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Decoding and encoding the discourse meaning of punctuation: A perspective from English-to-Chinese translation

Wang, C; (2018) Decoding and encoding the discourse meaning of punctuation: A perspective from English-to-Chinese translation. Babel | Revue internationale de la traduction / International Journal of Translation , 64 (2) pp. 225-249. 10.1075/babel.00032.wan. Green open access

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Abstract

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.

Type: Article
Title: Decoding and encoding the discourse meaning of punctuation: A perspective from English-to-Chinese translation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1075/babel.00032.wan
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1075/babel.00032.wan
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Discours , discourse , ponctuation , punctuation , pédagogie de la traduction , relation sémantique , semantic relationship and translation pedagogy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10086940
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