TRANSLATING RELIGIOUS POETRY BY A NON-NATIVE – A TRANSLATOR’S PERSPECTIVE (BASED ON THE TRANSLATION OF THE “AKATHIST HYMN TO OUR LADY IN HOLM ICON GLORIFIED” FROM UKRAINIAN INTO ENGLISH)

  • Nataliia Dobzhanska-Knight Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University
Keywords: translating poetry by a non-speaker, religious hymns, ranslation from Ukrainian into English, challenges of translating religious poetry, tools facilitating translation, post-translation editing, Orthodox Christian texts

Abstract

The article deals with the peculiarities of translation of an Orthodox Christian poetic akathist prayer from Ukrainian into English by a native speaker of Ukrainian. The author analyses stylistic features of this type of religious discourse as well as processes involved in the translation work. The article dwells on the challenges and facilitating factors of translation. The challenges include a six-rhyme structure combined with a relatively poor selection of rhyming options, the syllable count, a system of word and sentence stresses different from Ukrainian, as well as a limited choice of vocabulary due to the peculiarities of style. The factors which facilitate the translation are also related to the stylistic features of akathist prayers which allow inversions and the use of alternative words and imagery as long as they are in sync with the style and the mood of the Orthodox hymn. The article shows which tools and procedures contribute to a successful result, in particular, rhyming dictionaries and thesauri. To secure the success of a translation performed by a non-native speaker of English, approval of the author and post-translation proofreading by a native speaker is indispensable, which includes both a clergyperson and a professional copyeditor. Consideration of all these factors will contribute to the quality of the translation.

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Published
2018-11-22