This article presents an analysis of the reasons and the specificities of the development of translation theory in one of the three post-Soviet Baltic countries, Lithuania, since the first half of the 20th century until 1990. The analysis considers the historical and political circumstances characterising the period of Lithuania’s Independence (1918-1940) as well as the Soviet period (1940-1941 and 1944-1990). The discussion of the development of translation theory in Lithuania helps to reveal general features relevant to the context of translation studies in Latvia and Estonia as well, because the historical and political experiences of these Baltic countries have been similar to those of Lithuania.
The intensification of research on Lithuanian translations of Italian literature and Italian translations of Lithuanian literature over the past twenty years is paralleled by the growth of interest in Italian literature in Lithuania. However, the existing research on diverse linguistic and cultural characteristics of texts translated from Italian into Lithuanian and vice versa has been sporadic, thus leaving much to be done to uncover links between the two languages and identify translation-related issues. The present article looks into one of the issues, namely, the lexical analytical construction of the Italian language and its translation into Lithuanian. Fictional texts by two representative Italian contemporary writers, Alesandro Baricco and Umberto Eco are chosen as a source of data including over three thousand pages of the source language (SL) and the target language (TL) texts. The results are compared with similar studies on translation of French literary texts into Lithuanian. The study on the translation of lexical analytical constructions in Italian literary texts translated into Lithuanian uses the theoretical framework and methodology provided by the Italian School of Semiotic Translation represented by Umberto Eco and Bruno Osimo among others. The study adopts a holistic approach to the analysis of lexical analytical constructions in Lithuanian translations of Italian literature. Comparative quantitative study has revealed three translation strategies: reformulation, translation without changes and remodelling. Reformulation has been identified to be the most frequent translation strategy. Its frequency was five times higher than that of translation without changes. The latter strategy was twice more frequent than the strategy of remodelling, which, accounts for less than ten per cent of all translation cases. Uses of calque or omission as translation strategies were not found. Comparison of quantitative results regarding the distribution of translation strategies adopted in the Lithuanian translations of Italian and French literary texts and a qualitative analysis of examples revealed similar tendencies in translation choices. It is important to note that changes of lexical analytical constructions into noun constructions were one and a half times less frequent in the translations of Italian literature than in the translations of French literature. Italian and French lexical analytical constructions were replaced by noun constructions in cases when in the SL text these constructions designated object and result but not action. Thus, it can be assumed that lexical analytical constructions in French literary texts were relatively more frequent than those in Italian literary texts.