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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hokuga.hgu.jp/dspace/handle/123456789/1300

Title: A prolegomenon to a study of editorial practice : translating nihongo into English
Authors: Jones, Willie
Keywords: mother-tongue interference
Issue Date: 31-Jul-1999
Publisher: 北海学園大学人文学会
Abstract: Each language offers its users a somewhat different (at times very different) view of the world, and when two languages also differ markedly in their lexis and syntactic surface structure, it is not easy to translate from one of these languages into the other. This is certainly the case when translating from nihongo into English. And though all languages possess ways of connecting utterances together and of giving consistency to their modes of reasoning, they do not always use the same linguistic devices to do so: this, again, is true of English and nihongo. When one's mother-tongue gets in the way of one's competence in the target language, this is known as mother-tongue interference; and when native speakers of nihongo aim to write in English, the linguistic patterns of their mother-tongue regularly prevent them from "chaining" their sentences together in the manner which is common to English, thus failing to achieve cohesion; they also prevent them from giving their arguments the appearance of logical consistency, thus failing to ensure coherence. This essay therefore aims to offer a preliminary analysis of some of the different ways by which the two languages achieve cohesion and coherence, and of the particular problems native speakers of Japanese experience when they wish to write academic papers in English. The writer bases his analysis and arguments on 20 years' experience of editing such texts, and the conclusions he has drawn from his experience. He balances this with a careful look at a recent book (by a Japanese scholar) which offers one of the first coherent accounts in English of the structure of Japanese discourse. The writer hopes, by these means, to lay the foundations for further study of this most difficult, yet vitally important, issue.
URI: http://hokuga.hgu.jp/dspace/handle/123456789/1300
Appears in Collections:第13号

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