An analysis of common errors on verb tenses and word choices in vietnamese–english translation by the second-year english majors at dong thap university

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1 INTRODUCTION 1. Motivation for the study It is popularly admitted that language is an indispensable part of our society‟s cultural richness in particular and of the world‟s in general. However, in order to keep ourselves on a par with the global standards in the today‟s world which is called international community, we need to have the understanding of English - an international language. English is considered as the most popular language popularly used to exchange information and ideas among different nations and cultures today. Thanks to their English translated versions, countries are able to have mutual understanding and a sense of global citizenship in this multilingual world. It is considered as an effective means to learn how to appreciate different countries‟ cultures, communities and people. By making comparisons, people are able to gain insight into their own culture and society as well as mutually exchange countries‟ beauty of cultural values. Moreover, English translation makes people understand each other more in the process of diplomatic relations and economic cooperation and other fields in today‟s era when countries tend to integrate for the whole development. As a result, English translation has gradually become an indispensable and pressing tool which set the path for the global success of individuals, organizations, and even businesses in the modern time when society is more developed and competition is relentless. Therefore, nowadays when Vietnam becomes one of the members of World Trade Organization, it is necessary for Vietnamese students of English to have expert translation skill in order to meet the demand of integration into the world economy and exchange of culture with other countries. As a result, learning translation skill is undoubtedly an advantage for Vietnamese students‟ ideal future jobs. However, in reality, Vietnamese-English translation skill is not easy for Vietnamese students to master, so learners can not avoid mistakes in their translating prsctice. Perhaps, because of some influence on the differences about cultures or 2 their own limited language ability, etc, Vietnamese students of English in general still have mistakes on grammar, word choices and so on in translating Vietnamese texts into English. The study Common mistakes in learning translation subject by the second-year English majors at Dong Thap University (Duong Thi Thuy Hang and Nguyen Thi Cam Xuyen, 2010, p.32-p.33) found the followings: Lack of vocabulary causes many problems in translation process, frequently; they could not choose the right word in the context and tried or code it did not know. In the final text for BA English 2006 class, in the part of Vietnamese-to-English translation, there was a phrase: “Đơn xin thị thực”- and the large percentage of the students could not understand the meaning of the phrase. Therefore, they translated with a wrong meaning or skipped it. Many students did not know what “thị thực” means, and they thought that it was a thing related to food, so in many test papers, it is translated into “food” as in the following: “Đơn xin thị thực” The answer is “Visa Application Form”. The translated phrases by the students:  “Declaration going food”  “Enter-exit food”  “Form of beg for food”  “Giving foods form”… The mistakes in tenses as in: “Con bé dường như buồn ngủ” (this sentence was extracted from the first semester final test papers for BA English 2007 class). The key is “The little girl seems sleepy”. But many students translated into: “The little girl is seem sleepy”, they were confused with the verb “to be” and the verb “seem”. In these situations, foreigners will misunderstand, even be not able to understand the meaning of the passage when they read. 3 Located on Mekong Delta which is considered as the agriculture and aquaculture area, a special place in the strategy of economic and social development, and national security of the country, Dong Thap University has experienced nine years of establishment and development. It has had great achievements in training human resources for the Mekong Delta and the country. According to PhD. Nguyen Van De, Rector of Dong Thap University, one of the main tasks of the school is training and fostering teachers with professional skills at all educational levels and highly qualified personnel in other areas in order to contribute to the development of the Mekong Delta and the country (Đại học Đồng Tháp: Hướng tới “Chất lượng Hiệu quả - Uy tín - Chuyên nghiệp - Hiện đại”). Nowadays, in the integrated period, the school also show special concern for training English majors who have expert translation skill as well as other skills of English so that they are able to contribute their own real linguist abilities to the society‟s development. To complete this task, understanding the difficulties of Vietnamese students when learning translation subject, Vietnamese–English