Translation Pecularities Of Ergonyms In Mass Media Texts


The article describes the peculiarities of the translation of ergonyms in the discourse of mass media. Ergonyms translation is a sophisticated and complex way of transferring and reflecting the socio-cultural processes of the city’s onomastic space. The coherence of proper names is defined by their ability to combine features of communicative and nominative units. The authors of the article present the newest trends in the organizations and projects’ names translations. The attention was paid to the main methods of the ergonyms translation. The authors discussed the equivalence of the ergonyms translation from the English into Russian language, as well as objective and subjective reasons of the translation difficulties. The cognitive and onomasiological analysis of the ergonyms and their functioning classifications gives grounds to use onomasiological approach in the analysis of ergonyms, which helps to interpret ergonomic terms more accurately and reveal the peculiarity of a linguistic personality at all levels.

Keywords: Ergonymonomastic spaceorganization name translationmass media textstranslatortranslation adequacy


Media text plays a great role in the culture of any language. It is one of the most widespread form of the language usage and it occupies a very important place in the information stream. Media texts help to understand the reality, correlate with other cultures, etc. Media text is a multidimensional, dynamic and heterogeneous phenomenon, having units of intra-text, over-text and hyper-text levels.

“Media text” can be determined as a specific result of media production, a media product is a message containing information and presented in any form and genre of media (newspaper article, television program, video clip, advertising message, film, etc.) addressed to a mass audience (Dobrosklonskaja & Medialingvistika, 2014).

Very often, media texts contain a great number of proper names. They send its readers to extra-linguistic reality and fulfill the informative function and create a certain attitude to the information contained in this or that media text (Novichihina, 2011).

The notion of ergonyms and the problem of their translation

In the view of people of different cultures, there are certain named continua. These spaces are usually called onomastic. They usually include the following types: toponyms – geographical names, anthroponyms – people names, ergonyms – organizations names.

Taking into account the definition of Ermolovich (2016), we understand ergonyms as “the proper names of business associations of people, including the names of companies, institutions, organizations and their divisions, as well as the names of public associations and movements” (p. 55).

At the modern state of the development of the present-day society, due to the growth of the international relations, the issue of the accurate translation of the organizations names is getting very urgent. The ergonyms translation is a very difficult problem. Problems in the ergonyms translation arise due to both subjective and objective reasons. The objective reasons include problems of the ergonyms translation as proper names, as one of their linguistic features is cultural identity. That is why, the verbal part of the ergonyms does not always coincide with the core of the named object, and one cannot use the literal translation.

It is impossible to constantly register and develop available onomastic organizations names, as they are subject to the changes in form because of the influence of modern political, economic, industrial reasons. Besides, it is impossible to derive a formula that applies to all the ergonyms in media texts translation. The following reasons can be singled out.

There are no complete, systematically updated catalogues with clear and transparent techniques of translating the ergonomic equivalents. Even in Russian translation studies, approaches to translating the names of organizations are not always the same.

In the era of the intercultural communication, the great role belongs to the problems of the translation as well as the methods of the translation of the different lexical units from the source to the target language. The translation of the ergonyms is not an exception. The adequacy of the ergonyms translation can be achieved only if the translator has got enough background knowledge and professional skills to render the names into another language (Novichihina, 2011). In any case, the choice of method for translating the names of organizations depends on a number of factors.

The main ways of the ergonyms translation

Here, it is possible to study the main ways of the ergonyms translation depending on the factors described above.

First of all, the transplantation method should be mentioned, which is used nowadays to translate the mass media ergonyms. This fact is connected with the processes of the world globalization as well as its direct influence on the Russian language development. Using this method, the translator renders the text to the target text without any changes. For example:

InoTool project's coordinator Kent Kling says that: “The hostel was a very nice object and is situated in the center of Gothenburg”. – “Это общежитие находится рядом с центром Гетеборга", — говорит координатор проекта InoTool Кент Клинг” (Euronews, 2013).

The translational correspondence of the project name is formed by transplantation of the ergonym “InoTool” into initial form of the original text. This method of translating ergonyms ensures the accuracy of the notation, but reduces the level of accessibility of the sentence. The transmitted elements in the original text increase the level of interest of the recipient to the information of the article. But, for the reader who has not got any linguistic or extra-linguistic knowledge, understanding of the original ergonym can cause a lot of difficulties.

One should remember that the transplanted ergonomics in the texts of target language should be enclosed in quotation marks:

“This area is located near Valladolid and soon it became a model of energy relations. Part of the EU project CITyFied is scheduled to be completed next by 2020”. – “Эта местность находится вблизи от Вальядолида и вскоре она стала образцом отношения энергоресурсов. Это можно считать начальным этапом общеевропейского проекта “CITyFiED” (Euronews, 2015).

Non-verbal texts means play a very important role in the reader's confidence strengthening in the information provided. However, in ergonyms rendering during the translation of media texts, translators often neglect graphic means:

“Called EU:CROPIS, the spacecraft will launch in summer 2020, and will spin around the Earth as the seed germinate inside. The key crop scientist at DLR is Dr. Jens Hauslage”. – “Йенс Гауслаге, ведущий исследователь проекта “EU:CROPIS, показывает и рассказывает” (Euronews, 2016b).

