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Faculty of Languages and Translation Postgraduate Studies English Department Linguistics Branch 2nd Year

A Contrastive Analysis of Two Translations by T. Okasha and A. Bishir for Gibran’s THE PROPHET

(Term Paper)

Prof. Hussein Mayas Professor of Linguistics

Submitted by Ahmed Sayed Ahmed Al Gaisi

the ‘product’ (the text that has been translated) or the ‘process’ (the act of producing the translation. have a very good command of his mother tongue. since it has several meanings. If there is a contradiction. not the best. 'the translation shift'. Moreover. Bishir for Gibran’s THE PROPHET 1. then. Introduction The twentieth century has been called the age of translation. 'functional theories of translation' ‘discourse’ and ‘register analysis approaches’. he may produce a bad translation because form and content are but a bi-tool of communication and conveying 2 . The process of translating between two languages means to transfer a text from the source language into the target language.A Contrastive Analysis of Two Translations by T. theory of translation is not an easy labour as the translation process is being evaluated regarding so many aspects. If he understands what message he would like to deliver to his recipients when doing translation. first. 'equivalence' 'equivalent-effect'. 2. Okasha and A. It will be very useful task if he has a good knowledge of some classical and modern theories of translation in order to adopt whatever is suitable for his piece of work. he should resort to a way in which he could convey the intended message as near as possible. If a translator is to separate semanticism from semioticism. A translator should always strike a balance between form and content as much as possible. of the foreign language he is translating from or into. A translator should. another thing that should be pointed out is whether translation should be considered as a science or an art? It depends on both. Modern theories of translation deal with the following linguistic issues. otherwise known as translating). he could predict how far he can succeed in delivering accessible translation on the basis of texts variety. choosing the most suitable. Munday (2001: 4) assumes that the term translation can refer to the ‘general subject field’ (of translation). Why adopting a theory of translation is not easy? Although every translator has his own method(s) whether covertly or overtly. The term translation is itself ambiguous.

he strikes a balance successfully between flexibility and honesty. Okasha’s translation has some amount of poetry that does not discount thought. he imposes neither his own character nor his time style on the text. About Okasha’s Translation D r. Okasha shoulders this burden in the best way. On the other hand. or be swerved or conveyed fuzzily. which is the fundamental task of translator. Okasha set out to translate five whole books written by Gibran. Rather. In ‘The Prophet’. will risk another meaning. is featured by sensitivity. T. The Garden of the Prophet. and to permit our translator to use some vocabulary on structural styles that do not invade the text by torture. and thoughtful psychological provenance. such little non-literality is allowable to prevent producing plain mechanical translation. explanation. Okasha’s translation. This is known as the Domestication Approach to Translation. Indubitably. poeticality. Sand and Butter. and exerting fundamental effort to transfer the text (meaningfully. Otherwise. He does not deprive his pen the flexibility needed for the fluency of the translation or for the equivalence.certain messages. which is Foreignization. 3. and stylistically) within the least amount of ‘non-literality’ due to the general style and rhythm of the target (Arabic) language. Romantic view prevails ‘The Prophet’. Differences between the two ages and the long time that has passed involve this comprehensive translation and that modern study (in the introduction). Manipulating very skillfully. and Jesus Son of the Man’. This entails a cute sense of the nature of the target and source languages. Successfully. thus. and to dismiss entirely the impression that the Arabic text in translated. Okasha deals with ‘The Prophet’ where the advice supersedes to the insightful vision and the philosopher’s view unites with the poet’s view and style. or addition. spiritually. we can feel the opposite approach in Bishir’s translation. they are ‘The Prophet. and selectivity to liken Gibran’s English text. however. it varies in its nature due to linguistic stylistic features. 3 . and has thought that does not turn the whole translation into a straight mental activity. the intended message.

”تأملت‬of course the plural form is used to be plural like “‫. 3) G: Is not religion all deeds and all reflection? O: ‫أليس الدين كل عمل وكل تفكير؟‬ B: ‫أليس الدين كل ما في الحياة من العمال والتأملت؟‬ It may be strange to translate “reflection” into “‫ . O: ‫ثم هو ايضا ما ليس يعمل ول تفكير‬ B: ‫اليس الدين كل ما فى الحياة مما ليس هو بالعمل ول بالتامل‬ O’s “‫ ”ايضا‬saves the author from contradiction. “neither deed nor reflection”. He resorts to addition and explanation while O is committed to the economy of Gibran musical sense. “‫ ”هات‬refers to the will of the prophet’s followers to listen more and more as B uses it frequently in the beginning of all topics. On the other 4 . “all deeds and all reflection”.4. Speak to us of religion. O for Okasha. 1) G: And an old priest said. 4) G: And that which in neither deed non reflection. for short I will use G for Gibran. he has said. O:‫وقال كاهن شيخ : حدثنا عن الدين‬ B:‫ثم دنا منه كاهن شيخ وقال : هات حدثنا عن الدين‬ B is using more vocabulary than O. The Text Analysis I am going to deal with the first page of ‘Religion’ (p. 2) G: And he said: Have I spoken this day of aught else? O: ‫وهل حدثتكم اليوم عن شئ سواه؟‬ B:‫وهل تكلمت اليوم فى موضوع اخر عن الدين؟‬ O keeps up the rhythmical sense going with G’s style while B’s "‫"موضوع آخر‬ makes the reader away of such sense. he is consistent. ”العمال‬The addition of “‫ ”مافى الحياة‬serves as a strange sound within the utterance if we look to the original utterance. 85) to comparing the two translations of Okasha and Bishir. and B for Bishir. then he says.

