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A CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS ON DISCOURSE PROPERTIES OF INTERNATIONAL NEWS ON ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE INTERNET NEWSPAPERS

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY

M.A. THESIS
A CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS ON DISCOURSE PROPERTIES OF
INTERNATIONAL NEWS ON ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE INTERNET
NEWSPAPERS
(PHÂN TÍCH ĐỐI CHIẾU ĐẶC ĐIỂM DIỄN NGÔN TIN QUỐC TẾ TRÊN BÁO
MẠNG TIẾNG ANH VÀ TIẾNG VIỆT)

NGUYỄN THỊ THƠ
Field: English Language
Code: 60220201

Hanoi, 2018

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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY


M.A. THESIS

A CONTRANSTIVE ANALYSIS ON DISCOURSE PROPERTIES OF
INTERNATIONAL NEWS ON ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE INTERNET
NEWSPAPERS
(PHÂN TÍCH ĐỐI CHIẾU ĐẶC ĐIỂM DIỄN NGÔN TIN QUỐC TẾ TRÊN BÁO
MẠNG TIẾNG ANH VÀ TIẾNG VIỆT)
NGUYỄN THỊ THƠ
Field: English Language
Code: 60220201

Supervisor: Dr. MAI THỊ LOAN

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Hanoi, 2018
DECLARATION
I certify that this thesis with the title A contrastive analysis on discourse
properties of international news on English and Vietnamese internet newspapers
is my own study. The data, results and finding in this thesis are truly. The thesis
has not been submitted for a higher degree to any other university or institution.
I confirm that when I quoted from the work of others, the source was always
given.

Signature:

Nguyễn Thị Thơ

Approved by
SUPERVISOR

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This MA thesis was successfully completed with the supports of many people to
whom I want to express my gratitude.
First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere thanks to my supervisor, Dr.


Mai Thi Loan, for her valuable instruction, support and encouragement throughout
my research process. Without her devoting guidance, I could not have finished this
thesis.
I would also like to give my sincere thanks to all the lecturers, professors and doctors
teaching at the post graduate faculty of Hanoi Open university for their lectures and
supports during my course.
My deeply–felt thanks go to my family who have supported, cared for me and
provided me with all the best conditions as well as the moral support so that I could
concentrate on this thesis.
I would like to thank my husband for his support. All these have become the spritual
strength which saved me from all the difficulties and stress I got during the thesis
time.
Last but not least, I would like to give thanks to my friends, who have encouraged
and supported for my study process to finish this MA thesis.

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ABSTRACT
This thesis studied discourse properties of international news on English and
Vietnamese internet newspapers. An analysis and a comparation were made to find
out differences and similarities between international news on English and
Vietnamese internet newspapers. The corpus of the study consists of 200
international news items withdrawn from famous internet newspapers on the world
wide web. 100 of them are from English internet newspapers and the other are from
Vietnamese ones. Motivation to conduct the study is two-fold. First, while there
exists a multitude of studies that compare between English and Vietnamese, very
little contrastive analysis has been carried out at the level of discourse. Second, the
explosive growth of internet in recent years makes remarkable contribution to the
blooming of a new press type: internet newspapers. Moreover, the pressure of
globalization forces mutual understanding among nations. That is why international
news on internet newspapers is chosen the main subject of this study. The thesis
will analyze discourse properties in terms of linguistic features. Results of the
analysis will be the similarities and differences between the two subject groups
concerning linguistic features. Besides the sudy will give suggestions for learners
of English to overcome errors when studying written translation of the international
news on Vietnamese internet newspapers.

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LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Directness and indirectness on English internet newspapers
Table 2: Types of headlines on English internet newspapers
Table 3: Structure of noun phrase headlines on English internet newspapers
Table 4: Types of sentence headlines on English internet newspapers
Table 5: Simple vs. complex sentences as headlines on English internet newspapers
Table 6: Sentence patterns of headlines on English internet newspapers
Table 7: Directness and indirectness on Vietnamese internet newspapers
Table 8: Types of headlines on Vietnamese internet newspapers
Table 9: Types of phrase headlines on Vietnamese internet newspapers
Table 10: Types of sentence headlines on Vietnamese internet newspapers
Table 11: Simple vs. complex sentences on Vietnamese internet newspapers
Table 12: Sentence patterns in headlines on Vietnamese internet newspapers
Table 13: Errors made by students
Table 14: Terminology errors
Table 15: Errors made by students
Table 16: Reasons cause the errors by students
Table 17: Suggestions by students

