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1 Series Editors
Said Faiq, the American University of Sharjah, UAE Rifaat Ebied, University of Sydney, Australia
Alya’ Al-Rubai’i, University of Baghdad, Iraq Allen Clark, University of Mississippi, USA
Ali Al-Manna’, Ph.D –researcher, University of Durham, UK
Roger Allen, University of Pennsylvania, USA Rasoul al-Khafaji, Petra University, Jordan Mohammad Farghal, Kuwait University, Kuwait Ovidi Carbonell, University of Salamanca, Spain Abdullah Shannaq, Yarmouk University, Jordan Hasan Ghazala, Umm al-Qura University, Saudia Dinha Gorgis, Jadara University, Jordan Raymond Chakhachiro, University of Western Sydney, Australia Zouhair Maalej, king Saud University, Saudia Kadhim al-Ali, Basra University, Iraq Abdulfattah al-Jabr, Bahrain University, Bahrain Kadhim Bakir, Al-Ain University, UAE Mustapha Taibi, University of Western Sydney, Australia Jamal Gaber, Academy of Graduate Studies, Libya
Think–Aloud Protocols: Translating Proverbs
APPLYING THINK-ALOUD PROTOCOLS TO HADHRAMI PROVERBS: TOWARDS A DESCRIPTIVE MODEL OF THE TRANSLATION PROCESS
Hadhramaut University of Science and Technology, Yemen
Adel Salem Bahameed
Sayyab Books – London Printing, Publishing & Distribution
Published by Sayyab Books EBC House, Ranelagh Gardens, Fulham SW6 3PA, London – UK www.sayyab.co.uk email@example.com + 44 790 441 604 + 44 9066 417 178
© Sayyab Books, 2009
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record of this book is available from British Library ISBN 978-1-906228-200 Cover designed by Saddam al-Jumaili, Basra, Iraq. Typeset by Al-Waha Typesetters, Cairo, Egypt.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the editor of this book Prof. Alya' Al-Ruabi'i, Ph.D. in Linguistics and Translation, University of Baghdad, for her insightful suggestions, directions, and comments, which have surely constituted an indispensable support for the completion of this work. I am also in debt to Prof. Rifaat Ebied, University of Sydney for reviewing the book. My profound appreciation is extended to Ali AL-Manna', founding director of Sayyab Books/ translation studies, London, for his valuable directions and encouragement. I am grateful to those who are in charge of Universiti Sains Malaysia, especially Dr. Aniswal Abd Ghani, the chairperson of the Translation and Interpretation Department at the School of Humanities, for providing me with the knowledge related to the field of translation. I am also grateful to the library staff of the same University for their general assistance to make such knowledge accessible. Finally, special thanks are due to Dr. Salah Al-Mohammedi and Ali Baraja at Hadhramaut University of Science and Technology for their effort and help in the data collection of the study.
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1 2 3
The Theoretical Framework of the Study The General Core Categories Composing the Model The Prominent Concepts and Elements of Model
Page 39 53 64
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Other Important Empirical Studies on Translation Processes Examples of Generating Themes Examples of Sub-themes Generated from Themes Sample of How Translation Equivalence Is Generated from Themes and Sub-themes Sub-themes Classified into Categories Categories Classified into Core Categories Similarities and Differences of Treatment and Moderators
Page 16 32 33 34 50 52 61
LIST OF TRANSLITERATION SYMBOLS Consonants ’=ء b=ب t=ت th = ث j=ج H=ح kh = خ d=د th = ذ r=ر z=ز s=س sh = ش S=ص D=ض T=ط Z=ظ ? = ع gh = غ f=ف q=ق k=ك l=ل m=م n=ن h = ھـ w=و y=ي Vowels and Diphthongs a = َ◌ ﻓﺗﺣﺔ i = ِ◌ ﻛﺳرة u= ◌ ُ ﺿﻣﺔ aa = اﻷﻟف اﻟﻣﻣدودة آ ii = ي اﻟﯾﺎء اﻟﻣﻣدودة uu = اﻟواو اﻟﻣﻣدودة و a: = اَوas in arm a:m o: = أوas in saw so: ai = آيas in five faiv au = آوas in now nau ei = أيas in play plei
Based on Hatim (1997: ΧІ), Al-Ani (1970: 20, 30), and Hornby (1974: vi-vii)
