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VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI

UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES


FACULTY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION


GRADUATION PAPER


STRATEGIES APPLIED BY NGOC THU LANG IN
ENGLISH-VIETNAMESE TRANSLATION OF SLANG
IN THE GODFATHER



Supervisor: Ngo Ha Thu, MCS
Student: Hoang Thi Thu Yen
Year of enrollment: QH.2010.F1








Hanoi 4, 2014

I HC QUC GIA H NI
TRNG I HC NGOI NG
KHOA S PHM TING ANH


KHA LUN TT NGHIP


CHIN LC C NGC TH LANG P DNG
TRONG DCH ANH - VIT T LNG TRONG TC
PHM B GI



Gio vin hng dn: Th.S Ng H Thu
Sinh vin: Hong Th Thu Yn
Kho: QH2010.F1








H Ni - nm 2014
DECLARATION
I hereby state that I: Hoang Thi Thu Yen, group QH2010.F1.E21, being a candidate
for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (TEFL) accept the requirements of the College
relating to the retention and use of Bachelors Graduation Paper deposited in the
library.
In terms of these conditions, I agree that the origin of my paper deposited in the
library should be accessible for the purposes of study and research, in accordance
with the normal conditions established by the librarian for the care, loan or
reproduction of the paper.
Hanoi, 2014

Hoang Thi Thu Yen
i

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my
supervisor, Ms. Ngo Ha Thu, MCS for her precious guidance, valuable advice as well
as her encouragement which were the decisive factors assisting me in finishing the
paper on the right track.
My sincere thanks also go to my friend Mai Thi Nga Ly for her special help in
material sources. Without her, this study cannot be completed.
I am also grateful to my classmates whose helpful comments, wholehearted
encouragement throughout the process of this paper.
Finally, I appreciate support and caring from my family and my friends from the
beginning to the end of the research.
ii

ABSTRACT
Slang plays an important role in linguistic system and deserves greater attention.
However, justified significance has not been attached to slangy vocabulary due to
slangs features of vulgarism, in-group identification and inconsistency. Not only have
studies dedicated to slang occupied a small percentage among scientific papers but
most of them have also focused on linguistic aspects of slang. Translation in slang has
not been received appropriate attention. These factors encouraged the researcher to
carry out this paper with objectives of having a look at characteristics of slang and
translation strategies applied in rendering slang. The novel The Godfather and its
Vietnamese version translated by Ngoc Thu Lang were chosen as subjects of this
study. Document analysis was adopted as the research method. Slang classification
based on theories offered by Eble (1996) and Mattielo (2008) identified 9 common
types of slang. 79 slang in the novel selected after a purposive sampling process
revealed that 7 among 9 types of slang were detected. Regarding translation strategies,
softening (Blonskyte and Petroniene, 2013) and compensation (Garcarz, 2011) were
the most favorable strategies applied by translator Ngoc Thu Lang.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgement ................................................................................................................ i
Abstract ......................................................................................................................... ii
Table of Contents ............................................................................................................... iii
List of abbreviations .............................................................................................................v
List of tables and figures .................................................................................................... vi
CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................1
1.1. Rationale for the study ............................................................................................... 1
1.2. Aims and Objectives .................................................................................................. 2
1.3. Scope of the study ...................................................................................................... 3
1.4. Significance of the study ............................................................................................ 3
CHAPTER II. LITERATURE REVIEW ........................................................................5
2.1 Slang ........................................................................................................................... 5
2.1.1 Definitions of slang ............................................................................................... 5
2.1.2 Characteristics of slang ......................................................................................... 7
2.1.3 Classification ........................................................................................................ 8
2.2 Slang translation ....................................................................................................... 13
2.3.1 Translation .......................................................................................................... 13
2.3.2 Difficulties in slang translation ........................................................................... 13
2.3.3 Strategies in slang translation ............................................................................. 15
CHAPTER III. METHODOLOGY ...............................................................................24
3.1. Design of the study ................................................................................................... 24
3.2. Research method ...................................................................................................... 25
3.3. Puzos The Godfather and its Vietnamese translation .......................................... 25
3.4. Sample selection ....................................................................................................... 25
3.5. Data collection procedure ......................................................................................... 26
3.6. Data analysis procedure ............................................................................................ 27
CHAPTER IV. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION ...........................................................28
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4.1. Research question 1: Characteristics of slang in The Godfather .......................... 28
4.2. Research question 2: Translation strategies applied in Ngoc Thu Langs
translation ................................................................................................................... 30
4.2.1. Application of translation strategies in general .................................................. 30
4.2.2. Application of translation strategies in particular types of slang ....................... 35
4.3. Research question 3: Dominant strategies applied by Ngoc Thu Lang ................... 37
CHAPTER V. CONCLUSIONS .....................................................................................42
5.1. Major findings and implications ............................................................................... 42
5.2. Limitations ................................................................................................................ 43
5.3. Recommendation for further study........................................................................... 44
REFERENCES .................................................................................................................45
APPENDIX 1 ....................................................................................................................48
APPENDIX 2 ....................................................................................................................66


v

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

SL: Source language
TL: Target language
GF: Godfather
BG: B gi
vi

LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
Page
Table 2.1. Slang formation 12
Table 2.2. Slang translation strategies 23
Table 4.1. Percentage of translation strategies 38

Figure 4.1. Types of slang in The Godfather 29
Figure 4.2. Strategies applied with slang of semantic change 35
Figure 4.3. Strategies applied with affixed slang 36
Figure 4.4. Percentage of translation strategies 39

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CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION
This initial chapter states the problem of research, aims and objectives, scope of
the study as well as significance of the paper. Above all, three research questions
underlining the whole research are identified in this chapter.
1.1. Rationale for the study
Slang, briefly defined, is low, vulgar and unauthorized language; a popular but
unauthorized word, phrase or mode of expression (Sullivan 1921, p. 9). Some
considered slang below the standard of usage of present-day English (Galperin,
1981) but its linguistic and sociological functions are so undeniable that Adams (2009)
wrote a book titled The Peoples Poetry exploring aspects of slang.
Thanks to its expressiveness and continuous innovation, slang is a vivid
manifestation of peoples feelings about life and the things they encounter in life
(Hayakawa, 1967). Garcarz (2011) has even affirmed, no natural language can
socially exist without slang (p.770). Its aesthetic presence in a language is so crucial.
In terms of sociology, the existence of slang meets the social needs, mostly the
complementary needs to fit in and to stand out (Adams, 2009, p.26). In other
words, this special layer of vocabulary is coined to perform the function of identifying
different social groups and distinguishing who is in these groups and who is not.
Several studies have been carried out to examine the nature of slang in linguistic
system. Research by Hayakawa (1967), Eble (1996), Dumas and Lighter (1978), and
Adams (2009) typifies the investigations done in the realm of slangy language.
Nevertheless, the studies on slang up to now have just paid attention to its sociological
importance and how it characterizes a specific social group. Regarding translation,
there has been, however, a limitation in studies on rendering slang and strategies
applied to overcome culture-related obstacles in translating.
Since slang owes its birth to criminal world (Sullivan, 1921), it is more
advantageous and reliable to study the characteristics of slang in crime fiction.
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Therefore, the researcher chose The Godfather (1969) by Mario Puzo, which was one
of the best seller gangster fictions in the United States and was on the New York Times
best seller list for 67 weeks (Gussow, 1999), as the subject of the investigation on
slang. The novel depicts vividly the underworld in the late 1960s and put Mafia on the
map (Forshaw, 2007). With Mario Puzos intimate understanding of the criminal
organization and the richness of slangy language, the novel offers favorable conditions
to fulfill the objectives of the research.
The Godfather was translated into Vietnamese several times by Ngoc Thu Lang
(1972), Trinh Huy Ninh and Doan Tu Huyen (1989). However, the version by Ngoc
Thu Lang was likely to be regarded as the best translation. D. T. Huyen, whose another
translation of The Godfather was published in 1989, claimed the excellence of the
version by Ngoc Thu Lang and in his preface he even indicated his acknowledgement
in consulting the translation by Ngoc Thu Lang (Yen, 2004). Hence, the choice of
Ngoc Thu Langs translation facilitates the exploration of strategies applied in
rendering slang from English into Vietnamese.
All these conditions above offered the researcher a chance to conduct a study
titled Strategies applied by Ngoc Thu Lang in English-Vietnamese translation of
slang in The Godfather.
1.2. Aims and Objectives
First, the paper aims at exploring the characteristics of slang deployed in novel
The Godfather by Mario Puzo. Second, an investigation was conducted to shed light
on strategies applied by Ngoc Thu Lang in translating slang from English into
Vietnamese. Finally, a trend in the translators style will be generalized.
To achieve the aims, these following questions are proposed:




