Written translation

Students experience a number of problems while translating scientific and non-scientific literature from English into Russian as well as vice versa. The Module sets as its main goal the help to students with the most difficult and problematic areas of the translation process between these two languages. Students will have a chance to compare their own translations with professional ones as well as work and identify the necessary skills to work with translation especially of the texts from the IT field.

Here you see the information about the most vivid problems and possible solutions for them while translating from English into Russian and visa versa.

The goal of translation is to set the equivalence relations between the source text and text in translation.


Fidelity(Faithfulness) is the extent to which a translation accurately renders the meaning of the source text, without distortion.
The criteria for judging the fidelity of a translation vary according to the subject, type and use of the text, its literary qualities, its social or historical context, etc.

Transparency is the extent to which a translation appears to a native speaker of the target language to have originally been written in that language, and conforms to its grammar, syntax and idiom.
The criteria for judging the transparency of a translation appear more straightforward: an unidiomatic translation "sounds wrong";


Untranslatable words

•Googly – sport term from cricket
•Spam - tinned meat product made mainly from ham
•Gobbledegook - language that is meaningless or is made unintelligible by excessive use of technical terms
•Bumf - useless or tedious printed information or documents

•“Kuzma’s mother”
•Be-all and end-all - the most important part of a situation or of someone’s life

Pun (casuistry)

An Arab was interviewed at the US Embassy for a Visa
Consul: What is your name?
Arab: Abdul Aziz
Consul: Sex?
Arab: Six to ten times a week
Consul: I mean, male or female?
Arab: Both male and female and sometimes even camels
Consul: Holy cow!
Arab: Yes, cows and dogs too!!!!
Consul: Man,........ isn't it hostile?
Arab: Horse style, dog style, any style
Consul: Oh.......... dear!
Arab: Deer? No deer, they run too fast!

Не сравнил бы я любую с тобой,
Хоть казни меня, расстреливай.
Посмотри, как я любуюсь тобой,
Как мадонной Рафаэлевой!

Поэт издалека заводит речь
Поэта — далеко заводит речь.


A "back-translation" is a translation of a translated text back into the language of the original text, made without reference to the original text.



•Translator should know subject and terms
•It’ll be better if translator has technical education

TASK 1. After reading trhough this short overview of notins and problems while translating, find the sample of a technical text in both languages and analyze it according the the aspects explained here.

TASK 2. Take 2 pages of technical text that has not been translated into another language and translate it taking into consideration all the aspects of the good translation. Send the result to the teacher, it will be checked that such text does not have its counterpart in another language.