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Difficulties and in vietnamese into english movie translation and some suggested solutions

HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY
FACULTY OF ENGLISH

GRADUATION THESIS
B.A DEGREE IN ENGLISH STUDIES

Difficulties and in Vietnamese into English movie
translation and some suggested solutions
Supervisor

: Nguyễn T.Kim Chi, M.A

Student

: Nguyễn Phương Linh

Date of birth

: 06/04/1994

Group


: K19A06 ( 2012 – 2016 )

HANOI, 2016


GRADUATION PAPER
DECLARATION

Title: Difficulties and in Vietnamese into English movie
translation and some suggested solutions
I certify that no part of the above report has been copied or reproduced
be me from any other’s world without acknowledgement and that the report is
originally written by me under strict guidance of my supervisor.
Hanoi, 15th April, 2016

Student

Supervisor

signature

signature

Full name

Full name


GRADUATION PAPER

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I have received great assistance from many people in the preparation of
this paper. Without their assistance and support, this paper might not have
been finished.
First of all, I would like to hereby to extend my profound gratitude to
my supervisor, Mrs. Nguyễn Thị Kim Chi for her advice, comments,
correction and for her kindly encouragement during the development of this
paper.
Also, I am deeply grateful to my teachers at Hanoi Open University for

their lectures.
My special thanks to all my friends for the time, energy they spend on
reading my paper and providing me with extremely detailed comments on
parts and on the whole as well.
Last, but not least, I owe my deepest gratitude and thank all my family
for their love, great encouragement and support to me to fulfill this paper.


GRADUATION PAPER

TABLE OF CONTENT

DECLARATION
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
PART A: INTRODUCTION ....................................................................... 1
1. Rationale ................................................................................................... 1
2. Aims and objectives of the study ............................................................. 2
3. Scope of the study ..................................................................................... 2
4. Method of the study .................................................................................. 2
5. Design of the study ................................................................................... 2
PART B: DEVELOPMENT ........................................................................ 3
CHAPTER 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND .................................... 3
1.1. Translation theory ................................................................................. 3
1.1.1. Definition............................................................................................. 3
1.1.2. Types of translation ............................................................................ 4
1.2. About movie translation ........................................................................ 7
1.2.1.History of movie translation ............................................................... 7
1.2.2. Characteristics of movie translation .................................................. 8
1.2.3. Power of film translation.................................................................. 11
CHAPTER 2: DIFFICULTIES IN VIETNAMESE TO ENGLISH
MOVIE TRANSLATION ..............................................................................
2.1. Linguistics problems ........................................................................... 13
2.1.1. Grammatical problems .................................................................... 13
2.1.2. Syntactic problems ........................................................................... 14
2.1.2.1. Phrase structure............................................................................. 14


GRADUATION PAPER
2.1.2.2. Clause structure ............................................................................. 16
2.1.2.3. Sentence structure: ........................................................................ 18
2.1.3. Morphological problems .................................................................. 20
2.1.3.1. Nouns .............................................................................................. 20
2.1.3.2. Verbs .............................................................................................. 21
2.1.4. Linguistic untranslatability .............................................................. 23
2.2. Cultural problems ............................................................................... 26
2.2.1. Cultural untranslatability ................................................................ 26
2.2.2. Translation of implications and cultural references ....................... 28
2.3. Other problems .................................................................................... 30
2.3.1. Translation style problems ............................................................... 30
2.3.2. Movie’s characters............................................................................ 31
CHAPTER 3: CAUSES OF DIFFICULTIES IN VIETNAMESE TO
ENGLISH MOVIE TRANSLATION ....................................................... 32
3.1. Subjective causes ................................................................................. 32
3.1.1. Inadequate language competence .................................................... 32
3.1.1.1. Incompetence in the source language (Vietnamese) .................... 32
3.1.1.2. Incompetence in the target language (English) ............................ 33
3.1.2. Insufficient cultural background ..................................................... 35
3.2. Objective causes................................................................................... 35
3.2.1. Linguistic differences between Vietnamese and English ................ 35
3.2.1.1. Syntax ............................................................................................. 35
3.2.1.2. Morphology .................................................................................... 37
3.2.2. Cultural differences .......................................................................... 38
CHAPTER 4: SOME SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS FOR MOVIE
TRANSLATION ........................................................................................ 40
4.1. Overcoming Linguistic Problems ....................................................... 40


