Web Translation Projects/Polish Translations of Proper Names in The Lord of the Rings/LOTR in Jerzy Łoziński's Translation

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Translation of Proper Names in Jerzy Łoziński's translation of The Lord of the Rings[edit | edit source]

Introduction[edit | edit source]

The aim of this project is to show how proper names have been translated by Jerzy Łoziński in The Lord of the Rings translation from 1996. In the translator's notes Łoziński explains that he tried to present the world of the book according to the wishes of J.R.R Tolkien. He also mentions that he tried his best to render the translation in a way that it could emulate the original, to give a notion as if Tolkien originally created it in Polish [1].

What are Proper Names?[edit | edit source]

In The Grammar of Names it is mentioned that according to Robert Gordon Latham, we can divide names into Proper or Common. Proper names are attributed to individual objects, a certain person or place. Common names refer to a class or collection (ex. dog, cat ,vehicle)[2].

Translation of Proper Names[edit | edit source]

There are multiple ways and approaches to translating a text from the Source Language into the Target Language. We are going to focus on translation strategies proposed by Albert Péter Vermes: Transference, Substitution, Translation, Modification. However, we will expand the list further. The following strategies can be applied separately, but it is also possible to use multiple strategies simultaneously.

  • Transference
  • Substitution
  • Translation
  • Modification
  • Omission
  • Addition
  • Generalization
  • Transference + phonetic adaptation

Translation Strategies[edit | edit source]

Transference[edit | edit source]

It is a strategy of translation, where the translator does not change the given word in any way. The word is kept in the Target Language in the same form it appeared in the Source Language, so one can say it has been "transfered" [3].

Substitution[edit | edit source]

It is connected with the use of already functioning equivalents of the word that are used in the Target Language. These include, but are not limited to names of countries (ex. Germany = Deutschland = Niemcy), cities, geographical names (rivers, seas, mountains, etc.). Vermes believes that translators are expected to make use of the names existing in the TL [4].

Translation[edit | edit source]

This strategy is used when the translator renders the noun in the Target Text. According to Newmark rendering the text into the target language and trying to make it as close as possible in meaning intended by the author is considered an act called translation[5].

Modification[edit | edit source]

It is a strategy that relies on searching for substitutes in the Target Language that are related partly, or not related at all to the original. This means that if a original name is translated from the Source Language, it is changed significantly in the Target Language [6].

Omission[edit | edit source]

It is a strategy that involves removing an original noun or its part in translation, due to various reasons. One of the reasons could be the fact that the translator deems a part of it as unnecessary, or problematic in the sense that it may be ambiguous to the reader of the Target Text.

Addition[edit | edit source]

This strategy involves expansion in the translation of a source noun. Addition is performed in the main body of the TT or as marginal notes. Its goal is to clarify the text for the reader by providing information and removing ambiguities that could affect the understanding of the text. Words that are culture-bound exist and thus it is often not possible to find fitting equivalents for them. In order to convey their meaning, instead of transfering them into the Target Text, a translator may resort to paraphrasing or presenting the omitted word in a descriptive way.

Generalization[edit | edit source]

This strategy revolves around the use of superordinates(or hypernyms) in the place of a given word. For example, instead of saying "I saw a man sitting by the oak tree" one can say "I saw a man sitting by a tree".

Transference + phonetic adaptation[edit | edit source]

In this strategy the nouns are transfered into the TT, however they are phonetically adapted to match the conventions of the TL.

Examples of translated proper names[edit | edit source]

Translation of names connected with the Elves in LotR[edit | edit source]

A note on page 13 in Władca Pierścieni: Bractwo Pierścienia (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) can be found regarding linguistic changes that were applied for elven terms. It is explains that the changes were made in order to prevent the Polish readers from mispronouncing them. The changes are as follows "th" - "t" (Thranduil - Tranduil), "c"-"k" (Celebrimbor - Kelebrimbor), "ó" -"õ" (Lórien-Lõria) and "w" - "u" (Arwen-Aruena) [7]. There is one more change that appears, "í" - "i" (Celebrían - Kelebriana), however it seems that it does not influence the pronunciation and is only a visual change.

