1.1 Verbal irony

1.1.1 Verbal irony and sarcasm

1.2 Dramatic irony

1.2.1 Tragic irony

1.3 Situational irony

1.3.1 Irony of fate (cosmic irony)

1.3.2 Historical irony (cosmic irony through time)


2.1 Ironic art

2.2 Comic irony

2.3 Metafiction

2.4 Socratic irony

2.5 Irony as infinite, absolute negativity



About style

            Lexical stylistic devices

 Irony - stylistic device

 Lexical Expressive Means and Stylistic Devices

Strategies for translating irony

Some points regarding the translation of irony









Language and culture are closely interrelated. Translating culture-bound terms can be a demanding task due to the fact that such terms have specific meaning in the culture and language in which they arise but not necessarily in others.  Translation as “a process” and the translated text as “a product” cannot be isolated from culture concept. According to Newmark [40,89] “culture specific items can be recognized quickly, since they have a long distance from target language culture, they are peculiar to source language and cannot be translated easily”. He asserts that “cultural differences are more problematic than linguistic differences in the process of translation. It is possible to find equivalents for linguistic differences by means of clarification and explanation, but cultural differences are not easily translatable". Irony as a context and culture-bound element may pose potential problems to the translators as well. The aim of the present study is to shed some light on the concept of irony in order to make it more clearer to the translators.



 I have chosen this theme of the course work because the translation of irony is really eternal ques tion, and plus for all this, many translators are interested in this theme . The purpose of this work is to reveal different ways of translation and to show how gorgeous can be the English language. What about relevance, this question is very popular in the works of different writers and poets, no matter which language they are present. The course work is de voted to the study of translation of irony. The irony is very complex and inconsistent process of showing our thoughts. Pretty much everything is ironic these days. Irony is used as a synonym for cool, for cynicism, for detachment, for intelligence; it   cited as the end of civiliza tion, as well as its salvation. In the figure of speech, emphasis is placed on the opposition between the literal and intended meaning of a statement; one thing is said and its opposite implied. The essential feature of irony is the indirect presentation of a contradiction between an action or expression and the context in which it occurs. The New Oxford English Dictionary interpreted that irony was a state of affairs or an event that seemed deliberately contrary to what one expected and was often amusing as a result.The Greek etymology of the word “irony”, “eironeia”, means “pretence”.The Semitic root of the Greek word is derived from the Accadic term “erewum”, “covering”, by means of which irony appears as a device to avoid the direct impact of an explicit word. In this sense, in common use irony is not necessarily bound to the rhetoric concept of semantic inversion. Rather, it can be defined as an alternation of a reference aiming at stressing the reality of a fact by means of the apparent dissimulation of it’s true nature. Anyway, to reduce irony to a mere rhetoric figure or a linguistic ruse involves not seizing it’s communicative significance due to the psychological web of it’s implicit meanings. In fact, in a communicative perspective, irony springs out as a strategic “as if”, both by escaping the alternative of truth vs. falsehood, and by suspending the subsequent parameters of judgment So the irony is concluding in the implication of the opposite in the seemingly positive characteristics. Sometimes the implication is expressed in the language units, which are difficult to translate, but more often the problem is the disparity between the traditionally methods of expressing irony in different cultures. Expression of irony, mockery is carried out in various ways, which may vary in form, content and function in different languages and speech traditions. The simplest way of expressing irony in English and Russian languages are the quotes when it is standard and expected word or phrase are quoted in the standard context. But in reality in spite of many difficulties in translation of irony from English to Russian there are too many attractive linguistic points in this work. There are very many cases, though, which we regard as irony, intuitively feeling the reversal of the evaluation, but unable to put our finger on the exact word in whose meaning we can trace the contradiction between the said and the implied. The effect of irony in such cases is created by a number of statements, by the whole of the text. Many examples of irony are supplied by D. Defoe, J. Swift, by such contemporary writers as S. Lewis, K. Vonnegut, E. Waugh and others. Preparatory to disclose the course work, it’s too important to separate out the main aims of it To disclose the extraction and general representation of the irony.

Aim of this work:

● To show the different matters about studying the irony.

● To show the different types of irony.

● To show the interaction between the irony and clerisy.

● To connect the translation of irony with many works of different authors. 

According to Newmark "translation is a craft consisting in the attempt to replace a written message and/or statement in one language by the same message and/or statement in another language" [40,  7]. However, with culturally-bound words this is often impossible. Indeed, the meaning which lies behind this kind of expressions is always strongly linked to the specific cultural context where the text originates or with the cultural context it aims to re-create.


Irony is one of the frequently used stylistic devices in different types of text. As it is rooted in the culture and context in which they arise, literal translation cannot transfer the exact meaning of the intention of the original writer. Hence, it will not result in a similar response from target language audience.  


According to Bassnett(1988) [36,125] p translator’s reading of the source text is but one among infinitely many possible readings, yet it is the one which tends to be imposed upon the readership of the TL version [36,169]. It seems that each reading of a text is a unique one. Inevitably a translated text reflects the translator’s reading. Thus one can say that translator is not an ordinary reader. He/she must do his/her best in order to understand all different aspects in the original text and transfer them to the TL. Regarding irony Seile [43,25] states:


          Humor and irony are strongly recipient-related requiring an audience response to their stimuli/signals in order to function effectively. Humor and irony are also context dependent located in culture of their source language. In this respect they operate at the pragmatic level of a text. They depend too on the linguistic context with its semantic, syntactical and stylistic features. In this respect they operate at the formal level of a text [43, 875].


Barbe[37, 144] argues that "understanding and uses of irony differ from one culture to another Therefore, recognition of ironic expressions and finding the most appropriate strategies for their translation is very essential on the part of the translator". In line with the purpose of the present study, first some theoretical preliminaries regarding irony will be presented. Then, the issue of irony in translation will be investigated and some helpful points which can help the translators to produce more appropriate translations as far as ironic expressions are concerned will be offered. Finally the strategies proposed by different scholars in this field will be presented.

The course work is divided into five parts:● The introduction● The theoretical part ● The practical part● The conclusion● The list of references. 

The importance and necessity of the translation of irony from English to Russian are shown in the introduction. What about theoretical part, it’s segregated into five parts: the representation of irony, the foundation of irony, the types of irony, the purpose of Irony, the irony and clerisy and the translation of Irony. In the representation of irony there are very important borders between “face value” and “what it really means”, because the irony is very conflicting phenomenon. In the foundation of irony the idea represents the appearance of irony and it’s development in the literature. In the different types of irony are shown the classifications of irony. The translation of ironyis very laborious that’s why the third of the parts is devoted to it. The forth part of the course work is about irony and clerisy. In the practical part marks five main rules of translation of irony and showed different examples for each other. So this course work is showed all methods of translation of irony in literature. All sources of irony are found in the conclusion. The theoretical and practical parts are shown the origin of irony, the different variants of it’s translation and it’s usage. The list of references and usable literature is attached.