A study on the structural featues of english news story

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Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 DECLARATION Title: A STUDY ON THE STRUCTURAL FEATUES OF ENGLISH NEWS STORY (Graduation Paper submitted in Partial Fulfillment for B.A Degree in English) I certify that no part of the above report has been copied or reproduced by me from any other person‟s work without acknowledgement and that the report is originally written by me under strict guidance of my supervisor. Date submitted: May, 13th 2008 Student Supervisor Trinh Thi Ha Nguyen Thi Van Dong Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 1 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 Acknowledgements  There was the times I was so happy that moving to tears as I realized that people who are next to me, and who are remote to me also, though they are still in my mind, always bring the happiness to me for what they have done to me says they love me. I am in debt to this life where I receive the hug loves. First of all, I would like to express my deep gratitude to my parents who have been hardly supporting me. They are always beside and motivate me in my study and my life. I wish to acknowledge my gratitude to my supervisor, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Van Dong, Ph.D for her valuable and detailed comments, valuable suggestions, enthusiasm, guidance, introductions and also materials throughout this study. And my heart is also to the teachers at the faculty of English and Modern Languages for their kindness and willingness during the time I carried out this task. Beside, my dear friends provide me with encouragement, support and inspirations especially when I got in trouble. It is my debt of gratitude. Moreover, the shortcomings in this study are unavoidable. Therefore, I hope to receive the sympathy from teachers and friends. Last but not least, I would be grateful to any remarks from the readers! Thank you! Ha Noi, May 2008 Trinh Thi Ha Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 2 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 TABLE OF CONTENTS  Acknowledgements Table of contents PART A: INTRODUCTION 1. Aims of the study ........................................................................................ 1 2. Scope of the study ....................................................................................... 2 3. Methods of the study .................................................................................. 3 4. Design of the study ..................................................................................... 3 PART B: DEVELOPMENT CHARPTER I: THEORIES OF THE STUDY ...................................5 1.1 News story and its functions .................................................................... 5 1.2 Types of news story .................................................................................. 8 1.2.1 Political news story............................................................................... 9 1.2.2 Economic news story .......................................................................... 10 1.2.3 Socio- cultural news story .................................................................. 11 CHAPTER II: ANALASIS OF THE STRUCTURAL FEATURES OF ENGLISH NEWS STORY ............................................................13 2.1 Structure of paragraph .......................................................................... 13 2.1.1 Headline in English news story .......................................................... 14 2.1.2 Topic sentence in English news story ................................................ 18 2.1.2.1 Form features of the topic sentence .............................................. 19 Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 3 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 2.1.2.2 Content features of the topic sentence .......................................... 22 2.1.3 Structure of news story‟s body ........................................................... 25 2.1.4 Sub-title in English news story ........................................................... 29 CHARPTER III: SOME DIFFICULTIES AND REQUIRED SUGGESTIONS IN TRANSLATING NEWS STOR .......................33 3.1 Some difficulties in translating news story .......................................... 33 3.1.1 Cultural difficulty ............................................................................... 33 3.1.2 Linguistic difficulty ............................................................................ 35 3.2. Some required suggestions for translation ......................................... 37 3.2.1 Language skills ................................................................................... 38 3.2.2. Cultural competence .......................................................................... 38 3.2.3 Journalism ........................................................................................... 38 PART C: CONCLUSION APPENDIX .................................................................................................... 41 REFERENCES ............................................................................................... 57 SOURCE OF MATERIALS ........................................................................... 