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UNITS OF NATIONALLY BIASED LEXICON AND WAYS OF THEIR TRANSLATION
Each nation in the course of its historical development acquires a great number of features characteristic of the nation only and not pertained to any other, even to a genealogically related nation. The distinguishing features find their reflection in different aspects of material and spiritual life and are materialized in separate
151words and word-groups designating national customs, traditions, folk rites and feasts, administrative or political systems, etc. They may also designate peculiar geographical, geological or environmental conditions of a nation's life. No less peculiar may also be the cultural or religious traditions of a nation often expressed through certain proper names or names of saints(cf. Ukrainian Івана Купала, Маковія, or Ireland's St. Patrick, Scottish tartan, American Uncle Sam or the British John Bull, the British Lion).
Culturally biased, i.e., nationally specific are often elements in a governmental or election systems of a country (cf. the administration, secretaries and undersecretaries or primary elections in the
The monetary systems in most countries contain some nationally peculiar units as well (cf. shilling, penny, rouble, dollar, hryvnia). Culturally biased are mostly the titles of address and the ways of conduct, and, at last but not at least, some articles of clothing / footware (cf. the Scottish kilt, tartan, the Ukrainian вишиванка, кептар or the American Indians' moccasins).
Most peculiar are always national meals, beverages and even partaking of food, established as a result of a nation's agricultural traditions and consumption of peculiar products. The nationally biased notions as non-equivalent units of lexicon are also observed in some national systems of weights and measures (cf. English mile, ounce, Ukrainian верства, пуд). All in all, these notions are found in all languages, for example, in English:county, borough, butterscotch, custard, muffin, toffee, bushel, chain, furlong, inch, mile, pint, penny, shilling, pound, lady, mister, sir; lobby, speaker, teller (Parliament), Lord Chancellor, Number 10 Downing Street, Whitehall, etc. Ukrainian:кобзар, веснянка, коломийка, козак, запорожець, кептар, копа (яєць), пуд, січ, свитка, хата, лежанка, весільний батько, троїсті музики, вечорниці, борщ, вареники, галушки, кутя, медок, ряжанка, опришок, плахта, гривня; Russian:тройка, квас, щі, самовар, колхоз, совет (советский), спутник, Дума. The penetration of a nation's culturally biased specific notions into other national languages is realized in different historical periods through various channels and in most different conditions. The latter include first of all trade contacts in the process of which many notions are borrowed as designators for produce which they signify. The designators may be regular labels (or trade marks) like bacon, champagne, jam, jeans, Coca-Cola, corn-flakes, macaroni, vodka, spaghetti, sweater, tweed, whisky, pizza, etc.
Some other peculiar national notions /culturally biased notions can penetrate into the target language in the process of traditional bilateral economic and cultural contacts which may be maintained at different levels. The contacts in their turn may as well be multilateral which often facilitates an international circulation of some specific national notions pertaining to a certain language (or a number of languages). That was the way in which many a specific national term has become widely known (cf. Cossack/Kozak, steppe, bandoure/ pandore, hopak, polka, waltz, beefsteak, pudding, lunch, etc.).
Still other specific national notions become world-wide known through literary/historic works, through the press or by way of other mass media like the radio or television (cf. oasis, boycott, hryvnia, Labourist, pagoda, barter, management, picket, taboo, Tory, rickshaw, sauna, Soviet, etc.).
These and other specific national terms (and notions) found their way to different languages and in the course of some historical period many of them became internationalisms. Although some nationally specific notions signifying important or historical events or magnificent scientific/technological achievements may spread all over the world almost immediately, as it happened in 1825 with the Decembrists and later on with the Sovietisms like kolkhoz, kulak, collectivization, Gulag, cosmonaut and many others.
Therefore, the more important the specific notion is for a certain nation or the world as a whole and the more often it is used in everyday life of a community, the greater is the chance of its becoming an internationalism.
