Intercultural Aspect in Translation and Reception of Precedent Phenomena

by Andrej Zahorák (Author)
©2019 Monographs 134 Pages


This book provides a comprehensive view of intercultural specifics resulting from the translation and reception process of precedent phenomena (precedent names, texts, statements, situations) in different linguistic and socio-cultural spaces – Russian, Slovak and German. The author analyses language and translation itself as a phenomenon of culture in form of interdisciplinary research and thus links translation studies with philosophy, literary science, culture, and intercultural psychology. His comparative research provides a detailed analysis of precedent phenomena in the work Moscow to the End of the Line by V. Erofeev (Russian-Slovak-German comparative aspect). His conclusions and commentaries enrich the sphere of translation and reception of intercultural units.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • 1. Culture, interculturality, translation as conceptual framework of the research problem
  • 1.1 Definition of culture and interdisciplinarity in its understanding
  • 1.1.1 Culture vs. language, translation
  • 1.1.2 Translatability vs. untranslatability
  • 1.1.3 A brief overview of the development of the cultural aspect in translation studies
  • 1.2 Intercultural communication
  • 1.2.1 Definition of intercultural communication
  • 1.2.2 Intercultural communication as process
  • 1.2.3 The intercultural competence of the translator
  • 1.2.4 Intercultural dimensions – typology of national cultures
  • 1.2.5 Barriers in intercultural communication, stereotypes and ethnophaulisms
  • 2. The problem of precedentness from the perspective of cognition and culture
  • 2.1 Theoretical definition and the subject of linguoculturology
  • 2.2 Linguistic picture of the world
  • 2.3 Definition and classification of precedent phenomena
  • 3. Translation and reception of precedent phenomena in three linguistic communities and cultural contexts
  • 3.1 Venedikt Erofeev and intertextuality in the prose poem Moscow to the End of the Line
  • 3.2 A comparative analysis of precedent phenomena
  • 3.2.1 Precedent names
  • Names of rulers, statesmen, representatives of political and cultural life
  • Names of writers, philosophers
  • Names of singers and composers
  • 3.2.2 Precedent texts
  • 3.2.3 Precedent statements
  • 3.2.4 Precedent situations
  • Conclusion
  • Résumé
  • Bibliography
  • Index


Intercultural communication presents a specific type of communication involving members of different linguistic and cultural spaces. In the globalized society of the 21st century, communication between nations, ethnicities, cultures (linguistic and cultural systems) has become a normal and natural part of everyday life. It is carried out through various communication channels, such as personal interviews, mass media (radio, television, internet), literature (original or in translation) and so on.

In that respect, intercultural communication functions as a reflection of the communication process between individual and supra-individual subjects of different cultural systems. The dimension of culture and interculturality is probably reflected mostly in translation, and translated works as such. It should be emphasized that our understanding of translation is based on a semiotic-communication aspect, which defines it as an intercultural phenomenon. Translation, including the cultural phenomena it carries, can be regarded as a communication and cultural medium. This means the translator must be able to both understand and communicate effectively with members of different cultures and, understand and correctly interpret differences on different intercultural levels. Intercultural dimensions are broad-spectrum, hence translation serves as an intermediary between national consciousness and the rest of the world, between domestic and foreign cultures.

The monograph Intercultural aspect in translation and reception of precedent phenomena focuses on the examination of the specificities of translation and reception of intercultural units – precedent phenomena (precedent names, texts, testimonies and situations) in three linguistic and cultural spaces (Russian, Slovak, and German). Russian culture represents the original framework; the target culture is presented by two cultural spaces – Slovak and German. The material base is comprised of postmodern Russian fiction; its specific poetics, narrative, the idiolect of the author, the considerable amount of intertextual links and its controversial interpretation determine the focus and objectives of the research, i.e. the identification and complex analysis of precedent phenomena (linguoculturemes) in the ←7 | 8→original and its translations. The prose poem Moscow to the End of the Line (also translated as Moscow Stations) by Venedikt Erofeev was translated into Slovak as Moskva - Petušky (translated by Jaroslav Marušiak, 1989) and into German as Die Reise nach Petuschki (translated by Natascha Spitz, 1987). This literary text has been selected deliberately.

Since the research is interdisciplinary in nature, the first two chapters of the monograph deal with theoretical frames and concepts that promote a better understanding of the topic in its complex form. Translation studies are combined with philosophy, cultural studies, intercultural psychology, linguoculturology, cognitive linguistics, literary science, etc. They emphasize, from various perspectives, the relevance of culture and interculturality in the translation process and intercultural communication itself, including the intercultural competence of the translator, intercultural dimensions and barriers in intercultural communication. As far as interculturality is concerned, the research is grounded in representative studies and research of domestic and foreign experts J. Gercken (1999), E. Gromová and D. Müglová (2005), G. Hofstede (2010), M. L. Kovshova (2012), B. Löwe (2002), D. Moree (2015), J. Průcha (2004), J. Rakšányiová (2005), V. V. Sdobnikov (2006) et al.

