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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
ПИ № ФС 77 - 51217, 16+


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Шепелева А. В. ПЕРЕВОД ФРАЗЕОЛОГИЗМОВ КАК СРЕДСТВА РЕАЛИЗАЦИИ ПРАГМАТИЧЕСКОГО ПОТЕНЦИАЛА АНГЛОЯЗЫЧНОГО МАССМЕДИАЛЬНОГО ПОЛИТИЧЕСКОГО ДИСКУРСА / А. В. Шепелева // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2018. — № 6 (72) Часть 2. — С. 115—118. — URL: (дата обращения: 20.05.2019. ). doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2018.72.6.046
Шепелева А. В. ПЕРЕВОД ФРАЗЕОЛОГИЗМОВ КАК СРЕДСТВА РЕАЛИЗАЦИИ ПРАГМАТИЧЕСКОГО ПОТЕНЦИАЛА АНГЛОЯЗЫЧНОГО МАССМЕДИАЛЬНОГО ПОЛИТИЧЕСКОГО ДИСКУРСА / А. В. Шепелева // Международный научно-исследовательский журнал. — 2018. — № 6 (72) Часть 2. — С. 115—118. doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2018.72.6.046




Научная статья

Шепелева А.В.*

ORCID: 0000-0003-1965-2570,

Дальневосточный федеральный университет, Владивосток, Россия

* Корреспондирующий автор (ofalltime31[at]


В современном мире в СМИ политическим вопросам уделяют достаточно большое внимание. Политический дискурс является одним из наиболее ярких и эмоционально-выраженных видов дискурса, в котором фразеологические единицы могут являться средством реализации прагматического потенциала. Сохранение прагматики фразеологических единиц в составе англоязычного массмедиального политического дискурса при переводе на русский язык способствует адекватной передаче коммуникативного намерения автора и достижения соответствующего коммуникативного эффекта текста перевода.

Ключевые слова: фразеологические единицы, политический дискурс, прагматика текста, перевод.


Research article

Shepeleva A.V.*

ORCID: 0000-0003-1965-2570,

Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia

* Corresponding author (ofalltime31[at]


At the present time news concerning political events and politicians are really ubiquitous. In order to make political mass media discourse more bright and impressive, politicians and journalists use different expressive and figurative linguistic units, with phraseological units being among them. Translators for their part face the problems of transferring them appropriately so that to preserve the pragmatic potential of original mass media texts and to influence the target audience.

Keywords: phraseological units, English mass media discourse, politics, pragmatics, translation.


Phraseological units are rather emotional lexical units that make mass media discourse more impressive and powerful. Political media texts are one of the brightest and most emotional kind of discourse, and phraseological units could contribute a lot to emphasizing urgent problems and to achieving an authors’ communicative intention to impact the audience. That means that phraseological units can partially realize the pragmatic potential of a text.

The aim of the research is to reveal the pragmatic potential of phraseological units used in English political mass media discourse and to analyze the ways of translating them into Russian.

Material and methods

English phraseological units are the subject of the research. The material of the study is English political media Research articles devoted to the topic ‘Russian presidential election 2018’ and their translations into Russian from such periodical publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, The Times and some others, and from the internet media project inoSMI and their translations into Russian. Theoretical issues covered in the studying are based on the works by V.N. Komissarov (1960) V.V. Vinogradov (2001), J. Habermas (2007) and others.

Theoretical assumptions: political discourse, its pragmatics; using phraseological units to realize pragmatic potential of political mass media discourse; ways of translating phraseological units.

Political discourse could be defined as the language that is basically used in social and political spheres of communication. Political discourse includes parliamentary debates, the speeches of political leaders, political Research articles and official political texts.

The main aim of any political discourse is to make an influence on the audience, to impose particular views and opinions concerning political events or politicians. So, one can say that each political media text has a particular pragmatic potential – the ability of a text to produce a necessary effect on the readership. Pragmatics studies the meaning and language use that are determined by the speaker, the addressee and other features of the context of an utterance. It considers the negotiation of meaning between the speaker and the listener, the context and the meaning potential of an utterance. Taking into account the pragmatic goal of a text, an author uses different lexical units that are able to realize its pragmatic potential. Phraseological units could be effective component parts of this vocabulary.  

Phraseological units are lexical units the meaning of which can not be inferred from the meanings of their component parts that actually make these units up. Phraseological units could be used in order to achieve the goal to make a communicative impact on the audience. Since they have such reference as structural stability, the translation of phraseological units is not an easy matter.

Our research was done in order to prove that phraseological units play an important role in realizing pragmatic potential of a political discourse and in helping an author to achieve his or her communicative intentions.

Production implementation of the research: analysis of the use and translation of phraseological units used in the newspaper Research articles studied; the level of their implementation of discourse pragmatics.

We have studied 78 Research articles devoted to the topic ‘Russian Presidential Election 2018’ and their translations on As a result, we have found out 55 phraseological units for analysis.

Diagram 1 given below shows the alternative functions that the phraseological units perform in discourse and their composition in percent.

21-06-2018 10-45-22

Fig. 1 – functions of the phraseological units


The percentage shows that most of the phraseological units (69%) perform the expressive/figurative function, 13% of them realize the laconic function, 11% – euphemistic function and only 7% of phraseological units perform the hyberbolical function.

For example, in a sentence ‘Shaburov, the 18-year-old entrepreneur, recently moved from the countryside to Kurgan, where he first tried to make ends meet by delivering sushi and pizza and working as a taxi driver’ a phraseological unit to make ends meet is used instead of a phrase to manage to live to a small amount of money and realizes the laconical function, making the sentence more short.

