A novel of the English writer G. Orwell “
Keywords: Dystopiaideological signoccasional wordtarget languageNewspeaktranslation
A novel of the English writer G. Orwell “1984” ( Orwell, 2016a) is one of the most famous dystopian genre works. The genre features of the novel under study include: orientation to the individual, ritualization of social life, “matryoshka” structure of the text, pseudo-carnival, sensuality and obscenity, limited space.
In the novel, the ideology of the governing class is presented as the interests of the entire society through a false consciousness. This consciousness is formed and fixed by means of the occasional language – “Newspeak”, in which each author's occasional word is acquires ideological meaning. It should be noted that “Newspeak” is not just an artificially created language, but a reflection of society with all its vices and shortcomings. With the help of “Newspeak” G. Orwell creates an imaginary world of dystopia, filled with fear, universal total submission and constant control of citizens by the authorities. Bearing in mind the semantic and functional significance of occasional words in the novel and the fact that they do not have direct equivalents in the target languages it should be noted that the process of their translating is extremely important and difficult.
Preserving the integrity of the new language as a language system in translation is relevant for the adequate perception of the work by readers of another linguistic culture. The translator faces a difficult task to convey not only each occasional word separately, but also to create a kind of “version of the new language”, preserving its expressive features and ideological load.
Much attention is paid to the theory of occasionality in linguistics. Linguists study the occasional words definitions and identify features that distinguish it from neologisms Poix ( 2018), Nykytchenko ( 2015). Some scientists analyse the models for creating author's occasional words: Renner ( 2015), Belozertceva, and Vorozhkin ( 2017). Some research works are devoted to methods and translation features of occasional words: Shichkina ( 2016), Vas’bieva (2018), Kalashnikova and Vas’bieva (2018).
Occasional words are not usually used in the language and are not fixed in dictionaries; they are used only in the context of literary works. Nykytchenko ( 2015) defines occasional words as “words or meanings of words, invented to meet the needs of a particular occasion in order to catch the reader’s attention, shock or provoke, create hidden meanings (semantic condensation) and express the author’s evaluation” (p. 186). Fiction writers create these expressive words for artistic and aesthetic purposes in certain situations. Poix ( 2018) says that authors play with the lexicon, as they use stylistic devices, to refine the text, taking liberties with norms of word formation. They use word-building models of different productivity degrees existing in the language. Representing the author's image, occasional words are filled with certain meanings that do not always lie on the surface.
To make the translation of the text like the original one for the reader, the translator needs to represent the author's vision of the world, trying to understand and interpret an occasional word, the meaning of which, however, cannot be represented as a simple sum of the meanings of its components. The main task of the translator is to reconstruct and then to convey all those meaning shades which the author, creating a particular occasional word, wanted to tell the reader ( Retsker, 2017).
When translating occasional words, the word-formation model which was used by the author is also necessary to be considered. The understanding of the model makes easier to interpret the meaning of an occasional word and allows the translator to convey the meaning of it in translation adequately ( Komissarov, 2017).
In accordance with the classification developed by Komissarov, Retsker, and Tarkhov ( 1960) occasional words are built on the basis of already existing models:
by adding another meaning to an already existing word;
by forming a complex word or by shortening an existing word;
by conversion (moving a word from one part of speech to another);
using productive suffixes and prefixes.
Analysis of “Newspeak” shows that occasional words in the novel “
In the study of the nature and characteristic properties of occasional words many questions remain debatable and require further study. It is also obvious that occasional words, due to their structure, semantics, and functioning, are difficult in identification, interpretation, and translation. To approve this statement it is important to point out that Golubeva and Timashova ( 2018) say that the main problem of occasional words is to identify the derivational values paradigm and the types of word-formation, as well as to provide information on the author’s occasional words and their translation ways (p. 50).
