Tid: Torsdag 26 maj kl. 15 - 17
Plats: C307

Postseminarium med förfriskningar äger rum direkt efter seminariet i institutionens pentry.


Prepositions are a notorious source of confusion both for learners of a new language and for native speakers learning to translate into their L1. In the case of English and Swedish, the fact that many prepositions are cognates further complicates matters. Cognate prepositions generally share several semantic features, but differ in their use, governed not only by the actual sense, but by conventions.
A potentially extra treacherous cognate pair is English “of” – Swedish “av”. While “of” (representing 26% of preposition occurrences in the ESPC (English originals) and 20 or more different meanings (Garretson 2005)), is used as a universal preposition, e.g., linking two or more nouns that form one concept, Swedish “av” (11,3% of prepositions in the Swedish ESPC originals), cannot be used in this way. Neither is “av” used for expressing possession (Hammarberg & Koptjevskaja-Tamm 2003), as another example; instead, the genitive form of the possessor, another preposition, or a compound is used. However, the “N1 av N2”-construction does occur, although in other constructions.
Translating cognates causes special problems: (novice) translators may not be aware of the contrastiveness in the direction into their L1. According to Shlesinger & Malkiel (2005) “the cognate is the first solution to be considered, and […] is rejected when the translator […] is convinced that the non-cognate solution is superior”. The ability to make that kind of considerations may still be lacking in inexperienced translators.
It is hypothesized that the “N1 av N2” construction is used in Swedish target texts even when this does not conform to target language norms; and that such renditions will be more frequent the more inexperienced the translator is. To test these hypotheses, and to investigate whether “N1 of N2” constructions of certain types or in certain contexts tend more than others to yield “N1 av N2” renditions that do not conform to target language norms, the present study explores the use of “N1 av N2” constructions as renditions of “N1 of N2” constructions in beginners’ translations from English into Swedish.
The material used is a corpus of translation students’ and patent attorney trainees’ translations, with their source texts. The English-Swedish Parallel Corpus (Altenberg & Aijmer 2002) serves as a reference corpus, complemented by the monolingual Swedish part of the Parole corpus and the BNC Sampler (Burnard 1999).
In this seminar the results of the study will be presented and discussed.
Altenberg, Bengt and Karin Aijmer. 2000. The English-Swedish Parallel Corpus: A resource for contrastive research and translation studies.In C. Mair and M. Hundt (eds.), Corpus linguistics and linguistic theory. Papers from the Twentieth International Conference on English Language Research on Computerized Corpora (ICAME 20), Freiburg im Breisgau, 1999. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 15-33.
Garretson, G., 2004: The meanings of English of: Uncovering semantic distinctions using a translation corpus, MA thesis, Boston University
Hammarberg, B. & M. Koptjevskaja-Tamm, 2003: Adnominal possession:
combining typological and second language perspectives. In Giacalone Ramat, A. (ed.), Typology and Second Language Acquisition. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 125-180.
Shlesinger, M. & B. Malkiel. 2005. Comparing Modalities: Cognates as a Case in Point. Across Languages and Cultures 6:2. 173-193.
Electronic resources:
Burnard, L. 1999: Users Reference Guide for the BNC Sampler, http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/corpus/sampler/
ESPC website (English-Swedish Parallel Corpus).

Språkbanken website. http://spraakbanken.gu.se. Visited 15/05/2011.



Hjärtligt välkomna!

Ljuba Veselinova