As says Peter Newmark in his "Textbook of Translation” - "grammar is the skeleton of a text.” (P. Newmark, 1995, "A Textbook of Translation”, p.125), because it gives general facts about a text: statements, questions, comments, reasons, etc.
For translators grammar is important as a transmitter of meaning. And this is domain where can be least cases of similarity. It is, first of all, because of existence of different groups of languages. So translators should pay great attention to those elements of grammar, which don’t have an equivalent in target language.
Translation of verb tenses and verb constructions is very important for maintaining idea and style of text.
For translators into Russian difficulty in translation is English perfect tenses, because Russian language don't have such grammatical forms. It can be expressed lexically.
I was there. - 'Я там был'
I have been there- 'Я там побывал'
Compare to Latvian ‘Es tur biju’. ‘Es tur esmu bijis(usi)’.
But problem can also appear in choosing the correct gender if context doesn’t provide enough information about it.
Problems can cause Russian language’s category of aspects- вид (совершеный-что делать? and несовершенный-что сделать?). Latvian and English don’t have such category, but in Latvian it can be sometimes translated by using prefixes, denoting completed action.
In English this can be translated only by one verb to fulfil. In some cases it can be translated in English by using perfect or progressive tenses.
Я выполнял задание- I fulfilled a task
Я выполнил задание- I have fulfilled a task
Similarly difficult can be translation of progressive tenses (be+present participle) because both Latvian and Russian don't have corresponding forms.
I am reading a book. - In some cases can be translated like 'Es pašlaik lasu grāmatu'. 'Я сейчас читаю книгу’. And in some cases simply as ‘Es lasu grāmatu’. ‘Я читаю книгу’.
It must be decided taking into consideration context of the text, but no standard solution for all cases can be suggested.
English has some other than usual ways to express the future: be going to, be to, present progressive, simple present. These ways of expressing the future are concerned less with simple prediction and more with intentions, plans, arrangements, etc. they can be translated into Latvian and Russian by using simple present.
I’m to meet him tomorrow.- ‘Es tiekos ar viņu rīt’. ‘Я с ним встречаюсь завтра’.
I go there next week.- ‘Es tur braucu nākošnedēļ’. ‘Я туда еду на следуйщей неделе’.
THE SEQUENCE OF TENSES
In English we must observe rules of sequence of tenses, especially in indirect speech.
He told me he was a good tennis-player. - 'Viņš man teica, ka ir labs tenisists. 'Он мне сказал, что он хороший теннист’ And not ‘Viņš man teica, ka bija labs tenisists’. ‘Он мне сказал, что был хорошим теннисистом’. In English actions of past are expressed by past perfect- ‘He told me he had been a good tennis player’
German haben+zu+infinitive can be translated in Latvian in 28 ways.
Sein+zu+infinitive- 38 ways.
Ich habe mit dir darüber zu sprechen. -‘Mums ar tevi par to jāaprunājās’. ‘Man ar tevi par to jāaprunājās’. ‘Mums ar tevi tas jāapspriež’. ‘Parunāsimies par to’. ‘Нам с тобой надо об этом поговорить.' 'Мне с тобой надо об этом поговорить.' 'Нам с тобой надо это обсудить.' 'Давай поговрим об этом.'
The ‘going to’- future
This construction can be used for predictions, intentions, plans, etc. and also in the place of the present progressive. In most cases such construction ca be translated just by future tense, sometimes expressed lexically, and sometimes by using verbs gatavoties, taisīties, собираться.
She’s going to faint- ‘Viņa tūlīt noģībs’. ‘Она сейчас потеряет сознание’.
She says she’s going be an actress when she grows up. - ‘Viņa saka, ka gatavojās kļūt par aktrisi, kad pieaugs’. ‘Она говорит, что собирается стать актрисой, когда подрастёт'.
Constructions woth have, been,do
As a verbs alone be can 'be' translated in at least eight ways, 'have' in eighteen ways, and 'do' in eighteen ways. And these words can have even more meanings when used in different constructions.
'Empty subject'(it in sentences referring to time,the weather, temperature and distance, carrying noinformation)+'be'
In Latvian is similar to English:
It's foggy- 'Ir miglains'.
But in Russian we should omit this construction, because it is not typical for this language.
It's foggy- 'Tуманно’. Not ‘Это туманно’.
'Be'+'being' is used in english to describe temporary behaivour. It can be transmitted in latvian and russian in descriptive way.
Your brother was being a fool yesterday.- 'Tavs brālis vakar uzvedās kā muļķis'. 'Твой брат вёл себя вчера как дурак’.
These combinations are used when talking about the existence of people, things, etc. it can be translated not only by 'būt', but also by 'notikt', 'произойти’
There's been an accident- 'Ir noticis nelaimes gadījums'. 'Произошёл несчастный случай’.
‘Have’+ noun in place of other verbs
Some verbs e.g. to sleep, to swim, to wash, etc. can be expressed with have+noun in the sense of ‘to perform that activity’. These cases can be translated by a verb, which they substitute.
Just have a look at this. - ‘Tikai paskaties uz to’. ‘Только посмотри на это'.
Let’s take a walk.- ‘Ejam pastaigāties’. ‘Давай прогуляемся'.
Imperative with 'do'
'Do' is used before imperative to particularly emphasise what is being said. In Latvian can be translated using 'taču' and in Russian 'же’.
Do stop talking- 'Pārstājiet taču runāt'. 'Ну перестаньте же говорить’.
There can be cases of ambivalent constructions, which we can understand in ways.
He had his horse killed.- ‘Nogalināja zirgu, kuram viņš sēdēja mugurā’. ’Viņš lika zirgu nogalināt’. ‘Убили коня на котором он сидел'. 'Он велел убить коня'.
THE TRANSLATION OF MISSIG VERBS
Peter Newmark defines case grammar as a method of analysing a sentence, a clause, or a verbless compound in a manner that demonstrates the central position of the verb or the word that has verbal force within the word sequence. For example, an adjective-‘responsible’, an adverb-‘responsibly’, a noun responsibility, or collective nouns like ‘group’, ‘gang’, etc; a common noun like ‘wind’ in ‘windmill’ or ‘factory’ in ‘toy factory’. It can also be an adverbial in verbless sentences where a verb is implied, e.g.
So Helmut Schmidt-‘As Helmut Schmidt stated’. ‘Kā paziņoja Helmuts Šmidts’
Herein-‘Come in’. ‘Ienāciet’
The verb can be also implied in an idiomatic phrase with a nominalisation, or in a cry or an exclamation mark such as Käthe Kolwitz’s Brot: in Russian and Latvian can be said as ‘Хлеба’. ‘Maizi’. But in English ‘We want bread’.
In all this instances, the translator has a wide semantic choice if he/she wishes to supply a verb, since stylistically the source language text in omitting the verb is attempting to give a rather general impression of sudden, strong action. But the selection must depend on context.
Translation of verbs’ tenses and constructions is very interesting and capacious subject so this work is just a general overview of it. But this subject is also really sophisticated. Writing this work I have used not only different sources but also some my own ideas about translating that definitely may be mistaken. But I also have learned a lot x and definitely spend my time useful.