Translation of Irony


I.Introduction. 2

II.Theoretical Part. . 5

1.The representation of Irony. 5

2.The foundation of Irony. 6

3.The purpose of Irony. 8

4.Irony and Clerisy. 10

5. Translation of Irony…………………………………………………….15

III.Practical Part 23

IV.Conclusion. 26

V.References. 28


I have chosen this theme of the course work because the translation of irony is really eternal question, and plus for all this, many translators are interested in this theme . The purpose of this work is to reveal different ways of translation and to show how gorgeous can be the English language. What about relevance, this question is very popular in the works of different writers and poets, no matter which language they are present. The course work is devoted to the study of translation of irony. The irony is very complex and inconsistent process of showing our thoughts. Pretty much everything is ironic these days. Irony is used as a synonym for cool, for cynicism, for detachment, for intelligence; it's cited as the end of civilization, as well as its salvation. In the figure of speech, emphasis is placed on the opposition between the literal and intended meaning of a statement; one thing is said and its opposite implied. The essential feature of irony is the indirect presentation of a contradiction between an action or expression and the context in which it occurs. The New Oxford English Dictionary interpreted that irony was a state of affairs or an event that seemed deliberately contrary to what one expected and was often amusing as a result.

The Greek etymology of the word “irony”, “eironeia”, means “pretence”. The Semitic root of the Greek word is derived from the Accadic term “erewum”, “covering”, by means of which irony appears as a device to avoid the direct impact of an explicit word. In this sense, in common use irony is not necessarily bound to the rhetoric concept of semantic inversion. Rather, it can be defined as an alternation of a reference aiming at stressing the reality of a fact by means of the apparent dissimulation of it’s true nature. Anyway, to reduce irony to a mere rhetoric figure or a linguistic ruse involves not seizing it’s communicative significance due to the psychological web of it’s implicit meanings. In fact, in a communicative perspective, irony springs out as a strategic “as if”, both by escaping the alternative of truth vs. falsehood, and by suspending the subsequent parameters of judgment.

So the irony is concluding in the implication of the opposite in the seemingly positive characteristics. Sometimes the implication is expressed in the language units, which are difficult to translate, but more often the problem is the disparity between the traditionally methods of expressing irony in different cultures. Expression of irony, mockery is carried out in various ways, which may vary in form, content and function in different languages and speech traditions. The simplest way of expressing irony in English and Russian languages are the quotes when it is standard and expected word or phrase are quoted in the standard context. But in reality in spite of many difficulties in translation of irony from English to Russian there are too many attractive linguistic points in this work. There are very many cases, though, which we regard as irony, intuitively feeling the reversal of the evaluation, but unable to put our finger on the exact word in whose meaning we can trace the contradiction between the said and the implied. The effect of irony in such cases is created by a number of statements, by the whole of the text. Many examples of irony are supplied by D. Defoe, J. Swift, by such contemporary writers as S. Lewis, K. Vonnegut, E. Waugh and others.

Preparatory to disclose the course work, it’s too important to separate out the main aims of it:

● To disclose the extraction and general representation of the irony.

● To show the different matters about studying the irony.

● To show the different types of irony.

● To show the interaction between the irony and clerisy.

● To connect the translation of irony with many works of different authors.

The course work is divided into five parts:

● The introduction

● Thetheoretical part

● The practical part

● The conclusion

● The list of references

The importance and necessity of the translation of irony from English to Russian are shown in the introduction. What about theoretical part, it’s segregated into five parts: the representation of irony, the foundation of irony, the types of irony, the purpose of Irony, the irony and clerisy and the translation of Irony. In the representation of irony there are very important borders between “face value” and “what it really means”, because the irony is very conflicting phenomenon. In the foundation of irony the idea represents the appearance of irony and it’s development in the literature. In the different types of irony are shown the classifications of irony. The translation of irony is very laborious that’s why the third of the parts is devoted to it. The forth part of the course work is about irony and clerisy. In the practical part marks five main rules of translation of irony and showed different examples for each other. So this course work is showed all methods of translation of irony in literature. All sources of irony are found in the conclusion. The theoretical and practical parts are shown the origin of irony, the different variants of it’s translation and it’s usage. The list of references and usable literature is attached.

