The Peculiarities of Comparisons Translation in M. Lermontov’s Poem "The Demon"

  • O. M. Petryk Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor at the Department of Slavic Philology, Comparative Studies and Translation of Mykola Gogol Nizhyn State University
  • M. V. Romanova graduate student in Slavic Languages and Literature (including translation) of Mykola Gogol Nizhyn Institute of Philology, Translation and Journalism of Mykola Gogol Nizhyn State University
Keywords: comparison, poetic translation, translation techniques


The paper deals with peculiarities of comparisons translation on the material of M. Lermontov’s poem "Demon" and its translation, made by V. Sosyura. It is proved that comparisons are powerful linguistic means of phenomena characterization, they contribute to the revealing of ideas, positions, worldview of the poet; demonstrate his subjective-evaluative attitude to objective reality facts. Comparisons of M. Lermontov are expressive-evaluative in their character; they represent an individual view on a particular object or phenomenon or resemblance to another object or phenomenon, reflect the worldview of the people to which the author belongs. Difficulties in translating comparisons stem mainly from the peculiarities of poetic translation: originality of measure, rhyme, rhythmic-intonational specificity, much greater role of a single word, widespread use of phonetic means of text organization. The peculiarities and specificity of the imagery system of each language are also important. It has been found that, in order to ensure the adequacy of comparisons translation and to preserve the individual style of the author, the translator needs to have specific methods of translation. Calquing is mostly widely used in V. Sosyura’s translations, since original comparisons are easier for him because they are less often imprinted with social specificity. But this method can be acceptable only if the images of the original language and the languages of translation match. Substitution, which is the most common type of translation transformation, is used by V. Sosyura for the compulsory preservation of a poem form, or it is used in case when there is no complete stylistic correspondence in the language of translation or this correspondence cannot be achieved due to the inadequacy of an emotionally expressive colouring. The omission is not applied, but the omitted comparative constructs are compensated by other tropes, maintaining the meaning of the expression. Frequently used additions help the translator preserve the form of the poem, sometimes they also compensate for the losses; they also fully reveal V. Sosyura’s translation skills, deep understanding of the poet’s works and his inner world; they demonstrate translator’s subtle sense of individual style, knowledge of the language and impeccable mastership of
linguistic means.


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How to Cite
Petryk, O. M., and M. V. Romanova. “The Peculiarities of Comparisons Translation in M. Lermontov’s Poem "The Demon"”. Literature and Culture of Polissya, Vol. 96, no. 13f, Dec. 2019, pp. 254-66, doi:10.31654/2520-6966-2019-13f-96-254-266.