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Certificate of originality

i

Acknowledgements

ii

Abstract
List of tables
Table of contents

iii
v
vi

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION
1.1.Rationale ........................................................................................................... 1
1.2. Aims and objectives of the study ...................................................................... 2
1.2.1. The aims of the study
1.2.1. The objectives of the study
1.3. Research questions ............................................................................................ 2
1.4. Research methods ............................................................................................. 2
1.5. Scope of the study ............................................................................................. 3
1.6. Significance of the study ................................................................................... 3
1.7.Design of the study ............................................................................................ 4
CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1. Previous studies ................................................................................................ 5
2.2. Discourse and text ............................................................................................ 6
2.2.1. Discourse and text…..………………………………………………………...6
2.2.2. Criteria of discourse…………………………………………………………...7
2.2.3. Genre of discourse…………………………………………………………….9
2.2.4. International news on internet newspapers ..................................................... 9
2.2.4.1. Internet newspapers .................................................................................... 9
2.2.4.2. International news on internet newspapers ................................................ 11
2.3. Contrastive analysis ........................................................................................ 12
2.3.1. Definition of contrastive analysis ................................................................. 12
2.3.2. Principles for contrastive study .................................................................... 13

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2.4. Linguistic features of international news on English and on Vietnamese internet
newspapers
2.4.1. The linguistic features of international news on English internet newspapers 14
2.4.2. The linguistic features of international news on Vietnamese internet
newspapers.
2.5. Summary………………………………………………………………………20
CHAPTER III: DISCOURSE PROPERTIES OF INTERNATIONAL NEWS ON
ENGLISH INTERNET NEWSPAPERS AND ON VIETNAMESE INTERNET
NEWSPAPERS
3.1. DISCOURSE PROPERTIES OF INTERNATIONAL NEWS ON ENGLISH
INTERNET NEWSPAPERS
3.1.1. Lexical choice .............................................................................................. 21
3.1.2. Tense ........................................................................................................... 22
3.1.3. Directness and indirectness .......................................................................... 22
3.1.4. Sentence patterns ......................................................................................... 24
3.1.5. Cohesion devices ......................................................................................... 29
3.2.

DISCOURSE

PROPERTIES

OF

INTERNATIONAL

NEWS

ON

VIETNAMESE INTERNET NEWSPAPERS ..........................................................
3.2.1. Lexical choice .............................................................................................. 31
3.2.2. Tense ........................................................................................................... 32
3.2.3. Directness and indirectness .......................................................................... 33
3.2.4. Sentence patterns ......................................................................................... 34
3.2.5. Cohesion devices ......................................................................................... 48
3.3. Comparison of discourse properties of international news on Vietnamese internet
newspapers and on English internet newspapers. ................................................... 39
3.4. Summary ........................................................................................................ 42
CHAPTER IV: ERRORS MADE BY STUDENTS AT NAMDINH UNIVERSITY
OF TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION WHEN LEARNING VIETNAMESEENGLISH TRANSLATION OF INTERNATIONAL NEWS ON VIETNAMESE
INTERNET NEWSPAPERS

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4.1. Subjects .......................................................................................................... 43
4.2. Data collection instruments ............................................................................. 43
4.2.1. Test .............................................................................................................. 43
4.2.2. Questionnaire………………………………………………………...……...43
4.2.3. Interview ..................................................................................................... 43
4.3. Procedure……………..………………………………………………………..44
4.4. Data analysis…………………………………………………………………..45
4.4.1. The test……………………………………………………………..……….46
4.4.2. The questionnaire ........................................................................................ 46
4.4.3. The interview ............................................................................................... 49
4.5. Causes of committing errors…………………………………………………..50
4.6. Suggestions for overcoming errors when translating the international news on
Vietnamese internet newspapers………………………………………………… ..51
4.7. Summary ........................................................................................................ 52
CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION
5.1. Recapitulation…………………………………………………………..……..54
5.2. Concluding remarks ........................................................................................ 55
5.3. Implications .................................................................................................... 55
5.4. Limitations…………………………………………………………………….56
5.5. Recommendations for further study…………………………………………...56
REFERENCES
APPENDIX