Think–Aloud Protocols: Translating Proverbs is the first monograph published by Sayyab Books to meet the need for a specialist-publishing house. The aim is to enhance translation studies by providing the reader with high-quality books and monographs in the field of translation in general. The present title is one in a series of titles prepared by Sayyab Translation Group (STG) founded by Sayyab Books in 2008. Its author applies think-aloud protocols (TAPs) to the translation of Hadhrami proverbs and concludes with a translating model, which describes the cognitive processes that influence the translator's decision-making. In fact, applying TAPs as a method of investigating translation as process is by no means new. Ali Darwish (1997) in his doctoral thesis "Translation as Decision Making Process under Constraints" also utilizes TAPs as a method of examining the cognitive strategies employed by translators in order to make decisions while translating a text under the condition of uncertainty. It is hoped that this monograph together with other forthcoming titles dealing with translation-related issues will help to fill a gap in this field and fulfil professional and academic interests. I am grateful (as is the author) to Ali Al-Manna', founding director of Sayyab Books/ translation studies, for arranging the initial contacts and to Sayyab Books for taking this initiative. Professor Alya' Al-Rubai'i University of Baghdad
Introduction ……………………………………………. 13 Chapter One .……………………………………………..15
Think-Aloud Protocols (TAPs): Overview
Chapter Two ……………………………………………. 20 The Research Setting, Sample and Corpus Chapter Three ……………………………………………48
A Descriptive Model of Translating Hadhrami Proverbs
Chapter Four ……………………………………………. 66 Conclusion Notes……………………………………………………..70 References……………………………………………….71 Appendix …………………………………………...…..75 Index……………………………………………………..78
This study aims at investigating how Hadhrami proverbs could be translated. This is highlighted in view of describing the processes concerned with the translation of these proverbs into English.
Chapter One Think-Aloud Protocols (TAPs)
1. An Overview
The issue of distinguishing between translation as product or as process shows that dealing with text as product entails understanding the process that ultimately leads to this product creation.“The distinction cannot give the scholar leave to ignore the self-evident fact that the one is the result of the other, and that the nature of the product cannot be understood without a comprehension of the nature of the process” (Holmes, 1978: 81). TAPs represent recent research trends in the field of translation that stand out over the last three decades. It is a new trend in the sense that it is process-oriented, rather than the prescriptive product-oriented, aiming at providing reliable models for data collection and analysis in translation studies. “The old prescriptive discussions of translation have become a thing of the past, as has the tendency to devise arbitrary rules for the production of ‘correct’ translations” (Hatim, 2001: 10). It is quite remarkable that research design using TAPs is increasingly attracting the attention of investigators whose recent studies produce interesting findings about mental activities during the process of translating. It is the description given by the translator about his/her thought or behaviour while performing his/her task. Researchers want to get closer and observe the human mind at work through the translator verbalising whatever comes to his mind. The translator can give general account of how he goes about translating a certain text and how he introspectively goes through the steps applied in carrying out a particular strategy so that he can justify why the translation output has taken its final shape that way. Furthermore, Krings (2001: 75) distinguishes between two TAP data collection methods of process-oriented studies: ThinkAloud (TA, or verbalising at the same time), and Post Think-Aloud (Post-TA, or verbalising some time later). Despite the concurrent effectiveness of the former in disclosing translation difficulties, the latter, which is also called Immediate Retrospection (IR) (Fraser, 1996), is looked at as a superior method that could reveal issues relating to the cultural aspects of the text as a whole (Hatim, 2001). In relevance with this, Flick (2002: 75) declares, “[t]o increase
Chapter Two Research and Data Requirements
1. The Research Setting, Sample and Corpus
