear lexically is / whereas is again poetic and archaic for fighters. Neither is it difficult to comprehend this noun today. The last line Ho is also easy to understand and means that people were agitated, uneasy.

All in all, the period of the eleventh-thirteenth centuries as presented in the history of Ukraine, demonstrated a regular upheaval in translation with many ecclesiastic and secular works of different kind turned generally in Old Slavic as well as in Old Ukrainian. The ecclesiastic works included not only sermon books ( ), Psalms and Bibles (as the Buchach 13th century Bible) but also some theoretical works by prominent Byzantine church fathers (G.Naziazinus, I.Sirin and others). Examples from secular literature include works of Byzantine, Roman and other poets and philosophers, the most noticeable among them being didactic precepts, Addresses, wise expressions and aphorisms selected from the works of Plutarch, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle and other prominent ancient figures. Apart from these, some larger epic works were translated in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as well. Very popular among them were the novel Alexandria (about the life and heroic exploits of Alexander the Great of Greece); a narrative about the life and many exploits of Didenis Akrit ij , the work Akirthe Wise , a collection of Byzantine fables and fairly tales entitled Stephanit and Ihnilat , another narrative called The Proud King Adarianes and a collection of narratives on nature (The Physiologist) Գ, in which both real and fantastic beings and minerals were described. These and other works were translated mostly from old Greek, while some originated also from Latin and Hebrew languages.

The Tartar and Mongol invasion in 1240, the downfall of Ukraine-Rus' and the seizure of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, which completed the collapse of Byzantium, considerably slowed the progress of translation in Ukraine-Rus', which despite these tragic events, did not die out completely. Thus, the first to appear in the 14th century (1307) was the Bible of Polycarp. Apart from this there were some versified translations of ecclesiastic works as the Treatise on Sacred Theologyby D.Areopagitis, D.Zograf's translation of God's Six Days Creationby G.Pisida, Kiprian's translation of Ph. Kokkin's Canon of Public Prayer to Our Lord Jesus Christ, excerpts of Ph. Monotrop's Dioptra, the Cronicle of C.Manassia, the anonymous translation of the Tormenting Voyage of the Godmother and others. The attention of Ukrainian translators during the 14th and 15lh centuries now turned to numerous apocrypha, aesthetic, philosophic and semi-philosophic works of Byzantine authors E.Sirin, D.Areopagitis, Maxim the Confessor, G.Sinaitis, G.Palama and P.Monotropos (known best for his work Dioptra). All of these works were much read then. Several historical works are also known to have been translated in those times, the most outstanding of all being K.Manassia's Chronicle and The Trojan History. From the literary works which were translated in the fifteenth century are known the narratives: A Story of the Indian Kingdom, A Story of Towdal the Knight and The Passions of Christ. New translations of ecclesiastic works included The Four Bibles, The Psalm-Book, The Apostle and some sermon books. Apart from these there were translated or retold during the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries the ecclesiastic narratives the Kings Magians, written by the Carmelite J.Hiludesheim (-circ. 1375), the legend about Saint George, the treatise Aristotle's Gate and the treatise on logic by the Spanish rabbi Mosses ben Maimonides (1135-1204).

It must be pointed out that it was the fifteenth century which marked a noticeable change in the orientation of Ukrainian society, culture and translation towards Christian Western Europe. The first Ukrainians went to study in the universities of Krakow, Paris, Florence and Bologna, from which the Ukrainian scientist Yuriy Drohobych (Kotermak) had graduated. He was also elected rector of the latter university in 1481 -1482. Among the first translations of the fifteenth century was the King's Bible of 1401 (Transcarpathian Ukraine) and the Kamyanka-Strumyliv Bible which appeared in 1411, followed by the Book of Psalms (translated by F.Zhydovyn) and some collections of stories about the lives of saints. The main of them was the Monthly Readings 489) aimed at honouring each month the name of a saint. Unfortunately the fifteenth century translations of secular works are represented today only by two anonymous versifications from Polish of the well-known in Western Europe work The Struggle between Life and Death and A Story about Death of a Great Mistr or Philosopher. Both these translations testified to the growth of the syllabic-accentual versification, which separated itself from the pre-Mon-golian accentual prosody. The latter, however, continued to be practised during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which were dominated in Ukraine's history by a constant struggle of our people and culture against the Tartars and Turks in the South and South-West, and against the Poles, who occupied Ukrainian lands from the right bank of the Dnieper river to the West of it. But despite the constant uprisings and wartime danger, many Ukrainian young men went to study in European universities. Thus, in early seventeenth century two Kyivans named Hnyverba and Ivan Uzhevych studied in Sorbonne University, the latter having been the author of the first ever Ukrainian grammar written in Latin (1634).

