Hakob Paronyan, “Harms of Politeness”, series of no¬velettes, English translation, Jack Andreasyan, equivalency, source-target texts, transmission, comparative study, satire


Some of the masterpieces of the brilliant satirist Hakob Paronyan (1843-1891) have long been translated into different languages and made his name known in many countries. Words of high praise about him were heard even from far away continent, which is extremely important for the great culture of a small nation. Thus, for instance, while speaking about the power and influence of the Armenian writer’s humor and satire, in the preface of "Uncle Balthazar" published in English in Boston, the American artist Albert Lang noted: "Hakob Paronyan's humor and satire belong to all countries and peoples". The same response was heard from Europe. "Hakob Paronyan's satire is extremely lively," stated Frederic Faydi: "his characters, naturally bearing the breath of time and place, are at the same time universal". The greatest works of art are by all me­ans immortal, and genius, as Paronyan rightly observed, recognizes no national and re­ligious boundaries: "A poem that is given birth by a genius is well received in England, no matter how Slavic its author is". And in order to make the name of the genius heard outside the homeland the role of a successful translation is first of all important. So this article is dedicated to the study of the English translation of the series of novelettes “Harms of Politeness” (1886-1887), that comprises the peculiar part of Paronyan's di­verse and multigenre work. It was performed by Jack (Artavazd) Andre­asyan (1920-2009).

Unfortunately, during the comparison of the texts translated from Armenian into English many omissions, textual inconsistencies, even capricious, incorrect and unclear transmissions  are revealed. In short, we have been facing for decades, mildly said, a not very successful translation. Unlike Paronyan's other works- serious translations by Yer­vand Mkrtchyan ("Uncle Balthazar", "Honorable Beggers"), in this case, the English-speaking reader was not provided with the influential power and high quality of the Armenian writer’s  satire  and the sense of high art. By taking into consideration not only the absence of English equivalents of the relevant parts of the original text, but also their simply incomprehensible omissions the author of the article offers her own trans­lations.


Paronyan H. (1964), Yerkeri zhogh. tas@ hatorov /Collection of works in ten volumes/, v. 2, Yerevan, NAS RA public.

Paronyan H. (1964), Yerkeri zhogh. tas@ hatorov /Collection of works in ten volumes/, v. 3, Yerevan, NAS RA public.

Ba¬ronian H. (1930), Gentlemen Beggars. A comedy in five acts. Transl. by Ervant D. Me¬ger¬ditchian. Van press, Bos¬ton.

Ba¬ronian H. (1933), Uncle Balthazar. A comedy in three acts. Transl. by Ervant D. Me¬ger¬ditchian. Van press, Bos¬ton.

Ba¬ronian H. (1983), The Perils of Politeness, Trans. by Jack Antreassian, Ashod press, New York.

Chomsky N. (1965), Aspects of the theory of syntax, Cambridge Mass. MIT press.

Feydit F. (1961), Cahiers de littérature arménienne. N IV. La Comédie et la Satire en Arménie BARONIAN ET ODIAN. Venise – Saint Lazare.

Munday J. (2008), Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications, 2nd E¬dition, Routledge, London, p 185.

Nergaard, S. and Arduini S. (2022), “Translation: A New Paradigm”. Translation. A Transdis¬ciplinary Journal, vol. 1, no. 01, Mar.

Newmark P. (1988), A Textbook of Translation, Prentice Hall Longman ELT, New Jersey.

Pym A. (2014), Exploring Translation Theories, 2nd edition, London, p 159.