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CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION
1.1. Rationale
Mass media in general and newspaper in particular nowadays plays a very important
role in our lives. Many people even say that living in the world without newspapers
is like living in an isolated island. Newspaper helps us become informed citizens and
make better decision by providing a lot of facts. Hard news stories, vital statistics,
weather, sport, etc are examples of items that help inform readers. Some newspapers
articles help interprete or explain the meaning of news to readers.
In the modern life, it is the rapid growth in communication technology that has
created new media for language use. Therefore, analyzing language is unsurprisingly
paid much attention to not only by linguists but also by people at large.
In traditional linguistic research, there are many works on text analysis, which focus
only on the formal properties of language divorced from their communicative
functions. Modern linguistic tendency of research focuses on discourse analysis,
which is functional analysis of discourse involving the analysis of language in use.
Emphasizing as above, it is to be noted that discourse properties, although a
challenge to researchers and learners, has attracted much of their attention. This
inspires the thesis author up for the contrastive study of discourse properties between
English and Vietnamese, and the chosen subject is news on internet newspapers.
In English, the investigation of news is concerned, a number of writers have
discussed some aspects of language in journalism such as Crystal and Davy (1971),
Van Dijk (1988).
In Vietnam, Nguyễn Hoà (1998) was focused on discourse analysis of news on
political, economic and social issues. However, all of those studies examine news in
only print newspapers or analyze just small segments of news discourse.
We are living in an era of globalization, in which all nations are closely interrelated.
They need to have deep understanding of their counterparts in every issue.
International news on the internet meets their information thirst. Secondly, no one
can deny the roles of Internet in society, which provides a huge volume of information
in the quickest, most effective way with the greatest impact. Thanks to the Internet,
all countries of the world can know about each other. All the advantages of other
mass media are encompassed in the Internet. The development of the Internet has
brought about great revolutions in mass media, among which internet newspapers see

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their birth. Internet newspapers nowadays attract the largest number of readers all
over the world.
With all of the above reasons, the researcher proposes A contrastive analysis on
discourse properties of international news on English and Vietnamese internet
newspapers as the title of the thesis.
1.2. Aims and objectives of the study
The study aims at finding out the discourse properties of international news on
English and Vietnamese internet newspapers to help learners of English study
translation of international news on English and Vietnamese internet newspapers
effectively.
To achieve the mentioned aims above, the following objectives can be put forward:
- Pointing out discourse properties of international news on internet newspapers.
- Finding out the similarities and differences between international news on English
and Vietnamese internet newspapers in terms of discourse properties.
- Finding out errors and suggestions for students at Namdinh university of
technology education when studying Vietnamese-English written translation of the
international news on Vietnamese internet newspapers.
1.3. Research questions
The study attempts to answer the following questions
1. What are the linguistic features of international news on English and
Vietnamese internet newspapers?
2. What are the similarities and the differences between those two subjects
in terms of discourse properties?
3. What are the common errors and the suggestions for students at
Namdinh university of technology education when learning Vietnamese-English
written translation of the international news on Vietnamese internet newspapers?
1.4. Research methods
The qualitative method is used in collecting data. It categorizes data into patterns as
the primary basis for organizing and reporting results. It is concerned about smaller
but focused samples rather than large random samples.
The quantitative method is the systematic scientific investigation of properties,
relying exclusively on the analysis of numerical or quantifiable data.
The descriptions and interpretations in the thesis are based on theories of contrastive
analysis, discourse analysis and previous studies of linguists on the related field.

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After the analysis to identify typical features of the international news on internet
newspapers, the thesis will reach some generalizations and comparisons based on
those analytical results.
In order to give in-depth and detailed description of the international news in terms
of discourse analysis, the descriptive method is employed.
The thesis will provide a comparison relevant to discourse properties between the
two groups of subjects
1.5. Scope of the study
The internet newspapers are a huge stock of information in which there is a great
variety of news on all issues: sports news, entertainment news, cultural news, social
news, political news, etc. In this study, the writer only desires to focus on
international politics news on English and Vietnamese internet newspapers in 2017.
A random collection of about 200 pieces of news half of which are from English
internet newspapers, and the other half 100 are from Vietnamese internet newspapers
will be representatives for the whole population.
Sources of the English political news are mostly from big communication
corporations on the World Wide Web such as BBC, CNN, FoxNews, REUTERS,
CBC. The other group of data roots from some famous Vietnamese internet
newspapers such as VnExpress, VietnamNet, VnMedia, Thanhnienonline,
tintuconline.
Description of the international politics news on internet newspapers as discourses
will be carried out under approach: linguistic features.
1.6. Significance of the study
Thereotically, this study is to provide a supplementary contribution to linguistic
research. Moreover, this is the first research focusing on contrastive analysis of
international news in terms of discourse properties between English and Vietnamese
internet newspapers
Practically, the results of the research are meaningful in providing insights for those
interested in news in general and news on internet in particular. As for teaching and
learning English, in which news is considered main source of classroom material,
this study will be very useful. It also assists readers in better interpreting and
understanding information on the Internet, and is beneficial for the integration of
Vietnamese internet newspapers into the world press.

