VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

FACULTY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION

LU NG TH THÚY

THE QUALITY OF LITERARY ENGLISH – VIETNAMESE TRANSLATIONS TODAY

SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS

Hanoi, May - 2010

VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION

LU NG TH THÚY

THE QUALITY OF LITERARY ENGLISH – VIETNAMESE TRANSLATIONS TODAY

SUPERVISOR: TR N TH THANH NHÃ, MA

SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS

Hanoi, May – 2010

I hereby state that I: Luong Thi Thuy, a student of class 06.1.E18, being a candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts (TEFL) accept the requirements of the University relating to the retention and use of Bachelor’s 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.

Signature Student Supervisor

Luong Thi Thuy Date: 3rd May, 2010

Ms. Tran Thi Thanh Nha, MA

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

First and foremost, I wish to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor, Tran Thi Thanh Nha, MA, who gave me great supports, guidance, feedback as well as valuable advice in preparation of this Graduation Thesis. The success of my paper would be almost impossible without her great help and idea.

My sincere thanks also go to all lecturers in Vietnam National University Hanoi, University of Languages and International Studies, especially lectures in Translating and Interpreting Division for their lectures, instructions and their useful suggestions that have helped me so much.

Last but not least, I would like to express my warmest thanks to my dear family, especially my younger brother, Luong Quoc Dat and my friends who were beside me all the time, encouraged and helped me to reach my aim.

i

ABSTRACT

Nowadays, the number of readers who spend time on literary works is growing increasingly, especially foreign literary works translated into Vietnamese, however, English – Vietnamese

translations of many literary works have not been paid much attention. The purpose of this thesis has primarily been to define and describe common types of errors in literary English – Vietnamese translations today and the most dominant errors that the translators made based on various theories of translation quality assessment and different frameworks of error classification. Each error is presented with typical examples taken out from published literary works read by many people. Given the resulting of the analysis, the thesis will be able to figure out the most popular errors exposed in the translations. The thesis then provides some implications to address these errors or, at least, minimize these common mistakes.

i

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS……………………………………….i ABSTRACT ……………………………………………………....ii TABLE OF CONTENTS………………………………………….iii LIST OF TABLES…………………………………………………v LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS……………………………………...vi CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1. Rationale……………………………………………………....1 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.5. Aims of the study………………………………………….2 Scope of the study…………………………………………3 Methodology……………………………………………….3 Organization of the study…………………………………..5

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Introduction……………………………………………………6 2.2. Literary translation…………………………………………….6 2.2.1. Definition of translation……………………………………6 2.2.2. Definition of literary translation…………………................8 2.3. Translation Quality…………………………………………….8 2.3.1. Definition of the quality and translation quality…………....8 2.3.2. Role of translation quality assessment…………………….10 2.3.3. Criteria for translation quality assessment………………...10 2.3.4. Approaches to assess the quality of translations…………..11 iii 2.4. Translation Errors…………………………………………….13

2.4.1. Definition…………………………………………………13 2.4.2. Categories of errors……………………………………….13

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 3.1. Sampling……………………………………………………...16 3.2. Data analysis process…………………………………………16 CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION 4.1. Linguistic errors………………………………………………18 4.1.1 Lexical errors………………………………………………18 4.1.2. Idioms……………………………………………………...26 4.2. Translational errors……………………………………………28 4.2.1. Omission…………………………………………………...29 4.2.2. Addition……………………………………………………32 4.2.3. Equivalence………………………………………………..34 4.2.4. Accuracy…………………………………………………...35 4.2.5. Naturalness………………………………………………...40 4.3. Summary and Implications……………………………………46 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS 5.1. Overview and summary of the thesis…………………………49 5.2. Strengths and weaknesses of the thesis……………………….50 5.3. Suggestions for further research and final comments………...51 REFERENCES ……………………………………………………52 iv

LIST OF TABLES
Table 1 : Some vocabulary errors in the translation of Page

“The Da Vinci Code” (Dan Brown)………………………………25 2 : Some omission errors in the translation of “Twilight”

(Ch ng v ng) – Stephenie Meyer………………………………….29 3 4 5 : Omission errors …………………………………………...32 : Addition Errors…………………………………………….33 : Some accuracy errors in the translation of

“The Da Vinci Code” (Dan Brown)……………………………….38 6 : Some naturalness errors in the translation of

“Twilight” (Stephenie Meyer)…………………………………….42 7 : Some naturalness errors in the translation of the “Da Vinci Code” (Dan Brown)………………………………46

V

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

OALD: Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary SL: Source Language ST: Source Text TL: Target Language TQA: Translation Quality Assessment TT: Target Text

vi

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION
1.1. Rationale: The practice of translation has appeared for many years and ever since has existed until present days when more and more texts, documents and news needed translating. It is generally believed that translation plays an important role in the globalization of human knowledge. Thanks to translations, people’s international understanding, social cultural awareness and so much more will be improved. At present, the practice of translation has become essential to the development of the society and the world culture. Vietnam is in the process of integration into the world; therefore, the practice of translation and the role of Vietnamese translators have become more important than ever before. One of translation fields attracting so many people is literary translation. Literary translations with high quality will help to connect Vietnamese Literature with other countries in the world. However, what is the situation of literary translation practice and how is the quality of literary English – Vietnamese Translations today? The fact has shown that the number of quality translations is still limited and the practice of literary translation has long been criticized for being unsatisfactory and even incorrect. The Italians have a saying that goes, “traduttore, tradittore” (translators, traitot). This saying seems to evoke an immoderate distaste for translators. Certainly, almost no translation is perfect even when it can transfer the general message. Literary English –
1

Vietnamese Translations in Vietnam today still have many problems which have become the concern and worry of many people and also the country. Therefore, helping people see the situation of the quality of literary translations today and improve the practice of translation has been a great desire of generations of translators in Vietnam. There have been several senior translators trying to figure out and resolve problems existing in literary English – Vietnamese translations. That is also the attempt that this thesis conducting study on “the quality of literary English - Vietnamese translations today” tries to accomplish.

1.2. Aims and research questions:

The rendering of written texts from one language into another requires high quality: accuracy, smoothness, naturalness, etc. Translating texts allows considerable time for translators to find the best substitutions. Therefore, paying attention carefully to the written texts from one language into another before rendering is very necessary. In the first place, the thesis aims at giving a theoretical background on the quality of translation. Furthermore, it also tries to study the current situation of the quality of literary English – Vietnamese translations today. The study focuses on analyzing and assessing in details some literary English –Vietnamese translations to give students of English who would be translators and translators an overview of the kinds of errors or problems met frequently in literary English Vietnamese translations that affect the quality of literary translations so that they can understand and avoid these mistakes. The thesis will aim at answering the following questions:
2

1.

What are frequently seen types of errors in literary English -

Vietnamese translations today? 2. What are the most popular mistakes (if traceable) in literary

English-Vietnamese translations today?

