Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
Stylistic Differentiation of English
With respect to the functional styles, vocab...
There are phrases and constructions typical of colloquial style: What’s up? (= What has
happened?); so-so (= not especia...
knock-out blow); a righthander; an uppercut; a clinch (position of fighting close, body pressed
to body).
Within the Engli...
confined to this style. They may as well appear in other styles: in newspaper style, in publicistic
style, in the belle-le...
In the extract above, each financial professionalism is explained by the author and the words
themselves are in inverted c...
(b) I take it, he screwed his life himself, the jerk. Took to drinking, and things. He sure did. But
then, again, come to ...
KERRY: It’s possible. It’s not a certainty, but it’s possible. I’m not going to
tell you hypothetically when you h...
judgment, the way it was applied this time, it has encouraged street-level anger, and I have been
told by people it encour...
a) the state and the citizen, or citizen and citizen (jurisdiction);
b) a society and its members (statute or ordinance);
simply George Bush though his full name is George Herbert Walker Bush; POTUS, VPOTUS
and FLOTUS – accordingly President/...
3. Name and address, i.e. the inside address or the direction. The inside address is typed in
three, four or more lines wh...
Dear Sir, (=salutation)
We beg to inform you that by order and for account of Mr. Jones
of Manchester, we have taken the l...
standard text structures intended for information presentation are called frames. A frame is
understood as asset language ...
TO REAFFIRM faith in fundamental rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the
equal rights of men and wome...
1. What substyles represent the style of official documents?
2. What is the main aim of communication in the la...
2. DECIDES that the Secretary-General should in future work on the assumption that in carrying
out the functions of approv...
 After the adjectives the last, the only and ordinal numerals the Infinitive is translated as
the predicate of an attribu...
a) The English finite form is transformed into a Russian parenthesis and the English Infinitive
into a Russian predicate, ...
 a participle
In Washington there is quiet satisfaction that the French by joining the float have indirectly
долларов. Таким образом, золотые и
долларовые резервы достигли
долгому и плодотворному обсуждению
других тем.
It being too late for further discu...
Had this material been examined from this viewpoint, the rules that he discovered would
probably have gone unnoted.
9. How does the translation of the Nominative Absolute Construction depend on its location in
the sentence? Give examples....
5. All this, however, has not prevented the head of the delegation and his colleagues from
keeping up their end of a dialo...
Exercise 4. Translate the following sentences, paying attention to the Nominative Absolute
1. With the new ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

Stylistic differentiation of english vocabulary


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Stylistic differentiation of english vocabulary

  1. 1. ENGLISH FOR SPECIFIC PURPOSES Stylistic Differentiation of English Vocabulary With respect to the functional styles, vocabulary can be subdivided into bookish (literary), which is typical of formal styles, and colloquial vocabulary which is typical of the lower style in oral communication; besides there is always present in the language a stylistically neutral vocabulary which can be used in different kinds of style. Consider the following examples:  child (neutral) – kid (colloq.) – infant (bookish, official) – offspring (bookish, scientific);  father (neutral) – daddy (colloq.) – male parent / ancestor (formal);  leave / go away (neutral) – be off / get out / get away / get lost (colloq., or familiar- colloq.) – retire / withdraw (bookish);  continue (neutral) – go on / carry on (colloq.) – proceed (bookish, formal);  begin / start (neutral) – get going /get started / Come on! (colloq.) – commence (formal). Stylistically neutral words usually constitute the main member in a group of synonyms, the so- called synonymic dominant: they can be used in any style, they are not emotionally coloured and have no additional evaluating elements. Unlike neutral words which only denote a certain notion and thus have only a denotational meaning, their stylistic synonyms usually contain some connotations, i.e. additional components of meaning which express some emotional colouring or evaluation of the object named; these additional components may also be simply the signs of a particular functional style of speech. The style of informal, friendly oral communication is called colloquial. The vocabulary of colloquial style is usually lower than that of the formal or neutral styles, it is often emotionally coloured and characterised by connotations (consider the endearing connotations in the words daddy, kid or the evaluating components in trash). Colloquial speech is characterised by the frequent use of words with a broad meaning (something close to polysemy): speakers tend to use a small group of words in quite different meanings, whereas in a formal style (official, business, scientific) every word is to be used in a specific and clear meaning. Compare the different uses of the verb get which frequently replaces in oral speech its more specific synonyms: I got (= received) a letter today; Where did you get (= buy) those jeans?; They didn’t get (= there wasn’t) much snow last winter; I got (= caught) the вЂ�flu last month; Where has my pen got to (= disappeared)?; I got (= forced) him to help me with the work; I didn’t get (= hear) you / what Сѓou said.
