Peeping through the Keyhole of The Door

(English Translations of Magda Szabó Az ajtó Comparative Study)

Written by: Ágota Szilvási

Consultant: Ildikó Hortobágyi Ph.D.

University of Pannonia Institute of English and American Studies April, 2009


Table of content

Table of content................................................................................................................. 2 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................ 4 Part I. Background knowledge .......................................................................................... 5 1. The novel ............................................................................................................... 5 2. Magda Szabó, the writer ....................................................................................... 7 3. Stefan Draughon, the American translator ............................................................ 8 4. Len Rix, the translator in Britain .......................................................................... 9 5. Structure and language in The Door ................................................................... 11 6. Problem-setting ................................................................................................... 11 7. Aims and hypothesis ........................................................................................... 12 8. Construction of the thesis .................................................................................... 13 9. Limits .................................................................................................................. 14 Part II. Theoretical background...................................................................................... 15 1. ‗Clothing‘ as a metaphor of translation ............................................................... 15 2. Translation........................................................................................................... 16 2.1. Translation and Culture ............................................................................... 18 2.2 Translation and Metaphor ........................................................................... 20 3. The System of Transfer Operations .................................................................... 23 3.1 Lexical Transfer Operations ........................................................................ 24 3.2. Grammatical Transfer Operations ............................................................... 25 Part III. Case studies of selection criteria ...................................................................... 26 1. Lexical Transfer Operations ................................................................................ 26 1.1 Narrowing of meaning (differentiation and specification).......................... 27 1.2 Broadening of meaning (generalisation ) .................................................... 27 1.3 Contraction of meaning ............................................................................... 33 1.4 Distribution of meaning .............................................................................. 34 1.5 Omission of meaning .................................................................................. 36 1.6 Addition of meaning ................................................................................... 36 1.7 Antonymous translation .............................................................................. 39 1.8 Total transformation .................................................................................... 40 2. Grammatical transfer operation........................................................................... 43 2.1 Grammatical specifications ......................................................................... 44 2.2 Grammatical division .................................................................................. 45 2.3 Grammatical contraction ............................................................................. 47 2.4 Grammatical addition .................................................................................. 48 2.5 Grammatical transpositions......................................................................... 49 2.6 Grammatical replacement ........................................................................... 51 3. Transferring poetic language and metaphors ...................................................... 54 4. Some problematic transfer .................................................................................. 58 CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................... 63 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................................................................................... 65


―Translations of Authors from one language to another, are like old garments turn‘d into new fashions; in which though the stuffe be still the same, yet the die and trimming are altered, and in the making, here something added, there something cut away.‖ – Henry Rider, in the preface of his 1638 translation of Horace



In the past five decades a number of researchers have sought to determine the processes performed by translators in the course of translation. They all agree that translation is a highly complicated sequence of actions. Some claim that the process of translation is a question of analysis and synthesis or decoding and encoding, and the translation is a semantic representation taking language no consideration. Empirical studies of target texts reveal remarkable differences according to the different source languages. Consequently, language influences the process of translation. It is worth examining how linguistic differences can be detected in case of translating a text from one language into another by two different translators. My dissertation is an experimental study on Magda Szabó‘s novel, Az ajtó and the English translations performed by Stefan Draughon in New York in 1994 and by Len Rix in London in 2005. This thesis intends to determine the extent to which these translations differ from each other and from the original Hungarian text. We cannot trace back the decision-making process they performed nor we can look into their mind but we can draw conclusions from comparison the source text to the target texts. The analysis includes a comparison focusing on the translation of metaphors and other cultural categories in target texts. I study how the different background of translators impact on their newly formulated texts. I would like to find the answer to the question whether the translators can render cultural and linguistic differences with the literal meaning in preserving the rhythm of the writing. When translating Hungarian literature into English we cannot find equivalent idioms existing both in Hungarian and English all the time. Could the translators reconstruct the rhythm and dynamic style of the source language?


Part I. Background knowledge
1. The novel1
The novel chosen for analysis in this dissertation is Magda Szabó‘s Az ajtó2 (The Door) had been finished years before it was finally published in 1987 and was considered masterpiece. Nevertheless it took time for the novel to get its value into the common consciousness. With her now the best-known novel, Az ajtó (La Porte in French, translated by Chantal Philippe), Magda Szabó won the Femina Étranger Prize in France in 2003. Perhaps that success motivated the Harvill-Secker Publishing House to ask Len Rix to translate the novel (The Door) into English in 2005, although its American translation by Stefan Draughon had been published in New York in 1994. Not only had the plot and the language attracted my attention to that thrilling and tensed atmosphere book but the fact that it is one of those rare contemporary pieces of literature that had been translated into English twice in the same period of time. The French recognition raised the writer and her charlady, Emerence‘s narrative to the legitimate literary pieces. In 2006, in the Hungarian version of Big Read (A Nagy Könyv) Magda Szabó was the only living writer who had been voted among the first twelve places, and three of her books were among the most popular 100 books, including Az ajtó. The Door in the title of the book has a metaphoric meaning. On the one hand it locks a secret which is only revealed for the writer-narrator that Emerence, the writer‘s housekeeper, keeps nine cats in her immaculate home. On the other hand, the door is an allegory of love and trust—as the keys to the door—the old woman, Emerence offered
1,en CompLex Magazin XIII. évfolyam 4. szám, 2006. 2 Szabó, Magda, Az ajtó, Európa, 2008.

-6the narrator who decided to go against the promise she made because she was concerned for Emerence‘s health. The writer is haunted by her memories. The book is a deep testimony and a full confession about all the circumstances of Emerence‘s ―killing‖, as the narrator says. She looks back on her younger life describing her relationship with Emerence from the first moment they met, going deep down in psychological analysis. The novel depicts the micro-society before, during and post World War II., which can cope with every situation in all circumstances and naturally helps everyone regardless of national status. It narrates human fates from the greengrocer‘s to the ironer‘s, lines up death, ungratefulness, defiance, passion, love and affection. There are so many implicit, unspoken and unuttered things. Bitter irony and moral heart-searching characterise Szabó‘s very fine work, The Door. It is a psychological novel though the horror of the 20th century‘s Hungary appears in a way; enormous poverty, World War II, the period of personality cult, communism and revolution in 1956. Emerence, the charlady, is an intelligent but illiterate and common woman who hates all authority but is high in virtue. The tragic losses in her life drove her to help anybody unflaggingly who is in need, who deserves it or not — regardless rank, nation, social class and political views. The unexcelled portray of the psyche and the relationship depicted are what make the book so popular in Hungary and in many other countries. In 2005 the British translation of The Door gained success among critics. Let us quote only one book review written by Allan Massie for The Scotsman: ―No brief summary can do justice to the intelligence and moral complexity of this novel. I picked it up without expectation or enthusiasm. I read it with gathering intensity, and a swelling admiration. I finished it, and straightaway started to read it again. It is unusual, original, and utterly compelling.‖3


Massie, Allen, Graft and craft, The Scotsman, November 19, 2005.



Magda Szabó, the writer
Magda Szabó (1917 - 2007) was acknowledged as one of the most compelling and

alluring writers of modern Hungarian literature. Besides her talented and wittily written novels she wrote poems, essays, critics and studies. Her novels are read in more than 40 countries, in more than 30 languages insomuch so she is Hungary's most translated writer. Magda Szabó was born in an old Protestant family in Debrecen, in eastern Hungary. She was brought up in this capital city of Calvinism, graduated from University of Debrecen as a Latin-Hungarian teacher and then earned the degree of Ph.D. in Philosophy. She was stigmatized through the Stalin regime because of her ancestry. During this nine-year-period of forced silence she began to write fictions and novels.

The Door is an autobiographical writing about the time when she, all of a sudden, returned into political favour. She had attracted more and more attention so she could not cope with her domestic duties anymore. She needed somebody to help out her in Budapest. In this way came dame Mariska in the picture as Magda Szabó‘s housekeeper after whom she depicted Emerence‘s portrait in her novel, Az ajtó. So the plot is based on a real-life experience. We are given an insight in the heroine, Mariska-Emerence‘s life-story in this heart-searching writing. Magda Szabó‘s talent is to travel around universal human themes and modern political realities through delicately observed portraits of private life.



Stefan Draughon, the American translator4
The American translator is a painter and writer with Hungarian roots, Margaret

Stefan Draughon, named Stefan after her father, József Stefan. She graduated in Fine Arts in Painting and holds a degree of Ph.D. in Psychology from New York University. She developed and designed courses on issues in ‗Art and Psychology‘. Some of her drawings illustrate the American edition of The Door.

What could drive Draughon to translate a book at all, although, she is not a professional translator? Az ajtó made such an impression on her that she wished to share that experience with her husband who could not speak Hungarian and her fellow countrymen who do not even know where Hungary exactly is and do not read anything about the history of a single Eastern-European Country. Hence she resolved to translate Magda Szabó‘s book into English. She did not have an easy job with interpreting Hungarian language and the shades of meaning despite her Hungarian roots.

What stiffened her interpretation was the structure of the text; the expanded sentences often covered half of a page and a paragraph could last more than a page. As a professor in Psychology she intensely studied the deep meaning of the book to grab the psyche of the characters to make her understanding better and deeper. Her Hungarian librarian friend, Etelka Somogyi, was involved in the translation process, to help Draughon understand some difficult parts, phrases and expressions. They plunged in language they love and understand so much. The parts of translation were regularly read by Draughon‘s husband as a filter of the language, the style, the impact, the impression and the affection the plot can have on the American readership.


Somogyi Etelka,

-9Etelka Somogyi accommodated me with some useful information about the work they did together. I could have a look at the volume in which Etelka underlined the difficult parts. I learnt about Draughon‘s trip to Hungary to visit the houses of Magda Szabó and Emerence in Budapest. She could see the balcony from where the writer had been looking at the place where Emerence had been entertaining and serving her guests. She could speak with some neighbours still living in the house who knew Emerence and could inform her about Emerence‘s real name, Mariska.. She went along the streets where Emerence used to walk around, sweep and carry the platter full of food back and forth. She could see Emerence‘s door referred by the title, and the lobby with other rooms. In this way she could get a better understanding and help with describing the place and the circumstances characters lived in.

The translation had been finished by 1994 but it did not seem there was a publisher that would issue it. Finally, the East European Monographs of Columbia University Press was ready to publish it with a less fashionable cover. The recognition of the book apparently had not arrived yet.


Len Rix, the translator in Britain5
The other translator, Len Rix, is Zimbabwean who studied English, French and

Latin in Africa and in the UK, too. The Door was translated by him in 2005 and soon was short-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and won the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize in 2006. He translates Hungarian pieces of literature into English. Len Rix heard about Hungary and its people for the first time in 1953 in connection with the famous ‗six-three‘-football match, and then the revolution in 1956 gained his respect towards Hungarians. However, he heard the first Hungarian word on

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia,

- 10 23 October, 1989 which was also an outstanding turning-point in the contemporary history of Hungary. He was captivated by it that he immediately became determined to start learning the Hungarian language from self-study course books. He began to be interested in Hungarian folk music listening to the Sebő and Muzsikás band. In 1995 he had already translated Hungarian literature into English – Tamás Kabdebó, A Time for Everything, a book about the events in 1956. Then in 2001 came his favourite work, Antal Szerb‘s Journey by Moonlight, followed by his Pendragon Legend and Oliver VII. In consideration of having had a favourable reception of Szerb‘s books and the success of the French translation of The Door the Harvill-Secker asked Rix to translate Magda Szabó‘s novel. Len Rix spoke about his greatest challenge to translate Magda Szabó‘s book in an interview on the Internet: ―Magda Szabó was a challenge …. Her sentences can be three times as long as his (Szerb‘s), a paragraph might last two or more pages and her punctuation is very much looser than you can get away with in literary English. I had to work much harder establishing not just the literal meaning but the rhythm of the writing and rendering all that into fluent, easy, natural-sounding English was quite an undertaking. I think her style is influenced in part by her experience as a Latinist. She exploits the capacity of Hungarian, which perhaps derives from its long association with Latin, to create these enormous sentences, using its full grammatical resources, in the manner of Sallust or Cicero. Luckily for me, I used to be a Latin teacher.‖6


Rix, Len, A passion for Hungarian fiction, Hungarian Literature Online, (information in bracket supplied)

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Structure and language in The Door7
The book was written in first person singular. The author uses a literary technique

similar to interior monologue, the narrative mode, to tell her testimony. Szabó creates long sentences, long paragraphs with one or two sentences. Detailed observations, interpretations build the structure of the text as a stream. There are only few dialogues and those are not too considerable ones. She writes in a free, indirect style. It is difficult to differentiate between the voice of the narrator and her heroin. Their dialogues are not direct ones. Streams of long sentences narrate the different perspectives. As far as the language of her book, Az ajtó, is considered, it is influenced by the dialect used in Debrecen and its surrounding area. When Emerence talks she uses common speech, popular phrases and dialect but when the narrator talks she uses more conceptual, expository language but they are in harmony.


