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THE PECULARIETIES OF THE MOVIES’ TITLES TRANSLATION FROM ENGLISH TO RUSSIAN

Әл-Фараби атындағы ҚазҰУ
Филология және әлем тілдері факультетінің 1-курс магистранты Жолаушыбай Әсел
Жетекшісі - ф.ғ.к., әл-Фараби атындағы ҚазҰУ доценті Жанатаев Д.Ж.

Due to the development of the English language as linguafranca, English-language films become a part of our daily lives, and interesting title of the film plays an important role in attracting the viewer. It is easier to interest the viewer by the spectacular title of the film than by its description.Therefore, the primary criterion in determining whether a movie is worth watching is the name of the movie.

As known, a person spends about 1,5-2 seconds on the so-called familiarization with the material. This is enough to decide whether this topic interests him. The language of the title should be competent.This situation is also typical for readers of newspapers, magazines, books, etc.

Translation of film titles is one of the very responsible and essential tasks. In this case, the translator acts as an intermediary between the original language of the title and the language into which the translation is made. In this situation, the translator must have a knowledge of the culture of the country to adapt the name of the picture.

As noted by the researcher Balzhinimaeva E.Zh., complex analysis of translations of English-language movies headings demonstrates that changes are often preconditioned by the influence of cultural and linguistic specifics of the country where the a foreign film comes to hire.

Balzhinimaeva E.Zh. distinguishes three strategies of translation, when the translation of movie title is discussed: direct translation, title transformation, title substitution.

  1. Direct translation of English-language film titles into Russian. This strategy can be employed when there are no cultural specific components, which cannot be translated, in the film titles. E. g. «Eat, Pray, Love» – «Eшь, молись, люби» (2010), «Atonement» (2008) – «Искупление», «Games of Stones» (2013) – «Игра камней», «Ancient Inventions with Terry Jones» (1998) – «Изобретения древности с Терри Джонсоном». This strategy also includes such translation techniques as transliteration and transcription of proper names. E. g. «Avalon» – «Авалон» (2001), «Agent Cody Banks» – «Агент Коди Бэнкс» (2003), «Avatar» (2009) – «Аватар».
  2. Title transformation. According to I.I. Ritzker, transformation is a technique of logical thinking used to reveal the meaning of a foreign word in context. Next, we find the corresponding word in Russian, not coinciding with the dictionary. Using the same strategy, many movie titles are translated by expanding cognitive information by replacing or adding lexical elements, and entering the film keywords compensates for the semantic or genre deficiency of the literal translation in the title. E. g. «Джейн Остин» (2007) – «Becoming Jane», «Why We Ride?» (2013) – «Почему мы ездим на мотоциклах?», «The Man Who Cycled the Americas» (2010) – «На велосипеде по Америкам». Along with the addition, the technique of omission can be used: «Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows»  – «Черепашки-Ниндзя 2», «In time» – «Время», «Труп невесты» – «Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride».
  3. Title substitution. When translating parts of speech, word shapes, sentence members, etc. subject to replacement. Here it is important to keep the fine line of matching the name and content: «He’s Just Not That Into You» (2009), in Russian – «Обещать – не значит жениться». «Some like it hot» (1959) – «В джазе только девушки», «Hachi: A dog’s tale» – «Хатико: самый верный друг», «Central Intelligence» –«Полтора шпиона»; «The Huntsman Winter’s War»  – «Белоснежка и Охотник 2», «Keeping Up with the Joneses» – «Шпионы по соседству», «The Hangover» – «Мальчишник в Вегасе».

Table 1 shows the results of the analysis of the titles of randomly selected films in order to determine the strategy for their translation.

Table 1.

Original film title

Word for word translation

Official translation

Strategy of translation

«Some Like It Hot»

«Некоторые любят погорячее»

«В джазе только девушки»

Substitution

«Die Hard»

«Умри, сражаясь»

«Крепкий орешек»

Substitution

«13 going 30»

«Из 13 в 30»

«Из 13 в 30»

Direct translation

«Funny face»

«Веселое лицо»

«Забавная мордашка»

Transformation

«100 girls»

«Сто девушек»

«Сто девушек и одна в лифте»

Transformation

«Dan in real life»

«Дэн в реальной жизни»

«Влюбится в невесту брата»

Substitution

«Legally Blonde»

«Легальная блондинка»

«Блондинка в законе»

Transformation

«Fair game»

«Честная игра»

«Игра без правил»

Substitution

The analysis of 100 film titles revealed the following strategies used by translators:

1. Direct translation: 56% (56 titles out of 100):

1) word for word translation 47%;

2) transcription 2%;

3) transliteration 7%.

2. Transformation: 32%:

1) grammatical transformation 9%;

2) substitution of the lexical element of 8%;

3) addition 4%;

4) omission 4%;

5) the specification of 3%;

6) other 4%.

3. Replacement: 12%.

From this analysis we can conclude that more than 50% of the names are translated using direct translation, although recently, transformation and substitution strategies have become more widely used. It is worth noting that not always the substitution of the film title is successful. Sometimes it is not justified and does not correspond to the content of the film, or distorts it. The share of direct translation has recently decreased, and transformation and substitution strategies have become more common. Substitution is often used to perform advertising functions. The choice of a suitable translation strategy is extremely important, but it is individual in each specific case and depends on many factors: the competence of the translator, the film genre, the target audience and others.

In some situations it is difficult to translate the name of a foreign film into Russian without meaningful losses. Many translations are successful in terms of language, but not successful in promoting a movie. To analyze such cases, there are examples where the substitution strategy is used:

  1. The film “She creature”, suggesting the name “Она – чудовище”, was given the more frightening title “Ужас из бездны”, which will interest people who prefer the genre to horrors.
  2. The official translation of the film “My Daughter’s Secret” - “Двуликий убийцa” is more attractive to viewers, but is radically different from the literal translation.
  3. In the translation of the film “The Poet”, which sounded like “Любовь на линии фронта”, the distributors revealed all the intrigue encoded in the proposed title “The Poet”, but they managed to attract the attention of a larger audience.

It turns out that a commercial translation is more interesting and intriguing than literal, but does not always reflect the essence of the film and the idea of the author.

It should be noted that when translating the titles of most films, it is not the literal translation that is used, but the substitution strategy, which is necessary to attract the attention of viewers, as well as to harmonious and conform to the translation language.

The role of the title is important for movies, because catchy, but inert about content title is the most effective way to interest the viewer. Therefore, the translator, translating the name of the film should be very careful and attentive. 0To select the appropriate translation strategy, a competent translator is required to understand the relevant topic and sense that the film conveys, to be able to think outside the native culture and also own all the translation strategies (direct translation, transformation and substitution).

 

REFERENCES

  1. Алексеева И.С. Основы теории перевода. СПб., 1998 г.
  2. Комиссаров В.Н. Общая теория перевода. М., 2000.
  3. Бальжинимаева Е.Ж. Стратегия перевода названий фильмов. М., 2009.
  4. Милевич И. Стратегии перевода названий фильмов // Русский язык за рубежом. 2007. № 5.
  5. Борисова Л.И. Лексические трудности перевода. Англо-русский словарь-справочник. М., 1999


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