Having studied all the Research articles, we have come to a conclusion that the authors’ aim was to create a negative image of Russia. The authors set a pragmatic goal to convince the target audience of:

  • the existence of the imaginary democracy in Russia;
  • V. Putin’s behavior as a dictator rather than a president;
  • the government’s interference with the political opposition;
  • citizens’ dissatisfaction with the government.

According to the calculation, 40% of the Research articles contribute to achieving this communicative goal of realizing the pragmatic potential of the discourse. We have provided this data with several examples:

Example 1:

Roughshod Over Russia (The Times) Издевательство над Россией (ИноСМИ)

Рhraseological transformation Roughshod Over originates from the phraseological unit to ride roughshod over smb/smth, which in Russian means «действовать деспотически, обходиться грубо; не считаться с кем-либо; пренебречь; не ставить ни в грош, ни во что не ставить». It is believed that the main function of the title is to catch the reader’s attention. Such an expressive word as roughshod in Russian means «подкованный на шипы», which has a negative connotation indicating the physical ache that one could feel. In the given context there is a metaphorization that provides the title with the figurative meaning and consequently realizes its pragmatics indicating the mental suffering of Russian citizens.

In the translation the figurative meaning has been preserved, but the metaphor has been destroyed, and the translator ends up with the variant «издевательство», which also realizes the pragmatics of the discourse.

Example 2:

Europe’s leading lights, France and Germany, have not been any more outspoken, although the EU did jib at Navalny’s exclusion. The ban “casts a serious doubt on political pluralism in Russia”, it inoffensively declared. (The Guardian)


Европейские корифеи Франция и Германия тоже решили не выступать с публичной критикой, хотя Евросоюзу не понравилось отстранение Навального от участия в выборах. Представители Евросоюза мягко отметили, что запрет «вызывает серьезные сомнения в политическом плюрализме в России». (ИноСМИ)

In the above context the author uses the phraseological unit leading lights, which generally has a positive connotation, meaning «лидер, светила; человек, на которого нужно равняться». But in this particular context the phraseological unit plays into the hands of those who want to make the Russian reader think that Russia is not the leading light type of a country where opposition parties are excluded from presidential elections by force. The whole context shows the imaginary democracy and pluralism in Russia. In our opinion the translator adequately transforms the communicative goal of the source text into the target text of translation.

In the translation the phraseological unit metaphor is destroyed and its meaning is transferred with the help of a metonymic shift from cause to effect.

Example 3:

So, that kind of brings us full circle, really, to the other part of The Global POLITICO this week, where we’re going to have a conversation with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who represents this sort of beleaguered Russian opposition. He’s now in exile from his country, but—because that’s the other side of the Vladimir Putin coin, right? He has created a system in which there really are not only not that many other public voices, but those who are, are pretty weak, right? (Politico Magazine) В итоге мы вернулись к тому, с чего начали — к следующему этапу The Global POLITICO этой недели, в котором мы проведем разговор с Михаилом Ходорковским, представителем ушедшей в глухую оборону российской оппозиции. Он был вынужден покинуть свою страну, поскольку Путин создал систему, в которой почти не осталось места для несогласных — а те что есть, весьма слабы, верно? (ИноСМИ)

Context 3 has the phraseological transformation the other side of the Vladimir Putin coin, that originates from the phraseological unit the other side of the coin. It is connotated negatively, having Russian equivalent «обратная сторона медали; отрицательная сторона какого-либо дела». In this example the phraseological unit emphasizes the negative image of V.V. Putin, that, according to the author, reportedly creates harsh living conditions in Russia for the opposition leaders, forcing them out of the country. The translator decided to reduce the negative pragmatic potential created by the use of the phraseological unit and not to translate the phraseological unit at all. The reduction serves as a means of text euphemisation.

In our study we have analyzed the ways of translating phraseological units that contribute to realizing pragmatic potential of the political discourse. Diagram 2 shows the following results:

21-06-2018 10-51-24

Fig. 2 – ways of translating phraseological units


As the diagram shows, the most common ways of translation are descriptive translation (43%) and translation by partial equivalent (39%); 14% of phraseological units have been translated with full equivalents and only 4% of them have not been translated.


The analysis of our contexts showed that phraseological units are not often used in political mass media discourse. Nevertheless, their role in achieving a communicative goal should not be underestimated. They contribute to realizing pragmatic potential of a text and help in making a particular influence on the audience. The most common way of translating phraseological units in order to realize pragmatic potential is descriptive translation.

Список литературы на английском языке / References in English

  1. Vinogradov V. V. The main types of phraseological units in the Russian language // Lexicology and Lexicography: M.: Science, 1986 [in Russian]
  2. Komissarov V. N. The theory of translation (linguistic aspects). – M.: High School, 1990. [in Russian]
  3. Krupnov V. N. The creative lab of a translator. – M.: International relationships, 1976. [in Russian]
  4. Retsker Y. I. The theory of translation and translation practice: the essays about linguistic theory of translation. – M.: International relationships, 1974. [in Russian]
  5. Whitford H. Handbook of American idioms and idiomatic usage / Whitford H. C., Dixson, James R.– М.: Pearson College Div; Revised, Expanded edition (January 1, 1994). [in Russian]
  6. Shanskii N. M. Phraseology of modern Russian language. 3d edition. – M.: High School, 1985. [in Russian]
  7. The internet media project inoSMI [Electronic resource] URL: (accessed 24.05.2018) [in Russian]
  8. The Times [Electronic resource] URL: (accessed 24.05.2018)
  9. The Guardian [Electronic resource] URL: (accessed 24.05.2018)
  10. Politico Magazine [Electronic resource] URL: (accessed 24.05.2018)

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