GRADUATION PAPER
4.1.1 Dealing with Linguistic Problems ..................................................... 40
4.1.2 Dealing with linguistic untranslatability .......................................... 41
4.1.3. Avoidance of word-for-word translation......................................... 41
4.1.4. Dealing with collocation ................................................................... 42
4.1.5. Dealing with idioms translation ....................................................... 42
4.2. Overcoming lexical and structure problems ...................................... 43
4.2.1 Lexical Transformation..................................................................... 43
4.2.1.1. Transforming a general meaning word into a specific meaning
one ............................................................................................................... 44
4.2.1.2. Using synonyms ............................................................................. 45
4.2.1.3. Using antonyms.............................................................................. 46
4.2.1.4 To change, add, cut or rearrange words order ............................. 47
4.2.1.5 Turning idiolects into normal word in the target language.......... 47
4.2.2. Structural Transformation .............................................................. 47
4.3. Overcoming cultural problems ........................................................... 48
4.3.1 Cultural substitutions ........................................................................ 48
4.3.2. Dealing with cultural untranslatability ........................................... 49
PART C: CONCLUSION
REFERENCES


PART A: INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale
Translation is an activity of enormous importance in our modern world.
Nowadays, translation has become a profession. It consists of staff translators,
freelancers, contract translators, terminologists and pre- and post-editors in
machine translation.
Translation has been the subject of interest not only to linguistic,
professional and amateur translators, and language teachers but also to
electronic engineers and mathematicians.
Translation in any of the mentioned fields - for instance, film industry becomes particularly important, for it erases linguistic borders, once physical
borders are erased; and, hence, truly unifies nations.
Movie translation can be a difficult job that requires a lot of experience
and effort. If done well and with care it can convey the same message as the
original conversation but if not done properly it can be a total failure and thus
the movie is unsuccessful. Although as in any kind of translation field we face
different challenges, in movie translation there are some challenges and
difficulties that make this kind of translation even more difficult. A movie
translator who has a long experience knows these difficulties and surely has
encountered some of them. There are two main ways for translating a movie
subtitling and dubbing, both these ways affect the original conversation in one
way or another. On one hand we have dubbing which modifies the original
conversation and makes it more convenient and familiar to the target
audience. This method of translation adapts language according to the
movements of the mouth of the actor enabling him to appear as speaking
exactly the language of the target audience. On the other hand there is the
subtitled movie translation which implies the subtitles synchronized to the
language spoken and usually positioned at the end of the screen, which
between the two methods is considered as the method that changes less the
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original conversation thus enabling the audience to experience language and
cultural differences.
2. Aims and objectives of the study
The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the importance and
difficulties of film translation, with the causes and some suggested solutions
for improvement in movie translation progress.
This aim is to show some difficulties while translating Vietnamese
movies, causes to the difficulties and some solutions to improve the
translation skills.
3. Scope of the study
This study will focus on difficulties in translating movies, causes of the
difficulties and some suggested solutions to have a better translation.
4. Method of the study
This paper is carried out by the following steps:
Have the instruction from my supervisor and other teachers.
Collect materials from books, documents and the internet.
Analyzing some conversation in a Vietnamese drama in order to
find difficulties, causes and give some strategies for translating movies.
5. Design of the study
This paper has three main parts.
Part A is the introduction about the rationale, aim and objectives of the
study, scope of the study, methods and the design of the study.
Part B mentions the development for this paper and consists of three
chapters. Chapter 1 talks about literature reviews, chapter 2 states the
difficulties, chapter 3 shows the causes and chapter 4 shows the techniques to
improve the translation quality.
Part C is conclusion and recommendation. The end of the study is the
references.
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PART B: DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
1.1.