This is not the fate, however, of the overwhelming majority of other specific national notions in all languages, since the borders of a target language are open at any time only for the most important source language specific national notions. Hence, many specific notions referring to localisms i.e. being of exclusively local nature and circulation, remain within the boundaries of the national languages. They may sometimes be known even to a greater part of the national community. These may be archaic notions like the Ukrainian бунчук, виборний, осаул, тулумбас, сіряк or localisms like кулеша, плачинда, верета, пательня, бануш, etc. Besides, many other rather wide-spread and well-known specific notions within a national community may often be of minor importance for the target language communities, which live under different economic, social, cultural or geographical conditions. Our ordinary reader, for example, would pay little if any attention to the highly specific and unique for
153every Englishman notions like latkes, kedgerel (meals), proctor or whip (Parliament), the Eton and Harrow match, Charring Cross, the East End, or Bloomsbury. These culturally biased names are often mentioned in English fiction, especially in the works by the British authors as Conan Doyle, J.Galsworthy, A.Cronin and others. Hence, the names have to be explained to our readers in the footnotes or in commentaries to the novels, e.g.:
They were off immediately, Автомобіль зразу ж рушив, і without interference, swinging вони без перешкод поїхали з out of the East End in the Іст-Енду в напрямку до direction of Bloomsbury центрального району (A.Cronin) Лондона - Блумзбері.
When the war broke out he had Коли вибухнула війна, він just left Eton... (J.Galsworthy) щойно закінчив /тон (середня
школа для привілейованих).
The real meaning of the place names, having so much to say to any Londoner, is scarcely hinted to in the translations above. The East End, however, was and remains the workers' .part of London, whereas Bloomsbury as the central part of it was known during the late 19th - the beginning of the 20th century for the group of poets critical of bourgeois moral and aesthetics. Eton, the private secondary school for well-to-do families in Great Britain, is also well-known in the country, though it may be unfamiliar to our readers. Hence, an additional explanation of the proper names in the target language becomes necessary. Many other culturally biased English and Ukrainian national notions are also to be explicated in this way, e.g.: bingo б/нго (азартна гра типу лото, популярна серед пристаркуватих і одиноких людей, особливо жінок)', gin джин (ялівцева горілка, використовується для приготування коктейлів); mackintosh тканина «макінтош» (водонепроникна); Merseyside Мерсісайд (Ліверпуль з навколишніми містами й поселеннями обабіч гирла р. Мерсі); muesly, (food) «мюзлі» (страва на сніданок із подрібнених пшеничних та інших зерен з сухими фруктами, горіхами, родзинками тощо); пуд pood measure of weight equal to 16,38 kg; рушник rushnyk, embroidered towel used in every folk rite in Ukraine; суботник subotnyk, voluntary unpaid work for the public good in the former USSR on days off (usually on Saturday).
The proper meaning of some other specific national units of lexicon can be rendered without preserving their original lingual form: moonlighter підробітник - той, хто підробляє у вільний час, переважно вечорами (від moonlight місячне світло); teller - 1. уповноважений, що агітує в день виборів на виборничій дільниці голосувати за кандидата своєї партії 2. обліковець голосів в англійському парламенті чи на будь-яких зборах; whip організатор партійної фракції в англійському парламенті.
The meaning of the above-given English and Ukrainian specifically biased national notions has not been conveyed by way of translation proper. They have simply been explained in the target language. Sometimes each or some of the components, making up the unit of specific national lexicon, can also be directly translated. And yet it may turn insufficient for faithful rendering of their sense. Then an explanation of the specific national notion is added: alphabet soup «азбучний суп» (суп з макаронів, що мають форму літер абетки); bilateral school «двобічна школа» (поєднує в собі два типи шкіл: напр., технічну й сучасну середню); the upper sixth старший шостий (випускинй шостий клас у середніх школах Великої Британії}. Many specific national notions, which have to be explicated in English, exist in Ukrainian as well: виховна година educational lesson (on good behaviour and morality of students in school); учнівські правила school regulations/rules of pupils' conduct/behaviour at school; класний журнал register/form register and record book; студком students' committee in Ukrainian higher educational establishments.
Very often, however, it may be difficult for a foreign student to guess the genuine meaning of a specific national unit of lexicon even from the seemingly transparent lexical meaning of its component parts. To avoid misunderstanding or ambiguity a further explication becomes inevitable: Athens of the North Північні Афіни (Едінбурґ); bipartite system двотипова система освіти Великої Британії (передбачає існування шкіл двох типів: класичних і середніх сучасних); cubbing полювання на лисиць (у якому беруть участь початкуючі мисливці й молоді собаки-гончаки); question time день запитань (у палаті громад від 14.45до 15.30 щодня від понеділка по четвер; відповіді дають прем'єр-міністр і міністри); privy purse «приватний гаманець» (асигнування з державного бюджету на утримання монарха Великої Британії).