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1. What are the characteristics of slang in The Godfather by Mario Puzo?
2. Which strategies are applied by Ngoc Thu Lang in translating slang from
English into Vietnamese in the Godfather?
3. What is the most dominant strategy applied by Ngoc Thu Lang?
1.3. Scope of the study
The researcher chose the novel The Godfather by Mario Puzo published in
1969 and its Vietnamese version translated by Ngoc Thu Lang in 1972 as the samples
of the study. As stated in the previous part, the prime focus of this research is put on
slangy language and strategies applied to transfer slang from English into Vietnamese.
Therefore, the research is expected to just concentrate on the characteristics of slang
existing in the original version and the translation strategies applied in rendering them
into Vietnamese. Besides, to ensure its credibility, the paper investigates the whole
novel and its equivalent translation instead of any sole chapter.
1.4. Significance of the study
Once having been completed, the paper is hoped to serve three main purposes.
First and foremost, the paper is expected to be helpful to students and translators who
have interest in slang translation and provide a closer look into slang usage.
Second, the research is hoped to be of practical value for students and
translators when they expose to academic and professional circumstances. From
procedures and strategies investigated and drawn in the study, students and translators
have wider choice of techniques to apply in order to obtain the best translation.
Besides, the researcher expects the results of the study could partially enhance
the understanding of slang in general. The researcher has no ambition in achieving a
thorough investigation into the linguistic item. Instead, review and knowledge
presented in the study are meant to offer a look into the issue of considerable
controversy and provoke further examination in the topic.
Finally, in the context of limited studies on slang the results of the study are
expected to act as a useful and reliable source of reference for research in the future.
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The review of previous studies on the field offer a great usefulness for further studies
for those who share the interest in slang as well as slang-related domain.
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CHAPTER II. LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter provides an overview of some research on slang, its definition and
word-formation, which gives the study a firm theoretical grounding and offers primary
criteria for the sampling process. The second focus of this chapter is on slang
translation and the discussion about strategies to coin out an appropriate framework for
analysis of translation style applied by Ngoc Thu Lang.
2.1 Slang
2.1.1 Definitions of slang
To understand strategies to translate slang, the definition of the term should be
taken into great consideration. Although the term has been frequently discussed by
linguists, there has been a divergence in offering a comprehensive definition of slang.
Few linguists have endeavored to satisfactorily define which constitutes slang.
Hotten (1859) among the very first attempts has called the term the language of street
humor, of fast, high and low life, implying the in-group property of slang (p. xlix).
However, which criteria should be applied to define high and low life as the definition
stated is not clearly presented. During the compilation of Dictionary of American
Slang, Flexner and Wentworth try to offer a more precise definition of slang: slang
[...] is a body of words and expressions used by a large portion of American but not
accepted as good and formal (as cited in Dumas and Lighter, 1978, p. 7).
Nevertheless, the scale of society in which slang is employed is not delineated, which
fails to reflecting the social inclusiveness of the term.
On the ground of aesthetic and social aspects, others follow different approaches
to describe slang. From a stylistic viewpoint, Galperin (1977) has considered slang
below the standard usage of present-day (p.95), which is in the same light as
Stenstrom, who has considered words that are below the stylistically neutral
language slang (as cited in Mattiello, 2005, p. 10). Eble in Slang and Sociability
(1996) has proposed a more elaborate definition of slang that stresses the sociological
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feature of slang: Slang is an ever-changing set of colloquial words and phrases that
speakers use to establish or reinforce social identity or cohesiveness within a group (p.
11). Adams (2009) has pinpointed essential elements of slang including casual,
playful, racy, irreverent or playful language that outlines social in-groups (p.7). In
other words, slang is an expressive language whose function is to designate who
belongs to a group and who does not. Although these definitions to some extent have
mentioned characteristics of slang, they are not sufficient enough to provide a
linguistically useful frame to distinguish slang from other lexical layer.
Reves (1926) defined that slang is the changing vocabulary of conversation,
which is known by a particular set or class, usually has figurative meaning and
becomes trendy in a short period and then disappears or passes into standard speech (p.
216). In this definition, although fundamental features of slang are mentioned including
instability, limited popularity in a narrow social group, criteria are not well-defined
enough to serve as framework for spot out slang from other lexial layer. Dumas and
Lighter (1978) chose more detailed way to describe slang when they have claimed that
a word can be regarded as true slang if it meets at least two of the following criteria:
1. Its presence will markedly lower [...] the dignity of formal or
serious speech or writing.
2. Its use implies the users special familiarity either with the referent
or with that less statusful or less responsible class of people who have such
special familiarity and use the term.
3. It is a tabooed term in ordinary discourse with persons of higher
social status or greater responsibility.
4. It is used in place of the well-known conventional synonym,
especially in order (a) to protect the user from the discomfort caused by the
conventional item or (b) to protect the user from the discomfort or annoyance of
further elaboration. (1978, pp. 14-15)
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The authors have admitted that those words fit the third criterion are
functionally similar to those fit the first and probably the second criterion. The
overlapping makes the researcher adjusts and summarizes those criteria into three
features: (1) slangs informal usage is considered tabooed or non-standard in ordinary
discourse; (2) it indicates its users social status or the users familiarity with the
people who use it; (3) its usage can replace conventional synonym to avoid annoyance.
Those revised criteria adequately serve as framework to identify slang.
2.1.2 Characteristics of slang
Despite difficulty in defining slang, the term has some consistent characteristics.
The first one is widely agreed by many linguists that slang is ever-changing. As Eble
puts it the slang vocabulary of a language is ephemeral, bursting into existence and
falling out of use at a much more rapid rate than items of general vocabulary (as cited
in Adams, 2009, p. 16). No word is perpetually slang and many formal words can
adopt slang connotation or experience stylistic misuse and then pass into standard
vocabulary. If a slangy word becomes old it will be replaced by a new one. Due to the
constant supply of new words, slang only enjoys a short time of popularity, as a result
it is essential that slang requires continuous innovation to enliven and survive in
language (Galperin, 1977, p. 97).
Slang also serves as social identification, which indicates who is a member of a
group and who is not. Its group-identifying feature also prevents outsiders from
understanding what is being said among members of a social group and prevents the
intrusion of outsiders (Hayakawa, 1967, p. 2). By that means, slang consolidates the
solidarity among the group and ensures the confidentiality. This social identification
does not necessarily belong to only users in criminal world. It may be popular among
those who have reason to hide their illegal activities from authority (drug dealers,
prostitutes) or used by certain subgroups who want to keep secrecy from adult people
(teenagers) (Mattiello, 2008, p. 13)
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Another characteristic of slang is expressiveness, which Rapoport has referred
to when he has called the term a collection of vivid metaphors (as cited in Dumas
and Lighter, 1978, p. 9). American Heritage Dictionary has stated that the
distinguishing feature of slang [...] is the intention to produce rhetorical effect (as cited
in Dumas and Lighter, 1978). Despite being identified under different names as
rhetorical effect or colorfulness, expressiveness of slang implies lively illustration of
peoples feelings about life thanks to its strong connotation. Slang is not restricted
within denotative meaning. Instead, it is likely to cross its regular boundary to reach
the dimension of intentional aggressiveness and informality.
In addition to ephemerality, in-group function, and expressiveness, slang
reflects disagreement with established authority. In the relationship of opposition rather
than cooperation, subgroups with little politic power (adolescents, college students) or
with secret to hide from authority (prisoners, drug addicts) deliberately deploy slang,
which is deemed non-standard and offensive, to show their disrespect to conventional
social or semantic norm (Sledd, as cited in Dumas and Lighter, 1978, p. 12). This
hostility can range from slight impertinence to clear-cut rebellion (Eble, 1996, p. 124).
2.1.3 Classification
Not only is defining slang a challenging task but classification of slang is also
never easy. In fact, there has been no study categorizing slang or presenting widely
recognized classification of the term. Among existing research in slang, only Eble
(1996) and Mattielo (2008) have discussed about slang formation process as an
approach of classification. Both of them have divided slang into 8 types, some of
which see correlation. However, neither of these taxonomies satisfactorily covers all
occurrence of slang formation. Therefore, the researcher decides to present a new
framework which consists of 9 groups based on reviewing the development process of
slang by Mattiello (2008) and Eble (1996).
2.1.3.1. Affixation involves using prefixes and suffixes. Suffixed slang can be
formed grammatically regularly as standard portion of vocabulary such as -er (the one
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or that which) as in bummer (that which bums one out) depressing experience (Eble,
1996, p.33). Some suffixes in slang are novel (e.g. -o/oo) or used differently from
Standard English (e.g. -ed) (Mattielo, 2008, p.20). Suffix -o (and its graphic variant -
oo) in derivational words refers to either a stupid, unintelligent person (dumbo) or a
person with a particular habit or characteristics (sicko: a disturbing and unsavory
person) (Mattielo, 2008, p.20). In the case of suffix -ed, instead of using as an
inflectional morpheme to indicate past tense, it is frequently attached to noun to form
adjectives with the meaning of intoxicated by alcohol or drug (box - boxed:
marijuana intoxicated). Affixation process also involves the formation Mattielo has
called initial and final combination or prefixoids and suffixoids (2008, p.20).
Prefixoids and suffixoids are abbreviations of other words functioning as prefixes and
suffixes usually as intensifier (e.g. buttocks (bottoms) butt- butt-ugly (extremely
ugly)
2.1.3.2. Compounding process is identified by both the researchers as a
combination of two elements. Compounding can be created from individual words of
various parts of speech: noun+noun (air bag: an imaginary guitar played by rock music
fan); noun+verb (facerape: kiss passionately) (Eble, 1996, p.31) or the assimilation
(e.g. alright from the exclamation all right) or haplology (the elimination of a syllable
when two consecutive identical or similar syllables occur) (e.g. dimbo from dim bimbo)
(Mattielo, 2008, p.21). Both researchers also have agreed that although combination is
straightforward (word+word=compound), that simplicity often causes complexity in
meaning or semantic ambiguity (cake-hole (the mouth), air guitar (an imaginary guitar
played by rock music fans) because of the lack of meaning transparency of one or both
elements (Eble, 1996; Mattielo, 2008).
2.1.3.3. In slang, conversion or functional shift is the shift from this part of
speech to another without undergoing an alteration in form (Eble, 2008). For example,
adjectives can take additional function as nouns (e.g. previous: criminal record), or
prepositions can act as adjectives (e.g. out: publicly and openly homosexual).
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2.1.3.4. Shortening in slang segment of vocabulary can be obtained from
clipping process in which the first letter or a part of a word is retained (H: heroin, bro:
brother) (Eble, 1996). This process is similar to abbreviation proposed by Mattielo
(2008) which includes partial blending (e.g. gaydar from gay and radar: the perceived
or real ability of one homosexual to sense intuitively that another person is
homosexual)
2.1.3.5. The process of inversion includes back-slang (yob: boy, ecaf: face)
and spoonerism (fitshaced: shitfaced). This formation has not been realized by Eble
(1996) as a word-building process.
2.1.3.6. Eble (1996) also regards borrowing from foreign language as a type
of slang word-building although it is not a worth-noticing feature. That can be
explained by the nature of slang which is group-identification and of low dignity. Loan
words from Greek or Latin increasing the formality of words have no place in slang.
Eble has stated that foreign borrowings are confined to greetings or playful
mispronunciations. She has also asserted that Yiddish is the most noticeable
contributor of slang borrowings for American English (p.75-76)
2.1.3.7. The process of reduplication usually exhibits the vowel gradation or
vowel alternation (e.g. crisscross: amphetamine, wishy-washy: feeble, week). Eble
(1996) has considered this process particularly suited to slang (p.39) and named it
playing with sounds
2.1.3.8. Infixation is unknown in Standard English. It is a peculiarity of slang
with infixes such as -bloody- and -fucking- inserted in a word to emphasize the
superlative meaning of adverbs or adjectives and indicate speakers attitude; e.g. fan-
fucking-tastic, abso-bloody-lutely.
2.1.3.9. Also considered one of processes particularly suited to slang,
semantic change or change in meaning refers to the extension of existing forms to the
new meanings (Mattielo, 2008). Slang produced by semantic change are simply more
specific meaning of existing words which become part of in-group language (dope or
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stuff: drugs and narcotics). Some provided slang evoke new concepts in the same
semantic fields (e.g. bombed out, hammered, smashed, etc. for being drunk or under
influence of drugs belong to semantic field of destruction). Figurative language
(metaphor, metonym, irony, etc.) is also exploited in enrichment of slang vocabulary.
The above-mentioned word formations are summarized in the following table.