The research is carried out at Hadhramaut University of Science and Technology in the district of Hadhramaut in the Republic of Yemen. This University was chosen because it has translation courses and therefore translation students are available. This makes it easy to do the study and to obtain objective peer advice. This university is the only place in Hadhramaut where one can find a greater probability for the sample to be homogenous in understanding the cultural heritage of this area of Hadhramaut. Purposeful non-random sampling is the chosen technique to select sample elements where, for the students, only respondents who met the inclusion criteria are selected. This is because the nature of the topic under study is likely to be influenced by cultural and educational factors and as such, there is a need to discriminate respondents in order to attain a higher validity. The criteria to set this are as follows: • Respondents needed to be fourth year students. The justification for selecting these students is that they already have a relatively good command of English, i.e. they are able to write and speak English without difficulty besides their Hadhrami Arabic (mother tongue). They also have integrated skills in translating texts from Arabic into English and vice versa. They have attended translation courses so as to gain the necessary translation skills, which could help them access the written information in their field of study. These criteria are necessary to examine both their written and oral performances. This is done in order to control consistency in the range of students capacity to work operatively and solve translation problems. In addition, being the last year in the academic life at Hadhramaut University, fourth year brings issues related to translation into the fore and this puts students in better situations to discuss and uncover
Chapter Three A Descriptive Model for Translating Hadhrami Proverbs
The data analysis which was carried out throughout the translators’ transcribed data (textual units), and followed by constant comparative process, makes the blur gradually vanish and the image of the result get clearer. This analysis process continued back and forth to cover all the translators’ data, making kinds of meaningful regularities appear respectively in the form of the patterns: (1) meaning units, (2) themes, (3) sub-themes, and (4) elements (Figure 2). The pattern (3) of the sub-themes that contained the crucial concepts was noticeable to have potentiality that can say something more and take us beyond mere observation. They establish translation patterns that are considered the basic concepts that could offer cognitive description for the mental processes experienced by the translators while translating Hadhrami proverbs. Thus, continuous processing and analysing with constant comparative method of these sub-themes in the direction of coding or classifying them into categories (Figure 1) constitute the foundations pertaining to the cognitive processes that have made a model emerge over a time. The constant comparative method undergoes continuous refinement throughout close relationship of the process of data collection and analysis to feed back into the categorizing process. In this method, data is recorded, classified, and compared across themes, sub-themes, and categories. Thus, relationship discovery begins with the analysis. While patterns are constantly compared with one another, new topological dimensions, as well as new relationships, are explored. Therefore, the study data that was collected, analysed, compared, and categorised is proposing the following descriptive model.
1. Hadhrami Proverbial Translation Model
Chapter Four Conclusions
This study is the first research on the folklore of Hadhramaut focusing explicitly on translating such local expressions as proverbs. The central purpose of this study is to describe the translating processes pertaining to these linguistically and culturally challenging expressions. This is achieved by taking a closer look at the translator’s mind at work in an effort to examine and assimilate the cognitive processes to realise what kind of difficulties faced, what makes such difficulties come to surface, and how such difficulties are tackled. These are compatible with the recent process-oriented translation researches of TAPs which shift translation research and give room to focus on translation as process rather than product (Gerloff, 1987; Li, 2004; Lörscher, 2005). Indeed, assimilating the process is a helpful aid into better understanding with the aim of coming up with proper solutions for these translation difficulties. By and large, the findings are as follows: 1. The translators’ mental conscious processes and the way of thinking take specific direction depending on the kind of translation mismatch caused by the nature of the proverb. 