Not infrequently national specific units of the source language lexicon belonging to the social and political domain can be recognized by the target language speakers due to the existence of partly similar notions in their mother tongue. These kinds of notion are available in English and in Ukrainian as well: new penny/shilling новий пенні/шилінг, the Order of Merit орден «За заслуги»', Scout leader вожатий бойскаутів] медаль «За бойові заслуги» the Medal for Combat Valour; «Орден Ярослава Мудрого» the Order of Yaroslav the Wise; «Орден княгині Ольги» the Order of St. Princess Olha; класний керівник class tutor/form master; табель успішності й поведінки pupil's report/record card; залік з англійської мови an English (language) test; складати залік з чогось to take a test in/ on some subject.
Despite the fact that the referential meaning of such and the like units of specific national lexicon may be either similar or at least closely related in English and Ukrainian (cf. class tutor/form master and класний керівник, залік test), they are still far from identical in their particular meaning. As a result, they can scarcely be substituted for each other in the target language, which points to the notions being nationally biased by their nature.
This is not so with many other notions which only at first sight seem to be different in English and Ukrainian but in reality they are quite similar and can usually be substituted for each other: box (in Christmas box) різдвяний подарунок (cf. новорічний подарунок); Department of Education and Science (Gr.Britain) міністерство освіти (і науки); Department of Industry міністерство промисловості; Department of Energy міністерство енергетики; extension course курси підвищення кваліфікації; extramural education заочне/вечірнє навчання; distant education дистантне навчання.
Apart from these there are a lot more units of lexicon which have generally the same referential meaning in both the languages in question. For example: pancake, financial year, pie and many others can be fully substituted at language level for Ukrainian млинець/ оладок, фінансовий рік, пиріг, etc. The difference between the notions in the two language is confined to some insignificant details. Thus, the financial year in Gr.Britain begins on April 1 and ends on March 31 the next year; pies are stuffed with minced steak-and-kid-ney meat or with onions/sweet mincemeat (mixture of currants, raisins, sugar, candied peeled apples, suet, etc.) and not with peas, beans, ground poppy seeds, soft cheese/curds or boiled rice as in this country. But: pop-corn кукурудзяні баранці is practically identical in English and Ukrainian.
The details are, naturally, essential for our students to know and should not be ignored, as they reflect the peculiarities of each nation's customs, traditions or its way of life. The notions like these, on the other hand, may be common in the English and Ukrainian or some other languages exclusively, which finds its explanation in the bilateral or multilateral influences to which all languages are constantly exposed as a result of cultural, political and trade contacts between their nations. Hence, the similarity if not identity in some meanings of a number of English and Ukrainian specific units of lexicon can not be treated as culturally/nationally biased, i.e., specific. Though it is not excluded that some of these notions may become specifically national in reference to certain languages of other than the European area.
A considerable number of nationally specific/culturally biased units of national lexicon have found their way to other languages in the lexical meaning and lingual form of the source language. It has happened as a result of borrowings and a long use of the source language units in the target language. Among the borrowings of the kind are some Ukrainian units of culturally biased/specific national lexicon as well. The most well-known of them are the mentioned already Cossack/Kozak, steppe and also borshch, Kyiv chicken, oblast, vulytsia, hryvnia. The English/American units of specific national lexicon, which have become internationalisms are many more. Amongst them are such well-known notions as бойкот, віскі, джентльмен, джинси, клуб, леді, мотель, нокаут, пікнік, пінчер, раунд, рекордсмен, ринґ, смокінґ, спікер, тариф, фут, ярд, джаз, рок-ен-рол, гот доґ.кока кола, чіпси, миля, Скотланд Ярд, etc.
As it may be observed, the units of culturally biased/specific national lexicon are rarely similar by their nature and meaning in either of the two languages. Consequently, there must also exist various approaches to expressing their meanings in the target language.
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