The Translation of It-Clefts by Dutch EFL Learners.

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
It-clefts are an English construction in which ‘it’ functions as the subject of the matrix be clause and has a relative clause in extranuclear position at the end. ‘It’ is thought to be place-holder for the variable that is defined in the following relative clause (Pullum & Huddleston, 2002, Chapter 9). In the course Pragmatics in Translation students are taught that most problems in translating from English to Dutch come from the differences in information structure and sentence structure. They also learn a new translation strategy; the communicative strategy. This strategy chooses cohesion and information/thematic structure over syntactic structure and thus focusses on the message rather than the grammar. The finesse of pragmatics is only taught to students in their third year of English studies, and the question is whether or not students who have not yet been taught this finesse are also capable of translating it -clefts in a communicative way rather than in a grammatical one. The hypothesis is that this finesse is indeed of relevance and that it will show in the third year students performing better on the translations of the it-clefts. The results, however, have shown that the first year students have a higher percentage of communicative translations than the third year students have.
Faculteit der Letteren