Journal of Social Sciences

How Trainee Translators Analyse Lexico-Grammatical Patterns

Chris Gledhill and Natalie Kübler

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2015.162.178

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 11, Issue 3

Pages 162-178


In this study, we examine the ability of advanced students of specialised translation to identify and analyse ‘generic collocations’ in a corpus of specialised multilingual texts (mostly technical or scientific texts in English, French and German). In general, we find that our students attach much importance to frequently-occurring ‘clusters’ or ‘n-grams’. However the students find it difficult to see these fragments as productive patterns of wording, or to assign a rhetorical function to them. This rather fixed view of phraseology suggests that there may be shortcomings in the way that we as teachers conceptualise and problematise the concept of the ‘lexico-grammatical pattern’ for our students. In the second part of this study, we suggest a different way of identifying and conceptualising phraseological phenomena using the metalanguage of Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG).


© 2015 Chris Gledhill and Natalie Kübler. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.