Scholarly article on topic 'The Social Nature of Literary Translation in Kazakstan in XX Century'

The Social Nature of Literary Translation in Kazakstan in XX Century Academic research paper on "Languages and literature"

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Abstract of research paper on Languages and literature, author of scientific article — M.T. Kozhakanova, T.U. Esembekov

Abstract This article is devoted to the literary contribution of well-known Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbayev. His main contribution to Kazakh literature was his translations from Russian poets and writers. He was first who found the school of translation in Kazakhstan. His translation skills are example to the translators of present generation. Also in this article is written about the political situations of XX century in Kazakhstan which prevented to the development of translation from Kazakh language into Russian and other foreign languages. The main prohibition covered the period from 1910-1920, the period when Kazakh nation was under the influence of Russian Royal Empire. The government refused publishing Abai's works as Abai in his works criticized the head of nation, officials, the violence, the cruelty made up to people and the position of rich people under poor. After great October Socialist Revolution Abai's name became known to people. At present time the status of translation is better than XX century, but much remain to be done.

Academic research paper on topic "The Social Nature of Literary Translation in Kazakstan in XX Century"

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Procedía - Social and Behavioral Sciences 114 (2014) 229 - 233

4th World Conference on Psychology, Counseling and Guidance WCPCG-2013

The social nature of literary translation in Kazakstan in XX century

M.T.Kozhakanova, T.U.Esembekov

Kazakh National university named after Al-Farabi, Al-Farabi avenue 71, Alamty 050000, Kazakstan. Kazakh National university named after Al-Farabi, Al-Farabi avenue 71, Alamty 050000, Kazakstan.

Abstract

This article is devoted to the literary contribution of well-known Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbayev. His main contribution to Kazakh literature was his translations from Russian poets and writers. He was first who found the school of translation in Kazakhstan. His translation skills are example to the translators of present generation. Also in this article is written about the political situations of XX century in Kazakhstan which prevented to the development of translation from Kazakh language into Russian and other foreign languages. The main prohibition covered the period from 1910-1920, the period when Kazakh nation was under the influence of Russian Royal Empire. The government refused publishing Abai's works as Abai in his works criticized the head of nation, officials, the violence, the cruelty made up to people and the position of rich people under poor. After great October Socialist Revolution Abai's name became known to people. At present time the status of translation is better than XX century, but much remain to be done.

© 2013 The Authors.PublishedbyElsevier Ltd.

Selection and peer-review underresponsibilityof Academic World Education andResearchCenter. Keywords: culture, language,literature,policy, translation, tradition;

1. Introduction

Translation is a tool that provides the social, economic, spiritual and cultural bond between people, societies, tribes, nations and nationalities. Translation is the way for learning regional specifics, the mediator of friendship, collaboration and experience exchange. Translation is the instrument for understanding other people's societies that have their own long histories and languages, and it is the connector that provides relationship with them. Translation has always been important in culture and still important. Development of professional and literary translation in the Kazakh culture started in the second half of the XIX century. This is the period when the best works of Russian and Western literature were translated and when the enlightenment ideas were spread. Sh. Ualikhanov, Y. Altynsarin and A. Kunanbayev were the few of those who had started this trend. Focusing on the democratic ideas they called people to education, literacy; and they widely used translated works in parallel with their own works. It is worth saying that Abai's translations have played a connecting role between cultures and civilizations. The trend started by the great poet continued its path forward.

2. Great Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbayev's literary contribution to translation

Each period of literature in the XX century also set its requirements to the literary translation. Every literary circle

Corresponding Author: M.T. Kozhakanova E-mail: kozhakanovamt@gmail.com

1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of Academic World Education and Research Center. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.12.690