Translation theory

1.1.1. Definition
Translation has been various defined. The following definitions have
been selected as they are really typical.
Translation is a transfer process, which aims at the transformation of
written source language conversation 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 equivalences. (Bell.R. , 1991).
Translation is the replacement of a presentation of a text in one
language by a representation of an equivalent text in a second language.
(Bell.R. ,1991).
For example, the Vietnamese sentence “Chỉ khi nào thầy giáo cho phép
thì sinh viên mới được vào phòng.” can be translated into English as “Only if
the teacher has given permission are students allowed to enter the room.”
The author continues and makes the problems of equivalence very
plain. Text in different languages can be equivalent in different degrees (full
or partly different), in respect of different levels of presentation (in respect of
context, of semantics, of grammar, of lexis, etc.) and at different ranks (wordfor-word, phrase-for-phrase, sentence-for-sentence).
In Vietnamese-into-English translation, the Vietnamese is the source
language and the English is the target language as in the following example:
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The source language: “Người bắt đầu học ngoại ngữ luôn luôn gặp khó khăn
ngay từ bước đầu.” The target language: “Beginners of foreign language
always meet difficulties from the outset.” In contrast, in English-intoVietnamese translation, the English is the source language and the
Vietnamese is the target language as in the following example: The source
language: “Due to ill management and protection, forest resources have, in
recent years, been seriously destroyed.” The target language: “Trong những
năm gần đây, do quản lí và bảo vệ kém, tài nguyên rừng bị tàn phá rất nghiêm
trọng.” Translation is rendering a written text into another language in a way
that the author intended the text. (Bui Tien Bao and Dang Xuan Thu, 1997).
“Translators are concerned with the written texts. They render written
texts from one language into another language. Translators are required to
undertake assignments, which range from simple items, such as birth
certificates and driving licenses, to more complex written materials, such as
articles in specialized professional journals, business contracts and legal
documents”. (Bui Tien Bao and Dang Xuan Thu, 1997).
Translation, ultimately, by dictionary definition, consists of changing
from one state or form to another, to turn into one’s own or another’s
language. (The Merrian – Webster dictionary, 1974).
Translation is a change of form. When we speak of the form of a
language, we are referring to the actual words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs,
etc. The forms are referred to as the surface structure of a language. It is a
structural part of a language, which is actually seen in print or heard speech.
In translation, the form of the receptor or target language replaces the form of
the source language.
1.1.2. Types of translation
A, Word-for-word translation:

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Here the source language (SL) word is translated into another language
by their most common meanings, which can also be out of context at times,
especially in idioms and proverbs.
- The following are the characteristics of this approach:
+ SL word order is preserved.
+ Words are translated by their most common meanings, and out of
context.
B, Literal translation
Here the SL grammatical constructions are translated to their nearest
language (TL). A literal translation sounds like nonsense and has little
communicative values.
- The following are the characteristics of this approach:
+ Lexical words are translated singly, and out of context.
C, Faithful translation
Here the translation interprets the exact contextual meaning of the
original within the constraints of the grammatical structures of the TL.
- The following are characteristics of this approach:
+ Words are translated in context but uncompromising to TL.
+ Transfer cultural words
+ Does not naturalize
+ Often read like a translation
D, Semantic translation:
Semantic translation refers to that type of translation, which takes into
account the aesthetic value of the SL text.
- The following are the characteristics of this approach:
+ More flexible than faithful translation

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+ Naturalize a bit while faithful translation is uncompromising (but in
order to achieve aesthetic effect), for instance, it may translate cultural
words with neutral or functional items.
+ Great focus on aesthetic features of source text (at expense of
meaning if necessary).
+ Close rendering of metaphors, collocations, technical terms, slang,
colloquialisms, unusual syntactic structures and collocations, peculiarly
used words, neologism, badly written or inaccurate passages.
E, Adaptation:
The text is rewritten considering the SL culture which is converted to
the TL culture where the characters, themes, and plots are usually preserved.
- This kind of translation is used mainly for plays and poems.
F, Free translation:
Free translation reproduces the matter without the manner, or the
content without the form of the original. It is a kind of meaning-based
translation and usually a paraphrase much longer than the original. Free
translation focuses on the content of the target text rather than the form, which
means that the same content is expressed in the target text but with very
different grammatical structures if need be.
G, Idiomatic translation:
It translates the message of the original text but tends to distort the
original meaning at times by referring colloquialisms and idioms. (Su, 2003)
Idiomatic translation makes use of idioms and colloquialisms that are
not present in the source text. It is asserted that the original meaning of a fixed
combination is not equal to the sum of the meaning of separate words.
H, Communicative translation:

