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Comparison of Target Text and Source Text
CHAPTER 3. DISCUSSION
3.1. Comparison of Target Text and Source Text
After the ST has been analyzed, the TT is examined under the same set of parameters. Then a profile of the text is made. The comparison between the TT’s
profile and the TT’s profile reveals the following mismatches:
TT fails to preserve a syntactic discontinuity in 8.: Nhà nước bảo đảm thực hiện đối với nhà đầu tư nước ngoài các quy định sau đây the State shall guarantee
to implement the following provisions in respect of foreign investors. While in ST, there are no pronominal references to the addresser and the
addressees, there are, however, some in TT: there are extra pronouns in TT: their in 8. 2c,dd; its in 8.2g, 9.1, 1a; it in 9.1; and his, her in 9.2. In ST, all these
pronouns are implied.
TT lacks implied addressee’s participation in 6.3: [Any compensation or damages] shall be permitted to be remitted abroad được quyền chuyển ra nước
ngoài. The use of the passive in TT changes the recipient of the verb được quyền chuyển from addressee to the money received.
In 6.4 and 9.4 in ST, there is only one one-word verb, “theo”, which is often used in combination with another verb to state the basis of the act performed by
the verb. In its use in this specific context, the omitted verb is “phải” tuân theo thực hiện theo – must comply with. TT has reconstructed this verb in two ways: in 6.
4, the verb phrase shall be implemented is added but put in contracted parentheses to show that it is added by the translator, and “theo” is translated as in accordance
with. In 9.4, “theo” is put into shall be subject to. Whereas in ST, the two sentences are isomorphic, in TT they are not.
In TT, the noun “investor”, in contrast with its equivalence in ST, is always clear in terms of number. Yet, this does not hinder TT from being inclusive because
even when there is the determiner “an” before investor, the word can still refer to any investor, not to a specific one.
3 Social Role Relationship
In TT, there is a clarification of number where the nouns are countable, in opposition with in ST. Yet, the translator is not expected to be able to do anything
about this because the English language requires that every countable noun be specified in terms of number. Nevertheless, the precision and inclusiveness of TT is
not thus impeded. Noun phrases with post-modifiers are translated in TT in almost the same
order, except in the following instances: 8.1, 8.2c, 11.2, and 12.4. In 8.2c
there is even an unequal translation of the idea: số lượng và giá trị tương ứng với số
lượng và giá trị hàng hoá xuất khẩu vs. the same quantity and value as goods exported. If the intention of TT is to maintain the noun phrase structure as it is in ST,
this phrase could be put as quantity and value corresponding to those of goods exported. The idea in 11.2 is also mistranslated: các ưu đãi như quy định tại Giấy
chứng nhận đầu tư vs. incentives the same as the investment certificate. This can be paraphrased as incentives as provided in the investment certificate. The noun phrase
in 12.4 has been shortened because the head noun has been changed into a verb in
the passive voice: có thỏa thuận khác trong hợp đồng được ký giữa đại diện cơ
quan nhà nước có thẩm quyền với nhà đầu tư nước ngoài – otherwise provided in a contract signed between a representative of a competent State body of Vietnam with
the foreign investor. TT is somehow less committal and less authoritative than ST. All the four
timeless performative verbs in ST are rendered into a verbal structure with “shall”: 7. - shall protect intellectual property rights bảo hộ quyền sở hữu trí tuệ, shall
ensure the legitimate rights bảo đảm lợi ích hợp pháp, 8. - shall guarantee to
implement the following provisions […] bảo đảm thực hiện […] các quy định, and 11.3 - shall make specific provisions on guarantee for interests quy định cụ thể về
việc bảo đảm lợi ích. The structure with “shall” in legal English is often used
to impose obligations, not to express commitments or declarations nor to express intentions. This use of the “shall + verb” structure in TT makes the addresser’s acts
more like obligations on the part of the addresser, not commitments. In ST the above four illocutionary acts are more of commitments and declarations.
