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1 MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING DONG THAP UNIVERSITY FOREIGN LANGUAGE DEPARTMENT NGUYEN THI HONG THAM BUI THI HUYEN TRAN ENGLISH MAJOR STUDENTS DIFFICULTIES AND EXPECTATIONS IN LEARNING WRITTEN TRANSLATION AT DONG THAP UNIVERSITY B.A THESIS Degree: Bachelor of Arts Dong Thap, 2013
2 MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING DONG THAP UNIVERSITY FOREIGN LANGUAGE DEPARTMENT NGUYEN THI HONG THAM BUI THI HUYEN TRAN ENGLISH MAJOR STUDENTS DIFFICULTIES AND EXPECTATIONS IN LEARNING WRITTEN TRANSLATION AT DONG THAP UNIVERSITY B.A THESIS Supervisor: PHAM VAN TAC, M.A Degree: Bachelor of Arts Dong Thap, 2013
3 iv TABLE OF CONTENT Statement of authorship… i Acknowledgement… ii Abstract… iii Table of content… iv Introduction Motivation for the study Aims of the study Subject and scope of the study Significance of the study Organization of the thesis… 4 Chapter 1: LITERATURE REVIEW Definition of translation The important of translation Types of translation Word for word translation Literal translation Faithful translation Semantic translation Adaptation Free translation Idiomatic translation Communicative translation… 16
4 v 1.4 Strategies for translation Some useful techniques for translation Addition Omission Replacement Transposition Expssion The factors influencing translation process Influence of the mother tongue Words and choice of word meanings Grammatical structure Context Characteristic of language Common errors in written translation Word order Syntax/ Grammar errors Vocabulary errors Spelling/Punctuation errors Culture errors Chapter 2: METHODOLOGY Research questions Research participants: The researcher: The subjects Research procedure Data collect instruments The questionnaire:… 55
5 vi The interview questions: Chapter 3: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Results Result collected from the questionnaire Result collected from the interview questions CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTION REFERENCES APPENDIX… 91
6 vii LIST OF TABLES Table1: The students interest in studying written translation…58 Table 2: The reason why students study translation..59 Table 3: The students opinions about the usefulness of studying translation.60 Table 4: Kind of text that students feel difficult to translate 61 Table 5: The biggest challenges that students have to face when translating a passage from English to Vietnamese…62 Table 6: The biggest challenges that students have to face when translating a passage from Vietnamese to English…63 Table 7: How students will do when they encounter a new word in a translation text 65 Table 8: How students ppare for new lesson before class..66 Table 9: What students will do after they finish their translation.67 Table 10: What do students do to improve their translation skill..68 Table 11: Kind of text students usually practice translation at home 69 Table 12: The amount of time students usually spend on studying translation (as selfstudy)..71 Table 13: Things have a great influence on students interest in translation 72 Table 14: The topic which students are interested in.73 Table 15: The students opinion about the influence of teaching method 74
7 viii STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP We guarantee that the thesis entitled English major students difficulties and expectations in learning written translation at Dong Thap University is the result of our own work. All the statistics as well as the results collected from the data collection instruments are truthfully reflected by English major students at Dong Thap University when they first study written translation. The research reported in the study was approved by Dong Thap University. Dated: April 20 th, 2012 Nguyen Thi Hong Tham Bui Thi Huyen Tran
8 ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS It is a great pleasure to thank everyone who helped us write this thesis successfully. First and foremost, we would like to expss our gratitude to our supervisor Mr Pham Van Tac for the valuable guidance and encouragement. He greatly inspired us to work on this thesis. Our thesis cannot come to end without his effort to read it again and again to find out the problem and support us in all stages of the research and writing this study. In addition, we are grateful to all the professors of the Foreign Language Department of Dong Thap University for teaching and providing us with a good environment to study the BA thesis. We owe sincere and earnest thankfulness to all the students of English class 2011 who provided us valuable information by completing the conveying questions as well as answering interview questions. Finally, an honorable mention goes to our families and friends for their supports on us in completing this thesis. Thanks for all! Nguyen Thi Hong Tham Bui Thi Huyen Tran English 2009A
9 x ABSTRACT Translation is a new subject for the students of English major at Dong Thap University. There are two forms of translation: written translation and spoken translation. At Dongthap University, written translation is taught for the students of BA English Class from the beginning of the second year. Because translation is still new and strange for their first time learning, most of the English major students still have difficulties in learning this kind of subject, especially the students of the second year from BA English class ( curriculums). This study was conducted to find out the students difficulties as well as their expectations when they begin to learn written translation in order to make suggestions that can partly help them overcome these obstacles in studying this course. Besides that, the study also aims at making some suggestions as a useful reference helping adjust learning and teaching method to get a better result in learning and teaching process. The research methods used in this study are the questionnaire- a list of questions to find out the difficulties that students usually face and the interview questions which used to meeting students expectations in learning the subject.