7) G: Who can separate his faith from his actions. اوقاتة‬and “‫ ”ساعات عمره‬may seem equivalent except for O’ s economy.. as native speakers. or his belief from his occupations? O: ‫من ذا الذى يستطيع ان يفصل ايمانة عن عمله او عقيدتة عن شواغله؟‬ B: ‫من يستطيع ان بفصل ايمانة عن اعمالة وعقيدتة عن مهنتة؟‬ As we have said.من بين يدية ومن خلقة‬ "‫". O: ‫:ومن ذا الذى يستطيع ان ينشر اوقاتة بين يديه ويقول‬ B: : ‫من يستطيع ان يبسط ساعات عمرة امام عينيه قائل‬ O’s “‫ ”ينشر‬is less familiar than B’s “‫ " "يبسط”.. rather. I liked O’s utterance more than B’s. B’s “ ‫ ”ينبعان‬is also suitable and goes well with G’s “springing”. O: ‫بل عجب و دهشة ينبعثان من النفس دومآ‬ B: ‫بل غرابة وعجب ينبعان من جداول النفس أبدا‬ Very odd to translate “wonder” into “‫ ... and the imagination and the sensitivity of the original text loses. “‫من ذا‬ ‫ ”الذى‬is found in our Arabic tradition. say it in the formal version. “‫ ”شواغله‬stands as a piece of evidence for O’s success. 5) G: but a wonder and a surprise ever spring in the soul....حتى حين تنحت اليد الصخر أو تدير النول‬ ‫وان عملت اليدان فى نحت الحجارة أو إدارة النوال‬ Indubitably the poeticality of O is utterly touched. He makes his verb do the job and avoid using many abstract nouns. . O’s translation is characterized by Domestication. When we reed “ ‫ ”إدارة النييوال‬at once we imagine factories of dry clothes or machines of wavering. “‫ ”جداول‬although it is an addition. “‫ ”أمام عينية‬frankly I see an abject failure as we do not..”ينبعان‬Anyway... or remember us with the idea of resurrection that changes a status to another. it is very ordinary. while B does not. B’s repeating “‫ ”اليس الدين كل مييا فييى الحييياة‬serves as an evidence for this contradiction. it suits “‫ .بين يدى عذاب اليم‬ 5 . 6) G: even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom? O: B: ‫.. we say “‫ ”بين يديه‬as in the verses: "‫". etc. (the Holy Quran) while “ ‫ ”من يستطيع‬is not bad but it has no special sense..hand. 8) G: Who can spread his hours before him.”غرابة‬O’s“‫ ”بنبعثان‬makes the reader feel as if this “wonder” and that “surprise” are flying in the air like ‘smoke’.

... 6 .. it may be just limited to some circumstances and in most cases a translator conveys more or less the original message...s “‫”متنقلة‬embodies some of the music of the utterance where gemination gives rise to poeticality unlike B’s “‫ ”منتقلة‬which is music-void... to spiritual attitude..من بين ايدهم سدا‬ 9) G: “this for god and this for myself..هيييذى.متنقلة من نفس الى نفس‬ B: ‫فإن جميع ساعات الحياة اجنة ترفرف فى الفضاء منتفلة من ذات الى ذات‬ “‫ ” تضرب‬and “‫ ”ترفرف‬are traced to the translators’ view as there is no much difference.."‫".. O: ‫ان اوقاتكم جميعا لجنحة تضرب فى الفضاء.”نفسى‬ O’s “‫ ”. B has to translate “self” into “‫ ”ذات‬not “‫ ”نفييس‬as he has just translated “soul” into “‫ . we usually say ‘my self’ to mean “‫. and although Okasha’s translation is brilliant.”ذات‬ Although Bishir’s translation is not a bad one. 10) G: All your house are wings that beat through space from self to self.هيييذى‬makes him succeed in avoiding plain mechanical translation as B does. this for my soul and this for my body”? O: ‫” "هذه ل، وهذه لى ،هذي لروحى، و لجسدى هذي‬ B: “‫”هذه ل، وهذه لى، هذه لنفسى، وهذه لجسدى‬ Another B’s failure is translating “soul” into “‫ ”نفييس‬as it in usually translated into “‫ ”روح‬not “‫ .”نقس‬the word “‫ ”نفس‬refers to human motions and feelings... it is not possible to make typically the same response of the original text created by the original speaker or writer at all levels and types of translation.... so “‫ ”نفس‬is more suitable than “`‫..”نفس‬because “‫ ”نفس‬is “self”.. while “‫ ”ذات‬refers to the human body and materials needs... O. Moreover..

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