The question of whether translators would be able to render cultural and linguistic

differences with the literal meaning in preserving the rhythm of the writing fascinated me. While I was reading The Door, and was waiting for the English translation to arrive by post, I was wondering what difficulties the translators had to face to be able to convey cultural-bound elements, historical references and metaphors. The target text must preserve the atmosphere, message, style and essence of the source text after the process of translation considering its readership.

According to Nida, there is no perfect communication in translation as well as in every other communication; being intralingual or interlingual communication. Some

Ajtay-Horváth Magda, Az ajtó és angol nyelvű kulcsa, lectured in Fordítástudomány, Konferencia, 4.4.2008.

- 12 losses must be calculated in conveying the message because of the different cultural and linguistic background.8 Translating a literary piece, translators get over a complex process when transmitting the simplest sentence. It is a challenge even to choose from the equivalences of a simple lexical element according to certain general translation principles. There must be at least twenty per cent loss translating from a language to another. The translator‘s task is to keep the loss as low as can be.

The most important aim is to focus on the audience of the target language by following the target language-norms. Sometimes it is necessary to be more explicit when there are cultural words that cannot be translated literally or to replace these elements by more common ones in target language.

7. Aims and hypothesis
It may be assumed that some of the allusions to cultural elements or certain mercurial Hungarian mindset has been lost on a British or an American audience, without causing difficulties in conveying the message. This thesis will examine the way in which the target readers can be aware of the historical and cultural implications and the ideology of the Hungarian past. It is supposed that the translators‘ background knowledge has an impact on how they form the target text and transmit the source text and what strategy they use to communicate faithfully to convey the feelings and attitudes of the source book.

Draughon is a writer, a psychologist and a visual artist with Hungarian roots. She got Hungarian assistance involved in the translation. Rix, grown-up in Zimbabwe,


(Nida, Eugene A., Waard, Jan de, Egyik nyelvről a másikra, Magyar Bibliatársulat, Budapest, 2002, 58.o.)

- 13 studied English, French, and Latin and self-studied Hungarian, then translated several Hungarian literary pieces. I suppose that both translators are aware of certain Hungarian cultural elements, and they have knowledge of the Hungarian history. I have compared the two languages they use in the text. I suppose Draughon‘s precedent work was used as a parallel text and it might have had an influence on the English text.

The key research question of this study is whether the translation of metaphors and other cultural categories in target texts meet the needs of the target audience or not. In what way might they gain sympathy in the American and British readership? The choice of equivalences or synonyms might be motivated by pragmatic factors. Translators worked productively but could they find the fine shade of meaning and the equivalent idioms existing both in Hungarian and English? Could they reconstruct the rhythm and dynamic style of the source language? It is also possible that translators misinterpret things so it is worth studying how much effect it has on the target text.


Construction of the thesis
My thesis is composed of three parts. While in the first part some background

knowledge is provided about the novel, the author and the translators, the second part begins with laying out the theoretical dimension of the research and looks at how culture and metaphor can be conveyed in translation. Their notions and the problems are also described then followed by a brief description of transfer operations based on Klaudy‘s taxonomy. In the third part it is intended to find out to what extent the cases are different or similar, what translation techniques can be identified in the process of translation? After studying the translations and Magda Szabó‘s poetic language, I

- 14 examine some problematic transfer. The conclusion draws upon the entire thesis bringing together the main areas and the empirical findings in order to summarise them.


Due to practical constraints, this paper cannot provide an all-embracing analysis or

a comprehensive review of comparison of the American and British translation. The reader should bear in mind that the study is based on a small sample of some problematic parts, not the differences between the American and British English.

There may be inconsistency in the quantity and quality of data submitted to analysis. It is beyond the scope of this study to examine all the translation techniques, transfer operations Klaudy describes, only those are discussed that are in connection with the samples chosen.

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Part II. Theoretical background
1. „Clothing‟ as a metaphor of translation
A variety of definitions of the term translation have been suggested, however, in this part of my thesis let me refer back to the motto I have chosen from Henry Rider, his ‗clothing‘ metaphor for translation: ―Translations of Authors from one language to another, are like old garments turn‘d into new fashions; in which though the stuffe be still the same, yet the die and trimming are altered, and in the making, here something added, there something cut away.‖ I do not think of its primarily meaning, i.e. classic texts are ‗old garments‘ so they need modernization in translation to make it acceptable for the readership today but rather the translators‘ liberty to carry out essential changes to make the text more comprehensible. When creating a copy of clothes using different materials to achieve the same look, one has to be able to choose from similar materials and know how to cut, where to add to accomplish the same look and effect, though the new clothes can never be the same just might look the same, or have the similar effect. The new audience must be delighted at looking at the new outfit not bothering how the original one looked like. The translation of a literary piece might be the outfit that is changed to some extent, depending on the language and culture of the target language but can give the same pleasure as the source text.

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In this part it is indispensable to clarify definitions and notions as for translation,

culture, metaphors and the process and techniques they are transferred.

In 2003, a book titled Translation Today: Trends and Perspective was compiled by the editors Anderman and Rogers from a conference of translation theorists from all over the world. The two parts of the book include Peter Newmark‘s summary of his keynotes and the discussions. This book has been chosen for discussing translation in the following three paragraphs.9

According to Peter Newmark, translation is a process that is defined by anyone as ‗taking the meaning from one text and integrating it into another language for a new and sometimes different readership.‖10 So translation is a cognitive and communicative activity. In this definition ―meaning‖ means ―the full sense with all its richness, its denotations and connotations, all that a writer said‖. The ―message‖ refers to the pragmatic sense ―what and how she wanted the reader to act and feel and think.‖ The translator must make decisions between the two ends of the full meaning and the mere message. Albrecht Neubert points out that Newmark‘s distinction characterizes methods rather than types of translations. In semantic translation the translator aims at gripping the utter meaning of the source text and conveying as much as possible into the target text. He claims that the conceptual status of communicative translation is ―on a much higher level of abstraction‖. Translation theorists often agree that translating is the most complex task in language use. 11


Translation Today: Trends and Perspectives, edited by Gunilla Andermann and Margaret Rogers , Multilingual Matters, 2003 10 Ibid, p.55. 11 Ibid, p. 73.

- 17 Piotr Kuhiwczak‘s paper, The troubled Identity of Literary translation, compares the task of a translator to that of a writer. He states that writing is traditionally considered to be more important than translating. Kuhiwczak investigates the competences of translators and the relation between translation studies and literary studies. He points out that translation is a creative but critic work, too, so it requires the translator to know the original work, the original culture and the author. A creative effort must be taken in being able to rewrite the source text.12 In 1992, two linguists, Neubert and Shreve introduced the notion of ‗virtual translation‘—the ‗mental model‘—the translator‘s mind which is ―a composite of the possible relation between the source text and a range of potential target text‖. The virtual translation ―accounts for [author and translator] knowledge, thoughts and feelings. It introduces their aims, intentions, needs and expectations‖. In this theory equivalence of meaning is bound to the text not the sentence, and the virtual translation guides the selection of linguistic resources. The ‗mental model‘ is based upon the knowledge of conventional text types and upon the seven principles of textuality— cohesion, coherence, intentionality, acceptability, situationality, informativity,

intertextuality. ―In this theory, the linguistic resources of the target language ‗clothe‘ the virtual translation and so create the translation as a real text, and translators ‗navigate‘ given messages in one direction to ‗a foreign linguistic shore‘‖13 In her study, Hungarian Literary translation into English, Katherine Gyékényesi Gatto considers the translation of Hungarian language into English to be a huge challenge because ―word-to-word‖ translation is almost impossible for the differences in syntax and word order between the two languages. Hungarian word order is told to be

12 13

Ibid, p. 102. Neubert, A., and Shreve, G.M. Translation as tex, Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1992. pp. 53, 23, 7.

- 18 ‗free‘ but it has rather semantic than syntactic importance.14 So Hungarian is able to focus on any particular section. Words are emphatic whenever they stand before the verb in contrast to the English word order. There are some other difficulties in accomplishing a literal translation process into English, e.g. the differences in culture and the idioms and metaphors that characterise the Hungarian mindset. Without being deeply interested in the Hungarian history, culture and the way of thinking or the life of the particular Hungarian author, a translator might have difficulties in understanding the source work.


Translation and Culture
As far as the author and its readership belonging to the same language and culture

is considered, they share the same experience and knowledge repertoires, so that the writer can rely on their common cultural code, common conscience and mental mapping. The readership is supposed to be able to decode the culture-bound elements and references by association easily. But these overlapping culture-bound units are a challenge for translators or mediators who have to be able to interpret them for the target readership. Peter Newmark15 defines culture ―as the way of life and its manifestations that are peculiar to a community that uses a particular language as its means of expression.‖ He differentiates cultural, universal and personal language. Everyday artefacts and verbs, understood almost every culture, are universals, such as ‗mirror‘ and ‗door‘ or ‗live‘ and ‗die‘ and usually, their translation does not cause any problem. Personal language is often called idiolect that every individual has, manifested by patterns of word selection,


Encyclopedia of literary translation into English V1, edited by Olive Classe, Fitzroy Deaborn Publishers, 2000, p.677. 15 Newmark, Peter, Translation and Culture, A textbook of Translation, Longman, 2003, p. 94.

- 19 grammar, phrases, idioms or punctuation. For its unique phenomenon, the translation of personal language is normally problematic especially in case of poems. Cultural words are easily detected, cannot be translated literally because they would distort the meaning. So translators may use culture-free generic terms or classifiers instead. Cultural words sometimes need translation even within a language. As for Magda Szabó‘s text, the word ‗komatál‘ appears again and again. Being a source text reader, I had a presupposition about the meaning and the usage of the word and it did not cause difficulties to put together its important symbolic meaning of thoughtful care, solicitude, big heart and solidarity. Though, I had to look up dictionaries and the Internet to clarify its real meaning, so I could point out that none of the translated words cover the real meaning of ―komatál‖ and it is impossible to find one corresponding to an English equivalence. ―Komatál‖ is a kind of fancy plate or bowl taken to somebody being confined or ill. It has nothing to do with Christening as the English translations refer to it.. The translators do not use the expression chosen consistently as we can see in the examples below:          Komatál (Sz20) Christening platter (D19) Christening bowl (R16) Legszívesebben visszaadtam volna Emerencnek a komatálat(Sz39) I would‘ve preferred to give the platter back…(D41) I would happily have returned the christening bowl…(R35) az nem komatálnak használta persze, hanem kaspónak, de virágcserépnek kár befogni.(Sz38) it hadn‘t been used for christenings but as a cachepot, yet it would be a shame to use it as a flower pot. (D41) It wasn‘t used for christenings then but for seeds, but it would be a shame to use it as a flowerpot. (R34)

Translation theorists are beginning to see the translator as a mediator between cultures and the process of translation as an exercise, not only in understanding text but

- 20 understanding cultural frames (the terminology is used in communication theory and sociology) ―A frame in social theory consists of a schema of interpretation—that is, a collection of stereotypes—that individuals rely on to understand and respond to events.‖16 A successful mediator must be consciously aware of the importance of text and context, the words and the implied frames. Translators of Magda Szabó‘s novel were put to the challenging test by mediating references from Hungarian literature. The narrator in the novel refers to Petőfi‘s poem, Anyám tyúkja, which is well-known for every Hungarian language-speaker. The only relief for translators is that Emerence does not like it, and she does not intend to understand the poetic language at all, and grousing she says:    „Ej, mi a kő! Mi az, hogy mi a kő‖ Mi az, hogy „kend‖? Így nem beszél senki.‖ (SZ119) Well, what is a rock? What does that mean? What‘s a rock?‖ What‘s ―thou‖? Nobody talks this way. (D141) „What is a stone? What was all that about? What is a stone? And what was this word thou? Nobody spoke like that‖ (R117).