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1.7.Design of the study
The study is composed of the following parts:
Chapter I, Introduction, deals with the rationale, aims, research questions, research
methods, scope, significance and design of the study.
Chapter II, Literature review, provides the theoretical background for the study such
as fundamental concepts in contrastive analysis, discourse properties, internet
newspapers and news on internet newspapers.
Chapter III gives description of discourse properties of the international news on
English and Vietnamese internet newspapers based on field: Linguistic features and
comparison of discourse properties of the international news on Vietnamese internet
newspapers and on English internet newspapers.
Chapter IV points out common errors for students at Nam Dinh university of
technology education when studying Vietnamese-English written translation of the
international news on Vietnamese internet newspapers and finds out suggestions for
students when learning Vietnamese-English written translation of the international
news on Vietnamese internet newspapers.
Conclusion suggests some implications for learners when using news as materials in
the classroom.
References and Appendix comes at the end of the study.

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CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter provides an overview of the theoretical background as well as relevant
knowledge and summaries of previous research’s findings and conclusion associated
with the theme of the research. In other words, the review is to explain several related
terms and definitions as to discourse properties, contrastive analysis, internet
newspapers, international news on internet newspapers, and approach, linguistic
features of international news on English and Vietnamese internet newspapers.
2.1. Previous studies
With regard to discourse, there have been some outstanding publications contributing
to the understanding of this term as well as putting its theory into practice of discourse
analysis.
In English, there are some typical authors such as Cook (1989), Halliday (1976),
McCarthy (1991). Cook (1989) illustrated the term of discourse as well as discourse
analysis and recommended its practical relevance to the language learning and
teaching. Halliday (1976) focused on the application of systemic functional grammar
to the analysis of texts in both written and spoken forms as well as the register factors
in discourse. McCarthy (1991) did not stop at theory and description of discourse
analysis with real data in both spoken and written forms, but try to show many ways
of adapting news finding in description to the everyday business of teaching which
are really useful for teachers.
In Vietnam, some linguists have also made great contributions to the study of
discourse and discourse analysis such as Diệp Quang Ban (1998), Nguyễn Hòa
(1998). Diệp Quang Ban (1998) paid much attention to cohesive devices in
Vietnamese texts. Remarkably, Nguyễn Hoà (1998) gave a systematic description of
discourse and discourse analysis both theoretically and practically with specific
evidences.
As far as the investigation of the news is concerned, a number of writers have
discussed some aspects of language in journalism. Crystal (1992) took into
consideration the language of newspaper reporting through chosen extracts of
journalist writing. Remarkably, Van Dijk(1988) on the one hand, presented a series
of examples to interpret the structures used in the national and international news in
the press. On the other hand, he contributed to summarizing the discourse analysis
theory in terms of the processes and structures of news reports.

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To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence that any research on
investigating discourse features of international news on English and Vietnamese
internet newspapers has been done at Hanoi Open university. Thus, a contrastive
analysis on discourse properties of international news on English and Vietnamese
internet newspapers is chosen as the subject area of our master thesis.
2.2. Discourse properties
2.2.1. Discourse and text
Discourse and text are very trendy words referring to very trendy concepts.
Linguistic theorists define the terms discourse and text in a number of different
ways, they still have something in common. Some linguists maintain that the two
terms can be used interchangeably. Halliday and Hasan (1976), for example, are the
proponents of this tendency.
For them, the term text is referred to as a “semantic unit”, and that “ a text is a unit
of language in used”
By contrast, some other linguists draw a clear and explicit distinction between the
terms. Widdowson (1984) claims that: “Discourse is a communicative process by
means of interaction. Its situational outcome is a change in a state of affairs:
information is conveyed, intention made clear, its linguistic product is text”.
According to Crystal (1992), discourse is considered to be “ a continuous stretch of
(especially spoken) language large than a sentence, ofen constituting a coherent unit,
such as a sermon, argument, joke or narrative. Text is a piece of naturally occurring
spoken, written or signed language identified for purposes of analysis”.
In fact, it is sometimes impossible to make a clear cut distinction between discourse
and text. However, the study will be based on the approach developed by Halliday
and Hasan (1985) “ text (discourse) can be defined in the simplest way perhaps by
saying that it is language that functional. By functional we simply mean language
that is dong some job in some context as apposed to isolated words or sentencces that
I might put on the blackboard. So any instance of living language that is playing some
part in a context of situation, we shall call it a text. It may be either spoken or written
or indeed in any other medium of expression that we like to think of”.
This thesis will follow the view of Halliday and Hasan (1985), in which the term text
is used to refer to any written record of communicative event and regarded as the
product of discourse, so discourse and text can be often used interchaneably to
denote the same subject matter.