Madina Kozhakanova. Tel: 87055744803. E-mail address: modi_85@mail.ru Temirgali Esembekov. E-mail address: Esembekov@mail.ru

first of all looked at Abai's tradition in the translated works. They tried to resemble the great poet in their translating efforts. Abai Kunanbayev is not the first professional translator, who has introduced the Kazakh readers with foreign poets' and writers' works, he is also the master who has founded the basis of the translation school. During the October Revolution Abai's poems and translations were widely publicized. A collection of his poems published in 1910 triggered the interest toward the poet's legacy. During revolutions, social and political changes in 1920-1930s the interest to Abai's works did not subside. Every political force took into account the great poet's poems' footprint in the hearts and minds of the Kazakh people [3]. Abai recognized social conflicts, inequity and criticized the local authorities' and judges' deeds. The content of Abai's poetry comprises the life of Kazakhs characterized by the patriarchic and feudal relationships, and the capitalistic relationships that started to appear in the Kazakh steppes causing the start of social conflicts. Abai's translations influenced development of the translation art and raised it to a creative level. The purpose Abai pursued in his translations was closely connected with his civil commitment and enlightenment service. Abai managed to translate the Russian poets' works into his mother language in a very harmonic manner. Abai Kunanbayev translated the greatest Russian poets and writers such as Krylov, Pushkin and Lermontov due to his spiritual needs as well. Abai's translations play a very important role in the history of the Kazakh literature and culture.

The first requirement that a translator faces is the equal knowledge of his mother language and a language the being translated work has been written in. The translator must also possess the secrets of a language, the meaning of words, the importance of beauty, the ability to see life as a creator, the ability to understand the beauty of an event and an image, the deep thinking, the sensitivity and the poetic and writing skills. All of these were present in Abai. Abai understood the importance of literary translation so well. Since he constantly based his art experience on the Russian culture of those days and admired it himself, he made the famous Russian classics sound Kazakh. In his 15 years devoted to translating work the poet translated more than 50 works from Russian to Kazakh. Among them are 7 extracts from A.S. Pushkin's famous poem Eugene Onegin, about 30 poems of M.Y. Lermontov, 12 tales of I.A. Krylov and 7 poems of other authors. It was not a coincidence that Abay started his translation with Pushkin's works. The poet wanted his people get to know the eventful and large Eugene Onegin poem, and he translated the most important 7 parts of the poem. Precise or free ways that Abai used in his translations were caused by historic situations. There are samples where he has translated texts precisely. And there are circumstances where Abai is far from the text of an original but gives the idea and the true meaning of a work. Abai created impressive translated versions of originals. Abai's another favorite poet whose works he admired and translated was M.Y. Lermontov. It is obvious that the poet was well familiar with Lermontov's works. Abai's number three favorite poet is Russia's well-known fabler I.A. Krylov. Krylov's one fable (The Crow and the Fox) was first ever translated into Kazakh by Ybyray Altynsarin. Then Abai translated Krylov's 12 fables. Abai did not translate into Kazakh Krylov's satirical fables - he instead focused on translation of Krylov's fables that contained life lessons. In those translated fables Abai proved his mastership, preciseness and his full understanding of what the author had meant. Such inspirational creations were caused by Abai's close relationship with the noble authors like Pushkin and Lermontov. Thus, if on the one hand Abai perfected his poetic craft, on the other hand he introduced the Kazakh people with such excellent works of art of those days, created the work that would serve for the benefit of future generations. Also the translation development in Kazakhstan was influenced by historic events [4].

3. The role of Alashorda government in developing Kazakh literature

A political and economic crisis of Russia in the early XX century, collapse of the Tsar's Government in 1917 generated the idea to create an independent country among the Kazakh intellectuals. In the end of 1917 the Government of Alashorda was born. A straight condition that led to the appearance of Alashorda was explained by inability of the Temporary Government to solve acute national issues in Kazakhstan, and the Temporary Government turned into a weak and unstable power and in the end led the whole Empire to anarchy, violence and tyranny. The Alashorda Government's from the day focused first of all on the people interests. They concentrated on returning Kazakhstan's natural resources to the Kazakh people's benefit and worked on establishing political power and an educational system. In July of 1917 they formed the Alash Party. A. Bokeikhanov was appointed the Party Chairman. The Party comprised the Kazakh intellectuals, many poets and writers. Alikhan Bokeikhanov, Akhmet

