D) Sentence types

A very common transformation is the replacement of a simple sentence by a complex one and visa versa. Thus, while translating from English into Russian it often becomes necessary to render English structures with non-finite verbal forms by means of subordinate clauses, thus turning a simple sentence into complex, as, for instance:

I want you to speak English - Я хочу, чтобы Вы говорили по-английски.

I heard my mother go out and close the door (Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye) - Я услыхал, как мама вышла из комнаты и закрыла двери.

Here is a book for you to read - Вот книга, которую Вы должны прочитать.

The General's a good man to keep away from (S.Heym. The Crusaders) - Генерал, конечно, неплохой человек, но лучше от него держаться подальше.

A subtype of this transformation is known as unification, or, conversely, division of sentences in translation, that is, a replacement of two simple sentences by one complex or compound and visa versa; cf.:

Thousands of Algerians tonight fled from the dead city of Orleansville after a 12-second earthquake had ripped through central Algeria, killing an estimated 1.100 people. (Daily Worker)

This is a typical "lead", that is, the first sentence (and the first paragraph) of a news item which contains the bulk of the information the details of which are given below in the main text of the report (See the lectures on style). Such a device is alien to Russian newspaper articles, which makes it necessary to divide the English sentence into two or more Russian sentences, as below:

Сегодня ночью в центральных районах Алжира произошло землетрясение, длившееся двенадцать секунд. Число жертв, по предварительным подсчетам, составляет 1100 человек. Тысячи жителей бежали из полностью разрушенного города Орлеанвилля. (Note also a change in the order of sentences).

More rarely, unification of two or more sentences into one complex or compound sentence takes place, as in the following case:

The only thing that worried me was our front door. It creaks like a bastard (Sallinger, The Catcher in the Rye) - Одно меня беспокоило - наша парадная дверь скрипит как оголтелая.

(e) Types of syntactic relations

Both English and Russian have such types of syntactic relations as co-ordination and subordination. However, the former is more characteristic of spoken Russian; hence it is often necessary or desirable to replace subordination of sentences by co-ordination while translating from English into Russian; cf.:

...He had a new father whose picture was enclosed... (H. Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird)-У него новый папа -это он снят на карточке.


So I started walking way over east, where the pretty cheap restaurant are, because I didn't want to spend a lot of dough. (Salinger, the Catcher in the Rye) - Я пошёл к восточным кварталам, где были дешёвые рестораны: не хотелось тратить много денег.

From a purely, grammatical point of view this transformation is optional; however, taking into account what was said concerning the relative frequency of grammatical forms (see the preceding lecture), such transformations are necessary if we want our translation to sound "natural".

Likewise, both English and Russian make use of syndetic and asyndetic co-ordinate structures, but their relative frequencies differ: Russian, especially spoken Russian, prefers asyndetic co-ordination in multi-member structures where English often employs the syndetic type, as, for instance:

All I have in it is two dresses and my moccasins and my underwear and socks and some other things. (J. Salinger) В нем только два платья, туфли, белье, носки и всякие мелочи,

In the original, the conjunction and is used four times while in the Russian translation it appears only once, before the last constituent, the rest being joined asyndetically.

Cf.: also Своё мастерство демонстрировали экипажи судов, лётчики, парашютисты. Masterly performance was displayed by boat crews, airmen and paratroopers.

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