Звоните на номер:


Kazikhan Kuralay
Master's degree, 2nd year of study
M. Narikbayev KAZGUU University
Literary translation is one of the most common types of translation. Literary translation differs from other types of translation in that the purpose of this translation is not only to convey information to the reader, but also to convey the emotions and atmosphere of the work. This article examines the aspects of literary translation on the example of the works of J. K. Rowling. Special attention is paid to the translation of realities, the ways of their transmission.
Keywords: literary translation, realia, non-equivalent vocabulary, cultural-specific items
The use of a literal translation may not reflect the whole meaning of the text, so when translating literary texts, the task is to create the same image, to convey the same atmosphere as in the original. The definition of the word culture given by Edward Burnett Tylor is the most common and frequently used to date “Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (Tylor, 1871 as cited in Katan, 2009, p. 25). Newmark in his book “A Textbook of Translation” described the translation process, also defined the word “culture” as “Culture as is the way of life and its manifestations that are peculiar to a community that uses a particular language as its means of expression” (Newmark, 1988). As you know, cultures include certain types of clothing, traditions, rituals, flora and fauna that may not be present in the culture of another nation. In this regard, there may be difficulties during the translation of texts containing realities. The topic of translation of realities is interesting to theorists of the field of translation, this topic was studied by representatives of different countries, as a result of these studies, classifications of realities and types of transformations were identified to convey the most accurate meaning. In the course of this article, the classifications Newmark (1988), Gudavičius (1985), Vinogradov (2001), and so on were considered. The most widely used classification is that of Newmark (1988). In his work, he identified five categories of realities:
  1. Ecology (flora, fauna, winds, plains, hills.
  2. Material Culture (artefacts)
  1. Food
  2. Clothes
  3. Housing
  4. Transportation
  1. Social Culture
  1. Work
  2. Leisure
4) Organizations, Customs, Activities, Procedures and Concepts
a) Political and Administrative
b) Religious
c) Artistic
5) Gestures and Habits
Nevertheless, despite all the research, translators have a big task to convey the meaning of realia as accurately as possible. Below we will discuss the problems faced by translators when translating the works of J. K. Rowling.
The study of the principles of interpretation of the image of the main character of the software is still the main point in assessing the quality of literary translation. Our perception of the text as a whole, its ideological component and its emotional impact on the reader depend on its reconstruction in translation. Since its publication to this day, J. K. Rowling's novel “Harry Potter” has attracted great interest from readers around the world, which gives rise to a desire to translate the series of books into other languages, including Russian. The first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, has been translated into 74 languages. Despite its popularity, the works of the “Harry Potter” series began to be translated into Kazakh only recently. Currently, two parts have been translated and published by Stepe & World Publishing.
Due to the fact that the book belongs to the fantasy genre, the author used a lot of fictional characters, names of flora and fauna, geographical names, spells. A large number of onomastic vocabulary and realities complicates the work of the translator. During the translation, the translators are guided by all possible sources, such as etymological dictionaries, explanatory dictionaries, online translators, as well as the web pages of the magical world by J. K. Rowling, which is positioned as an online encyclopedia of books from the Harry Potter series.
For a more accurate disclosure of the issue, an interview was conducted with the translator of the Harry Potter series of books. According to the translator, during the translation, they use different types of dictionaries; make searches for the etymology of words. Translating realia is a complex process in itself, which can take several hours to select the most accurate equivalent. In accordance with the types of realities, different types of transformations are used, such as transcription, calque, search for equivalents in the translation language, descriptive translation, and so on. An example of the word Ghoul was given, it is a magical beast that resembles a slimy, toothy ogre. In the Russian version of the book, the word Упырь was used, which also fits the meaning of the words vampire, zombie. Moreover, in Kazakh folklore, there are characters like албасты, құбыжық, мыстан, жалмауыз, қансорғыш, жезтырнақ, but none of them conveys the exact meaning of the name of this creature. Taking into account all the stories, fairy tales and other texts, the translators decided to choose the word жалмауыз, which generally fits the meaning of the original text. Despite the difficulties that arise when translating realities, translators do their best to convey the most accurate meaning and emotions of the work.
The translation of fiction is a very broad topic, and the translation of realities requires a lot of knowledge. The main task of translators is to convey the content of the original text as closely as possible. However, there are no exact guidelines for translating realia; the translator will choose the type of transformation in accordance with the culture of the translator, the target audience. Using previously studied classifications and methods to convey realities, the translator copes with the task of conveying the emotions of the work, allowing the reader to get into the story.
  1. Katan, D. (1999). Translating Cultures, an Introduction for Translators, Interpreters and Mediators. St. Jerome Publishing.
  2. Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. Prentice Hall International.
  3. Rowling J. K. (2017). Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Bloomsbury
  4. Rowling J. K. (1997). Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Bloomsbury
  5. Staškevičiūtė, D., & Baranauskienė, R. (2005). Translation and culture. Jaunųjų Mokslininkų Darbai, 3(7), 201–206. https://www.lituanistika.lt/content/1048
  6. Vinogradov, V. (2001). Vvedeniye v perevodovedeniye (obshchiye i leksicheskiye voprosy). Izdatel'stvo instituta obshchego srednego obrazovaniya RAO.


Звоните на номер:
Напишите нам
По всем вопросам, просим написать на почту! 
Мы находимся по адресу:

Казахстан, г. Караганда