58 Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 4 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 PART A: INTRODUCTION 1. Aims of the study News is sine qua non for active life. None can ignore the milieu in which he lives. Only news keeps us in tough with the milieu in which we live. It gives us the insight to the dynamics that form the environment around us, it be in local or regional or national or international level. The main conveyor of news is newspaper. Neither the advent of television nor that of internet could affect the importance of the newspaper. The reason for it is the width, breadth and the depth of news provided by the newspaper, its low cost and the ease of providing the news at our leisure and comfort as many time as we desire. People of all profession need newspapers. Reading newspapers is a must for students and adults for growth and enlightenment irrespective of the class or field of their life. And it is a very important part with a remarkable position of newspaper news story. English is spoken over 70 countries and in 20; more English occupies an important position. Many newspapers are published in English. It is estimated that the two thirds of all scientific newspaper are first published in English. It is also the most common international working languages. Therefore, to a developing country like Vietnam, English is a popular foreign language for all people. They are trying their best to learn English well due to the fact that English will help them to keep up with advanced technology, modern culture, and up-to-date information in the world. Writtenin-English journals are available in all news stands, so it is easy for us to get one. However, to study English with newspaper and magazines is not easy. We would not understand the information deeply in the newspaper if we are lack of any ability on analyzing the news, especially on structural analyzing. Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 5 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 Information of the newspaper is transported to the readers under the text form which is very complicated and diverse. Thus, it still has the main characters that here, in this paper, I study on and choose the topic “A study on the structural features of English news story” with the hope of giving the readers the useful knowledge on newspaper, since better their insights to the changing-world. News story plays an important role in newspaper that is occupied a great number of English language one which is considered the international language. Therefore, to understand about the all news deeply, the readers need to know about English and more, about the structural analysis the text which is a common difficulty for the reader as well as the English leaner. Being a student of English, I would like to present structural features of the English news story so that the readers and learner can understand comprehensively about the topic. As these learning, we can have some basic knowledge in getting information from news stories in newspaper written in the international language, English, then develop the ability in translation and many other related fields. 2. Scope of the study Due to the limitation of space and time, within the framework of this study, this paper can not cover the whole features and details of news story. Since, I decided to analyze the structural features including headline, topic sentence, body-part structure, the sub-title, and the discourse of the news story. From which, I would like to draw some difficulties of Vietnamese readers when they translate the news story. To sum up, the scope of the study may be shown as follow: a) Analyzing some structural features of the news story Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 6 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 b) Suggesting some difficulties and strategies to cope with problems relating translating. 3. Methods of the study In fulfilling this study, I have applied some methods such as survey, statistic and comparison. A reference of books from authors, materials from different sources and foreign languages also helps me a lot. All English examples in the study were taken from the International Herald Tribune newspaper which uses the Standard English and updates information daily from all over the world. Furthermore, studying with it would help improve my English so much. Moreover, my supervisor, an experienced teacher, has helpfully directed me to the appropriate ways to carry out this study. 4. Design of the study For the limited framework, this graduation paper is divided into three parts as follow: Part A is the Introduction of the study which introduces my reasons and aims to write the thesis. This part includes the aims, scopes, methods and design of the study. Part B is the main part of the study that consists of three chapters below  Chapter I focuses on the theories of the study.  Chapter II is an Analysis of the structural features of English news story.  Chapter III concentrates on some difficulties and strategies in translating news story Part C is the Conclusion of the study in which I give a summary of major findings, an identification of limitation of the study and an exploration Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 7 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 the implication for the future research. In the final part, bibliography and sources of materials for the study are listed. Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 8 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 PART B: DEVELOPMENT8 CHARPTER I: THEORIES OF THE STUDY 1. 1 News story and its functions Newspaper has played an important role in the modern society all over the countries and its most important component is news. Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, wrote that if he had to choose between government without newspaper or newspaper without government he would choose the newspaper. Since the first newspapers were published in Venice, Italy in 16th century, there have been thousands of newspapers and magazines born. According to UNESCO, there are more than 5300 press organizations all over the world with over 830 millions copies a day. In United Kingdom alone, the newspaper publishing industry includes 2,000 companies with combined annual revenue of $50 billions. Every newspaper or magazine has its own features with many articles and column for daily events. In addition, news story always plays an important role and has a remarkable position in these ones. By nature, firstly, “what is news?” As for Lenin, “Any kind of goods possesses two characters; they are value for using and value for exchange.” In fact, press is also a kind of goods because it also has two character like others goods. Certainly, news story is one item of the goods. The value for exchange of press in general and news story in particular is shown in the way the journal or the magazines itself perform. People pay money for a journal in order to know what is happening around or simply to entertain. News story has using value because it is Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 9 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 essential for human being. News story will give people information; interpret domestic and oversea events happening every day. Therefore, “what is news story?” actually, it is a difficult question for not only the journalism studiers but also those learning about the world. It is difficult to define, as there is not and cannot be a single, universal answer. Besides, the answer always keeps changing for the world changing. Thus, catching up with the latest events is a requirement to keep pace with and to join into the world. The Webster defines news story as “a report of a recent event; new information, fresh tidings… and matters regarded as interesting to newspaper readers or news broadcast audiences”. The news events are known as the current affairs happening within 24 hours, from yesterday to today and tomorrow. The saying “attracts many people‟s attention” means that without this attention it is not news story. This fact is one of the social reasons that differentiate between the English and Vietnamese news story in term of publishing. Experienced journalists and scholars disagree about what news story is and what it ought to be. There are broad areas of agreement and here is the collection I get from internet and some other sources: - News story is a report of anything timely that interests a number of people. The more people it interests the better the news story is. News story is the difference between the world yesterday and the world today. - News story is what the well-trained reporter finds satisfaction in gathering and having published. News story is what the well-trained editor puts in the newspaper. - News story is the report or accounts of events or occurrences brought or coming to one as new information, new event as a subject of report on talk. Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 10 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 - News story is anything that interests a large part of the community and has been brought to their attention. - News story = people + events + reader‟s interest. - News story, while its definition varies from office to office, has common elements to all conceptions of news. To be news story, an event must first be interesting to public. Second, and equally important, it must be new (to the public). - News story which is one of news, consist of full elements reporting messages about features of contents or appearance of news itself. - News story is a report of words performing a news event and getting many people‟s attention. Therefore, there are many definitions, some of which are accepted or not. Others are fairly news, among them you will have found some to agree partly or wholly. Now and then the desire for news exists not always stays enough to be described as a need but nonetheless, it is a wish to be told something strong enough to demand satisfaction. Therefore, news story has some main functions as follows: - The purpose of news story is to report short, brief messages about some important problems and significant news events. It only concentrates on scale, form of the event and sometimes the importance of events. - News story has a duty to report briefly about new events in current life by answering all the basic question of press: What?, Where?, When?, Who?, How?... All the contents of the news story can be shortened within 60 and 100 words. - News story is used to inform the details, characters and newly discovered issues if the important events happening. From the above functions, the characteristic of news story are: - Timeliness Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 11 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 - Immediacy - Truthfulness - Accuracy - Clarity - Fairness - Impact - Interest The following example in English newspaper is an illustration: Online game merges Web with real-world rivalries NEW YORK: This winter, the armies of Yale invaded Massachusetts and conquered Harvard. Cornell‟s troops turned Darmouth‟s militia into a vassal force. Columbia allied itself with Yale and occupied Long Island, before getting routed by the Princeton-Cornell alliance. The historic rivalries of the Ivy League have reached the Internet. Eleven thousand Ivy students and alumni have played out these scenarios as part of an online computer game called GoCrossCampus, or GXC. The game, a riff on classic territorial-conquest board games like Risk, may be the next Internet phenomenon to emerge from the computers of college students. (IHT. March 22-23, 2008) The above example shows the reader the information of a new online game, “the next Internet phenomenon to emerge from computers of college students”. The characters of the timeliness, the immediacy, the impact and the interest are all indicated into the news. 1.2 Types of news story There are many ways to classify the news story. In this paper, I would like to give the most common types classified by the popularity of these news Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 12 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 stories in press. Moreover, these news stories are also the topics which are concerned and reported on news story columns because of those importances. 