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Is China Entering WTO or shijie maoyi zuzhi--a Corpus Study of English Acronyms in Chinese Newspapers

by   Hai Hu, et al.

This is one of the first studies that quantitatively examine the usage of English acronyms (e.g. WTO) in Chinese texts. Using newspaper corpora, I try to answer 1) for all instances of a concept that has an English acronym (e.g. World Trade Organization), what percentage is expressed in the English acronym (WTO), and what percentage in its Chinese translation (shijie maoyi zuzhi), and 2) what factors are at play in language users' choice between the English and Chinese forms? Results show that different concepts have different percentage for English acronyms (PercentOfEn), ranging from 2 that PercentOfEn for individual concepts can be predicted by language economy (how long the Chinese translation is), concept frequency, and whether the first appearance of the concept in Chinese newspapers is the English acronym or its Chinese translation (all p < .05).


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