Retranslating Skovoroda’s Conversation on Happiness into English: Language and Cultural Challenges
Keywords:Hryhorii Skovoroda, philosophical dialogue, happiness, translation, equivalency, chronologically remote text
The article focuses on Hryhorii Skovoroda’s philosophical dialogue dedicated to the nature of human and happiness as a bright example of a harmonious fusion of philosophical ideas and individual style. A comparative analysis based on a hermeneutic approach helped to assess the equivalency in representing the lexical, syntactical, and emotional levels of the reconstructed Ukrainian version of Skovoroda’s dialogue via English translation, and thus contribute to clarifying the reliable strategies of translating a chronologically remote text of philosophical discourse. The research stresses the importance for a translator of philosophical works of Hryhorii Skovoroda to thoroughly consider the contextual meaning, inseparability of the concepts and style, and unique syntactic and emotive patterns of the source text conflating explicit and implicit semantics. In addition to deep understanding by translators of key philosophical terms, charged with contextual connotations, an equivalent translation of philosophic texts also demands sufficient knowledge of the related historical, cultural, and linguistic background to ensure a comprehensive perception of the intended senses and vectors of the mental activity by a reader.
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