1.3. Scope of the study:

Analyzing and assessing the quality of translations are very sophisticated. Due to the limitation of time and experience, the author just concentrates the study on the quality of some literary English Vietnamese Translation Publications which are much more popular in Vietnam such as Twilight (Stephenie Meyer), The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown), Harry potter (Rowling, J.K), Detective Conan (Aoyama Gosho) and some Australian Short stories translated by professional translators in Vietnam. This is because of the fact that not only translations by unskilled translators but worryingly those by contemporary professional translators in Vietnam can have problems. Besides mentioning the theoretical base in each part, the thesis concentrates largely on dealing with translation in practice. The thesis is mostly based on the combination and analysis of details picked from literary publications. 1.4. Methodology Sampling

3

Samples will be literary English and Vietnamese texts collected in literary publications translated from English into Vietnamese. All these original texts and translation texts are from personal materials, library and the internet. These samples in both English and Vietnamese will be selected from these sources because it is easier to get access to and they are concerned and read by so many people. Data Collection instrument: Data will be collected in some literary publications and the internet. Each text will be printed and copied of both Vietnamese and English versions so that comparison between translation texts and the original texts can be made. Data collection process: Firstly, both Vietnamese and English versions will be transcribed from literary publications and the internet to be convenient for comparison. Then texts in English and Vietnamese will be read, compared and analyzed carefully to identify problems existed in literary English – Vietnamese translations today and made translation texts have poor quality. Data analysis: Data analysis will be implemented to answer the research questions. Problems, if available after being identified from the translations will be categorized into types of errors. Through the process of calculating and
4

identifying errors or problems existed in translation texts. The most popular problem made in translations will be figured out. From existing problems in translations, suggestions to overcome problems making translation disqualified will be given. During the process of reading, comparing and analyzing translations today, knowledge of translation practice situation today will be enlarged. Thanks to this, causes leading to not enough quality translation will be found. 1.5. Organizations of the thesis The thesis is organized as follows. It is divided into two different sections. The first section is for literature review. The purpose of literature review is to analyze critically a segment of relevant published works through classification and comparison of previous research studies and theoretical articles. It combines both summary and synthesis. And it traces back the academic developments and intellectual progression in the field. For its importance, the literature review deserves the whole chapter 2 for its representation. The second section is all about an empirical study drawing on the findings from a survey. This section is split into three chapters. Methods and Procedures of the survey will be discussed in chapter 3. Survey Results and Discussions will appear in chapter 4. Suggestions for further study along with Conclusion will be revealed in the last chapter- chapter 5. The ideas developed in this thesis will not be of purely theoretical interest. They are expected to have practical impact on analyzing errors usually met in literary English Vietnamese Translations to assess the quality of literary translations. For that reason, the thesis will be much of interest to the readers.

5

CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1. Introduction: A literature review discusses published information in a particular subject area, and sometimes information in a particular subject area within a certain time period. Literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers but not simply a new interpretation of old material. Therefore, this chapter is intended not only to demonstrate relevant information on the quality of literary English Vietnamese Translations but also to provide informed evaluation of the literature. It starts with a brief description of literary translations, errors classification in translation, then a focus on translation quality, methods to assess the translation quality and assessment criteria. 2.2. Literary Translation: 2.2.1. Definition of Translation: In any account of interlingual communication, translation is used as a generic term. Professionally, however, the term translation is confined to the written, and the term interpretation to the spoken (Newmark, 1991: 35). If confined to a written language, translation is a cover term with three distinguishable meanings: 1) translating, the process (to translate; the activity rather than the tangible object), 2) a translation: the product of the process of translating (e.g. the translated text), and 3) translation: the abstract concept which encompasses both the process of translating and the product of that process (Bell, 1991: 13).
6

A straight forward explanation of translation given by Catford (1965, p.11) can help even non-professionals have an overall picture of what translation is. He simply described translation as an “operation performed on languages, a process of substituting a text in one language for a text in another”. Another definition of translation put forward by Edmond Cary (1985, p. 85), as cited in Lederer, (2003, p.7), has received the approval from many linguistic theorists. Translation is a process which attempts to establish equivalents between two texts expressed in two different languages. These equivalents are, by definition, always dependent on the nature of the two texts, on their objectives, on the relationship between the two cultures involved and their moral, intellectual and emotional conditions. It is obvious that both translation and interpreting “…consist of understanding an original text, deverbalizing its linguistic form and then expressing in another language [with] the ideas grasped and emotion felt…” (Marianne Lederer, 2003, p.8), however, while interpreting refers to orally converting one spoken language into another, translation refers to converting a written text from one language into another. Both translators and interpreters are required to have a good command of the native language and at least a foreign language, analytical ability, high concentration, subject matter knowledge and sensitivity to cultural issues. However, there are different sets of indispensable skills for each. While am interpreter must have extraordinary listening abilities, it is important for a translator to be sharp writer and skilled editor. 2.2.2. Definition of literary translation
7

A literary translation is translation of literature such as novels, plays and poems. The translation of literary works is considered by many one of the highest forms of translation as it involves so much more than simply translating text. A literary translator must be capable of also translating feelings, cultural nuances, humor and other subtle elements of a piece of work. In addition to dealing with the difficulties inherent to translations of all fields, a literary translator must consider the aesthetic aspects of the text, its beauty and style, as well as its marks (lexical, grammatical, or phonological), keeping in mind that one language’s stylistic marks can be drastically different from another’s. When the source and target languages belong to different cultural groups, the first problem faced by the translator is finding terms in his or her own language that express the highest level of faithfulness possible to the meaning of certain words.

2.3. Translation Quality 2.3.1. Definition of quality and translation quality Phil Crosby (1980s) defined that quality is "Conformance to specifications". There is a difficulty with this point is that the specifications may not be what the customer wants; for example: A translated song text has no errors (in terms of orthography, grammar ...) but it has not enough vocals; the musical texture is destroyed. Joseph M. Juran (1904) stated that quality is "Fitness for use". Meanwhile, John Ruskin shares the viewpoint that quality is "Result of intelligent effort”.

8

With this point, he wants to mention to the effort of translators when producing a translation with high quality. The concept of translation quality has long been a subject of disagreements and arguments. The quality of translated text is understood as1 a) b) degree of its equivalency to the source text degree of its adequacy to the source text

The equivalency is understood as precise and unambiguous of the meaning of the ST. Meanwhile, the adequacy is defined compliance with the equivalency plus the efficiency in communication and compliance with the genre style. In the definition of adequacy, the efficiency in communication is understood as the comprehension of the text. And the genre style is that the translation has to match the dominant function and stylistic peculiarities of the type the text belongs to. A translation also has to meet the requirements of pragmatic norm which ensures pragmatic value of the translation and the requirements of conventional norm which ensures maximum closeness between the translationand the source. Nowadays, the demand of translation quality has increased. Levels of translation quality2 can be described at least in the following terms: 1). Raw translation; 2). Normal quality translation. 3). Extra quality translation; 4). Adaptation of original text. The first level of translation quality is raw translation that mentions to the central meaning of the source text. In raw translation, there may be
1

From http://www.langint.com/blog/index.php/archives/320 Retrieved April 14, 2010 2 From http://www.issco.unige.ch/en/research/projects/ewg96/node165.html Retrieved April 19, 2010

9

some mistakes such as grammatical and spelling errors; but the text has to be understandable. The second level is normal quality translation. In this level, the source text must be translated grammatically and fully to help readers understand completely the ideas of author. The third level is extraquality translation. The translation reached to this level must be ensure both the fluency and idiom and should be assimilated completely to the cultural context of the TL. The last one is the adaptation of original text. The translation in this level may be reordered according to what the translatordeems appropriate. The translation text is expected to be fluent language. 2.3.2. Role of Translation Quality Assessment (TQA) Translation Quality Assessment (TQA) plays an important role in the contribution of improving the quality of translation. In his book “A text book of translation” (1995), New Mark implies that TQA is very necessary for translators because of three main reasons. At first, translators can improve their competences and obtain more useful experiences during the process of TQA. Second of all, translators can enlarge their knowledge and understanding of both the language of the original text and the language of the translation. And lastly, TQA is one of good way for translators to enlarge their understanding of the theory of translation. New Mark (1995) also shares his idea when regarding TQA as “the keystone of any course in comparative literature, or literature in translation, and a component of any professional translation course with the appropriate text-types as an exercise for criticism and discussion”. 2.3.3. Criteria for Translation Quality Assessment Criteria for TQA still remains controversial because it depends on one’s view and theory of translation. Based on one’s view, House (1997 in
10