Baitursynov and Myrzhakyp Dulatov contributed their most. Their social enlightening and literary publications had direct impact, and Akhmet Baitursynov's translated collection of fables called "Masa" also had its importance. M. Dulatov's "Oyan Kazak" (Wake Up Kazakh) collection of poems was prohibited by the Tsar Government because it resembled the freedom ideas of the world at the time, thus the Tsar Government confiscated it, punished the publishing house and imprisoned the author. Mirzhakyp Dulatov's books brought the ideas of equality to the democratic and enlightening literature of the early XX century. Step up of the Kazakh literature to the revolutionary and democratic level was directly related with Akhmet Baitursynov's and Mirzhakyp Dulatov's works. They stood against colonialism and oppression and for the first time in the Kazakh literature they distributed the ideas of love and patriotism to their nation. Akhmet Baitursynov and Mirzhakyp Dulatov's ideas awakened the people. The first ones to react were the clever and young talents. They continued their masters' paths. The group of youths like S. Toraigyrov, Zh. Aimauytov, S. Seifullin, B. Maillin, M. Auezov, M. Zhumabayev, S. Donentayev, M. Seralin, S. Kobeyev enriched the genre, the thematic quests and depicted the Kazakh people's life realities in a full scale [1]. Akhmet Baitursynov led the first time ever publication of the Kazak Gazeti (Kazakh Newspaper). The Kazak Gazeti was a social, political and literary newspaper. It was written in Kazakh language using the Arabic alphabet and published once a week in Orenburg during the period of February 2, 1913 - September 26, 1918. The first article about Abai's life and poetry was published by this newspaper.

Alikhan Bokeikhanov did not have only a political importance in the Kazakh history - he also played a special role of a translator in the Kazakh literature. Literary translation is the largest heritage that Alikhan has left for the subsequent generations. Among his translations are the works of the greatest Russian classics like L.N. Tolstoy, A.P. Chekhov, V.G. Korolenko, D.M. Mamin-Sibiryak, and Alikhan also translated the famous stories of the European writer Guy de Maupassant. He has translated literary works of the nations that speak the Indian and the Turkish language families as well as the relics of the ancient times. The Alash Party pursued one main goal - to form the Kazakh autonomy within the Russian Federative Democratic Republic. Considering the situation that took place at that time it was not possible for Kazakhstan to declare autonomy. Russians focused on the fight with Bolshevism which was the enemy of freedom. And it was the national Kazakh literature which at the time of the Kazakh people rise on the way to the national and civil ideas fight, pictured the true reality of the Kazakh people's life. The Kazakh literature of the early XX century continued Abai's enlightenment and democratic path, and added the idea of political fight blaming colonialism and oppression of that time. People were encouraged to step out of their dark and poor lives to the brightness of education and the art [2]. Saken Seifullin started the history of scientific literature translation. The Ulgili Tarzhimasy (Proper Translation) of Spandiyar Kobeyev, The Zhigan-Tergeni (collection) of Moldaniyaz Otetileuov and the thoughts of many other authors about translation played a unique role in promoting the art of translation in Kazakhstan. Their scientific and research works contributed a lot in founding the history and theory of Kazakh translation. Chairman of People Commissars, Saken Seifullin, stated that although Kazakhstan obtained autonomy there was nothing done to raise people's life conditions, publications and books published in Kazakh language were scarce, paperwork wasn't carried out in Kazakh, it was necessary to open Kazakh schools and Russian was predominant in the administration system. Although the Secretary of Central Party E. Yaroslavsky threatened that

4. The status of translation in 1930 - 1950

The meaning and the art of translations in that period, their style which made the translations different from the originals - these were the priceless translations that do not follow the literary translation principles. The substandard of translated works into Kazakh depended on these reasons: 1. Not formation the tradition of direct translation from other languages. 2.Referring to interlinear translation. 3.Not paying attention to conversion and improvement of interlinear translation. 4. Not reviewing the translation and not evaluation the quality of the translation. 5. Not carrying out the reduction of translation. The main reason of substandard Kazakh translation was that during Soviet period the aim of ideological policy was to accept the Kazakh nation as illiterate, cultureless, retarded people. That is why translators didn't feel the richness of Kazakh language, peculiarities of national culture and tradition. Starting with the mid XX century, due to an extended level of international relationships, the matter of translation turned to a much more demand. As a result, studies associated with translation got sparkled in the spheres like

linguistics, literature, culture, history, psychology and philosophy. In 1950-s the issues associated with the theory of literary translation, the history of its development were the focus areas of those days. The USSR Writers Association conducted the first USSR Congress in 1951 for discussing the literary translation issues. Before the event all central and Republican prints actively discussed and exchanged opinions on the literary translation. Like in the whole USSR, the people of Kazakhstan also drew their attention to the issue of literary translation [5].

