Translation of subordinating conjunctions in English to Mongolian (on the source of an English literature book with its translated Mongolian version)

Translation of subordinating conjunctions in English to Mongolian (on the source of an English literature book with its translated Mongolian version)

For the last years, during which English has been studied dominantly as a second language throughout Mongolia, it has been extremely important to develop the comparative studies of English and Mongolian in all fields of linguistics in order to contribute to the theoretical and practical research of the two languages and help learners learn English easily by comparing it with their own language. Therefore, we have chosen the conjunctions of the languages, especially English subordinating conjunctions, because learners face a lot of difficulties in translating them into Mongolian. The learners of Mongolian are also lack of such knowledge when they learn it. To have profound knowledge, we need to read and understand the reading resources. That is why we have chosen an English-written novel, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, to reveal the

Аннотация статьи
conjunctions
subordinating conjunctions
translation
in fiction style
frequency
translated version
Ключевые слова

The purpose of the study is to reveal the peculiarities of translating English subordinating conjunctions into Mongolian. In other words, we will translate the subordinating conjunctions of The Call of the Wild, written by Jack London one of the outstanding representatives of American literature, into Mongolian.

The following aims have been put forward within the framework of its purpose. They are:

  • Collecting data on the conjunctions of English and Mongolian;
  • Defining the similarities and peculiarities of English and Mongolian conjunctions;
  • Revealing the peculiarities of translating every English conjunction into Mongolian based on the collected data and practice work;
  • Revealing what the common the peculiarities of translating English conjunctions into Mongolian are;
  • Defining the peculiarities of translating conjunction in fiction style of English.

This research work, which revealed the similarities and peculiarities of English and Mongolian conjunctions in general and studied the translation of English subordinating conjunctions into Mongolian, will not only contribute to the comparative study of two languages, but also be significant to English language learners to know the similarities and peculiarities of the form and meaning of English and Mongolian conjunction and learn to use subordinating conjunctions correctly while translating from English literature books into Mongolian, either translating Mongolian books into English [6, p.80-81].

Our hypothesis is that the subordinating conjunctions of English may mostly be translated into Mongolian by suffixes because Mongolian is a language that uses suffixes dominantly when it subordinates words, sentences and ideas to the other words, sentences and ideas. Most expletive words are not translated as conjunctions. ’Because it is a small group of English words that plays a structural rather than lexical role in a sentence and they can’t be part of a sentence. Because they carry no lexical meaning they are called sometimes “empty words” [1, p.60]

In order to study how the subordinating conjunctions of English literature are translated into Mongolian, we chose The Call of the Wild, written by Jack London and its translated Mongolian version as a source material. There are a total of 578 subordinating conjunctions in the book and the frequency, percentage and the number of translated versions of the conjunctions as seen in Tables 1 [6, p. 36-37]and Table 2[6, p.78-80].

Table 1

Here we show the frequency, percentage and the number of translated versions of the conjunctions

Conjunction

Frequency

Percentage

Translated frequency

1

after

4

0.69%

4

2

as

54

9.34%

21

3

as…as

1

0.17%

1

4

as… so

2

0.34%

2

5

as if

1

0.17%

1

6

as though

13

2.24%

4

7

because

15

2.59%

7

8

before

4

0.69%

3

9

just as

2

0.34%

1

10

if

7

1.21%

5

11

how

3

0.51%

1

12

since

3

0.51%

3

13

so long as

2

0.34%

1

14

so that

4

0.69%

2

15

so…that

16

2.76%

13

16

such… that

1

0.17%

1

17

than

1

0.17%

1

18

that

45

7.78%

16

19

that /conj/

69

11.97%

11

20

though

20

3.46%

13

21

till

22

3.80%

11

22

what

13

2.24%

10

23

whatever

1

0.17%

1

24

when

77

13.32%

26

25

whenever

1

0.17%

1

26

where

26

4.49%

10

27

whereupon

3

0.51%

2

28

wherever

2

0.34%

2

29

whether

1

0.17%

1

30

which

73

12.62%

10

31

while

41

7.09%

15

32

who

44

7.60%

6

33

whoever

1

0.17%

1

34

whom

2

0.34%

1

35

whose

3

0.51%

2

36

why

1

0.17%

1

 

SUM

578

100%

211

The following table [6,p. 80] shows the translated versions of each subordinating conjunction in The Call of the Wild:

Table 2

Conjunction

Frequency

Translated by suffixes

Translated by conjunction

Non-translated

Translated by other forms

 
 
 

1

after

4

3

1

-

-

 

2

As

54

24

14

13

3

 

3

as…as

1

-

-

1

-

 

4

as…so

2

-

1

-

1

 

5

as if

1

-

1

-

-

 

6

as though

13

-

10

3

-

 

7

because

15

6

2

6

1

 

8

before

4

1

2

-

1

 

9

just as

2

-

-

2

-

 

10

If

7

3

-

1

3

 

11

how

3

-

-

3

-

 

12

since

3

1

2

-

-

 

13

so long as

2

-

-

-

2

 

14

so that

4

1

-

3

-

 

15

so … that

16

4

4

4

4

 

16

such… that

1

-

-

-

1

 

17

than

1

1

-

-

-

 

18

that /conj/

45

10

22

7

6

 

19

that /c. w/

69

45

1

21

2

 

20

though

20

2

12

1

5

 

21

till

22

16

1

4

1

 

22

what

13

3

-

3

7

 

23

whatever

1

1

-

-

-

 

24

when

77

61

7

5

4

 

25

whenever

1

-

1

-

-

 

26

whether

1

-

1

-

-

 

27

where

26

4

-

13

9

 

28

Whereupon

3

2

-

-

1

 

29

wherever

2

-

-

-

2

 

30

which

73

47

-

26

-

 

31

while

41

7

14

18

2

 

32

who

44

22

-

22

-

 

33

whoever

1

-

-

-

1

 

34

whom

2

-

-

2

-

 

35

whose

3

1

-

-

2

 

36

why

1

-

1

-

-

 

 

SUM

578

265

97

158

58

 

The translation of the English translation of the literature is summarized in Mongolian [6, p. 80].

