|С. С. Кутателадзе||Russian
English in Writing
Советы эпизодическому переводчику
Пользуйтесь рекомендациями С. Гоулда
Вот некоторые из них.One objection, among many, to translating abstract nouns by abstract nouns is that in an uninflected language like English the result is usually an unpleasant pile-up of prepositional phrases.(Обратите внимание, что П. Халмош и C. Гоулд придерживаются несколько разных взглядов на пунктуацию. Именно, С. Гоулд всегда ставит запятую перед закрываемыми кавычками, а П. Халмош не всегда. Обе названные стратегии узуальны.)
One of the numerous effects of the absence, in Russian, of a definite article is the superfluity, to English ears, of participles of all kinds, active and passive, present and past, preceding and following the noun. Very often the sole purpose of the Russian participle is to refer unambiguously to some preceding word, a task ideally performed by the English word "the".... If the participle is an honest one, even by the standards of a language with a definite article, it will usually come after the noun in English.... Consequently it is wise, and at times almost mandatory, to omit certain Russian participles in translation.
The moral for the modern translator is to use "the" for the Russian этот in those places where the only purpose of этот is to refer unemphatically to some preceding word....
Phrases like "the elements of the set S" or "the points of the space W" are very common, but if the set, or space, group, field, etc. has been mentioned just before, it is more natural in English to say "the elements of S," "the points of W" etc.
The Russian phrase тот или иной does not mean "this or another" but rather "one or another," "some or other," and can usually be translated by various....the word "its" is tricky. Thus "its singular point" necessarily implies in English that the function has only one such point....(Поясним, что its означает "the one (ones) belonging to it." Стало быть, its singular point = the singular point of it. Разумеется, это не отменяет правила "every can co-occur with possessives" (R. Quirk et al.) и, скажем, как уже отмечалось, its every subalgebra = each of its subalgebras.)In English "respectively" is seldom inserted in the second parenthesis, and in general the word "respectively" is used far less often in English than in Russian.(Запомните, что математическая новация iff уже много лет встречается в хороших книгах, и у Вас есть известные основания при необходимости ее использовать. Излишнюю для нужд эпизодического перевода элегантность создает (необязательная) пунктуация ...if, and only if,...!)
The Russian word пункт means "item," "heading" or "subsection," usually numbered; параграф means "section"; the Russian word for "paragraph" is абзац.
When работа refers to a definite book or article, the translation "work" is sometimes unidiomatic; работа should then be translated by "book" or "article," depending on which of the two it actually is; but often it can be simply omitted.
It is a solecism in English to use the word "both," instead of "the two," in a statement which, usually because of the presence of some word like "together" or "equal," becomes nonsensical when applied to one person or thing. Thus "the numbers are both large" but "the two numbers are equal." There is no such limitation on the Russian word оба.
It is true that in English "may" is sometimes more elegant than "can"; for example, "we may assume that n is prime." But "can" is much safer, especially with such words as "not" and "only." "May not" is ambiguous in English....
In Russian there are many variants for "if and only if,"... but the phrase does not vary in English.The combination "since ..., then ..." (так как ..., то ...) is extremely common in mathematical Russian but totally inadmissible in English. When a signpost is needed in English ... to show where the principal clause begins, the best one is usually "it follows that," and if this phrase seems too ponderous, the translation can fall back on the stereotyped "we have."(Внимательный читатель заметит, что оборот since ..., then ... проклят уже в третий раз. Если бы это лекарство помогало...)One indispensable rule for all good translation is that the translator must read his work again at least twenty-four hours later. At the time of first making a translation the translator knows what his English sentences mean, since he has the Russian in front of him (or in his memory) to tell him, and this unfair advantage over the ultimate consumer cannot be sufficiently discounted in less than about twenty-four hours.... In the final rereading, at least twenty-four hours after first translating the passage, please check that all sentences are complete and all symbols are clear, and that no sentences, footnotes or other, have been unintentionally left out.