2. Translators sway for a while among different strategies in view of the unconscious moderators, which include educational system, personal beliefs and attitudes, before they take a decision to present their final output. The observed translating processes leading to the use of particular equivalences are characterised with regulations by the school teaching rather than by free will. However, not many are those translators who attributed the manner they go about the process of translation to the educational system as a normative authority for their conduct as translators. 3. The equivalences used for translating HPs into English are literal translation, proverb-for-proverb translation, and paraphrase. The paraphrase was the most applicable technique. It occupied the first position (40.36%), the possible explanation for this is that the translators preferred
to translate freely and creatively exploiting the merit of this type, which is being constantly available. Literal translation occupied the second position (25.71%) due to the psychological inclination of the student translators to be faithful to the SL text as they often think that this strategy will reveal the least errors. Proverb-for-proverb translation came in the third position (22.74%). This score is considered the least when compared to the other types of equivalence in virtue of being not always available. The rest (11.19 %) goes to the proverbs that were skipped as translators have shown no response to them due to the insolubility of the translation problem or the translator’s personal attitude. The results have positive implications for both translation theories as well as research. The obvious implication is that the work presented here could represent one addition in the growing roster of studies and it is hoped, to a certain degree, to have achieved the following: 1. Satisfying Bell’s (1991: 26) aspiration to translators in coming up with a model focusing on the translation process rather than the translation product. 2. Supporting Lörscher in his many arguments about the usefulness and utility of using TAPs in translation studies. He, in favour of TAPs, states: “[b]y way of conclusion, it can be assumed that thinking-aloud in combination with retrospective probing represents a useful instrument to formulate hypotheses on mental processes in general and about translation processes in particular” Lörscher’s (2005: 598- 599). 3. Supporting Gerloff (1987: 141) in the usefulness of adopting her approach of units of analysis as a strategic method to evaluate and assess translation output. Gerloff’s conclusions have shown that her respondents have strong inclination to work with sentence level of analysis over the other levels. This goes in consistency with the conclusions of this study in the way that respondents have worked more with sentence level (63.1%) represented by the total of paraphrase (40.36%) and proverb-for-proverb translation
(22.74%). The translator often considers the meaning of the complete sentence of the proverb as one meaning unit. The translator then rewrites the whole idea of the proverb in his own style (paraphrase) or uses functional equivalence (proverb-for-proverb translation). 4. Responding to Glaser and Strauss’s (1967) call to qualitative researchers to take the challenge by generating their own grounded models and theories. This study could be an aid to translators in general as it comes up with an idiographic model, which could be an additional contribution to the translation research. This model has been concluded by utilizing the modern process-oriented translation research of TAPs bearing in mind that the studies using this orientation on Arabic are still too limited (Atari, 2005: 4). The fulfilment, if we have to elaborate, is that this study has elucidated the underlying cognitive processes behind the production measures, which have been classified into themes, sub-themes, categories and core categories moving systematically towards building this model. In principle, the study inductive/deductive qualitative strategic approach was successful in building the model, yet it is idiographic and context-bound, i.e. its applicability is limited to only this kind of sample on these kinds of fixed expressions. Therefore, we recommend that this model be validated through further empirical investigation and replication with