Date of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Professional & Technical Communication

Committee Chair

Pat Munday

First Advisor

Glen Southergill

Second Advisor

Michael Masters

Third Advisor

Conor Cote


The purpose of this study was to identify problems and provide solutions for improving Chinese to English translation quality, including ways to avoid Chinglish. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used, including interviews of 20 faculty members and a survey of over 300 students at 7 universities in China. The study researched four problem areas: Chinglish, cultural awareness, machine translation (MT), and translation profession. The results indicated that causes for Chinglish stem from different levels including vocabulary, syntax, and cultural levels. Cultural awareness was found to be a key factor for improving translation quality, especially when it comes to idiomatic translations. MT is best when used for gisting, which means a rough translation of the source text that allows the reader to understand the essence or general meaning of the source text even though the sentence structure, grammatical agreement, parts of speech, or word meanings are not accurate. Finally, it was found there is a need to train more competent translators. Solving these problems will improve the quality of Chinese to English translation.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Science in Technical Communication