Have questions? Call Us

502 218 835

How can proverbs be translated?. Biuro Tłumaczeń Lidaria Warszawa

How can proverbs be translated?

Having met many times in my life with citizens of the Republic of Belarus or the Russian Federation, I have had the pleasure of improving my knowledge of #translation# not only of intricate and difficult technical, legal, business texts, but also of proverbs. I would like to point out at this point that I am not able to quote all Russian proverbs, but I will at least present the ones that have been most engraved in my memory.

How, then, should proverbs be #translated#? This is the question translators ask themselves when accepting an assignment. Should they translate them literally, or should they look for an equivalent in Polish? This varies. I will use one example here: “Бог троицу любит”. It can be #translated# literally – “God likes the Trinity”, or, as one can most often hear such a proverb on the occasion of some celebration, party, at the table- “Well, on the third leg”. Of course, one knows what is meant.

Another proverb, found especially in guests, only that, the phrase falls from the side of the guests: “В гостях хорошо, а дома лучше”. How does this proverb #translate# ? The literal translation is practically the same as the Polish equivalent – “Everywhere is good, but at home is best”. Or let me cite another proverb, particularly frequent in the post-Soviet period: “Где сила, там и закон”, which can be #translated#, as: “There is law where there is force”. Admittedly, in these two cases we got a literal #translation# of the proverb, but I will give an example that one should nevertheless look for the Polish equivalent in the #translation# of proverbs: “Два сапога – пара”. Here one should use the equivalent Polish proverb – “They got matched, as in a poppy seed”.


Only logged in users can rate

Average rating 0 / 5. Number of ratings: 0

No ratings. Be the first to rate this post.