Errors in translating english relative clauses into vietnamese by third-year english majors at cantho university

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CAN THO UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EDUCATION ENGLISH EDUCATION DEPARTMENT *** ERRORS IN TRANSLATING ENGLISH RELATIVE CLAUSES INTO VIETNAMESE BY THIRD-YEAR ENGLISH MAJORS AT CANTHO UNIVERSITY B.A Thesis Supervisor Researcher Truong Nguyen Quynh Nhu, MA Tran Thi Ngoc Vien Student ID: 7062935 Class: NN0652A1 Course: 32 Can Tho, May 2010 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT First and foremost, I would like to express my great gratitude and appreciation to my supervisor, Ms. Truong Nguyen Quynh Nhu who gave me valuable instructions, advice and feedback on the drafts of chapters in my study. Actually, I could not finish my thesis without her assistance. She always gave me encouragement and recommended references me relating to translation field. Thank to these references, I have discovered new ideas to make my research more enjoyable. My deep gratitude goes to Ms. Truong Thi Ngoc Diep for allowing me to administer the test in her classes and also helping me deliver and collect the test responses. I gratefully thank for her great support and assistance. I also would like to thank Ms. Ngo Thi Trang Thao for her useful help with performing descriptive statistical analysis in Statistics Package for the Social Science (SPSS) I sincerely would like to thank all of the students from two classes of Translation and Interpretation in Practice 2, for their help and contribution in my research. I would like to thank all of my friends for all of their advice as well as their generous support and assistance. They were always with me so as to encourage me when I faced troubles while doing this thesis. My deep thanks go to my parents, my sisters and brother who always offered me deep encouragement during the time I conducted the thesis. I would like to send my special thanks to all the teachers of English Education Department, School of Education, CanTho University who created the opportunity and supported my work on my thesis. CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT................................................................................... i LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURE.………………..……….……………........iv ABSTRACT ... ……………. ………………………………………………..….v TÓM LƯỢC……………….. …………………………………………….......vi CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION……………….……………………….......... 1 1.1 Rationale……………..…………………………………………….. 1 1.2 Research aims………..…………………………………………….. 2 1.3 Significance of the research…………...………………………… 2 1.4 Organization of the research…………..…………………………… 2 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW…………………………….………... 4 2.1 Translation……………………………………..…………………... 4 2.1.1 Definition of translation………………………………… 4 2.1.2 Translation process………………………….................... 5 2.1.3 Translation methods………………………….................. 6 2.1.4 Translation errors……………………………………….. 7 2.2 English Relative Clauses…………………………………................ 8 2.2.1 Types of relative clauses…………………………..........10 2.2.2 Punctuating relative clauses………………………….... 11 2.3 Related studies…………………………………………………… 11 CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY……………... ……………....13 3.1 Research questions…………………………………….. …………13 3.2 Hypotheses…………………………………………….. …………13 3.3 Research design………………………………………….. ………13 3.4 Participants………………………………………………. ……….14 3.5 Research Instrument……………………………….......... ………14 3.6 Procedures………………………………………………….. …….14 3.6.1 Test development………………………………..……...14 3.6.2 Test administration..........…………………………… …16 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS……………………………………... ...……………17 4.1 Type 1 error: incomplete sentence…………………........... ………19 4.2 Type 2 error: misunderstanding of the original sentence…………. 20 4.3 Type 3 error: mistranslation………………………………………. 20 4.4 Type 4 error: addition………………………………...................... 21 4.5 Type 5 error: omission……………………………………………. 21 4.6 Type 6 error: word choice………………………………................ 22 4.7 Type 7 error: too freely translated………………………................ 22 4.8 Type 8 error: too literal, word for word translation……................. 23 4.9 Type 9 error: ambiguity………………………………….... ...……23 4.10 Type 10 error: grammatical structure………................................. 24 4.11 Type 11 error: using "mà"……………………………………….. 24 CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSIONS, SUGGESTIONS AND PEDAGOGICAL IMPLICATIONS…… …………………..…….................................................25 5.1 Discussions……………………………………………………….. 25 5.2 Recommendations………………………………………………… 26 5.2.1 Clause Splitting…………………………… …….…......26 5.2.2 Using compound sentences……………………............. 26 5.2.3 Using noun apposition…………………………………. 27 5.2.4 Translating the relative clause as an adjective…….. ..…27 5.2.5 The appropriate use of discourse marker ―mà‖……..…………...27 5.2.6 Using communicative translation……………………... 27 5.3 Pedagogical Implications.....……………..……………………… 28 CHAPTER 6: LIMITATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH…………………………………………………………………. 30 6.1 Limitations………………………………………………............... 30 6.2 Suggestions for further research………………………………… 30 6.3 Conclusions………………………………………………………. 31 REFERENCES……………………………………………………………….. 