Translations of belles-lettres during the sixteenth century were probably not numerous either. They include a well-known in Western Europe work The Meeting of Magister Polycarp with the Death which had already been translated once at the end of the fifteenth century, the Solomon's Song, Alexandria, Guido de Columna's History of the Trojan War, History of Attila, King of Hungary, a narrative on the Re-volt of Lucifer and the Angels, a Story about the Fierce Death which Nobody Can Escape and others.

A considerable intensification was witnessed in

Ukrainian translation during the seventeenth century, which could have been influenced by the initial activities in the Kyiv Mohyla Academy (founded in 1632), where translations were at first employed to further teaching processes. Thus, in the first half of the seventeenth century there appeared translations from the Greek (G.Nazianzinus' works, translated by Skulskyi and D.Nalyvaiko) and from Latin (L.A.Seneca's works) translated by K.Sakovych. These translations were of higher quality though they were mostly free adaptations as those versified by a certain Vitaliy (P.Monotrop's Dioptra) or anonymous free interpretations, exemplified with the Book of Psalms and some other works among which were also poems of the Polish poet K.Trankwillian-Stawrowski. Apart from the ecclesiastic works some previously translated works were accomplished {The Physiologist). The seventeenth century also witnessed the appearance of the work by Archbishop Andreas of Kessalia (1625) on the Revelation (Apocalypse) in Lavrentiy Zizaniy's translation. The seventeenth century in Ukraine was also marked by regular versifications of prominent Italian and Polish poets of late Renaissance period as Torquato Tasso (10 chapters of his poem The Liberated Jerusalem, which was translated on the basis of the perfect Polish versification of the masterpiece by PKokhanowski, as well as by a versified translation (accomplished by Kulyk) of one of G.Boccaccio's short stories from his Decameron.

During the second half of the seventeenth century after the domination over Ukraine was divided between Russia and Poland (according to the Andrussovo treaty of 1667), translation practically survived only in the Kyiv Mohyla Academy. Active for some time was Symeon Polotskyi (1629-1680), who left a small number of free versifications of Polish Psalms written by PKokhanowski, and D.Tuptalo (1651-1709), who translated some poems of anonymous Polish poets. Several renditions were also left by S.Mokiyevych, who belonged to Mazeppa's followers. He accomplished several free versifications of some parts of the Old and New Testament, as well as the Bible of St.Matthew. Besides these free translations of some Owen's English epigrams were performed by the poet I. Welychkovskyi.

The last decades of the seventeenth century and the first decade of the eighteenth century were far from favourable for Ukraine, its culture or translation. Today only a few known versifications exist, which were mainly accomplished by the Kyiv Mohyla Academy graduates Ivan Maksymovych (1651-1715) and his nephew and namesake I.Maksymovych (1670-1732). The uncle left behind his versification of an elegy by the fifteenth century German poet H.Hugo. No less active at the beginning of his literary career was also the Mohyla Academy lecturer Feophan Prokopovych (1681-1736), who, when he moved to Russia, became subservient to the Russian czar Peter I and helped suppress Ukraine. The Psalms, and poetic works of the Roman poets Ovid, Martial and of the French Renaissance poet Scaliger (1540-1609) were often translated at the Academy as well.

Date: 2015-01-29; view: 1043

<== previous page | next page ==>
History of Thanksgiving | The first decades of the eighteenth century were marked by an unbearable terror imposed on the Ukrainian people by
doclecture.net - lectures - 2014-2024 year. Copyright infringement or personal data (0.012 sec.)