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Table 2.1. Slang formation
Slang
formations
Suggested by Example Explanation and meaning of
example
1. Affixation Eble (1996)
Mattielo (2008)
Dumbo
Sicko
Earache
Dumb + o: a stupid person
Headache -ache ear + ache:
a very talkative person
2. Compounding Eble (1996)
Mattielo (2008)
Cake-hole Cake + hole: the mouth
3. Conversion
(functional shift)
Mattielo (2008)
(Eble (1996))
Previous Previous (adjective) previous
(noun): a criminal record
4. Shortening

Eble (1996) H
BYO
Gaydar

Heroin
Bring Your Own
Gay + radar: the perceived or real
ability of one homosexual to sense
intuitively that another person is
homosexual
5. Inversion Mattielo (2008) Yob Boy yob
6. Borrowing Eble (1996)

Oy vey! (from Yiddish) used for
expressing surprise
7. Reduplication Mattielo (2008) Wishy-
washy
(i-o alternation) feeble, weak
8. Infixation Mattielo (2008) Fan-
fucking-
tastic
Fantastic + fucking
9. Semantic
change
Eble (1996)
Mattielo (2008)
Hammered Being drunk or under influence of
drugs
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2.2 Slang translation
2.3.1 Translation
The concept of translation has attracted the academic attention from scholars for
a long time. Translation can be regarded as the product (the translated text) or the
process (the act of producing the translation, also known as translating) (Munday,
2001, p. 5). Venuti (1995) has claimed that translation is the rewriting of an original
text, which does not only transfer wording but also reflect the ideology and poetics (p.
vii).
Williams (2013) has mentioned a widely held definition of translation regarding
translation as a simple and straightforward exercise in which a word in one language
is replaced by one word in another language, despite the type of text, its purpose, and
its readership (p. 1). This definition partly negates the significance of knowledge in
comprehensive text analysis to ensure that the source text has been entirely and
correctly understood (Nord, 2005).
Based on the criterion of equivalence, Nida and Taber (2003) have defined
translation as the process of reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural
equivalent of the source-language message in both terms meaning and style (p.
12). This approach has been previously stated by House (1997) as she has described
translation as the replacement of a text in the source language (SL) by a semantically
and pragmatically equivalent text in the target language (TL). (p. 31)
Reviewing those definitions about translation, translation is a process of
transferring a text in one language into another language with the most proper form and
meaning. In other words, the transferring of text from language into language must be
accompanied by the preservation of semantic and stylistic equivalent.
2.3.2 Difficulties in slang translation
Kenny argued that the translation of non-standard language as slang poses one
of the most challenging tasks for translators: the equivalence, which is the central
concept but also controversial one in translation theory (as cited in Baker, 1998). To
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preserve the equivalent effect, Nida (1964) has presented two different types of
equivalence: formal equivalence and dynamic equivalence. Formal equivalence
focuses attention on the message itself in both form and content ... and the message in
the receptor language should match as closely as possible the different elements in the
source language (p. 159). This concept to some extent parallels to semantic translation
of Newmark, which attempts to maintain the similarity between effects on original
readers and that on target readers (as cited in Munday, 2001). Meanwhile, dynamic
equivalence ensures that the relationship between receptor and message should be
sustainably the same as that which existed between the original receptors and the
message (p. 159). This description resembles the Newmarks commnunicative
translation in trying to keep both form and meaning of the source text (as cited in
Munday, 2001).
Nida claimed that translators attempting to achieve formal equivalence have to
face several formal elements including (1) grammatical units, (2) consistency in word
usage, and (3) meanings in terms of the source context. Grammatical units involve (a)
translating nouns by nouns, verbs by verbs, etc, (b) keeping all phrases and sentences
intact and (c) preserving all formal indicators (as cited in Venuti, 2000, p. 134). This
discouraging task requires careful text analysis and thorough understanding of both
source and target languages but perhaps is not always obtained due to the linguistic and
cultural disparity, which is peculiar to slang vocabulary.
In contrast, some translators may choose translation oriented toward dynamic
equivalence which is expected to contain (1) equivalence, (2) naturalness and (3)
closeness to avoid vulgarism and offensiveness of slangy vocabulary. However, these
translation probably fall into the error of sacrificing naturalness and expressiveness of
slang for complicated and technical phrases. (Nida, as cited in Venuti, 2000, p. 138)


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2.3.3 Strategies in slang translation
a. Newmarks strategies
(1) Word-for-word translation
In word-for-word translation, the SL word-order is preserved and the words are
translated individually by their most common meaning, out of context. Word-for-word
translation is useful in understanding mechanics of SL or difficult text as a pre-
translation process. The following example as well as

E.g. Johnny sat on the floor with his face in his hands
(GF, p.4)
Johnny ngi trn sn nh vi ca anh ta khun mt trong ca anh ta
cc bn tay
(The researchers translation)
(2) Literal translation
Literal translation retains the grammatical constructions of SL text but words are
still translated out of context. Like word-for-word, literal translation serves as a pre-
translation process to identify the problems that need to be solved.
E.g. Johnny sat on the floor with his face in his hands
(GF, p.4)
Johnny ngi trn sn vi khun mt ca anh ta trong hai bn tay ca anh
ta
(The researchers translation)
(3) Faithful translation
In faithful translation, words are translated in context but uncompromising to
TL. A faithful translation attempts to be faithful to intentions and text-realization of the
SL writer.


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E.g., He did not have the heavy, Cupid-shaped face of the other children
(GF, p.8)
N khng c khun mt rng nh thn Cupid nh nhng a con khc
(The researchers translation)
(4) Semantic translation
Semantic translation takes more account of aesthetic value (the beauty and
naturalness of the SL text) at expense of meaning if necessary. Unlike faithful
translation, a semantic translation is of higher flexibility.
E.g. He too was not expected to inherit the family business
(GF, p.7)
Tp ngi Fred chng phi tri sinh ra ch huy
(BG, p.13)
(5) Communicative translation
Communicative translation attempts to render the exact contextual meaning of
the original text with great focus on readability and naturalness. Both the content and
the language are readily acceptable and comprehensible to the reader.
E.g., He performs those miracles for strangers
(GF, p.8)
Ci thng ch hng cho ngi ngoi
(BG, p.15)
(6) I diomatic translation
Idiomatic translation endeavors to produce a lively and natural translation to
retain the massage of the original. It prefers colloquialisms and idioms that do not exist
in the original.




17

E.g., You asked for more, the Don said. Your daughter is alive.
Bonasera said reluctantly Let them suffer as she suffers.
(GF, p.22)
- u c? Con nh cn sng th i n mu sao n?
Bonasera c vt vt:
- Thi th n ming tr ming vy?
(BG, p.34)
(7) Free translation
Free translation reproduces the matter without the manner, or the content
without the form of the original. Usually, it is a paraphrase which is much larger than
the SL text. Free translation is applied in rendering informative texts or in-house
publication.
(8) Adaptation
This is the freest form of translation. It is mainly used for plays, comedies and
poetry; theme, plots, characters are preserved and the SL culture is converted into the
TL culture and the text is rewritten.
b. Bakers strategies
With respect to non-equivalence in translating cross-cultural items as slang,
Baker (1998) has presented eight strategies applied by professional translators.
(1) Translation by a more general word (superordinate)
This is one of the most common strategies to overcome the non-equivalence in
translation because hierarchical structure of lexical fields is of universal feature in
many languages.




18

E.g. When the doctor asked why, Michael grinned and said, Its something
from home.
(GF, p.277)
Bc s Taza thc mc ti sao n khng chu lm cho ri th Michael ch
ci C ... gi lm k nim
(BG, p.437)
Grin means to smile widely but the translator just rendered the word into
ci (smile), which is more general than the original or is the superordinate whose
meaning covers the word grin
(2) Translation by a more neutral/less expressive word
This strategy is particularly useful when the translator encounters an expressive
word to avoid misunderstanding and obtain high naturalness in the TL translation.

E.g. Where the hell was you? Johnny Fontane asked.
Out fucking, she said
(GF, p.4)

Johnny l nh hi: My i u v gi ny?
N bung mt cu: i ng vi trai
(BG, p.8)
The translation of the word fucking as ng vi trai is more natural and not
likely to convey disapproving meaning as lm tnh
(3) Translation by cultural substitution
This strategy involves replacing a culture-specific item or expression in SL text
with a TL item which does not have the same meaning as the original but produce the
same effect in the TL readers mind. The obvious advantage of this strategy is that it
gives the TL reader the item or the concept which is familiar and comprehensible to
them.
19

E.g. Sonny Corleone was tall for a first-generation American of Italian
parentage, almost six feet, and his crop of bushy, curly hair made him
look even taller
(GF, p.7)
Gc , mi nhp tch dn M c mt i m vc dng c nh hn c
th gi l ln con: Sonny c thc tmnhng nh m tc qun dy cm
trng cao hn nhiu.
(BG, p.12)
If six feet is translated into su feet, it is not comprehensible to every
Vietnamese reader. Therefore, the translator should substitute it for thc tm, which
is more familiar to the TL reader.
(4) Translation using a loan word or loan word plus explanation
This is another effective strategy to deal with culture-specific items, modern
terms or newly introduced concepts. The loan word can be followed by an explanation
when the word is repeated several times in the text. Once provided with explanation,
the reader has no difficulty understanding the term and thereafter cannot be distracted
by lengthy explanation.
E.g. A young man named Nino Valenti picked up a discarded mandolin, put
his left foot up on a chair and began to sing a coarse Sicilian love song.
(GF, p.11)
Lc by gi thng Nino Valenti mi nhy ln khn i, v ly mt chic
mandoline ri chn tri ghch ln mt chic gh, n va v n va gn
c biu din mt bn tnh ca c o ca dn Sicily.
(BG, p.19)
(5) Translation by paraphrasing
This strategy is appropriate in coping with concepts that are lexicalized in the
TL but in different form. The paraphrase strategy is also applicable when SL terms
cannot be lexicalized whatsoever in the TL. In this case, the SL item can be
20

paraphrased by using unrelated words or unpacking the meaning of the SL item to
make it easier to understand.
E.g. Tom Hagen was thirty-five years old, a tall crew-cut man, very slender,
very ordinary-looking
(GF, p.39)

Ba mi lm tui, cao ro, dong dng. Rt nhanh nhu v trng b
ngoi chng c g c bit
(BG, p.63)
The meaning of the word ordinary-looking is unpacked into b ngoi chng
c g c bit to make it more intelligible
(6) Translation by omission
If it is not necessary to convey the meaning of a particular item or expression or
other translation strategies are incompatible, the translator can simply skip that item or
expression. Omission strategy is practical to avoid redundancy or awkwardness if it has
no harm to the fluency and meaningfulness of the text.

E.g. Where the hell were you? Johnny Fontane asked.
(GF, p.4)
Johnny l nh hi: My i u v gi ny?
(BG, p.8)
The phrase the hell is omitted in the translation without affecting the meaning
of the whole sentence.
(7) Translation by illustration
This strategy is employed when the SL text refers to a physical entity which
requires lengthy text in the TL to explain. In this case, the choice of illustration still
ensures the conveying of meaning with minimum effort and ambiguity.
21

E.g. A young man named Nino Valenti picked up a discarded mandolin, put
his left foot up on a chair and began to sing a coarse Sicilian love song.
(GF, p.11)
The word mandolin can be translated by using loan word as represented
previously or combining loan word with an explanation. However, for readers who are
not familiar with musical instruments, it may be hard to visualize it. Therefore, in some
cases, the best way to explain to the reader is showing an illustration of mandolin.


c. Discussion
Although Newmarks strategies aims to handle sentences and smaller units of
language and Bakers ones can particularly deal with non-equivalence at word level,
both approaches are unlikely to cover all problems in translating non-standard language
as slang. Therefore, the researcher proposes a different framework of strategies on the
platform of reviewing strategies suggested by Newmark (1988), Baker (1998), Garcarz
(2011) and Blonskyte and Petroniene (2013). The framework comprises five strategies
according to three criteria: (a) meaning (the faithfulness of SL text is preserved or not),
(b) form or consistency in word usage (the SL slang is translated into slang in TL or
not) and (c) expressiveness or rhetoric value which is typical of slang. The correlation
between a SL slang and its equivalent in TL in preserving three above features
determines which translation strategy is applied in conveying slang items.