In ST, only one modal particle is used with the verb to express the Deontic modality of granting permissions. In TT, it is replaced by a modal phrase: 6.3 –
shall be permitted to be remitted abroad – được chuyển; 9.1, 2 – shall be permitted to remit abroad – được chuyển; 10. – shall be entitled to uniform application of
price rates […], fees and charges – được áp dụng …; 11.1 – shall be entitled to the benefits and incentives – được hưởng …; 11.2 – shall be guaranteed to enjoy
incentives - tiếp tục hưởng các quyền và ưu đãi; shall be a deduction of the loss – được trừ thiệt hại; shall be a change – được thay đổi. Again, the use of shall in such
constructions, to some extent, weakens the authoritative tone of the ST. In legal English, the model shall is rarely used to express permissions or rights.
In 6.4 and 9.4 TT fails to convey the implied modal of obligation and cannot make the meaning clear with just one verb like in ST. Instead, TT has an
added clarifying phrase in square brackets which is a passive construction in 6.4 - procedures … [shall be implemented] in accordance with law vs. thể thức .. theo quy
định của pháp luật. And “theo” in 9.4 is made into a phrase: procedures … shall be subject to the laws… vs. thủ tục … theo quy định của pháp luật ….
There is hardly any way for the Deontic modality of obligation to be implicitly expressed in English like in Vietnamese.
TT also makes use of ‘nominalization’ of verbs but due to the inflectional nature of English, most nominalized verbs cannot keep their base form. Furthermore,
there are more nominalized verbs, as well as adjectives, in TT than in ST: 6.21- necessity – cần thiết adj, discrimination – phân biệt đối xử v; 6.4- acquisition –
trưng mua v, requisition - trưng dụng v; 10. - process of an investment activity – quá trình hoạt động đầu tư v, uniform application – áp dụng thống nhất v; 11.
2- continuation of enjoyment – tiếp tục hưởng, deduction of the loss – trừ thiệt hại v, a change of … objective – được điều chỉnh mục tiêu v, consideration –
xem xét v. In two instances, ST nouns are changed into verbs in TT: 9.1dd- thuộc sở
hữu hợp pháp n lawfully owned, and 12.4- có thoả thuận khác otherwise
provided. TT is on the whole more nominalized than ST.
Several active structures in ST are changed into passive in TT, or some passive constructions are added in TT: 6.22- không phân biệt đối xử – must be made on
the basis of non-discrimination; 6.4- theo quy định của pháp luật– [shall be implemented] in accordance with law; 8.2b- số lượng, giá trị, loại hàng hoá và
dịch vụ xuất khẩu khoặc sản xuất, cung ứng trong nước – quantity, value or type of goods or services which may be exported or of goods which may be manufactured
domestically or services which may be provided domestically and từ nguồn xuất khẩu– obtained from exported goods; 9.1dd- thuộc sở hữu hợp pháp– lawfully
owned; 9.3 - tỷ giá giao dịch tại ngân hàng– the trading exchange rate published by a commercial bank; do nhà đầu tư lựa chọn– selected by the investor; 10. - do Nhà
nước kiểm soát– which are controlled by the State; 11.1- được hưởng– be entitled to benefits, incentives.
All the nouns in ST, if appear more than once, are repeated to avoid any misinterpretations of reference and to maintain the dual characteristics of precision
and inclusiveness. In 9.1 and 11.1, however, TT substitutes two nouns with one pro-form: 9.1- it shall be permitted to remit abroad – nhà đầu tư được chuyển ra
nước ngoài; 11.1- than those to which the investor was previously entitlted – so với quyền lợi, ưu đãi mà nhà đầu tư được hưởng trước đó.
