FAH colleagues sharing research on English-Chinese translation and Portuguese language learning

12 Apr 2017


The 4th FAH Bentobox Lecture was held on April 12, with Professor ZHANG Meifang (of the Department of English) and Professor Custódio MARTINS (of the Department of Portuguese) as the joint speakers. In her lecture entitled “Functional Approaches to Translation Studies: theories and applications,” Prof. Zhang adopted Reiss’s analytical framework on text typology (i.e., informative, expressive, and operative texts) and argued that a good translator should pay close attention to the text type of the source and target texts, which sometimes may be even more important than being faithful to the source text. She applied the functional approaches in the analysis of warning signs and excerpts of speeches by U.S. President Trump, as well as reports on Chinese President Xi’s recent visit to the U.S.

Prof. Martins outlined the complexity in researching the acquisition of Portuguese verbal morphology of tense and aspect by Chinese L1 speakers. In his lecture on “Oral and Written Corpora – Features of Portuguese L2 Learner Language,” Prof. Martins showed that Chinese speakers learning Portuguese as an L2 encountered more difficulty in properly marking the verbal morphology in oral production than in written essays, even though such learners were aware of the respective grammatical rules. He concluded that learners’ interlanguage is often not the result of L1 transfer and should better be viewed as a complex continuum that may even be affected by the learners’ L3 (e.g., English).

The next FAH lecture will be held on April 28.