Head of Zeus have acquired World English rights to Polish author Jacek Dukaj’s prize-winning novel ICE (Lód) in a deal done with Magdalena. It is based on the short story of the same name by Jacek Dukaj, winner of the for the novel Lód (Ice) and for for short story Katedra (The Cathedral). In November Comma Press is going to publish an anthology of works dedicated to Joseph Conrad, among them – an essay written by Jacek Dukaj titled.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. An Overview of Translation Problems. The novel was supposed to be translated into English and published in However, the translation was not published, and only partial translation is available.

The fragments were translated by Stanley Bill.

Initially planned as a short story, the novel evolved into a page long book. The presentation has the following form: Next, translation problems are discussed.

He was one of the initiators of the Polish Studies on Cambridge. Dr Bill is interested in 20th century Polish culture and literature, and primarily in religion, secularisation and post-colonial theory. The universe The story of the book takes place in the early 20th century Europe. As a result of the Tunguska event, the Lute, mysterious ice creatures, start to expand westwards and freeze everything on their path. In consequence of their dkuaj, temperatures drastically fall and the whole continent remains in permanent winter.

The second most important change, apart from the climate, is that the Great War did not break out. In jacem, the Russian rule in Poland after the third partition has not ceased.

One more significant element of the reality involves alterations of some physical properties. A new material emerges — tungetyt, which is a frozen chemical material. The second new material is zimnazo — a form of iron which came into being as a result of the impact of the Ice on iron. What is more, if zimnazo is hit with a hammer, it gets colder. The presence of zimnazo contributes to the emergence of a completely new branch of industry in Siberia. The old political system, the old customs, lack of development in philosophy: An important part of the book dukxj philosophy.

Two-valued logic is present in the novel, without any intermediate steps between them. Apart from lood lack of changes in the political and philosophical reality, there are also no changes in the linguistic landscape of Poland. This element of reality preserved its pre-reform spelling rules and is highly influenced by Russian.

Synopsis The action starts on 14 July in Warsaw. The reader is immediately presented with an estranged representation of reality. Although it is the very middle of summer, the protagonist sleeps under a duvet and three blankets. On 14 Julyofficers of the Ministry of Winter come to visit him. They command Benedykt to embark a Transsiberian train to find his father, who is said to be able to communicate with Frosten.


The former represent a faction which supports the state of permanently frozen Russia. Liedniacy are also entrepreneurs from Siberia, who receive most of their profit from the tungetyt industry. The latter are a faction which fights to stop the Ice.

They are supported by the Tsar. Yet another faction in the novel is a sect led by Rasputin. They are followers of St. Marcyn who llod the Ice. Language — problems with translation The following part of the presentation is devoted to the description of some features of linguistic reality in the novel and general remarks regarding Polish.

First of all, the Polish syntax is said to be very free, due to the abundance of morphemes, however, there are several rules which need to be followed.

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The general rule is that SVO-order is to be followed. First of all, the modifier must be near the noun which it modifies. Modifiers are mainly used attributively. However, if modifiers define a characteristic feature, they are to be used predicatively. If the subject and the object have the same form in the nominative and in the accusative, the subject must precede the object. Enclitics non-accentuated words are not to be placed in the initial or in the final position of the sentence.

Russian had a major impact on the language due to Russian becoming the state language at the times of partitions. The borrowings very rarely included lexical items as such. Idiomatic phrases were much more often borrowed due to their resemblance.

This was frequently an unconscious process. Yet another outstanding feature of this variety of Polish is the past perfect tense, which nowadays is non-existent. To sum up, the problem in question is translating archaisms or adapting a certain translation technique to recreate the feeling of oddness or remoteness in the novel.

The lexis, syntax, grammar, and spelling create a sense of remoteness of the text. Therefore, a complete outcome of the translation should be a TT, which would provoke the same sense of remoteness as the ST.

The Cathedral (Dukaj short story) | Revolvy

However, there are two constraints to the outcome. First of all, the target language might not have existed at the time of production of the work. Furthermore, if the translator decides to translate a text from 19th century, there is not certain which period kacek be the equivalent period from TL. If archaisms are used too extremely in a TT, it may become incomprehensible.

As a result, most translators tend to stylise language. The first strategy is neutralisation, which means that a non-standard variety of ST is rendered as a standard variety in TT. The next strategy is lexicalisation, which allows the translator to reproduce a language variety by lexical items. There are four substrategies: The next strategy is a partial translation, which means that foreign elements in the ST are not translated in the TT. The next strategy is transliteration, which attempts to reproduce characteristic features of a language, for example, the Cyrillic alphabet into a Latin alphabet with the Polish grapheme-to-phoneme relation.

Another strategy is speech defect, which apart from reproducing problems with the actual speech may also evoke the effect of being a language variety.


The next strategy pertains to relativisation. The next strategy is creating an artificial variety. This is a variety of language, which does not exist at all in the TL.

Colloqualisation involves not only non-standard lexis, but also pronunciation and word form. Finally, rusticalisation embraces the use of a regional variety in all aspects of language.

It is divided into four elements: Spelling is the first element to be analysed. Spelling All spelling examples in the ST represent dukai non-standard variety of modern rules of spelling in Polish. This part of analysis embraces not only spelling per se, but non-standard morphemes as well. As a matter of fact, it is devoted to everything that is limited to a single word. In example [2a] not only is the non-standard spelling used, but lld an archaic lexical item.

The next dkuaj examples of non-standard spelling involve, apart from the —ja ending, an obsolete bound morpheme. This example is also du,aj in the syntax section. Dukah language in translation is fairly standard, apart from the elliptic structure. The following example presents the spelling of a borrowing.

The standard at the time was to spell borrowings with -gie- rather than -ge. There are more examples where non-standard item is rendered as dukai standard item: Syntax The syntax in the analysis does not only concern the unusual word order, but the placement of adjectives in predicative or attributive.

The adjective in sentence [9a] is used predicatively, whereas in [9b] it is attributive. However, the syntax is nevertheless non-standard, thus it achieves the same effect as the ST. There are other examples of the predicative placement of the adjective in Polish. In this case the translator failed to reproduce any effect. The rendered sentence can be ld perceived as a standard variety of English.

There are other examples of failure to either compensate or lor anything to preserve the remoteness. The following excerpts again flout the SVO word order. The standard way variety would be, for instance, He must have risen at dawn because he has lectures on Monday. Nevertheless, author opted for a non-standard syntax. The following example involves the use of a non-existent tense in Polish — the past perfect. Although it was attested in the early 20th century, nowadays it is out of use.

Due to the fact that past perfect exists in English, the translator had no other choice but to translate it word-for-word. However, a feeling of oddness is preserved due to a lexical choice. Thus, the word conveys the archaic load of the sentence.

Similarly to previous examples, the predicative use of the adjective is not preserved in the TT, nor is something done to estrange the construction. There are other examples of this compensation technique.