The second chapter focuses on the problem of precedentness (precedent phenomena) from the aspect of cognition and culture, the problem of linguoculturology as a discipline exploring language in relation to ethnoculture, and the problem of the linguistic image of the world from a cognitive perspective, etc. The theoretical framework in the study of the preceding phenomena is grounded, in particular, in the work of Russian and Slovak (Czech) theorists (see Alefirenko, 2010, Dulebová, 2015, Gudkov, 1997, Krasnykh, 2002, Maslova, 2004, Sipko, 2011, Vaňková, 2007, et al.). The third chapter reflects the issue of intertextuality in the abovementioned work Moscow to the End of the Line by V. Erofeev and presents the research of precedent phenomena in three linguistic communities and cultural spaces. I focus on the identification and complex analysis of linguoculturemes associated with particular cultural and historical environment in two different socio-cultural spaces. The cultural and communicative approach to the study of translation in the Slovak and world context is also relevant; it is combined with interlingual comparison of the cultural and linguistic systems of the Russian, Slovak and German language.

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I believe that a monograph that deals with interdisciplinary issues reflecting intercultural specificities resulting from the translation and reception of precedent phenomena in different socio-cultural spaces will bring new findings into the sphere of researching language as a cultural phenomenon (including its translation and reception particularities) and will enrich the translation-linguocultural scientific space.

The author

1. Culture, interculturality, translation as conceptual framework of the research problem

1.1 Definition of culture and interdisciplinarity in its understanding

Culture (from Latin. colere – educate, cultivate) is the basic condition of human existence. There is not one aspect of our life that is not created and modified by culture. As culture interferes with every area of human existence, it is clear that there are a myriad of definitions and particularities associated with the concept of culture. I focus on the interdisciplinary definition of the term from the anthropological perspective that facilitates our understanding of the nature and role of culture in intercultural and translation context.

The definition of culture has been pursued for hundreds of years by researchers from various scientific areas of study and disciplines, their definitions necessarily reflecting and taking into account the different aspects of the understanding of the phenomenon of culture. In other words, sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists attempt to define the notion of culture, but each group perceive culture differently. Their views vary depending on what changes humanity is going through. It can be said that scientists have responded and still respond to certain social requests that arise out of social context. This request is urgent when the concept of theory or culture becomes outdated and cannot be applied in a new situation. The attempt to define culture is part of an agelong human effort. On the one hand, there is an effort to describe the existing reality and on the other, the effort to convince oneself that human action is meaningful. However, R. Lawless (cf. 1996, p. 7) emphasizes that despite these efforts there is no general concept of culture and there can be no final theory.

Culture is a word, a term, a notion, and a concept, but it is also a conception and embodies a number of meanings. However, one can find some positive aspects in this seemingly unsolvable situation. Culture implies the possibility of the coexistence of independent forms of thinking and culture, which guarantees a pluralistic view of the world.

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One of the first scientific definitions of the term culture can be found in the work Primitive Culture by E. B. Tylor from 1871. The author considers culture in a wider ethnographic sense and defines it as “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (Výrost – Slaměník, 1998, s. 234). This definition transcends the axiological dimension of culture and reflects the fact that culture is to be perceived as a complex of individual components which always functions as a whole. Although the processes of cultural globalization that are related to the change of the paradigm in the understanding of culture cannot be ignored, the concept has become the basis for modern anthropological understanding of culture, and one can still regard it as scientifically significant since latter definitions were derived from it.

E. Habiňáková (2013, p. 10), in accordance with A. Kroeber and C. Kluckhohn (1952, p. 17), mentions six possible approaches to the definition of culture. A. Kroeber and C. Kluckhohn proceeded from the definition of E. B. Tylor, analysing various aspects on the basis of which the notion of culture can be defined. They distinguish between:

1. descriptive definitions - their aim is to focus on defining all aspects and activities of human life;


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2019 (July)
interculturality translation process linguaculturology precedent phenomena comparative research Moscow to the End of the Line
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2019., 134 pp., 2 fig. b/w

Biographical notes

Andrej Zahorák (Author)

PhDr. Andrej Zahorák, PhD. works at the Department of Translation Studies, Faculty of Arts, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra as an assistant. He dedicates himself to the translation of belles-lettres and dubbing translation. He researches intercultural aspect in translation, translation of literary texts and audiovisual translation.


Title: Intercultural Aspect in Translation and Reception of Precedent Phenomena
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136 pages