10 1 INTRODUCTION 1. Motivation for the study No one can deny the importance of language in the process of conveying information. We all know that language plays an indispensable role in people s life and social development. However, exactly how many languages are there in the world? The most extensive catalog of the world s languages, the ethnologic organization, whose detailed classified list currently includes 6809 distinct languages. It s, therefore, really necessary to get the purpose of the whole development and interaction. The appearance of a common language, which can be seen as the second language that all people around the world can use to exchange ideas with each other in order to meet the demand of the global standards in the today s world, is really pssing. In this background, English – a universal language at psent can be used as the unique tool satisfying this demand. The role of English is more and more asserted, especially in the booming age of information and technology. English can be considered as the pvailing language by the way it dominates every domain and maybe the only language that truly links the whole world together. The other languages may be important, yes, but they are only important for their temporary values and they cannot replace English as an international language in such the way that all people around the world can use to communicate among countries. We again cannot deny the important of communicative purposes. Without communication, there is no way to expss thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Furthermore, the business among countries cannot carry out, so how can the countries as well as the whole world s economy develop Without English, people cannot understand each other more in the process of diplomatic relation and economic cooperation and many other fields in today s era when the country tend to integrate for the whole development. We cannot list how much benefit that English brings for us. Its beneficial is unlimited. Therefore, studying English is a good way to contact with the huge world and approach a boundless source of information. Also, if we want to survive on this economic developing era, we ought to
11 2 master English as a demand of job s requirements. Today, when every country from the world overcomes consequences of economic crisis and has a problem with a big numbers of unemployment, every person needs to push his career forward. By that way, it is impossible to revalue the importance of English. Its knowledge can get one s dream job in any international company, earn more money and use computer more effectively, because most computer programs are in English, too. However, just knowing English is not enough. Sometimes, a person who can speak, listen and read English does not mean he or she understands it carefully. One more problem that we have to face here is the necessary of translating skills. When Viet Nam becomes one of the members of World Trade Organization, it has more and more requirements for Vietnamese especially students to have expert translation skill to meet the demand of integration into the huge world economy and to exchange our culture with other friendly countries. Nowadays, more and more contracts, s, news, etc. are on English also, so it is necessary to master translation to translate documents more exactly in order to avoid regrettable misunderstanding. However, to master translation is not easy, so not almost all learners can avoid mistakes. When translating English into our mother tongue, it is not only translating the words we are reading but also the meaning and the overall purpose of the text as a whole. This can be very difficult, even for those who are fluent in several languages. As learners, the researchers assume that almost all learners who begin to study written translation will meet many difficulties because it is so new and strange for their first time contact, and there is no exception for students majoring in English at Dong Thap University. Understanding their difficulties parallel with meeting their expectations can help them so much in overcoming these obstacles in learning process and create favorable conditions for the study course. This is the reason we carry out this research with the hope that the study will be a useful reference helping improve translation skill as well as understand students difficulties in learning written translation subject. Therefore,
12 3 students have a suitable project to adjust learning and teaching method to get the best effective result through the students expectations. 2. Aims of the study This thesis was done with a view to find out students difficulties in learning written translation in order to orient students who begin to study this subject in good manner of study. The study also aims at understanding the students expectation in learning the subject and then suggesting some possible solutions to overcome difficulties as well as satisfy their expectations to improve and adjust both learning s style and teaching method. 3. Subject and scope of the study – Subject: English majored students difficulties and expectations in learning written translation at Dong Thap University. – Object: the English majors students who begin to study written translation at Dong Thap University. They are the second year students in BA classes ( curriculum) and ( curriculum). Translation is a new subject for the students of English major at Dong Thap University. There are two forms of translation: written translation and spoken translation. At Dongthap University, written translation is taught for the students of BA English Class from the beginning of the second year. Because translation is still new and strange for their first time learning, most of the English major students still have difficulties in learning this kind of subject, especially the students of the second year from BA English classes ( curriculums) and ( curriculums). This study was conducted to find out the students difficulties as well as their expectations when they begin to learn written translation in order to make suggestions that can partly help them overcome these obstacles in studying this course. Besides that, the study also aims at making some suggestions as a useful reference helping adjust learning and teaching method to get a better result in learning and teaching process.