Original Jerzy Łoziński Translation Strategy Comment
Rivendell Tajar modification The translator came up with a unique name
Lórien Lõria translation
Lothlórien Lotalõria translation It is also referred to as "The Golden Wood", and translated as "Złocisty Bór"
Grey Havens Szare Przystanie translation The Elvish name for it is "Mithlond". It is translated as "Mitlond".
Mirkwood Sępna Puszcza translation
The Blessed Realm Błogosławiony Kraj translation This refers to the continent also known as Aman or Valinor
Gorgoroth Gorgorot transference+phonetic adaptation
Argonath Argonat transference+phonetic adaptation Known also as the Gates of Argonath and the Pillars of Kings, which are translated as "Bramy Argonath" and "Filary Królów" respectively.
Cerin Amroth Kerin Amrot transference+phonetic adaptation
Cirith Gorgor Kirit Gorgor transference+phonetic adaptation
Parth Galen Part Galen transference+phonetic adaptation
Arwen Undómiel Aruena Undõmiel transference+phonetic adaptation Undómiel means Evenstar
Celebrían Kelebriana transference+phonetic adaptation Arwen's mother, the name was transfered and adapted phonetically. Letter "a" was added at the end of the word in order to indicate that the person who uses it is female.
Elrond Half-elven Elrond Półelf transference, translation The name remained unchanged, the title was translated.
Thranduil Tranduil transference+phonetic adaptation He is the father of Legolas and the leader of the elves of Mirkwood.
Calacyria Kalkiryia transference+phonetic adaptation A narrow pass that led through the mountains known as Pelóri.
Hill of Hearing Góra Nasłuchu translation Also known as Amon Lhaw
Hill of Sight Góra Nadzoru translation Also known as Amon Hen
Nargothrond Nargotrond transference+phonetic adaptation An elven fortress and city built underground.
Berúthiel Berútiel transference+phonetic adaptation
Elven-ship Elfowy korab translation It was mentioned in an elven song. The word "korab" is sometimes used in poems instead of the word "statek" (this word means ship)

Translation of some names and surnames of hobbits[edit | edit source]

Original Jerzy Łoziński Translation Strategy Comment
Daddy Twofoot Papcio Dwustopczyk substitution, modification
Ted Sandyman Tado Piaszczyk modification The name was changed. The surname was changed, Sandy was probably translated as "Piaszczysty" and then modified by adding a slavic suffix popular in Ukraine -yk/-czyk (Piaszcz + -yk)
Fredegar Bolger Fred Boblik modification also referred to as "Fatty" - "Grubcio"
Peregrin Took Peregrin Tuk transference+phonetic adaptation Pippin - Pipin name remained unchanged, surname was phonetically adapted.
Meriadok Brandybuck Radostek Gorzaleń modification "Merry" - "Rady"
Adelard Took Adelajda Tuk translation, transference+phonetic adaptation This is most likely an error in translation, In the original this character is a man, however in the translation his gender is changed.
Angelica Baggins Angelika Bagosz substitution, modification The name was substituted for an already existing equivalent.
Sancho Hardfoot Sanczo Hardostopczyk transference+phonetic adaptation
Bilbo Baggins Bilbo Bagosz transference, modification He is called Mad Baggins during his birthday party, it is translated into Polish as Zbzikowany Bagosz.
Farmer Maggot Kmieć Chętka modification

Surnames of hobbits in Bree[edit | edit source]

Original Jerzy Łoziński Translation Strategy Comment
Mugworts Piołunowie translation
Longholes Długojam translation
Banks Nabrzeg translation
Sandheaver Piaskun translation
Tunnelly Tunelak translation

Names of some rivers[edit | edit source]

Original Jerzy Łoziński Translation Strategy Comment
Anduin Anduina transference+phonetic adaptation
Brandywine Gorzewina translation It also appears as "Baranduin" - "Gorzewina", this names is used by elves and the one shown in the table is used by hobbits.
Hoarwell Siwa Woda translation
Stock Kłodawka translation
Withywindle Wierzbica translation/modification The word "withy" is used in some names of places in English. Coincidentally the name used by the translator for the river is the name of a village in Poland.
Silverlode Srebrzysta translation Also known as "Celebrant" - "Kelebrant"
Isen Isena transference+phonetic adaptation
Loudwater Gromka Woda translation

References[edit | edit source]

  1. notka od tłumacza w książce (translator's note in The Lord of The Rings p.595) Władca Pierścieni. Powrót Króla (wyd. Zysk i S-ka, Poznań 1997, {{ISBN|83-7150-243-5}}), str. 595.
  2. Anderson, John Mathieson (2007). The Grammar of Names. Oxford University Press. {{ISBN|978-0-19-929741-2}} p.4.
  3. Vermes, Albert Péter (2003-05-01). "Proper Names in Translation: An Explanatory Attempt". Across Languages and Cultures 4 (1): 89–108. doi:10.1556/acr.4.2003.1.5. ISSN 1585-1923. http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/acr.4.2003.1.5. 
  4. Vermes, Albert Péter (2003-05-01). "Proper Names in Translation: An Explanatory Attempt". Across Languages and Cultures 4 (1): 89–108. doi:10.1556/acr.4.2003.1.5. ISSN 1585-1923. http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/acr.4.2003.1.5. 
  5. Newmark, Peter (1988). A textbook of translation. Pearson Education
  6. Vermes, Albert Péter (2003-05-01). "Proper Names in Translation: An Explanatory Attempt". Across Languages and Cultures 4 (1): 89–108. doi:10.1556/acr.4.2003.1.5. ISSN 1585-1923. http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/acr.4.2003.1.5. 
  7. annotation on p.13 in Władca Pierścieni. Bractwo Pierścienia (wyd. Zysk i S-ka, Poznań 1996, ISBN 83-7150-241-9), str. 13.