Fortunately, this poem is as incomprehensible for Emerence as for the target language readership, so translators can apply word-for-word translation and do not have to search for idioms or synonyms. The source text contains here four sentences and both target texts contain five.


Translation and Metaphor
In Metaphor and Translation, Edwin Gentzler compares the terms metaphor and

translation as follows: ―Metaphor derives from the Greek word metapherein (meta – over, pherein – to bear, to carry) and means ‗carrying of a meaning of one word over to another word‘.

- 21 Translation … derives from the Latin term translatus (the past participle form of transferre (trans – across, ferre – to bear, to carry) and means ‗carrying across from one language to another‘. Metaphors refer to change from words to words or from images to words; translation often refers more broadly to change from one language to another, to change from one medium to another.‖17

A dictionary of translation technology says the metaphor can be primarily considered as a figurative expression, ―a figure of speech which describes one thing in terms of another, i.e., referring to one thing in terms of another, an implied comparison of two unlikely notions.‖18 According to Al-Hassnawi, metaphors are considered as instances of figurative language and their implication cannot be predicted from their referential meaning. He claims that ―unfortunately, the translator has to suffer twice when he approaches these metaphoric expressions. First, s/he has to work out their figurative meaning intralingually (i.e. in the language in which a metaphor is recorded). Second, s/he has to find out equivalent meanings and similar functions of these expressions in the target language.‖19 Metaphor is specific of different cultures according to its experiences conceptualised in many ways. The translatability of a metaphor depends on ―(1) the particular cultural experiences and semantic associations exploited by it, and (2) the extend to which these can, or not, be reproduced non-anomalously in target language, depending on the degree of overlap in each particular case.‖20 Any source language metaphor can be translated if the particular target language audience shares a common


Gentzler, Edwin, Metaphor and Translation, Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English, Vol.2, Fitzroy Dearborn, London-Chicago, p. 941. 18 Chan Sin-wai, A dictionary of translation technology, Chinese University Press, pp.45-146. 19 Al-Hassnawi, Ali. R., A Cognitive Approach to Translating Metaphors, 20 Dagut, M.B, Can Metaphor be Translated? in Babel, International Journal of Translation, No. 1/1976 vol XXII, p.32.

- 22 cultural experience and semantic relations on which it draws. If the effect of the target text on its readership is not the same as that of the source text then the translation cannot be adopted. A metaphor cannot be translated if there is no cultural reference of the source language metaphor in the target language and there is no lexical specific to express it. There are three types of procedure employed by Newmark as a model for translating metaphors: (1) Reproducing the same image in the target language that is equivalent in meaning and appropriate in register of the original one. It is a metaphorto-metaphor process. (2) In the second case the source language image is replaced by a standard target language one—metaphor-to-metaphor—but such image is chosen in target language that exists in that culture. (3) Metaphor can be replaced by a target language image or phrase which is far from the source language image. 21 Metaphors tend to be divided by scholars into ―live‖ (unique semantic creation) and ―dead‖ metaphors (used by common speakers, often unknowingly). A dead metaphor ―denotes vocabulary items that have lost their metaphorical character.‖ It is no longer connected with the basic source meaning and we have to look at its history to reveal the origin. ―We can describe a live metaphor as a use whose understanding is necessarily dependent on a source meaning, which is usually literal and concrete.‖22

Hungarian literature is little-known with the English-speaking readership because it is too mannered, too sentimental for the English-speaking readership. It contains more idiosyncratic language artifice and numerous similes. So translators of Hungarian Literature into English sometimes must ‗sell out‘ the source text considering rather the target readership.

Frunza, Camelia, Translating culture-specific metaphoric expressions, 22 Alm-Arvius, Christina, Live, Moribund, and Dead Metaphors, University of Stockholm,

- 23 Here come some examples for avoiding personal conceptions and for simplification using a more general phrase:          Átvette a küldeményt, aztán visszaolvadt a lakásába (Szabó 16) She‘d accepted the parcel and then dissolved back into her apartment. (D14) …brought it in without telling me, and disappeared off home. (R12) …Emerenc beintett: üljek asztalhoz velük én is (Sz 54) …Emerence invited me to come join them at the table.(D61) …Emerence beckoned me over to join them. (R51) Akkor összefogott a ház a macskagyilkos ellen…(Sz18) Then the whole house got together against the cat-murderer. (D17) At this point the whole house ganged up against the catmurdered.(R14)

The inanimate subject ―ház‖ in these examples is used in the same sense; referring to the people who live there but translators opt for a more concrete meaning in the following case:    … a ház csalódott volt (Sz 17) …the tenants were disappointed (D17) …people were disappointed…(R14)


The System of Transfer Operations23
Here it is needed to introduce the notion of transfer operations by referring to

Klaudy‘s studies in the practice of translation. Drawing up the concept of transfer operations, Klaudy claims that translating is a highly complicated sequence of actions, including: replacement of source language lexical units by target language lexical units; restructuring of the sentence structure; changing the word order; omission of certain elements and the addition of others. Translation is a complex decision making process so translators must be able to make the right choice from among the different options offered by the target language.

Klaudy, Kinga, Languages in Translation, Lectures on the theory, teaching and practice of translation, Scholastica, 2003., pp. 153-435.

- 24 However, this unconscious and intuitive performance is hidden from us since nobody can look into the mind of translators and draw conclusions about the process performed. The source text and the target text can be compared as it is intended to be done here in order to conclude on the extent the two translations of the same piece of work differ. 24 Klaudy classifies some transfer operations as being obligatory performances by translators in order to be able to produce semantically or grammatically well-formed sentences. Therefore they can be claimed as automatic translations, too. In every other case transfer operations are said to be optional. 25 The transfer operations can also occur in different level of discourse; word-level—source language lexical units are replaced by target language units—then on phrase-level, sentence-level and on discourse-level.


Lexical Transfer Operations
In the following sections it needs to be described the possible division of transfer

operations into lexical and grammatical transfer operations. These main types are classified according to the scope of operation. Lexical transfer operations ―is a collective term for all the systematic and routine-like operative moves developed by generations of translators to handle the difficulties stemming from the different lexical system and cultural context of the two languages functioning together in the process of translation.‖26 The meaning of the source language words in Klaudy‘s interpretation never can be the same as that of the target language words. According to the manner of performance the types of lexical transfer operations can be: narrowing of meaning (differentiation and specification); broadening of meaning (generalisation); contraction of meanings; distribution of

24 25

Ibid, pp.153, 157. Ibid, p.162. 26 Ibid, p.183.

- 25 meaning; omission of meaning; addition of meaning; exchange of meaning; antonymous translation; total transformation; compensation.


Grammatical Transfer Operations
In her study, Klaudy points out that these operations are called ―grammatical‖

because (1) they ―are triggered by grammatical difference between languages and (2) they influence the grammatical structures of the sentence.‖ 27 In Klaudy‘s interpretation, ―‘grammatical transfer operations‘ is a collective term for all systematic and routin-like operative moves developed by generations of translators to handle the difficulties stemming from the different grammatical system and cultural contexts of the two languages functioning together in the process of translation.‖28 According to the manner of performance the types of grammatical transfer operations can be: grammatical specification and generalisation; grammatical division; grammatical contraction; grammatical omission; grammatical addition; grammatical transpositions; grammatical replacements.

27 28

Ibid, p.319. Ibid, p.319.

- 26 -

Part III. Case studies of selection criteria
In this experimental part of my thesis interesting cases are subjected to an examination studying them according to the techniques, procedures or operations used to mediate between Hungarian and English. The English translations are compared to the Hungarian sample sentences and to each other on the basis of Klaudy‘s taxonomy, that is lexical and grammatical transfer operations. Only those phenomena are emphasized and defined that are predominant directions in translation from Hungarian into English. My aim here is to examine the selected samples of metaphors and cultural-bound elements, historical, political and social references, and to contrast them to each other according to the different strategies translators used. However, only the translators would be able to give the authentic account of their own work and the decisions they made and the strategies they applied, I only intend to contrast the source text and the target texts and draw conclusions from my observations.


Lexical Transfer Operations
As far as lexical and grammatical transfer operations are considered, I apply Kinga

Klaudy‘s typology in this part of my paper as they are characterised in her lectures on the theory and practice of translation, Languages in translation (2003)29.


Klaudy, Kinga, Languages in Translation, Lectures on the theory, teaching and practice of translation, Scholastica, 2003.

- 27 -

1.1 Narrowing of meaning (differentiation and specification)
Narrowing of the meaning takes place when one source language word has more target language equivalences and the translator has to choose the right one. So specification is an optional transfer operation that depends on the translators‘ decision and creativity. As for the subtype of narrowing of meaning, specification of parts of the body takes place when in the source language a unit with general meaning is replaced by a target language unit with more specific meaning. (Klaudy, 187) Draughon here preserves the general ―my ears‖ but Rix specifies it by ―my eardrums‖, adding, of course, possessive determiners and they replace the singular ―fülem‖ to plural as part of the grammatical transfer operations.    A fülem majd széjjelrepedt (Sz33) My ears almost burst open (D34) The noise almost burst my eardrums (R29)

1.2 Broadening of meaning (generalisation )
The specific meaning of the given word in Hungarian is replaced by an English word of a more general meaning. i. Generalization of parts of the body    Csillagos a szügyük, az ilyet nem szabad elföldelni.(Sz163) They have stars on their chest. These couldn‘t be buried.(D196) They have stars on their chest. You couldn‘t push ones like that into the ground. (R164)

In this case the Hungarian ―szügyük‖ was replaced by ―their chest‖ in English by both translators. This movement can be considered as generalisation. In Hungarian we do not use this word for the part of human body only for that of animals (horses, caws, dogs etc.).

- 28 ii. Generalisation of times of the day    …egész délelőtt, délután zargatták a látogatók…(Sz199) …the visitors had been bothering her all morning and afternoon(D240) …visitors had been pestering her the whole day, morning and afternoon…(R198)

There are differences in Hungarian and English in the way they divide the times of the day. Although, there is a corresponding term for ―délelőtt‖ in English—forenoon, it is used restrictively while the use of ―afternoon‖ is common. So, translators broaden ―délelőtt‖ translating it into ―morning‖. Rix applies lexical addition making the word ―egész‖ more emphatic by adding the whole day instead of all. iii Generalisation of realia As for realia, these are items specific to a given cultural/linguistic community (clothes, money, food and beverages) Realia can include holidays, historical events, names and addresses as well. In this case the translator needs information that goes beyond the language. (Klaudy 205) ―If the realia has no function, it makes no difference what a given character eats, drinks or wears then it can be either generalized or omitted, while if for some reason it has special significance, translators generally give explanatory additions or provide a descriptive translation.‖ (Klaudy 208) In certain cases a detailed description or definition can be incomprehensible for the target language audience or would convey irrelevant information. If it has no function in the text, detailed information would only divert the attention of the reader – translator tends to replace specific terms by generic one. In the following only those classifications are mentioned which can be identified in the examples:    Apánk is nagy tudományú volt, meg deli is, az anyám, az maga a tündérilona. (Sz30) Our father was very knowledgeable and well-built, too; and my mother was a fairy princess. (D30) Our father was very knowledgeable, and a fine figure of a man. As for my mother, she was a fairy princess.(R26)

- 29 Tündér Ilona is a fairy princess in the Hungarian folktales so translators use ―fairy princess‖ as general meaning of ―tündérilona‖. iv..Ethnographical realia are the dishes, beverages, dressing, habitat, furnishing and means of transport. They are realia from everyday life. a)    Dishes, beverages Emerenc kolbászt készített, pogácsát, palacsintát (Sz19) Emerence, who prepared kolbász, bisciuts, palacsinta (D18) Emerenc prepared sausages, savoury scones, pancakes (R15)