translation is considered as a significant class for Vietnamese students of English major by Dong Thap University. Students of English major start to take the course of translation in the second–year. Comprehending the importance of learning Vietnamese–English translation, the students always want to improve their translation skill. However, most of the students still have problems in translating. According to Duong Thi Thuy Hang and Nguyen Thi Cam Xuyen (2010), the students have tended to have common mistakes on verb tenses and word choices when doing translation from Vietnamese texts into English ones. They do not know how to avoid those mistakes to make the text look smooth and fluent which accord with the standard of English. For those reasons, the researcher decided to choose the study “An analysis of common errors on verb tenses and word choices in Vietnamese–English translation by the second-year English majors at Dong Thap University” which 4 aims at finding out what the second–year English majors‟ common mistakes on verb tenses and word choices, which reasons causing those mistakes as well as how to avoid them. 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 are interested in translation work and really want to become expert translators. 2. Aims of the study The primary aim of the thesis is to find out the second-year English majors‟ common errors on verb tenses and word choices in translating Vietnamese texts into English. The study also aims at finding causes of these problems and then suggesting some possible strategies to overcome the problems. The targeted subjects of this thesis are mainly students; nevertheless, all people who are interested in translation work can consider it as a useful reference for improving their translation skills as well. 3. Scope of the study When the second-year students of English major at Dong Thap University (2010-2014 curriculum) translation courses, they have to study both EnglishVietnamese translation and Vietnamese-English translation. This thesis focuses on analyzing the errors on verb tenses and word choices found in the VietnameseEnglish translation part of the final tests and the extra test papers made by the second-year students of English major at Dong Thap University and making some suggestions to help avoid those errors. 4. Significance of the study The thesis will help the students recognize their common errors on verb tenses and word choices in translating Vietnamese texts into English. The study will be a useful reference with the solutions suggested which help the students be able to selfcorrect their common mistakes and find out their own effective ways in leaning in 5 order to improve their translation skill. Furthermore, it helps the students not only improve their language learning in general but also have a great advantage for their future ideal job. 5. Related previous studies  “Errors in the translation of topic-comment structures of Vietnamese into English”, Pham Phu Quynh Na, School of Languages and LiteratureUniversity of Western Syney, Australia.(n.d)  “Problems in Vietnamese-English translation of the third-year students of English major at Dong Thap University: cause and solutions” (The B.A thesis), Nguyen Ngo Minh Tri and Le Thi My Duyen, Dong Thap University, 2009.  “Common mistakes in learning translation subject by the second-year English majors at Dong Thap University” (The B.A thesis), Duong Thi Thuy Hang and Nguyen Thi Cam Xuyen, 2010. 6. Organization of the thesis This thesis consists of the following parts: INTRODUCTION Chapter 1: LITERATURE REVIEW 1.1 Definition of translation 1.2 The importance of translation 1.3 Types of translation 1.3.1 Literal translation versus idiomatic translation 1.3.2 Translating grammatical features 6 1.3.3 Translating lexical features 1.4 Strategies for translation 1.5 The factors influencing translation process 1.5.1 The mother tongue 1.5.2 Words and choice of word meanings 1.5.3 Grammatical structures 1.5.4 Context 1.5.5 Characteristic of language 1.6 Common errors in Vietnamese-English translation Chapter 2: METHODOLOGY 2.1 Research questions: 2.2 Research participant: 2.2.1 The researcher 2.2.2 The subjects 2.3 Research procedure 2.4 Data collect instruments 2.4.1 The test papers analysis and statistic 2.4.2 The questionnaire 2.4.3 The interview questions 2.4.4 Theoretical analysis Chapter 3: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 7 3.1 Results 3.1.1 Result collected from the questionnaire 3.1.2 Result collected from the interview questions 3.1.3 Result collected from the test papers 3.2 Discussion Chapter 4: CONCLUTION AND SUGGESTION REFERENCES APPENDIX 8 CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW 1.1 Definition of translation: Translation has been variously defined. The following definitions are selected because they are typical in some senses. 