Translation equivalents in translation corpora and bilingual dictionaries: the case of approximators in English and French

By November 17, 2016,
Page514-522
AuthorDiane Goossens
TitleTranslation equivalents in translation corpora and bilingual dictionaries: the case of approximators in English and French
AbstractThis paper reports on an investigation of the translations of ‘approximator + number’ combinations (e.g. about 200) in English and French using a translation bidirectional parallel corpus of news reporting and examining the entries for the approximators selected in three bilingual dictionaries. This study analyses the major tendencies that are found in the corpus when translating six commonly used approximators occurring around numbers into French and into English: the approximators plus de, près de, environ, dépasser, quelque and approximators formed using a number and the suffix –aine are analysed for the French to English translation direction, and the approximators more than, about, up to, around, over and some are investigated for the English to French translation direction. The entries for these approximators are also scrutinized in three bilingual dictionaries: the Harrap’s Unabridged, Le Grand Robert et Collins électronique and the Grand Dictionnaire Hachette Oxford. The paper focuses more specifically on the types of examples given for each approximator, examining whether the quantity approximation meaning of these items is well represented. Several bidirectional translation equivalence issues are also discussed as some translation equivalents mentioned in one direction are not listed in the other direction in the same dictionary. Based on corpus evidence, the study suggests several ways of improving the treatment of the items under study in bilingual dictionaries. These include the introduction of labels that would inform the user about the context in which the approximator is preferred, for instance in informal contexts or with certain types of quantities. The variety of items identified in the corpus may also help lexicographers list translation equivalents from a wider variety of grammatical categories.
SessionLexicography and semantic theory
Keywordstranslation equivalents, bilingual dictionaries, translation corpora, quantity approximation.
BibTex
@InProceedings{ELX12-038,
author = {Diane Goossens},
title = {Translation equivalents in translation corpora and bilingual dictionaries: the case of approximators in English and French},
pages = {514--522},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 15th EURALEX International Congress},
year = {2012},
month = {aug},
date = {7-11},
address = {Oslo,Norway},
editor = {Ruth Vatvedt Fjeld and Julie Matilde Torjusen},
publisher = {Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, University of Oslo},
isbn = {978-82-303-2228-4},
}
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