Decoding and encoding the discourse meaning of punctuation
A perspective from English-to-Chinese translation
This exploratory research examines translation students’ use of punctuation, by applying Newmark’s (1988) classical idea of punctuation as a discourse unit for meaning demarcation. Data were collected from a group of 25 Chinese students studying specialised translation at a British university. The research focuses on the use of two punctuation marks in English: comma and period or full stop. The aim is to investigate how students of translation analyse the meaning of a source text with punctuation marks and how they subsequently convert this meaning into the target language again using punctuation marks. It is found that students generally do not automatically copy the punctuation marks of the source text into the translation. They will customize or modify the original punctuation marks according to their meaning analysis of the text and their knowledge of punctuation in source and target languages. Finally, we will discuss the implications of the research for translation education.
Keywords: punctuation, semantic relationship, discourse, translation pedagogy
Keywords: ponctuation, relation sémantique, discours, pédagogie de la traduction
Published online: 10 September 2018
Chan, Sin-wai; and David E. Pollard
China’s Ministry of Education (MoE)
He, Guihua; C. Xiao Dan; and Chen Bing
Hosseini-Maasoum, Seyed Mohammad; and Mehdi Mahdiyan
Oxford Advanced Learner’s English-Chinese Dictionary
4th ed.). The commercial Press and OUP.
The Oxford Dictionaries
Pellatt, Valerie; and Eric T. Liu
Sojudifar, Zahra; Nemati, Azadeh: and Fumani, Mohammad