I found it very interesting that Draughon keeps the Hungarian words – ―kolbász‖, ―palacsinta‖ – Rix chose the words ―sausages‖ and ―pancakes‖ generalizing the Hungarian words. It may be better for a target readership not to bump into such difficulties, not to drive them into spelling Hungarian words. Since it does not have special function a more general equivalent of these words can be given as Rix decided to do. Perhaps, Draughon was led by her Hungarian cultural knowledge and can make a difference between ―kolbász‖ and ―sausages‖, ―palacsinta‖ and ―pancakes‖. b)  Furniture, room Emerenc megközelítésre engedélyezett körzete hallszerű, tágas téglalap volt, ahonnan a spájz, a zuhanyozó és a lomoskamra ajtaja nyílt, s nyilván a Tiltott Város sem volt akármilyen, szépen berendezhette a Grossmann család holmijaival. Az előtér mindig tiszta volt, kövét az öregasszony naponta kétszer felmosta, míg az évszak engedte, az ottani asztalon háziasszonykodott, ha jutott egy-két szabad óra a napból. Két pad között állt az asztala, az utcán jártamban a sövényen át vagy az ablakunkból gyakran láttam Emerencet kávét, teát szervírozni különféle életkorú és társadalmi osztályba tartozó vendégeinek, ő maga csorgatta a folyadékot szép formájú porceláncsészékbe olyan sima és biztos mozdulattal, mint aki számtalanszor csinálta már, és nem akárkitől tanulta az asztalnál való viselkedést. (Sz51) Emerence‘s foyer-like area which people could enter was rectangular. The doors of the pantry, shower, and storage room opened onto it. Clearly the Forbidden City wasn‘t just an old place; it had probably been beautifully furnished with the Grossman family‘s things. The porch was always clean: the old woman washed down the stones twice a day as long as weather permitted; she played hostess at the table there, when she had an hour or two off during the day. Her table stood between two benches; on my walks past the hedges or from my window, I frequently saw Emerence serving coffee or tea to her guests of various ages and social classes; she herself poured the liquids into the beautifully-formed

- 30 porcelain mugs—so smoothly, with the confident movements of someone‘s who‘d done this innumerable times before and who hadn‘t learned table manners from just anybody. (D58) The reception area to which access was permitted was rectangular in shape and quite spacious, with the doors of the larder, shower and lumber room opening to it. As it was clearly a sacred place, the Forbidden City, I guessed, must have been grandly furnished with the Grossman‘s family‘s belongings. The porch itself was always spotlessly clean. So long as the season permitted, the old woman washed the stone floor twice a day. There, if she had a free hour or two during the day, she would play the hostess at a table placed between two benches. I often saw her, either through the hedge as I walked past or from my window, serving tea or coffee to guests of varying ages and social classes. She would pour out refreshments into fine porcelain cups, with the smooth, confident actions of someone who had done it a thousand times, and who had learned how to conduct herself at table from someone of importance. (R48) „Hallszerű‖ – "foyer-like‖ – ―reception area‖ – Draughon keeps the sense of the Hungarian word by using – like. The same room is mentioned as porch a few lines below by both translators. The words in bold above did not cause problem to translate and find the appropriate equivalences. Draughon‘s visit to the local where Emerence used to live may simplify the description of her house. Rooms and furniture are important in the novel so they sometimes require explanations or adding as in the following example:    Emerenc fel sem állt, ott levegőzött a szennyespadon. (Sz128) Emerence didn‘t even stand up she was getting some air and sitting on the hamper. (D153) Emerence didn‘t even stand up, but remained airing herself on the laundry basket which served as a bench. (R126)

c) Occupation It is noteworthy how the different jobs are mentioned in the novel. The most examples are from Emerence‘s narration but the writer-narrator also adds some to the list often making up jobs in her anger as in the following example:  „Majd közlöm, házfelügyelő vagyok, az is állás.‖ Akkor már dühös voltam rá, csapkodtam mérgemben, felőlem bejelenthet akármit, hogy sintér vagy dögbőrpucoló(Sz118)

- 31  I‘ll tell them I‘m a super, that‘s a job, too.‖ By that time I was mad at her, I was slamming things around in my anger; as far as I concerned she can introduce herself any way at all, as a dog-catcher or someone who cleans skins of dead animals. (D140) „I shall tell them I am a caretaker: it‘s a perfectly respectable job.‖ By then I was so furious I lashed out at her in rage. As far as I cared, she could introduce herself however she liked, as a dog-catcher or someone who skinned dead animals. (R116) Díjbeszdő (Sz 16) he collected utility payments (D14) He filled his spare time by doing odd jobs and collecting payments. (R12) …a mérnöknő panaszt tett (Sz 17) …the lady engineer put in a complaint (D17) The lady engineer complained…(R14) …merthogy ács volt az én apám, ács és műbútorasztalos, az édesöccse, az én keresztapám meg pallér (Sz 30) …because my father was a carpenter—carpenter and a cabinet maker; his younger brother, my godfather, was a building foreman (D30) …because my father was a carpenter—a carpenter and cabinetmaker. His younger brother, my godfather, was a foremanbuilder (R26)

        

―Pallér‖ comes from the German polier to the Hungarian folk language. ―Pallér‖ as personal language is fully lost in translations. The words which have no bilingual dictionary equivalents are explained in expositive way.    szolgáltam én boncmesternél is. (Sz100) I was also a servant for a person who did dissections… (118) I used to work for one (disseconist) of them myself.(R97)

3. Political life  …political activity and its participants Több nőmozgalmi funkcionárius kedélye sérült meg, ha az öregasszonyt gyűlésbe akarta hívni, vagy felrázni ellenséges érdektelenségéből, az utcabizalmi, a tanácstag úgy tartotta számon, mint egy elemi csapást (Sz111) Many feelings were hurt when women‟s organizations wanted to invite the old woman to a meeting or to shake up her hostile lack of concern; the block association and the city council took it as a slap in the face …(D131,132)

- 32  She dismayed the representatives of a number of women‟s groups when they tried to get her to their meetings, or at least shake her hostile indifference. The street committee and the local council treated her as an Act of God…(R109, 110) mikor én ott jártam, akkor is Nádori legszebb hajléka volt, a téesz ács- és asztalosműhelyeként. (Sz27) Even when I was there—even then—it was still Nádori‟s most beautiful section, and was the headquarters of the Carpenters‟ Cooperative. (D26) At the time of my visit it was still the finest house in Nádori, the office and workshop of the carpenter‟s cooperative. (R23) Brodarics úrék beadványt nyújtottak a tanácshoz (Sz 18) Mr.& Mrs. Brodarics … put a petition before the board (D17) Mr and Mrs Brodarics…made a submission to the local council…(R14)

  

  

d) Generalization of reporting verbs          de az csak hadart rettegésében, és magyarázta, ő rosszat sejt (Sz32) But he just jabbered in his nervousness and explained that he suspected something bad (D32) In his terror he gabbled away: he feared the worst (R28) Mikor mostanáig azt sem közölte, hogy gyereke van (Sz127) When after all this time she hasn‟t said that she ha a child (D152) When to that day she had never mentioned that she had a child (R126) Haboztam, kérjek-e tőle Emerencnek a régi fáról egy szál rózsát (Sz127) I hesitated as to whether to ask him for a single rose from the old tree for Emerence (D152) I thought about asking him for a rose from the ancient tree (R125)

e) Generalization of semantically rich verbs Since Hungarian verbs are rich in meaning and able to express different shades and nuances of meaning by prefixes and suffixes, translators usually use more words in the target language or choose a verb with general meaning.    … odabuktam a közelükbe (Sz33) I stumbled over to them (D34) …I had staggered over to where they were… (R29)

- 33 -

        

Futott a szomszéd, merthogy az baktatott arra akkor (Sz34) Since he was the one who‘d strolled by at the time, the neighbour started running (D35) The neighbour had been strolling by, and now he ran to her…(R30) de rájöttem, csak összesértegetné (Sz29) …yet I realized that she‟d keep insulting him(D30) Then I realised, she would only hurl insults at him(R25) Neheztelésről szó sem volt, a férjem, bár nem dicsekedett vele, valami suta elégtételt érzett, én megfelhőztem.(Sz88) It wasn‘t a question of holding a grudge; my husband—although he didn‘t boast about it—felt an awkward satisfaction; and I was upset. (D102) It wasn‘t a question of holding anything against her. My husband, though he didn‘t boast about it, felt s sort of grim satisfaction; but I was plunged into gloom. (R85)

1.3 Contraction of meaning
In the case of Lexical contraction the source language units consisting of two or more words are replaced by a target language unit consisting of one word. (Klaudy 214) This procedure can be explained by the traditional language typology. Hungarian is an agglutinative language and numerous affixes can be attached to the word stem to create a new semantically rich word or express another grammatical category. a) Kinship terms In Hungarian there are some collective terms for certain kinship relations such as testvér, nagyszülő, szülő, unokatestvér while another language may not have such terms. For example the Hungarian testvér can be referred only analytically in English, brother and sister. Here are some examples from Magda Szabó‘s book:    …csak álltam az öcsém meg a húgom előtt (Sz33) I just stood before my little sisters (D34) I stood there beside my brother and sister (R29)

- 34    … az én testvéreim (Sz33) … my sisters (D34) …my siblings (R29)

In this part of the book Emerence talks about the tragedy that happened in her childhood. Her twin brother and sister were stroke by lightning and Draughon somehow concluded that the twins mean girls and whenever she refers to them she uses the word sister. Her mistake may escape her eye but there is no need attaching importance to her inaccuracy. Target readers rather care of Emerence‘s woeful story with the twins being burnt beyond recognition and not the gender of the twins. The next example shows Draughon‘ insistence on expressing a combination of possessive - ‗s , and she also keeps the name Józsi though, she omits the distinguishing word öccs (younger brother) and simplifies it for ―Józsi‘s son‖. While Rix contracts the Hungarian words öccse fia to ―nephew‖:       Józsi öccse fiának kislánya (Sz20) Józsi‟s son‟s little girl (D19) Her nephew‟s little girl (R16) …javasolta Józsi öcsém fia (Sz152) Józsi‟s son proposed that (D182) The nephew suggested that …(R150)

1.4 Distribution of meaning
Hungarian verbs can incorporate more meanings due to their rich morphology and word-forming potential. Hungarian verbs are characterized by synthetic forms while English verbs have analytic forms. So in the process of translation the complex lexical meaning of Hungarian verbs with a synthetic morphological structure can be distributed over several words in English.    …karácsonytájt végre hazakaptam a férjemet (Sz38) At Christmas time I finally got my husband back home (D40) Finally, towards Christmas, I brought my husband home. (R34)

- 35 ―hazakaptam‖ – There is no such Hungarian word. It was formed by the author as her personal language, and refers to the person, time, place and the nature of the activity. These all are separated in English. The translator intends to produce a grammatically correct English sentence. Therefore it is obligatory to distribute the grammatical meaning of the Hungarian verb. ―The synthetic nature of the Hungarian word-formation system makes it possible to amalgamate many different shades and nuances of meaning in one word with the help of a large number of prefixes and suffixes.‖ (Klaudy 223) To distribute the meaning of semantically rich Hungarian verbs in Hungarian-English translation is an almost obligatory transfer operation because translators often cannot find English verbs of a similar semantic complexity. a) Distribution of meaning in kinship terms As mentioned above, kinship terms may have more detailed classification in one language and a less detailed one in the other. In the following example we can see the Hungarian collective word for testvérek which can only be rendered by two words in English, brother and sister.    Krisztus testvérei vagytok…(Sz30) You are Christ‘s sisters and brothers… (D30) You are Christ‘s sisters and brothers …(R26)

b) Distribution of meaning in inchoative verbs In the next example it is presented that the complex meaning of the Hungarian verb (fel)‖engedett‖—shaded by the words ―már‖ and ―valamit‖—is rendered to English began to thaw by Rix expressing the beginning of the action. Draughon expresses the action itself, thawed shaded by ―a little‖.    …de a felázott föld már engedett valamit (Sz117) …but the soaked earth thawed a little (D139) …when the sodden earth began to thaw…(R115)

- 36    … szép komótosan mégiscsak megindultam Szabó 34) … then at a nice comfortable pace, I began to walk (Draughon 35) …then walked away at a calm, leisurely pace. (R30)

1.5 Omission of meaning
In the case of lexical omission certain meaningful lexical elements in Hungarian are dropped in the English text causing loss. Translators may use generalization or paraphrase, search for analogies to solve such situations. In the following illustration the word ―pustol‖ had been omitted completely. It is a vernacular word and refers to the way how snow falls drifting with the strong wind without hindrance.30 As Emerence is doing her duty in the winter—sweeping the pathway—she dresses up thickly looking like a rag-doll. Both translators try to avoid the word pustol.    ha pustolt, felismerhetetlenné álcázta magát (Sz21) When she swept snow, she disguised herself (D20) On the job she was unrecognizable (R17)

1.6 Addition of meaning
In the case of lexical addition new elements are added in English text because there are differences in the background knowledge of the Hungarian and English readership. In the following example at first let us look at the a) addition in the case of toponyms:    …segítsenek rendbe hozni a Vérmezőt, mert ott legalább annyi ló porlad, amennyi ember (Sz58) … to help bring order to Vérmező Park, because there are about as many horses decaying there as people…(D66) ... to help clean up Vérmező Park. (R55)


Paládi József, A bánat hegedűje, Dunapress Kiadó, 2008.