13 4 4. Significance of the study Understanding the students difficulties and their expectations in learning written translation, the thesis will be a useful reference with the solutions suggested which help the teachers recognize their students requirements as well as expectations in studying the subject. Since there, having a suitable adjustment in teaching method as well as teaching material to satisfy the students need, which is believed to bring a good result in studying. Furthermore, it is a strong hope that the study will be a useful reference helping improve translation skill for not only the second year students majoring in English at Dong Thap University but also all Vietnamese people who feel interested in the job as a translator and really want to become an expert translator. 5. Organization of the thesis This thesis consists of the following parts: INTRODUCTION Chapter 1: LITERATURE REVIEW 1.1 Definition of translation 1.2 The important of translation 1.3 Method of translation Word for word translation Literal translation Faithful translation Semantic translation Adaptation Free translation Idiomatic translation Communicative translation 1.4 Strategies for translation
14 5 1.5 Some useful techniques for translation Addition Omission Replacement Transposition Expssion 1.6 The factors influencing translation process Influence of the mother tongue Words and choice of word meanings Grammatical structure Context Characteristic of language 1.7 Common errors in written translation Word order Syntax/ Grammar errors Vocabulary errors Spelling/Punctuation errors Culture errors Chapter 2: METHODOLOGY 2.1 Research questions 2.2 Research participants: The researcher: The subjects 2.3 Research procedure 2.4 Data collect instruments The questionnaire:
15 The interview questions: Chapter 3: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 3.1 Results Result collected from the questionnaire Result collected from the interview questions 3.2 Discussion CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTION REFERENCES APPENDIX
16 7 CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW 1.1 Definition of translation Translation has been various defined. The following definitions have been selected because they are really typical in some sense; and they can partly raise the issues, which we are going to pursue in detail later. Translation is a transfer process, which aims at the transformation of written source language text into an optimally equivalent target language text, and which requires the syntactic, the semantic and the pragmatic understanding and analytical processing of the source language. (Wilss, 1982) Translation is the expssion in another language (target language) of what has been expssed in one language (source language), pserving semantic and stylistic equivalences. (Bell.R., 1991). Translation is the replacement of a psentation of a text in one language by a repsentation of an equivalent text in a second language. (Bell.R.,1991). For example, the Vietnamese sentence Chỉ khi nào thầy giáo cho phép thì sinh viên mới được vào phòng. can be translated into English as Only if the teacher has given permission are students allowed to enter the room. The author continues and makes the problems of equivalence very plain. Text in different languages can be equivalent in different degrees (full or partly different), in respect of different levels of psentation (in respect of context, of semantics, of grammar, of lexis, etc.) and at different ranks (word-for-word, phrase-for-phrase, sentence-for-sentence). Translation is the transmission of a thought expssed in one language by means of another language. The language used to expss the thought directly is called the
17 8 source language, and the language used to translate that thought is called the target language. (Tu Anh, 2005). In Vietnamese-into-English translation, the Vietnamese is the source language and the English is the target language as in the following example: The source language: Người bắt đầu học ngoại ngữ luôn luôn gặp khó khăn ngay từ bước đầu. The target language: Beginners of foreign language always meet difficulties from the outset. In contrast, in English-into-Vietnamese translation, the English is the source language and the Vietnamese is the target language as in the following example: The source language: Due to ill management and protection, forest resources have, in recent years, been seriously destroyed. The target language: Trong những năm gần đây, do quản lí và bảo vệ kém, tài nguyên rừng bị tàn phá rất nghiêm trọng. Translation is rendering a written text into another language in a way that the author intended the text. (Bui Tien Bao and Dang Xuan Thu, 1997). Translators are concerned with the written texts. They render written texts from one language into another language. Translators are required to undertake assignments, which range from simple items, such as birth certificates and driving licenses, to more complex written materials, such as articles in specialized professional journals, business contracts and legal documents. (Bui Tien Bao and Dang Xuan Thu, 1997). Translation, ultimately, by dictionary definition, consists of changing from one state or form to another, to turn into one s own or another s language. (The Merrian Webster dictionary, 1974). Translation is a change of form. When we speak of the form of a language, we are referring to the actual words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, etc.
18 9 The forms are referred to as the surface structure of a language. It is a structural part of a language, which is actually seen in print or heard speech. In translation, the form of the receptor or target language replaces the form of the source language. But how is this change accomplished? What determines the choice of form in the translation? 1.2 The importance of translation Even with the most up-to-date and sophisticated communication system, we can never know how many languages man used today in the world; let alone how many languages man has used during the course of his development. Some sources say there are two or three thousand languages being used in the world, but some others say the number may be as large as eight thousand. What a habit man has that of speaking tongues! Thus, he offers himself difficulties and obstacles. Since communication within often, one community is not enough, certainly. There has a great number of times arisen a situation in which some inpiduals are unable to understand the words or expssions of some others. This phenomenon creates a barrier to understand whenever man tries to communicate across a great distance of space or across a great interval of time. Something has to be done to overcome this restriction. One way to cope with the restriction is for inpiduals to know the foreign language. However, this is not the final solution because apparently no inpidual in the world can know all the languages in use. The best polyglot so far knows only about twenty-five languages. Let us make a comparison between the number 25 and 8000; it is a very numerous distance between the languages that this polyglot can use and the number of languages that exist in the worlds. Still people want to read what other people want to write and what people say, translation and interptation may be considered as the most universally accepted solution for surmounting the obstacles. Thus, there is a need for professional translators and interpters. (Bui Tien Dao and Dang Xuan Thu, 1997).