32 APPENDICES……………………………………………………………….. 35 LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES Table 2.2.1 The functions, forms and uses of relative pronouns Table 4 Criteria for marking errors Table 4.1 Frequencies of marking errors Table 4.1.1 Frequencies of type 1 error: incomplete sentence Table 4.1.2 Frequencies of type 2 error: misunderstanding the original text Table 4.1.3 Frequencies of type 3 error: mistranslation Table 4.1.4 Frequencies of type 4 error: addition Table 4.1.5 Frequencies of type 5 error: omission Table 4.1.6 Frequencies of type 6 error: word choice Table 4.1.7 Frequencies of type 7 error: too freely translated Table 4.1.8 Frequencies of type 8 error: too literal, word for word translation Table 4.1.9 Frequencies of type 9 error: ambiguity Table 4.1.10 Frequencies of type 10 error: grammatical structure. Table 4.1.11 Frequencies of type 11 error: using "mà” Figure 1 Nida‘s model of translation process ABSTRACT This thesis deals with the English – Vietnamese translation in terms of English relative clauses. The research is conducted to investigate the errors that students made in translating sentences with relative clauses, to come up with suggestion of some ways to avoid these errors and to suggest that students should pay attention to translating sentences with relative clauses. The participants of the study are 50 students from a course of Translation and Interpretation in Practice 2 at Can Tho University. The data was collected from a translation test consisting of 20 singlesentence items. This is a descriptive, qualitative and quantitative research, in which the data were treated by Statistics Package for the Social Science (SPSS). The statistical results showed that students made all of the following translation errors: (1) incomplete sentences, (2) misunderstanding of the original text, (3) mistranslation, (4) addition, (5) omission, (6) word choice, (7) too freely translated, (8) too literal, wordfor-word translation, (9) ambiguity, (10) grammatical structure, (11) using ―mà‖. Among these, 86% of the students made Type 2 error: misunderstanding of the original text and 84% of the students made Type 10 error: grammatical structure. 14% of the students made Type 9 error: ambiguity. On the basis of the findings, the researcher proposed suggestions to help student translators to improve these errors. The suggestions include: (1) clause splitting, (2) using compound sentences (3) using noun apposition, (4) translating the relative clause as an adjective and (5) using communicative translation. 1 TÓM LƯỢC Luận văn này nghiên cứu vấn đề dịch mệnh đề quan hệ từ tiếng Anh sang tiếng Việt. Nghiên cứu được tiến hành nhằm chỉ ra những lỗi dịch thuật mà học sinh mắc phải trong khi dịch câu có chứa mệnh đề quan hệ, hướng đến đề nghị một số cách khắc phục những lỗi trên cũng như đề nghị sinh viên nên chú ý khi dịch những câu có chứa mệnh đề quan hệ. Đối tượng nghiên cứu là 50 sinh viên đến từ lớp Dịch thực hành 2 tại trường Đại học Cần Thơ. Số liệu nghiên cứu được thu thập thông qua bài dịch kiểm tra bao gồm 20 câu đơn lẻ. Bằng hình thức mô tả kết hợp với phương pháp định tính và định lượng, số liệu đựợc xử lí bằng SPSS. Kết quả phân tích số liệu cho thấy sinh viên mắc các lỗi sau đây: (1) không hoàn thành câu dịch (incomplete sentences), (2) hiểu sai bản văn nguồn (misunderstanding of the original text), (3) dịch sai (mistranslation), (4) thêm lời văn (addition), (5) dịch thiếu (omission), (6) cách dùng từ (word choice), (7) dịch thoát (too freely translated), (8) dịch từng từ (too literal, word-for-word translation), (9) tối nghĩa (ambiguity), (10) về cấu trúc ngữ pháp (grammatical structure), (11) sử dụng từ ―mà‖ (using ―mà‖). Trong những lỗi này, 86% sinh viên mắc lỗi hiểu sai bản văn nguồn và 84% sinh viên phạm lỗi về cấu trúc ngữ pháp, trong khi đó chỉ có 14% sinh viên mắc lỗi đa nghĩa. Dựa trên kết quả nghiên cứu, tác giả đưa ra một số đề nghị nhằm giúp người dịch là sinh viên cải thiện những lỗi này như sau: (1) tách câu (clause splitting), (2) sử dụng câu phức (using compound sentence), (3) sử dụng danh từ bổ nghĩa (using noun apposition), (4) dịch mệnh đề quan hệ như tính từ (translating the relative clause as an adjective) và (5) sử dụng phương pháp dịch giao tiếp (using communicative translation). 2 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter will present rationale and the aims of the research. Significance and organizations of the research are also included in the chapter. 1.1 Rationale Communicating with people from different countries is becoming more and more important. Overcoming the language barrier is thus becoming one of the most critical issues of current time. In this context, translation serves as a universal effective means of communication (Newmark, 1988). No one can deny the importance of translation in human‘s communication system at the present era of globalization, except those who are interested in learning to use a foreign language rather than understanding the intention of the communication through an apparent translation. However, it is impossible for one to learn all of different languages in use because there are a great number of languages in the world. Translation is a demanding and challenging task; it requires the translator‘s linguistic knowledge of both the source language and the target language, the appropriate