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2.2.2. Criteria of discourse
According to Bell R.T. (1991: 163 - 171), there are seven criteria that can help to
identify a discourse. They are also the seven inherent features of a discourse.
Cohesion – grammatical relationship between parts of a sentence essential for its
interpretation.
Coherence- the order of statements relates one another by senses.
Intentionality- the message has to be conveyed deliberately and consciously.
Acceptability- indicates that the communicative product needs to be satisfactory in
that the audience approves it.
Informativeness- some new information has to be included in the discourse.
Situationality- circumstances in which the remark is made are important.
Intertextuality- reference to the world outside the text or the interpreters’ schemata
Register of discourse
M.A.K. Halliday, who was one of the first linguists to pay special attention to the
concept of 'register' in the 1960s and 1970s, interprets this notion as “a semantic
concept” which “can be defined as a configuration of meanings that are typically
associated with a particular situational configuration of field, mode, and tenor.”
(Halliday 1990, 38f.) The linguistic features (specific expressions, lexicogrammatical and phonological features) and the particular values of the three
dimensions of field, mode and tenor determine the functional variety of a language
(cf. Halliday 1994, 22). These three parameters can be used to specify the context of
situation in which language is used.
According to Hudson (1980), register is used in sociolinguistics to refer to “varieties
according to use”, which is contrary to the term “dialect”, defined as “varieties
according to user”. A particular register distinguishes itself from others

by

possessing distinctive words, by using words or phrases in a particular way and
sometimes by special grammar constructions.
Galperin (1977: 89) considers registers “the functional styles” and he proposes: “a
functional style of language is a system of interrelated language means which serves
as a definite aim in communication”.

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Galperin also divides registers into five categories:
 The language of belle-letters
 The language of official documents
 The language of scientific prose
 The language of publicistic literature
 The language of newspaper
2.2.3. Genre of discourse
As is defined by Swales (1990:58): A genre comprises a class of communicative
events, the members of which share some set of communicative purposes. These
purposes are recognized by the expert members of the parent discourse community,
and thereby constitute the rationale for the genre. This rationale shapes the
schematic structure of the discourse and influences and constraints choice of
content and style.
Based on the work of Swales, Bhatia (1993) gives some characteristics related to
genre as follows:
- Specialist members of any professional or academic community identify and
understand the structure of the genre.
- The nature and construction of a genre is affected by many factors such as
content, form, channel, etc…However, it is mostly marked by the shared set of
communicative purposes that shapes the genre and give it an internal structure.
- When writing, the writer has to comply with the practices within the boundaries
of a particular genre.
- Professional or academic community members can exploit these constraints
better than the non-specialists.
He concludes that “each genre is an instance of a successful achievement of a
specific communicative purpose using conventionalized knowledge of linguistic and
discoursal resources”.

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To sum up, genres are staged, goal-directed and purposeful. A genre can be defined
as a cultural specific text-type which results from using language to help accomplish
something. Genre is associated with:
-

Particular purposes

-

Particular stages: beginnings, middles and endings

-

Particular linguisti SVC – SVOO – SV.
3.4. Summary
In this chapter, we discussed discourse properties of the international political news
on Vietnamese internet newspapers in terms of linguistic features. The linguistic
features of international political news are analyzed in detail in terms of five groups
(lexical choice, tense, directness and indirectness, sentence pattern, cohesion
devices). Then the comparison is given to collate with Vietnamese internet
newspapers . As comparison, the result of the study proves that there are some
similarities and differences between international political news on English and
Vietnamese internet newspapers.