Schãffner, 1997) states that “different views of translation lead to different concepts of translation quality, and hence different ways of assessing it” Meanwhile, Schãffner (1997) assumes that the criteria for TQA is different regarding the purposes of the assessment and on the theoretical framework which the assessors apply to assess the quality of translation. According Nida (1964), there are three criteria for an optimal translation including general efficiency of the communication process comprehension of intent and equivalence of response. Besides, Nida and Taber (1969:173) also share ideas of another set of criteria: the correctness with which the message of the original is understood through the translation, the ease of comprehension and the involvement a person experience as a result of the adequacy of the form of the translation. New mark in the textbook of “Translation criticism” (1995) also suggests some criteria for TQA as follow: -accuracy, economy, both according to the translator’s standards and to the critic’s standards -without reference to the SL: smoothness, naturalness, easy flow, readability, absence of interference 2.3.4. Approaches to assess the quality of translations So far, there are many ideas of approaches to assess the quality of translation. Williams (2004) shares his idea by suggesting combined micro and macro textual approach to TQA, which tries to unite quantitative and qualitative dimensions. Meanwhile, Baker, Gabriela Saldanha (1998) in the

11

book “Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies” assumes that there are three main approaches to assess the quality of translation as follow: 1). Anecdotal and subjective approaches; 2). Response-oriented psycholinguistic approaches and 3). Text-based approaches. According to Baker,Gabriela Saldanha, the first approach, anecdotal and subjective approaches, implies that the quality of a translation depends on the personal knowledge, institution andartistic competence of the translator. Stlolze states that a “good” translation can only come about when the translator identifies him or herself fully with the text to be translated. While the first approach focuses on the translators’ competence, the second one mainly depends on measures of intelligibility and informativeness. The third one is text-based approaches which may be informed by linguistics, comparative literature or functional models. And in linguistically based approaches, the source and the target texts are compared with a view to discover syntactic semantic, stylistic and pragmatic regularities of transfer. Another text-based approach to translation quality assessment is suggested by Reiß (1971) which is that the most important invariant in translation is the text type to which the source text belongs as it determines all other choices a translator has to mark. Reiß proposed three basic types on the Basis of Buhler’s (1934) language functions: content-oriented, form-oriented and cognitive. Roller (1979/2004) suggests that there are three stages assessing the quality of translation: (a) source text criticism, with a view to assessing transferability into the target language, (b) translation comparison, taking account of the methods used in the production of a given translation, and
12

(c) translation evaluation on the basis of native speaker metalinguistic judgments based on the text – specific features established in stage (a). 2.4. Translation Errors 2.4.1. Definition Actually, even excellent translators make mistakes in translations. Newbert and Shreve (1995) describe a translation error in the following statement: What rightly appears to be linguistically equivalent may very frequently qualify as “translationally nonequivalent” and this is so because the complex demands on adequacy in translation involve subject factors and transfer conventions that typically run counter to considerations about “surface” linguistic equivalence (1995:415). Through this statement, Newbert and Shreve partially describes that it is difficult and complicated to define and identify translation errors which are different from errors that would occur in spontaneous native language production. And in the case of second language learners, identifying translation errors is strictly because translation errors may be mixed up with linguistic errors. 2.4.2. Categories of errors: Up to present, translation errors classification remains controversial. American Translation Association3 (ATA) describes translation errors as follow: 123

Illegible Misunderstanding of the original text

From http://www.atanet.org/certification/aboutexams_presentation.php

13

3456789-

Mistranslation into TL Addition or omission Terminology, word choice Register Too freely translated Too literal, word for word translation False cognate

10- Indecision-gave more than option 11- Inconsistency (same term translated differently) 12- Ambiguity 13- Grammar 14- Syntax 15- Punctuation 16- Spelling in translations 17- Accents and other diacritical marks 18- Case ( upper/lower) 19- Word form 20- Usage

Retrieved April 20th, 2010

14

21- Style Meanwhile, New Mark (1995) divides most of the “mistakes” into two types which are referential mistakes and linguistic mistakes. Referential mistakes refer to all mistakes relating to facts or information in the world. On the other hand, linguistic mistakes include words, collocation and idiom.

15

CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY
3.1. Sampling Samples were picked up in some literary publications such as Twilight (Stephenie Meyer, 2005), The Da Vinci Code (Brown, Dan, 2003), Harry Potter (Rowling, J.K), some Australian Short Stories, Detective Conan (Aoyama Gosho), etc. Most of literary works chosen are familiar with readers and are approached by many people. There are 2 reasons encouraging me choose these samples. Firstly, most of them are popular with readers all over the world. There are both English version and Vietnamese version which are easy for me to find. Moreover, these literary works are famous and assessed by many readers. Regarding the importance of those literary works, it is possible to assume that translators producing translations of these works have a good command of both English and Vietnamese and thus, the risk of linguistic incompetence of translators can be minimized. The sample collection process consists of two main steps. Firstly, both Vietnamese and English versions were taken to be convenient for comparison and analysis. And then texts in English and Vietnamese will be read, compared and analyzed carefully to identify problems existed in literary English - Vietnamese translations and made translation texts disqualified. 3.2. Data analysis

16

Actually, producing a translation can be considered as a process which creates products. To give a translation, translators use not only all different translation methods to convey the message of the source texts but also linguistic ability, grammatcal knowledge, etc to ensure the quality of a translation Data analysis process will be implemented to answer the research questions. Firstly, the English version and other relevant document were used as the basis of the comparison process. Errors existing in translations will be identified. After the process of identifying error problems existed in translation texts, identified errors were categorized into types of errors. One error in the translations can fall into some different kinds of errors. After the process of calculating and identifying error, the most popular errors made in translation will be figured out. From existing problems in translation, suggestions to overcome problems making translation disqualified will be given.

17

CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
4.1. Linguistic errors The linguistic errors can be divided into the following groups: 4.1.1 Lexical errors Lexical interference traps are common enough but more invidious are innocent looking collocations which appear to make sense until one asks oneself what they mean in particular context. Lexical interference is very dangerous because it can distort the meaning of a sentence. 4.1.1.1. Context The context itself determines the meaning of words. Therefore, their meaning should be solved in the context. It is commonly known that a word may have equivalents and accordingly the analysis of its meaning has to be made carefully in order to pick out the most appropriate word. There are many ways of translating of some nouns related to professions, classes, and fields in society. For example, in a text written about Buddhism in which there are two words “clergy” and “death”. Some translated transferred “clergy” as “giáo su” and “death” as “cái ch t” for Buddha. It sounds strange and funny. In fact, “clergy” translated as “giáo si” for Catholicism but “gi i tang d ” for Buddhism. The word “death” is normally translated as “cái ch t” but “vua bang hà” in “King’s death” and as for Buddhism this word should be translated as “viên t ch”.

18

Let us consider some examples extracted from the translation of a famous literary translation “Twilight” (Stephenie Meyer) – Ch ng v ng translated by a professional translator as follow: The English version: “There were so many trees and shrubs I couldn't see its size at first. Where was the feel of the institution? I wondered nostalgically. Where were the chain-link fences, the metal detectors?” The Vietnamese version: “Cây c i nhi u d n d tho t nhìn, tôi không bi t du c ngôi tru ng có quy mô l n nh ra sao. Ðâu r i cái c m giác b i h i quen thu c? tôi t h i lòng mình m t cách luy n ti c. Hàng rào ch nào.” In this example, the context itself determines the meaning of the sentence “Where was the feel of the institution?” The speaker, Bella wants to emphasize the reality that “the new school is different from her imagination”, therefore, she wants to find the feeling of the institution, not “dâu r i c m giác b i h i quen thu c”. So, the suggested Vietnamse version here can be “Ðâu r i nh ng hình nh quen thu c c a m t ngôi tru ng?” Another example also extracted from “Twilight” (Stephenie Meyer) as follow: The English version: dâu, các máy dò kim lo i d t

19

I glanced up, and he was staring at me, that same inexplicable look of frustration in his eyes. Suddenly I identified that subtle difference in his face. “Did you get contacts?” I blurted out unthingkingly. He seemed puzzled by my unexpected question. “No”. “Oh,” I numbled. “I thought there was something different about your eyes.” The Vietnamese version: “H n ta dang cham chú nhìn tôi, v n là cái ki u nhìn bu n bã, vô v ng và r t khó hi u… Và d t nhiên, tôi b ng nh n ra d c di m trên guong m t Edward mà lúc an trua, tôi dã có c m giác ng ng . - B anh b b nh h ? – Tôi th t ra thành ti ng mà ch ng h suy nghi. H n ta có v b i r i tru c câu h i không mong d i c a tôi. - Không. m – Tôi l m b m – Tôi th y trong m t anh có cái gì dó l l m.”