choice of translation method, professional translation skills, cross-culture perspectives and translation evaluation skills (Newmark, 2001). Translation would be a far more difficult task in the context in which source language and target language do not share similar grammar and syntax. This is the case of English Vietnamese translation. In English grammar, relative clauses are very complex and have many principles to follow. Also, both Celce-Murcia and Larsen Freeman (1999) state that the acquisition of relative clauses are important because of their complex form and function, high frequency in both spoken and written texts. Conversely, relative clauses are non-existent in Vietnamese. There are even no specific concepts of relative clauses in Vietnamese grammar. According to Nguyễn (1999), a relative clause is defined as ―một tổ hợp gồm hai trung tâm nối liền với nhau bằng quan hệ tường thuật”(p.148) (a group consisting of two parts connected in terms of the descriptive relation). Similarly, Đinh (2001) describes a relative clause “mệnh đề quan hệ chỉ là từ loại của các từ có chức năng thay thế”(p.199) (relative clauses are a kind of words having the function of replacement). Also, Bùi Ý (1980) indicates that relative pronouns are rarely seen in Vietnamese grammar. Instead, a clause connector or conjunction (i.e.―mà‖, “nhưng”, “vì”, mặc dù”, “cho nên”, “song”) is used in the place of a relative pronoun. For instance: The boy whom you see at the door is his brother 3 (p.111) (Đứa bé mà anh trông thấy ở cửa là em anh ta đấy.) In the Vietnamese sentence, ―mà” is used to indicate ―đứa bé” In brief, due to the non-existence of relative clauses in Vietnamese grammar, Vietnamese translators may face many difficulties in translating sentences containing English relative clauses. In other word, they may commit translation errors concerning grammatical structures, lexical inadequacies and mistranslations. Nonetheless, the success of the translation depends above all on achieving equivalent response (Nida 1964, as cited in Munday, 2001). On the basic of these potential problems in translation of English relative clauses, the research was conducted to investigate common translation errors in translating English relative clauses into Vietnamese made by third-year English majors at Can Tho University. 1.2 Research aims The research has two aims. First, the research aims to investigate translation errors, which third-year English majors make in translating English relative clauses into Vietnamese. Second, on the basis of the findings, possible strategies to minimize and improve these translation errors are provided. 1.3 Significance of the research The study is an early attempt at investigating common errors in English relative clauses translation. The findings of the study, first of all, are of value in terms of insights into translation practices at CTU. Second, the study raises awareness among teachers and students of English at CTU of translation errors resulting from nonexistence or non-equivalence between the source language (i.e., English) and the target language (i.e., Vietnamese). Third, suggestions to improve the quality of translation can serve as a useful reference for English students, as well as novice translators. 1.4 Organization of the research The thesis consists of 6 main chapters. Chapter 1 Introduction provides the rationale, aims, hypothesis and organization of the research. Chapter 2 Literature review covers the theory of translation consisting of definition of translation, translation process, translation methods and translation errors. Besides, theory of English relative clauses and an overview of research studies are also presented in this chapter. Chapter 3 Research methodology reports the research method employed in my study including the descriptions of research questions, research design, research instruments, participants and procedures. Chapter 4 Results presents summaries of data collected from the test and analyzes the statistic results. 4 Chapter 5 Discussions, Recommendations and Pedagogical implications discusses findings to the two research questions. Suggestions to improve translation errors and pedagogical implications also reported in this chapter. Chapter 6 Limitations and Suggestions for further research addresses limitations of the study and suggestions for the further research. 5 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter includes definitions of translation, translation process, translation methods, translation errors and definitions of English relative clauses. 