19 10 Stuart stated that translation as the product of language learning projected onto an interlanguage framework. Therefore, translation skills should be evaluated according to the state of learners interlanguage in any state of its development. (Stuart Campbell, 1980). Translation is a real-life, natural activity and increasing necessary in a global environment. Many learners living in either their own countries or a new one need to translate language on daily basic both formally and informally. This is even more important with the growing importance of online information. Translation can support for the writing process, especially at lower levels. Research has shown that learners seem able to access more information in their own language, which they can then translate. (Stuart, Campell, 1980). The research totally agrees with the above ideas. When the human language appears, translation becomes necessary and significant. Imagine that one day you have a trip visiting a green and beautiful oasis. Unfortunately, you get lost from your group and you have not done any research about this oasis before; you do not know any information about the people as well as their language and many other things related to this place. At that time, a crowd of inhabitants appears, and you are excited and happy to say Hello to them with a friendly face. Suddenly, they bit you. You fail to understand anything and try to escape this place. Later, when you spend time doing research to find out what Hello means in this oasis, you realize that the word Hello in this oasis sounds like I will destroy you!. On a serious note, translation is one of the most critical jobs in modern society. Translation becomes more and more important when all countries in the world have exchanged and cooperated in variety aspects like culture, education, business, etc. However, no one has enough ability to translate; therefore, we need to have translation. In order to meet the demand of this multilingual world s whole development, it is required an appearance of a common language that all of countries in the world can
20 11 use. Nowadays, English has been used as the universal language all over the world. In our country, English play an indispensable role in the economic aspect. Especially when Viet Nam has become member of World Trade Organization, the demand to have expert translation is necessary. It is true that all of the contracts, s, agreements, or conventions, etc, in English need to be translated exactly and effectively to avoid some regrettable misunderstandings. 1.3 Types of translation Word-for-word translation: Here the source language (SL) word is translated into another language by their most common meanings, which can also be out of context at times, especially in idioms and proverbs. – The following are the characteristics of this approach: + SL word order is pserved. + Words are translated by their most common meanings, and out of context. Ex: He is a big liar. Anh ta là một lớn nói dối. Or: Mời bạn về nhà tôi chơi. Invited friend about my house play – This kind of translation used for: + Information about SL + Language learning (mechanics of language) + Pre-translation process of difficult text in order to gain the sense of meaning
21 Literal translation Here the SL grammatical constructions are translated to their nearest language (TL). A literal translation sounds like nonsense and has little communicative values. – The following are the characteristics of this approach: + Lexical words are translated singly, and out of context. Ex: He is a big liar Anh ta là một kẻ nói dối lớn. He looked up at the Milky Way Anh ta nhìn lên con đường màu sữa. – This kind of translation used for: + Pre-translation process to identify problems + Basis of poetry translation for poet who does not understand SL Faithful translation Here the translation interpts the exact contextual meaning of the original within the constraints of the grammatical structures of the TL. – The following are characteristics of this approach: + Words are translated in context but uncompromising to TL. + Transfer cultural words + Does not naturalize + Often read like a translation Ex: He is as fast as a kangaroo. Nó nhanh như một con kanguru. – This kind of translation used for: + Literary translation
22 13 + Authoritative texts + Drafts Semantic translation: Semantic translation refers to that type of translation, which takes into account the aesthetic value of the SL text. – The following are the characteristics of this approach: + More flexible than faithful translation + Naturalize a bit while faithful translation is uncompromising (but in order to achieve aesthetic effect), for instance, it may translate cultural words with neutral or functional items. + Great focus on aesthetic features of source text (at expense of meaning if necessary). + Close rendering of metaphors, collocations, technical terms, slang, colloquialisms, unusual syntactic structures and collocations, peculiarly used words, neologism, badly written or inaccurate passages. – This kind of translation used for: + Texts that have high status, e.g., religion texts, legal texts, politicians speeches + Expssive texts, e.g., literature Ex 1 : Right in the heart of Ha Noi, Hoan Kiem Lake is an enchanting body of water, a peaceful oasis away from all the hustle of the city. Nằm ngay giữa trái tim Hà Nội, hồ Hoàn Kiếm là một hồ nước đẹp mê hồn, một ốc đảo yên bình tách biệt với sự hối hả bận rộn của thành phố. Ex 2: Life is never easy. So whatever comes to destroy you, stay firm and be the bravest as you can. You might cry, be upset, but never lose hope; and most especially, never give up because GOD is always there, here and forever.