- 37 Both translators applied a universal translation strategy—explicitation—by adding extra information to the target audience about Vérmező which is totally incomprehensible for the reader. b) Addition in the case of historical realia The events of Hungarian history or historical references often require explanations in English. In the next case both translators make the Hungarian text explicit. Draughon makes clear that the platter/dish was given as an inheritance though it is not mentioned in the Hungarian text. Earlier Emerence was suspected of robbing or stealing those fancy things from the Jewish family.   …igen alkalmas jószág, neki az egyik asszonya adta, Grossmann-né, a zsidótörvény idején, az nem komatálnak használta persze, hanem kaspónak, de virágcserépnek kár befogni.(Sz38) …it was a handy little dish; she‟d been given it as an inheritance by one of her employers Mrs. Grossman, when laws restricted Jews. Of course it hadn‘t been used for christenings but as a cachepot, yet it would be a shame to use it as a flower pot. (D41) …it was a very handy thing to have. She had been given it by one of her employers, Mrs Grossman, when the Jewish laws were in force. It wasn‘t used for christenings then but for seeds, but it would be a shame to use it as a flowerpot. (R34)

Draughon explains briefly who the phrase ―márciusi ifjak‖ refers to in the next instance—freedom fighters in 1848. Rix also adds the year but omit the month turning the meaning into ―48-as fiatalok‖. Emerence‘s style amalgamates humour and irony making her narration fascinating and sometimes perplexing:  Ha Emerencen múlik, becsukja a márciusi ifjakat egy pincébe, és kioktatja őket, nincs irodalom, ordítozás, tessék valami hasznos tevékenységet választani, meg ne halljon forradalmi szöveget… (Sz120) If it had been up to Emerence, she would‘ve locked up the March 194831 freedom fighters and instructed them; there will be no literature, no shouting, kindly engaged in some useful activity, and she doesn‘t want to hear any revolutionary speeches… (D143) If it had been up to her, she would have locked the youth of 1848 away in a cellar and given them a lecture; no shouting, no literature; get


1948 must be only typographical error

- 38 yourselves involved in some useful activity. She didn‘t want t hear any revolutionary speeches…(R118)

In the following illustration neither typography nor the date is explained. Perhaps it is an absurd thing in itself that one could be alive in the 1950s or 60s who was born in 1848. So it is not necessary to give extra information about Segesvár or the date.    azt a képtelenséget jegyezte be magáról, hogy Segesváron március 15én és 1848-ban született,(Sz57) …she wrote absurd things about herself; that she was born on March 15, 1848 in Segesvár. (D64) …the nonsense she had scrawled about herself…that she had been born at Segesvár on 15 March 1848. (R54)

In the next few cases some historic and literary references are examined. They may need to be explained for the Hungarian audience, too, who may not have the knowledge about their origin. Kanossza refers to Pope Gregory‘s Palace in Canossa where Henry IV went to seek reconciliation by personal humiliation. The narrator and Viola, the dog, performed similar penance to conciliate Emerence.    Kanosszába nem vittem Violát (Sz92) I didn‘ take Viola to Canossa (D107) I didn‘ take Viola with me to the Papal Palace…(R89)

The next example shows that Rix adds ―anti-clericism‖ making clear the reference to the historical movement that opposes religious institutional power and influence. Voltaire was a philosopher of the Enlightenment and attacked the Catholic Church because of the moral corruption of its clergy. That is a main phenomenon in Emerence‘s portrait who hates all authority, power and religion, though, she is often said to be the sister of Martha from the Bible. That is why her opposition is not logical, because she does what they preach about.    Emerenc voltaireianizmusa egyébként nem volt logikus (Sz27) Emerence‟s voltairianism was not logical. (D26) Emerence‟s Voltairean anti-clericism didn‘t make sense. (R23)

- 39    erről a személyi kultusz esztendei akkor is leszoktattak volna, ha életem folyamán bármikor is túl nagy hatással lett volna rám a gionói sugárzás (Sz106) …and if—in the passage of my life—Giono‟s poetic view of simple life had ever made too great an impact on me, these years of popular culture would have rid me of it. (D125) …and if ever in the course of my life the philosophy of Jean Giono had prevailed too strongly, those years of the Personality Cult would have freed me from its influence. (R104) A furcsa tárgyakhoz E.T.A. Hoffmann-i, hauffi érzéke volt(Sz80) She had a writer‟s feeling for the peculiar E.T.A. Hoffmannesque things. (D92) She had a real feeling for the strange world of E.T.A. Hoffman. (R77)

  

In the Hungarian sentences above we can see references that are not explained at all for the Hungarian readership since it is not the point of the author. She wants to give a personal testimony in her way using personal language and intellectual language. It depends on the source language readership that they can understand it or not. However, both translators are propitious to their readership because they add extra information to the words in bold.

1.7 Antonymous translation
Antonymous translation means the replacement of the Hungarian text by opposite meanings in the English text. (Klaudy 272) It is an optional transfer operation and translators need considerable experience to perform it in a routine manner. They need to follow the target-language norms and look for the more suitable idiomatic expressions for the target readership. The following idiomatic expression ―fügét mutat‖ is replaced by another idiom in English, an old fashioned one, but preserves the word fig in an expression formed in negation. If one does not give/care a fig for something or somebody, it means that those things are not important to him at all. Rix does not use antonymous translation but

- 40 chooses another idiomatic expression emphasizing the anger of Emerence‘s ghost when one visited her grave.    Egyénként számtalanszor megtette halála után, hogy perdült egyet megsemmisült sarkain, és fügét mutatott bűntudatunknak vagy közeledési kísérletünknek (Sz 70) On countless other occasions after her death, it was as if Emerence turned on her now non-existent heel and said she didn‟t give a fig for our feelings of guilt or our attempts to approach her(D81) And on countless other occasions after her death it was as if Emerence turned on her ghostly heel and put two fingers up at our guilty consciences, and our attempts to approach her. (R67,68)

Emerence tells the next few words with similar meaning to the previous one. In Hungarian if one ―fütyül rá", it means one does not care of it. Draughon uses a more elaborate idiomatic variation meaning to be completely indifferent.32 It can fit more in Emergence‘s style.    …azzal üt a legnagyobbat rajtam, ha fütyül a sírokra (SZ129) …he could hit me the hardest if he didn‟t give a hoot about the graves… (D154) …he could hit at me even harder by neglecting the graves…(R127)

1.8 Total transformation
Translators are able to imagine the perspective of the target-language audience and carry out total translation with the target-language reader‘s cultural schemata and frames. Performing total translation, translators replace meanings of the sourcelanguage text by other meanings in the target-language text. That replacement carries a completely different meaning and departs radically from the original text. The principal reason for total translation, as we mentioned above, is rooted in the differences between the source-language and target-language reader‘s cultural background. I was wondering how Draughon and Rix apply this transfer operation according to the selected parts. The next example illustrates total transformation of food name:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.

- 41    Brodaricsék madártejet küldtek. (Sz199) the Brodaricses sent floating island (D240) Mrs Brodarics a bowl of iles flottantes (R198)

Floating island is a delicious dessert with a French origin similar to the Hungarian madártej (―bird‘s milk‖*) as for its ingredients but it is thicker. So it is obvious that both translators chose the phrase that their readership can be familiar with. Rix uses its French equivalence referring to the possible origin of the Hungarian dessert though the origin of its Hungarian name—madártej—is thought to be Turkish. As for total transformation of idiomatic expressions, they can be proverbs, sayings and aphorisms or even collocations. Bilingual dictionaries offer ready-made equivalents for idiomatic expressions though in many cases translators do not use them. They often create translational equivalents serving as an important source for the enrichment of the target-language vocabulary with new idiomatic expressions.    mint egy elemi csapást (Sz111) as a slap in the face …(D131,132) as an Act of God…(R109, 110)

In the next case translators do not choose ready-made equivalents for sima ügy such as a piece of cake, kid‘s stuff or plain sailing/smooth sailing but find another meaning; something easy to do    …az sima ügy (Sz97)‘s straightforward (D114) It‘s simple and straightforward. (R94)

In the two examples below the expression ―lábraállás‖ means the same and refers to the same, the complete recovery of Emerence. But both Draughon and Rix interpret the phrases similarly. In the first case the Hungarian ―szó sincs teljes lábraállásról” literally means getting back on her feet is out of the question so it is not possible for Emerence to recover. Translators use the non-idiomatic expression—recover—with ―there is no question of ―…In the second case ―lábra áll‖ refers to the same as in the

- 42 first one but translators interpret different ways. Rix uses the idiomatic equivalent in English for recover but Draughon rather transfers the literal meaning of ―lábra áll‖ that is somebody stands on her/his feet. It diverts the meaning a bit but can fit in the context. Emerence was about to leave the hospital for home and according to the doctor she gained enough strength to be able to bear the truth about her house, her cats and her friend, Sutu, who betrayed Emerence taking up Emerence‘s responsibilities. Lieutenant Colonel tells the second sentence that as soon as Emerence wakes up to the truth she will recover in her anger.          De hiszen sose lesz munkaképes, szó sincs teljes lábraállásról (Sz231) But after all she‘ll never be able to work; there is no question of her complete recovery (D280) But you see, she‘ll never be able to work, and there is no question of a full recovery (R230) talán azonnal lábra áll dühében (Sz238) She might immediately stand on her feet in her rage (D290) Her anger might even get her back on her feet. (R237) nagy formátumú szónok volt, vérbeli (Sz111) she was an unusually competent speaker—a natural. (D131) She was an orator of real stature, a natural. (R109)

In Hungarian ―vérbeli‖ is an adjective and means that one has a talent by nature. It is a complex word with a stem which denotes ―blood‖. There are synonyms or bilingual dictionary equivalences for vérbeli, but natural is the simplest and as short as the source-language word.    falun akkor még nem volt szokás a hisztéria, jót húztak a gyerekre, megmondták, mit tegyen, ha még mindig nem értette, fejbe verték. (Sz132) …hysterics weren‘t the custom in our village; at that time they landed a good one on the child and told it what to do, and if it didn‘t understand, they hit it on the head. (D157) In those days hysterics weren‘t tolerated in the village. Children were given a good smack and told what to do, and if you still didn‘t understand, they hit you on the head. (R130)

- 43 Emerence tells the expression in bold above which means to wipe at somebody with his stick heavily but literally it says—a good they pull to the child*. We can see that only Draughon tries to stick to the style. She creates an idiom which is close to Emerence‘s personal language. It is almost the same as in the source text. Rix applies the plural form of child, changes the voice and chooses an idiom that refers to the punishment (give a smack). Speakers of different languages use similar patterns in similar situations but in different linguistic forms. These routine expressions may not have a single common linguistic element but the similarity of the situation connects them.                Menjen már…(Sz 232) Go on…(D 282) Come off it…(R 231) Hagyjon engem békében (Sz167) Leave me in peace.(D200) Leave me in peace (R165) Csitt, Viola. Csitt! (Sz 160) Hush, Viola. Hush! (D 192) Shush, Viola, shush! (R 158) Na, menjen a fenébe! (Sz 242) Just go to hell! (D 295) Go to hell! (R 242) Meg van maga veszve?(Sz83) Have you lost your mind? (D96) Are you out of your mind? (R81)


Grammatical transfer operation
These transfer operations are called ―grammatical‖ because they are brought about

by grammatical differences between languages and have an influence on the grammatical structure of the sentence. Grammatical transfer operations are apparent and obvious because they may completely recreate the whole surface of the sentence. They

- 44 are obligatory and often automatic whenever one wants to make grammatically wellformed target-language sentences. (Klaudy 2002: 319)


Grammatical specifications
By grammatical specification we mean the transferring of the source-language

grammatical category with general meaning to a more specific target-language unit (Klaudy 2002: 321) as seen in the next example;    …még ki is oktatta formás beszédben (Sz 17) …he lectured her formally (D16) …while he gave her a formal lecture. (R14)

―…ki is oktatta‖—the Hungarian verb implies to the person and time by using affixation but not the gender as in English. Translations show that a male person lectured a female person. An English sentence needs to have a subject—he—and an object after the verb—her. Hungarian grammatical system does not have gender at all therefore translators must be more specific when translating Hungarian into English. It happens automatically.    …s nem restell benne meghívót meg névjegyet gyűjteni? (Sz82) …you don‟t hesitate to collect invitations or name tags in it? (D94) …you aren‟t ashamed to store your invitations and calling cards in it. (R79)

The author-narrator says these words to Emerence using the polite or formal equivalent of ‗you‖. The verbal suffix of the verb in second person singular is restellsz. –sz—identifies the subject—you—but according to the formal conjugation it is (maga— ―you‖) restell. Actually it is the same as its third person singular form (he/she) restell. In English this polite form of ―you‖ does not exist anymore and here it is impossible to render. Only the translators are expected to be able to differentiate the Hungarian forms from each other and they did it here correctly.