2.1 Translation 2.1.1 Definition of translation Translation is defined variously in the literature. Catford (1965), for instance, defines translation as the act of replacing text material in the source language by an equivalent text in the target language. Pinchuck (1975) simply states that translation is “the transfer of meanings” (p.35). Newmark (1981) discribes translation as a craft consisting in the attempt to replace a written message and/or statement in one language by the same message or statement in another language. Dubois (1973 , as cited in Newmark, 1995) also shares the same viewpoint when defining translation as the representation in target language of a text or a message in source language providing that semantic and stylistic equivalences are preserved. Additionally, Newmark (1995) emphasizes on the importance of preserving the author‘s intention when translating his text from one language to another. Regardless of the differences of definitions, there is an agreement on the basic principle: meaning should be the most important consideration in translation so that the intention (i.e., message) of the original text is conveyed accurately. According to Larson (1984), translation is basically a change of form, and transferring the meaning of the source language into the receptor language is done by going from the form of the first language to the form of the second language by way of semantic structure. Translation, then, consists of studying the lexicon, grammatical structure, communication situation, and cultural context of the source language text, analyzing it in order to determine its meaning, and then reconstructing this same meaning using the lexicon and grammatical structure, which are appropriate in the receptor language and its cultural context. However, he also shows that translators hardly think about the fact that the grammatical form and the lexical choices are so difficult. Besides, David Crystal (1965) presents a widely accepted point of view, a translation is adequate when equivalence is set up between two sets of forms from different languages, which are sentences and structural adjustment in a sentence is another important strategy for achieving equivalence. Similarly, Bell (1991) states that 6 to shift from one language to another is, by definition, to alter the forms. The alteration of form may mean changes of categories, word classes, and word orders. In addition, structural adjustment that is also called shift (Catford, 1965) or transposition (Vinay & Darbellnet, 1977) or alteration (Newmark, 1988) refers to a change in the grammar from source language to target language (Newmark, 1988). Structural adjustment, according to Nida (1964), has various purposes, including: 1) to permit adjustment of the form of the message to the requirements of structure of the receptor language, 2) to produce semantically equivalent structures, 3) to provide equivalent stylistic appropriateness, and 4) to carry an equivalent communication load. In summary, from these views, it can be concluded that translation is not simply to rewrite the source language text into the target language text. In the process of translation, such linguistic elements as lexicon communication situation, cultural context and grammatical structure may affect the translation. Therefore, transferring meaning in translation is an extremely important task. In order to produce a good translation, translators should find appropriate equivalences ranging from lexical level, sentence level to the level of discourse. Besides, correspondence in meaning can be given the priority over correspondence in form (Munday,2001). 2.1.2 Translation process Nida (1964) and Suryawinata (1982) consider the translation process as consisting of three types of activity: 1) the analysis of the source language text, 2) the transfer of content, meaning or message, and 3) the restructuring in the target language. Figure 1 Nida‟s model of translation process (Nida and Taber, 1969:33) The translation process begins with the analysis of the source language text (Zabalbeascoa, 2000). Ideally, translators read the text two or three times to get a general idea of the original text and to identify possible problems. This will lead them to decide what translation method they should employ. The next stage of the translation process is transferring. Transferring is the process of going from the semantic structure analysis to the initial draft of the translation (Larson, 1984). Translators may fully understand the intention of the original language text but then may face problems of how to convey it into target sentences. The last stage of the translation process is the restructuring of the translation. This is the stage where the 7 translators check for grammatical errors and consistency in using technical terms. It is also the stage where the translators take into account the stylistic form that conforms to the norm and culture of the target language and reading ability of target readers. According to Mason (1988), the process of translation consists of 4 stages. The first step is to find the lexicon and grammatical structures in the target language to convey the message and to make changes required in the target language. In the second step, the translator will consider the genre of the text and use the appropriate grammatical sequence in the translation. The third step is to apply the rules of the genre in the target language into the translation. The final step is to correct any miscommunication that may occur to ensure that the communication from the source language text to the target language text is explicit. Hervey, Higgins and Haywood (1995) divide the translation process into two types of activity: understanding a source text and formulating a target text. However, when translating, translators not only are engaged in a translation process but also employ appropriate translation. 2.1.3 Translation methods Newmark (1988) mentions the difference between translation methods and translation procedures. He writes that translation methods relate to whole texts but translation procedures are used for sentences and the smaller units of language. He suggests 8 methods of translation as follows:  Word-for-word translation: in which the SL word order is preserved and the words translated singly by their most common meanings, out of context.  