Table 3

Translated forms

Number

Percentage

Suffix

265

45.80%

Conjunction

97

16.70%

Non- translated

158

27.30%

Other forms

58

10.03%

SUM

578

100%

According to the data on our source material, a total of 36 subordinating conjunctions of English have been recorded – among them, the following conjunctions have the most frequency: that, when, which, as, who. When they are translated into Mongolian, they are expressed by conjunctions, suffixes, zero-form and other forms, but among them, suffixes have the highest frequency. For instance, the conjunction “after” is commonly translated by Mongolian suffixes –аад,-чихаад, “as” by –ж/ч, -тал, -аар, -саар, -магц, “because” by-аас, “if” by –вал, “since” by –аад, “that” by –сан, -ж, -даг, -х, “till” by- тал, -хад, “when” by-хад, -сан, “which” by –сан, -ж/ч, -х, “while” by- хад, -ж/ч and “who” by –сан, -даг suffixes. See Table 3.

We have come to the following conclusions as a result of our research. They are:

There can be similarities between any two languages. Although English and Mongolian belong to different roots, the conjunctions of these two languages have a lot in common. They are:

The conjunctions of the two languages are similar in their nature of joining two units by coordinating with each other and subordinating one idea with the other.

The coordinating conjunctions of the two languages are similar in their nature of conjoining words, phrases and simple sentences.

The subordinating conjunctions of the two languages are similar in their nature of joining clauses in complex and compound complex sentences.

The coordinating conjunctions of Mongolian are divided into the two groups as the conjunctions that conjoin the parts of the sentence and the conjunctions that conjoin the clauses. Although there aren’t such classifications in English conjunctions, the conjunctions nor, but, or are joining words and the conjunctions for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so are joining the clauses, as we have observed.

According to their structure, the conjunctions of Mongolian divided into simple and compounded while English conjunctions are divided into simple, derivative and compound. However, if the structure of Mongolian conjunctions is observed, they can be divided into simple (ба, бөгөөд), derivative (улмаас, ялдамд) and compound (тиймийн тулд, аль эсвэл).

The coordinating conjunctions of English include the correlative conjunctions (both….and, either … or) and the Mongolian conjunctions as нэг бол... үгүй, нэг бол.... эсвэл, эсвэл... эсвэл can be corresponded with the correlative conjunctions according to their forms.

Because the two languages that we have been comparing belong to different roots, there are certainly some distinctions in their forms, structures, usages and many other aspects. They are:

The conjunctions of Mongolian classify not only by joining but also separating.

In addition, the conjunctions in contemporary Mongolian aren’t usually used in spoken language but their meaning is implied by a pause – whereas the conjunctions are quite common in English.

The subordinating conjunctions of Mongolian join the words and phrases while English ones don’t do that.

The conjunctions of Mongolian are classified more specifically according to their meanings and roles than the conjunctions of English which are classified as only coordinating, subordinating and correlative.

The coordinating conjunctions of Mongolian are classified as conjoining by separating (ба, болон, бөгөөд) and conjoining by likening (буюу, өөрөөр хэлбэл). In addition, a peculiarity of Mongolian coordinating conjunctions is that they aren’t located at the beginning or end of the sentences because they conjoin the coordinating words, phrases and clauses. They are located in the middle of sentences (except for өөрөөр хэлбэл) whereas English coordinating conjunctions locate in all three places.

The Mongolian conjunctions that belong to the classification of contrastive are generally corresponded with the both coordinating and subordinating conjunctions of English.

Determining (иймээс/ийм учраас, нэгдүгээрт) and intensifying (бас, нөгөө талаар, мөн, нөгөөтэйгүүр) conjunctions of Mongolian are generally corresponded with English subordinating conjunctions and conjunctive words.

Whereas the subordinating conjunctions in literature English are mainly translated by suffixes and zero form, those in official English are mainly translated by conjunctions. It shows that official documents are usually translated literally, not semantically or pragmatically.

In addition, the dominant non-translated versions in the literature style show that literature materials have many stylistic forms and are mainly translated by free and semantic translation method.

Our hypothesis that the subordinating conjunctions of English may mostly be translated into Mongolian by suffixes has been proven.

100% of the 36 subordinating conjunctions, with a total frequency of 578, recorded in our research have been translated by suffixes in Mongolian.

The subordinating conjunctions of English are being translated by both coordinating and subordinating conjunctions of Mongolian.

Текст статьи
  1. Dagdangiin Batchuluun ”A Contrastive grammar of Mongolian and English” Ulaanbaatar 2006.
  2. Jack London “The call of the wild”, NY, 2000.
  3. “Цусан өшөө” Ганбат (a version translated into Mongolian) UB, 1996.
  4. Kolln Martha Understanding English Grammar, NY, 1994.
  5. Selengee Tso., Narantogtoch B., Battsengel S, ‘100 English connectors and conjunctions’ UB, 2010.
  6. Oyunbold Ts. Англи, монгол хэлний холбоос үг: Англи хэлний угсруулах холбоосын монгол орчуулга УБ, 2013.
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