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This method displays the exact contextual meaning of the original text
in a manner where both content and language are easily acceptable and
comprehensible to the readers.
- The following are the characteristics of this approach:
+ Bee freer than semantic translation
+ Give priority to the effectiveness of the message to be communicated
+ Focus on factors such as readability and naturalness
+ Both the content and the language are readily acceptable and
comprehensible to the reader.
- This kind of translation used for informative texts.
I, Gist translation
Gist translation is characterized by keeping the main idea/gist of the
text.
- Most free type of translation
- Used in language learning situation to summarize
1.2.

About movie translation
1.2.1.History of movie translation
It is known from the films translation history that in the times of silent

movies, translation was relatively easy to conduct: the so-called titles
interrupted the course of a film every couple of minutes, so the target
language titles could easily be translated and inserted in place of the original
ones. The problem arose with the appearance of “talkies” in the late 1920s. At
first, American film companies tried to solve it by producing the same film
(using the same set and scenario, but different directors and actors) in various
language versions. However, this soon turned out to be unprofitable, as the
films produced were of poor artistic quality and they did not win the public.
The studios that had been built in France for this purpose began to produce

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dubbed versions of films instead. The new invention “enabled Hollywood to
avoid any interruption in its dominance of the international film market”.
Talkies guaranteed that the audience was very much aware of the source
culture and its nature, and thus they helped cement Hollywood’s leading
position.
The introduction of talkies exerted a far-reaching influence on both
larger and smaller countries. As film production costs rose, it became
increasingly difficult for smaller countries to export their productions andlimited by their small domestic markets- their home production decreased,
which led to a rise in film imports. As for larger European countries, they
“were better equipped to continue producing their own films, but were also
faced with powerful American competition”. This situation, i.e. the wide gap
between larger and smaller countries, was to be reflected later in the choice of
the film translation mode: larger countries tended to dub imported foreign
productions, while smaller ones settled on subtitling. From the early 1930s
until 1950s American film companies reigned over the entire movie industry
as they monopolized the recording equipment. During World War II the
American film industry flourished
1.2.2. Characteristics of movie translation
A. Multimedia
Film, is a kind of multimedia, both a visual medium and an aural one.
In general translation, the readers see it with their eyes, but read it in mind.
They get messages only by a visual channel. The audience of film watch what
characters are doing and hear what they are talking about, messages reach the
audience through visual and acoustic channels. Obviously, fascination of
dubbed film lies in harmonious cooperation between visual and acoustic

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channels, which demands the target language should cope with the original
images in the film as naturally as possible.
What's more, films and TV plays are supposed to act directly on the
sense of sight of the audience, not on the sense of hearing. As Martin points
out, "Picture is the basic element of the language of film." "However... it is
normal and unquestionable that in the film utterance forms a constituent
element of the reality and play a fundamental role in achieving realism... In
fact, utterance is a component of the visual picture and therefore, it is subject
to the movement of the pictures."(Martin, 1977, p. 149) We can notice that
the translation of utterance should be synchronized with the settings of the
scenes, the identity of the characters, their movements, gestures, facial
expressions, pauses and lip movements; in that pictures transfer the major part
of the messages and pictures play the much more important role.
B. Spoken Language & Easy Understandability
English feature films are an entertainment more than a holy art. Once
they indulge in self-admiration, they come to a dead end. As a mass art,
feature films are due to win the audience. An excellent film should be a
dignified compromise between market and art so as to offend neither the mass
nor the critics.
Film translation primarily deals with spoken language, rather than
written language. English films are means of entertainment, so it is the
translator's duty to enable the audience to get entertained in the easiest way.
The audience may be experts of English culture or merely laymen; they may
be Doctors or just beginners. They have different ages, genders, levels of
education

and

backgrounds,

etc.