I. Theoretical Part.

1. The representation of Irony

First of all, it is useful to consider that irony is not fixed and narrow phenomenon, but a family of communicative processes. And all these processes are very arduous. The irony naturally has two meaning: 'face value', and 'real meaning'. In the text the usage of irony is taken sharps of double meanings of the same word. The meaning can differ communication, and some people might take the 'face value' meaning for the 'real' meaning - in other words not find the message ironic at all. Both the 'face value' and 'real' meanings of irony are highly dependent on culture, and to get to the 'real' meaning, one must be looking for a double meaning in the first place. An ironic speaker is not a deceitful one. Unlike the lie, where words and utterances are “deceptive”, irony is found underneath a disguise of pretence. In fact, while in deceptive communication a speaker deliberately omits or fabricates some significant conditions of truth and reality by concealing his intention, pretence communication instead clearly cohabits with reality, and exhibits it’s “not being true”, by winking at what is hidden behind the mask of untruth. Sometimes people do not always say what they mean, most people can be assumed to be trying to communicate some sort of meaning through their actions. All sorts of things can clue people in to look for an ironic meaning if the 'face value' meaning does not make sense. Some cultures might condition people to look for irony by giving it a sense of value. A different style or tone from that expected, understatement, cynicism, and hyperbole are all things that might clue in the observer to look for another meaning. It is almost as if finding irony were a game, or a process of translation.

II. 2. The foundation of Irony

The Irony is a real grand phenomena . And it should seems that the study of it developed in all kinds of literature and philosophy, but the concept of irony much less expanded in the study of media. The propagation method is the message, that must certainly mean a medium can be a tool for irony. All media contain another form of media ( the intension of movie is the narrative), so the conventions may carry over between the two types of media (like film making use of the dramatic irony of the stage). Also, before the conventions of a new medium can be fully developed, one might look for meaning in the new medium by using the conventions of old mediums.

Although the distinction of Irony is not always clear, irony differs from other ways of communicating with double meanings such as metaphor and allegory in that it does not entirely eliminate the 'face value' meaning. Irony includes sarcasm, which aims to give a meaning directly antithetical to the one presented, the original meaning cannot be discarded without losing the sense of irony. It is through comparing these two meanings that the degree or type of irony can be seen. Sometimes the ground might be taken right out from under us when irony is aimed at creating complete objectivity, and we are left not knowing what to do. Irony is a phenomenon capable of being experienced by anyone, but for people to be able to share an experience of irony, or for an author to expect a certain reaction to irony, its interpretation must become a part of the culture.

One of the earliest and best-known uses of irony comes from Socrates. Usually called 'Socratic Irony', Socrates would first appear to know nothing about a problem in order to clarify the opposing stance, and then show inconsistencies in their argument.Phase one Socratic irony is simply part of a canon of rhetorical tools devised to distract people from the fact that they've been sitting still listening to hard talk for an awfully long time. The technique, demonstrated in the Platonic dialogues, was to pretend ignorance and, to feign credence in your opponent's power of thought, in order to tie him in knots. This form of argument is called 'elenchus', and can be seen in the dialogue Euthyprho among others. While not an entirely negative technique, this type of irony does not construct arguments that are true or false, and just as irony can change perceptions through repetition, Socrates builds his arguments, in this case, inductively. Throughout medieval and renaissance Europe irony was taken as saying the opposite of what is meant. Norman Knox shows how only in the eighteenth century did the word become more widely used in literature, and was developed in various forms such as satire. Along with the rise of Romanticism at the turn of the nineteenth century, the concept of irony took on new meanings during this period. Whereas before irony was something directed by someone at someone, it could now be something 'unintentional, observable, and representable in art'. Phase two Romantic irony was framed by Schlegel- the German philosopher. Here, it became a much more complex philosophical tool, of which the nuts and bolts were that you simultaneously occupied two opposite positions . There were problems with this as a direct path to truth later on. The point with Schlegel was that irony would give a divided self, which in turn gives you a multiplicity of perspectives, which is the only way you will unlock the truth of the whole. This romantic (or "philosophical") irony had very great influence on the English Romantic poets.

Phase three, the Irony as a tool of dissent, a grim but failsafe gag of popular culture, took hold during the first world war. The gross disjunction between patriotic rhetoric and the reality of the war itself led to a widespread use of irony as a means of puncturing deceitful propaganda. So, for instance, the Wipers Times would print a list of Things That Were Definitely True, and it would contain a proportion of propaganda ("40,000 Huns have Surrendered"), a proportion of enemy propaganda ("The Germans Have Plentiful and Tasty Meats") and a proportion of nonsense ("Horatio Bottomley has accepted the Turkish Throne on condition they make a separate peace"), thus undermining any information coming from anywhere at all.

The twentieth century has seen many attempts to formulate irony as a coherent concept. Literary critics such as D. C. Muecke and Wayne Booth have come up with scores of names describing different types of ironies, and different ways in which irony is used. Classifying and tracking the history of irony not only clarifies the concept, but also shows how it changes throughout time. Even though we have to look at irony through the lens of irony, searching for its meaning gives deep insight into the ways people see their own existence.