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CHAPTER IV: COMMON ERRORS MADE BY STUDENTS AT NAMDINH
UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION WHEN LEARNING
VIETNAMESE-ENGLISH
WRITTEN
TRANSLATION
OF
THE
INTERNATIONAL NEWS ON VIETNAMESE INTERNET NEWSPAPERS
4.1. Subjects
The subjects of the thesis are the 40 second- year students of English major (2 males
and 38 females) 2016- 2019 curriculum at Namdinh University of Technology
Education. This year is the first time for them to study written translation subject.
They have 2 periods of translation per week. The researcher interviewed two
experienced teachers (coded as H and V) who were the teachers in charge of all the
two translation classes at Namdinh university of technology education.
4.2. Data collection instruments
4.2.1. Test
In this study, the test isa a sort of translation test, focusing on typical errors often
made by students. Depending on the similarities and differences between the two
language (Vietnamese and English), students are asked to translate the article on
Vietnamese internet newspaper into English. The purpose for this translation test is
to find out the common errors students usually commit to get the basing for
suggesting solutions to the problems.
4.2.2. Questionnaire
The questionnaire was aimed at finding out students’ view of the most frequent
translation errors they made, the possible causes as well as their suggestions for
avoiding these errors in future translation. Participants included the whole 40 majored
students of faculty of English. The questionnaire was designed in the form of
multiple-choice items.
In the study, the questionnaire consists of 3 questions. The forty copies of
questionnaire in English were given to the students in classes English 2016, and all
were collected. The aims of the question can be described as follow
Question (1) was to find out kinds of errors which the students usually make
in Vietnamese-English translation of the international news on Vietnamese internet
newspapers.
Question (2) was used to find out the possible reasons why the students often
make the above mistakes.

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Question (3) was designed to ask about the students’ suggestions to help
them overcome the errors and improve Vietnamese-English written translation skills
on Vietnamese internet newspapers.
4.2.3. Interview
In order to make the study more reliable, the interview questions were designed to
get more information about the teacher’s remarks on the students common mistakes
in Vietnamese-English translating, the possible ways to overcome the students’ the
common errors. The researcher interviewed two teachers who are responsible for
teaching translation subject to the students in this academic year as well as who have
taught translation and have many experiences in teaching translation subject of
faculty of English. The interviews were aimed at achieving in-depth answers to the
three research questions.
Question (1) was to find out kinds of errors which the students usually make
in Vietnamese-English translation of the internation news on Vietnamese internet
newspapers.
Question (2) was used to find out the possible reasons why the students often
make the above mistakes.
Question (3) was designed to ask about the teachers’ suggestions to help the
students overcome the errors and improve Vietnamese-English translation skills on
Vietnamese internet newspapers.
4.3. Procedure
In order to elicit well-founded data from the subjects to make some reliable
conclusions, a translation test and a questionnaire were formulated with the help of
40 second - year students of faculty of English at Namdinh university of technology
education. (2 males and 38 females)
The test paper and the questionnaire were copied and given to each student in
September, 2017. After explaining the purpose of the test paper and the questionnaire
to the participants, they were told that their responses would not affect their course
grades, just serve for the personal purpose of the study. The students did this
themselves and the test paper and the questionnare were collected, 40 responses was
sent back.
The researchers decided to conduct an interview with two experienced teachers
(coded as H and V) of faculty of English at Namdinh university of technology
education.

53


4.4. Data analysis
4.4.1. The test paper
The test paper collected from the participants were listed, and classified in the
table as follows:
Table 13: Errors made by studentss
Categorization

Linguistic errors

Number of errors

Percentage (%)

Lexical choice

85

24,9

Punctuation

23

6,7

The use of articles

28

8,2

Prepositions

30

8,7

Singular and plural

11

3,2

10

2,9

96

28,1

Terminology

47

13,7

Inconsistency

11

3,2

341

100

forms
Verb tense
Translational
Errors

Lengthy
awkward
expressions

and

Total

As we can see from the table, there are two main types of errors. The first type of
common errors is that it is linguistic errors. The most common linguistic errors were
lexical choice, as could be seen from the table, lexical choice was the most serious
problem in students’ translation, accounting for 24.9% of all errors made. Document
analysis revealed that the most noticeable pairs of misused words included: depart –
escape, confirm – assert, officials – administrators, comment – explain, critical –
severe, schedule – plan, ensure – guarantee, secure – assure, acquire – access,
commencement day- inauguration Day, strategic sources - diplomatic sources.
Meanwhile, misuse of articles, punctuation and plural/singular forms were not serious
problems for students, with just 28, 23 and 11 mistakes identified in their translation
respectively. This explained why the use of articles, punctuation and plural/singular
forms were not indicated clearly in the interview conducted with Teacher H as well
as Teacher V.