1.2.1 Political news story Political news story is a general thought of breaking news that is a timely story of great import. Political news story is one kind of news which covers a large space in newspapers. Usually, it appears on the first page and world news page with the most popular, up date and important news. Current, important occurrences are always political news story and it often specializes in national and international news not all the political local news. Political news story is often about events which have just happened, are happening or are going to happen. Political news story has an important impact on current life and play a key role in a country‟s government and international community. So, it is always accurate, clear and immediate: Example 1.2.1a: Nga-Mỹ “hạ nhiệt” về lá chắn tên lửa Nga và Mỹ vừa có dấu hiệu “hạ nhiệt” đầu tiên trong các cuộc thương thảo đầy khó khăn liên quan đến kế hoạch của Mỹ lập lá chán phòng thủ tên lửa Đông Âu. (Thanh niên, 03-04-2008) E.g.1.2.1b: North Korea threatens South with destruction After several days of escalating oratory against South Korea, Pyong-yang issued one of its toughest warnings in many years, threatening to turn its neighbor into “ashes” with a “pre-emptive” military strike. (IHT, March 31, 2008) Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 13 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 1.2.2 Economic news story Like political news story, economic news story also has a great position in every newspaper. With the daily changeable characteristic, economic news story has a duty to report all the noticeable national and world economic news. Economic is a very important field of society and is interested by millions of businessman in general and common people in particular. Naturally, economic news story news is mainly reported on economic page. However, economic and political news sometimes are also edited on the same page. They call this economic-political page. Despite the fact that economic and political news often makes the reader to distinguish, the economic news story still remains its own economic features. Example 1.2.2.a in Vietnamese newspapers: Cửa hàng tiện lợi sắp đổ bộ Việt Nam Ít nhất hai hệ thống cửa hàng tiện lợi là 7-eleven và 108 đang có những bước khởi động để vào thị trường Việt Nam vào cuối năm nay hoặc đầu năm sau. 7-eleven và 108 cùng nhảy vào Viet Nam kinh doanh, với kinh nghiệm dư thừa họ sẽ là những thách thức mới cho các “đại gia” bán hang trong nước. (Thanh Niên, 03-04-2008) Example 1.2.2.b in English newspapers: Confused over the credit crisis? You are not the only one Raise your hand if you don‟t quite understand this whole financial crisis. It has been going on for seven months now, and many people probably feel as if they should understand it. But they don‟t, not really. The part about the U.S. housing crash seems simple enough. With banks whispering sweet encouragement, people bought homes they couldn‟t afford, and now they are falling behind on their mortgages. (IHT, March 19, 2008) Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 14 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 1.2.3 Socio- cultural news story Socio- cultural news story is a vast kind of news. It often covers all aspects of daily life. Socio- cultural news story will give the readers the information about all things in the world. From the socio- cultural term, we easily see that this type of the news story will report the national events, problems relating to society and culture, not only in our country but also foreign countries as well as international ones. It may consist of events in different fields of life such as: sport, culture, fashion, education, health… Owing to the information events and the popularity in daily life, sociocultural news story is often reported in many kinds of newspapers and attracts many readers‟ attention. As a mean of transporting spiritual food to the readers, socio- cultural news story always has a key room in any newspaper. Example 1.2.3.a in Vietnamese newspapers: Giải quyết tình trạng học sinh bỏ hoc Ngành Giáo dục không đơn độc Sau khi tình trạng học sinh bỏ học(HSBH) được dư luận lên tiếng cảnh tỉnh, không chỉ ngành Giáo dục đào tạo tìm kiếm giải pháp mà toàn bộ xã hội đã vào cuộc. Cuộc tọa đàm “Thực trạng và giải pháp đối với việ học sinh bỏ học” do Ban Tuyên giáo Trung ương tổ chức ngày 9-10 tại Hà Nội với sự tham gia của đại diện các địa phương phía Bắc có số HSBH nhiều, một số cơ quan, đơn vị có liên quan và sẽ được tiếp tục trong thời gian tới ở miền Trug là một minh chứng. Những ý kiến thẳng thắn và tâm huyết cúa các đại biểu tại cuộc tọa đàm đã góp phần để Ban tuyên giáo có thêm cơ sở khoa học, thực tiễn đánh giá một cách khách quan tình trạng này, từ đó đưa ra kiến nghị, như lời Phó trưởng ban Nghiêm Đình Vì đã khẳng định. (Hà Nội Mới, 10-4-2008) Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 15 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 Example 1.2.3.b in English newspapers: Moving on the low carbon road A meeting of United Nations member states in Bangkok on Monday to discuss climate change is the first in a series this year at which the action plan adopted at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2007, will be translated into concrete steps on the road to a new global climate change agreement. (IHT, March 31, 2008) Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 16 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 CHAPTER II: ANALASIS OF THE STRUCTURAL FEATURES OF ENGLISH NEWS STORY 2.1 Structure of paragraph News story appeals readers and affects them with the means of language in the written form. However, with the written language there is no common situation as there is in face-to-face interaction. The situation, therefore, must be interfered from the text. Naturally, readers only pay attention to the contents or news of the news story, they do not care how the story are written or formed. And the