23 14 Cuộc sống không bao giờ đơn giản và dễ dàng. Vì vậy, dù có bất cứ điều gì tồi tệ xảy đến, hãy cứng rắn và dũng cảm lên. Bạn có thể khóc, có thể buồn nhưng đừng bao giờ đánh mất hi vọng và quan trọng nhất là đừng bao giờ từ bỏ hi vọng vì Thiên Chúa luôn ở bên cạnh bạn và mãi mãi bên bạn Adaptation: The text is rewritten considering the SL culture which is converted to the TL culture where the characters, themes, and plots are usually pserved. – This kind of translation is used mainly for plays and poems. Ex: Melody Angel 27 September 2004 (from The Grant Piano ) What feeling do I borrow? Sometimes I am happy Sometimes I am sad I can feel my heart Telling me I feel bad First I m up there First I m down here I m holding my fear But it s hard to hear What I sing today Is what I feel tomorrow? Cảm xúc nào tôi đang mượn Có những lúc trong tôi là hạnh phúc Có những lúc sầu muộn lại đong đầy Trái tim tôi tâm sự với tôi đây: Tôi thấy xấu, buồn đau và khổ ải! Đang trên cao cảm thấy lòng thoải mái Bỗng ngờ đâu phút chốc lại vơi đầy Sợ hãi nào tôi đang giữ trong tay Nó giẫy giụa, quấy rầy cho tôi khổ Tôi đang hát một bài ca nào đó Lời nhạc này cảm giác của ngày mai
24 15 I can hear my thoughts What I am to borrow? My feelings change Nearly every minute I can feel my heart Still holding fear in it Tôi đang nghe trí óc tôi tâm sự: Cảm giác nào cần phải mượn nữa đây? Dẫu biết rõ cảm xúc tựa gió mây Luôn luân chuyển vô thường trong mỗi phút Tôi thương cảm trái tim tôi nhỏ dại Nhịp đập nào thiếu vắng nỗi lo đây? (dohop phỏng dịch từ tiếng anh) Free translation: Free translation reproduces the matter without the manner, or the content without the form of the original. It is a kind of meaning-based translation and usually a paraphrase much longer than the original. Free translation focuses on the content of the target text rather than the form, which means that the same content is expssed in the target text but with very different grammatical structures if need be. Ex: Business is business. Công việc là công việc, tình cảm là tình cảm, không thể lẫn lộn được Idiomatic translation: It translates the message of the original text but tends to disort the original meaning at times by referring colloquialisms and idioms. (Su, 2003)
25 16 Idiomatic translation makes use of idioms and colloquialisms that are not psent in the source text. It is asserted that the original meaning of a fixed combination is not equal to the sum of the meaning of separate words. Ex: Out of sight, out of mind Xa mặt cách lòng. Wait and see. thời gian sẽ trả lời. No guide, no realization Không thầy đố mày làm nên Communicative translation: This method displays the exact contextual meaning of the original text in a manner where both content and language are easily acceptable and comphensible to the readers. – The following are the characteristics of this approach: + Bee freer than semantic translation + Give priority to the effectiveness of the message to be communicated + Focus on factors such as readability and naturalness + Both the content and the language are readily acceptable and comphensible to the reader. – This kind of translation used for informative texts. Ex: a small conversation between friends
26 17 Vijay: Hello, Karthik! I visited your house yesterday. You weren t there. Where did you go? Karthik: I went to see the football match between our school and Brindavan school. I left home very early. Vijay: How was the match? Was it interesting yesterday? Karthik: The match started exactly at 5pm. Our school played well and scored the first goal before half time immediately after, Brindavan School scored the equalizer. Our school scored the winning goal in the last minute and won the match. Vijay: Oh! When did you reach home? Karthik: I reached home very late. Vijay: By the way who won the match last year? Karthik: Even last year, our school won the match. Vijay: Chào cậu, Karthik! Hôm qua tớ có đến nhà cậu nhưng mà cậu không có ở nhà. Cậu đi đâu thế? Karthik: Tớ đi xem trận thi đấu bóng đá giữa trường của chúng ta và trường Brindavan. Tớ rời khỏi nhà rất sớm. Vijay: Trận đấu diễn ra như thế nào? Có thú vị không? Karthik: Đúng 5 giờ chiều thì trận đấu chính thức bắt đầu. Đội bóng trường chúng ta chơi rất tốt và ghi điểm bàn thắng đầu tiên vào khoảng giữa trân đấu. Lập tức ngay sau đó, đội bóng trường Brindavan vượt lên ghi điểm hòa. Đội bóng trường mình ghi điểm vào phút cuối cùng và chiến thắng trận đấu. Vijay: Oh! Khi nào cậu về đến nhà? Karthik: Tớ về đến nhà rất trễ. Vijay: Trong trận đấu năm ngoái đội nào giành chiến thắng? Karthik: Ngay cả năm trước đội trường chúng ta cũng giành chiến thắng.
