A functional comparison of recurrent word-combinations in English original vs. translated texts

Open access

Abstract

The study explores the potential of quantitative methods to shed light on how texts originally written in English (EO) and texts translated into English (ET) from Norwegian cluster in terms of functional classes. The object of study are sequences of three words (3-grams), classified into 15 functional categories. The investigation establishes that EO and ET do not differ significantly in half of the categories. As for the categories that do differ, two (Comparison and Spatial) are investigated in more detail, uncovering that the more frequent use of Comparison and Spatial 3-grams in ET is most likely a result of source language shining through. The findings are important in the context of both descriptive translation studies and translation-based contrastive studies. With regard to the former, the current study shows that, in many cases, ET does not seem to constitute a ‘third code’ at the level of 3-gram functions, since the same functions are equally attested in EO. As far as contrastive studies are concerned, the investigation reveals few, if any, lexico-grammatical differences between EO and ET that overturn the belief that translations are a good tertium comparationis when comparing and contrasting language systems.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Ädel Annelie and Britt Erman. 2012. Recurrent word combinations in academic writing by native speakers and non-native speakers of English: A lexical bundles approach. English for Specific Purposes 31: 81-92.

  • Altenberg Bengt. 1993. Recurrent word combinations in spoken English. In J.M. D’Arcy (ed.). Proceedings of the Nordic Conference for English Studies Reykjavik 7-8 August 1992 17-27. Reykjavik: Publications of the Institute for Foreign Languages Faculty of Arts University of Iceland.

  • Altenberg Bengt. 1998. On the phraseology of spoken English: The evidence of recurrent word-combinations. In A.P. Cowie (eds.). Phraseology: Theory analysis and applications 101-122. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Baker Mona. 2004. A corpus-based view of similarity and difference in translation. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 9(2): 167-194.

  • Baker Mona. 2007. Patterns of idiomaticity in translated vs. non-translated English. Belgian Journal of Linguistics 21: 11-21.

  • Baroni Marco and Silvia Bernardini. 2003. A preliminary analysis of collocational difference in monolingual comparable corpora. UCREL Technical Paper number 16 (Special issue). In D. Archer P. Rayson A. Wilson and T. McEnery (eds.). Proceedings of the Corpus Linguistics 2003 conference. Lancaster University (UK) 28-31 March 2003. http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/publications/cl2003/papers/baroni.pdf. Accessed 1 June 2016.

  • Biber Douglas. 2006. University language. A corpus-based study of spoken and written registers. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

  • Biber Douglas and Federica Barbieri. 2007. Lexical bundles in university spoken and written registers. English for Specific Purposes 26: 263-286.

  • Biber Douglas Susan Conrad and Viviana Cortes. 2003. Lexical bundles in speech and writing: an initial taxonomy. In A. Wilson P. Rayson and T. McEnery (eds.). Corpus linguistics by the lune: A festschrift for Geoffrey Leech 71-105. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

  • Biber Douglas Susan Conrad and Viviana Cortes. 2004. ‘If you look at…:’ Lexical bundles in university teaching and textbooks. Applied Linguistics 25(3): 371-405.

  • Biber Douglas Stig Johansson Geoffrey Leech Susan Conrad and Edward Finegan. 1999. Longman grammar of spoken and written English. London: Longman.

  • Cortes Viviana. 2004. Lexical bundles in published and student disciplinary writing: Examples from history and biology. English for Specific Purposes 23: 397-323.

  • Cortes Viviana. 2008. A comparative analysis of lexical bundles in academic history writing in English and Spanish. Corpora 3(1): 43-57.

  • De Cock Sylvie. 2004. Preferred sequences of words in NS and NNS speech. Belgian Journal of English Language and Literature (BELL) New Series 2: 225-246.

  • Ebeling Jarle and Signe Oksefjell Ebeling. 2013. Patterns in contrast. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  • Ebeling Jarle Signe Oksefjell Ebeling and Hilde Hasselgård. 2013. Using recurrent word-combinations to explore cross-linguistic differences. In K. Aijmer and B. Altenberg (eds.). Advances in corpus-based contrastive linguistics. Studies in honour of Stig Johansson 177-199. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  • Ebeling Signe Oksefjell and Jarle Ebeling. Forthc. A cross-linguistic comparison of recurrent word-combinations in a comparable corpus of English and Norwegian fiction. To appear in M. Janebova E. Lapshinova-Koltunski and M. Martinkova (eds.). Contrasting English through corpora. Corpus-based contrastive analysis of English and other languages. Edinburgh: Cambridge Scholars.