- 45 In the following examples ―they‖ refers to the activists in the Communist Party who used to send worthy people for studying in the 50s-60s.    …viszik tanulni (Sz111) …they‟ll send you for instruction (D131) They‟ll take you off to sudy…(R109)


Grammatical division
There are two standard transfer operations in grammatical division, separation and

elevation. By separation we mean dividing of the source-language sentence into two or more sentences in the target-language. Elevation is where there are more clauses in the target-language sentence than in the original one. The latter is a dominant transfer operation in English-Hungarian direction. It is worth examining the process of separation in our case because it is relevant to the corpus chosen. As it was mentioned earlier, Magda Szabó applies long paragraphs with long and complex sentences and does not employ a lot of dialogues but rather indirect speech. There are parts in the novel where Emerence narrates through long pages and then the author-narrator continues. Draughon gives precedence to Magda Szabó‘s intention by following the structure of the origin work. She only rarely changes the sentence boundaries but never those of the paragraphs. There is the same number of paragraphs in Draughon‘s The Door a in Magda Szabó‘s Az ajtó. She uses semicolons, commas or dashes to separate thoughts and clauses inside a long sentence.  (1)Én nem tudtam, kit alakítok az asztalánál, de azt igen, hogy most eljátszom valaki szerepét, azét, akit hiába várt, akiért minden fáradságot vállalt, iparkodtam jól megszemélyesíteni egy ismeretlent, akiről fogalmam se volt még akkor, kicsoda. (2)Ketten gyúrtuk Viola fülét, játszottunk a tappancsaival, aztán mikor indulni akartam, Emerenc hazakísért, mintha Kőbányára indulnék gyalog, papucsban, pongyolában.(Sz74) (1)I didn‘t know whom I substituted for at the table, but I did know that I was playing someone else‘s role—that of the one for whom she had waited in vain, for whom she‘d worked so hard. (2)I tried hard to

- 46 personify the stranger whom I knew nothing about at the time. (3)The two of us kneaded Viola‘s ears, we played with his paws; then, when I wanted to leave, Emerence walked me home as if I were going all the way to Kőbánya on foot in slippers and a house dress. (D85) (1)I had no idea who I represented at the table, but I knew that I was standing in for someone else, for the visitor who had failed to come, the person for whom she had gone to so much trouble. (2)I did my best to personify a stranger of whom I knew nothing. (3)Together we massaged Viola‘s ears and played with his paws, and, when I was ready to leave, Emerence escorted me home, as if we were going all the way to Kőbánya on foot, in slippers and dressing gown. (R71)

As far as the British translation is considered, Rix breaks up paragraphs and long sentences into more sentences. There are cases when he applies direct speech instead of the original indirect one. When I was looking for the chosen examples in the English translations I could find them easily in Draughon‘s book but had more difficulties to find the quotations in Rix‘s text.  Mégiscsak meg kellett kérdeznem tőle, ezek szerint tudta, hogy Polett mire készül? Hogyne tudta volna, felelte Emerenc, és megkavarta, sőt megsaccolta a borsót, elég lesz-e valamennyiünknek. Még azt is együtt döntötték el, hogy ne mérget igyék. Mikor ő annál a főnyomozónál szolgált…(Sz97) Nevertheless, I had to ask her—in the light of all this—had she known what Polett was planning? How could she not have known, Emerence answered, and she stirred and sized up the quantity of peas to see whether there would be enough for all of us. We agreed that she wouldn‟t poison herself. When she was a servant for the chief police…(D114) I felt compelled to ask, all the same, “So you knew what she was going to do?””How could I not have known?” she answered, as she gave the peas a stir, and considered whether she had done enough for everyone. “We even agreed that she wouldn‟t use poison. When I worked for that detective inspector…(R94) The second chapter, A kötés, consists of 17 paragraphs in the original text and in Draughon‘s but there are 33 paragraphs in Rix‘s. The next chapter, a Krisztus testvérei, contains 10 paragraphs and Rix‘s does 25. Chapter Viola has 14 paragraphs in Hungarian and 37 in Rix‘s work. So it can be traced that Rix gives precedence to the readability of the target-language text though that can cause loss in dynamism of the text comparing to the original text.

- 47 -


Grammatical contraction
Grammatical contraction includes two standard transfer operations: conjoining

of two or more sentences into one and lowering of phrases by applying nominal phrases, infinitival phrases or participial phrases. In our case we cannot talk about conjoining of sentences because long and complex sentences are given as it was mentioned previously. They rather need separation than conjoining. However, we can examine the second type of grammatical contraction that is lowering of phrases. It means that there are fewer clauses in the target text than in the original one. a)Lowering of clauses into participial phrases.       Sutu meg is jegyezte, hidegek az ujjaim, csak nem bujkál bennem valami.(Sz222) …Sutu commented about my fingers being cold—not coming down with something, am I? (D269) …Sutu remarked on how cold my fingers were. She hoped I wasn‘t sickening for something.(R221) Már éppen csak ez kellett neki, ez a látvány, meg én, aki ordítozok, hisztériásan, úgy ordítok, hogy vihar szüntén az országútig, a házunkig elhangzik a visítás. (Sz33) All she needed was a sight like this, with me yelling hysterically, screaming so that after the storm my screams could be heard all the way to the main highway. (D34) It was all she needed, a sight like this, and my hysterical screaming. I was screaming so loud that when the storm stopped I could be heard as far away as the main road, and of course the house. (R29)

b) Lowering of clauses into infinitival phrases—here we can see infinitival clauses that are often used to express purpose and goal in English.    Én nem vittem semmit, figyeltem az órámat, meddig ülhetek mellette, nem is bosszantottam beszéddel (Sz199) I didn‘t bring anything; I checked my watch to see how long I could sit with her; I didn‘t even irritate het with conversation; (D240) I hadn‘t brought anything. I kept looking at my watch to see how much longer I had to sit with her. I didn‘t trouble her with talk…(R198)

- 48 It is worthy of note that there is a difference between Draughon‘s and Rix‘s interpretation. There are visiting hours in the Hungarian hospitals, hence the narrator checks her watch. She wants to spend there as much time as possible. Draughon faithfully transmits the author‘s intention but Rix distorts it a bit implying that the narrator rather would quicken the time she has to spend there.    …sietett a gondosan elvégzett munkával, mert mindig megszámlálhatatlan egyéb tennivalója vagy programja is volt. (Sz 20) …she hurried to finish her work carefully, because she had countless other things to do and places to be. (D19) She finished her jobs quickly and carefully, always aware that she had countless other things to do and other calls to make. (R16)


Grammatical addition
Certain grammatical categories exist in one language but not in the other and there

can be different rules governing in the languages. By grammatical categories we talk about gender, prepositions, verbal prefixes, separable verbal prefixes etc. Grammatical additions are forced translators on applying by syntactic differences between languages. That is why new grammatical elements with different functions appear in the targetlanguage text though they cannot be found in the source-language text. So something must be added to the target-language sentence in order to create a grammatically correct sentence. a) Addition of missing subject—Hungarian verbs identify the subject by verbal suffixes but in the English language explicit subject must be applied. When the subject cannot be specified usually a general subject is used;    Emerenc kivédhetetlen volt, megállíthatatlan, nem lehetett vele se komázni, se barátkozni, de csevegni sem, (Sz110) Emerence couldn‘t be evaded or stopped; he couldn‟t fraternized, be friendly, or even chat with her (D130) She couldn‘t be fended off, or stopped in her tracks; he couldn‟t take a familiar or friendly line with her, or even make a simple conversation (R108)

- 49    …de rájöttem, csak összesértegetné. Emerenc keresztyén, de nincs az a lelkipásztor, aki erről meg tudná győzni(Sz29) …yet I realized that she‟d keep insulting him. Emerence is a Christian but the clergyman doesn‘t exist who could convince her of this. (D30) Then I realised, she would only hurl insults at him. Emerence was a Christian, but the minister who might convince her of the fact didn‘t exist. R25)

b) Addition of missing objects—In Hungarian we differentiate definite and indefinite objects. We can use different verb forms depending on the object being definite or indefinite.       …viszik tanulni (Sz111) …they‟ll send you for instruction (D131) They‟ll take you off to sudy…(R109) taníttatta a polgári neveldében, és szavát vette apámnak, nem űzi munkára (Sz30) …he‘d sent her to finishing school, and he made my father promise that he wouldn‘t force her to work. (D31) He‘d sent her to school and made my father promise ha would never put her out to work. (R26)

Let us note that the lexical unit ―polgári neveldében‖ has necessarily been generalized in both cases. It used to be a kind of secondary school in the first half of the 20th century.    …de rájöttem, csak összesértegetné. Emerenc keresztyén, de nincs az a lelkipásztor, aki erről meg tudná győzni(Sz29) …yet I realized that she‟d keep insulting him. Emerence is a Christian but the clergyman doesn‘t exist who could convince her of this. (D30) Then I realised, she would only hurl insults at him. Emerence was a Christian, but the minister who might convince her of the fact didn‘t exist. R25)


Grammatical transpositions
By grammatical transposition we mean the translation strategy during which the

translators change the sequence of the sentence elements in the sentence that is the order of the words. There are two main differences between Hungarian and English: the basic

- 50 word order of the sentence and the position of the modifiers. The Hungarian sentence is dominated by the SOV word order while the English language belongs to the SVO type. As far as the position of the modifiers is considered, in Hungarian all modifiers appear in front of the head noun as premodifiers in contrast to the English language in which noun phrases can be premodified or postmodified. Consequently, the predominant direction in translation from Hungarian into English is right-positioning of modifiers:          …értelmes kutya (Sz112) …sensible dog (D133) …dog in its right mind (R 109) …munkaképtelenné alázott férjemmel (Sz109) …with my husband who‟d been so humiliated (D128 …with my husband (Who had himself been so harassed and humiliated…)(R107) hozott váratlan, meg sem érdemelt, nem is indokolt ajándéktárgyakat(Sz77) …she brought unexpected, undeserved gifts for no reason at all (D88) …gifts that were both unexpected and undeserved. (R74)