In OALD, the word “contact” has six meanings: 1. act of communication with sb 2. State of touching sth 3. instance of meeting or communicating with sb 4. person that you know, esp sb who can be helpful to you in your work.
20

5. electrical connection 6. contact = contact lens: thin piece of plastic that you put on your eye to help you see better. This is an example taken from Twighlight (Stephenie Meyer, 2003) and translated by a professional translator. Based on analysis and the meaning of the context, obviously the noun “contact” doesn’t have meaning “b nh”. This word is synonymous with the noun phrase “contact lens” = “kính áp tròng”4. Suggested Vietnamese version: “H n ta dang cham chú nhìn tôi, v n là cái ki u nhìn bu n bã, vô v ng và r t khó hi u… Và d t nhiên, tôi b ng nh n ra d c di m trên guong m t Edward mà lúc an trua, tôi dã có c m giác ng ng . “Anh mang kính áp tròng dúng không?” Tôi bu t mi ng th t ra không k p suy nghi. H n ta có v b i r i tru c câu h i không mong d i c a tôi. - Không. m – Tôi l m b m – Tôi th y trong m t anh có cái gì dó l l m. Another example also extracted from the novel Twilight (Stephenie Meyer, 2005) as follow: The English version: "Was that the boy I sat next to in Biology?" I asked artlessly.

21

The Vietnamese version: “Có ph i là ngu i ng i c nh mình trong l p sinh h c không?” - Tôi th t thà h i The phrase “play dumb” means “pretend not to know or understand”. In Vietnamese, that means “gi v không bi t”, not “h i th ng” like the Vietnamese version. “Artlessly”5 has four meanings: 1. Having or displaying no guile, cunning, or deceit 2. Free of artificiality; natural: artless charm. 3. Lacking art, knowledge, or skill; uncultured and ignorant. 4. Poorly made or done; crude. Obviously, the most suitable equivalent for the word “artlessly” in this example is “gi v ngây tho”. Therefore, the suggested Vietnamese version here can be: “Có ph i là ngu i ng i c nh mình trong l p sinh h c không?” - Tôi g a v ngây tho h i. Another detail in “Twilight” translated in not exact equivalence is the noun phrase “matching houses” = “nh ng ngôi nhà gi ng nhu h p diêm”: The English version: It looked like a collection of matching houses, built with maroon colored bricks. There were so many trees and shrubs I couldn't see its size at first.
4

From http://vi.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%ADnh_%C3%A1p_tr%C3%B2ng Retrieved April 21, 2010 5 From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/artlessly Retrieved April 24, 2010

22

The Vietnamese version: Toàn b ngôi tru ng t a nhu m t t p h p c a nh ng ngôi nhà hình h p diêm, du c xây b ng lo i g ch có màu nâu s m. Xung quanh tru ng, d y nh ng cây xanh, cao có, lúp xúp có. Cây c i nhi u d n d tho t nhìn, tôi không bi t du c ngôi tru ng có quy mô l n, nh ra sao. “Matching houses” = Nh ng can nhà (du c xây d ng d ) nhìn có v hòa d ng. “Match houses” = nhà d choi, bé nhu h p diêm. The problem here lies in the phrase “matching houses”. The translator made mistakes in translating “matching houses” = nh ng ngôi nhà hình h p diêm. The following example taken from the short story translation of an experienced translator, the work “From Leo – With Love” by Iris Milutinovic: The English version: “The children were educated by the School of the Air” The Vietnamese version: “T i tr con di h c tru ng c a con em trong can c không quân”

Based on the context of this short story, children in this remote village cannot have enough conditions “di h c tru ng c a con em trong can c

không quân”. The phrase “the School of the Air” can be meant “h th ng l p h c truy n qua sóng di n” (used for children in remote areas without means of transportation. One more example extracted from the translation of Harry potter 7 (Rowling, J.K) as follow: The English version: "You look much tastier than Crabbe and Goyle".
23

The Vietnamese version: Ái chà, coi b b nh m ngon hon Crabbe và Goyle, Harry à". In this situation, the author wants to use the word “tastier” showing the realation between male and female which made Hermione blush after. Some vocabulary errors also appeared in the translation of “The Da Vinci Code” (Dan Brown) translated by a professional translator.

No.

English version

Vietnamese version

Suggested Vietnamese version

1

b n Tuy nhiên, t b n thân himself, however, thân anh nh c nh anh nh c nh mình that killing mình r ng gi t r ng gi t Langdon s là Langdon would be Langdon s là m t ân m t ân hu l n c a s a generous fate hu l n c a s ph n ph n so v i s kh n He reminded Tuy nhiên, t n mà kh (nh m l n gi a misery about to be Bezu Fach d nh nói misery và mystery) communicated by và h th ng nhà tù du c ban t ng b i Bezu Fache và h Bezu Fache and Pháp. compared to the so v i s bí the French prison system. th ng nhà tù Pháp

Opus Dei is a Opus Dei là t ng Opus Dei là m t b personal prelature giám m c c a thành ph n of Vatican City, ph Vaticang, và s tôn giáo c a

thành ph Vaticang, và

and His Holiness linh thiêng c a ngài Ð c Giáo hoàng có th
24

can 2 monies

disperse có th gi i ngân du c gi i ngân du c b t c however b t c lúc nào mà lúc nào mà ngài th y dây hoàn

he sees fit. No law ngài th y thích h p. thích h p. has been broken here dây hoàn

toàn toàn không có gì ph m

không có gì ph m pháp c ." pháp c ."

When Vernet

I

retire, Vernet t nh , khi ta told v ngh huu, ta s d

Vernet t nh , khi ta v ngh huu, ta s d d y h m

3

himself, I will fill d y các t bào c a ta my cellar with b ng lo i ru u Bordo rare Bordeaux.. quý giá

ru u (nh m l n gi a cell và cellar) c a ta
b ng lo i ru u Bordo quý giá.

For others, it is the Ð i v i nh ng ngu i quest for lost khác, dó là yêu c u documents 4 and d i v i nh ng tài li u secret history..." b m t và l ch s bí m t..."

Ð i v i nh ng ngu i khác, dó là cu c tìm ki m (nh m l n gi a quest và request) d i v i nh ng tài li u b m t và l ch s bí m t..."

Table 1: Some vocabulary errors in the translation of “The Da Vinci Code” (Dan Brown)
25

It is characteristic of word that a single lexical item may have several meanings. The same word used in different context will have different meanings. At the level of words, problems can only be solved if the translator works hard to improve both his English and Vietnamese vocabulary to a level that he is capable of choosing the right word in any case to produce a natural translation. It is crucial for a translator to fully understand all the denotations and connotations of a word so that he can avoid making any loss of connotational meanings as in examples given. To do that, he also needs flexibility in the use of words and does not translate mechanically basing on an English – Vietnamese dictionary. 4.1.2. Idioms The meanings of idioms are not definitely related to grammatical rules or the lexical meaning of each word because they feature the metaphor and figures of speech. In fact, idioms can be translated satisfactorily by considering the context, if not, it is difficult to find the exact meaning. An English idiom must be translated into Vietnamese by an equivalent one. It is very important to be aware that we must not choose the equivalents of every word forming the idiom but we do find the equivalent ways of expression which exist in both languages. If we stick to each word, the meaning becomes strange, unnatural and funny. The following erors were found in some of the translated works and should be corrected. The following example extracted from the translation of “Twilight” (Stephenie Meyer) can be seen as the misuse of idiom of an experienced translator:
26

The English version: “But Edward Cullen’s back stiffened, and he turned slowly to glare at me – his face was absurdly handsome with piercing, hate-filled eyes. For an instant, I felt a thrill of genuine fear, raising the hair on my arms”. The translation version: “T m lung c a Edward Cullen b ng g ng lên, h n ta ch m rãi xoay ngu i l i và nh n ra tôi – guong m t Edward di n trai m t cách “dáng ghét” – v i dôi m t s c s o ch a d y n i b c b i. N i s hãi trong tôi l i dâng lên, tràn ra c l chân lông trên tay”. In this example, the idiom “a thrill of genuine fear, raising the hair on my arms” does not mean “s hãi trong tôi l i dâng lên, tràn c ra l chân lông trên tay”. This idiom means “s d ng tóc gáy”. By giving the correct meaning of the idiom, the translated sentence will sound more natural. The second example is also extracted from the translation “Twilight” (Stephenie Meyer). The English version: “Aren’t you hungry?” he asked, distracted. “No.” I didn’t feel like mentioning that my stomach was already full – of butterflies. “You?” I looked at theempty table in front of him. The Vietnames version: Cô không th y dói b ng à? – Edward lên ti ng, rõ ràng là dang mu n

c d n c m xúc l i.