  2. 2. There are phrases and constructions typical of colloquial style: What’s up? (= What has happened?); so-so (= not especially good); Sorry? Pardon? (= Please, repeat it, I didn’t hear you); See you (= Good-bye); Me too / neither (= So / neither do I), etc. In grammar there may be: (a) the use of shortened variants of word-forms, e.g. isn’t; can’t; I’d say, he’d’ve done (= would have done); Yaa (= Yes); (b) the use of elliptical (incomplete) sentences; (Where’s he?) – At home; Like it? (= Do you / Did you like it?) – Not too much (= I don’t like it too much); (Shall I open it?) – Don’t!; May I? (= May I do this?) The syntax of colloquial speech is also characterised by the preferable use of simple sentences or by asyndetic connection (absence of conjunctions) between the parts of composite sentences; complex constructions with non-finite forms are rarely used. Besides the standard, literary-colloquial speech, there is also a non-standard, or substandard, speech style, mostly represented by a special vocabulary. Such is the familiar-colloquial style used in very free, friendly, informal situations of communication – between close friends, members of one family, etc. Here we find emotionally coloured words, low-colloquial vocabulary and slang words. This style admits also of the use of rude and vulgar vocabulary, including expletives (obscene words / four-letter words / swear words): rot / trash / stuff (= smth. bad); the cat’s pyjamas (= just the right / suitable thing); bread-basket (= stomach); tipsy / under the influence / under the table / has had a drop (= drunk); cute /great! (Am.) (= very good); wet blanket (= uninteresting person); hot stuff! (= smth. extremely good); You�re damn right (= quite right). The term slang is used in a very broad and vague sense. Besides denoting low-colloquial words, it is also used to denote special jargons / cants, i.e. words typically used by particular social groups to show that the speaker belongs to this group, as different from other people. Originally jargons were used to preserve secrecy within the social group, to make speech incomprehensible to others – such is the thieves’ jargon / cant. There is also prison slang, army slang, school slang, teenagers slang, etc. Consider the examples of American campus slang: dode (= an appealing / stupid person, idiot); harsh (= very bad, mean); nerd / nurd (= a person who studies a lot or is socially outdated); thrash (= perform well on a skateboard); throg (= drink any alcoholic drink); of American teenagers slang: flake (= a stupid erratic person); scarf (= eat or drink; consume); scope out (= look at, examine, check out); chill out (= relax, calm oneself); babe magnet (= a person or thing that attracts members of the opposite sex). But often words from a particular jargon spread outside its social group and become general slang. See examples of general British slang: crackers (= crazy people); the year dot (= long ago); get the hump (= get angry); mac (= Scotsman); ratted (= drunk); snout (= tobacco); of general American slang: buck (= dollar); cabbage (= money); John (= lavatory); give smb. wings (= teach to use drugs); top dog (= boss); stag party (= a party without a woman). There are also professional words which represent a kind of jargon / slang used by people in their professional activity. See some professional jargon words for a blow in boxing: an outer (a
  3. 3. knock-out blow); a righthander; an uppercut; a clinch (position of fighting close, body pressed to body). Within the English formal language the following styles are distinguished: the style of official documents, the scientific prose style, the publicistic style, the newspaper style, the belle-lettres style. Most of these styles belong exclusively to writing, insomuch as only in this particular form of human intercourse can communications of any length be completely unambiguous. Each style is characterised by a number of individual features which can be classified as leading or subordinate, constant or changing, obligatory or optional, essential or transitory. Each style can be subdivided into a number of substyles. The latter present varieties of the root style and have much in common with it. The root styles fall into the following substyles:  The style of official documents: business documents, diplomatic documents, legal documents, military documents.  The scientific prose style: the humanities, the exact sciences.  The publicistic style: speeches (oratory), essays, articles.  The newspaper style: newspaper headlines, brief news items, advertisements.  The belle-lettres style: poetry proper, emotive prose, drama. Any comparison of the texts belonging to different stylistic varieties listed above will show that the first two of them – official documents and scientific style varieties – are almost entirely devoid of emotive colouring being characterised by the neutrality of style, whereas the last three are usually rich in stylistic devices. Each functional style requires the choice of a special kind of grammatical forms and structures and most of all of vocabulary. Words or word groups which are specifically employed by a particular branch of science, technology, trade, or the arts to convey a concept peculiar to this particular activity are identified as terms. Terms are generally associated with a certain branch of science and therefore with a series of other terms belonging to that particular branch of science. They always come in clusters, either in a text or on the subject to which they belong, or in special dictionaries which unlike general dictionaries make a careful selection of terms. Taken together, these clusters of terms form a system of names for the objects of study of any particular branch of science. Terms are coined to nominate new concepts that appear in the process of and as a result of technical progress and the development of science. “All scientists are linguists to some extent. They are responsible for devising a constituent terminology, a skeleton language to talk about their subject-matter” (Ullmann S., 1951). This quotation makes clear one of the essential characteristics of a term – its highly conventional character. A term is generally very easily coined and easily accepted; and new coinages as easily replace out-dated ones. Terms therefore are rather transitory by nature, though they may remain in the language as relics of a former stage in the development of a particular branch of science. Terms are characterised by a tendency to be monosemantic and therefore easily call forth the required concept. Terms are predominantly used in special works dealing with the notions of some branch of science. Therefore it may be said that they belong to the scientific style. But their use is not
  4. 4. confined to this style. They may as well appear in other styles: in newspaper style, in publicistic style, in the belle-lettres style, and practically in all other existing styles. But their function in this case changes. They no longer perform their basic function, that of bearing an exact reference to a given notion or a concept. The function of terms, if encountered in other styles, is either to indicate the technical peculiarities of the subject dealt with, or to make some reference to the occupation of a character whose language naturally contains special words and expressions. With the increase of general education and the expansion of technique to meet ever growing needs and desires of mankind, many words that were once terms have gradually lost their qualities as terms and have passed into the common literary vocabulary. This process is called “determinisation”. Such words as television, computer, mobile phone, e-mail and the like have long been in common use and their terminological character is no longer evident. Correlated to terms are professionalisms, the words used in a certain trade, profession by people connected by common interests both at work and at home. They commonly designate some working process or implement of labour. Professional words name anew already existing concepts and have the typical properties of a special code, but they do not aim at secrecy. They perform a socially useful function in communication, facilitating a quick and adequate grasp of the message. The main feature of a professionalism is its technicality. Professionalisms are special words in the non-literary layer of the English vocabulary, whereas terms are a specialised group belonging to the literary layer of words. Terms, if they are connected with a field or branch of science or technique well-known to ordinary people, are easily decoded and enter the neutral stratum of the vocabulary. Professionalisms generally remain in circulation within a certain community, as they are linked to a common occupation and social interests. The semantic structure of the term is usually transparent and is therefore easily understood. The semantic structure of a professionalism is often dimmed by the image on which the meaning of the professionalism is based, particularly when the features of the object in question reflect the process of work, metaphorically or metonymically. Like terms, professionalisms do not allow any polysemy, they are monosemantic. Here are some professionalisms used in different spheres of activity: tin-fish (submarine), piper (a specialist who decorates pastry with the use of a cream- pipe); outer (a knock out blow). A good illustration of professionalisms as used by a man-of-letters can be found in Dreiser’s “Financier”: “Frank soon picked up all the technicalities of the situation. A �bull’, he learned, was who bought in anticipation of a higher price to come; and if he was �loaded’ up with �line’ of stocks he was said to be �long’. He sold to �realise’ his profit, or if his margins were exhausted he was �wiped out’. A �bear’ was one who sold stocks which most frequently he did not have, in anticipation of a lower price at which he could buy and satisfy his previous sales.”