In translating from Hungarian into English right-positioning of verbal complements is obligatory due to the systemic word order differences between Hungarian and English. Hungarian is a topic-prominent language since new information can be put in focus position that is the left slot before the verb. However, English is subject-prominent language. In this case we talk about verbal and postverbal position.     súlyosabb itt a baj, .(Sz 68) the trouble here was more serious (D77) Perhaps there was a deeper issue here (R65) Nehéz volt a tálca, alig bírtam miatta kinyitni a kaput, jól meg is néztek, míg vittem át az utcán. Emerenc nem látszott semerre, de zárt ajtaja mögül most kivételesen leplezés nélkül kihallatszott a mozgás, sőt az is, beszél, nyilván a macskájával társalgott, hisz Violának is mindig magyaráz. (Sz 68) The tray was heavy and I could hardly open the gate; they took a good look as I carried it across the street. Emerence wasn‘t anywhere to be

- 51 seen, yet exceptionally clear sounds of movement could be heard from behind her door; she was even talking—obviously conversing with her cat—after all she always expounded to Viola, too. (D78) The tray was heavy, and had difficulty opening the front door. People stared as I carried it across the street. Emerence was nowhere to be seen, but from behind her door came unmistakable sound of movement. I could hear her talking, apparently in discussion with her cat, explaining things the way she did with Viola. (R65)

As an optional translation strategy, fronting time and place adverbials can be used as a technique for topicalization taking over the topic part of the sentence.       Több mint húsz évig gondoskodott rólunk. (Sz 20) More than twenty years she looked after us; (D19) Although she looked after us for over twenty years, (R16) Ezen az irreális éjszakán, amelyen élet és halál kézen fogva álltak a téli virradatban, hogy elsodorja rettegő gondolataimat, Emerenc bemutatkozott. (Sz 30) On this unreal night, in which life and death stood hand-in-hand in the wintry dawn, Emerence introduced herself to wash away my terrifying thoughts. (D30) On this most surreal of nights, with life and death waiting hand in hand in the wintry dawn, Emerence sought to quell my terrified thoughts by finally introducing herself. (R26)


Grammatical replacement
Grammatical replacement means substitution within the same category. It can be

accomplished in different ways and level e.g. within the category of tenses (from present tense to past), or within the category of voice (from active to passive or visa versa) and the level of phrase, sentence and text. Since the Hungarian grammatical form does not have direct equivalent in the English language, translators can choose from a broad spectrum of possibilities the English language offers. They should follow the English language norms and produce a text that create the idea in English readership as if they do not read a translation but an original text. I will narrow down my investigation to the corpora observing the process of replacement on different level.

- 52 In the course of depredicativisation a predicate is replaced by an adverbial complement as we can see Draughon‘s solution below. She applies lowering i.e. transforming the three Hungarian predicates into participial phrases. Rix employs replacement within the category of tense. His first sentence has two clauses, one with a reported verb in simple past tense and the other with the verb be in agreement with the reported verb—were. The same process goes in the second sentence. It is worth mentioning that the idiomatic expression ―bújkál benne valami‖ translated into ―being sickening for an illness‖ or ―coming down with an illness‖ are pretty good choices though I would be for Rix‘s alternative because it suggests incubating or lurking much better. The Hungarian expression, however, can imply not only illnesses but feeling such as fear—feeling quaky—or laugh (simmer), disdain, impudence, gloom or grief.    Sutu meg is jegyezte, hidegek az ujjaim, csak nem bujkál bennem valami.(Sz222) …Sutu commented about my fingers being cold—not coming down with something, am I? (D269) …Sutu remarked on how cold my fingers were. She hoped I wasn‟t sickening for something.(R221)

The examples below exemplify the process of passivization. If there is no an explicit grammatical subject in the Hungarian sentence passivisation will probably take place.       Ebédre szó se volt szilváról. (Sz154) Not a word was said about plums for lunch…(D184) There was no question of plums for lunch.(R151, Emerenc őszi-téli óráit is az időjárás szabta meg, ahogy eljött az igazi zimankó, idejének zsarnoka a csapadék lett. (Sz21) The weather determined not only her social commitments, but in fall and winter it shaped all of her time; for as soon as the bitter cold arrived, precipitation became her tyrant. (D20) The weather dictated not only what qualified as her social activities but, in autumn and winter, her every waking hour. Once the bitter cold arrived, everything was dominated by what fell from the sky. (R17)

- 53 If the explicit grammatical subject is inanimate, passivisation will most likely occur. The ―weather‖ and ‗bitter cold‖ fulfil the subject-function in both translations but only Draughon keeps ―precipitation‖ as a subject, Rix changes the whole structure of the text. On the one hand he breaks up the Hungarian sentence into two separated sentences. On the other hand he recreates the last clause paraphrasing the original one causing certain loss. Rix applies a general subject—everything—and passivisation extending Draughon‘s ―precipitation‖ to more words by ―what fell from the sky‖. The Hungarian metaphor—―idejének zsarnoka‖( tyrant of her time)—loses in Rix‘s text

changing the style. Those parts of the translations in italic are added by the translators explaining the meaning of ―őszi-téli óráit‖. It refers to her time management, mapping out her time in autumn and winter and not only her waking hour as Rix interprets but her whole day. The next illustration is very interesting. The Hungarian word ―eltemettetni‖ is a passive formant (to be buried) and Emerence is in focus position. Draughon chooses to keep passive voice while Rix decides to apply different structure; to be +adjective+ to infinitive:    eltemettetni megint csak az alezredes segítségével lehetett a harag ama felejthetetlen napján(Sz56) On that unforgettable day, Emerence was only able to be buried with the help of the Lieutenant Colonel (D64) When that terrible, never-to-be-forgotten day did arrive it was only possible to bury her with the help, yet again, of the Lieutenant Colonel. (R53)

Let us look at the phrase in italic, ―a harag ama felejthetetlen napján‖. Here, and several other places, Magda Szabó uses intertextuality to describe that day, when Emerence died by anger. None of the translators carries out this reference borrowed from the Bible found in the Revelation 6:17. ―For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?‖(King James version) or in Zephaniah 1:15 ―That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a

- 54 day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness‖(King James version). Both translators front this time adverbial. Here come some more examples for passivisation and how translators extend the English sentence. The Hungarian sentence consists of five words while Draughon‘s sentence is twice as long as the original sentence and Rix‘s is even longer.    Annust is Emerenc babonázta hozzánk.(Sz91) Bringing Anna to us must also have been Emerence‟s doing …(D106) Annie‘s visitation can only have been brought upon us by Emerence‟s dark powers…(R88)

The following text shows an example for replacing within the category of tenses. Almost every clause has different subject. They are marked in italic and the tenses are in bold. Draughon follows the Hungarian narration using present tense while Rix rather applies past tense. Here translators employ expository transfer replacing the old French word ―paillette‖ with other English alternative from French—sequin—being synonyms for spangle and paillette.  …de rájöttem, csak összesértegetné. Emerenc keresztyén, de nincs az a lelkipásztor, aki erről meg tudná győzni, már egy flitter sincs meg abból az estélyi ruhából, de a paillette csillámai beletapadtak a tudatába.(Sz29) …yet I realized that she‟d keep insulting him. Emerence is a Christian but the clergyman doesn‟t exist who could convince her of this. Not a single spangle is left from the evening dress, but the glimmer of the sequins is stuck in her mind. (D30) Then I realised, she would only hurl insults at him. Emerence was a Christian, but the minister who might convince her of the fact didn‟t exist. Not one spangle remained of that evening dress, but the glitter of sequins was burned into her consciousness. (R25)


Transferring poetic language and metaphors
I have chosen some peculiar parts to illustrate Magda Szabó‘s language. I am

delighted with her poetic narration, her language and the words she made up. I will differentiate the narrator‘s sentences from Emerence‘s. First let us see the writer-

- 55 narrator‘s literary devices which cannot be possible to transfer. The quotations below inform us with a feeling as if we read poems in Hungarian but not in case of English. Though, translators come up with remarkable solutions, they can only paraphrase the meaning. It is inevitable to meet with losses in connection with personal language in poetry. Metaphors, simile, metonymy, complex poetic images, personifications,

alliterations can be conveyed only partially.    …csak az öregség sodorja újra meg újra felém a múlt hordalékjából keményre gyúrt iszonyatot (Sz5) …but time after time my old age lines up compressed balls of pain for me from its stockpile (D1) …but in old age I am confronted repeatedly with horrors from my past, all the more dismaying (R1)

Draughon‘s finesse stands closer to the Hungarian image, which is the narrator‘s memory from the past filling her with dismay and horror. Rix restructures the whole sentence changing the voice and the subject and loses the poetic style. Here come some examples in which only the meaning is conveyed not the style:          …fel meg nem izgathattam a férjemet, akihez egyelőre csak szűrve engedtem a világot(Sz39) …I didn‘t want to upset my husband; I only let in the world for him in small doses (D41) …I didn‘t want to upset my husband. At the time I was allowing him only carefully monitored doses of reality. (R35) belénk csontosult, van valaki, aki mindig mindent elintéz.(Sz88) …we‟d become used to there being someone who‘d always take care of everything. (D102) …it had become ingrained in us that there was always someone there to straighten us out. (R85) Saját apját, aki a század elején tehetős iparos volt, kétkezi munkásnak érzékelte, mert gyaluforgácsok között rögzült a figurája (Sz107) She perceived her own father—who was a shopkeeper in the early working with his two hands because she had a fixed image of him working amidst wood shavings (D126) Her own father, who at the turn of the century had been a well-to-do craftsman, she thought of as working with hands because she had a fixed image of him surrounded by wood shavings (R104)

- 56 Magda Szabó as a ―neologist‖ comes up with new words that are not used in Hungarian language. They need deep analysis and synthesis on the part of the translators to be able to interpret them. They are often semantically rich verbs. The next two instances cannot be translated at all so translators rephrase them:       Nekiengedett annak a megszokhatatlan élménynek (Sz36) I couldn‘t get used to the experience (D39) I was faced with the disconcerting experience…(R33) Neheztelésről szó sem volt, a férjem, bár nem dicsekedett vele, valami suta elégtételt érzett, én megfelhőztem.(Sz88) It wasn‘t a question of holding a grudge; my husband—although he didn‘t boast about it—felt an awkward satisfaction; and I was upset. (D102) It wasn‘t a question of holding anything against her. My husband, though he didn‘t boast about it, felt s sort of grim satisfaction; but I was plunged into gloom. (R85) Sutu elgyökkent fejjel bámult Emerencre, (Sz121) Sutu with her head turned slightly to one side stared at Emerence (D144) Sutu, with her head turned to stare at Emerence (R119)

  

The example below presents an alliteration and figure etymology. Alliteration disappears in both translations though Draughon conveys the meaning faithfully. Rix rephrases the Hungarian expressions:    Emerenc egyikünk anyjához se hasonlított, mégis mindkettőnk újra született szülője. (Sz94) …Emerence was nothing at all like our mothers, and yet she was a newly-created parent for both of us. (D110) …how, though she was as so different from either of our mothers, she was like a new-found mother to us both. (R91)

Let us be delighted in some beautifully written and conveyed parts of the novel:   olyan volt, mint egy evilági Kanizsai Dorottya, aki a tárgyak elveszett csataterén azt fürkészi, van-e még élet valamelyik sebesültben.(Sz91) …she was like a contemporary Dorothy Kanizsai who thoroughly searches the lost battlefield to see if there might be life in any of the wounded. (D105)

- 57  …she bobbed up and down between the discarded items like a modern-day Dorothy Kanizsai scouring the battlefields of defeat for signs of life among the wounded. (R88) Ez volt a csóva Emerenc értelmiségellenes olajkútjára, (Sz111) This was the torch that ignited the oil-well of Emerence‟s antiintellectualism; (D131) That was the torch that ignited the oil-well of her antiintellectualism. (R109) …milyen illogikus, halálos sodrású, kiszámíthatatlan indulat a vonzalom, pedig ismertem a görög irodalmat, ami egyebet sem ábrázolt, mint az indulatok, a halál, a szerelem és a szeretet összefogódzó kezében felvillanó közös szekercét.(Sz116) …how illogical—how deadly current—how unpredictable emotional attraction is; and yet I was familiar with Greek literature which described nothing but passions, death, love, and affection with their hands joined together on a shining ax.. (D138) …how irrational, how unpredictable is the attraction between two people, how fatal its current. And yet I was well versed in Greek literature, which portrayed nothing but the passions: death and love and friendship, their hands joined together round a glittering axe. (R114) Mennyi szomjúság, de mindenre, mennyi képesség, semmiért.(SZ115) So much thirst—but for everything; so much capability—for nothing.(D137) Such a thirst for life, but so diffused over everything; such immense talent, achieving nothing. (R114) …de hát az írás megindulása vagy elapadása szerencsésebb hangulatú napon is kegyelmi állapot (Sz89) …but then—in the ebb and flow of writing—even on good days, being able to write is a state of grace. (D103) …but then the ebb and flow of writing involves, even on good days, being in a state of grace. (R86)