They

consequently

have

varied

understanding abilities and appreciation values. To cater so many different

9


tastes, popular films assure well-chosen themes, closely-knit plots, attractive
frames and most importantly, easily understood subtitle
With conversation being the major component of the script,
colloquialism is the top priorities for a translator of film translation.
In addition, extra-linguistic features such as facial expressions,
gestures, stance and paralinguistic features such as pitch of the voice, rapidity
of speech, pauses and hesitations should also be taken into account in film
translation.
C. Transience
In film, utterances are spoken which are difficult to trace. In general
translation, to be more specific, fiction readers may turn over pages to ransack
any useful clues with ease and in no hurry when failing to grasp the intended
meaning. However, if the audience miss what they are hearing, especially
important sentences or words, they will be lost in the dark, because they has
nowhere to turn to, and no time to think with new messages surging over
them. The "shots" of films last only seconds and usually cannot be replayed,
which makes it impossible for the audience to refer back to the previous parts
of the story to recollect or reflect upon the information as a reader does with a
book. The transience of pictures demands the translator convey as much
message as the duration of each "shot" allows, and at the same time as
intelligible enough for the audience to absorb immediately as possible. What's
more, no notes can be allowed on the screen as other translators do in a book
to explain potential linguistic obscurities and cultural specifics. The translator
is forced to lighten the burden on the audience, which keeping the original
message intact.

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1.2.3. Power of film translation
While watching a foreign movie with dubbing or subtitles, do you ever
wonder why the film is so successful, even though it wasn’t made in your
native language? The answer may be quite simple – it is translated, and
translation has certain advantages and disadvantages which can influence an
audience’s reaction. This is what we are going to talk about today – film
translation.
Film has always been a powerful tool and a ubiquitous source of ideas
in every culture. Entertainment and business are inseparably bound in this
industry. Movies are not just a national property; on the contrary, they go far
beyond national borders and attract global attention and recognition, resulting
in a huge economic impact for the film industry on the international market.
The international market, in turn, cannot be imagined without a team of
translators whose primary goal is to establish communication between
cultures.
It is important to find a happy medium and try to make the translation
comprehensible for the target audience and, nevertheless, keep its original
message. One of the best examples of how translators can affect a first
impression is movie title translation. For example, viewers may think they are
going to watch a teenage comedy, but what they see instead is a serious
psychological drama. This happened in Russia where the movie title ‘Leaves
of Grass’, an allusion to a poetry collection of Walt Whitman, was translated
as ‘Weed’. This is just one out of hundreds of examples of how crucial it is to
properly translate a movie, starting with its title.
Film translation is a very powerful and sometimes hazardous tool. For a
film that is released nationally in a particular country to be a success abroad,
it must overcome major linguistic and cultural obstacles to unite people and

11


eliminate misunderstanding. There is no universal way of translating films
because all the methods described above depend on various factors, including
history and translation traditions of different countries. What translators have
to do is to transfer ideas and values of one culture to another and make it
appear authentic.