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 expression in another language (target language) of what has been expressed in one language (source language), preserving semantic and stylistic equivalencies. (Bell R., 1991) Translation is the replacement of a representation of a text in one language by a representation of an equivalent text in s second language. (Bell R., 1991) For example, the Vietnamese sentence “Người bắt đầu học ngoại ngữ luôn luôn gặp khó khăn ngay từ bước đầu.” can be translated into the English sentence “Beginners of foreign language always meet difficulties from the outset.” (Tran Van Diem, Dong A Language School, 1998) The author continues, and makes the problems of equivalence very plain: Texts in different languages can be equivalent in different degrees (fully or partially different), in respect of different levels of presentation (in respect of context, of semantics, of grammar, of lexis, etc.) and at different ranks (word-for-word, phrasefor-phrase, sentence-for-sentence). Translation is the transmission of a thought expressed in one language by means of another language. The language used to express the thought directly is called the source language, and the language used to translate that thought is called the target language. (Tu Anh, 2005) 9 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: Dịch thuật là môn học bắt buộc đối với sinh viên chuyên Anh ngữ. The target language: Translation is a compulsory subject for students of English major. Translation is rendering a written text into another language in the way that the author intended the text. (Bui Tien Bao and Dang xuan Thu, 1997) “Translators are concerned with the written word. They render written texts from one language into another. 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, by dictionary definition, consists of changing from one state or form to another, to turn into one’s own or another’s language. (The MerriamWebster Dictionary, 1974) Translation is basically a change of form. When we speak of the form of a language, we are referring to the actual words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, etc. The forms are referred to as the surface structure of a language. It is the structural part of language which is actually seen in print or heard in speech. In translation the form of the source language is replaced by the form of the receptor/target language. But how is this change accomplished? What determines the choices 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 uses today in the world; let alone how many languages man has used during the course of his development. Some sources say there are some two or three thousand languages being used in the world, but 10 some others say the number may be as large as eight thousand. What a habit man has that of speaking different tongues! And thus he offers himself difficulties and obstacles. Since communication within only one community is not enough, certainly there has a great number of times arisen a situation in which some individuals are unable to understand the words or expressions of some others. This phenomenon creates a barrier to understanding 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 individuals to know the foreign language. But this is not the final solution because apparently no individual in the world can know all the languages in use. The best polyglot so far knows only about twenty five languages, and still people want to read what other people write and what people say. Translation and interpreting may be considered as the most universally accepted solution for surmounting the obstacle. And thus there is a need for professional translators and interpreters. (Bui Tien Bao and Dang Xuan Thu, 1997) 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 stage of its development. (Stuart Campbell, 1980) Translation is a real-life, natural activity and increasingly necessary in a global environment. Many learners living in either their own countries or a new one need to translate language on a daily basis, both informally and formally. This is even more important with the growing importance of online information. Translation can be support for the writing process, especially at lower levels. Research has shown that learners seem able to access more information in their own L1, which they can then translate. (Stuart Campbell, 1980) 11 The research totally agrees with the above ideas. When the human language appears, translation becomes necessary and significant. Translation becomes more important when all countries in the world have exchanged and cooperated together in variety aspects like culture, education, business, etc. In order to meet the demand of the multilingual world‟s development, it is required an appearance of a common language to be used. Nowadays, English has been used as the universal language all over the world. In our country, English more and more plays an important role in the economic aspect. It is really true in business when our country is in cooperation with foreign investors, contracts, emails, agreements or conventions, etc in English so it requires they have to be translated effectively. Therefore, the role of translation was attached importantly to every field in society. 