Literal translation: in which the SL grammatical constructions are converted to their nearest TL equivalents, but the lexical words are again translated singly, out of context.  Faithful translation: attempting to produce the precise contextual meaning of the original within the constraints of the TL grammatical structures.  Semantic translation: differing from 'faithful translation' only in as far as it must take more account of the aesthetic value of the SL text.  Adaptation: being the freest form of translation, and is used mainly for plays (comedies) and poetry; the themes, characters, plots are usually preserved, the SL culture is converted to the TL culture and the text is rewritten.  Free translation: producing the TL text without the style, form, or content of the original.  Idiomatic translation: reproducing the 'message' of the original but tends to distort nuances of meaning by preferring colloquialisms and idioms where these do not exist in the original. 8  Communicative translation: attempting to render the exact contextual meaning of the original in such a way that both content and language are readily acceptable and comprehensible to the readership Among these translation methods, semantic and communicative are assumed as two effective translation methods. While semantic translation attempts to render, as closely as the semantic and syntactic structures of second language allow, the exact contextual meaning of original, communicative translation attempts to produce on its readers an effect as close as possible to that obtained on the readers of the original (Newmark, 1981). Besides, Newmark also identifies semantic translation is personal and individual; it follows the thought processes of the author, tends to over-translate, pursues nuances of meaning, yet aims at concision in order to reproduce pragmatic impact. Communicative translation concentrates on the message and the main force of the text, tends to under-translate, and is always written in a natural and resourceful style. Therefore, it is simple, clear and brief. On the other hand, Munday (2001) indicates that one basic difference between the two methods is that where there is a conflict, communicative must emphasize the ―force‖ rather than the content of the message. Thus for ―coi chừng chó dữ”, the communicative translation Beware of the dog! is mandatory, semantic translations (‗dog that bites‟, „savage dog‟) would be more informative but less effective. Generally, a semantic translation is normally inferior to its original, as there is both cognitive and pragmatic loss; a communicative translation is often better than its original. To conclude, a semantic translation has to interpret, a communicative translation to explain. Then we must consider that literal translation and word-for-word translation is not much different. In both methods, the lexical words are translated singly, out of context. Therefore, a combination of these two methods into ―the literal word-for word translation‖ proves a more effective translation method as Newmark (1981) explains that the literal word-for-word translation is not only the best; it is a basic and necessary method of translation. In short, among the 8 translation methods, communicative is considered as the best one. A communicative translation is likely to be smoother, simpler, clearer, more direct and conventional, conforming to a particular register of language, tending to under translate, i.e. to use more genetic, hold-all terms in difficult passages compared with semantic translation (Newmark, 1981). 2.1.4 Translation errors Neubert & Shreve (1995) depict translation errors in the following statement: ―What rightly appears to be linguistically equivalent may very frequently qualify as 'translationally' nonequivalent. This is so because the complex demands on adequacy in translation involve subject factors and transfer conventions that typically 9 run counter to considerations about 'surface' linguistic equivalence. This statement partially describes the complication and difficulty in defining and identifying translation errors. Translation errors are different from errors that would occur in spontaneous native language production. In translation, working with a source text induces errors under the influence of source language morphology, whereas in spontaneous second language production, native morphological system of language learner tends to interfere with knowledge of the second language system. In the case of second language learners, identifying translation errors is tricky as translation errors may be mixed up with linguistic errors. Gile (1992, as cited in Melis and Albir, 2001) assumes errors in translation are made due to three main causes: lack of knowledge (extra-linguistic, in the SL and the TL); lack of methodology; and lack of motivation. However, how to classify translation errors remains controversial for there is no unified framework of error classification until now. Newmark (1995) simply classifies most of the ‗mistakes‘ into two types: referential and linguistic. In his classification, referential mistakes refer to all mistakes relating