Second Language Writing Anxiety and Translation: Performance in a Hong Kong Tertiary Translation Class

Jackie Xiu Yan*, Jun Pan, Honghua Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The acquisition of foreign language and translation skills exposes learners to tasks and pressures that the literature defines as anxiety-provoking. But whilst a large number of studies have investigated the impact of second language anxiety on the classroom performance of foreign language learners, few empirical studies have been conducted to examine the problems derived from second language anxiety in translator training contexts. To fill this important gap, this study investigates the impact of second language writing anxiety in a Chinese-to-English translation class. Drawing on the data provided by a sample of 50 translation major students in a Hong Kong university, the analysis shows that there are significant correlations between second language writing anxiety, translation performance, and language ability (real and perceived). A number of factors provoking second language writing anxiety in the translation class are identified. Among these, the fear of being evaluated and the general apprehension of writing in English have been found to contribute significantly to predicting success in translation learning. The findings suggest that, in a translation class, it is important for teachers to be aware of anxiety-provoking practices, help learners reduce anxiety levels, and encourage student translators to form correct and positive self-perceptions about their language abilities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch on Translator and Interpreter Training
Subtitle of host publicationA Collective Volume of Bibliometric Reviews and Empirical Studies on Learners
EditorsJackie Xiu Yan, Jun Pan, Honghua Wang
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9789811069581
ISBN (Print)9789811069574, 9789811349737
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameNew Frontiers in Translation Studies
ISSN (Print)2197-8689
ISSN (Electronic)2197-8697

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese-to-English translation
  • Foreign/second language anxiety
  • Individual differences
  • Second language learning
  • Translation learning
  • Translation performance
  • Writing anxiety


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