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An Error Analysis in Word Choices in Korean-English Translation

Byun Gil-Ja 1

1Macquarie University

Accredited

ABSTRACT

It is worthless to mention that selecting correct words in translation is very important because misusing words gives readers wrong information. However, using correct English words is difficult for Korean students because English and Korean belong to different language groups and they are very different in terms of word forms and usage. What is more, they learn English in EFL situation where there is very little authentic language input. Given such facts, it is not surprising for Korean students to make word choice errors when translating Korean source text into English. Accordingly, to reduce word choice errors, it is meaningful to analyse what factors cause word choice errors and in which situations word choice errors happen. For this purpose, this paper analyses lexical errors on the basis of 9 categories (too general, too specific, terminology, register, addition, omission, part of speech, spelling and collocation) from 19 assignments in two different genres translated by Korean students in the first semester of the master degree course of interpreting and translation. As a result of that, it is found that Korean students make lexical errors because of first language transfer and insufficient vocabulary usage knowledge in the target language. To solve the problems, Korean students should focus on studying vocabulary quality such as usage and the different semantic features between the two languages as well as vocabulary quantity. This paper concludes that education which focuses on instruction in vocabulary usage in different contexts, which offers opportunities to practice the usage, and which provides sufficient authentic input should be given in order to translate source texts into target texts with native-like expression.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.