22

(1) Preservation
Preservation offered by Blonskyte and Petroniene (2013) or word-for-word
translation as named by Garcarz (2011) refers to the maintenance of faithfulness of
slang. Ideally, a SL slang is kept intact in both form and meaning. However, in some
cases, preservation means meaning and expressiveness of SL slang are priotized while
the form of SL slang can be transferred into either slang or neutral word in TL.
(2) Softening
Softening strategy suggested by Blonskyte and Petroniene (2013) involves using
more neutral words or less expressive words in the TL compared to the original ones in
the SL. This leads to the change in form and diminish of colloquialism of SL slang,
which is quite similar to description. However, what distinguishes softening from
description strategy is the maintenance of meaning. Specifically, the meaning of a SL
slang is accurately translated into TL by less rude vocabulary.
(3) Description
This strategy is proposed by Garcarz (2011). If there is no slang in the TL
equivalent to an item in the SL, translators often explain its content in more neutral
word or paraphrase the content by unrelated words. As a result, expressiveness of SL
slang is minimized and TL equivalent of a word has longer form such as phrase or
clause.
(4) Omission
This strategy is put forward by Baker (1998), Garcarz (2011) and Blonskyte and
Petroniene (2013). The omission of slangy items is also called translation loss
(Harvey & Higgins, as cited in Blonskyte & Petroniene, 2013, p. 64) in which a slang
in SL is omitted and not transferred into the TL.
(5) Compensation
Compensation strategy is mentioned in research of Garcarz (2011) and
Blonskyte and Petroniene (2013).This strategy is identified by Baker as making up for
the loss of a source text effect by recreating a similar effect in the target text (as cited
23

in Blonskyte & Petroniene, 2013, p. 64), Compensation is employed when the
translator prefers the offensive effect of a SL slang over form and meaning. Five
strategies are presented in the following table.

Table 2. 2. Slang translation strategies
Strategy Suggested by Explanation (1) (2) (3)
Preservation Garcarz (2011) maintaining of
faithfulness of slang
/
Softening Blonskyte and
Petroniene
(2013)
using more neutral
words or less
expressive words in the
TL compared to the
original ones in the SL

Description Garcarz (2011) explaining content in
more neutral word or
paraphrase the content
by unrelated words


(longer)

Omission Baker (1998),
Garcarz (2011)
and Blonskyte
and Petroniene
(2013)
Omitting and not
translating a SL slang
in SL into the TL
Compensation Garcarz (2011)
Blonskyte and
Petroniene
(2013)
recreating a similar
effect in the TL text

Note: (1) Meaning; (2) Form; (3) Expressiveness
24

CHAPTER III. METHODOLOGY
This chapter aims to define the research design, which guides the choice of
research method, sampling strategy, data collection method and data analysis method.
This chapter also provides the description of the subject, sampling steps, data
collection procedure and data analysis procedure.
3.1. Design of the study
Qualitative approach was employed in conducting the study. According to
Merriam (2009) qualitative researchers are interested in understanding the meaning
people have constructed, that is, how people make sense of their world and the
experiences they have in the world (p.13). The objective of the research approach is to
get better understanding of the subject matter (Denzin and Lincoln, 2005). Concerning
the materials and practice, Denzin and Lincoln (2005) have also stated that a wide
range of interconnected interpretive practice is employed in qualitative research and
empirical materials such as case study, personal experience, life story, interviews, and
cultural texts are involved in qualitative research. Besides, the nature of qualitative
research allows more flexible and responsive approach to the changing conditions of
the study in progress (Merriam, 2009). Based on the type of research data, Nkwi,
Nyamongo, and Ryan (2001) have defined, qualitative research involves any research
that uses data that do not indicate ordinal values. (p.1). In other words, qualitative
involves collecting or working with texts, images or sounds.
On the platform of definition of qualitative research, qualitative research was an
appropriate choice for this study. The qualitative approach helped the researcher get
highly in-depth comprehension of the issue being investigated. It facilitated the
researcher with flexible approach to response to variable conditions during the study
and enabled the researcher to answer the proposed research questions thoroughly. The
selection of qualitative research determined the choice of subject, sample selection
method and data analysis procedure in the study.
25

3.2. Research method
Document analysis was used as the main data collection method in this study.
Document source refers to written, oral and visual document and cultural artifacts.
Public records, personal documents or physical materials are types of documents
available for analysis. Merriam (2002) has claimed the convenience of document as a
data source as it already exists in the situation and is independent from human
cooperation which is essential in interview or observation method.
Due to the aim of the study to investigate on strategies applied in translating the
novel the Godfather from English to Vietnamese, the document analysis was the
appropriate research method.
3.3. Puzos The Godfather and its Vietnamese translation
The Godfather is a crime novel written by Italian American author Mario Puzo,
originally published in 1969 by G. P. Putnam's Sons. It details the story of a fictitious
Mafia family based in New York City (and Long Beach, New York), headed by Don
Vito Corleone, who became synonymous with the Italian Mafia. The novel covers the
years 1945 to 1955, and also provides the back story of Vito Corleone from early
childhood to adulthood.
The novel was translated into Vietnamese by Ngoc Thu Lang and published in
1972 by Tre Publishing House.
3.4. Sample selection
Purposive sampling was deployed to choose samples for the study. As its name
suggest, purposive or criteria-based sampling requires determining essential criteria in
choosing object to be studied (Merriam, 2009). The established criteria directly reflect
the purpose of the study and serve as the guidance in identifying items that fit the
research.
In this paper, purposive sampling was applied to detect appropriate items for the
study. Accordingly, the slang in the novel The Godfather and their Vietnamese
equivalents in the translation by Ngoc Thu Lang were chosen to be investigated. Slang
26

words were identified when they fitted the criteria and characteristics of slang
mentioned in the chapter of literature review. When one slang was detected, the
researcher rechecked by looking it up in American Slang and Colloquial Expressions
by Richard A. Spears (2000), The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang
and Unconventional English by Tom Dalzell (2009), Oxford Advanced Learners
Dictionary 8
th
(2010), which were the most accessible and consulted other online
dictionaries. Which words were labeled slang or informal or listed among slang and
expressive words were selected.
During sampling process, the researcher found the repetition of a large portion
of slang. Some repeated items were treated with the same strategy while some were
tackled differently depending on the context. To ensure the feasibility of the study, the
researcher left out repeated slang and filtered out 79 items for data corpus.
3.5. Data collection procedure
Data collection procedure was divided into three steps:
Step 1: collecting English slang in the original and Vietnamese equivalents in
the translated version
This step was based on the criteria established in the section of sample selection.
The process of collecting English slang occurred simultaneously with the process of
collecting the equivalents in Vietnamese translation.
Step 2: categorizing collected English slang
Given slang classification in chapter II, English slang collected in step 1 was
categorize into set group and transcribed into table to prepare for answering the first
research question about the characteristics of slang in the novel.
Step 3: categorizing Vietnamese equivalents in the translated version
After having collected Vietnamese equivalents in the first step, the researcher
carried out the identification and classification of strategies detected to draw
conclusion of strategies used by the translator in rendering the original. This step relied
27

on the framework of translation strategies the researcher proposed in the chapter II
based on revision of previous studies.
3.6. Data analysis procedure
After the phase of data collection, the data set in the study consists of English
slang and their Vietnamese correspondence that were classified and grouped.
With English slang, from table of categorization, text information was
transcribed into numerical data. Specifically, the number of a slang type were counted
and transferred into chart to see the frequency of the type. This step provided answer
for the first research question about the characteristics of slang in the original.
Vietnamese equivalents undergo the same process. The number of Vietnamese
translation of original slang that were grouped into six types of strategies were tallied
and calculated. Then the statistic was shown in chart to illustrate the occurrence of each
strategy applied by the translator. The analysis of three most remarkable types of slang
were also carried out to find out the pattern of translation strategies applied with these
slang types. Finally, based on the chart, the researcher drew the conclusion on which
strategy dominates the style of the translator in rendering slang from the original
version.
28

CHAPTER IV. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The third chapter has clarified the methodology of the paper with research
design, descriptions of subject, sampling process, data collection procedure and data
analysis procedure. In this chapter, collected data is analyzed and discussed to answer
three research questions respectively.
After reading the whole novel and checking against its translated version, the
researcher filtered 79 English slang words whose Vietnamese equivalence was also
picked out. On the basis of procedures presented in the chapter of methodology, the
classification and tally were carried out. The results were to be of service to analytical
discussion to answer three research questions mentioned in the first part of this paper.
Prior to analysis and discussion, it is necessary to represent three research
questions underlining the research.
Research question 1: What are the characteristics of slang in the novel The
Godfather by Mario Puzo?
Research question 2: Which strategies are applied by Ngoc Thu Lang in
translating slang from English in Vietnamese in The Godfather?
Research question 3: What is the most dominant strategy applied by Ngoc Thu
Lang in slang translation?
The following results will be demonstrated and analyzed in the order of three
above-mentioned questions in turn.
4.1. Research question 1: Characteristics of slang in The Godfather
The categorization is on the platform of word-building process proposed by the
researcher based on reviewing word-formation processes suggested by Eble (1996) and
Mattielo (2008) in chapter II. There are 9 main patterns of word-formation of slang
vocabulary: (1) affixation; (2) compounding; (3) conversion; (4) shortening; (5)
inversion; (6) borrowing; (7) reduplication; (8) infixation and (9) semantic change.
Slang classification into 9 groups is presented in Appendix 1.
29

The following chart shows the density of each type of slang in the novel The
Godfather

Figure 4.1. Types of slang in The Godfather
As can be seen from the chart, a disproportion appears among 9 types of slang
in the novel. Accordingly, semantic change has an overwhelming number of 31 out of
79 slang items in the novel, which entails that roughly 39% of the slang used by the
author are created by semantic transformation. The typical features of slang are likely
to account for this domination. The ever-changing attribute of the vocabulary layer
requires constant supply of new words; many words experience the extension of
existing meaning to for a new one (stick: to push something, usually a sharp object,
into something; to be pushed into something > to have sex). Semantic change also
relies, to great extent, on figurative language (e.g. metaphor, euphemism, etc)
(Mattielo, 2008, p.24), which facilitates the creation of new slang word (scum: a layer
17
7
10
8
0
4
2
0
31
0 10 20 30 40
Affixation
Compounding
Conversion
Shortening
Inversion
Borrowing
Reduplication
Infixation
Semantic change
Types of slang in "The Godfather"
the number of
slang words
30

of bubbles or an unpleasant substance that forms on the surface of a liquid > a
despicable, unlikable person).
Meanwhile, affixation accounts for roughly 22% of the number of the slang with
17 slangy items. Aside from suffixes that are popular in standard English, slang in the
novel also has novel suffix (wino: a lowly drunk). Conversion, shortening and
compounding produce 10, 8 and 7 slang words, making up about 12%, 10% and 9%
respectively. Whereas, borrowing slang occupies only 5% with 4 items but all of them
are Italian slang (finocchio, infamita, goombah, bimbo). Only 2 out of 79 slang words
are formed by reduplication. In contrast, no slang in the novel is created by inversion
and infixation, which are peculiar to slang and almost un-known in standard English
(Mattielo, 2008).
In a nutshell, semantic change and affixation are more prevailing ways of
forming slang, followed by conversion, shortening and compounding. Borrowing and
reduplicated slang make up a small percentage while inversion and infixation are not
employed.
4.2. Research question 2: translation strategies applied in Ngoc Thu
Langs translation
4.2.1. Application of translation strategies in general
As the researcher proposed in chapter II, there are six strategies to render slang
words, including (1) preservation; (2) dynamic equivalence; (3) softening; (4)
description; (5) omission and (6) compensation. This framework results from the
reviewing and combination of strategies suggested in previous study based on three
criteria: meaning, form and expressiveness. The identification of strategy for each
slang item is illustrated in Appendix 1.
a. Preservation
10 out of 79 English slang are rendered by preservation into Vietnamese, which
can be explained by the non-equivalence between two languages. It is impossible that
all English slang words have their exact slangy equivalent in Vietnamese especially
31

