Студопедия — Main features of phraseological units
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Main features of phraseological units

The characteristic features of phraseological units are:

1. ready-made reproduction,

2. structural divisibility,

3. morphological stability,

4. permanence of lexical composition,

5. semantic unity.

6. syntactic fixity.


One of the main features of phraseological units, which distinguishes them from free phrases are idiomatychnist. Because of this characteristic overall value of phraseological units is not equal to the total value of its components, often it is has nothing to do with the meanings of words that come to him


to show white feather - be a coward - бути богузом


Many of phraseology arose from a historical fact:


to dine with Duke Humphrey - go without lunch - залишитися без обіду

(One time in London debtors hiding from his creditors in St. Paul, where, among others, and is the tomb of Duke Humphrey; Asked where he would dine debtor replied that dine with the Duke, that nowhere).


In the phraseology often contain figurative element. They can not be translated literally. In many cases they have explicit national colors. It's a number of other factors leading to that phraseological units often do not have absolute equivalents in another language. The complexity of the translation of idioms is that the translator must be able to recognize them and find the relevant Ukrainian version.

In terms of translation of phraseological turnovers - Sayings and Proverbs - conveniently divided into 3 groups.

The first group includes those sayings that are fully consistent with the Ukrainian - both in meaning and in form, that is described image or constituents:


All that glitters is not gold.

Не все те золото, що блищить

As a man sows, so shall he reap.

Що посієш, то й пожнеш.

New brooms sweep clean.

Нова мітла по-новому мете..

(Number mismatch in Ukrainian and English saying in the last example is not is of the essence, so we include it in the first group).

These sayings and proverbs, which are the same in different languages, have their source in general prototype and often rubber stamp from Greek or Latin, less other languages.

The second group includes proverbs and sayings that are identical in content, but does not reflect the image that underlying:


Too many cooks will spoil the broth.

У cеми няньок дитя без носа.

As well be hanged for a sheep, as for a lamb.

Сім бід - один одвіт. Сім смертям не бути, а одної не минути. Раз козі смерть.

To buy a pig in a poke.

Купити кота в мішку.


When translating these idioms is recommended to use exactly as counterparts who are entrenched in the language, since their translation the translator must adhere to the principle of translation for granted in the same familiar. Otherwise, a saying or proverb cause the reader the impression of something unexpected and original. Because English proverb

At a snail's pace - Як на волах.

You can not translate

* With the speed of a snail - Зі швидкістю равлика.

The third group includes proverbs and sayings that have no counterparts in the Ukrainian language - neither in content nor in the image. They translated or descriptive, or with the help of sayings created by the translator.


Little pitchers have long / wide ears.

Children love to listen to the conversation of adults. In small children great



As an example of successful reproduction sayings in translation can give an English translation of the novel places Tolstoy "War and Peace":


Ерема, Ерема, сидел бы ты дома, точил свои веретена.

Jerome, Jerome, do not roam, but mind spindles at home. (Translated by AI



Despite the fact that the translators have taken a foreign name, they are very well preserved the rhymed form saying its rhythmic balance, not to mention the fact that they are right handed its content.

Proverbs and sayings often have a distinctly national character, so they can not be used in translation, despite the fact that they are the same in content. Yes, the English proverb


to carry coal to Newcastle


You can not translate Russian proverb


Ездить в Тулу со своим самоваром.

Because it has made to the translation alien national colors. In such cases it is necessary to give or close to the original translation, descriptive translation or to do to translate this proverb to the change of the image:


Nobody carries coals to Newcastle. - В ліс дрова возити. В криницю воду лити. Doing something stupid / unreasonable / unnecessary


Shaped phraseological turnovers, built in the form of comparisons in terms of translation can be divided into the same three groups, and proverbs.

The first group includes phraseology phrases that have shaped a complete and substantial compliance in the original language and the target language:


Сold as ice

Холодний, як лід.

Sweet as honey

Солодкий, як мед.


The second group includes phraseology phrases that express the same idea, but with a different image:


As old as the hills

Старий, як світ.

As hungry as a hunter

Голодний, як вовк/ собака/ пес


The third group includes those comparisons that do not have their own kind in the Ukrainian language:


as brown as a berry - very dark / very sunburnt / chocolate color (дуже темний/ дуже загорілий/ шоколадного кольору)

As can be seen from the examples, the expressions of the first group do not create problems in the translation. Expressions second group usually translated into Ukrainian counterparts. However, here the translator must be guided by the principle already mentioned - translate something familiar in the same familiar. Images associated with the word in such comparisons so merged with it, hardly perceived as an image, and in many cases are completely erased. It would be a mistake to keep the word that goes with this phrase as translated idioms now would sound artificial and unusual that would be introduced in the translation of what is not in the original: the brightness would be facing a familiar image erased, And the saying


sleep like a log / bed without back legs - (спати як убитий/ спати без задніх ніг, а не спати як колода)


Phraseology turns that make up the third group, usually translated descriptively, by content.

By idiomatic phrases refer also popular expressions and references, which are widely used in different types of speech and language styles. These include and various quotes - literary character, biblical, statements of historical figures and more. When they transfer the translator must be guided by a tradition that exists in the Ukrainian language, regardless of the dictionary meaning of the words that make up the expression. It is often observed differences between Ukrainian and English. The same word that is part of the various expressions in the English language, may require translation of different words in connection with an established tradition in the Ukrainian language. Compare, for example, the two following expressions:


massacre of the innocent

massacre of Saint Bartholomew


The first outburst word translated massacre murder / massacre of the innocents. In the second it is generally not translated, as this historic event known in Ukrainian Варфоломіївська ніч.


One should stay on the translation of biblical. In the English tradition, they are often used in different styles of speech, including in journalistic texts. Biblical statements provide deep imagery. When translating them often have to decipher because of their images, their figurative meaning in connection with a number of reasons not always clear to the reader or listener Ukrainian:

Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of scourge,... nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadline! (FDRoosevelt about Harding - Coolidge - Hoover era, Safire's Political Dictionary by William Safire, 1978, p.747)

Девять лихих грошових років, та три роки злиднів - Девять божевільних удач на біржі і три довгі роки в чергах за хлібом.(Цит. за Т.Клюкіною)

In summary, serves basic ways to translate idioms.

The best way is pass phraseologism phraseology. This is possible when the Ukrainian and English idioms borrowed from other languages (mostly classical).


Strike while the iron is hot.

Куй залізо, поки гаряче


Translation of phraseological counterpart, ie the use of the Ukrainian language idioms that have the same meaning, but are built on a different image. With this transfer, please note that Ukrainian image should be neutral with respect to national colors:


Can the leopard change his spots?

Природу не виправиш. Горбатого могила виправить.Але не: рос.*Черного кобеля не отмоешь добела.

Translated vellum, that attempt to copy the English character and create a phraseological unit. With this method it is necessary to remember that:

image must be clear, metaphorical, figurative meaning must come from a direct meaning:


Little pitchers have long ears.

У малих дітей великі вуха.

If interpreted reality, it should be clear to the reader Ukrainian:

To carry coal to Newcastle.

Ніхто не возить вугілля в Ньюкасл.

Translation should take the form phraseological:

Rome was not built in a day.

Не одразу Рим будувався.

Descriptive translation, refusal to transfer phraseology:

to cut off with a shilling

Залишити без спадщини

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