  5. 5. In the extract above, each financial professionalism is explained by the author and the words themselves are in inverted commas to stress their peculiar idiomatic sense and also to indicate that the words do not belong to the standard English vocabulary in the meaning they are used. ACTIVITIES Questions: 1. Identify stylistics in terms of the general theory of information. 2. Give a definition of a functional style. What type of information do functional styles express? 3. What does the choice of functional style depend on? 4. What classes is the vocabulary of language subdivided into with respect to functional styles? What are the properties of stylistically neutral words? 5. Describe the structural and semantic features of the colloquial style. 6. What functional style does slang belong to? Give examples of general British and American slang; of American campus and teenagers’ slang. 7. List the styles distinguished within the formal English language. What are their characteristic features? 8. How are terms coined? What are their essential properties? 9. What linguistic phenomenon is called “de-terminisation”? 10. State the difference between a term and a professionalism. Exercises: 1. Point out stylistic differences within the groups of synonyms. face – visage – mug – deadpan; nose – snout – beak – nasal cavity; I think – I gather – I presume – I take it – I guess it – me thinks; boy – youth – lad – young male person – youngster – teenager; lass – girl – maiden – wench – young female person; nonsense – absurdity – rot – trash; legs – pins – lower extremities; Silence, please! – Stop talking! – Shut your trap! friend – comrade – pal – buddy – acquaintance; Hurry up! – Move on! – Hasten your step! 2. Replace the colloquial expressions by more neutral ones. (a) What do you think of her? – She’s jolly! – Really? – Oh, yah! She’s fun, to be sure! A bit too fat for my taste, though. – Oh, come on, you’re being too choosy. She’s just right. – Doesn’t look like it to me, anyway.
  6. 6. (b) I take it, he screwed his life himself, the jerk. Took to drinking, and things. He sure did. But then, again, come to think of it, who wouldn’t with that stupid ass of a woman around all the time? He just couldn’t make it. 3. Read an interview that John Kerry, a candidate for the US presidency, gave to the reporters of “Time” in the course of the 2004 election campaign. Analyze the vocabulary and structures used from the standpoint of style. “I’m All For Strength, When Appropriate” Time, March 15, 2004 TIME: What would you have done about Iraq had you been the President? KERRY: If I had been the President, I might have gone to war but not the President did. It might have been only because we had exhausted the remedies of inspections, only because we had to – because it was the only way to enforce the disarmament. TIME: But it turns out there was nothing to disarm. KERRY: Well, if we had kept on inspecting properly and gone through the process appropriately, we might have avoided almost a $200 billion expenditure, the loss of lives and the scorn of the world and the breaking of so many relations. TIME: Would you say your position on Iraq is (a) it was a mistaken war; (b) it was a necessary war fought in a bad way; or (c) fill in the blank’? KERRY: I think George Bush rushed to war without exhausting the remedies available to him, without exhausting the diplomacy necessary to put the U.S. in the strongest position possible, without pulling the logistics and the plan to shore up Iraq immediately and effectively. TIME: And you as a Commander in Chief would not have made these mistakes but would have gone to war? KERRY: I didn’t say that. TIME: I’m asking. KERRY: I can’t tell you. TIME: Might the war have been avoided? KERRY: Yes. TIME: Through inspections?
  7. 7. KERRY: It’s possible. It’s not a certainty, but it’s possible. I’m not going to tell you hypothetically when you have reached the point of exhaustion that you have to use force and your intelligence is good enough that it tells you you’ve reached that moment. But I can tell you this: I would have asked a lot of questions they didn’t. I would have tried to do a lot of diplomacy they didn’t. TIME: You would have asked more questions about the quality of intelligence? KERRY: Yes. If I had known that (Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chala-bei was somebody they were relying on, I would have had serious doubts. And the fact that we learn after the fact that that is one of their sources disturbs me enormously. TIME: As a Senator, could you not have asked that question? KERRY: We asked. They said: Well, we can’t tell you who the sources are. They give you this gobbledygook. I went over to Pentagon. I saw the photographs. They told us specifically what was happening in certain buildings. It wasn’t. TIME: You were misled? KERRY: Certainly by somebody. The intelligence clearly was wrong, fundamentally flawed. Look, the British were able to do a two-month of what happened to their intelligence. This Administration wants to put it off to 2005. It’s a national security issue to know what happened to our intelligence. We ought to know now. TIME: Obviously it’s good that Saddam is out of power. Was bringing him down worth the cost? KERRY: If there are no weapons of mass destruction – and we may yet find some – then it is a war that was fought on false pretences, because that was the justification to the American people, to the Congress, to the world, and that was clearly the frame of my vote of consent. I suggested that all the evils of Saddam Hussein alone were not a cause to go to war. TIME: So, if we don’t find WMD, the war wasn’t worth the cost? That’s a yes? KERRY: No, I think you can still wait – no. You can’t – that’s not a fair question, and I’ll tell you why. You can wind up successful in transforming Iraq and changing the dynamics, and that may take it worth it, but that doesn’t mean that transforming Iraq was the cause that provided the legitimacy to go. You have to have that distinction. TIME: You’ve said the foreign policy of triumphalism fuels the fire of jihadists. Is it possible the U.S. show the force in Iraq tempers the fire of jihadists? KERRY: I’m all for strength when appropriate, and, you bet, there are a lot of countries in the Middle East that understand strength, and it’s a very important message. But in my
