The Use of Sino-Vietnamese Components and Their English Counterparts of Latin and Greek Origin - Implications for Translation

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Date Submitted: 06/04/2008 08:38 PM

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Translation across languages is often hard work, because the translator must take into account a number of constraints, including the context, the rules of grammar of the two languages, their writing conventions, their idioms and so on. At the word level, it is seen that there is no one-to-one correspondences between components of different languages. Therefore, the translators are expected to maintain as many elements of meaning in the source language as they can. These elements may vary greatly, including the propositional meaning, the expressive meaning (nuance and style), the evoked meaning (registration of words in the target languages) and the likes. However, the success of the translators depends partly on their skills and talents. The other part comes from the target language itself. There are some languages that possess definite advantages for translation meanwhile some do not. Take, for example, the issue concerning the vocabulary. One language may have a vast vocabulary items in comparison with another language, and this number obviously is an advantage for translation

From this perspective, it is seen that Vietnamese has an advantage, as beside a great deal of native Vietnamese components, it also possesses a large number of words and phrases of Chinese origin. However, the advantage has not been made full use of, as translators either deliberately avoid using Sino-Vietnamese or tend to use them in an arbitrary manner. Therefore, to put forth a rule of using those elements would allow us to fully exploit this advantage, throughout which we can enhance the effectiveness of Vietnamese in translation and make it the ideal target language for the English source language.


This probably is the first time the phenomenon is mentioned in the theory of translation from English into Vietnamese. Previous studies concerning this matter so far have not been found, and this possibly...