27

-

Không – Tôi không c m th y dói chút nào – Th còn anh? – Tôi h i,

m t nhìn vào ph n bàn tr ng tron phía tru c m t h n ta. The idiom “To have butterflies in one’s stomach” means “b n ch n, lo l ng, không còn b ng d nào làm gì”, not “c m th y dói”. It would be more idiomatic to translate as follow: Không.” Tôi không mu n thú nh n r ng tôi ch ng còn b ng d nào d

an u ng n a. In conclusion, translators sometimes committed the lexical errors mentioned above including those of context, word collocation and idioms. The problem is that some translators did not realize the linking meaning of word units. It is obvious that these units link together to create a larger unit of meaning in a given text to be translated. The linking meaning itself does not exist in separate word units but in the link of the units constituting the whole text. 4.2. Translational errors There are five main types of translational errors that will be analyzed in this chapter. They are omission, addition, equivalence, accuracy and naturalness. During the process of analyzing translational errors in literary English Vietnamese translations, translation theories and translation methods play crucial roles. 4.2.1. Omission In this thesis, omission in translation can be understood that no translation of a certain piece of information in the ST and the information does not include in the TT. This type consists of words, sentences or
28

paragraphs that were omitted by the translators. In literary translation, it is very important to realize that the sentences or paragraphs omitted information or not because it is useful to understand clearly, fully and completely the message of the sentences, passages and the works. For example: No English version It’s a good thing he’s 1 happily married. “Bella?” a different voice called from the distance. 2 voice No! Please let me be imagining that horribly familiar (omitted) Vietnamese version Cu c hôn nhân c a ông ta r tt td p -“Bella?” – có ti ng g i tôi t dàng xa

“What’s wrong – is she hurt?” His voice was closer now, and he sounded upset. - Có chuy n gì v y… Cô y b dau dâu à? – Gi ng nói

y g n hon và ch a d y s th ng th t. Table 2: Some omission errors in the translation of Twilight (Ch ng v ng) – Stephenie Meyer These examples are extracted from “Twilight” (Stephenie Meyer, 2003). In the first example, the translator omitted “It’s a good thing” when
29

translating. And in the second example, the sentence “No! Please let me be imagining that horribly familiar voice” in the English version is omitted and not translated in the Vietnamese version. Other examples of omission error in literary translation are taken from a newspaper6 written by Lê Hùng commenting on the literary translation of Autralian Short Stories of a professional translator. When reading the Short Stories named “Joe” (Peter Carey) - Th ng Joe and “From Leo – With Love” (Iris Milutinovic) – “Chào thân ái, Leo”, he realized some mistakes in the translation. Some sentences in the English version are omitted and not translated in the Vietnamese version. No. English version “He says, I don't think it was. Dad says, how do you mean? Joe looks sort of (Omitted) Vietnamese version “Nó b o, có l không .

embarrassed. He begins to pick at the scab again. He bends his head to look at it closer, so all 1 we can see is the top of his head. He says something we can't hear. B nói, cái gì?

6

From http://www.talawas.org/talaDB/showFile.php?res=14166&rb=07 Retrieved April 24, 2010

30

Dad says, what? Joe says, is it rape...” “Joe” (Peter Carey) (page 140 – 141)

Joe nói, có ph i th hi p không...”

Joe has the ears, but not 2 the nose. That is perhaps his one characteristic “Joe” (Peter Carey) (page 132 -133) 3 You can see the mark where his head touches the wall “Joe” (Peter Carey) (page 136 – 137) Omitted Omitted

31

Don fought for his dream, eventually managing to persuade an 4 initially reluctant Omitted

Government that here, less than an hour’s helicopter flight from the desert rocket range,

sufficient fresh foods might be grown to supply the base “From Leo – With Love” (Iris Milutinovic) (Page 144 145)

Table 3: Omission errors 4.2.2. Addition In the thesis, addition errors in translation can be understood that the translator adds some information without in the ST into the TT. This type consists of words, sentences or paragraphs that were added by the translators. It is necessary to realize that the sentences or paragraphs added information or not because it is useful to understand exactly the message of the sentences, passages and the works. For example: No. 1 The English version The Vietnamese version

I had to get out of the house, Tôi c n ph i ra kh i nhà,

32

but there was nowhere I không di thì diên lên m t! dù wanted to go to that didn’t th t ra, tôi ch ng mu n di dâu involve a three-day drive. Twilight, (2003) 2 "If I manage to leave the Anh yêu, n u em có th r i organization after this, will kh i t ch c này thì anh hãy you go out with me as a real d n dón em nhé, chúng ta s boyfriend?" Detective Conan, Aoyama làm dám cu i, r i chúng ta s cùng di d n m t noi nào dó th t xa, xa h n noi này . . ." Table 4: Addition Errors The translators of Twilight (Stephenie Meyer) and Detective Conan, Aoyama Gosho (1994) added some more information into the translations. Sometimes information added in translations can be unimportant but sometimes addition can cause the misunderstanding the message of the source texts. In the first example, the translator added “không di thì diên lên m t” which does not appear in the ST in the translation. The same mistake happened in the second example with the translation of Detective Conan (Aoyama Gosho). Some information in the translation such as “chúng ta s làm dám cu i, r i chúng ta s cùng di d n m t noi nào dó th t xa, xa h n noi này” does not have in the ST. 4.2.3. Equivalence Stephenie Meyer mà không c n ph i lái xe su t ba ngày du ng c .

Gosho (1994)

33

The definitions of translation suggested in 2.2.1 imply that producing the same meaning or message in the target language text as intended by the original author is the main objective of a translator. This notion of 'sameness' is often understood as an equivalence relation between the source and target texts. This equivalence relation is generally considered the most salient feature of a quality translation. The principle that a translation should have an equivalence relation with the source language text is problematic. Equivalence is the central issue in any discussion on translation. Nevertheless, the definition, relevance and applicability of equivalence still remain controversial. It is difficult to achieve exact equivalence or effect because of three main reasons. Firstly, it is impossible for a text to have constant interpretations even for the same person on two occasions (Hervey, Higgins and Haywood (1995: 14). These translation scholars share their ideas that one could objectively assess textual effects; one would need to have recourse to a fairly detailed and exact theory of psychological effect, a theory capable, among other things, of giving an account of the aesthetic sensations that are often paramount in response to a text (Hervey, Higgins and Haywood (1995: 14). Secondly, translation is a matter of subjective interpretation of translators of the source language text. Thus, producing an objective effect on the target text readers, which is the same as that on the source text readers is an unrealistic expectation. Thirdly, it may not be possible for translators to determine how audiences responded to the source text when it was first produced. Miao (2000) gives a specific example of the impossibility of the equivalence relation: If an original was written centuries ago and the language of the original is difficult to comprehend for modern readers, then a simplified translation may well have greater impact on its readers that the original had
34