  8. 8. judgment, the way it was applied this time, it has encouraged street-level anger, and I have been told by people it encourages the recruitment of terrorists. I mean, look, even Rumsfeld’s own memo underscores that they haven’t discovered how to stem the tide of recruitment. TIME: Why would internationalizing the Iraq be a more effective strategy for stabilizing the country? KERRY: The legitimacy of the governing process that emerges from an essentially American process is always subject to greater questioning than one that is developed with broader, global consent. TIME: How do you bring in others? KERRY: I spent the time to go to the U.N. and sit with the Security Council before the vote, because I wanted to ascertain what their real state of mind was and whether or not they would be prepared to enforce the resolution, provide troops, whether or not they took it seriously, whether or not they would share costs and burden, and I came away convinced after a two-hour conversation, a lot of questions, that they would. TIME: You’ve criticised the pre-emptive nature of the Bush doctrine. KERRY: Let me emphasise: I’ll pre-empt where necessary. We are always entitled to do that under the Charter of the U.N., which gives the right of self-defence of a nation. We’ve always had a doctrine of pre-emption contained in first strike throughout the cold war. So I understand that. It is the extension of it by the Bush Administration to remove a person they don’t like that contravenes that. continued from No. 1/2007 The Style of Official Documents Official documents are written in a formal, “cold” or matter-of-fact style of speech. The style of official documents, or �officialese’ as it is sometimes called, is not homogeneous and is represented by the following sub-styles, or varieties: 1. the language of business documents, 2. the language of legal documents, 3. the language of diplomacy, 4. the language of military documents. Like other styles of language, this style has a definite communicative aim and accordingly has its own system of interrelated language and stylistic means. The main aim of this type of communication is to state the conditions binding two parties in an undertaking. These parties may be:
  9. 9. a) the state and the citizen, or citizen and citizen (jurisdiction); b) a society and its members (statute or ordinance); c) two or more enterprises or bodies (business correspondence or contracts); d) two or more governments (pacts, treaties); e) a person in authority and a subordinate (orders, regulations, authoritative directions); f) the board or presidium and the assembly or general meeting (procedures acts, minutes), etc. In other words, the aim of communication in this style of language is to reach agreement between two contracting parties. Even protest against violations of statutes, contracts, regulations, etc., can also be regarded as a form by which normal cooperation is sought on the basis of previously attained concordance. The most general function of official documents predetermines the peculiarities of the style. The most striking, though not the most essential feature, is a special system of clichйs, terms and set expressions by which each sub-style can easily be recognized, for example: I beg to inform you; I beg to move; I second the motion; provisional agenda; the above-mentioned; hereinafter named; on behalf of; private advisory; Dear sir; We remain, your obedient servants. In fact, each of the subdivisions of this style has its own peculiar terms, phrases and expressions which differ from the corresponding terms, phrases and expressions of other variants of this style. Thus, in finance we find terms like extra revenue; taxable capacities; liability to profit tax. Terms and phrases like high contracting parties; to ratify an agreement; memorandum; pact; protectorate; extra-territorial status; plenipotentiary will immediately brand the utterance as diplomatic. In legal language, examples are: to deal with a case; summary procedure; a body of judges; as laid down in; the succeeding clauses of agreement; to reaffirm faith in fundamental principles; to establish the required conditions; the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law. The vocabulary is characterized not only by the use of special terminology but the choice of lofty (bookish) words and phrases: plausible (=possible); to inform (=to tell); to assist (=to help); to cooperate (=to work together); to promote (=to help something develop); to secure (=to make certain) social progress; with the following objectives/ends (=for these purposes); to be determined/resolved (=to wish); to endeavour (=to try); to proceed (=to go); inquire (to ask). Likewise, other varieties of official languages have their special nomenclature, which is conspicuous in the text, and therefore easily discernible. Besides the special nomenclature characteristic of each variety of the style, there is a feature common to all these varieties – the use of abbreviations, conventional symbols and contractions. Some of them are well-known, for example, M.P. (Member of Parliament); Gvt. (government); H.M.S. (Her Majesty’s Steamship); $ (dollar); Ltd (Limited). But there are a few that have recently sprung up. A very interesting group of acronyms comprises the names of the USA presidents: FDR – Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and accordingly FDR-drive in New York; JFK – John Fitzgerald Kennedy and JFK Airport in New York; LBJ – Lyndon Baines Johnson; W – for America’s President George Walker Bush, but his father is
  10. 10. simply George Bush though his full name is George Herbert Walker Bush; POTUS, VPOTUS and FLOTUS – accordingly President/Vice President/First Lady of the United States. There are so many abbreviations and acronyms in official documents that there are special addenda in dictionaries to decode them. These abbreviations are particularly abundant in military documents. Here they are used not only as conventional symbols but as signs of the military code, which is supposed to be known only to the initiated. Examples are: DAO (Divisional Ammunition Officer); adv. (advance); atk. (attack); obj. (object); A/T (anti-tank); ATAS (Air Transport Auxiliary Service). Another feature of the style is the use of words in their logical dictionary meaning. There is no room for words with contextual meaning or for any kind of simultaneous realization of two meanings, as in the other matter-of-fact styles. In military documents sometimes metaphorical names are given to mountains, rivers, hills, or villages, but these metaphors are perceived as code signs and have no aesthetic value, as in: “2.102 d. Inf. Div. continues atk. 26 Feb. 45 to captive objs Spruce Peach and Cherry and prepares to take over objs Plum and Apple after capture by CCB, 5th armd Div.” Words with emotive meaning are also not to be found in official documents. Even in the style of scientific prose some words may be found which reveal the attitude of the writer, his individual evaluation of the fact and events of the issue. But no such words are to be found in official style, except those which are used in business letters as conventional phrases of greeting or close, as Dear Sir; yours faithfully. As in all other functional styles, the distinctive properties appear as a system. It is impossible to single out a style by its vocabulary only, recognizable though it always is. The syntactical pattern of the style is as significant as the vocabulary though not perhaps so immediately apparent. Perhaps the most noticeable of all syntactical features are the compositional patterns of the variants of this style. Thus, business letters have a definite compositional pattern, namely, the heading giving the address of the writer and the date, the name of the addressee and his address. The usual parts of the business paper are: 1. Heading. The heading, which includes the sender’s name, postal and telegraphic addresses, telephone number as well as reference titles of the sender and recipient, is printed at the top of the notepaper. Note: in the United Kingdom all companies registered after 23rd November, 1916, must give the names of the directors, and if any of them are not British by origin, their nationality must be also printed. 2. Date. The date should always be printed in the top right-hand corner in the order: day, month, year, e.g. 21st May, 2004 (21/5/04). Another order is usually employed in the United States: May 21st, 2004 (5/21/04).