27 Strategies for translation Strategy 1: How to deal with non-equivalence at word level Often, you translate a text from Vietnamese to English and vice versa. There is no direct equivalences can be found in Vietnamese for English words. Maybe, the concept or idea is new to the Vietnamese, as in the case with gender, which is in fact a relatively new concept in general, and a difficult one to understand and explain it in many languages. The concept can be known or readily understood but there is no specific Vietnamese word to expss it. For instance, backwash and wash back. In addition, some words have special connotations that are not conveyed by the Vietnamese word for the same thing. The strategies listed below can be used to handle cases of non-equivalence. Translating by a more specific word In some cases, it will be appropriate or necessary to use a more specific word to translate an English word into Vietnamese. This usually involves choosing among several different words, as there are many Vietnamese words that can be correspond to the general category or meaning expssed by the English terms. For example, the English word for rice can be translated by many different Vietnamese words such as: hạt lúa, hạt gạo, hạt thóc, hạt cơm, depending on whether one is planning it, harvesting it, cooking it, or eating it. In these cases, an English word alone is not enough to determine for the appropriate translation, and it is necessary to examine the English context and decide which Vietnamese word is suitable. Translating by a more general word In other cases, it is appropriate to use a more general word to translate English with no specific Vietnamese equivalent. For instance, English makes distinction among mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles. The latter having larger wheels and engines than both mopeds and scooters; Vietnamese, on the other hand, refers to all two-wheel, motorized vehicles as xe máy. Similarly, the English words paw, foot, and leg
28 19 may all be translated by the Vietnamese word chân, which does not suggest any problem of comphension in Vietnamese, as it should be clear from the context which of these words is meant. Translating by paraphrase This strategy can be used when translating an English word or concept that does not exist in Vietnamese, or when the Vietnamese term does not include all the meanings conveyed by the English term. For example, in the sentence: pgnant women should avoid alcohol, alcohol includes all alcoholic beverages, however, rượu – the Vietnamese word for alcohol does not include beer in its definition. So the Vietnamese version should add the word beer to reflect the full meaning of the source language sentence phụ nữ mang thai nên tránh uống rượu, bia Strategy 2: How to deal with idioms and fixed expssions According to English Idioms in Use (MeCarthy and O Dell, 2004, p.6), an idiom is defined as a fixed expssion which has a meaning that is not obvious from the inpidual words. In other words, words have lost their inpidual identity in the idiom. The structure of the idiom is a large extent, fixed and unchangeable. Every language has a set of idioms and fixed expssions, which has been created and developed throughout history. It is profoundly influenced by the geographical position, natural and social conditions of the culture in which the language is used. Thus, the sets of idioms and fixed expssions can be dealt with similar ways discussed above. With idioms, however, there is the added difficulty that the translator may not realize that he is dealing with an idiomatic expssion, since more idioms may make sense when translated literally. Using an idiom or fixed expssion of similar meaning and form. It is sometimes possible to find a Vietnamese idiom or expssion with a similar meaning to an English idiom or expssion. For example, the idiom Old love flocks together without invitation is translated into Vietnamese as Tình cũ không rủ cũng
29 20 tới, or the idiom To grow like mushrooms after the first rain is also translated as Mọc nhanh như nấm sau mưa. It is so ideal if such a match can be found, but this kind of correspondence is not common, and it is also necessary to use other strategies in dealing with idioms and fixed expssions. For example, the meaning of the idiom It is raining cats and dogs does not have any thing related to the pets like cats and dogs but it just means It is raining heavily (Trời đang mưa rất to/ Trời đang mưa tầm tã). If this English idiom is translated in the way of literal translation, which focuses on the meaning in dictionary of the word cat – con mèo and dog – con chó, we will translate this idiom as Trời đang mưa những con mèo và những con chó. In this way, the sentence is totally nonsense in term of meaning. Thus, it is obvious that no Vietnamese idiom or expssion with a similar meaning to this English idiom can be found. Using an idiom or fixed expssion of similar meaning but dissimilar form. It is also possible, and usually easier to find a Vietnamese idiom with a similar meaning with an English idiom or set of expssion expssed differently, however. One typical example for this is the translation for Chở củi về rừng, which is translated as To carry firewood to the forest. However, in English, To carry firewood to the forest is not an idiom and does not have the meaning as the Vietnamese idiom Chở củi về rừng. The correct English equivalent of the Vietnamese idiom is To carry coals to Newcastle. This meaning is clearly the same for both idioms to bring something to a place that already has abundant ones, but the way in which each language expsses it is bound to the culture of that language. It would be far more cumbersome to translate this idiom word-for-word into Vietnamese with an explanation that Newcastle is a well-known coal-producing city in England (as was suggested by some Vietnamese translators), which would unduly interrupt the flow of the text and greatly diminish the idiom s impact. By substituting a similar Vietnamese idiom, then, the flow and the impact of the original text are retained in the translation.
