Translation of Old Texts as a Process of Secondary Archaisation

Topics: Translation, Literal translation, Linguistics Pages: 10 (3228 words) Published: August 18, 2010
JUSTYNA WALCZAK UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW POLAND To Professor Stanisław Dubisz with friendship and respect


In the introduction there are described terms connected with the issues of translation as an archaic stylization. The aim of study is to present creative techniques in archaizing translations of old texts. Methods and materials: author refers to contemporary translation theories, especially to G. Steiner’s conception of historical stylization and to the interpretative theory of polysystem provided by I. EvenZohar. The research is based on Polish translations of Shakespeare’s plays. The results indicate the

interpretative translation – archaisation – which serves double purpose as it not only displays culture and language of the old, but also meets the demands put on the modern literature. Conclusion: it exemplifies how the power of time and cultural distances distorts the perception of the original. Key words:, archaisation, archaising reflex, polysystem, transfer, Translation Studies.

1. Introduction Archaisation or archaic stylization is an artistic means employed in literary texts belonging to national literature. It involves introducing archaisms into a text – archaisms being elements that genetically belong to previous stages of the language development. Therefore, archaisms are exponents of archaisation that are related to the present linguistic norm and current transformations of the linguistic custom. Additionally, exponents of archaisation remain closely connected with the forms archaisation assumes and the functions it performs in a given text. (Dubisz 1991, 1992a, 1992b) In this article, exponents of archaisation are understood rather broadly, that is as all linguistic elements differentiating artistic texts from texts written in standard contemporary Polish, and intentionally serving as archaisms (Dubisz, 1991:31). Archaisms can be divided into two basic groups: proper and functional. Proper archaisms can be further separated into subgroups of real and intentional 1. Real archaisms are defined as linguistic and stylistic exponents that archaize a text on three levels: phonetic, grammatical and semantic. On the phonetic level there are graphical and phonetic archaisms, while grammatical archaisms comprise inflectional, syntactical and derivational exponents. Archaisms on the semantic level can be classified as lexical (word, significative, subjective, stylistic) or phraseological (expressions, statements, phrases). In the case of proper archaism, authors use authentic historical material. 1

Dubisz in his book Archaizacja w XX-wiecznej polskiej powieści historycznej o średniowieczu takes this division a step further. This article uses a more general version of this classification, which is more appropriate for the bilingual environment. Therefore, the division into Polish and foreign archaisms was omitted.


Intentional archaisms are created by using historical material taken from periods preceding the one described in the text, or by inventing neologisms. Following the former method creates neoarchaisms, and the latter – pseudoarchaisms. The second major group of stylization archaisms are functional exponents. Functional archaisation consists in embedding a literary text with linguistic elements that are different from the standard language (genetically, stylistically, territorially), but are chronologically identical. There are several types of functional archaisms: dialectisms, regionalisms, folclorisms, argotisms, colloquialisms, estheticisms (Dubisz, 1991:29). This article also includes an analysis of the manner of archaisation, that is the ratio of quantitative and qualitative relations between archaisation exponents and stylistic patterns. Such an analysis allows for differentiating between reconstructive, selective, substitutive and deformative archaisation. (Dubisz, 1991:33-35) 2. Aim of study Translating an...

References: 1. Burgundiusz z Pizy, (2006). Wstęp do przekładu komentarza św. Jana do Ewangelii według św.Jana. O poprawnym przekładaniu, tlt. by. W. Seńko, J. Domański, Wł. Olszaniec, Kęty: Wydawnictwo Marek Derewiecki, p. 146-161. 2. Bruni L., (2006), De translatione recta. O poprawnym przekładaniu, trn. by. W. Seńko, J. Domański, Wł. Olszaniec, Kęty: Wydawnictwo Marek Derewiecki, p. 162-211. 3. Dubisz St., (1991). Archaizacja w XX-wiecznej polskiej powieści historycznej o średniowieczu, Warszawa. 4. Dubisz St., (1992a). Archaizmy stylizacyjne – literacki obraz przeszłości językowej. Przegląd Humanistyczny 5, p. 133-141. 5. Dubisz St., (1992b). Archilekt stylizacyjny (na przykładzie dwudziestowiecznej polskiej powieści o średniowieczu), Polono-Slavica Varsoviensia. Prace z literatury polskiej i czeskiej na XI Międzynarodowy Kongres Slawistów w Bratysławie, ed. J. Pelc i A. Nowicka-Jeżowa, Wyd. UW, Warszawa, p. 131-139. 6. Steiner G., (1975). After Babel, Oxford: OUP. 7. Even-Zohar I., (1990a). The position of translated literature within the literary polysystem. Poetics Today 11:1, p. 45-51. 8. Even-Zohar I., (1990b). Laws of Literary Interference. Poetics Today 11:1, p. 53-72. 9. Even-Zohar I., (1990c), The 'Literary System '. Polysystem Studies [=Poetics Today 11:1 ], p. 27-4. 10. Even-Zohar I., (1997). Factors and Dependencies in Culture: A Revised Outline for Polysystem Culture Research. Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 24, 1, p. 15-34. 11. Toury G., (1995). Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 12. Słownik języka polskiego, ed. S. B. Linde, Warszawa 1812.
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