when some slang words are loan words (e.g. finocchio) or cannot be lexicalized
without meaning loss. Two approaches are identified in preservation. The first one is
the preservation of all meaning, form and vulgarism of slang word.
E.g.: Sonny turned to his father and said, Those guys over there must be
cops.
(GF, p.9)
Sonny vi phi bo: Cm, b !
(BG, p.15)
The word cm as equivalent of Cop (police officer) ensures three factors:
form, meaning and expressiveness as it is a Vietnamese slang for police.
Due to linguistic dissimilarity between English and Vietnamese, some English
slang may be translated into Vietnamese words of different forms but their effect is
remained in TL. It means an equivalent in TL is not a slang but its colloquial meaning
and its expressiveness is completely transferred from SL.
E.g.: Those lousy bastards, they dont respect anything.
(GF, p.9)
My thng khn khng n nang g ht!
(BG, p.15)
Bastards (rude, unpleasant or cruel man) is translated into the phrase my
thng khn, which is not Vietnamese slang but has similar vulgarism.
This second approach in preservation strategy offers a more flexible approach to
the translator to transfer English slangy items. The translator only needs to transfer the
meaning and informal styles of slang without remaining the form. Therefore, 6 slangy
items among 10 slang translated by preservation are transferred into Vietnamese with
meaning and offensiveness priotized over form.
b. Softening
Softening strategy involves using more neutral or less expressive words in the
TL compared to the SL words. The translator does not keep the form and the
32

colloquialism of the slang in SL while the meaning is preserved. The translator applies
both types of softening to render 22 slang into Vietnamese, 27.8% of total number of
slang in The Godfather.
The expressiveness of SL slang can be softened by using less colloquial word as
in the following example.
E.g. You still think screwing is really like those dopey songs you used to
sing (GF, p. 4)
B my tng lm tnh cng nh my sa my bi my nc y h
(BG, p.8)
Lm tnh as translation of screwing (have sex) is less colloquial than and
structurally different from its origin but it is still semantically intelligible to the reader.
In softening, SL slang can be translated into words of neutral register.
E.g. Beautiful broads run after me and I never could resist them.
(GF, p.26)
Gi p chy theo th t chi sao ni?
(BG, p.42)
Broad, an offensive word to refer to a woman is translated into gi, a
neutral word referring to woman in general.
c. Description
The number of slang translated by description strategy occupies 18%, equal to
14 of 79 slang words. Description is similar to softening strategy in minimizing
offensiveness of the SL slang and changing its form. Nonetheless, the translator
preserves its meaning by explaining in more neutral word or explaining the content in
unrelated word based on the context.
E.g. (Johnny) Christ, I cant go through all that crap again.
(GF, p.27)
By gi m chui tr li ci trng gia nh th con ch c nc cht!
(BG, p.43)
33

Crap (nonsense, rubbish things) in this case implies inharmonious family life
of the character Johnny Fontain but if the translator renders it into chuyn v vn, to
lao it diminishes the understandability of the sentence. By explaining its content into
ci trng gia nh, the translator sacrifices form and expressiveness for meaning.
d. Omission
The percentage of slangy items translated in Vietnamese by omission is 18%,
the same number as the description strategy. Omission strategy is applied when the
translation of slang in SL into TL is not necessary. The content of the whole sentence
and the effect on the TL reader is not affected.
E.g. Then maybe I can give you and the kids more dough
(GF, p.137)
Ngha l c th chu cp cho c v cc con thm cht na.
(BG, p.215)
The word dough referring to money is excluded when translating into
Vietnamese because the phrase chu cp thm cht na can fully present the meaning
of the source phrase give more dough.
e. Compensation
Compensation is employed on 18 slang words or roughly 23%. There are three
subcategories of compensation. Some slang items are translated into words with
different style or meaning but their informal attribute is consistent by using words that
are more friendly to TL reader.
E.g. Not to the brides taste, but Connie had consented to a guinea
wedding to please her father because she had so displeased him in her
choice of a husband.
(GF, p.10)
Nhng c nh qu cng phi chu, phi chu v ni ci v chn thng
Carlo Rizzi lm chng cng nghch ng b qu x ri!
(BG, p.17)
34

Guinea (an Italian-American) is used as a term of address that evokes a
common heritage, especially Italian. The translator renders it into nh qu which is
semantically different from the origin but of high expressiveness and readability as a
compensation for meaning loss.
Sometimes the translator decides to increase the rhetoric value of word by a
choice of greater vulgarism as an equivalent for the original one.
E.g. Now, sipping his beer, he glanced around, checking how the two young
punks were making out with the two little tramps at the bar.
(GF, p.47)
Khuya nay n ngi nhm nh ly la-de, kn o lic chng coi hai thng
sc sinh g gm my con chiu i ti c no ri.
(BG, p.35)
The word punk is an informal word referring to a young man or boy who
behaves rudely. It is not of highly offensiveness but its equivalent thng sc sinh
(which can be back-translated into son of the bitch) is comparably vulgar compared to
the origin.
Some meaning loss of SL slang is compensated by the translators invention of
new slang that does not exist in TL.
E.g. The police captain, McCluskey, is a guy whos been on the take very
heavy ever since hes been a patrolman.
(GF, p.107)
V cng nham nh, ch thch tin v t hi mi v lnh nhm tay
nng.
(BG, p.171)
The translator invented the word nhm tay, which is new in Vietnamese, as
the equivalent to the slang take (accepting bribes) with the intention to remain the
effect produced in the origin and make up for the stylistic loss in translating the SL
slang.
35

4.2.2. Application of translation strategies in particular types of
slang
In this part, the researcher selected three types of slang used in the novel The
Godfather to analyze: semantic change, affixation and borrowing. The two first
strategies occupy a large portion of slang vocabulary in the novel (39% and 22 %
respectively) and the last one is noteworthy in a novel revolving around characters of
Italian descents.
a. Semantic change
With 31 instances, semantic change presents a wide spectrum of the strategies
applied to translate those items. All of five strategies are employed; however, a
disparity among the strategies can be underscored as in the below figure:


Figure 4.2. Strategies applied with slang of semantic change
As can be seen from the chart, softening, which minimizes the colloquialism of
slang, outnumbers other strategies in rendering this type of slang. By its very nature,
4
9
4
6
8
Strategies applied with slang of semantic
change
Preservation
Softening
Description
Omission
Compensation
36

softening allows the translator to be more flexible in dealing with such vulgar items,
which results in high deploy.
In contrast, preservation is used in 4 cases. Slang created by semantic change
acquire the attribute of in-group identification therefore obtain higher expressiveness.
Meanwhile, preservation requires the maintenance of at least two factors: meaning and
expressiveness. As a result, the use of preservation on the type of semantic change is
not favorable. Description strategy also has the same instances with 4 slang. The low
percentage of description may result from its longer form than its origin and its
reduction of the expressiveness of slang..
Without outstanding difference, compensation follows softening with 8
instances. With low percentage of preservation and the considerable occurrence of
omission, compensation is applied to make up for rhetoric loss by softening and
description or restrain of using preservation.
b. Affixation

Figure 4.3: Strategies applied with affixed slang
1
5
3
3
5
Strategies applied with affixed slang
Preservation
Softening
Description
Omission
Compensation
37

Among 17 items of affixed slang, the translator still prefers softening and
compensation with 5 instances apiece. Description strategy is applied 3 times to ensure
the understandability of the original slang as well as its context. 3 out of 17 slang are
omitted without affecting the meaning, which is also a strategy to increase readability
of the text by sacrificing faithfulness of individual items. Meanwhile, only one slang is
preserved. Once again, it shows that the translator pays more attention to meaning and
rhetoric effect rather than the faithfulness in transferring slang items.
c. Borrowing
Two out of 4 borrowing slang (50%) are translated with compensation strategy,
which intensifies the readability and reader-friendliness of the translation.
E.g. A Hollywood finocchio who weeps and begs for pity?
(GF, p.26)
My l thng b nhn khc lc, nn n ngi ta thng hi sao?
(BG, p.41)
Finocchio is an Italian slang for gay. In the context, it implies the feebleness
and cowardliness of Johnny Fontain. Ignoring the content, the translator chooses
thng b nhn as equivalent of finocchio, which is more popular in Vietnamese.
With borrowing, description and softening are also applied with one instance for
each to convey the meaning of slang in the most intelligible manner. Certainly, the use
of softening and description reduce the vulgar value of the slang.
In short, the overall pattern for slang of semantic change and affixation is the
domination of softening and compensation, which either transfer the meaning or
convey the expressiveness of the slang rather than their forms.
4.3. Research question 3: Dominant strategies applied by Ngoc Thu Lang
The following table and chart summarize and visualize the usage of translation
strategies in Ngoc Thu Langs translation

38

Table 4. 1. Percentage of translation strategies
No. Strategy No. data Total Percentage
1 Preservation 7, 8, 12, 15, 16, 20, 28, 66, 75. 77 10 12.7%
2 Softening 1, 3, 5, 17, 22, 27, 32, 37, 39, 40,
42, 50, 51, 55, 60, 63, 67, 69, 70,
72, 73, 76
22 27.8%
3 Description 2, 10, 21, 23, 25, 29, 30, 36, 44,
45, 53, 64, 65, 71
14 17.7%
4 Omission 4, 11, 18, 24, 43, 47, 49, 54, 57,
58, 59, 68, 74, 78
14 17.7%
5 Compensation 6, 9, 13, 14, 16, 19, 26, 31, 33, 34,
35, 38, 41, 46, 48, 52, 61, 62, 79
19 24%
Total 79 100%


39


Figure 4.4. Percentage of translation strategies
As to rendering 79 slang words in the novel The Godfather, the translator
applies all of six strategies in which 27.8% of the slang are translated by softening,
followed by compensation with 22.8%. Omission and description experience the same
percentage (17.7%) of application. Meanwhile, dynamic and preservation account for
small proportion with respectively 7.6% and 6.3% of the English slang translated by
the strategies. In conclusion, with 22 instances, softening is the most preferable
strategies applied by Ngoc Thu Lang in translating The Godfather.
The second highest density of compensation strategy can be regarded as a
typical feature in Ngoc Thu Langs translation style compared to other version of Trinh
Huy Ninh and Doan Tu Huyen (2001), in which compensation strategy is less
deployed. Appendix 2 illustrates the disparity between two versions in whether
compensation is applied or not. As can be seen from the table, with 19 slang translated
by compensation strategy in Ngoc Thu Langs version, Trinh Huy Ninh and Doan Tu
Huyen pay more attention to preserving the meaning of original items rather than
12.7
27.8
17.7
17.7
24
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Preservation
Softening
Description
Omission
Compensation
Percentage of translation strategies
percentage of
translation
strategies
40

ensuring the expressiveness, which is peculiar to slang. Specifically, Trinh Huy Ninh
and Doan Tu Huyen prefer softening (6 slang), description (5 slang) and omission (2
slang) and dynamic equivalent (1 slang) in rendering slang in the novel. It means that
they take the meaning and content of slang word into greater consideration and
minimize the offensiveness of slangy items. The following example shows the
difference between two translations in taking strategies into account.
Ill get that Johnny Fontanes balls cut off, do you hear
me, you guinea fuck?
Hagen said kindly, Im German-Irish.
Guinea: An Italian or Italian-American
Fuck: used as an intensifier
Ngoc Thu Langs translation Trinh Huy Ninh - Doan Tu Huyens
translation
Thng Johnny Fontane ng s thin n,
nh vy qun ch ....

