Shakespearean Charactonyms in Translations into Russian

  • Alexander Kalashnikov National Research University Higher School of Economics
Keywords: Shakespearean onomastics, charactonyms, literary translation, translation into Russian


Despite a long tradition of translating Shakespeare’s works into Russian, names as a stylistic device have been underestimated by scholars. The study deals with the space or environment of characteristic names (charactonyms) and its rendering into Russian in the works Henry IV, Part II and The Merry Wives of Windsor. The material for the research is a dozen translations into Russian done in the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries including annotated editions which may show additional interpretations of the names. Comparing the puns based on names and their equivalents as a method shows how to identify overlapping approaches to translating stylistic devices involving charactonyms. The analysis of the translations reveals a variety of ways to render names, in particular within text, which is rare, and the application of commentaries in annotated editions. This research demonstrates that some equivalents of names have been repeated in several translations and hence the translators relied on the best practice instead of suggesting their own solutions. The research also shows the strategies and patterns employed by Russian translators and writers, which may be a good resource for literary translators.


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Author Biography

Alexander Kalashnikov, National Research University Higher School of Economics

English Language Department for Humanities, Academic Department for Foreign Languages

How to Cite
Kalashnikov, A. (2016). Shakespearean Charactonyms in Translations into Russian. Journal of Language and Education, 2(2), 14-22.