on the readers in the source culture. No translator would hinder the reader's comprehension by using absolute expressions in order to achieve equivalent effect (Miao, 2000: 202) Because the target text can never be equivalent to the source text at all levels, researchers have distinguished different types of equivalence (Lauscher, 2000: 151). Nida (1964) suggests formal and dynamic or functional equivalence. Formal equivalence focuses attention on the message itself, in both form and content. It requires that the message in the target language should match as closely as possible the different elements in the source language. Dynamic equivalence is based on the principle of equivalent effect, where the relationship between the receptor and message should be substantial the same as that existed between the original receptors and the message. Newmark (1981) makes a distinction between communicative and semantic translation. Like Nida's dynamic equivalence, communicative translation also tries to create the effect on the target text reader which is the same as that received by readers of the source language text. Koller (1997) proposes denotative, connotative, pragmatic, textual, formal and aesthetic equivalence. Baker (1992) also suggests some ideas on classifying various problems of equivalence in translation and suggests some strategies to deal with them. Adopting a bottom-up approach, she begins with simple words and phrases and continues with grammatical, textual and pragmatic equivalences. 4.2.4. Accuracy In the process of translating a text, the message of the original should be preserved in the translation and this shows the fidelity or faithfulness of
35

the translator to the original text. Beekman and Callow (1989: 33) believe that a faithful translation is the one "which transfers the meaning and the dynamics of the original text"; and by 'transferring the meaning', they mean that the translation conveys the ST information to the TT readers. According to Beekman and Callow (1989: 34), "only as the translator correctly understands the message, can he begin to be faithful", and it is only then that "he can translate clearly & accurately". In fact, faithfulness and fidelity are two terms which show how much the TT reconstructs the ST. Some translation theorists believe that the translation should be evaluated by considering its ST as "the yardstick" (Manafi Anari 2004: 34, vol. 2, no. 5). Manafi Anari (2004: 41, vol. 1, no. 4) defines accuracy as "the exactitude or precision of the meaning conveyed" and in fact it "implies conformity of translation with the original text in terms of fact or truth". Also, he defines 'accurate translation' as a translation "which is the reproduction of the message of the ST" (Manafi Anari 2004: 34, vol. 2, no. 5). Newmark (1996: 111) believes that in translating a text, "the accuracy relates to the SL text, either to the author's meaning, or to the objective truth that is encompassed by the text", etc. According to the discussion above, accuracy can be considered as one of the representations of the faithfulness in translation, i.e. showing how accurately the translator has managed to reproduce the message of the ST into the TL. Larson (1984: 485) believes that in every translation, accuracy, clearness and naturalness are of the great importance. Regarding the translation accuracy, she believes that in some cases, when the translator
36

tries to get the meaning of the ST and convey it to the TT, s/he may make some mistakes, either in the analysis of the ST, or in the process of conveying the meaning, and a different meaning may result; then, there is a need for a careful check regarding the accuracy of the translation. According to Khomeijani Farahani (2005: 77-78) based on what Larson proposed in 1984, the process of evaluating the accuracy of translation can be done in two possible ways: one way is recognizing the key words of the ST and their equivalences in the TT and comparing how close they are; i.e. determining whether the translator could convey the same and exact meaning of the ST by selecting the best target equivalents and whether s/he could achieve an acceptable accuracy or not. Another way is using back translation; i.e. translating the TL into the SL, then, carrying out a contrastive analysis and if the retranslated text is reasonably close to the ST, the translation has got the acceptable accuracy Consequently, the term 'translation accuracy' refers to the translator's understanding of the message of the ST and that how accurately the translator has managed to translate a text from one language into another. Let us consider some examples extracted from “The Da vinci Code” (Dan Brown) translated by a professional translator related to accuracy errors: No. 1 English version Vietnamese version

“Slowing Remy down had D n d n, Remy tr thành nhi m become Sophie’s task.” v c a Sophie

37

2

Kidnapping Teabing had not Vi c b t cóc t ng ti n Teabing là been part of the plan, and m t ph n trong k ho ch và quy t deciding what to do with d nh làm gì v i ông ta s t o ra him posed a new problem m tv nd m i

3

Showing his face could not Bi u hi n trên nét m t là không be avoided, Silas thought. th tránh du c, Silas nghi. Remy Remy did what he had to do. dã không làm vi c mà h n ph i He saved the keystone làm. H n ta gi viên dá d nh vòm

4

You opened it. Where… is Anh hãy m nó ra... noi dó... có the map? ch a m t chi c b n d ?

Table 5: Some accuracy errors in the translation of “The Da Vinci Code” (Dan Brown) Table 3 shows some accuracy errors of “The Da Vinci Code” (Dan Brown). In the first example, the phrase “slowing Remy down” = “d n d n, Remy” is inaccurate. Slow down7 in the first example has 5 different meanings: 1- lose velocity; move more slowly; "The car decelerated" 2- become slow or slower; "Production slowed" 3- cause to proceed more slowly; "The illness slowed him down" 4- reduce the speed of; "He slowed down the car"

7

From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/slow+down Retrieved April 26, 2010

38

5- become less tense, rest, or take one's ease; "He relaxed in the hot tub"; "Let's all relax after a hard day's work" Based on these meaning and the context of the novel, “Slowing Remy down” should be translated into Vietnamese “c n bu c Remy”. The second example, the translator translated “had not been part of the plan” = “là m t ph n trong k ho ch” inaccurately. The English part should mean “không là m t ph n trong k ho ch” because it is “had not been” not “had been”. The same error in the second example also appears in the third one when the translator translated the sentence “Remy did what he had to do. He saved the keystone” = “Remy dã không làm vi c mà h n ph i làm. H n ta gi viên dá d nh vòm”. This sentence should be translated “Remy dã làm nh ng gì bu c ph i làm và h n dã c u du c viên dá d nh vòm”. The forth sentence is also translated incorrectly. “You opened it. Where… is the map? = “Anh hãy m nó ra... noi dó... có ch a m t chi c b n d ?”. The suggested Vietnaemse version here should be “Thì ra anh dã m nó ra r i. V y... chi c b n d dâu?”.

The level of accuracy of translation demanded by Brophy-Phillips is mainly achieved by a combination of the use of translators of the highest quality and the systematic application of our methodical checking system. To maintain a high standard of translation, a translator must translate into their native language to ensure that the resulting translation is both clear and succinct. The translator must also have a sufficient knowledge of the field being translated to have a full understanding of the subject matter. Only by having a full and clear understanding of the concepts involved in the subject
39

matter can a translator produce a translation which is both accurate and easy to read. 4.2.5. Naturalness Naturalness can be understood as “a set of requirements for the target language used” (Shei, 2002) which makes the translation read naturally and fit the context. If the translations cannot meet these

requirements, it causes unnaturalness in translations. Unnatural translation does not gravely spoil the general meaning of the text; nonetheless, to some extent, it distorts the writer’s intention, disappoints readers for not meeting that set of requirements. In translation, unnaturalness can be understood as the failure to recreate a text “according to the writer's intention, the reader's expectation, and the appropriate norms of the target language”, making the translation imperfect and not literarily elegant (Newmark, 1988). This may be considered a definition of translation unnaturalness, on which the following detailed analysis is based to judge the translations taken out from different sources. And unnaturalness in translation can be observed by analyzing the usage of words, expressions, grammatical structures, etc. On the other hand, translated texts may be criticized for using alien cultural concepts, which seem to be so strange to target language (Vietnamese) readers, resulting in dissatisfaction. The

linguistic and cultural grounds are two main factors causing unnaturalness in translation. Most translators, unskilled translators, translation learners or even professional translators can make this mistake in their translations.
40

Let us consider the following sentences: No. English I tried to think of a logical solution that could d 1 Vietnamese Tôi c g ng suy lu n v n theo hu ng h p lí nh t v

explain what I had just seen – a nh ng gì mình v a du c ch ng solution that excluded the ki n – v n d dó ph i làm sao ch ng minh du c r ng tôi dã m t trí hoàn toàn m i du c. I glanced up, and he was staring at me, that H n ta dang cham chú

assumption that I was insane.

same nhìn tôi, v n là cái ki u nhìn

inexplicable look of frustration bu n bã, vô v ng r t khó hi u… in 2 his eyes. Suddenly I Và d t nhiên, tôi b ng nh n ra

identified that subtle difference di m d c bi t trên guong m t in his face. Edward mà lúc an trua tôi dã có c m giác ng ng . “You should see the “Con nên d n tham bác s tr l i và b t cu i thành

3

doctor,”

Charlie

said, - B

laughing. “It’s a good thing ti ng – Cu c hôn nhân c a ông he’s happily married. A lot of ta r t t t d p. Các cô y tá ph i the nurses at the hospital have khó khan l m m i t p trung vào a hard time concentrating on công vi c du c m i khi có m t their work with him around.” bác s Cullen dó.”