5. The status of translation in 1960-1990

In the period of 1960-1990 the league of professional translators formed and they raised the literary translation to very high levels. It was this period when almost all of the world classics were put in the Kazakh language. The national science of translation was established in the Kazakh literature. It is worth mentioning the following factor which influenced formation of the national translation. Government issued a lot of orders for literary translation in that period and probably that was why translation turned into a means of earning money. Many of the Kazakh writers started to focus on translating activities. They treated the literary translation as something easy that any educated person could handle instead of treating it as the high art. Although the number of translated materials rose over the years, the quality of many of them was very low. Editors also made mistakes by passing to publication such poor quality translations. Many of the editors were young and less experienced, so they didn't see gaps in the translated works and permitted their publication. The Kazakh readers started to know the Russian and Western writers like L. Tolstoy, I. Turgenev, A.S. Pushkin, M.Y. Lermontov, I. Bunin, M. Gorky, Shakespeare, Schiller, Swift, Defoe, Cervantes, Mark Twain, J. London, G. Maupassant, A. Dumas, H. Balzac, the classics of the East like Sagdi, Omar Khayyam, Fizuli, Shamsi and Navoiy [6]. The works of the well-known Soviet writers were translated into Kazakh and published in many copies. The Kazakh readers were well familiar with the works of S. Aini, B. Kerbebayev, M. Zhalel,V. Belov, E. Mezhelaitis and other writers that had received the State awards. Also the established friendship with the Polish, Czech, German, Bulgarian, Romanian and Slovakian people contributed to the art of translation.

6. Conclusion

The Madeni Mura government program is playing an important role in active translation now. We believe that translation into Kazakh of the best in the world authors', thinkers' and scientists' works will spark our language which has suffered many difficulties before and been limited with literary translations only. In his article called "Differences in Translation Make Me Worry" professor Zh. Moldabekov says "Professional level of translators hasn't yet been built (from the discipline-specific and creative art standpoints). Professional tradition and levels are not equal in translations". Indeed, there is no secret that the Madeni Mura government program let many representatives of humanitarian science disciplines that used to do little translations in their narrow areas all of a sudden become translators. Probably that is why it is painful for the Kazakh language lovers to see many terminology translations published earlier that are not pleasant to read and understand. We need to admit there is an insufficient, unsatisfactory systematic work associated with translations by the new specialists that strive either for increasing their individual potential or try to govern the social and cultural elements. But we can't say that we would not face similar issues if we give the texts of special philosophical, psychological and social classical works to philologist-translators to translate. Because "if you can't see correctly the cultural meaning, the idea, the structure of social and linguistic tradition and the style when analyzing a text to be translated, it is of doubt that this translation will turn out to be meaningful, understandable and successful." [7] In order to develop literary translation they formed the Korkem Audarma (literary translation) publishing house. Magazines like Alem Adebieti, Amanat, Zhuldyz, Zhalyn and Prostor continuously pay attention to the Korkem Audarma materials. They organize various contests and awards in order to encourage the translation sphere.

References

S.Mukanov (1980). Selected works. (pp. 78-92).Almaty M.Myrzahkmetov. (1989). Abai and West. (pp. 57-80).Almaty

S.Nyryshov.(1957). Problems of literary translation. (pp. 151-156).Almaty S.Talzhanov.(1962). About literary translation. (pp. 3-6). Almaty M.Alimbaev.(1996). Ornate speech is common wealth. (pp 54-59).Almaty A.Kunanbayev.(2009). Book of words. (pp. 256-258).Almaty M.Silchenko.(1957). Abai's creative biography. (pp 56-57). Almaty