1.3 Types of translation 1.3.1 Literal translation versus idiomatic translation Because a text has both form and meaning, there are two main kinds of translation. One is form-based and the other is meaning-based. Form-based translation attempts to follow the form of the source language and is known as literal translation. Meaning-based translation makes every effort to communicate the meaning of the source language text in the natural forms of the receptor language. Such translation is called idiomatic translation. An interlinear translation is a completely literal translation. For some purposes, it is desirable to reproduce the linguistic features of the source text; as for example, in a linguistic study of that language. Literal translation can be considered as a very low level of translation. A literal translation sounds like nonsense and has little communication value. For example: Vietnamese: Mời bạn về nhà tôi chơi. Literal translation: Invite friend about my house play. (nonsense) 12 This literal translation makes little sense in English. The appropriate translation could be a question: Would you like to come to my house? Idiomatic translations use the natural forms of the receptor language, both in the grammatical constructions and in the choice of lexical items. A truly idiomatic translation does not sound like a translation. It sounds like it was written originally in the receptor language. Therefore, a good translator will try to translate idiomatically. This is his goal. However, translations are often a mixture of a literal transfer of the grammatical units along with some idiomatic translation of the meaning of the text. It is not easy to consistently translate. In one translation, the source text said, “Nhiều du khách nước ngoài đã giới thiệu cho chúng tôi về khách sạn Hương Giang”. It was translated, “Many foreign tourists have introduced us about Huong Giang Hotel.” (literal translation) It would have been translated idiomatically, “Huong Giang Hotel has been recommended to us by a number of foreign tourists.” The translator‟s goal should be to reproduce in a receptor language a text which communicates the same message as the source language but using the natural grammatical and lexical choices of the receptor language. The basic overriding principle is that an idiomatic translation reproduces the meaning of the source language in the natural form of the receptor language. 1.3.2 Translating grammatical features Each language has its own division of the lexicon into classes such as nouns, verbs, adjectives and so on. Different languages will have different classes and subclasses. It will not always be possible to translate a source language noun with a noun in the receptor language. Grammatical constructions vary between the source language and the receptor language. The order of the words in the sentence may be completely reserved. The following Vietnamese simple sentence is given with a literal English translation: 13 Vietnamese: Chị sống ở đâu? Literal English translation: You live where? Understandable translation into English requires a complete reversal of the word order: Where do you live? It is common that passive constructions will need to be translated with an active construction or vice versa, depending on the natural form of the receptor language. For example, Vietnamese people tend to use active constructions to express their ideas whereas English people prefer to use passive constructions. Vietnamese: Người ta xem Nguyen Du là một nhà thơ vĩ đại. (Active) English: Nguyen Du is considered to be a great poet. (Passive) The above translated sentences are only examples to show some types of grammatical adjustments which will result if a translator translates idiomatically in the source language. Certainly, there will be times by coincidence they match, but a translator should translate the meaning not concern himself with whether the forms turn out the same or not. 1.3.3 Translating lexical features Each language has its own idiomatic way of expressing meaning lexical items. Languages abound in idioms, secondary meanings, metaphors and other figurative meanings. All languages have idioms – the string of words whose meaning is different than the meaning conveyed by the individual words. In English to say that someone is “bullheaded” means that the person is “stubborn”. The meaning has little to do with “bull” or “head”. Similarly, in Vietnamese to say that someone is “cứng đầu, cứng cổ” means that the person is “stubborn”. The meaning has little to do with “đầu” or “cổ”. Languages abound in such idioms. The following are a few English idioms using in and into: run into debt, rush into print, step into a practice, 14 jump into a fight, dive into a book, stumble into acquaintance, fall in love, break into society, etc. In spite of all these combinations, one cannot say the following break into debt, fall into print, rush into a fight or dive into debt. The combinations are fixed as to form and their meaning comes from their combination. A literal wordfor-word translation of these idioms into another language will not make sense. The form cannot be kept, but the receptor language word or phrase which has the equivalent meaning will be