Translation problems of English conversational vocabulary in the Thomas Hardy’s novel «Tess of the d’Urbervilles»

There are some peculiarities of the writers’ expression which gives the tone of the work. Such kind of literary color of tragedy in the work «Tess of the D’Urbervilles» (1891) in which there is an honest woman, who goes the length in pursuit of happiness, dies on shambles; the hero «Judo Invisible» (1896) – the sacrifice of the bourgeoisie morality; the hero «Meroe Caster Bridge» (1886) who commits suicide.

The character of Thomas Hardy fights with different situations like – not «kindness», but also «evilness» – with various powers, however, he is found himself in the society of conflict – with his willpower of the third person, in which he always loses in the fight. The investigation on the term «translation» of English conversational lexis into Russian should be processed in terms of syntactic construction and more wider contexts, in which such kind of lexis might be figured. It is necessary to compare the conversational block of lexis on the material of two languages: English and Russian, besides, the compared elements of TL and appropriate for the literary translation.

The description of the peculiarities of English conversation al lexis in the literary text and its translation into Russian allows achieving the tasks of the investigation, which covers the comparative classification of the style of English and Russian works and also the characteristics of the language or the style of the literary work in any composition. Moreover, it is essential to demark the conversational style and ordinary style and establish this demarcate, to reveal the meaning of the notions such as «vernacular» and «argo» and their difference in the comparable languages, to study lexical and grammatical features of English and Russian conversational speech in a comparative way and to define methods and techniques of translation of English conversational speech into Russian in the context of literary – feature works [1-3].

The translation of the conversational lexis is difficult because the same lexemes of register in different academic dictionaries (Robert, Larousse, Hachette), which leads to different stylistic signs «fam.» (conversational), «pop.» (vernacular), «arg.» (argotic), which certificates fuzziness of the demarcate between mentioned speech lexemes.

In order to prove the statements we deliver some examples from the novel «Tess of the D’Urbervilles» by Thomas Hardy in comparison with its Russian translation «Тэсс из рода д’Эрбервиллей».

There are some techniques of translation according the languages such as English and Russian, because they are both related to the family group of fusional languages. However, approaching deeply into its subcategories, there are synthetic and ana-

For example:

‘And shall we ever come into our own again?’

‘Ah – that I can’t tell!’ [5].

  • А вернется ли к вам когда – нибудь наша собственность?
  • Ну, этого я не могу сказать [6].

lytic types of languages to which English belongs synthetic and Russian to analytic language categories. So, when we translate and focus on the work we should pay attention to its origin whether there is any relationship between the two languages.

Sometimes, translators come across some relevant issues in the process of translation. Such issues can be different registers and discourses. Because, there a lot of dialects and different language usage among people. In order to define what strategies to

According to the context and the intention of the author, there is an interrogative sentence which means «А вернется ли к вам когда – нибудь наша собственность». The answer, which is a ccoonnvveerrssaa-tional speech pattern, «Ah–that I can’t tell!» plays an important role in the dialogue. Because, the author uses this phrase in order to deliver the main meaning of the context and dialogue.

For example:

use we must render the language and translational methods. Those methods can be really helpful during the translation. Here are the examples below which can be analyzed in terms of the lexis, conversational speech acts.

‘But you’ll turn back and have a quart of beer wi’ me on the strength o’t, Pa’son Tringham? [5].

  • А не согласитесь ли вы, сэр, повернуть по этому случаю назад и распить со мною кружку пива? [6].

For example:

Phase The First The Maiden

Good night t’ye,’ said the man with the basket.

Good night, Sir John,’ said the parson [5].

Фаза первая Девушка

Добрый вечер, – сказал человек с корзиной.

Добрый вечер, сэр Джон, – отозвался священник [6].

There are a lot of reasons to use some methods of translation such as omission or substitution. As the English likes making every sentence short, there is also used a target word «сэр» for the original «Pa’son Tringham». There is also an omission in the translation. It is the original «on the strength o’t» which is a conversational speech pattern as well. The preposition «wi’»gives the point that in

There is used a particular type of conversational speech of the local people which is not described in the translation. The translator has used a general meaning in the form of dialogue. Another type of translation can be seen in the word «said», which is rendered by the word «отозвался». This translation is adequate for conversational speech usage and its translation.

the Modern English «with» and its Russian translation is «со мною». It is important for translators to understand the original and decode the authors’ intention in a right way. Here, the translator was able to cope with this problem.