41

“But Edward Cullen’s

“T m lung c a Edward

back stiffened, and he turned Cullen b ng g ng lên, h n ta slowly to glare at me – his face ch m rãi xoay ngu i l i và nh n was absurdly handsome with ra tôi – guong m t Edward di n piercing, hate-filled eyes. For trai m t cách “dáng ghét” – v i an instant, I felt a thrill of dôi m t s c s o ch a d y n i b c genuine fear, raising the hair b i. N i s hãi trong tôi l i dâng on my arms”. lên, tràn ra c l chân lông trên tay”. Table 6: Some naturalness errors in the translation of Twilight (Stephenie Meyer) Those examples are extracted from the novel Twilight (Stephenie Meyer, 2005) and the translation is the published Vietnamese version by a renowned professional translator. In the first example, the part in Vietnamese version which is “suy lu n v n d theo hu ng h p lí nh t v nh ng gì mình v a du c ch ng ki n” is expressed too unnaturally to be accepted as a translation of a literary work which requires high level of smoothness and elegance. Suggested Vietnamese Version for this example can be: “Tôi c g ng tìm ra m t cách lí gi i h p lí nh t v nh ng gì mình v a ch ng ki n – t t nhiên là ngoài cách th a nh n r ng mình dã m t trí.” In the second example, the expression “Và d t nhiên, tôi b ng” in Vitenamse version sounds not good enough. Using “và d t nhiên” and “tôi

42

b ng” at the same time is not necessary because they are equivalent in Vietnamese. This is the reason causing unnaturalness in this expression. Suggested Vietnamese Version can be: “H n ta dang cham chú nhìn tôi, v n là cái ki u nhìn bu n bã, vô v ng r t khó hi u… Ð t nhiên, tôi nh n ra di m d c bi t trên guong m t Edward mà lúc an trua tôi dã có c m giác ng ng .” The third example, “You should see the doctor,” Charlie said, laughing. “It’s a good thing he’s happily married. A lot of the nurses at the hospital have a hard time concentrating on their work with him around”, is sentences after Bella praised the attraction of Cullen family. This English version is translated into Vietnamese “Con nên d n tham bác s B tr l i và b t cu i thành ti ng – Cu c hôn nhân c a ông ta r t t t d p. Các cô y tá ph i khó khan l m m i t p trung vào công vi c du c m i khi có m t bác s Cullen dó”. Actually, the sentence “You should see the

doctor” is quite difficult to express naturally. As usual, Vietnamese usually use “di khám bác s ” instead of “d n tham bác s ”. Another point in this sentence is the usage of words like “nh ng” or “các” in Vietnamese. The word “các” means totality. Meanwhile “nh ng” shows a part in totality. However, in this example, the translator misunderstood when translating “a lot of” into “các”. This causes the unnaturalness in translation. Suggested Vietnamese version: “Con nên di khám bác s - B tr l i và b t cu i thành ti ng – Cung may là cu c hôn nhân c a ông ta r t t t d p. Vì nhi u cô y tá ph i khó khan l m m i t p trung du c m i khi có m t bác s Culen
43

dó.”

The forth example, “I felt a thrill of genuine fear, raising the hair on my arms”= “N i s hãi trong tôi l i dâng lên, tràn ra c l chân lông trên tay” translated sounds unnatural. The suggested Vietnamese version here can be “s d ng tóc gáy”. The same errors met in the translation of a literary work attracted many readers in Vietnam in particular and readers in the world in general, The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) as follow: No English version Vietnamese version Suggested Vietnamese version 1 Hold on, Robert. C Almost there 2 It had been hours, and the operation had veered wildly lên, Robert. H u C lên, Robert. S p dó thôi xong r i d ng

nhu ch còn

Chi c xe dã di nhi u Ðã m y gi

gi và cu c hành trình h , và k ho ch d i d i hu ng liên t c. Bây hu ng liên t c. Bây gi , nó du ng nhu gi , cu i cùng thì vi c du ng

off course. Now, quay tr l i con du ng m i at last, it seemed mòn. to be back on track.

nhu dâu l i vào dó.

3

"You will join "Anh s gia nh p vào Anh s

gia nh p

the ranks of the hàng ngu c a nh ng vào hàng ngu c a great men you con ngu i mà anh mo nh ng con ngu i
44

admire

-

Da u c t lâu - Da Vinci, mà anh mo u c t Newton - lâu - Da Vinci, Botticelli, Newton

Vinci, Botticelli, Botticelli,

Newton - each m i ngu i trong s h

of whom would dang du c tôn kính - h d u s r t vinh have been ngay du i chân anh..." d du c vào d a v c a anh lúc này...

honored to be in your shoes right now..." 4 “Jacques

Jacques thông báo v i Jacques thông báo

reported to the c nh sát r ng em trai v i c nh sát r ng police that your cháu và bà cung em trai cháu và bà trong chi c

brother and I had trong chi c xe dó... cung

been in the car… thân th hai chúng ta xe dó... du ng nhu our two bodies dã du c t m g i s ch thân th hai chúng apparently s vào lúc dó... Jacques ta dã b dòng nu c trôi... là m t

washed off in the là m t ngu i dàn ông cu n current... gi n d , ch ng h có Jacques,

Jacques, being a m t th man

xa x gì. Ông ngu i khá n i ti ng d

of ch có m t c m nh n nên không th

prominence, did nh y bén r ng Sophie, dàng bi n m t - ý not have the là ngu i l n tu i hon, nói không th khai of s Paris d Jacques báo b ch t trong

luxury

disappearing. It d y d và nâng d , g n tai n n. Và s h p only made sense gui v i ông và s b o lý n u Sophie, d a that Sophie, v c a H i Tu vi n." cháu l n s Paris

being the eldest,
45

d Jacques d y d

would stay in Paris to be

và nâng d , g n gui v i ông và s b o v c a H i Tu vi n.

taught and raised by Jacques,

close to the heart and protection of the Priory.” 5 He was trapped, Ông dã b nh t, và các Ông ta b nh t và and the doors cánh c a không th could not be du c m không th c a m l i trong

l i ít nh t cánh

reopened for at trong vòng hai muoi vòng ít nh t 20 least minutes. Table 7: Some naturalness errors in the translation of the Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) 4.3. Summary and Implications In this chapter of the thesis, the analysis of the errors in the literary translations has been implemented. There are two main categories which are linguistic errors and translational errors. The first group includes some mistakes related to vocabulary, the context and idioms. The second and also the last group of translational errors relating to the ST consists of omission errors, addition errors, equivalence errors, accuracy errors and naturalness errors. In the course of the analysis, some implications have been made regarding the answers to the two research questions.
46

twenty phút.

phút.

