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582 10 2013 , 29 2014 . 785

University news
Saint Tikhons Teacher Gives Presentation at Purishev Readings

On April 13, 2018, the final plenary session of the 30th Purishev Readings International Academic Conference took place in the hall of the governing body of Moscow State University. At the conference, a teacher from the Faculty of Germanic Languages of Saint Tikhons Orthodox University of the Humanities, Vladimir Markov, gave a paper titled Russian Translations of Shakespeare: Comparative Analysis of Translation Models on the Basis of the Digital Platform VVV.

The platform VVV (Version Variation Visualization) was created by an international team of scholars and is designed to help investigate the problem of retranslations, that is, successive attempts at translating one and the same work of fiction. Objective research on this phenomenon often devolves into a subjective search for the best translation of all time, with the others rarely receiving any attention even from professional literary scholars. VVV proposes to use the variation of vocabulary in translations as the primary indicator of their quality. This provides an opportunity to assess translators influence on each other and their different approaches to a text.

As part of this project, which is supported by the Russian Fund for Fundamental Research, the group of researchers from Moscow State University and Saint Tikhons University are publishing translations of Shakespeare plays on the Web site To take the example of the seven translations of the comedy Loves Labour Lost uploaded to the site thus far, one can note several key patterns:

1.      Maximal variation is attained through the communicative model of translation (e.g. Chukovskys version, executed specially for the theatre). On the whole, the Russian translations aim to preserve the segmented structure of Shakespeares text as much as possible (syllabic quantity and overall meaning of each line), partly thanks to the fact that, to a large degree, the text of the comedy consists of short lines and contains frequent plays on words. Translators such as Kuzmin and Korneev took different approaches to the text, adopting various stances and individual models in order to create readable texts, amidst which there is little room for variation.

2.      When one compares the various segments, it turns out that those which are emotionally significant or aphoristic have the greatest variations (for example, the rhyming couplets at the ends of scenes), thus confirming the hypothesis of VVVs main developer T. Cheesman (Swansea University, Wales, Great Britain) through the use of Russian-language material.

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