  11. 11. 3. Name and address, i.e. the inside address or the direction. The inside address is typed in three, four or more lines whichever is necessary, either at the beginning of the letter, or at the end, e.g., Messrs. Adams and Wilkinson, / 4, Finsbury Square, / London, E.C.2., England. 4. Salutation. The salutation may be: Sir, Sirs, Gentlemen (never �Gentleman’), Dear Sirs (never “Dear Gentlemen), Madam, Dear Madam (for both married and unmarried ladies), or Mesdames (plural). Dear Mr., or Dear Mister should never be used! Dear Mr. Jones, (Mrs. Brown / Miss Smith) may only be used when the sender is fairly intimate with the person receiving the letter. 5. Reference. Underlined heading should look as follows: Re: Your Order No 12345. Re is not an abbreviation of “regarding”, but a Latin word meaning “in the matter”. 6. Opening. If you are hesitating for a phrase with which to commence your letter, one of the following will suit your purpose: In reply / with reference / referring to your letter of…; in accordance with / compliance with / pursuance of your order No.; we greatly appreciate your letter of… 7. Body. The body is the subject matter that should be concise but not laconic. The sentences should not be too long, the whole matter should be broken into reasonably short paragraphs which should be properly spaced. 8. Closing or the complimentary close. It usually looks something like this: Yours faithfully / truly / sincerely / cordially (not respectfully as it is too servile). Your obedient servant is used by the British civil service, i.e. by all non-warlike branches of the British state administration. The most appropriate closing is: Awaiting your early reply with interest / Hoping there will be no further complaints of this nature / Thanking you in advance for any information you can offer. 9. Stamp (if any) and signatures. The closing, with the signature following it, is made to slope off gradually so that the end of the signature just reaches the right hand margin of the letter. 10. Enclosures. The Word “Enclosure “should be written either in full or in its abbreviated form “Enc.” Usually at the bottom left-hand corner of the letter. Consider the structure of a business letter below: Mansfield and Co. 59 High Street Swanage (=the address of the sender) 14 August, 2006 (=the date) 22 Fleet Street London (= the address of the party addressed)
  12. 12. Dear Sir, (=salutation) We beg to inform you that by order and for account of Mr. Jones of Manchester, we have taken the liberty of drawing upon you for $45 at three months’ date to the order of Mr. Sharp. We gladly take this opportunity of placing our services at your disposal, and shall be pleased if you frequently make use of them. (=body) Truly yours, Mansfield and Co. (=closing) by Mary Smith Almost every official document has its own compositional design. Pacts and statutes, orders and minutes, codes and memoranda – all have more or less definite form, and it will not be an exaggeration to state that the form of the document is itself informative, inasmuch as it tells something about the matter dealt with. An official document usually consists of a preamble, main text body and a finalizing (concluding) part. The preamble is usually a statement at the beginning of the document explaining what it is about and stating the parties of the agreement, e.g. “The States concluding this Treaty (Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons), hereinafter referred to as the �Parties to the Treaty’…have agreed as follows…”. The most important words and phrases are often capitalized as well as the beginnings of the paragraphs in very long sentences listing the crucial issues. The main text body constitutes the central and most important part of the document. It consists of articles – individual parts of a document, usually numbered ones, which state the conditions on which the parties reach their agreement. For example, Article I of the above cited Treaty begins: “Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly…” The finalizing part comprises the signatures of the duly authorized people that have signed the document; the amount of copies of the document; the date (more often than not, stated by words, not by figures); the place: “IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, duly authorized, have signed this Treaty. DONE in triplicate, at the cities of Washington, London and Moscow, this first day of July one thousand nine hundred sixty-eight”. Depending on the type of document, the composition and content of its individual parts may slightly vary as, for example, in business contracts setting the conditions binding two parties. A business contract consists of a standard text and changeable elements. In modern linguistics,
  13. 13. standard text structures intended for information presentation are called frames. A frame is understood as asset language structure with changeable elements. The changeable elements within a text are called slots. Consider a preamble to a commercial agreement as an example of a frame. This Agreement is made this ____ day of ______, 2007, by and between _________, (a ________ corporation with its principle office at ________) or (an individual with an office and mailing address at_______) (“Agent”), and (company name), a corporation organized and existing under the laws of_________, with its principle place of business at __________. Here, in the above frame of an agreement the blank spaces represent the slots to be filled with slot fillers (by the date, company names, addresses, etc.). But a text frame seldom has the form of a text with blank spaces. More often than not a frame is a standard text with stable and changeable parts, for example: ________ by this Agreement does not grant to Agent any rights in or license to _______’s trademarks, trade names or service marks. _______ reserves all such rights to itself. Agent shall not utilize, without _______’s express, prior and written consent, any ________ trade or service marks on trade names, and will promptly report to _______ any apparent unauthorized use by third parties in the Territory of _______’s trade or service marks or trade names. In the above text frame the non-italicized text fragments are presumed to be changeable depending on the subject and conditions of the Agreement, e.g. “prior and written consent” may be replaced by “oral consent”, etc. The task of a translator translating official documents is to find target language equivalents of the source text frames and use them in translation as standard substitutes, filling the slots with frame fillers in compliance with the document content. The syntax of official or business documents is characterized by the frequent use of non-finite forms – Gerund, Participle, Infinitive (Considering that…; in order to achieve cooperation in solving the problems…), and complex structures with them, such as the Complex Object ( We expect this to take place), Complex Subject (This is expected to take place), the Absolute Participial Construction (The conditions being violated, it appears necessary to state that…) In this respect, consider the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations which clearly illustrates the most peculiar form of the arrangement and syntax of an official document. CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS We the People of the United Nations Determined TO SAVE succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  14. 