The notion of ‘norms’ in reference to translation is considered to have been first introduced by the Israeli scholar Gideon Toury in the late 1970s.275 This term refers to regularities of translation behavior within a specific sociocultural situation.276

Before the 1970s, translations were evaluated mostly in their comparison with the source text. Toury’s works have shifted attention away from the relationship between individual source and target texts and towards the relationship which exists among the target texts themselves in the context of literary production.

Toury’s concept consists of three levels of speaking about a text: competence, normsand performance.Competence is the level of description which allows theorists to list the inventory of options that are available to translators in a given context, that is, a description of what means a translator can use to achieve a goal. To make a good end-text, a translator must be competent in the language reserves s/he can select from. Performance concerns the subset of options the translator actually selects in translation, i. e., what is in fact employed by a translator and how it is employed. Norms are options that translators in a given socio-historical context select on a regular basis, that is, what is typical to use in a particular context.

A number of scholars have attempted to explore some of the theoretical aspects of the notion of norms. Many articles on translation norms have been published in Target, the international journal edited by Toury and published since 1989 by John Benjamins.

In their investigation, the theorists came to distinguish between norms and conventions. Norms are binding, and obligatory, whereas conventions only express preferences.

Norms are divided into constitutive and regulatory. Constitutive norms concern what is or is not accepted as translation. For example, poetry translation does not admit word-for-word translation. Regulatory norms concern what kind of equivalence a translator opts for or achieves. For instance, in poetry translation the functional level of equivalence is obligatory, but the lexical and grammatical similarity of the source and target texts is hardly achieved at all.

Further, Chesterman grouped the norms into professional and expectancy norms.277 Professional norms emerge from competent professional behavior and govern the accepted methods and strategies of the translation process. They are sub-divided into three major types:

· Accountability norms, which involve ethics and call for professional standards of integrity and thoroughness;

· Communication norms, which are social and emphasize the role of the translator as a communication expert;

· Relation norms, which are linguistic and require the translator to establish and maintain an appropriate relation between source and target texts.

Expectancy norms are established by the translation receivers’ expectations of what a translation should be like. In attempting to conform to the expectancy norms operating in a given community, a translator will simultaneously be conforming to the professional norms of that community.

V. Komissarov described translation norms from a linguistic point of view.278 He classified the norms into translation equivalence norms, genre and style norms, language norms, pragmatic norms, and conventional norms.

Translation equivalence norms require as nearly as possible a common sense of the source and target text. When the sense in the target text is transgressed, equivalence norms are completely broken, and the translation is considered unsatisfactory. If a translation is made at a low level of equivalence, the norms are relatively broken, and the translation is regarded as acceptable.

Genre and style norms presuppose the correct selection of a text’s predominant function and the preservation of stylistic peculiarities in translation. For example, when translating a scientific or technical text, a translator keeps in mind that the informative, but not expressive function, must prevail, which makes him reduce the expressiveness of the Russian science text as compared with its English original.

Language norms mean the correct usage of language in speech (errorless combinability, agreement of words, selection of words, etc.) It is common knowledge that the norms of the source and target language can be different, and a fledging translator, ‘hypnotized’ by the source language norms, sometimes violates the natural flow of the target language text. For example, one text about cowboys’ life included the following sentence: …the exciting chases on horseback with guns blazing, the handsome guitar-strumming cowboys around bonfires and the lovely saloon ladies all made exciting viewing. A student translator did not think much about the grammar links and meanings of some words and his translation was *захватывающие погони на лошадях со стреляющими пистолетами, красивые ковбои, играющие на гитарах, сидя у костра, милые леди салонов – все это приводило в восхищение. This translation is, no doubt, far from exciting.

Pragmatic norms require that a translator realize, first and foremost, the pragmatic purpose of the text; the author’s intent must be very close to the communicative effect on the translation receptor. Sometimes the fulfillment of the pragmatic aim may transgress other translation norms, a language norm in particular. A short by John Lennon and its translation by the graduates of the English department (FESU) Maria Boiko and Marianna Karp can illustrate the point. Lennon’s short continues a series of literary parodies on absurd literature, so it is based on agrammatical forms, puns, and nuisance language coinages, which, nevertheless, produce a definite impact on the reader. How this author’s intent is reflected in translation can be seen in comparing the source and the target texts:

Nicely Nicely Clive To Clive Barrow it was just an ordinary day nothing unusual or starnge about it, everything quite navel, nothing outstanley, just another day but to Roger it was somthing special, a day amongst days … a red lettuce day … because Roger was getting married and as he dressed that morning he thought about the gay batchelor soups he’d had with all his pals. And Clive said nothing. To Roger everything was different, wasn’t this the day his Mother had told him about, in his best suit and all that, grimming and shakeing hands, people tying boots and ricebudda on his car. To have and to harm … till death duty part … he knew it all off by hertz. Clive Barrow seemed oblivious. Roger could visualise Anne in her flowing weddy drag, being wheeled up the aisle, smiling a blessing.He had butterflied in his stomarce as he fastened his bough tie and brushed his hairs. “I hope I’m doing the right thing” he thought looking in the mirror, “Am I good enough for her?” Roger need not have worried because he was “Should I have flowers all round the spokes” said Anne polishing her foot rest. “Or should I keep it syble?” she continued looking down on her grain haired Mother. “Does it really matter?” repaid her Mother wearily wiping her sign. “He won’t be looking at your spokes anyway.” Anne smiled the smile of someone who’s seen a few laughs. Then luckily Annes father came home from sea and cancelled the husband. Очень очень Клайв Для Клайва Бэрроу это был всего лишь день как день ничего страмного или нериличного так ничего себе средненький денек ничего из наряда вон выходящево просто еще один день но для Роджера это было что-то особенное день из дней … крысный день календаря… потому что это был день его свадьбы и одеваясь утром он думал о веселых холостяцких ужинах съеденных со своими друзьями… А Клайв не сказал ничего. Для Роджера все было по-другому; ни об этом ли дне твердила ему Матушка – в лучшем костюме и все такое, скаля зубы и пожимая руки, люди зашныривают ботинки и засыпают на ходу рисом. Губить и обижать… пока смерть не размочит нас… он знал все это на зубок. А Клайву Бэрроу, казалось, и дела не было. Роджер воображал, как Анна расточая блаженные улыбки катится к нему по проходу в своем праздно разуквашенном свадебном кресле. Когда он завязал галстук бабушкой и рсчесал свои волосинки у него засосало под вилочкой. «Надеюсь, я поступаю правильно», помыслил он, зря в зеркало. «Достоин ли я ее?» зря беспокоился Роджер, ибо он был «стоит ли мне украшать спицы цветами» сказала Анна, полировавшая подставочку для ног «или обставить все как съесть.» продолжала она, глядя сверху вниз на свою сеновласую Матушку. «А какая в сущности разница?» отплатила ей Матушка, устало выпирая нос. «Все равно он и смотреть не станет на твои спицы» Анна улыбнулась улубкой человека, не мало порыдавшего на своем веку. Потом, к счастью, навернулся домой с морей отец Анны и отменил мужа.

Сonventional norms are the translation requirements in a certain historical context. The classicist norms of translation required an ‘ideal’ translation with embellishments and decorations. In the period of sentimentalism, a thread of the translator’s life experience as well as his feelings was reflected in translation. These conventions led to free translations. The convention norms to date regard the translation as a substitute of the original text, which requires the maximal similarity of the source and target texts.

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