different fixed expressions (such as idioms, collocations, metaphors, etc) and/or with different samples. Thus, what this model (HPTM) of the study does suggest is that a wider section of other Hadhrami (local-specific) proverbial expressions is possible to be translated i as long as translation difficulties are looked into within of the process of translation. In addition, we propose that this model could be generalized to translating all Arabic (cultural-specific) and non-Arabic (culturaluniversal) proverbial expressions. However, such proposition needs to be supported or refuted by further future research utilizing and replicating this model. It is hoped that this model (HPTM), if properly applied, will be of ample benefit and use to provide lighthouse to translators.
The researcher is of the opinion that the findings of this study will help to provide direction for a further study where certain important parameters of the translation process might have passed undetected. In such a case, it is hoped that this study, within the recent processoriented studies of TAP, will be helpful in identifying potential areas of improvement and consideration.
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CLASSIFYING THE RESPONDENTS’ TRANSLATION INTO AN APPROPRIATE TECHNIQUE
Questionnaire Proverbs in Arabic 1. ﺍﳌﺨﹼﻔﺎﺕ ﳍﺎ ﺁﻓﺎﺕ ﻠ 2. ﺃﻭﺯﻥ ﺍﻟﻜﹶﻠﻤﻪ ﻗﺒﻞ ﻗﹶﻮﳍﺎ 3. ﺸﺎﻏﺐ ﻴﻒ ﻭﺿ ﻣ 4. ﲪﻦ ﻪ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﺍﺿ ﺍﻟ ﺮ ﺮ ﻴﻄﺎﻥﻠﻪ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﺸﺠﻭﺍﻟﻌ 5. ﻚ ﻭ ﺃﺩﺧﻞﹸﻞ ﹸﺮﺻ ﻛ ﻗ ﻚﻠﺼ ﺧ 6. ﻭﺝ ﺍﻷﻋﻮﺭ ﻭ ﻻ ﺍﻟ ﺰ ﻞ ﺮﺍﻟﺘ ﻣ 7. ﻒﺪ ﻳﺄﺧﺬ ﺣﻣﺎ ﺣ ﻴ ﺍﻟﻄﹶ ﹼﺏ ﻼ 8. ﻗﺎﻳﺲ ﻋﺸﺮ ﻭ ﻗﻄﻊ ﺓ ﻣ ﺮ 9. ﻼﺵ ﺍ ﹼﻣﺎ ﺷﻲ ﺑ ﻻ ﻧ ﹼﺎﺡ ﺍﻟﻜﺒﺎﺵ ﻄ 10. ﻩﺎﻭ ﻻ ﺟﻩ ﻭﻨﺎﻭ ﺍﻟ ﺴ 11. ﻪﺎﻩ ﻛﹼﻪ ﻓﺎﺗﻐﻦ ﺑﻣ ﻠ ﻛﹼﻪ ﻠ 12. ﻪ ﺎﺫﺭ ﺑﻨﺖ ﻋﻦ ﺣﻣ ﻤ ﻣﺎ ﺣﺒﻠﺖ ﻟﻪ Literal Translation Proverb-forproverb translation
Cleanliness is next to godliness Speech is silver, but silence is gold Beggars cannot be choosers More haste, less speed ─
Paraphrasing the idea of the proverb
Dirtiness is harmful Think carefully before you speak A guest shouldn't be disturbing Do not be in a hurry Be peaceful
Rubbish has blights Weigh the word before saying it Guest and naughty Slowness is from AlRahman and the haste is from the devil Eat your bread and enter your hole One-eyed husband is better than widowhood None takes the bread of the beggar Measure ten and cut once Nothing is free but the butting of sheep Pulling up water from wells is better than travelling to Java He who wants everything, loses everything He who feels shy of his cousin, will not make her pregnant for him
Half a loaf is better than no bread ─
A little is better than none Do not beg the beggar Do not be hasty
Better be sure than sorry There is no rose without a thorn East or west, home is best Grasp all, lose all ─
Nothing is free
Do not emigrate
The greedy loses everything Do not be so shy
Aesthetic, 13 Al-Akwa, I., 21 Al-Amiri, H., 21 Al-Ani, S., 7 Anonymity, 21, 28 Appendix, 22, Atari, O., 14, 16-17, 68 Audience, 47 Audio, 16-17, 40 Bahameed, A.S., 13 Bamatraf, M.A., 22 Bell, R. T., 67, 71 Bracketing, 24-27 Category, 23, 38, 50-51 Changeable, 51, 61 Cognitive processes, 13, 17, 23, 28, 37, 46, 48, 51, 56-57, 59-63, 66, 68 Comparative Method, 33, 39-40, 48 Competence, 21 Confusion, 38, 50, 52, 55 Connotative, 46, 54 Conscious, 51, 53, 56-57, 61, 66 Consistency, 20, 67 Context-bound, 68 Core Categories, 52-54, 56-58, 60-62, 65 Corpus, 13, 20 Creative, 47 Criteria, 18, 20 Cultural, 15, 20-21, 49-50, 55, 68 Cultural problem, 38, 52, 54, 56 Data Analysis, 13, 37, 38, 48-49, 56, 58 Dictionary, 21, 42, 47 Direct, 56-57, 61 Discourse, 24, 27 Discourse unit analysis, 24, 26 Educational system, 38, 50-52, 58-59, 63, 68 Elements, 19-20, 30, 33, 34, 36-39, 48, 52, 54, 56-57, 64, 67, English culture, 21, 25-26, 35 Equivalence, 5, 13, 22, 24, 34, 37, 39, 57, 60, 64-66, 69-70 Ethics, 28 Explanation, 37, 43-44, 49, 51, 66 Explanatory note, 47 Extrinsic, 57, 61 Færch, C, 16 Flick, U., 16 Form Problem, 55 Framework, 27, 38-39, 51 Fraser, J., 15 French, 14, 17 Intrinsic, 60-61 Irony, 13 Jääskelainen, R., 14, 17 Justification, 20, 41-42 Kiraly, D., 14 Kohn, K., 14 Königs, F.G., 14 Typologies, 24
Gerloff, P., 14, 16-18, 24, 27, 37, 66-67 German, 14, 18 Glaser, B.C. and Strauss, A., 23, 40, 51, 68 Gloss, 24-26 Grammatical composition, 46 Guidance, 21 Hadhramaut, 13-14, 20-21, 36, 55, 66 Séguinot, C., 14
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