M. P. Kenka: “Particular Aspects of Artistic Translation in Belarus”
(webzine “Kultura. Natsyja”, issue 30, November 2022, 214–220, www.sakavik.net )
Abstract: The issue of translating texts into Belarusian is unique, perhaps, unprecedented. Keeping in mind the situation of two languages (being a part of Belarusian reality), a solid knowledge of Russian held by the vast educated majority of the country has long resulted in practically no need to provide translation from Russian into Belarusian, and translations from other foreign languages do not provide the basic function of acquainting Belarusians with their own native language because of the fact that significant world literary works are usually translated or simply “by default” translated into Russian. Until recent times artistic translations into Belarusian were essentially viewed as a testimony of mutual friendship among people groups. Aside from that, Belarusian poets could perfect their language artistry by translating into their own (Belarusian) language and thus further develop their skill in word-crafting. Given the absence of any ideal factor, also the effect of weak market demand, translations into Belarusian would remain bereft of meaning if there would be no further need to translate other materials, which to this point have remained untranslated into Russian, and yet carry an interest for Belarusian readers and are useful to the history of Belarusian literature and culture. This would include works by authors who were born and lived within Belarus’s territory and suffered from the unfavourable atmosphere of having their literary works published in Belarusian. Up to the beginning of the 20th century Belarusian writers had to write either in Polish or in Latin. Also, literary works that were of interest to Belarusian translators, the subject of which relates to Belarus, must be operatively translated, i. e. those new foreign works that are being published outside of Belarus and have yet remain untranslated. There are plenty of works that have been translated but many still have not been heard in Belarusian translation. The author of this article endeavours to translate such works. Among them are five stories by Yuzef Krasheuski, a story and novel by Henryk Zhavuski.