II. The purposes of Irony

The ironic communication is miscommunication as an oblique communication . In fact, on one side, it shows what it hides , while, on the other one, it conceals what it says . In this sense, irony is “say in order not to say ”. By means of an ironic comment, the ironist can remain “opaque” and impervious to the interlocutor on a relational level, though he/she is not silent. In fact, ironic miscommunication is a kind of semantic mask , by means of which it is possible to soften and fuzz the borders of meaning in order to improve the negotiation processes in a given situation.

14 8 The ironic comment may be seen as an emblematic instance of discursive dialogism , according to which the word is not semantically univocal (monosemic), but it possesses “more voices” (polysemic). Its interpretation assumes different forms in terms of both its “position” within the discourse and its relation to the “focusing” game, in which some of its features are in the foreground and others are veiled. Paradoxically, in irony the foregrounded mask plays a background role during the exchange between the ironist and his/her interlocutor. As a consequence, irony carries out and satisfies different psychological functions.

Ironic communication as a sign of respect for conventions (how to evade censure in a culturally correct way)

“Where the lion’s skin will not reach, it must be patched with the fox’s”, the wise Greek strategist Lysander sentenced, according to Plutarch. A similar metaphor appears again in the works of Baltasar Morales, a seventeenth century Spanish writer, as well as in Niccola Machiavelli’s essays of diplomacy during the Italian Renaissance. This maxim describes the situation in which one realizes that a direct and impulsive expression is unsuitable for the interactive context, especially in face-threatening situations like conflict. Hence, it is not a matter of chance that its original version was uttered by Lysander, an expert in military planning. By extending this metaphor to everyday communication, an effective communicative interaction is enhanced by ironic comment in a subtle and diplomatic way, so that a speaker might achieve his/her aims in agreement with the “unwritten rules” of civilized behavior.

Irony as miscommunication arises from the need both to respect social standards, and to avoid other people’s censure, without abandoning, however, those topics that would otherwise be unacceptable. Ironic speakers accept the cultural norms and, at the same time, violate them , remaining within the limits of social acceptability: they do not have to suppress their thoughts or their feelings. Therefore, ironic communication finds its edge in those cultures (like the Anglo-Saxon one) where self-control is very important and where it is thus a very positive thing to be able to keep coolly detached from events, without emotional arousal. In this way, a speaker can use irony to hide the expression of his/her emotions and safeguard his/her personal experience. In particular, English humor responds to these cultural expectations and standards, involving the ability to “stay in one’s place”. In English culture, where one talks about emotions in preference to showing them, as Lutz has observed, irony becomes not only a device to keep at a distance from emotions and “de-emotionalize” oneself, but also a way of showing consideration for the interlocutor’s feelings (without saying everything one feels or thinks about the other), in order to be polite and be cognizant of the situation. In fact, human beings are like actors playing their part in a “dramatic” and “carnival-like” society. In this regard, a social interpretation of Diderot’s paradox of acting is feasible: the mask of irony as miscommunication allows one to express the duplicity between being and appearing, as well as their paradoxical unification within the ironist’s consistency with the character he interprets.

Ironic communication as a border of reserve (how to safeguard personal space). Irony can be used not only as a device to evade social censure, but also as a planned action aiming at maintaining dignity, restraint, and demeanor, as well as one’s own privacy . An intriguing image is provided by Barthes’metaphor of the “dark glasses”, according to which in ironic communication attention is shifted from the informative function to the metacommunicative one. In fact, after crying, people do not wear their dark glasses to conceal the fact that they have cried. Rather, people put them on in order to disguise the distressing expression of pain, i.e., their swollen red eyes. The dark glasses are an “allusive mask”, aimed at preserving one’s own dignity and demeanor: they hint at the pain whose embarrassing effect they cover. People wearing their dark glasses communicating: they intend to communicate that, though suffering, they do not want to exhibit their own pain. Therefore, the dark glasses, at the same time, make the ironist an actor and a witness of him-/herself and of others. They are useful for protecting both personal space and privacy.Irony as miscommunication can be described once again by means of a metaphor: that of the sacred fence , symbolic boundary, or even magic circle , which makes the ironist “intangible” and “unapproachable” in the interpersonal game. In fact, irony has often been considered as connected to the talented wise man, who succeeds in observing things from a distance, avoiding unbalancing and compromising himself.This intention not to be explicitly aggressive arises from the words Mary says ironically to Lawrence, her husband, who has tried to repair an old armchair, with the usual lack of success: “You’re so genial, Lawrence! Since our marriage, your cleverness has always fascinated me!”. In this case Mary chose to be ironic rather than direct because she does not want to start an open conflict with Lawrence. Conversely, Paula jokes with her brother, who has just got a high mark in his mathematics exam, saying “You were right, Andrew. As usual, you are an idiot!”. The girl comments ironically on Andrew’s success, because her brother was scared and pessimistic before the exam.

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