Macquarie University
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English and Vietnamese collocations: a contrastive analysis

posted on 2022-03-28, 12:57 authored by Frank Nhat Trinh
This thesis aims at searching for a way to improve the translator's skills in English and Vietnamese by enhancing their knowledge of word-combinations. An attempt has been made in this study to illustrate that lack of a solid knowledge of collocations in translation results in the loss of naturalness of the target language. Numerous collocational mismatches made by professional translators have been detected in learned journals as well as in community information publications. This thesis also makes observations on different aspects of collocational patterning of English and Vietnamese based on random samples of the data collected. Research results show instances of a wide range of non-direct translation equivalence inherent in word-combinations of the languages under investigation. -- This thesis starts off with a journey through personal experience to the realization that the knowledge of collocation is a necessary pre-requisite leading to competence in translation. Chapter One provides greater insight into the notion of collocation by reviewing the literature on related studies, which results in the choice of a broader definition of collocation for this research. Chapter Two highlights the cause-to-effect relationship between collocation and translation in the Australian translation scene. Chapters Three and Four deal with the structural, semantic, and thematic aspects of collocational patterning of English and Vietnamese, based on a survey of fixed and relatively fixed expressions. Chapter Five provides a contrastive perspective of collocation patterning between the two languages under investigation with particular reference to noncomparable collocational patterns. Chapter Six outlines some of the implications for the future training of professional translators with special emphasis on the teaching of vocabulary in 'chunks' of words. Various types of vocabulary and collocation exercises and tests were mentioned, including a special collocational competence test which was designed and conducted in Hanoi for Vietnamese students and for native and near-native English speakers in Sydney.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- The notion of collocation -- Collocation and translation -- English collocational patterning -- Vietnamese collocational patterning -- English and Vietnamese collocational contrasts -- Implications for translator training -- Conclusion.


"June, 2001". Bibliography: p. 271-284

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Division of Linguistics and Psychology, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Colin Yallop

Additional Supervisor 1

Edmund A. Ronowicz

Additional Supervisor 2

David Blair


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Frank Nhat Trinh 2002.




xxxi, 350 p

Former Identifiers

mq:9610 1418480