What is it about?

This paper outlines the potential features of Chinese–English translated business texts by investigating collocation use as a linguistic feature to test the two translation universals (TUs) of simplification and explicitation in two comparable corpora. We employed two linguistic indicators – namely, collocability and delexicalization – to generalize the distinctive features of collocation distribution patterns in a corpus of Chinese–English translated business texts. The findings show that translated texts in our study were characterized by the over-use of free combinations and collocations with a literal sense, and under-use of bound collocations, idioms and collocations with a delexical sense. Therefore, our findings confirm that the translational business English in our corpus did indeed reflect TU claims, as the collocations in the translated text appeared to be both ‘simpler’ in form and more ‘explicit’ in meaning than native-speaker business English.

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Why is it important?

It has attempted to fill an important gap in the literature.


Investigate TUs claims from the use of collocations in translational languages.

Haoda Feng

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This page is a summary of: Form and meaning in collocations: a corpus-driven study on translation universals in Chinese-to-English business translation, Perspectives, January 2018, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/0907676x.2018.1424222.
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