14. TO REAFFIRM faith in fundamental rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and TO ESTABLISH conditions under which justice and respect for obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and TO PROMOTE social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, And For These Ends TO PRACTICE tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and TO UNITE our strength to maintain international peace and security, and TO ENSURE, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and TO EMPLOY international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, Have Resolved to Combine Our Efforts to Accomplish These Aims. (The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, N.Y., 1967) As is seen, all the reasons which led to the decision of setting up an international organization are expressed in one sentence with parallel infinitive object clauses. Each infinitive object clause is framed as a separate paragraph, with the infinitive being capitalized, thus enabling the reader to attach equal importance to each of the items mentioned. The separate sentences shaped as clauses are naturally divided not by full stops but either by commas or by semicolons. It is also an established custom to divide separate utterances by numbers, maintaining, however the principle of dependence of all statements on the main part of the utterance. As is seen from the different samples above, the over-all code of the official style falls into a system of subcodes, each characterized by its own terminological nomenclature, its own compositional form, its own variety of syntactical arrangements. But the integrating features of all these subcodes emanating from the general aim of agreement between parties, remain the following: 1) conventionality of expression; 2) absence of any emotiveness; 3) the encoded character of language; symbols (including abbreviations); 4) a general syntactical mode of combining several utterances into one sentence. ACTIVITIES
  15. 15. Questions: 1. What substyles represent the style of official documents? 2. What is the main aim of communication in the language of official documents? 3. Describe the essential features of the vocabulary of official documents. 4. What language means are used in the style of �officialese’ for the utterances to sound laconic? Give examples of acronyms which have appeared recently. 5. What is the aim of metaphors used in military documents? Do they have any aesthetic value? 6. Describe the most characteristic features of the syntax of official and business documents. 7. What is the most noticeable of all syntactic features in the style of “officialese”? 8. What parts does an official document usually consist of? What is a frame? a slot? a slot filler? 9. Describe the peculiarities of official papers design. 10. List the integrating features of the official style emanating from the general aim of agreement between the parties. Exercises: Analyze the “Resolution” from the standpoint of its formal syntactical structure. Comment on the numbered and capitalized parts of the document and punctuation. United Nations Economic And Social Council (UNESCO) Technical Assistance Committee Expended Programme of Technical Assistance Review of the Programme for 1956 Australia and Egypt: revised draft resolution. The Technical Assistance Committee, RECALLING THAT according to Economic and Social Council resolution 542(XVIII) the preparation and review of the Expanded Programme and all other necessary steps should be carried out in away that TAC ought to be in a position to approve the over-all programme and authorize allocation to participating organizations by 30 November at the latest, CONSIDERING THAT a realistic programme such as Expanded Programme cannot be planned and formulated without prior knowledge of the financial resources available for its implementation, CONSIDERING THAT TAC, with the assistance of such ad hoc subcommittees as it may find necessary to establish, will normally need about one week to carry out the task referred to in the resolution mentioned above, BEARING IN MIND the necessary consultations with the representatives of the participating organizations, 1. ASKS the Secretary-General to seek to arrange each year the Pledging Conference which should be convened as early as possible taking due account of the factors involved;
  16. 16. 2. DECIDES that the Secretary-General should in future work on the assumption that in carrying out the functions of approving the programme and authorizing allocations as required by Economic and Social Council resolution 542(XVIII), the TAC will usually need to meet one week; 3. REQUESTS further the Secretary-general to transmit these resolution to all States Members and non-members of the United Nations which participate in the Expanded Programme. 55 – 29330 continued from No. 1, 3/2007 Translation of Official Documents: Grammatical Aspects Translation of legal, economic, diplomatic and official business papers not only requires sufficient knowledge of terms, phrases and expressions, but also depends on the clear comprehension of the structure of a sentence and some specific grammar and syntactical patterns, which are characteristic of this style. Coming across an unknown term in the text, a translator can consult a dictionary. Coming across such a phenomenon as the Nominative Absolute Construction, for instance, a translator can find it time-consuming to search for an equivalent conveying its meaning, unless he or she already knows the corresponding pattern. This Manual is intended for students who are already aware of the basics and peculiarities of the grammar and syntax of the English language. That is why it offers below only some instructions in translation of certain English constructions, which can cause special difficulties while translating. INFINITIVE Depending on the function the Infinitive plays in the sentence it can be translated in the following ways:  as an adverbial modifier of purpose the Infinitive can express an independent idea that adds new information about its subject; the adverb only is omitted in translation, e.g.: The president announced his resignation only after the failure of his drive to push through the merger of the two countries last summer. Президент РѕР±СЉСЏРІРёР» Рѕ своей отставке только после того, как прошлым летом закончиласьнеудачей его попытка объединить РґРІРµ страны.