   

     

In the following we study a few instances of Emerence‘s narrations:    nagy bitang, aki más családi ügyébe veri az orrát, engem ne lázingasson, mert beveri a fejit (Sz31) …anyone who sticks his nose into another family‟s concerns is a trouble-maker, that he shouldn‟t turn me against him because he‟ll crack the headmaster‟s skull open. (D32) …anyone who stuck his nose into another family‟s business was a troublemaker, and he‟d better not try to turn me against the idea or he‟d bash his head in. (R27)

- 58 Her idiolect here is quite peculiar and inaccurate. There is a catachresis in the Hungarian idiom Emerence uses; ―más családi ügyébe veri az orrát‖. Two idioms amalgamate here; ―beleavatkozik más ügyébe‖(encroach one‘s business) and ―beleüti az orrát‖(poke one‘s nose into). So translators decide on carrying out a word-for-word translation preserving her style. Emerence‘s personal language use—―lázingasson‖, ―fejit‖—cannot be transferred. Losses happen inevitably in case of idiolects though the humour and irony can be transmitted. In the following we can see instances from Emerence‘s metaphoric language which is successfully conveyed by translators:    …szálltak a behívók, mint a madarak (Sz 31) …draft notices were descending like birds (D32) …call-up letters were flying around like birds. (R27)

Synaesthesia:    …dörgött, gurult a hang az égen (Sz33) It rumbled, the sound rolled along the sky (D34) Thunder rolled across…(R29)

Complex poetic image:    …egyszer csak lángot vetett az arca, és mint a nyíl, elcikázott mellőlem az esőben (Sz33) …all of a sudden her face flushed; she slipped by me in the rain like an arrow (D35) For a second her face blazed, then she flashed past me and sped away in the rain…(R30)


Some problematic transfer
After studying lexical and grammatical transfer operations and translating

metaphors, it is worth examining some examples I have accidentally found studying the novel. In these cases the translation seems to be incorrect or inaccurate. I was

- 59 wondering if it could mislead and misguide the target-language readership and if the inaccuracy can hinder them in understanding.    …a Szentírásban egy rokona van Emerencnek, a bibliai Márta, hiszen az élete szüntelen segítés és munkálkodás, hát hogyan hasonolhatott meg ennyire az Odafennvalóval? (Sz28) Emerence had a relative in the scriptures—the biblical Martha—after all, her life was ceaselessly helpful and hard working; how could she be so much like a saint? (D28) …she had a sister in the Scriptures, the biblical Martha. Her life too had been a ceaseless round of hard work and giving help to others. But what has made Emerence so like the saint? (R24)

The first part of the sentence is almost equivalent to the translations. Draughon uses the bilingual dictionary equivalent ―relative‖ for the word ―rokon‖ and employs the adjective forms ―helpful and hard working‖ for the Hungarian nouns ―segítés és munkálkodás‖. Rix carries out more or less the same as Draughon but instead of ―relative‖ he uses ―sister‖ (referring to the sex) and preserves the noun phrase form in English—hard work and giving help to others—though, he adds more words than the Hungarian one. I would emphasise the second half of the sentence in bold. It seems to me that both translators misunderstand the Hungarian words meghasonul (here it is separated: hasonolhatott…meg) and Odafennvaló and mix up the word meghasonul with the word hasonlít (be like) but lose the meaning of Odafennvaló. Meghasonul means to be opposed to somebody or be at odds with somebody or be at variance with somebody. Odafennvaló refers to God so the sentence correctly could be ―But how could she be opposed to God?‖ or ―But what has made Emerence become opposed to God?‖ Still this inaccuracy cannot misguide the reader because both solutions—how could she be so much like a saint? or But what has made Emerence so like the saint?—fit into the context. Emerence is helpful and hard working and she is willing to lend a hand to anybody in need regardless one‘s race, nation, political view, social rank or sex. She acts as a real Christian or as a Christian should act and live. So she is a real saint in this sense. In other parts of the novel it becomes clear that

- 60 Emerence hates churches, clergymen and religion as well as politicians or political parties and all the authorities. She does not respect them at all but she loves caring and seeing after people living around her. In another place translators could find variations for meghasonlott. Here we see it as an adjective literary meaning facing up to the world. Emerence can be seemed unbalanced or disturbed sometimes but here these phrases do not cover and maybe cannot cover the real meaning of meghasonlott at all:   Megbántani nem mertem, nem is akartam, de a csorba fülű kutyával végképp nem lehetett mit kezdeni, kétségbeejtő látvány volt, egy a világgal meghasonlott dilettáns tévedése.(Sz81) I didn‘t dare hurt her feelings, nor did I want to; but when it came to the dog with the chipped ear, I didn‘t know where to begin; it was a hopeless sight, a mistake made by a dilettante with an unbalanced view of the world. (D93) I didn‘t dare offend her, nor did I wish to, but with the dog with the chipped ear, there was nowhere to begin. It was a desperate sight, an error of judgement perpetrated by a dilettante with a disturbed view of the world. (R78)

In the next case Hungarian readership has the same association whenever one hears magyaróra:    …szabálytalan magyarórára (Sz 119) sporadic literary hours (D141) …or occasional language lessons. (R117)

It refers to the Hungarian Literature lessons at school and the adjective— szabálytalan—before the word denotes that this lesson differs from the usual lesson at school. It may be hold in a different place and circumstances for students as happened in the novel, too. Sporadic and occasional express the frequency of these lessons and they both refer to their rareness. Draughon can keep the literary shade of the phrase but instead of lesson she chooses hour. In Hungarian the same word ―óra‖ can refer to the time and also to the school lesson. Here it refers to the rare literary occasions but it does not have anything to do with school lessons. However, Rix goes further in diverting the original meaning because he speaks about language lessons as if the source text refers

- 61 to language learning. Nevertheless the whole message cannot be diverted because it has no importance. The Hungarian word in bold below—odakapott—cannot be transferred correctly. It means that one visits another person more and more while it becomes one‘s habit to visit there, so here Lieutenant Colonel began to visit Emerence regularly, and then when a new recruit came, his first thing was to take him to Emerence. That interpretation has absolutely lost:    Emerenchez, a ranglistán emelkedő alezredes egyenesen odakapott hozzá, (Sz19) the up-and-coming Lieutenant Colonel grabbed each new recruit right away (D 18) As he rose steadily through the ranks, the future Lieutenant Colonel took each new recruit aside at the first opportunity (R15)

My favourite misinterpretation is the next one:    …úgy hadartam, mint egy balos képzőművészeti kritikus.(Sz83) …so I babbled like a fumbling art critic (D96) …so I had gabbled away like a left-wing art critic.(R80)

For the Hungarian readership it is obvious that the word „balos‖ refers to someone who is communist. Officially there were no left-wing or right-wing political groups at all in that era. Draughon interprets the Hungarian word ―balos‖ as ―two-lefthanded*‖. In Hungarian it refers to someone who is awkward and fumbling. Rix understands the political connotation of ―balos‖ and conveys it. Although, I would apply the word ―communist‖ because in target-language audience the phrase ―left-wing‖ could generate the idea that there is a right-wing, too. In the last example the vernacular verb ―elgór‖ is misinterpreted. As a dialect and old word it means to throw away, to pitch, to toss. The young girl Emerence takes a mug with her when running away from home with her twin brother and sister. She is about to fill the mug when the storm bursts out and a flash of lightening strikes the twins standing under a tree. Seeing two carbonized stumps, she throws away the mug

- 62 and runs back to them. Translators decide here by inference; if there is a mug in one‘s hand standing at a well, the mug must be filled:    … de aztán elgórtam a bögrét (Sz33) … but I filled up the cup (D34) …but I filled the mug…(R29)

Studying these cases, one may come to the conclusion that Rix used Draughon‘s precedential translation as parallel text.

- 63 -


This dissertation has investigated the two English translations of Magda Szabó‘s novel, Az ajtó. Stefan Draughon translated Szabó‘s book in New York in 1994, more than 10 years before Rix was trusted to do that in London. This study set out to determine that Rix used Draughon‘s precedent work as a parallel text. I have found that she went down deeply analyzing the source text to be able to convey as much meaning in English as possible, and numerous cases Rix could rely on her text. In questionable passages he has similar solutions to Draughon‘s whether they are accurate or not. Draughon had an idea about the scene since she resorted to Budapest. So when translating the passages about rooms, furniture or sights, Rix could turn to Draughon‘s work. Returning to the key question posed at the beginning of this study, it is now possible to state that the translation of metaphors and other cultural categories in target text meet the needs of the target readership. Translators using different transfer operations try their best to communicate and convey the message faithfully, and to achieve the same ―look‖ as the ―old garment‖. However, literary meaning cannot just be rendered in many cases. It is sometimes impossible to find parallel idioms or recreate nuances, rhythmic effects and so on. In the Hungarian text we find lines as if they were lines of poetry. It is also beyond possibility to convey them literally. There are crucial differences in taste between the two languages. We have to admit that there are simply no direct equivalents for certain things. The findings suggest that it is inevitable to suffer some losses. Certain changes occur in the style and the rhythm in the target text; there are metaphors that cannot be conveyed and translators apply the right transfer operations to find the best solutions.

- 64 They reconstruct the ―new garment‖ according to the target-language norms. Sometimes the target-language text turned out to be more explicit, to be much longer than the source text, yet, translations are more or less the same length as the source text. The Hungarian text often puts obstacles in the way of the source-language readership; applying intertextuality referring to the Bible or Greek mythological figures; using foreign words, literary and historical references et cetera. During the complex process of translation the most obstacles are counteracted by addition, explicitation, generalization and other operations. At the beginning of the second part I refer to Piotr Kubiwczak‘s paper in which he points out that translation is a creative but critic work. In case of The Door it is true that the book cannot read as a translation but as if it were written for the first time in its new language. In that way the English-language readership becomes aware of how different the way of life people live in Hungary still today. Both translators have an idea about Hungarian realia, Hungary‘s history, the political and social life. It seems that the mistakes we find cannot influence the whole message because they have no importance or they can be recovered in other passages. Taken together, these results suggest that good translation requires creative and talented writer-translators who are able to rewrite the source text as Draughon and Rix do in The Door. This work is the result of their complex mental activity using their background knowledge.

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Ajtay-Horváth, Magda. Az ajtó és angol Fordítástudományi Konferencia, 04.04.2008. nyelvű kulcsa. Előadásvázlat.

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- 66 Nida, Eugene Albert. and Waard, Jan de. Egyik nyelvről a másikra Budapest: Magyar Bibliatársulat 2002 Nida, Eugene Albert, Taber, Charles Russell, United Bible Societies. The theory and practice of translation Brill Publishing, 1974 Said M. Shiyab. A Textbook of Translation: Theoretical and Practical Implications Antwerp: Garant, 2006 Szabó, Magda. Az ajtó, Budapest: EurópaKönyvkiadó, 2008 Szabó, Magda. The Door, USA: Eastern European Monographs of Columbia University Press, 1994 Szabó, Magda. The Door, London: Harvill Secker Publishing, 2005 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.

Internet Resources: Al-Hassnawi, Ali. R. A Cognitive Approach to Translating Metaphors, (03.12.2009.) Alm-Arvius, Christina, Live, Moribund, and Dead Metaphors, University of Stockholm, (03.15.2009) CompLex Magazin XIII. évfolyam 4. szám, 2006. (03.16.2009) Frunza, Camelia. Translating culture-specific metaphoric expressions, Paládi József, A bánat hegedűje, Dunapress Kiadó, 2008. (03.16.2009) (03.16.2009),en (07.21.2007) Rix, Len, A passion for Hungarian fiction, Hungarian Literature Online, (03.17.2009) Somogyi Etelka, (04.12.2009) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia, (04.13.2009) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia, (04.13.2009)

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