  • Firth John R. 1957. A synopsis of linguistic theory 1930-1955. Studies in linguistic analysis 1-32. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

  • Frawley William. 1984. Prolegomenon to a theory of translation. In W. Frawley (ed.). Translation. Literary linguistic and philosophical perspectives 159-175. Newark: University of Delaware Press.

  • Gellerstam Martin. 1986. Translationese in Swedish novels translated from English. In L. Wollin and H. Lindquist (eds.). Translation studies in Scandinavia 88-95. Lund: CWK Gleerup.

  • Granger Sylviane. 2014. A lexical bundle approach to comparing languages: Stems in English and French. In M-A. Lefer and S. Vogeleer (eds.). Genreand register-related discourse features in contrast. Special issue of Languages in Contrast 14(1): 58-72.

  • Halliday M.A.K. 2001. Towards a theory of good translation. In E. Steiner and C. Yallop (eds.). Exploring translation and multilingual text production: Beyond content 13-18. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

  • House Juliane. 2008. Beyond intervention: Universals in translation? trans-kom 1(1): 6-19.

  • Hyland Ken. 2008. ‘As can be seen.’ Lexical bundles and disciplinary variation. English for Specific Purposes 27: 4-21.

  • James Carl. 1980. Contrastive analysis. London: Longman.

  • Johansson Stig. 2007. Seeing through multilingual corpora: On the use of corpora in contrastive studies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  • Johansson Stig Jarle Ebeling and Signe Oksefjell. 1999/2001. The English- Norwegian Parallel Corpus: Manual. Department of British and American studies University of Oslo. http://www.hf.uio.no/ilos/english/services/omc/enpc/ENPCmanual.pdf. Accessed 1 June 2016.

  • Laviosa Sara. 2002. Corpus-based translation studies: Theory findings applications. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

  • Lee Changsoo. 2013. Using lexical bundle analysis as discovery tool for corpus- based translation research. Perspectives 21(3): 378-395.

  • Mauranen Anna. 1998. Form and sense relations as seen through parallel corpora. In W. Teubert E. Tognini-Bonelli and N. Volz (eds.). Proceedings of the Third European Seminar “Translation Equivalence”. Montecatini Terme Italy October 16-18 1997 159-173. Germany: The TELRI Association e.V.

  • Mauranen Anna. 2000. Strange strings in translated language: A study on corpora. In M. Olohan (ed.). Intercultural faultlines. Research models in translation studies I: Textual and cognitive aspects 119-141. Manchester: St Jerome.

  • Mauranen Anna. 2007. Universal tendencies in translation. In G.M. Anderman and M. Rogers (eds.). Incorporating corpora. The linguist and the translator 32-48. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

  • Moon Rosamund. 1998. Fixed expressions and idioms in English. A corpusbased approach. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  • Nattinger James R. and Jeanette S. DeCarrico. 1992. Lexical phrases and language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Oakes Michael P. and Meng Ji (eds). 2012. Quantitative methods in corpusbased translation studies: A practical guide to descriptive translation research. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

  • Olohan Maeve. 2003. How frequent are contractions? A study of contracted forms in the Translational English Corpus. Target 15(1): 59-89.

  • R Core Team. 2016. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing Vienna Austria. URL http://www.Rproject.org. Accessed 1 June 2016.

  • Stubbs Michael and Isabel Barth. 2003. Using recurrent phrases as text-type discriminators. A quantitative method and some findings. Functions of Language 10(1): 61-104.

  • Teich Elke. 2003. Cross-linguistic variation in system and text. A methodology for the investigation of translations and comparable texts. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

  • Teubert Wolfgang. 1996. Comparable or parallel corpora? International Journal of Lexicography 9(3): 238-264.

  • Xiao Richard. 2010. How different is translated Chinese from native Chinese? A corpus-based study of translation universals. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 15(1): 5-35.

  • Xiao Richard. 2011. Word clusters and reformulation markers in Chinese and English: Implications for translation universal hypotheses. Languages in Contrast 11(2): 145-171.

Search
Journal information
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 408 93 4
PDF Downloads 156 51 0