In this sentence, the great interest presents the ergonym “EU: CROPIS”. It was rendered by the transplantation of an ergonym into the target text. The ergonym research is presented into the translated text in its original form, but one should pay attention to the addition of the quotation mark on one side in the target language. Graphic tools are usually used to attract the recipient’s attention, to fulfill the communicative function of the mass media text.

Let’s analyze one more sentence which cannot serve as an example of an adequate and productive translation:

“Every year there is a cancer awareness program in Iceland aimed at men, similar to such month as “Movember”. – “С тех пор как началось движение Movemeber, участники пытаются изменить такое положение вещей, отращивая усы в ноябре, собирая средства и повышая осведомленность людей о раке предстательной железы и раке яичек”.

Here, one can see the mistake in the ergonym transplantation: “Movemeber” is used instead of “Movember”. Such a mistake can lead to a decrease in the level of credibility and objectivity of the original article.

The name of the project “Shape” was not transplanted in the original form. In the original text, each letter is capitalized. That is why, the lexeme “SHAPE” is an abbreviation. But, in the target sentence, only the first letter in the analyzed ergonym is uppercase, and the rest are lowercase:

“SHAPE (Sound, Heterogeneous Art and Performance in Europe) is a platform that promotes the work of innovative sound artists all over Europe”. – “Музыканты, аранжировщики, ди-джеи ищут новые пути выражения своих талантов в рамках европейского проекта “Shape” (The official site of the European Union, 2015).

As we see, the distortion of the graphic form can be associated with so called disappearance of useful information fulfilled a large number of some functions in the mass media text.

In previous years, the favourite method of the ergonyms translation was transliteration, nowadays transcription is more preferable for the ergonynms in the mass media texts translation. One can explain it by the fact that the transcription allows entering one unit into the target text with the maximum phonetic approximation and helps the translator to overcome the difficulties of conveying the semantic content of the translated unit and its color:

“Pierre Anganda started it three years ago when he helped to create BBF 2.0, the first and only krump group in Liege”. – “Для того, чтобы полностью отдаться “крампу”, Пьеру Анганда пришлось обить немало порогов. Результат — свет увидела его группа “Би-Би-Эф”, единственная в Льеже работающая в стиле “крамп” (Euronews, 2014).

The translation correspondence of the name of the BBF collective is formed by transcription. But it should be mentioned that, during the translation, the part of the ergonym, consisting of numbers was omitted, that led to the loss of complaining (precise) information. That is why the level of the reader’s confidence was reduced. So, such way of translation is not productive.

Lets’ analyze the following example:

“The project, called Project Lighthouse, included 57,000 LED lights placed on the 392 windows of the façade”. – “Молодые ученые с помощью 57 000 светодиодных ламп, расположенных в 392 окнах, превратили фасад 14-этажного здания университета в экран компьютера” (Euronews, 2016a).

In the Russian language, the exact equivalent of the English ergonym “The European Food Safety Authority” is missing; however, there can be found various ways of its interpretation in Russian –“Европейское агентство по безопасности продуктов питания”; “Европейское агентство по пищевой безопасности” and others.

“The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says cloned food products are safe to eat. Мясо и молоко клонированных животных безвредно при употреблении в пищу”. – “This preliminary conclusion was reached by the experts of the European Food Safety Authority” (Euronews, 2018).

In this case, all above mentioned translated names of the organization are formed by loan translation. All of the above translational correspondences allow to keep the ergonym informative - the person who reads this name understands what is meant in the text. Consequently, translation can be considered productive.

Problem Statement

The basic issue of this article is related to the relevant question of the modern translation studies: the problem of the ergonyms definition and the most appropriate ways of their translation.

Research Questions

What does the term ‘ergonym’ stand for?

What is the main problem of the ergonyms translation?

What are the most appropriate ways of the ergonyms translation?

Have the ergonyms translation methods been changing for the recent decades?

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this work is to make a complex analysis of the main ways of the ergonyms translation from English into Russian based on the Euronews on-line resource.

Research Methods

In accordance with the objectives of this work, the following methods were used: the method of linguistic description (assuming the interpretation of the translation and ergonyms), the analytical method (allowing identifying the main ways of the ergonyms translation), the descriptive methods were used in the analysis of the examples of the context translation.


As the result of this research, the following findings can be singled out:

-Ergonyms are the proper names of business associations of people, including the names of companies, institutions, organizations and their divisions, as well as the names of public associations and movements.

-The translation of ergonyms is a complex linguistic problem. Difficulties in the translation of ergonyms arise due to both objective and subjective reasons.

-The basic contradiction, associated with the problems of the ergonyms translation, is determined by the inner features of the ergonyms as verbal signs.

-There are no complete, updated ways of the ergonyms translation. Besides, in the Russian translation studies, the methods of the ergonyms translation do not always coincide.

-The transplantation method which was described in the past is still used nowadays to render the names of the organizations in the texts of mass media. This trend can be related to the existed processes of the world globalization.


So, the described trends, first of all, affect the speech and language culture, hereafter, they form the cognitive structure. In the translation of the ergonyms, one should remember about the characteristic features of the ergonyms, about their possible etymology and their inner semantic. The choice of the method of the ergonyms translation depends not only on the text function, but also on the author’s intention.

To make practical decisions on the translation method one should resort to depends directly on the intercultural communication in which the participants interact. In each certain case, the translator should appeal to a new translation strategy.


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