structure is one of the features of the news story‟s paragraph. According to Do Huu Chau [2]: “Structure is an art of the performance on content factors of the writers. Structurally, the writers can change the orders of the contents of the news story”. In fact, the paragraph of a news story is always brief, varying in length from fifty to one hundred words. Each is a unit in itself and needs not o be connected too closely with preceding or following paragraph. The most important idea is always placed at the beginning of a paragraph. Disregarding time order, the reporter can arrange his material in the descending order of importance details for the second paragraph and save less important details for succeeding paragraph. The least important part comes at the end and the story just stops abruptly. This way is called inverted-pyramid technique which has two advantages, it enables the readers to get the gist of the story by reading only the headline or the first paragraph, and it enable the editor, when space is limited, to shorten story by cutting the paragraph from the end without running the risk of leaving out an unimportant fact. Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 17 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 Basically, the structure of a paragraph or a news story consists of some components which form the structure of the news story in English and Vietnamese. 2.1.1 Headline in English news story Unlike other news, the news story puts its climax at the beginning. Usually, the size and the blackness of the headlines are justified by the important of stories beneath them and do summarize the stories accurately. The headline generally answer the question „Who?‟, „What?‟, „Why?‟, „When?‟, „Where?‟ and „How?‟. As I study, a good headline lays up (put first) whichever one of these- the five W‟s and the H- is the most significant. „What‟ and „Who‟ frequently make the best beginning, „Why‟ and „How‟ are often used, „When‟ and „Where‟ are least common. In a good headline the first sentence is not crowded as for the limitation of space in a newspaper and to catch the reader‟s attentions at their first glances. If the „What‟ and „Who‟ take up the whole sentence, the other W‟s and the H are put into the second sentence or even into the second paragraph. Because the first part of the news must introduce the subject, the following ones must develop the action of that subject. Example 2.1.1.a: Beckham comes to a halt as England slowly sinks The main information is given in this story is: Who: Beckham What: comes to a halt as England slowly sinks According to Galperin [9], “English headlines are short and catching, they compact the gist of news, stories into a new eyesnaring words. A skillful headline tells a story or enough of to, to arouse or satisfy the reader‟s curiosity.” (P.57) Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 18 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 According to Nguyen Dinh Hoa‟s statistic, all most topic sentences have main contents as they are written at the headline. The only difference between headline and topic sentence is that, the topic sentence often develops more the contents of the headline into the paragraph such as: circumstance, reason or time of the main events. This relation is performed through the lexical reiteration, synonym substitution. In another word, the topic is reported at the headline and remained at the topic sentence. - Let us consider the example 2.1.1b; the underlined is the lexical reiteration. E.g.2.1.1.b: Headline: Fears of a black hole eating Earth lead to lawsuit Topic sentence: A lawsuit seeks to stop a giant particle accelerator from smashing protons together because of fears it will create a black hole that will destroy Earth – and maybe more. (IHT. March 31, 2008) - In the following example, the topic cohesion is shown through synonym substitution: E.g.2.1.1.c: Headline: Tata closes purchase of Ford‟s luxury brands Topic sentence: Tata Motors of India said Wednesday it would buy the Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford Motor for about $2.3 billion in cash, less than half the price that Ford paid for the two companies. (IHT. March 30, 2008) From the above example, purchase and buy are the same meaning. - Usually, the headline is often written briefly at average of 8-10 words. So the presentation of the topic sentence will help the headline give the readers more information. Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 19 Website: http://www.docs.vn Email : lienhe@docs.vn Tel : 0918.775.368 Example 2.1.1.d: Headline: Drug makers accused of stalling data And the topic sentence: The lead outside investigator on a crucial trial of two widely used heart drugs said in an economic-mail message last July that Merk and ScheringPlough, the companies that make the drugs, were deliberately delaying the release of the trial results “to hide something.” (IHT. April 2, 2008) Moreover, the headline often tends to emphasize the events or main action than time and places. E.g.2.1.1.e1: China law could impede Microsolf deal for Yahoo (IHT. March 28, 2008) Or another one: E.g.2.1.1.e2: „Industrial tea‟ farmers prefer traditional brew (IHT. April 16, 2008) - There is an interesting of headline in English news story, that is, most of headlines are statement, full sentences or ellipsis sentences. The majority of the headlines are the simple sentences, and the others are nominal, indirect speech and interrogative ones. Example 2.1.1.f for a headline with whole sentence: Trouble still plagues new terminal at Heathrow (IHT, March 30, 2008) An interrogative headline sentence: E.g.2.1.1.g1: Is the food still Italian if the chef is a foreigner? (IHT, April 7, 2008) Or another one: E.g.2.1.1.g2: Does Shariah mean the rule of law? (IHT, March 16, 2008) Example for the nominal headline sentence: Trinh Thi Ha – K11C 20
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