the correct one to use in the translation. For example, the Vietnamese idiom “mạnh như trâu” is literally translated into English as in the first column and is idiomatically as in the second column. The literal English is misleading. Literal He is as strong as a buffalo. Idiomatic He is as strong as a horse. Translators who want to make a good idiomatic translation often find figures of speech especially challenging. A little translation of “strong as a horse” might sound really strange in a language where the comparison between a strong person and a horse has never been used as a figure of speech. In Vietnamese it would be more natural to say “strong as a buffalo”. Similarly, a literal translation of “blind as a bat” might sound really strange in a language where the comparison between a blind person and a bat has never been used as a figure of speech. Names of animals are used metaphorically in most languages. But the comparison is often different and so the figure will be misunderstood unless aome adjustment is made. For example, when someone is called a pig in English, it usually means he is dirty or a greedy eater. In Vietnamese, it has different meanings. It could means that the person is stupid or that the person is a greedy. Some lexical combinations of the source language may be ambiguous. The meaning is not clear. For example, “It is too hot to eat”, could mean any of the following: The food is too hot to eat; the weather is too hot for us to feel like eating; 15 the horse is too hot after running a race and does not want to eat. In the process of making an idiomatic translation, such ambiguities must often be resolved to keep the intended meaning in the context of communication. In short, there are four typical types of translation: literal translation, idiomatic translation, translation grammatical features, and translation lexical features. However, one of them, literal translation, should be avoided because it will make the translation meaningless or nonsense. Idiomatic translation, in contract, is considered to be a strongly recommended mean. 1.4 Strategies for translation Strategy 1: How to deal with non-equivalence at word level It is often the case that no direct equivalents can be found in Vietnamese for English words. It may be that the concept or idea is new to Vietnam, as is the case with “gender”, which is in fact a relatively new concept in general, and a difficult one to understand and explain in many languages. Or, it may be that the concept is known or readily understood but there is no specific word in Vietnamese to express it. Another difficulty id that, in addition to their concrete meaning, 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 case, it may 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 may be many Vietnamese words that correspond to the general category or meaning expressed by the English term. For example, the English word for “rice” can be translated by many different Vietnamese words (hạt lúa, hạt thóc, hạt gạo, cơm), depending on whether one is planning it, harvesting it, cooking it, or eating it. In these cases, the English word alone is not enough to 16 determine the appropriate Vietnamese translation, and it is necessary to examine the English context in deciding which Vietnamese word is to be used. Translating by a more general word In other cases, it may be appropriate to use a more general word to translate English with no specific Vietnamese equivalent. For instance, English makes distinctions among mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles, the latter having larger wheels and engines than both mopeds and scooters; Vietnamese, on the order hand, refers to all two-wheel, motorized vehicles as “xe máy”. Similarly, the English words “paw”, “foot”, and “leg” may all be translated by the Vietnamese word “chân”, which does not suggest any problem of comprehension 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 for it does not include all the meanings conveyed by the English term for the same concept. For example, in the sentence “Pregnant women should avoid alcohol.” In English the word “alcohol” includes all alcoholic beverages in its meaning. However, the Vietnamese word for alcohol, “rượu”, does not include beer in its definition, so the Vietnamese translation 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 expressions According to English Idioms in Use (McCarthy & O‟Dell, 2004, p.6), an idiom is defined as a fixed expression which “has a meaning that is not obvious from the individual words”. In other words, words have lost their individual identity in the idiom. The structure of the idiom is, to a large extent, fixed and unchangeable. Every language has a set of idioms and fixed expressions of its own, which has been created and developed throughout history. It is profoundly influenced by the 17 geographical position, natural and social conditions of the culture in which the language is used. Thus, the sets of idioms and fixed expression in different languages vary in many ways. Idioms and fixed expressions can be dealt with in ways similar to those discussed