30 21 Translating by paraphrase In the case that Vietnamese equivalents can not be found, paraphrasing maybe consider as the best way to deal with an idiom or fixed expssion. A good example can be found in an article on maternal mortality, which includes the sentence, But before the new estimates replace the old as a way of packaging up the problem, it should be said that a mistake has been made in allowing statistics such as these to slip into easy language. The expssion packaging up the problem psented problem in translation, as it was misinterpted to mean assembling or gathering together. However, even if this phrase were clearly understood, it would be difficult to find a concise Vietnamese equivalent. In fact, it also would be difficult to re-state concisely in English. This phrase is best solved by paraphrasing, which in English should read something like summing up the problem by referring to it simply as number, which does not reflect its true magnitude or impact. The expssion to slip into easy usage is problematic for the same reason, and is best dealt with by paraphrasing, as a direct translation into Vietnamese would be nonsensical Strategy 3: How to deal with voice, number, and person Voice: – One interesting thing is Vietnamese tend to use active sentences in their speech, but the passive voice is used very frequently in English, therefore, it sometimes poses some problems for translators who translate from English to Vietnamese and vice versa.vietnamese: Positive meaning: A được + động từ + (bởi B) A được/ do + B + động từ Negative meaning: A bị + động từ + (bởi B)
31 22 – English: A bị + B + động từ A + to be done (by B) = A + be V 3/ed (by B) Examples: Châu Mĩ được Columbus khám phá cách đây hơn 400 năm. American was discovered over four hundred years ago by Columbus. Bóng đèn điện do Thomas Edison phát minh năm The light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison in John bị một kẻ lạ mặt tấn công tối hôm qua. John was attacked by a stranger last night. Or: – Vietnamese: A được + động từ (Positive meaning) A bị + động từ (Negative meaning) Người ta/ ai đó + động từ + A – English: A + to be done = A + be V 3/ed or A + has/have been + V 3/ed
32 23 Examples: Những ngôi nhà xưa trong vùng được xây dựng lại trong những năm gần đây. These old houses in this area have been built in recent years. Bản hợp đồng đã bị đánh cắp rồi. or: Ai đó đã đánh cắp bản hợp đồng rồi. The contract has been stolen. The positive and negative connotation is often conveyed in English, and it is difficult to know how to use suitable Vietnamese word. For example: English: The children were given injection. Vietnamese: Các cháu được tiêm.or Các cháu bị tiêm Depending on whether receiving shots was consider as a positive or negative experience, a suitable word được or bị was chosen to ensure the correspondence between the source and the target text. In contrast, when the positive or negative connotation of the sentence is clear, it is more appropriate to retain the passive voice in the Vietnamese. For example: English: The H Mong people do not like to be called Meo; they refer to be called H Mong. Vietnamese: Người dân tộc H Mong không thích bị gọi là dân tộc Mèo; họ thích được gọi là người dân tộc H Mong hơn. Note: In Vietnamese, there are some cases where you can see the word bị or được, but they are not passive sentences in English at all.
34 Person: Participants roles and forms of address are expssed in Vietnamese through a very complicated system of personal pronouns based largely on kinship terms. Unlike their distinctions, depending on relationship within the family, familiarity, social status, and even one s particular mood or attitude in a given situation. These distinctions are not always clear in English and usually can be determined by the context, if at all. If it is sometimes not possible to determine these distinctions of the English pronouns, the decision should be based on consideration of tone and overall purpose of the document. For example: A manual on health care contains sections written specifically for children and adults. In the section for children, you should be translated as em or các em. In the section for adults, you should be translated as chúng ta which is the inclusive we that is the speaker is including the listener in a group with himself or herself. Moreover, in different contexts, we can be translated as chúng tôi which means other people and I, but not you or chúng ta meaning you and I. Note: In English, age is not important in the addressing system. And there is no distinction between the relatives of mother s side and father s side. Hai anh em two brothers Hai chị em two sisters Chú, bác uncle Cô, dì, bác gái, thím ant Strategy 4: How to deal with proper names – Geographical terms:
35 26 Geographical terms can be either translated into another language in English or translated phonologically ( s becomes x ). In some cases, it is remained. For examples: Brazil Braxin Beijing Bắc Kinh Singapore Singapore or Xingapo Commonweath Liên bang, Liên hiệp, Khối thịnh vượng Australia Úc or Ôxtrâylia Socialist Xã hội chủ nghĩa London Luân Đôn – Names of Organizations: When doing translation of names of Organization from Vietnamese into English, the translator confuse the reverse order as in the following examples: Văn phòng chính phủ Government office Thanh tra chính phủ Government Inspectorate Thanh tra viên cao cấp Senior Inspector Or using the formulas: Adjective + Noun or Noun + Preposition + Noun such as: Bộ, sở Ministry of., Department of. Ngân hàng Bank for., Adjective + bank Tổng công ty Cooperation
36 27 For examples: Ngân hàng phục vụ người nghèo Bank for the poor Ngân hàng công thương Việt Nam Vietnam Industrial and Commercial bank Bộ kế hoạch và đầu tư Ministry of planning and investment Sở ngoại vụ Hà Nội Ha Noi External Relations Department Strategy 5: How to deal with non-subject sentences In Vietnamese – written passages, some non-subject sentences often come across. In this case, translator can use the following techniques to deal with these kinds of sentences: – Passive voice: Ex: Cần đẩy mạnh công ngiệp hóa, hiện đại hóa. Industrialization and modernization should be promoted. – It + to be + Adjective + to do something Ex: Cần đẩy mạnh công ngiệp hóa, hiện đại hóa. It is necessary to promote industrialization and modernization. Không được đi trên đường có trồng cỏ. It is forbidden to walk on the turf. – There is/ There are. Ex: Vẫn chưa có cách chữa trị bệnh AIDS. There has been no cure for AIDS. – V ing + V + O Ex: Đi ra ngoài một mình vào buổi tối rất nguy hiểm.
