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Author: Elena Mazzola
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Candidate of Philological Sciences, expert in Linguistics, Language teaching, Translation theory and practice, Literary studies, Head of the Centre of European Culture “Dante” (Kharkiv, Ukraine).

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For citation:

Mazzola E. Translation versus Commentary. Dostoevsky and World Culture. 2019. № 1(5). Pp. 127-156.

Issue: 2019 № 1(5)
Department: DOSTOEVSKY: TRANSLATION PROBLEMS
Pages: 127-156
DOI: 10.22455/2619-0311-2019-1-127-156
UDK: 82.0 + 81’25
BBK: 84(0) + 84 (2) + 81(18)
Keywords: F. Dostoevsky, Notes from underground, translation, Italian translation, commentaries, translation experience, title.

Abstract: This article is a theoretical reflection over the practical experience of translating into Italian the Notes from underground by F.M. Dostoyevsky. The translator is also the author of this article. The need for a new translation was based on the fact that having compared different available Italian translations, while reading the text in group following the principles and techniques of analysis of the reading method “from subject to subject”, it became obvious that some important and very exact words of the author had been translated carelessly. Furthermore, it became evident that sometimes Italian translations are so different from one another that it seems readers are coping with absolutely different texts. As the chosen reading method allows entering the depth of the text and listening to what is told by the author himself, the scale of the problems connected with translation became obvious: inexact translation choices influence first of all the level of the text the author himself speaks. In the article are given and analyzed several examples of the kind of problems the translator had to solve, and it is shown that when the translator precisely understands the problem he is due to face relatively to the meaning that the author put in the text, the solution of the problem is often possible without having to use commentaries. The examples deal with the problem of translating the title, with how to translate more or less hidden bible quotes and with the problem of deciding whether to translate or simply transliterate the proper names of the main heroes. It is supported the thesis that the translator should work to find translation strategies that aim at translating precisely the author’s word without revealing what the author has intentionally decided not to say in an explicit way.

 

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