Moscow State Lomonosov University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 1-7
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
We are well aware of the fact that international contacts are “phenomena vulgaris” in the modern world. Our epoch is the one of wide and intensive communication between the representatives of different linguistic and cultural communities. Since there does not exist a metalanguage for international communication, the role of the translator is still very important.

It goes without saying that translators in their work face various problems due to divergences of languages in their grammatical, lexical and stylistic structures.

One of the problems is caused by a specific category of words, the so-called “false friends of the translator”. These words can be found in every pair of languages, for example: English partisan, which means “a person who belongs to a political party, group or course” has nothing in common with Russian partisan; Bulgarian konkurs means “competition”, while German Konkurs means “insolvency, bankruptcy”. The Russian word “absolyutno” is rarely translated by English “absolutely” – it is more often rendered by the following words: at all, perfectly, quite, totally, utterly, irrespectively, entirely.

It should be pointed out that this category of words causes problems not only for students but also for those whose command of the language is excellent, which is quite natural, because one’s first reaction to a foreign word which resembles their native word is to consider its meaning as coinciding with the meaning of a similar native word. The only way for a translator to distinguish “false friends of the translator” is to learn them.

“False friends of the translator” have attracted attention of many scholars and a number of dictionaries have been compiled, among which there are, for example, English-Russian and Russian-English; German-Russian and Russian-German; Russian-French and Czech-Russian ones.

The weak point of these dictionaries lies in the fact that they contain only one class of the “false friends of the translator”, and, namely, words similar on the expression plane and different on the content plane. However, other groups of “false friends of the translator” can be singled out, such as for example, words whose meanings only partially coincides in different languages: 1.Mr Hague's spokesman said that the Tory leader did not have a formal view on the matter, but the leadership is understood to be more sympathetic to the view of MPs. 2. With an eye on November's election, they seem set to vote for formal impeachment proceedings. 3. States must also reach a formal agreement with municipalities on the sales.

Another group includes words, which do not coincide in terms of the category of number, or have a different meaning in the singular and in the plural form: bond/bonds; interest/interests; difference/differences, etc.

Apart from semantic difference, stylistic features should also be taken into consideration, since it means that if “a translator’s false friend” is not recognized, the word in translation can acquire various connotations.

The optimization of the teaching-learning process requires the following: to classify “false friends of the translator” into a number of categories according to specific cultural differences and to teach-learn them, paying special attention to their minimal contexts, i.e. collocations.
“False friends of the translator”, classification, collocations.