above. With idioms, however, there is the added difficulty that the translator may not realize that she is dealing with an idiomatic expression, since more idioms may make sense when translated literally. Using an idiom or fixed expression of similar meaning and form It is sometimes possible to find a Vietnamese idiom or expression with a similar meaning to an English idiom or expression, and which is expressed in the same way. One example is the idiom “to fight like cats and dogs”, which is expressed using the same words in Vietnamese “cãi nhau như chó với mèo”; another is “Better late than never”, which is translated as “Thà muộn còn hơn không”. It is ideal if such a match can be found, but this kind of correspondence is not common, and it is usually necessary to use other strategies in dealing with idioms and fixed expressions. One example is the idiom “It is raining cats and dogs”. This idiom does not have any meaning related to the pets (cats or dogs), but it just means “It is raining heavily” – “Trời đang mưa to.” or “Mưa tầm tã.” in Vietnamese. If this English idiom is translated in the way of literal translation which just focuses on the meaning in dictionary of the word “cat”- “con mèo” and the word “dog” – “con chó” like “Trời đang mưa những con mèo và chó”, the sentence is totally nonsense. Thus, it is clear that no Vietnamese idiom or expression with a similar meaning to this English idiom can be found. Using an idiom or fixed expression of similar meaning but dissimilar form It is also possible, and usually easier to find a Vietnamese idiom with a similar meaning to an English idiom or set expression, but which is expressed differently. A good example 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 18 rừng”. The correct English equivalent of the Vietnamese idiom is “to carry coals to Newcastle”. The meaning here is clearly the same for both idioms - to bring something to a place that already has an abundance of that thing - but the way in which each language expresses 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. Translating by paraphrase When Vietnamese equivalents cannot be found, paraphrasing may be the best way to deal with an idiom or fixed expression. 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 expression “packaging up the problem” presented problems in translation, as it was misinterpreted to mean “assembling” or “gathering together”. However, even if this phrase were clearly understood, it would be difficult to find a concise equivalent in Vietnamese; in fact, it would be difficult to re-state concisely in English. This phrase is best dealt with 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 expression “to slip into easy usage” is problematic for the same reasons, and is also best dealt with by paraphrasing, as a direct translation into Vietnamese would nonsensical. Strategy 3: How to deal with voice, number and person 19 VOICE: The passive voice is used very frequently in English and poses some problems for translation from English into Vietnamese and vice versa in the following ways: (a) - Vietnamese: (i) A được + động từ + (bởi B) (positive meaning) A được/do +(B) + động từ (ii) A bị + động từ + (bởi B) (negative meaning) A bị + (B) + động từ - English: A to be done (by B) = A be + V3/ed (by B) For example: (1) Tom được Mary tặng một món quà = Tom is given a present by Mary. (2) Ngôi nhà này do John xây năm 1930. = This house was built by John in 1930. (3) Tom bị một kẻ lạ mặt tấn công tối hôm qua. = Tom was attacked by a stranger last night. (b) - Vietnamese: (i) A được + động từ (positive meaning) (ii) A bị + động từ (negative meaning) (iii) Người ta/ai đó + động từ + A - English: A to be done = A be + V3/ed or A has/have been + V3/ed For example: (1) Tom mới được đề bạt gần đây. = Tom has been promoted recently. (2) Chiếc đĩa CD đã bị vỡ rồi, or 20 = Ai đó đã làm vỡ chiếc đĩa CD rồi. = The CD has been broken. The positive and negative connotation is often conveyed in English, it can be difficult to know which verb to use in the Vietnamese. For example: English: The children were given injections. Vietnamese: “Các cháu được tiêm” or “Các cháu bị tiêm.” Depending on whether receiving shots was considered a positive or negative experience. On the other hand, 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 prefer to be called H‟Mong. Vietnamese: Người dân tộc Hơ Mông không thích bị gọi là dân tộc Mèo, họ thích được gọi là dân tộc Hơ Mông hơn. Note: In Vietnamese, there are some cases where you see the word bị/được, but there are not passive sentences in English at all. For example: - Anh ấy bị ngã = He falls. - Chị Lan bị ho = Lan has a cough. - Hôm nay chúng ta được đánh chén no nê. = We have an enormous and fantastic meal today. NUMBER: Through both languages have similar notions of number and countability, each language expresses this in very different ways. In Vietnamese, number is often not expressed at all. In English, number is expressed as a grammatical category, that is, there are different grammatical forms for the singular
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