  17. 17.  After the adjectives the last, the only and ordinal numerals the Infinitive is translated as the predicate of an attributive subordinate clause. Its tense form is determined by the context, e.g.: He was the first high official to be admitted to the inner council of government, to the cabinet. РћРЅ был первым чиновником высокого ранга, который был допущен РЅР° закрытые заседания Кабинета.  If + noun + be + Infinitive can be translated as для того чтобы, e.g.: In any event, members of the association should be prepared to put aside partisan interests if consensus on the abovementioned principles is to be achieved. Р’ любом случае, чтобы достичьсогласия РїРѕ вышеуказанным принципам, члены ассоциации должны быть готовы пожертвовать СЃРІРѕРёРјРё узкопартийными интересами.  The Complex Object with the Infinitive is translated as an object subordinate clause, e.g.: Both experiments revealed the rated dimensions to be interrelated. РћР±Р° эксперимента показали, что оценочные параметры тесно связаны между СЃРѕР±РѕР№.  The Complex Subject with passive forms of the verbs say, think, expect, show, see, find, argue, know, mean, consider, regard, report, believe, hold, suppose, note, presume, claim, admit, interpret, etc. is translated as a complex sentence with an object subordinate clause. Care should be taken about non-perfect forms of the Infinitive (which are translated in the Present time) and perfect forms (which are translated in the Past time), e.g.: Still they can hardly be said to have formulated a true scientific theory. Р� РІСЃС‘ же РІСЂСЏРґ ли можно утверждать, что РѕРЅРё сформулировали действительно научную теорию. The term model is held to have important normative significance. Считается, что термин модельимеет большое нормативное значение.  The Complex Subject with active forms of the verbs happen, appear, see, prove, turn out, be likely, be certain, be sure, etc. is translated in two possible ways:
  18. 18. a) The English finite form is transformed into a Russian parenthesis and the English Infinitive into a Russian predicate, e.g.: So, there appear to be two choices. Таким образом, оказывается, что выбор есть. b) The English finite form is transformed into a Russian main clause (маловероятно, кажется, etc.) and the English Infinitive into a Russian predicate in an object subordinate clause, e.g.: Neither proposal is likely to work. Маловероятно, что какое-либо РёР· этих предложений окажется действенным.  If the English predicate has an object by somebody, such predicate-object clusters are translated as a parenthesis РїРѕ мнению, согласно данным, как показал (установил, описал, etc.), e.g.: The results were interpreted by Brown (1989) to be insufficient to draw any substantial conclusions. РџРѕ мнению Брауна (1989), этих данных РЅРµ достаточно для каких-либо существенных выводов. GERUND Depending on the function the Gerund plays in the sentence, it can be translated as:  a noun Banking on a loss of nerve within the board of trustees may turn out to be misguided. Расчёт РЅР° то, что Сѓ членов опекунского совета сдадут нервы, может оказаться неверным.  an infinitive Under the pressure of national campaign, he showed a positive gift for saying the wrong things in the wrong words at the wrong time. Р’ условиях напряжённой кампании РІ масштабе всей страны РѕРЅ определённо показал способностьговорить РЅРµ то, что надо, РЅРµ так, как следовало, Рё РЅРµ там, РіРґРµ следовало.
  19. 19.  a participle In Washington there is quiet satisfaction that the French by joining the float have indirectly acknowledged that the U.S. was right all along. Вашингтон выразил удовлетворение РїРѕ РїРѕРІРѕРґСѓ того, что Франция, присоединившиськ странам СЃ плавающим РєСѓСЂСЃРѕРј валют, косвенно признала правоту РЎРЁРђ. The Perfect Gerund denotes an action which is prior to the action expressed by the finite form of the verb, e.g.: After having been colonies for a long time, many Asian and African countries have now become independent states. РњРЅРѕРіРёРµ страны РђР·РёРё Рё Африки, которые долго были колониями, стали теперь независимыми государствами. PARTICIPLE Participle I can be translated as:  an attributive clause, e.g.: The States concluding this Treaty hereinafter refer to as the “Parties to the Treaty”. Государства, заключающие настоящий РґРѕРіРѕРІРѕСЂ, именуются ниже «Участниками Договора».  an adverbial clause, e.g.: Heavy artillery and mortal fire broke out again in the city last night, virtually putting the whole population of the city under a state of siege. Вчера вечером РіРѕСЂРѕРґ СЃРЅРѕРІР° подвергся интенсивному артиллерийскому Рё миномётному обстрелу, Рё РІСЃРµ его жители фактически оказалисьв осаде.  a separate sentence, e.g.: The treasury announced that in August the sterling area had a gold and dollar deficit of 44 million dollars bringing the gold and dollar reserve down to the lowest level reached this year. Министерство финансов объявило, что РІ августе стерлинговая Р·РѕРЅР° имела золотой Рё долларовый дефицит РІ 44 миллиона
  20. 20. долларов. Таким образом, золотые Рё долларовые резервы достигли минимального РіРѕРґРѕРІРѕРіРѕ СѓСЂРѕРІРЅСЏ. Participle II at the beginning of the sentence can be translated as:  a subordinate clause, e.g.: Asked if the United States is rendering military aid to the forces opposing the lawful government in that country, the senator gave an evasive reply. РќР° РІРѕРїСЂРѕСЃ Рѕ том, оказывают ли Соединённые Штаты военную помощьсилам, противостоящим законному правительству страны, сенатор ответил уклончиво. As a part of the Complex Object construction, Participle I and Participle II can be translated as:  an object clause, e.g. : The country would like to see its proposals approved by the General Assembly. Страна хотела Р±С‹, чтобы Генеральная Ассамблея одобрила её предложения. The Nominative Absolute Construction with Participle I and II can be translated in different ways depending on the form of the Participle and the position of the construction in the sentence:  in postposition the Nominative Absolute Construction with Participle I performs the function of an adverbial modifier of attending circumstances: The Prime Minister and the African National Council promptly lapsed into mutual recrimination, seeking to blame the other for deadlock. Премьер-министр Рё Африканский национальный совет тут же перешли РєРѕ взаимным обвинениям, причём каждая сторона пыталась переложить РЅР° РґСЂСѓРіСѓСЋ РІРёРЅСѓ Р·Р° то, что РѕРЅРё оказались РІ безвыходном положении.  in preposition the Nominative Absolute Construction with Participle I and II performs the function of an adverbial modifier of cause or time: That done with, the two statesmen had subsided into long and profitable talks about other subjects. После того как СЃ этим было покончено, РѕР±Р° государственных мужа приступили Рє
  21. 21. долгому Рё плодотворному обсуждению РґСЂСѓРіРёС… тем. It being too late for further discussion, the session was adjourned. Заседание закончилось, так как было слишком РїРѕР·РґРЅРѕ, чтобы продолжать обсуждение.  sometimes Participles may be omitted, but the subject-predicate relations in the Construction are still preserved: The first conference a failure, another meeting at a ministerial level was decided upon. Р’ СЃРІСЏР·Рё СЃ неудачей первой конференции было принято решение Рѕ проведении ещё РѕРґРЅРѕР№ встречи РЅР° СѓСЂРѕРІРЅРµ министров. The debate over, the meeting was adjourned. РџРѕ окончании дебатов заседание было объявлено закрытым.  The second element of the Nominative Absolute Construction can also be expressed by an infinitive. It can be related to a future action: With the Congress still to be elected, the Republican leadership was already moving to team up with the Southern Democrats, as it did in the palmy days of the New Deal. Хотя выборы РІ Конгресс ещё впереди, руководство Республиканской партии уже предпринимает шаги РїРѕ объединению СЃ Демократами Юга, как РІ славные времена «Нового курса». INVERSION The order of words in which the subject is placed after the predicate is called inverted word order, or inversion. While translating, the target sentence retains the word order of the source sentence in many cases: Of special interest should be the first article in Chapter I. Особый интерес вызывает первая статья РІ главе I. Also treated are such matters as theory construction and methodology. Рассматриваются также такие РІРѕРїСЂРѕСЃС‹, как создание теории Рё методология.