Ways of occasional words formation in the novel “1984”
In the novel “
Synonyms are also excluded from the vocabulary of the new language. For instance, in order to express such concepts as “
Most words of “Newspeak” are formed by lexical blending – when a new word is made by joining the initial part the first word and the initial or final part of a second word. The occasional word’s new meaning is often a combination of the original words’ meaning. In “Newspeak” the next words, built by blending have been found: Minitrue (ministry + truth), Minipax (ministry + peace), Miniluv (ministry + love), Miniplenty (ministry + plenty), pornosec (pornography +section), artsem (artificial + insemination), Recdep (records + department), Ficdep (fiction + department), Teledep (tele-programmers + department), thinkpol (think + police), Ingsoc (the English + socialist + party), prole (a member + proletariat).
Lexical blending is a creative technique of word-formation and it gives many variations of making new concept from already existing words. Also it “can be considered as involving some form of wordplay as it is an operation which plays with a variety of potential output forms to name a new conceptual combination” ( Renner, 2015, p. 124). In the novel “
Another frequent way of creating words, reflecting the ideology of Ingsoc, is compounding. This word-building process means that new words are made by joining together two (or more) roots. Thus, two separate concepts become a word, which is an indivisible whole, possessing the semantic and structural indivisibility. This way of word-formation expresses ideological dogmas, rules and principles in a shortest way. For example:
The members of Ingsoc society, who use the new language, do not have the ability to formulate and express their emotions, feelings and thoughts because the system of “Newspeak” is simple and the vocabulary is poor. “Newspeak”, the language of the new ideology, narrows and restricts the basic intellection activity of its users: thinking, analyzing, and making conclusions. The concept of “Newspeak” is the embodiment and the reflection of the Ingsoc ideology, which is based on total control and restriction.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to identify and analyse language means that verbalize the ideology of the dystopian society described in the novel “
While studying this issue we used the following methods: the continuous sampling method, lingua-cognitive analysis of Orwell’s Newspeak ideological signs, the method of comparative analysis of language means, verbalizing the ideology of dystopian society in the original novel “1984” and the ways of their verbalization in the Russian and Chinese translations.
The analysis has shown that the dystopian world’s ideological signs are verbalized in the novel “
The word “Newspeak” is an occasional word which was formed by the model “
Chinese is an isolating language and characterized by definite features. Some features should be mentioned: the absence of inflections, the grammatical significance of the word order within a sentence, the weak opposition of notional words to functional ones. The vocabulary of the Chinese language mainly consists of monosyllabic morphemes; each character represents a phonetic and semantic unity. The main way of word-formation is compounding which means the connection of significant language units into a complex word. The lexical analyses of the novel translated into Chinese language ( Orwell, 2017) has demonstrated that in the result of calque and the conversion process, the occasional word “Newspeak” was translated as 新 话 (新 – new, 话 – speech).
The occasional unit “
The word “
The adjective “
The occasional word “
The occasional word “
The following conclusions are drawn: in the novel political ideology is introduced by special language called “Newspeak”. It consists of occasional words that are defined by scholars as a word or meanings of words, invented to meet the needs of a particular occasion in order to catch attention of the reader and express the evaluation of the author. Invented in accordance with the productive word-formation models of the English language, lexical units of “Newspeak” serve as means of political ideology verbalization in the novel “1984”. It is proved by the fact that the meanings of “Newspeak” words are not obvious, it should be considered through the context of novel. The analysis of translations of the novel “1984” into Russian and Chinese languages has shown that loan translation (calque) is the most common way to translate the occasional words. This method reflects the uniqueness of the occasional word and conveys the idea of it in the best way.
The work was done with the support of Russian Foundation For Basic Research (RFBR), the grant № 19-012-00380/19, Pasevich Z. V.
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03 August 2020
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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation
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Ryzhova, V. A., Simonova, E. P., & Pasevich, Z. V. (2020). Verbalization Of Ideological Signs In The Translations Of The Novel “1984”. In & N. L. Amiryanovna (Ed.), Word, Utterance, Text: Cognitive, Pragmatic and Cultural Aspects, vol 86. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1283-1290). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2020.08.148