Hagen tnh b: Coi, ti c cha c m
ng hong.
Ci thng Ginni Phntein, ng c phi
cho khng ngc u ln ni mi h, my
nghe ra cha, qun Italia tin kia?
Hagen ni ngt xt: - Thng em l ngi
c lai Irland c .
Compensation Softening
Obviously, Trinh Huy Ninh and Doan Tu Huyen are in more favor of keeping
content of the origin intact as they convey the right denotation of the word guinea and
literally transfer the phrase German-Irish in Tom Hagens reply. However, for readers
of no background about disdain for non-Sicilian among Italian gangsters, even though
the translators add the intensifier tin, the vulgarism and anger in Jack Woltzs
utterance is sacrificed. In contrast, Ngoc Thu Lang chooses a more reader-friendly
tactic as he conveys the rudeness of the word in a more natural form. Albeit the
equivalents qun ch and ti c cha c m ng hong diverge from the
41

original meaning, the reader can still imagine how outraged Jack Woltz is in this
situation, which can make up for the loss in translating the slang.
In conclusion, with compensation as the second most dominant strategy applied
by Ngoc Thu Lang in translating The Godfather, the translator is aware of conveying
expressiveness of slang rather than prioritizing the meaning.

42

CHAPTER V. CONCLUSIONS
5.1. Major findings and implications
The research was conducted on the novel The Godfather by Mario Puzo.
Based on the criteria to identify slang proposed by Dumas and Lighter (1978), the
researcher identified 79 slang. To discover characteristics of the slang in the novel, the
semantic change and processes of word-formation suggested by Mattielo (2008) was
adopted as a framework for categorizing the slang. On the basis of strategies put
forward on study by Newmark (1988), Baker (1998), Garcarz (2011), Blonskyte, and
Petroniene (2013), the researcher suggested a new framework of translation strategies
in dealing with slangy items. Through categorization and analysis, the major findings
are presented as the following.
(1) 79 slang words used in the novel are created mainly in seven out of 9
patterns of slang word-formation. Specifically, most of the slang, 31 words are formed
by semantic change. Affixed slang is less popular with 17 out of 79 slang. Shortening,
conversion and compounding have 10, 8 and 7 instances respectively and borrowing
and reduplication are the least popular processes in enriching slangy vocabulary. Thus,
English slang in the novel illustrate the word-formation process typical of slang. Only
two processes that are inversion and infixation are not detected. One new feature of
slang in The Godfather is the adoption of loan word with four slang. It can be
inferred that slang lexicon can be enriched through borrowing process.
(2) As to translate 79 slang words, the translator applies softening most
frequently with 22 slang instances. It leads to the conclusion that softening is the most
prevalent strategy in translating English slang into Vietnamese. Compensation strategy
ranks the second among strategies applied in rendering slang, which is the distinctive
style of Ngoc Thu Lang on the contrary to strategy applied in Trinh Huy Ninh and
Doan Tu Huyens version of the novel. Accordingly, slang words translated by
compensation are mainly translated by softening or description in the two translators
version.
43

(3) Among instances of softening, two types are distinguished, namely
softening by using less expressive word and softening by using neutral word. Three
types of compensation strategy is also identified, namely compensation by using words
that is more natural to the TL reader, compensation by using more expressive word and
compensation by introducing new slang items.
(4) Among slang of semantic change and affixation, the general pattern is the
use of softening and compensation. Description and omission are also applied while
exact and dynamic equivalence are of occasional or no occurrence.
(5) The translator is not in favor of deploying preservation in coping with
slang items as the strategy requires the maintenance of at least meaning and
expressiveness among three factors considered in translating slang. The requirement
poses challenges for the translator in achieve equivalence between cross-cultural items.
Therefore, he opts for the other translation strategies despite the formal sacrifice for
meaning.
5.2. Limitations
In spite of the researchers effort, shortcomings are inevitable due to the lack of
resources and time pressure. Two main limitations are presented below.
In the first place, the lack of slang-related resources causes difficulties in in-
depth literature review. For example, the researcher attempted to investigate into slang
in crime fiction, which might provide a more profound look into the relationship
between slang and the gangster literature. However, she failed to access to any resource
of desired content.
Besides, the research focuses on slang at word level, excluding phrasal slang
that may be a promising source of data for study. This drawback results from the fact
that available research on the subject draws no line between two subtopics.
44

5.3. Recommendation for further study
From limitation mentioned previously, the researcher suggests expanding the
scope of forthcoming study to include slang at above word level. The larger amount of
data will increase the credibility of the study.
As mentioned in the introduction part, the novel has been translated into several
versions. This variety may provide good source for comparative research to compare
strategies applied by the translators of different versions.

45

REFERENCES
English
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Eble, C., 1996. Slang and Sociability: In-Group Language among College
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Galperin, I. R., 1977. Stylistics. Moscow: Higher School
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godfather-a-world-addiction-is-dead-at-78.html . [11 February 2014].
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Hayakawa, S. I., 1967. Language in Thought and Action. The Florida English
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Hotten, J. C., 1859. A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant and Vulgar words.
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House, J., 1997. Translation quality assessment. Tubingen: G. Narr
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International.
Nida, E. and Taber, C., 2003. The theory and practice of translation. Leiden:
Bill
Nida, E., 1964. Toward a Science of Translating. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
Nkwi, P., Nyamongo, I., and Ryan, G., 2001. Field research into socio-cultural
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Puzo, M., 1969. The Godfather. [pdf] s.l.: s.n. Available at
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&uact=8&sqi=2&ved=0CCsQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hzwsrcpx.com%2Fh
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zcme%2Fdownload_1303268008321-24.rar_.html&ei=xrNnU-
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gw8syNIJE47alYGLtiC3g&bvm=bv.65788261,d.c2E [Accessed 22 March 2014]
Reves, H. F., 1926. What is slang? A survey of opinion. American Speech,
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7(1), pp. 9-17.
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Williams, J., 2013. Theories of Translation. Palgrave Textbooks in Translating
and Interpreting. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Vietnamese
Puzo, M., 1969. B gi. Translated from English by T. H. Ninh and D. T.
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Dai Publishing House.
Yen, P. P., 2004. Dch gi on T Huyn:Vn hc dch ang tt hu rt xa.
Sai Gon Giai Phong Online, 26 July. Available at
http://www.sggp.org.vn/saigonthubay/nam2004/thang7/11123/. [11 February 2014].
48

APPENDIX 1
Strategies applied in Ngoc Thu Langs translation of slang in The Godfather
NO. English slang Types of slang English meaning Vietnamese translation Strategy
Page
(in GF)
1 "Out fucking," she said Semantic
change
to have sex with
somebody
N bung mt cu: "i
ng vi trai"
Softening p.4
2 He beat her as he had
beaten snotty smaller
kids long ago when he
had been a tough
teenager in New Yorks
Hells Kitchen
Affixation bitchy, rude
conceited,
arrogant, aloof
ging t nh hi cn nh
quen bt nt my a nh
u ng x ch.
Description
3 "Come on, stick it in.
Stick it in, Johnny, thats
what you really want.
Semantic
change
to have sex y ny. My c nh i,
nh na i My th ch
c th!
Softening
4 You poor silly bastard,
giving me cramps like a
kid
Semantic
change
used to insult
somebody,
especially a man,
who has been
rude, unpleasant
or cruel
My p tao n thua g!
Nh con nt vy
Omission
5 You still think
screwing is really like
Affixation have sex B my tng lm tnh
cng nh my sa my
Softening
49

those dopey songs you
used to sing
bi my nc y h
6 You still think screwing
is really like those
dopey songs you used to
sing
Affixation stupid B my tng lm tnh
cng nh my sa my
bi my nc y h
Compensation
7 Sonny turned to his
father and said, Those
guys over there must be
cops.
Shortening Police officer
The verb sense
to grab leads to
the verb sense to
arrest which
leads to copper
which was
shortened to
cop.
Sonny vi phi bo: Cm,
b !
Preservation p.9
8 Those lousy bastards,
they dont respect
anything.
Semantic
change
used to insult
somebody,
especially a man,
who has been
rude, unpleasant
or cruel
My thng khn khng
n nang g ht!
Preservation
9 Not to the brides taste,
but Connie had
consented to a guinea
Semantic
change
Italian or Italian-
American
Nhng c nh qu cng
phi chu, phi chu v ni
ci v chn thng Carlo
Compensation p.10
50

wedding to please her
father because she had
so displeased him in her
choice of a husband.
Rizzi lm chng cng
nghch ng b qu x ri!
10 And all through the
years, lean and fat,
Nazorine cheerfully paid
his dues to the bakery
union organized by the
Don in his salad days.
Compounding a period of
youthful
inexperience and
innocence
Nm no cng vy, nhiu t
Nazorine cng ng nin
lim tht hng cho nghip
on lm bnh ca ng
Trm sng lp t lu lm
ri.
Description p.12
11 She asked a little
incredulously, Youre
not hinting that a man
like that works for your
father? The hell with
it, he thought.
Semantic
change
a swear word that
some people use
when they are
annoyed or
surprised or to
emphasize
something.
Kay trn mt ngc nhin
B ng Gi xi c nhng
ngi nh vy sao anh?
Omission p.15
12 If Sonny was screwing
the maid of honor all
this time there was going
to be a mess of trouble
Affixation have sex Thng Sonny dm li con
nh
vo mt x no qut ba
lm. S sy m b l
mt mt vi gia nh
Mancini v con v Sonny
cng chng hin g
Preservation p.16
51

13 I stood in the courtroom
like a fool and those
bastards smiled at me
Semantic
change
used to insult
somebody,
especially a man,
who has been
rude, unpleasant
or cruel
Ti ng ng ngn trc
to cn b hai thng sc
sinh ci vo mt na
Compensation p.20
14 If you had come to me
for
justice those scum who
ruined your daughter
would be weeping bitter
tears this day.
Semantic
change
despicable or
unlikeable person
V va ri nu ng bn
nh n th ngy gi hai
thng sc sinh kia chc
chn s khn nn hn con
nh nhiu.
Compensation p.22
15 I should never have left
my wife and kids for
that tramp I married.
Semantic
change
a woman who has
many sexual
partners
Con b v b con chy
theo con im , ly n
lm v thit by ht sc.
Preservation p.25
16 I was crazy about that
bitch.
Semantic
change
an offensive way
of referring to a
woman,
especially an
unpleasant one
ng l con in u v
con im
Compensation
17 If the makeup man does
a good job on her face,
she lets him bang her.
Semantic
change
to have sex with a
woman
Thng chuyn vin v mt
cho n c c mt cht
l n cho ng.
Softening
18 Godfather, what the Semantic a swear word that Tnh hnh nh vy th Omission p.26
52

hell can I do? change some people use
when they are
annoyed or
surprised or to
emphasize
something
b bo con lm sao by
gi?
19 A Hollywood finocchio
who weeps and begs for
pity?
Borrowing Italian slang for
gay
My l thng b nhn
khc lc, nn n ngi ta
thng hi sao?
Compensation
20 You left your family,
your children without a
father, to marry a whore
and you weep because
they dont welcome you
back with open arms.
Semantic
change
A prostitute My b v ci con ct i
rc mt con im v lm
v ri my than ti n l
my i!
Preservation
21 The whore, you dont
hit her in the face
because she is making a
picture, then you are
amazed because she
laughs at you.
Semantic
change
A prostitute My p cho con v ti
bi mt trn m cn cha
ci mt v n p qu, n
ang ng phim nn n
ci vo mt my cn m
c v b n chc qu.
Description
22 Beautiful broads run
after me and I never
could resist them.
Conversion an offensive way
of referring to a
woman
Gi p chy theo th t
chi sao ni?
Softening
53

