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Title: An investigation of bilingual competence: translation of requests between Chinese and English
Authors: Lee, Kai Wai
Keywords: Humanities::Language::Linguistics
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Lee, K. W. (2022). An investigation of bilingual competence: translation of requests between Chinese and English. Master's thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: The face-threatening nature of request has attracted attention from cross-cultural studies to identify the appropriate request realisation patterns of monolingual natives across languages, as well as from second language (L2) acquisition studies to measure the resemblance between L2 patterns and those of the native speakers (NS). However, little light has so far shed on the patterns of bilingual who live in a balanced bilingual environment. This study focuses on the interlanguage pragmatics of bilinguals with a focus on the speech act of request. It attempts to investigate the language dominance effect on bilinguals’ competence in making, proofreading, and translating requests in Chinese and in English appropriately. It also studies the bilinguals’ use of request strategies, internal modifications, supportive moves, and translation shift in monolingual and bilingual speech acts of request. Forty Chinese-English bilingual undergraduates from Singapore and Hong Kong were recruited based on the dominant language they speak respectively at home and at school. They completed a series of bilingual discourse completion, proofreading, and translation tests. Their responses were then graded and coded for alerter types, request strategies, internal and external modifiers. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted to identify the pragmatic differences that distinguished the request behaviours of the bilingual participants. The results show the following features: (1) Chinese and English competences of the bilingual participants were distinguishable from that of NS of monolinguals. (2) Speaking Chinese at home and at school was positively related to the participants’ Chinese pragmatic competence. (3) Language proficiency effect seemed to be more impactful on the participants’ performance related to their English pragmatic competence. Lastly, discussions of the importance of recognising the multifaceted view of language and language use were provided. The results of this study provide a multi-prospect in appreciating bilingual competence and the pedagogical insights for translation and interpretation training.
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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