Integrating controlled corpus data in the classroom: a case-study of English NPs for French students in specialised translation
It is widely acknowledged that terms are highly frequent in scientific writing and noun phrases (henceforth NPs), in which a head noun may be modified by an adjective, another noun or a prepositional phrase, are known to be problematic in French-English translation due to their varying and contrasted complexity (Bouscaren et al. 1992; Vinay and Darbelnet 2004; Huart and Larreya 2006). Indeed, French students hardly master English NPs in their translations – they tend to overuse the ‘the [Noun1] of [Noun2]’ construction as a loan translation (e.g. ‘qualité de l’image’ translated as ‘quality of the image’) where the ‘[Noun2][Noun1]’ construction (e.g. ‘image quality’) may be more appropriate. This remains a pitfall for more advanced translation students, notably in specialized (medical) translation. Indeed, medical English generally follows the principle of economy, so that the use of concise, complex NPs prevails (Maniez 2012). Yet in some contexts, the (the [noun] of [noun]) construction will be preferred, and there is no straightforward rule to help students decide which construction will yield an accurate translation. Based on how challenging English NPs are in French-English translation, we have carried out a corpus-based study in medical English texts, with a view to providing students with controlled corpus data that could be brought to bear on the decision-making process. ← 167 | 168 →
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