23 Christ, I cant go
through all that crap
again.
Semantic
change
nonsense, rubbish By gi m chui tr li ci
trng gia nh th con ch
c nc cht!
Description p.27
24 But that bastard Jack
Woltz is paying me off,
he wont give it
to me.
Semantic
change
used to insult
somebody,
especially a man,
who has been
rude, unpleasant
or cruel
Nhng thng ch Jack
Woltz gch tn con ci
mt.
Omission p.28
25 What he will propose is
an infamita.
Borrowing A sicilian word
that means "an act
of infamy or
dishonor".
Particularly
against ones
family, but it can
be against a set
moral standard.
Chuyn bn, khng th
dnh v!
Description p.29
26 I dont care how many
guinea Mafia goombahs
come out of the
woodwork.
Borrowing a loyal male
friend; an Italian-
American
a member of a
secret chiefly
Italian-American
My thng Bn Tay en
kia l ci th g ka?
Compensation p.44
54

crime
organization
27 I bought him in England
last year for six hundred
grand.
Conversion 1 thousand
dollars
Su trm ngn -la mua
tn bn ng-l nghe!
Softening p.47
28 Look at that cock on
him. I should have such
a cock.
Semantic
change
penis Bn th coi ci gy ca n
c ngon khng ka? Phi
chi mnh c mt ci
c th kh lm nghe!
Preservation
29 Paulie Gatto hated
quickie jobs, especially
when they involved
violence.
Affixation carried out
quickly
Nu cn phi nh m th
xa nay Paulie Gatto k li
nh o o, nh ba
nh u.
Description p.50
30 And something like
tonight, even though it
was punk stuff, could
turn into serious
business if somebody
made a mistake
Semantic
change
poor, inferior D nh dn mt cng
vy. S sy sai mt ly i
mt dm th sao?
Description
31 Now, sipping his beer,
he glanced around,
checking how the two
young punks were
making out with the two
Semantic
change
a petty (male)
hoodlum; a
(male) juvenile
delinquent
Khuya nay n ngi nhm
nh ly la-de, kn o lic
chng coi hai thng sc
sinh g gm my con chiu
i ti c no ri.
Compensation
55

little tramps at the bar.
32 Draft dodging, violating
their probation by
drinking in a bar after
midnight, chasing
floozies
Affixation a woman who has
sexual
relationships with
many different
men
Bn n treo cn s s
m v bar n nhu, tn
gi l lo, lo qu ri!
Softening
33 You fucking bastard,
Woltz screamed.
Affixation used as an
attention-getting
intensifier
Jack Woltz gm ln: Bn
ch khn nn!
Compensation p.54
34 Ill get that Johnny
Fontanes balls cut off,
do you hear
me, you guinea fuck?
Hagen said kindly, Im
German-Irish.
Semantic
change
Guinea: An
Italian or Italian-
American
Fuck: used as an
intensifier
Thng Johnny Fontane ng
s thin n, nh vy qun
ch ....
Hagen tnh b: Coi, ti c
cha c m ng hong.
Compensation
35 That call I just got gave
me dope we needed.
Somebody had to finger
the old man
Conversion to identify; to
name; to inform
upon somebody
Ti ch i c phn va
ri c th hi s kin
chnh xc, tm ch danh
thng phn bi bn
ng ng Gi.
Compensation p.76
36 It was an important
promotion, that to
button man, one not to
Compounding in organized
crime, a person
who kills on the
Mt thng ch cht
nm bn chuyn vin
nh m, chm git u
Description p.83
56

be handed out lightly. orders from above phi d, lc no mun thay
l thay
37 He would tell Paulie that
their job today was to
find an apartment in case
the Family decided to go
to the mattresses.
Semantic
change
during gang
warfare, to retreat
in an armed group
to a fortified
room, apartment,
or house
By gi m ba chuyn 3
thng phi chia nhau kim
gp mt cn nh tht kn
o lm cn c, lp tng
hnh dinh khai chin
nh ln l c sn ngay th
trm phn trm Paulie
phitin! Chun b sn
sng tri nm m?
Softening p.86
38 Shit, Clemenza said,
they want us back in
Long Beach.
Semantic
change
a general
expression of
disgust
.M li c thay i gi
cht. Paulie v tao v Long
Beach lnh cng
tc khc.
Compensation p.87
39 Paulie, pull over, I gotta
take a leak.
Semantic
change
an act of
urination
Paulie, ngng xe li cho tao
lm ci v kia ci
Softening p.88
40 But his famous
nightclub with its
dancing line of long-
stemmed beauties was
the finishing school for
many of the city
hookers.
Affixation prostitute Nhiu em b deluxe Nu-
c xut thn t qun ny.
Softening
57

41 Im known as the sissy
of the Corleone family.
No threat.
Affixation an effeminate boy
or man, especially
a homosexual; a
coward
Th g cht m ti n theo
di, e do lm chi cho mt
cng!
Compensation p.93
42 Tell him to cut out that
crap and come on in
here
Semantic
change
nonsense Bo lo y lm n v y
gp, ling my th v vn
y i!
Softening p.94
43 And you know how
much dough there is in
drugs. The Corleone
Family doesnt need it,
we have the gambling,
which is the best
business to have.
Semantic
change
money Mnh cha cn n mi li
ma ty v mnh c sng bc
nhng nhng cnh khc
u c g?
Omission p.95
44 Is that what you
soldiers call a quickie?
Conversion a sexual
encounter that is
carried out
quickly
Dn nh binh gi ci v
ny l... i n cp tc phi
khng ?
Description p.100
45 I thought I got all you
guinea hoods locked up.
Shortening a criminal,
gangster
Tao cho ht ht my
thng u trm ui
cp
Description p.105
46 You fucking hood, who
the hell are you to tell
me my business?
Affixation Th ch cht ca my m
dm sa by v cng vic
ca tao?
Compensation
58

47 I dont give a shit how
many dago gangsters
kill
each other.
Shortening

an Italian or
Italian-
American(from
Daygoer: Italian
immigration)
C git nhau cht tao cng
o cn
Omission
48 The police captain,
McCluskey, is a guy
whos been on the take
very heavy ever since
hes been a patrolman.
Conversion stolen property
accepting bribes
V cng nham nh, ch
thch tin v t hi mi v
lnh nhm tay nng.
Compensation p.107
49 Meanwhile were
supposed just to lay back
and take everything he
dishes out. What
fucking nerve
Affixation (Intensifier) Khng l mnh c ra th
ng?
Omission p.109
50 Ive been sitting here
waiting for the last three
days, ever since the old
man got shot, waiting
for you to crack out of
that Ivy League, war
hero bullshit character
youve been wearing
Compounding nonsense, rubbish My ba nay, t hm ng
b chng chi tao vn c
ch my t chui ra khi
thp ng, vt b ci v tr
thc dm d by lu nay.
Softening p.113
51 Ive been waiting for Conversion despicable person Tao vn ch my i lt Softening
59

you to become my right
arm so we can kill those
fucks that are trying to
destroy our father and
our amily.
st cnh cng tao tht bng
ht nhng thng dm chi
ng Gi, dm ng n
nh mnh!
52 Most important
they got him down as
faggy.
Affixation a male
homosexual
(from noun fag)
C c triu l do, song li
hi nht im ti n vn
tng u thng ny cht
nht.
Compensation p.114
53 He had kept his little
corner of the city safe
for ordinary people and
he sure as hell was
entitled to more than his
lousy one C note a
week.
Shortening a one hundred
dollar bill (C =
centum =
hundred)
Khng l phc v ht
mnh, bo m trt t cho
c mt khu vc x hi c
lc nh vy m ch c
quyn trng cy ng
lng cht i ca nh
nc?
Description p.116
54 When winos and drunks
filtered up from the
Bowery to panhandle on
his beat he got rid of
them so roughly that
they never came back.
Affixation a lowly drunk Thng no n qut, ph
phch th ch cn cp bo:
cu Mc Closkey s c mt
nhn danh php lut v
trt t cng cng, p cho
mt trn tha sng thiu
cht. B trng tr mt ln
th cch lun, ht dm lai
Omission
60

vng
55 Of course sometimes he
asked a little favor, like
getting an employee
with a record cleared for
a cabaret work license,
usually a pretty girl with
a police dossier as a
hustler or roller
Affixation a prostitute) i li lu lu c chuyn
nh v, chng hn giy
php hnh ngh cho cc em
chiu i, nht l cc em
c phch chi bi se-vt
kim lc.
Softening p.117
56 Hes just a wise son of a
bitch with a big-wheel
cop sidekick.
Compounding a prominent,
powerful and
important person
Bt qu ch l mt thng
lu c, c thng cm gc
ngi mt bn ch g?
Preservation p.120
57 I sort of just missed you,
I was the next
generation. Honest, its
not that Im goody-
goody.
Reduplication an excessively
good person
M lm lm nhng c
iu mnh khng cng mt
th h.
Omission p.133
58 She hadnt fallen all
over herself to screw for
him or try to hustle him
because his connections
would help her in show
biz
Shortening business N khng m anh
Johnny n hin dng
hay sn sng np thu tht
tin thn sau ny.
Omission
61