In terms of cohesion, TT adds the pro-adjective “such” where in ST there is not: 6.21- such investor shall – nhà đầu tư được, such compulsory acquisition
or requisition – việc trưng mua, trưng dụng. Besides, while ST tries its best to minimize the use of possessive determiners with nouns referring to addressee, TT
cannot do so: 8.2c- their import requirements – nhu cầu nhập khẩu; 8.2dd- in their research and development activities – trong hoạt động nghiên cứu và phát triển;
8.2g- its head office – trụ sở chính; 9.1- discharged fully its financial obligations – thực hiện đầy đủ nghĩa vụ tài chính, its profits – lợi nhuận; 9.2- discharged fully
his or her financial obligations – thực hiện đầy đủ nghĩa vụ tài chính.
4 Social Attitude:
On this dimension, TT shares some of the syntactic mismatches with the dimension of Social Role Relationship as discussed above, i.e., verb tense and passive
structures. In terms of lexical means, lexical items in TT cannot construct the shade of formality as in ST. Words and phrases in TT are not distinctively marked [+ formal].
In one particular instance, one verb in ST is put into two words in TT: 6.21- trưng thu – acquire compulsorily. This has the effect of fading the degree of formality that
the original word brings to its reader.
TT also makes use of modal verbs but in certain cases they are not properly used to convey addresser’s intention in ST. The three most common modal verbs in
legal English are shall, must and may. In establishing obligations and prohibitions, must and shall and their negatives are used. In establishing rights and permissions,
may is used. But in TT, shall is sometimes not used in its normal sense in legal English, as in 7. -shall protect bảo hộ, shall ensure the legitimate rights bảo
đảm lợi ích hợp pháp, 8.- shall guarantee to implement bảo đảm thực hiện; 11. 2- there shall be resolution được giải quyết; 11.2b- There shall be a deduction
được trừ; 11.2c- shall be a change được thay đổi; 11.2d- consideration shall be given được xem xét; and 11.3- shall make specific provisions quy định cụ thể.
Also, the substitution of one modal verb with a verb phrase sometimes makes TT less imposing than ST.
To be both precise and inclusive, TT makes use mostly of non-deictic present tense verbs whereas ST makes use of the tenselessness of verbs.
TT shows a great attempt to preserve the structure of article-clause-item of ST but in 11.2 it totally fails to. In ST, all the smallest units of the article are verb
phrases enumerated a, b, c and d. And these are coordinate. But in TT, b, c and d are changed into clauses and a into a noun phrase:
a Tiếp tục hưởng các quyền và ưu đãi; Continuation of enjoyment of benefits and incentives;
b Được trừ thiệt hại vào thu nhập chịu thuế; There shall be a deduction of the loss from taxable imcome;
c Được điều chỉnh mục tiêu hoạt động của dự án; There shall be a change of the operational objective of the project;
d Được xem xét bồi thường trong một số trường hợp cần thiết. Consideration shall be given to paying compensation in necessary circumstances.
Such alteration seriously destroys the parallel structure of listing items within a provision of the ST.
Another significant textual mismatch occurs in 8.2a and 8.2b, where phrases are re-ordered and clarified in a way that makes the two clauses much less
ambiguous to readers of English than had the original order been preserved. Vietnamese readers can clearly understand that the noun “nhà sản xuất” goes with
the noun “hàng hoá” and “nhà cung ứng” with “dịch vụ” with both [+human] nouns being uninterchangeable. So the phrase mua hàng hoá, dịch vụ từ nhà sản xuất hoặc
cung ứng dịch vụ nhất định trong nước in 8.2a is unambiguously clear. In TT, the noun “nhà sản xuất” is grouped with “hàng hoá” and “nhà cung ứng” with “dịch
vụ”, which makes the sentence much clearer: to purchase compulsorily goods from a
specific domestic manufacturer or services from a specific domestic service provider. Similarly, in 8.2b, the phrase hạn chế số lượng, giá trị, loại hàng hoá và dịch vụ
xuất khẩu hoặc sản xuất, cung ứng trong nước has been paraphrased into to restrict the quantity, value or type of goods or services which may be exported or of goods
which may be manufactured domestically or services which may be provided domestically.