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Translational errors is the second type of common error. Translational errors are
categorized into three types such as lengthy and awkward expressions, terminology,
and inconsistency.
Lengthy and awkward expressions came as a surprise that a significant number of 96
expression-related errors were detected. This signified that expression was among the
most problematic aspect of students’ translation on Vietnamese internet newspapers.
Expression-related errors were prevalent for various reasons, of which, low
competence in English and interference of mother tongue were the most possible
causes.
Terminology is up to 47 cases of misused terminologies were identified. Among
those, common terminological errors are illustrated in the following table:
Table 14 : Terminology errors
Source text

Inappropriate use of terms Suggestions

Ngày lễ nhậm chức

Commencement day

Bộ ngoại giao (của Mỹ)

Ministry

Inauguration Day

of

Foreign State Department

Cơ quan liên bang

Federal office

Federal agencies

Chính sách đối ngoại

Foreign principle

Foreign policy

affairs

Also, from the students’ perspectives, terminology caused even “obsession” inside “a
newbie” also thought that terminology posed huge challenges to them. Since these
students are “still at 2nd year level, especially mainstream students” the lack of
terminology as well was totally understandable.
4.4.2. The questionnaire
Table 15: Errors made by students
1.What kinds of errors do you usually make in
Vietnamese-English written translation of international
news on Vietnamese internet newspapers ?

Percentage

a). Linguistic errors
A. Lexical choice.

26,4

B. Punctuation.

11,02

C. The use of articles

13,23

55


D. Prepositions.

16,9

E. Singular and plural forms

11,76

F. Tense

9,55

G. Subject-verb agreement

11,02

Total

100

b). Translational errors
A. Lengthy and awkward expressions.

46,9

B. Terminology.

37,03

C. Inconsistency

16,04

Total

100

As clearly seen from the table, the most common errors students make was lexical
choice with 26,4% among the linguistic errors , while they rarely had problems with
subject-verb agreement (11,02%), part of speech and capitalization. The findings
were totally comprehensible as students specializing in English, especially 2nd year
students could virtually master fundamental such aspects of grammar as parts of
speech, subject verb agreement and so forth. However, lexical choice belonged to a
broader field of vocabulary, which seems more challenging.
Translational challenges seemingly posed more challenges to 2nd students than
linguistic ones. More notably, lengthy and awkward expressions were by far the most
common errors with 46,9% of the translational errors, followed terminology with
37,03% made by students. It was understandable as these above-mentioned errors in
general were unfamiliar concepts to 2nd year level. Inconsistency were the least
common errors only with 16,04% among the translational errors.
Table 16: Reasons cause the errors by students
2.What causes the errors in translating Vietnamese-

Percentage

English written translation of the international news on
Vietnamese internet newspapers?
A. Grammar structure.

17,39

56


B. Lack of vocabulary.

24,8

C. The influences of the mother tongue.

19,2

D. Lack of background knowledge.

18,63

E. Characteristic of language.

19,87

As we can see the table, the largest number of students, 24,8% made errors due to the
lack of vocabulary. It is comprehensible as the second students. About 19,2% of the
students agreed that the influences of the mother tongue causing the errors. 17,9 of
the students supposed that lack of understanding in grammar structure relating to the
errors.
As clearly seen from the table, characteristic of language is one of factors causing the
error with 19, 87%.
Table 17: Suggestions by students
3.What suggestions do you think that theys can
help you overcome the errors ?

Percentage

A. Grammar and vocabulary enhancement.

35,71

B. Background knowledge enrichment.

31,25

C. Practice a lot because “practice is
perfect”.

33,03

The result shows that the students pay much attention to improving their grammar
and vocabulary. From the table, there are 35,71% of the students who supposed that
grammar and vocabulary enhancement was a way to overcome the errors. 31,25% of
the students agreed that student should enrich background knowledge. And 33,03%
of the students believed that practice a lot is effective way to solute the errors. It is
obviously to see that most of the students nowadays know how to learn to improve
their learning in general and their language learning. In fact, it will bring many
benefits to them in language learning if they know how to apply and combine ways
of learning together.

57


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