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CHAPTER 2: DIFFICULTIES IN VIETNAMESE TO ENGLISH
MOVIE TRANSLATION
There are many problems that translator may meet when translate a
Vietnamese movie into English. In this thesis I would like to divide them as
linguistics problems and cultural problems.
All the examples were taken in the Vietnamese drama ‘Winter lullaby’
2.1. Linguistics problems
Linguistic problems are the first things that viewers can see if they read
the translated conversation. First translators must have the ability to provide
the translated conversation with correct grammar, brief and easy to
understand. The conversation is very important for the viewers to understand
the content and messages of the movie. If the viewers find the conversation
good and easy to follow, they will have more interest in the movies.
Moreover, a movie or drama is a way of promoting culture of a country to the
world. Thus, providing correct translation of conversation in movies not only
express the meaning of the movies, but also help the viewers know more
about the country making those movies.
Nord (1992) defined linguistic problems as:
“The structural differences between two languages in lexis,
grammatical feature and sentence structures can lead to a certain translation
problems classified as linguistics problems, no matter which of the two serves
as source and which serves as target language.”
Basing on that definition, linguistics problems are divided into the
following subclasses: grammatical problems, syntactic problems and
morphological problems.
2.1.1. Grammatical problems
Grammar is a basic aspect of any language. It is the first thing
translators have to pay attention when translating movies. There is variety of
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grammatical problems usually found in translation, occurring in many words
classes such as adjective, adverb, article, conjunction, determiner, indefinite
determiner, indefinite pronoun, negative determiner, preposition, pronoun,
reflexive pronoun, relative pronoun, verb, present participle.
- Article
Có một bức thư gửi cho chị
There is an letter for you
- Relative pronoun
Em là em ghét nhất loại người không công bằng
I hate most those people who work unfair
- Adjective
Mấy món ăn này thơm quá.
Those dishes smell so good
- Adverb
Trang thật sự rất thú vị.
Trang is really an interesting friend.
2.1.2. Syntactic problems
Syntactic system of Vietnamese is quite different to that of English.
Syntactic problem often make movie translators confused with how to express
the conversation clearly and smoothly in the target language. Syntactic
problems in translations include: phrase, clause and sentence. In this thesis,
the definition of phrase, clause and sentence is as adapted from Merriam –
Webster Online Dictionary.
2.1.2.1. Phrase structure
Phrase: a word or group of words forming a syntactic constituent with a
single grammatical function.
A, Addition of unnecessary words

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In the first type “addition of unnecessary phrase”, translators add an
extra word without which he phrase sounds better, as can be seen in the
following example:
Anh ấy đã bị tên trộm bắn chết.
He was killed dead by the thief.
In this example, the word “dead” is not considered as a wrong
insertion, it is a redundant word, therefore, it is listed as “unnecessary word”
If the Vietnamese movies are translated into English with so many
unnecessary words, the viewers may think that the translator did not do the
translation carefully, and this may affect the quality of the movies.
B, Inappropriate noun phrase construction
The second type is an “inappropriate noun phrase construction”, which
is used to refer to instances where translators are confused about the word
order in a phrase. This can make the movie’s meaning unclear. Example:
Việc làm còn thiếu hiện nay là cụ thể hóa việc định hướng và quy
hoạch tổng thể phát triển đô thị Việt Nam đến năm 2020.
What we lack is specifying orientation and overall programming
of developing Vietnam urban until 2020.
Suggestion: What need to be done soon is to put the orientation
and master plan of Vietnam’s urban development with a vision
to 2020 into practical and viable terms.
C, Inappropriate use of possessive case
These two types of problems include all those involving possessive
cases. The problems called “inappropriate use of possessive case” concern
instances in which the possessive case is used when it should not have been,
while “omission of possessive maker” cases are the opposite. These two types
of problems are evaluate as synaptic, rather than morphological (which also

15


relates to the omission of the possessive), because the effects of the problems
are significant, extending to the phrase structure.
Example 1: Không phải dao của phòng em đâu chị ạ.
It’s not our room’s knife.
In this example, instead of saying “the knife of our room”, some
translators used the possessive case for this noun phrase. However, the
possessive cannot be used in this case, when the possessor is an abstract noun.
They were wrong in applying the rule, but their decision to use the possessive
case was inappropriate.
Example 2:
Trâm lúc nào cũng dọn sạch chuồng của mấy con chó.
Tram always keeps the dogs’s cage clean.
Suggestion: The cage of the dogs
In this example, translators incorrectly used the possessive case in
situations where the noun function as a possessor is not an animate. The
problems lie not in the way the translators applied the rule to the actual words
(by adding an apostrophe and ‘s’), but in their choice of possessive case when
it could not be applied. In this example, the possessor is ‘dogs’ and the
possessed is the ‘cage’ while the relationship between them is containercontent. Although we can say ‘the table’s leg’ in English, the case of ‘dogs’
case’ is not semantically justified.
2.1.2.2. Clause structure
Clause: a group of words containing a subject and predicate and
function as a member of a complex or compound sentence
Clause structure of Vietnamese is very different from that of English. If
the movie translators do not understand about the structure, they can translate