59 Then maybe I can give
you and the kids more
dough
Semantic
change
money Ngha l c th chu cp cho
c v cc con thm cht
na.
omission p.137
60 Fuck you, Johnny
said.
Semantic
change
used as an intense
verb of abuse
T nhin Johnny bt mt
cu: Thi cha my i!
Softening p.142
61 I got a good job on the
truck, boffing
housewives along my
route, picking up a clear
hundred-fifty every
week.
Semantic
change
have sex My nh l tao ang lm
y cui tun bt 150
ngon lnh, ch vic t t li
xe, dc ng c quyn
bt b lc lu b y nh!
Compensation p.151
62 He said, Hey, paisan Shortening an Italian or
Italian-American
(from paisano)
N nhy Nino, ,thng
nh qu .
Compensation p.152
63 You cant fire me?
Nino said with drunken
cunning.
No, Johnny said.
Then fuck you, Nino
said.
Semantic
change
- My khng ui c
tao?
- Khng!
- Vy th ct cha my i!
Softening p.158
64 The flimflam home-
improvement gyp artists,
the door-to-door con
men were politely
Reduplication a swindle My thng bp i bn
gi hay ng kch v vn
v dn phng khc
ti Long Beach l c
Description p.193
62

warned that they were
not welcome in Long
Beach
khuyn co i ch khc
chi tht lch s.
65 Unless youre
suggesting that she is a-
here his
face became one of
scholarly doubt- a
moll, I believe its
called.
Semantic
change
a gangster's
girlfriend
Trng hp cc ng nht
nh cho n l mt th... a
danh t giang h gi l g
nh... phi ri... mt th
gi chi.
Description p.196
66 He hoped the old bastard
croaked.
Conversion die (from the
death rattle)
Phi chi lo ngm th
kh qu
Preservation p.200
67 Christ, hed blown
nearly fifteen grand on
the track and show girl
bimbos.
Borrowing a sexually
attractive but
unintelligent
woman (from
Italian word for
baby/infant)
C k ra cng hi qu ng
v 15 ngn u phi t
m nng ht trng ua
v bao gi lu b!
Softening
68 In the first week in his
job Carlo had made a
mistake in transposing
the oddsonto the
blackboard and had
created that dream of all
Conversion in sports betting,
a combination of
bets that produce
a win no matter
what the outcome
of the game
V ng ch ghi lm c mi
mt ln - chng hiu v
tnh hay c - m mt
ngy hm Cha nht ht
ht 6 ngn .
Omission p.205
63

gamblers, a middle.
69 The Corleone group
depended on gambling
for most of its income,
and was hit especially
hard in its numbers or
policy branch of
operations.
Semantic
change
illegal lottery Ngun li chnh ca phe
ny l c bc, nht l nh
, nh c
Softening p.209
70 The runners who picked
up the action were swept
into police nets and
usually given a medium
shellacking before being
booked.
Affixation

physical beat
(Shellac (v)
shellacking (n)
Cnh st tung li ra qu
mt s ch sng, sau khi
n p qua loa.
Softening
71 The bankers, .90
calibers in their own
right, complained to the
Caporegimes
Affixation the operator of an
illegal numbers
racket or lottery
a person who
finances
gambling
enterprise
My thng c tin m
"tng hnh dinh" l nng
l phi yu cu
cccaporegime can thip
Description
64

72 Once again the payoff
sheet was typed up by
the precinct bagman
Compounding a person who
collects, makes or
holds illegal
payments
V i din qun li s c
mt lt phi chi hng
thng
Softening p.210
73 I think wed better let
the old man take it easy
for a couple of weeks,
until the doc says he can
do business.
Shortening doctor ng gi ngh vi tun
cho n lc bc s bo
khe hn .
Softening p.211
74 Go call your brother and
tell him I wont screw
you, maybe hell beat
me
up until I get a hard on.
Conversion erection Mch n l tao khng ng
vi my coi n c bt
c tao phi ng khng?
Omission p.220
75 Especially since Ive had
to treat him three times
for clap and once for
syphilis.
Shortening (French clapoir)
gonorrhoea
Ci thng liu mng, khng
gi gn qui g ht: 3 ln
lu, 1 ln giang-mai ri!
Preservation p.264
76 That these gunslingers,
those manly, virile,
straight-shooting
cowboys would always
ask the girls for a
French, what we
Conversion oral sex Theo li b c th ngay t
hi cc b cao-bi tc
chn b nh ta sng lng
lng ngang hng trng rt
hng dng, tr trai a nho
v ng v nht nh buc
Softening p.265
65

actors call fellatio, what
you call oh that.
cc em phi yu cc anh
theo li Ph-lang-sa... tc
l lm ci v
77 Attaboy, Doc, thats
telling him.
Compounding praise, especially
from a boss (at a
boy)
Hoan h bc-s!... Vi
thng ny th phi chi vy
n mi thm!
Preservation p.271
78 It was intended as a
friendly pally-uncle
warning, not really as a
threat.
Affixation friend, comrade
(pal)
mt gia nh no khc c
l ch l mt khuyn co
cu chu thn tnh, dn mt
s s.
Omission p.354
79 Thats all crap detail, I
can fix that. Forget
about that supervision
and just so the banks
wont get choosy Ill
have your yellow sheet
pulled.
Compounding a criminal record c, ti s c cch thu
xp cho ci s vng ca
ch bin lun... sau ny
c lm n g cng d.
Compensation p.358


66

APPENDIX 2
Comparison between Ngoc Thu Langs translation and Trinh Huy Ninh and Doan Tu Huyens translation in
applying compensation strategy
NO. English slang Types of
slang
English
meaning
Ngoc Thu
Langs
translation

Strategy Trinh Huy
Ninh and Doan
Thu Huyens
translation
Strategy Page
(in
GF)
6 You still think
screwing is
really like those
dopey songs
you used to sing
Affixation stupid B my tng
lm tnh cng
nh my sa
my bi my
nc y h
Compensation My tng nh
trong cc bi
my vn rng
ng ng do
trc y h?
Omission p.4
9 Not to the
brides taste, but
Connie had
consented to a
guinea
wedding to
please her father
because she had
so displeased
him in her
choice of a
Semantic
change
Italian or
Italian-
American
Nhng c nh
qu cng phi
chu, phi chu
v ni ci v
chn thng
Carlo Rizzi lm
chng cng
nghch ng b
qu x ri!
Compensation m ci t
chc theo li
dn d nh xa
nay vn lm
Italia. C du
khng khoi
kiu ny nhng
vn phi bm
bng chu -
nguyn chuyn
kn chng c
Description p.10
67

husband. cng lm ng
b khng vui ri
13 I stood in the
courtroom like a
fool and those
bastards smiled
at me
Semantic
change
used to
insult
somebody,
especially
a man,
who has
been rude,
unpleasant
or cruel
Ti ng ng
ngn trc to
cn b hai thng
sc sinh ci
vo mt na
Compensation Ti ch cn bit
ng n mt ra
gia ta, cn
my thng
khn nn kia
th c dp
ci vo mi
ti.
Preservation p.20
14 If you had come
to me for justice
those scum who
ruined your
daughter would
be weeping
bitter tears this
day.
Semantic
change
despicable
or
unlikeable
person
V va ri nu
ng bn nh n
th ngy gi hai
thng sc sinh
kia chc chn s
khn nn hn
con nh nhiu.
Compensation Nu ng n ti
th hai thng
gii b kia
nm mi khn
nn nh i ri.
Compensation p.22
16 I was crazy
about that
bitch.
Semantic
change
an
offensive
way of
referring
to a
ng l con
in u v con
im
Compensation Con m mn
ci con y
n pht in
pht r ln.
Compensation p.25
68

woman,
especially
an
unpleasant
one
19 A Hollywood
finocchio who
weeps and begs
for pity?
Borrowing Italian
slang for
gay
My l thng
b nhn khc
lc, nn n ngi
ta thng hi
sao?
Compensation Th no, ci
thng nm H-
li-t d c d
ci kia, vic g
my li by tr
khc lc van xin
y th?
Description p.26
26 I dont care how
many guinea
Mafia
goombahs come
out of the
woodwork.
Borrowing a loyal
male
friend; an
Italian-
American
a member
of a secret
chiefly
Italian-
American
crime
organizati
My thng Bn
Tay en kia l
ci th g ka?
Compensation My thng
cp Mafia c
bu n nh rui
ng cng chp
ht
Softening p.44
69

on
31 Now, sipping
his beer, he
glanced around,
checking how
the two young
punks were
making out with
the two little
tramps at the
bar.
Semantic
change
a petty
(male)
hoodlum;
a (male)
juvenile
delinquent
Khuya nay n
ngi nhm nh
ly la-de, kn o
lic chng coi
hai thng sc
sinh g gm
my con chiu
i ti c no
ri.
Compensation Va nhm nhp
bia, hn va lic
mt xem chng
hai thng ch
con tn tnh my
con bn bar
Compensation p.50
33 You fucking
bastard, Woltz
screamed.
Affixation used as an
attention-
getting
intensifier
Jack Woltz gm
ln: Bn ch
khn nn!
Compensation di b hi
thi
Softening p.54
34 Ill get that
Johnny
Fontanes balls
cut off, do you
hear
me, you guinea
fuck?
Hagen said
Semantic
change
Guinea:
an Italian
or Italian-
American
Fuck: used
as an
intensifier
Thng Johnny
Fontane ng s
thin n, nh
vy qun ch
....
Hagen tnh b:
Coi, ti c cha
c m ng
Compensation Ci thng
Ginni
Phntein, ng c
phi cho khng
ngc u ln ni
mi h, my
nghe ra cha,
qun Italia
Softening
70

kindly, Im
German-Irish.
hong. tin kia?
Hagen ni ngt
xt: - Thng em
l ngi c lai
Irland c .
35 That call I just
got gave me
dope we needed.
Somebody had
to finger the old
man
Conversion to
identify;
to name;
to inform
upon
somebody
Ti ch i c
phn va ri
c th hi s
kin chnh xc,
tm ch danh
thng phn
bi bn ng
ng Gi.
Compensation Ngi ta va
bo nhng iu
mnh ang thiu.
C a dt
bn kia n
bn ng gi.
Description p.76
38 Shit,
Clemenza said,
they want us
back in Long
Beach.
Semantic
change
a general
expression
of disgust
.M li c
thay i gi
cht. Paulie v
tao v Long
Beach lnh cng
tc khc.
Compensation Ch tht - lo
cn nhn - i b
hi tai ri li gi
ngi ta v
Long Bich.
Compensation p.87
41 Im known as
the sissy of the
Corleone family.
No threat.
Affixation an
effeminate
boy or
man,
especially
Th g cht m
ti n theo di,
e do lm chi
cho mt cng!
Compensation Trong nh anh l
ci th con su
b ru ni canh
y m, th hc
tr di lng tn
Description p.93
71

a
homosexu
al; a
coward
vi, ma no n
s.
46 You fucking
hood, who the
hell are you to
tell me my
business?
Affixation Th ch cht
ca my m dm
sa by v cng
vic ca tao?
Compensation Th no, thng
k cp, my
nh dy b my
y h?
Softening p.105
48 The police
captain,
McCluskey, is a
guy whos been
on the take very
heavy ever since
hes been a
patrolman.
Conversion stolen
property
accepting
bribes
V cng nham
nh, ch thch
tin v t hi
mi v lnh
nhm tay
nng.
Compensation Omission p.107
52 Most important
they got him
down as faggy.
Affixation a male
homosexu
al (from
noun fag)
C c triu l
do, song li hi
nht im ti
n vn tng
u thng ny
cht nht.
Compensation Nhng ci chnh
l bn kia coi
thng n.
Omission p.114
61 I got a good job Semantic have sex My nh l tao Compensation Lm xe ti cng Description p.151
72

on the truck,
boffing
housewives
along my route,
picking up a
clear hundred-
fifty every
week.
change ang lm y
cui tun bt
150 ngon
lnh, ch vic t
t li xe, dc
ng c quyn
bt b lc lu b
y nh!
khng n ni
rch, cc b ch
dc ng li
kho chiu - c
vic gh vo
tm tnh mt
ngh - y th m
mi tun xi
ngon trm ri
y.
62 He said, Hey,
paisan
Shortening an Italian
or Italian-
American
(from
paisano)
N nhy Nino,
,thng nh
qu .
Compensation Th no, ng
hng
Softening p.152
79 Thats all crap
detail, I can fix
that. Forget
about that
supervision and
just so the banks
wont get
choosy Ill have
your yellow
Compoundin
g
a criminal
record
c, ti s c
cch thu xp cho
ci s vng
ca ch bin
lun... sau
ny c lm n g
cng d.
Compensation Chuyn vt
m, ci thu
xp c kh g
u. nh bng
ngi ta s
khng bt b
khon tiu s
ca anh u m
lo. Ti s gii
Softening p.358
73

sheet pulled. quyt chuyn t
phiu vng cho
anh.