37 28 Being alone at night is very dangerous. – Put in the real subject that is often found in the pvious sentence(s). Ex: A: Doctor, a bee has stung on my finger. (Bác sĩ, có một con ong đã đốt vào ngón tay của tôi.) B: Which one? (Ngón nào?) 1.5 Useful techniques for translation: Hereafter are five useful techniques for English Vietnamese and Vietnamese English translation with illustrated examples for attempting to contribute to better translation competence of English learners Addition: Addition technique is the way when doing translation, translators can add some words, which are not found in the source text to make the translation text looks smoother, and more comphend. There are some sample versions translated from English into Vietnamese and vice versa: – A peace committee which was translated as Ủy ban bảo vệ hòa bình. Obviously, to reach the adequate and fluent meaning, bảo vệ was added in the Vietnamese version whereas there was no equivalent mean bảo vệ in the source language. – Bấy nhiêu người đều ùa nhau vào đẩy, thì hòn đá lăn ra trên đường which was translated as All men eagerly push the stone, it rolls out of the road immediately. The addition here is immediately to emphasize a level of a clear and complete expssion in the version.
38 29 – He always glad because he showed his gratitude to his parents can be translated as Vậy mà, lúc nào ông ấy cũng lấy làm vui vẻ trong lòng, vì có thế thì con mới tỏ hết lòng hiếu thảo với cha mẹ. vậy mà, lấy làm, trong lòng were added to convey the total feelings and spirits of the involved person Omission: Omission is the way when translating; translators can omit some redundant words, which do not really change the meaning of the version. Hung (1986:15) has mentioned: Omission are the reversion of additions and are used to ensure a greater degree of what is called compssion that is reducing the redundancy of the text by omitting words which can be easily restored from the context. The following are some examples about this kind of technique: – and he bend down over the bed and took his wife s hand and began to caress her forehead can be translated as rồi anh cúi xuống cầm tay vợ và vuốt ve trán nàng. Over the bed and and began were omitted to make the version more concise. – Với tư cách là những sinh viên mới, chúng ta phải học bài trước khi đến lớp is translated to As new student, we must study lesson before class. The verb đến was omitted to convey a concise version in the target language but still remain the same meaning Replacement: When translate a text, translator ought to get insights about two common types of linguistic units: word forms and parts of speech, which has considerable influence on grammatical transformations between the source language and the target language Replacement of word forms: In some cases, to reach the fluency in the target language, translator can convert the plural forms into the singular ones and vice versa. For example:
39 30 – To tell him an hour before your date is the epitome of bad manners is translated as Chỉ bảo cho người yêu trước cuộc hẹn một tiếng đồng hồ là biểu lộ của lối cư xử tệ. The plural noun manners was transformed into the singular one lối cư xử instead of những lối cư xử. – Họ sẽ lắng nghe nhịp đập của trái tim is translated to They would listen to the beating of their hearts. It is clear that the singular noun trái tim was replaced by the plural form hearts (những trái tim) in the rendering Replacement of speech: The replacements of part of speech are quite common in translation. Noun in English, for example, can be replaced by verbs or adjectives in Vietnamese and vice versa to obtain accuracy and suitability of semantics in both English and Vietnamese styles. The following examples illustrate for this technique: – Our belief is that Vietnam s economy will be at the top-ten of the world can be translated as Chúng tôi tin rằng nền kinh tế Việt Nam sẽ được xếp vào 10 nước đứng đầu thế giới. Obviously, the possessive adjective our was replaced with the pronoun chúng tôi. Besides, the noun belief was replaced by the verb tin to match the suitable meaning in the target language style. – Trong buổi họp tổng kết, các chuyên gia đã tiếp chuyện một cách thân mật và sôi nổi với các đại diện của chính phủ is translated as At the summing-up conference, the experts had friendly and enthusiastic talks with government and repsentatives. The verb tiếp chuyện was replaced by the noun talks thanks to the replacement technique Transposition: With this kind of technique, translators can absolutely change the order of the structures: words, phrases, clauses, and sentences without altering the content of the
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