to facts or information in the real world. Linguistic mistakes, on the other hand, result from the translator‘s lack of proficiency in the foreign language. Linguistic mistakes include words, collocations, and idioms. Meanwhile, American Translation Association (ATA) suggests a list of 22 types of errors that should be used as criteria for marking errors and evaluating work done by professional translators: 1) Incomplete passage, 2) Illegible handwriting, 3) Misunderstanding of the original text, 4) Mistranslation, 5) Addition or omission, 6) Terminology, word choice, 7) Register, 8) Too freely translated, 9) Too literal, word-for-word translation, 10) False cognate, 11) Indecision in word choice, 12) Inconsistent, 13) Ambiguity, 14) Grammar, 15) Syntax, 16) Punctuation, 17) Spelling, 18) Accents and other diacritical marks, 19) Case (upper case/lower case), 20) Word form, 21) Usage and 22) Style It‘s obvious that the framework covers all different types of possible errors that translators might encounter. However, the list focuses more on linguistic aspect of the translation tasks. Moreover, it also concentrates more on sentence-level errors rather than text-level errors. 2.2 English Relative Clause Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman (1999) define relative clauses as ―a type of complex postnominal adjectival modifier that is used in both written and spoken English‖. They further explain ―Relative clauses give a means to encode complex adjectival modifiers that are easier to produce than complex attributive structures and that are less wordy than two independent clauses‖. Therefore, a relative clause is formed based 10 on the relationship of more than one sentence, where the relationship is the result of ―embedding‖ or the creation of one clause within another higher-order Clause. In the following example, the relative clause is embedded within the noun phrase and functions as an adjective to modify it: The book has arrived. You ordered it last month The book [which you ordered last month] has arrived. (Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, & Svartvik, 1985). In simpler terms, a relative or adjective clause is a subordinate clause that modifies a noun or pronoun (noun phrase) that precedes it in the main clause. The noun phrase is referred to as the antecedent (Dart, 1982) or head noun (Celce-Murcia & Larsen Freeman, 1999). An adjective clause is introduced or marked by a relative pronoun, which can function as the subject, direct object, indirect object, object of the preposition, predicate noun or possessive determiner of the adjective clause and has coreference to the antecedent (Quirk et al., 1985). Celce-Mucia and Larsen-Freemen (1999) call this ―relative pronoun substitution or relativization‖. Relative pronouns are critical to the formation and usage of relative clauses. Quirk et al. (1985) define relative pronouns as ―having the double role of referring to the antecedent (which determines the gender selection, e.g. who/which) and of functioning as all of, or part of, an element in the relative clause (which determines the case form for those items that have case distinction, e.g. who/whom.)‖ Quirk et al. (1985) also divide relative pronouns into two series:  wh-pronouns: who, whom, whose, which. This series contrasts between people (who) and things (which). It also contrasts case depending on the function in the clause: subject (who), object and object of a preposition (whom), and possession (whose).  that and zero (deletion or omission of the relative pronoun). That, omission of a relative pronoun, and which do not contrast number or between people and things. I‟d like to see the car [which, that, Ø] you bought last week Quirk et al. (1985) summarizes the functions of the relative pronouns as well as the forms and uses of the two series in the following table 11 Table 2.2 The functions, forms, uses of the relative pronouns Function in Relative Human Clause Subject Noun Phrase Who, that Nonhuman Object Noun Phrase - Direct Object - Indirect Object - Object of Preposition Possessive Noun Phrase Whom, that, (zero) Which, that, (zero) Whose Whose Which, that (Quirk et al, 1985:366) 2.2.1 Types of relative clauses Graver (1997) and Thomson, Martinet (2003) classified relative clauses into two basic types: Defining relative clauses and Non-defining relative clauses. Similarly, Garant (1991) presented there are two main types of Relative clauses: Restrictive relative clause and Non-restrictive relative clauses. Although there are different names for two types of relative clauses, Non-defining relative clauses and Non-restrictive relative clauses are the same type. Similarly, Defining relative clauses and Restrictive relative clauses are also the same type. 2.2.1.1 Restrictive relative clauses Restrictive relative clauses provide a post modifier, which is essential for the identification of the antecedent. If it were omitted, the addressee might well ask ―which girl?