Non-standard language in translation

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses problems in translating non‐standard language features. The material examined are translation tasks made by trainee translators, but the implications have general validity: non‐standard language style is often translated literally into Chinese from European languages, without any consideration of the linguistic and paralinguistic significance of the stigmatised usage in the source texts. This article discusses differences between English and Chinese as the representative of two different language families with their respective ways of presenting concepts such as tense, agreement, and plurality in languages. Such differences pose great problems to translators because of the language‐specific ways of expressing grammaticality and ungrammaticality. The article suggests that although formal equivalence cannot be achieved in these cases, various linguistic means in the target languages can be used for to achieve equivalent or at least approximate effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267 - 274
Number of pages8
JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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