Overtly erroneous errors
Some of the above mismatches do not only constitute situational-dimensional mismatches between TT and ST but also referential mismatches. All of these
mismatches have already been pointed out so it may be unnecessary to include all of them in a detailed list here; instead, only some obvious ones will be mentioned
hereafter. In 6.22 in ST: “không phân biệt đối xử giữa các nhà đầu tư” has a rather
hard-to-identify agent. If based on the sentence structure, the agent is “Việc thanh toán hoặc bồi thường”, and the verb is in the active voice. If based on the sentence
meaning by referring back to the previous sentence, the actual agent here should be “Nhà nước”, because as stipulated in 6.21, it is “Nhà nước” that performs the act
of paying compensation or damages to the investor whose assets have been requisitioned or acquired by the State. In TT, this is put into “[Payment of
compensation or damages must …] be made on the basis of non-discrimination between investors”, which helps clarify the agent, though such clarification might not
be the intention of the addresser. Similarly, in 6.3, “được quyền chuyển ra nước ngoài” in ST would imply it
is the recipient of the payment of compensation or damages that is the potential beneficiary, not the payment itself. TT has mitigated this right of investors by using a
passive structure which focuses on the payment: “[Any compensation or damages payable to foreign investors …] shall be permitted to be remitted abroad.
8.2c – wrong choice of “same”: nhập khẩu hàng hoá với số lượng và giá trị tương ứng với số lượng và giá trị hàng hoá xuất khẩu vs. to import goods at the
same quantity and value as goods exported – If an investor had to import and export goods at the same quantity and value, there would be no profits. He therefore has no
reason to carry out investment activities in Vietnam, the primary goal of which is to gain profits. “Corresponding” would have been a much better choice.
In 8.2d, “hàng hoá sản xuất” which means “goods that are manufactured” is rendered into “the manufacture of goods”, which alters the focus of the clause.
Another change of the subject is seen in 11.2. In ST, it is the investor that is the subject of đuợc giải quyết bằng một, một số hoặc các biện pháp sau, but TT has
changed the focus to methods of resolution: there shall be resolution by one, a number or all of the following methods. Therefore, three out of four verb phrases have
been altered into sentences and one into a noun phrase. 11.2a- tiếp tục hưởng các quyền và ưu đãi becomes continuation of enjoyment of benefits and incentives; 11.
2b- được trừ thiệt hại vào thu nhập chịu thuế becomes There shall be a deduction of the loss from taxable income; 11.2c- được điều chỉnh mục tiêu hoạt động của dự
án becomes There shall be a change of the operational objective of the project; 11. 2d- được xem xét bồi thường trong một số trường hợp cần thiết becomes
Consideration shall be given to paying conpensation in necessary circumstances. And in 12.1, one verb, i.e. giải quyết thông qua, is used for all the nouns
listed: được giải quyết thơng qua thương lượng, hồ giải, trọng tài hoặc Tồ án. But in TT, được giải quyết and only two nouns, i.e. thương lượng, hoà giải are kept
together: shall be resolved through negotiation and conciliation; another verb has been added to clarify the other two nouns: shall be referred to arbitration or to a
Statement of Quality
The comparison of ST and TT along the eight parameters shows that there are mismatches on all dimensions of language use. However, the greatest number of
mismatches occurs on the Social Role Relationship parameter. On the whole, these
mismatches render the text in the specified instances less authoritative and less committal. They also convey a different referential meaning in some other instances.
In many cases, TT does not make use of the verb structure with shall in its normal use in legal English.
It can be said that both the ideational and interpersonal components of ST are violated with the interpersonal component being violated to a greater extent.
Mismatches on all parameters have a contribution to this, especially those on the parameters of Social Role Relationship and Province.
Target readers of TT are foreign investors from various countries. Those who are from a legal system similar to that of Vietnam will to a great extent perceive the
translation the way Vietnamese readers do, both ideationally and interpersonally. But those from other legal systems, especially those of the Common Law tradition, will
mainly perceive the ideational aspect only.
3.2. Quality of the translation