‖ Such clauses are called ‗restrictive‘ because they restrict the referent of the antecedent noun. The following is an example of restrictive relative clauses: The girl that you met yesterday is my younger sister. (Garnant, 1991) 2.2.1.2 Non-restrictive relative clauses The relative clauses give additional information, which is not essential for the identification of the NP. The referent is already identifiable on other grounds. Such classes are called ‗non-restrictive‘. Non-restrictive relative clauses are typically (though not necessarily) used with nouns with an anaphoric definite article, nouns with (contextually) unique referents, and proper nouns. The example below illustrates the case: The Prime Minister, who is usually very calm and self-assured, seemed to be embarrassed on that occasion. (Garnant, 1991) 12 2.2.2 Punctuating relative clauses English learners find it difficult to decide when to use a comma before a relative clause and when this is unnecessary, but the rule is really rather simple. If a relative clause defines or identifies the noun it modifies, no comma is required as in the following sentence: The woman who is sitting next to me wants to ask a question. In this sentence, the clause who is sitting next to me identifies a particular woman (the one sitting next to me). If the relative clause adds additional information or facts about the noun, then the clause must be set off from the rest of the sentence by commas. 2.3 Related studies Extensive studies have been conducted in a variety of translation field. However, research on translation of sentences with English relative clauses is limited. A case of study on the translation of English sentences with relative clauses and some ways to avoid unnaturalness in the Vietnamese version was conducted by Mai (n.d.). The results of the study showed that most of errors were linguistic errors, which were divided into three levels: word level, phrase level and sentence level . Basing on the findings, the author suggested some ways to avoid the mistakes when translating sentences with relative clauses into Vietnamese. Similarly, Nguyen (n.d.) undertook a descriptive research about translation relative clauses from English into Vietnamese. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate some mistakes in the translation of relative clauses from English into Vietnamese. In this research, the only mistake using ―người (mà)‖, ― cái (mà)‖, ―người (đó)‖, ―cái (đó)‖, ―(cái) của (người)(vật)…‖ was examined. The author found that these words were repeatedly used and became clichés and the translation actually became monotonous and gloomy. On the basing of the findings, the two studies presented three ways to avoid unnaturalness: (1) Splitting, (2) using hyphen ―-‖ for explanation and (3) translating relative clauses basing on the context style. Le (2006) conducted a descriptive research titled ―Unnaturalness in English – Vietnamese translation: causes and cures‖. The study aims to work out some of the major causes of unnaturalness in English – Vietnamese translations by students of English. In this study, one error of unnaturalness, that was, the overuse of “mà”, “khi mà”, rằng” to signal a relative clause in a sentence. The study showed that the overuse of these words in translating English relative clauses into Vietnamese without reasonable modification may spoil the outcome in term of unnaturalness 13 In summary, this chapter has reviewed the theory of translation including definition of translation, translation process, translation methods and translation errors. Besides, theory of English relative clauses and three related studies were also presented in the chapter. 14 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY In this chapter, details of how the study was conducted are described. The description aims to prove the appropriateness of the research method used and the reliability and the validity of the study‟s findings. There are five parts in this chapter: research questions, research design, participants, research instruments, and procedure. 3.1 Research questions In this research the researcher investigate and answer two questions: 1. Do third-year English majors make errors in translating English relative clauses into Vietnamese? 2. What types of translation error are made by these students? 3.2 Hypotheses Basing on the related literature and the research questions, the researcher hypothesized that (1) the third-year English majors at Can Tho University would make errors in translation of sentences with English relative clauses into Vietnamese and (2) these errors would include syntactic structures (i.e., relative clauses), the structure and function of relative clauses, naturalness (i.e., lexical inadequacies) and misinterpretations. 3.3 Research design In this study, the researcher conducted two research activities: (a) designing a translation test for third-year undergraduate English majors who are attending a course of Translation and Interpretation in Practice 2 (reported in section 3.4.1 of this chapter) and (b) analyzing the data gained from the translation test using Statistics Package for the Social Science (SPSS) to explore the frequencies of errors in translating English relative clauses (reported in chapter 4 and 5). With the aim of investigating the errors in translating English relative clauses into Vietnamese, the researcher conducted a descriptive research in which both qualitative and quantitative approaches to collect and analyze the data were employed. That is to say, the data were analyzed first qualitatively to discover and describe the translation errors. Then, these errors were quantified as statistics in terms of frequencies. 15
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