For example:

For example:

‘Never heard it before.’

‘Well it’s true. Throw up your

  • Никогда об этом не слыхивал, сэр.

‘Boy, take up that! I want ‘ee to go on an errand for me.’ [5].

  • А ну парень возьми эту корзину! Я хочу дать тебе поручение [6].

chin a moment, so that I may catch the profile of your face better.’ [5].

  • Однако это так. Приподнимите – ка голову, чтобы я мог получше разглядеть ваш профиль [6].

Another example is the word «‘ee» which means

in the original «thee» and in Modern English «you». Such kind of conversational utterances are also used in the conversational speeches. So, there is a transla-

We can see that there is omitted a definite type of pronouns which refers to «I». Because, the sentence «Never heard it before» means that «I never heard it before» as its Russian equivalent is «ННии-tion that «Я хочу дать тебе поручение» given for the original «I want ‘ee to go on an errand for me» is a suitable variant for the translation.

For example: когда об этом не слыхивал». Another addition is that there is an equivalent for the word «well» which means «Однако». The use of colloquial expression «Throw up your chin a moment» can be applied in the conversational speech in the English works in order to express a part of the local everyday life.

Now, sir, begging your pardon; we met last market– day on this road about this time [5].

Прошу прощения, сэр, в прошлый базарный день мы с вами встретились в это же время на этой же дороге [6].

One of the most used phrases in English is to ask an apologize or a permit and request. In order to express such kind of feeling they always use the following expressions: begging your pardon! – which means in Russian «Прошу прощения!».

However, there is another example for the conversational speech such as «last market–day» in the original, and its translation is «прошлый базарный дддееннньь». It belongs to the everyday lllaann-guage use or word use in English. It is quite good to translate word for word if we have such kind of expression.

Besides, it is worth mentioning that translation should be quite adequate and appropriate to the original. From the aspect of the conversational speech in literature, we could render that dialogues and conversation topic can be different. Also, the style of the speech depends on the usage of the relevant speech.

Scientifically, language discourses can be divided into the following types:

  • literary written speech;
  • literary oral speech;
  • conversational written form;
  • conversational oral form;
  • colloquial oral speech;
  • colloquial written speech [2, 23].

In general, our research is related to the conversational written speech acts, which is used in the English language. However, there are also other example which denote other forms of speech such as colloquial written and oral forms. They have been used in the original in order to support the dialogues. The Russian translation refers to the both adequate and idiomatic speech utterance in the process of translation.

According to the above mentioned examples, we could investigate some major factors of translation. Because, there are a lot of aspects to linguistic point of view. Translation must be rendered in regard with translators’ knowledge. In our case, translator should know the Old and Modern English language usages. Besides, the local language usage can be different geographically, so translator must know where and what is for what in the original.

So, any literary work consists of some factors. Our work includes special conversational word combinations, dialects, sometimes, accents in the speech of characters.

As a consequence of the work, we found some important aspects. They are really useful in order to cope with some special conversational speech acts. They may have a great effect on translation quality. There are the following points of highlighting social expressive lexis in the process of translation:

  • the basic meaning of the word of the literary language, from which translators render;
  • to use pragmatic components of giving the right meaning in the translation, which means to be pragmatic during the translation;
  • to pay attention to the denotative meaning of the word;
  • provide with ideational expressiveness of the equivalent;

In conclusion, the translator must provide with literary tone while he is translating the original. Because the reader gets what he reads from the translated variant.



  1. Partridge E. Slang To – Day and Yesterday. – London, 1960. – 87 p.
  2. Rabenko T.G. Literarurnaya razgovornaya rech y ee svoyobraziye. – Kemerovo, 1997. – 123 s.
  3. Vengerova Z.A. Hardy Thomas // Encyclopedic dictionary. – S.Peterburg, 1890–1907. – 234 s.
  4. Gardy Т. Тess iz roda d’Urbervilley. – М., 1987. – P. 592.
Magazine: KazNU BULLETIN
Year: 2017
City: Almaty
Category: Philology