16


the conversation in a long, messy way and the conversation will become hard
to understand.
A, Addition of unnecessary phrase
This problem occurs when the translators add one extraneous word to
the phrase. In the following example, the translators repeat the word ‘this’,
when it is already implied in the relative pronoun ‘which’, replacing whole
previous clause.
Example: Mẹ của anh đang cần sự quây quần, quan tâm của con cháu,
anh là con trưởng anh phải quan tâm mẹ hơn
Your mom needs more attention from family, which you should
care more about this.
B, Addition of verb
This is the case in which one more verb is added to the clause (not the
sentence).
Example 2: Nếu họ phát bài hát đó thì nghe hay và phù hợp hơn.
If they played that song, I would find it sound (redundant) more
elegent and suibtable
Example 3: Nếu chúng ta đặt tên em bé là Trâm thì nghe hay hơn.
If we name the baby is (redundant) Tram, it would sound more
beautiful.
C, Inappropriate clause construction
This is a term used to refer to cases in which the translators opt for a
construction that does not fit the standard syntax of the English clause. This
kind of problem has two varieties:
(a)The translators may choose a structure which does not match the
intended original message (although the word order of the structure is

17


correct), or (b) the translators decide to use the correct structure, but apply the
wrong word order within the sentence. Let’s examine the following sentences:
-

I write to you only, means: “I write to you only, and nobody
else”

-

I write to only you. This sounds a bit clumsy and stilted, nobody
would say this

-

I write only to you.

-

I only write to you

This can be interpreted in two different ways, depending on where you
emphasis. If you say it like “I only write to you” (emphasis on ‘write’) then it
would mean that you just write to that person, and nothing else (like phone).
But if you say it like “I only write to you” then it would mean the same as in
next sentence:
Only I write to you (if emphasis is on ‘I’) – I am the only person that
writes to you and nobody else does. You could, however, say something like:
“Only I write to you, and you don’t even reply” (emphasis on write, which is
something slightly different.)
2.1.2.3. Sentence structure:
Sentence: a word, clause, or phrase or a group of clauses or phrases
forming a syntactic unit which express an assertion, a question, a command, a
wish, an exclamation, or the performance of an action, that in writing usually
begins with a capital letter and concludes with appropriate end punctuation.
If the movie translator using wrong sentence structure of English when
they are translating Vietnamese movies, the foreign viewers may confused
about the meaning of the conversation, or worse they can misunderstand.
A, Omission of subject

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In the translation of the following sentences, the subjects are omitted.
Clearly, due to the influence of the source language, together with insufficient
knowledge of the English syntax, the translators seemed to ignore the need to
locate and translate the subjects in these three sentences.
Example: Tớ tưởng hôm nay là ngày mất bố bà ấy? Vẫn ở đây à?
I thought today is the 49th day from her father’s death? Still
here?
Suggestion: Is she still here?
In this example, the subject is completely omitted, but thanks to the
context, the translators could deduce that it is the author, who had her father
died 49 days ago by the content of the sentence. However, either because the
translators purposefully stuck to the original, or because they forgot that the
subject must not be dropped in English sentences, their sentence has no
subject.
B, Sentences with two subordinate clauses but no main clause
Those structures as: ‘Mặc dù… nhưng’ or ‘Vì … nên’ are widely used
by Vietnamese people. However, English have another way of expressing
these ideas. Thus, a lot of Vietnamese novice translators encounter this
problem when rendering such structures into English.
Example 1: Mặc dù bọn cháu đều có ý thức trong chuyện này, nhưng
chúng cháu bận quá . vợ cháu thì có việc tai phiên tòa, còn cháu thì phải lo
những chuyện quan trọng.
Although we all aware of this, but we are too busy, my wife is
having a trial and I have to do many important things
Suggestion: Although we all aware of this, we are too busy, my
wife is having a trial and I have to do many important things
Ex 2: Vì bố mất, nên mẹ bị sốc

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