e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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Translating Definiteness and Indefiniteness: A Corpus-based Study of Malay Translational Equivalences of English Articles

Imran Ho-Abdullah, Azhar Jaludin and Intan Safinaz Zainudin

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 21, Issue S, May 2013

Keywords: Corpus linguistics, definite-indefinite articles, English-Malay translation, parallel corpus, translational equivalents

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The use of parallel corpora and the methodology of corpus linguistics have yielded innovative insights in translation studies and cross linguistics studies. The tools and methodology of corpus linguistics have made it possible to systematically explore and capture enormous quantities of text and their translation effectively and efficiently, hence providing researchers with more accurate data for analysis. This paper builds on this tradition and investigates the translation equivalents of English articles a(n) and the into Malay utilising a 250,000 words unidirectional parallel corpus of English–Malay. In particular, the distributions of the translational equivalents of English articles a(n) and the are examined in relation to the functions of the articles in terms of the definiteness –indefiniteness referencing system of article usage in English. A total of 1355 instances of the definite article (the) and 407 instances of the indefinite article (a/an) were detected and their translational equivalents in Malay identified using ParaConc. The results of the analysis of the Malay translation reveal that due to cross linguistics differences in the article system, 71% of the definite article and 56% of the indefinite articles are translated as Ř.In addition, the corpus analysis also reveals that there are shared translational equivalents that are used to indicate both definite and indefiniteness as well as unique translational equivalents that are used only for definiteness or indefiniteness.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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