  22. 22. Had this material been examined from this viewpoint, the rules that he discovered would probably have gone unnoted. Если бы этот материал был изучен под таким углом зрения, закономерности, установленные на его основе, возможно, и остались бы не замеченными. Subordinate clauses of concession with an inverted predicate often serve emphatic purposes and can be translated with the help of Russian combinations хотя; какой бы ни был: Such a principle, strange as it may seem, is championed in one form or another by certain scholars. Такой принцип, хотя это и может показаться странным, в том или ином виде отстаивают некоторые учёные. Useful as it is, the book has two general shortcomings. Какой бы полезной не была эта книга, в ней есть два существенных недостатка. Activities Questions: 1. What are the principles of official documents translation? 2. What is peculiar about the text(s) of official documents? 3. What are the English constructions which cause special difficulties in translation of official documents? 4. List the syntactical functions the Infinitive can perform in the sentence. Give examples. 5. What type of subordinate clause in the Russian language should the predicative English construction Complex Object be translated into? 6. Describe the possible patterns of the Complex Subject translation. How does the form of the verb-predicate influence the choice of the form? 7. Which form of the Gerund denotes an action prior to the action expressed by the finite form of the verb? Give examples. 8. What syntactical functions do Participles usually perform in the sentence?
  23. 23. 9. How does the translation of the Nominative Absolute Construction depend on its location in the sentence? Give examples. 10. What is inversion? What purpose does it serve? Give examples. Exercises Exercise 1. Translate the following sentences, paying attention to the infinitive and infinitive constructions. 1. The United Nations’ principle function is to maintain peace and prevent war. The decision of the Yalta and Potsdam conferences pointed out the threat of militarism and aggression to the course of peace and security and provided a system of measures to eliminate sources of war and aggression. 2. Other areas of major concern relate to the seabed and ocean floor and mean to ensure their reservation for peaceful use. 3. Disputes are to be settled by peaceful means. Member states undertake not to use force or the threat of force in contraventions of the purposes of the UN. 4. States not-members of the UN are required to act in accordance with these principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security. 5. The General Assembly is expressly authorized to deal with specific disputes and situations brought before it and to undertake studies and make recommendations for promoting international co-operation in political, social, cultural and educational matters for encouraging the development of international law and for assisting in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Exercise 2. Translate the following sentences, paying attention to the gerund and gerundial constructions. 1. Polls keep indicating that a majority of Americans hold strong doubts about the candidate’s ability to handle his job. 2. Each side insists on withholding its part of the bargain until the other has acted. 3. The situation in the country is a lesson in the dangers of upsetting the delicate balance of neutralist politics. 4. The impossibility of disregarding established diplomatic rules does not, however, preclude suspicious host governments from keeping a watchful eye on diplomatic missions and diplomats suspected of abusing their privileges and immunities.
  24. 24. 5. All this, however, has not prevented the head of the delegation and his colleagues from keeping up their end of a dialogue, which reflects a practical approach and a real willingness to consider serious proposals. 6. They are terrified of being drawn into taking over responsibility for their own security. 7. Amnesty, often granted to student troublemakers last year, is to be a thing of the past at many colleges. Instead of being forgiven for their misconduct, more students are to be suspended or expelled. 8. No sign exists of the president having concerned himself with the substance of these two important questions. Exercise 3. Translate the following sentences, paying attention to the participles and participial constructions. 1. But most (98%) of the businesses in the United States are small businesses – independently owned and operated and having fewer than twenty employees. 2. Whether a business has one employee working at home, 100 working in retail store, 10,000 working at a plant or factory or 100,000 working in branch offices nation-wide, all businesses share the same definition and are organized for the same purpose: to earn profits. 3. Government legislation leads a company to change its hiring practices; technological advances convince a company to change its manufacturing processes; changes in consumer tastes tell a company to alter its marketing strategies. 4. A tactical plan is specific, detailed, and current, focusing on present operations. 5. Managers’ decisions range from minor and relatively unimportant, to major and potentially life-threatening to the organization. 6. The 18 riparian countries have began research and monitoring of the conditions of the sea, most have signed the Barcelona Convention agreeing to control pollution and over-fishing, and they have began plans for joint development of that sea. 7. The intellectual attractions of the law regulating literary and artistic property account only in small part for the rise of copyright law. 8. Duly certified copies of this Treaty shall be transmitted by the Depositary Governments to the Governments of the signatory and acceding States. 9. In witness whereof the undersigned, duly authorized, have signed this Treaty. 10. Done in triplicate, at the cities of Washington, London and Moscow, this first day of July one thousand nine hundred sixty-eight.
  25. 25. Exercise 4. Translate the following sentences, paying attention to the Nominative Absolute Constructions. 1. With the new countries in the United Nations will for the first time include Britain’s allies and associates. 2. The ratification debate should take place as quickly as possible, it being understood that the president of the republic should not sign the treaty until the “preconditions” are fulfilled. 3. Objectives and plans established, the organizing function comes into play. 4. There being no survivors, the exact causes which led to the accident will never be known. 5. All other things being equal, one would assume that the latter solution is more plausible.