Firstly, the answer to the research questions should be mentioned. There are two main types of errors in literary translations. They are linguistic errors and translational errors. The first type is divided into two sub kinds which are lexical errors and idiom errors. The second type is translational errors divided into 5 sub-kinds including omission errors, addition errors, equivalence errors, accuracy errors and naturalness errors. Secondly, implications relating to the possible causes of the errors should be discussed. Errors in translation can be avoided as long as translators are aware of the potential traps they may get caught in and know strategies to overcome these pitfalls. But prior to this, it is strongly

recommended that all translators identify the main causes of translation errors. To help translators and translation learners have a clearer view of the major causes of errors in literary translation, this thesis classifies them into subjective causes and objective causes. First of all, subjective causes will be discussed. A translation of high quality must be the work of a skillful translator. To be able to produce a good translation, the translator must be competent in both the source and target languages and have extensive cultural background. The primary reason of a poor translation must be the insufficiency of the translator’s language competence. The incompetence may be of Vietnamese, the target language in English – Vietnamese translation, and/ or of English, the source language. As the thesis focuses on the English – Vietnamese translation, the target language is the Vietnamese language. Vietnamese is known for its sophisticated grammatical rules on which not all Vietnamese people hold appropriate knowledge. The fact has it that only a few

47

Vietnamese translators excel at their own mother tongue, let alone students who are still learning to become translators. Language incompetence can be observed in two broad areas: the vocabulary and the grammatical structures. Insufficient knowledge on either of the two areas may lead to translations of poor quality. One of the other crucial criteria is the cultural background, without which the translation, especially literary translation would be poor quality. In fact, this includes competent knowledge on almost all aspects, such as religions, traditional customs, social norms, historical

awareness,etc. This kind of combined knowledge can be gained along with the process of learning English and learning translation. Nevertheless, only a few learners are aware of this. It is important that translators also pay much attention to their own culture, the Vietnamese culture. By this, the quality of literary translation will be improved and the rendering of idea will be better. The second main cause is Objective cause. Actually, Vietnamese and English have various differences in terms of vocabulary and grammatical rules which make it difficult for translators to give perfect translations. Furthermore, translation, especially literary translation is not simply a linguistic transformation of texts, but it is also a rendering of cultural concepts from one language to another. Cultural differences can also create difficulties for translators. Asian culture in general and Vietnamese culture in particular has few things in common with Western and American culture. Numerous concepts which are familiar with the

Vietnamese may be alien to the English speaking readers. This is difficult for translators to choose exact equivalence. To have a successful translation with high quality, translators have to break the barriers of their own culture
48

CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS
In this chapter, there are three main points being given. The first point is an overview and summary of main chapters given. Secondly, the strengths and weaknesses of the thesis are discussed. And lastly, some suggestions for further research will be provided. 5.1. Overview and summary of the thesis Literary translation has always played a very important role in delivering messages across languages and cultural barriers. The practice of translation always requires big efforts of translators to improve the quality of translations. The purpose of my thesis is to contribute my humble study to the research work of the quality of translations today by pointing out the quality of literary English – Vietnamese translations today which is very necessary and close to my everyday learning and work. This is to show translators, especially people studying in universities are willing to become translator obstacles they can meet when rendering literary English texts into Vietnamese. Apart from the chapter 1 which can be considered a brief informative introduction to the thesis, the study is divided into four main chapters. In chapter 2, an overview of literary translation and the quality of TQA, the role of TQA, criteria to assess the quality of translations and the analysis translation errors are mentioned. By giving types of errors usually met in translations and causes of errors, I attempted to help readers of this thesis, especially would be translators and inexperienced ones to by fully
49

aware of what mistakes they may easily make before seeking ways to avoid them. Chapter 3 of this thesis deals with the methods applied for this thesis. A brief summary of participants of the study and basic steps including collecting data as well as analyzing data process were given. Chapter 4 can be considered a classification of major errors that were identified in the literary translations, specifically specific examples cited, the thesis attempted to help readers of this thesis be fully aware of what kinds of errors that the translators of the literary works made and even translators in general may easily make. Implications are also provided in this chapter. 5.2. Strengths and weaknesses of the thesis Up to now, there have been many books on English – Vietnamese translation, however, very few of them meet the full demand of the quality of literary English Vietnamese translations today. This thesis discusses this phenomenon in detail with relevant examples. The organization of the thesis is also easy for readers to understand and catch the main ideas of the issue. The thesis also discusses common errors that translators may make in literary English Vietnamese translations. Nevertheless, there are some weaknesses in this thesis that may have influence on the final results. Firstly, due to the limited time of research of the broad scope, it is concerned with issues mentioned are still somewhat general and the investigation of the impacts that translation errors might have on the readers was not carried out. Therefore, the thesis cannot provide a comprehensive approach to the issue. Secondly, due to the researcher’s limited knowledge in linguistics and translation studies, mistakes in the course of analysis are unavoidable.
50

5.3. Suggestions for further research In the process of integration into the world economy and culture of Vietnam, literary translations become more and more important which are a bridge connecting different cultures. This progress also requires literary translation of high quality, especially from English to Vietnamese and vice versa. Therefore, more studies of this issue should be implemented. These studies should touch upon translations from different perspectives, especially the impacts of the translation on the thesis readers because it is the readers that are the final and the most important assessors of translators. All in all, I would like to significantly contribute to the study of literary English Vietnamese translation in universities and on the media through this thesis. In my point of view, this thesis can be regarded as an useful material; of all people who want to improve thesis literary English Vietnamese translation skills as well as the quality of their translations. Hopefully, readers of this thesis can find it useful in their work or at least see it as a worth reference.

51

REFERENCES
ONLINE DICTIONARIES:

English – Vietnamese dictionaries 1. http://www.saga.vn/dictlist.aspx?f=B 2. http://www.fetp.edu.vn/eDictionary/home.cfm 3. http://tratu.bamboo.com/ 4. http://vdict.com/?autotranslation 5. http://www.askoxford.com 6. http://dictionary.reference.com/ 7. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/

BOOKS:

1. Al-Qinai, J, (2000). Translation Quality Assessment Strategies, Parametres and Procedurea. Meta: Translators’ Journal, 45 (3), pp. 497519. Retrieved February 5, 2010 from

http://www.erudit.org/revue/meta/2000/v45/n3/001878ar.pdf

2. Baker, Gabriela Saldanha (1998). Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies. New york: Taylor & Francis Group e-Library,2009.

3. House, J. (1986). A model for translation quality assessment. Tubingen: TBLVerlag Nar.

52

4. [Jin, 1991 ] W. Jin. Translation Techniques in the issue of Accuracy and Efficiency, MCCS-91-208, Computing Research Laboratory, New Mexico State University.

5. Khomeijani Farahani, Aliakbar. (2005). "A Framework for Translation Evaluation". Translation Studies, 3 (9), 75-87.

6. Newmark, P. (1995). A Textbook of Translation. New York: Prentice Hall International. Translation equivalence. [PPT file]. College of Foreign Languages: English Department.

7. Schãffner, C. (1997). From ‘Good’ to ‘Functionally Appropriate’: Assessing Translation Quality. Current Issues in Languages & Society, 4 (1), pp.1-5.

8. Translation procedures. [PPT file]. College of Foreign Languages: English Department.

9. Wright, David (2001). “Yan Fu and the Tasks of the Translators” (p.4) Retrieved April 28, 2006, from www.wsc.uni-

erlangen.de/pdf/wright.pdf

53

LITERARY SOURCES
1. Brown, Dan (2003). The Da Vinci Code. Kent: Bantam Press.

2. Brown, Dan (September, 2005). M t mã Da Vinci (Ð Thu Hà, Trans.). Hanoi: Culture and Information Publishing House.

3. Rowling, J. K. (2000). Harry Potter (Book 7). London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.

4. Rowling, J. K. (2003). Harry Potter (Quy n 7) (Lý Lan, Trans.). Ho Chi Minh City: Youth Publishing House.

5. Stephenie Meyer (2003). Twilight. New York Boston: The international Betseller.

6. Stephenie Meyer (2005). Ch ng V ng (T nh Th y, Trans.). Ho Chi Minh City: Youth Publishing House.

7. Aoyama Gosho (1994). Detective Conan: Shuichi Akai, Vermouth, Live Action II, Shogakukan Publishing House.

8. Aoyama Gosho. Thám t l ng danh Conan (2008), Kim Ð ng Publishing House.

54

This document was created with Win2PDF available at http://www.win2pdf.com. The unregistered version of Win2PDF is for evaluation or non-commercial use only. This page will not be added after purchasing Win2PDF.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful