Analysis of Translation Trends of the Modal Verb “Can” and Its Alternatives in Vietnamese Based on Corpus-Based Study




translation, Vietnamese-English translation, Modal verb, translation analysis, corpus-based study


As the author has observed, "can" and its English alternative modal verbs like "could", "may" or "might" are usually translated into Vietnamese under a general word: "có thể". However, those words do express not only the subject's ability or probability of happening of an event but also other meanings such as permission or general characteristics (Thomson and Martinet, 1986; Alexander, 1990; Eastwood, 1994). The question is that how we can grasp the tendencies of translating the modal verb "can" and its alternatives in specific situations into Vietnamese and vice versa without causing ambiguities or negative effects on target readers. Hence, the author decided to conduct the research with translation data which is combined from the source of 30 popular English books and their translation versions in the Vietnamese language, making a set of about 40,000 pairs of sentences to investigate how the modal verb "can" and other modal verbs are translated in Vietnamese with some basic statistics analyzed together with their pictorial graphs in order to highlight those translation trends.

Author Biography

Huynh Cong Nguyen, Hoa Sen University, Viet Nam

Huynh Cong Nguyen is now a postgraduate studying towards a Master’s degree in English Studies at Hoa Sen University in Viet Nam. His main research interests are contrastive linguistics and translation – especially Vietnamese-English translation based on the model of corpus research.


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How to Cite

Huynh, C. N. (2022). Analysis of Translation Trends of the Modal Verb “Can” and Its Alternatives in Vietnamese Based on Corpus-Based Study. ICTE Conference Proceedings, 1, 64–79.

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