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Grammatical issues in translation

:The grammatical level

Morphology: words and their formation by affixation, inflection, derivation and .1
Syntax: the arrangement of words into phrases and sentences .2
It is the grammatical level where translation loss is generally obvious given the
grammatical differences between languages. However, the question is not whether
.there is translation loss (there always is), but what it consists I and whether it matters
Words (lexis) 1.1
It is vital to remember that meanings are not found exclusively in the words listed
.individually in the dictionary
Any text shows that the combination of words creates meanings that they do not
have in isolation and even meanings that are not wholly predictable from the
.senses of the words combined
In translation lexical loss is very common. It arises from the fact that exact
.synonymy between ST words and TL words is relatively rare
The word may be considered an exact synonymy of English 'meat'. For many Arabs
however, chicken may not count as ., and fish almost certainly will not
Another source of lexical translation loss is that words often acquire associative
.overtones over and above their denotative meaning
.'I carry this scorched era in my eyes.' Rather than I carry this burnt era in my eyes '
scorched era' sounds much more acceptable because the phrase echoes the military '
.'phrase 'scorched earth
Grammatical arrangement 1.2
Lexical issues are a particular category of grammatical issue. So it is not surprising
.that some lexical issues are discussed under the heading of grammatical arrangement
morphological patterns affecting individual words- affixation, inflection, 1.2.1
.derivation and compounding
syntactic patterns: words are linked to form more or less complex phrases and 1.2.1
For example, the accusative suffix is a recognized means of forming adverbs in
.Arabic, while English adds 'ly' to form adverbs

Arabic adverbs
English translations
Much, often


He wept bitterly
.Her eyes twinkled happily
American-backed organization

Compounding differs from one language to another. In English is capable of relatively
:long compounds, while in Arabic compounds are formed in two ways
:by the use of genitive structure .1
by noun adjective pairs .2
' The Middle East'
However, both of these structures can yield complications when combined with other

In the absence of case-ending markers in the text it is unclear whether the phrase
'means 'the new curtains of the bedroom' or 'the curtains of the new bedroom
:Verb tenses
;The system of tenses in Arabic is quite different from English
'In some contexts, it might mean 'will buy' Can mean 'buys' and 'is buying .

In some contexts it can be translated as 'bought' or 'was buying (e.g. in certain

subordinate clauses, or in a story where a general past tense setting has already been
.established for a particular part of the text)
In English tenses relate fairly consistently to natural time. Arabic operates with a
system that combines tense and aspect. For example, the perfect can indicate
completion of the action as well as occurrence in the past( as in he bought). The
imperfect may indicate non-completion of the action regardless of whether it occurs
.in the past or present(For example, in contexts where translates as is /was buying
The actual time significance of the imperfect in particular is very often context.dependent
To sum up, translators should give priority to the exact meaning of word in a
particular context and to constructing idiomatic TL sentences, even where this entails
.translation loss

:Morphological repetition
The most important forms of morphological repetition which are of most importance
.for translation are: Pattern repetition, root repetition and suffix repetition
Pattern repetition .1
Pattern repetition involves the repetition of the same pattern ((,,,,,
in two or more words in close proximity, while root repetition involves repetition of
the same root in two or more words in close proximity.
They provide textual cohesion as well as stylistic and other purposes e.g.
' The big old house' Here the pattern has does not have any particular
significance. However, when Pattern repetition is combined with some kind of
semantic relationship, they give additional emphasis.
There are three relevant types of semantic relationship:
a. semantically related words
b. synonyms or near- synonyms
c. antonyms
Semantically related words are words whose meanings fall within the same general
semantic field, which are clearly distinct in meaning e.g. and " thoughts and
dreams' , and ' amazement and shock'. These can be translated fairly
literally without any problems.
The translation of synonyms or near- synonyms with pattern repetition involves the
same techniques as are used with repetition of synonyms generally, i.e. merging,
grammatical transposition, semantic distancing and maintenance.
a. Merging: ' so he had no alternative left to him but
b. grammatical transposition: ' systematic analysis' .
c. semantic distancing:' for fear of alarming and upsetting
her' .
d. maintenance : ' The transformational role of the
military: evaluation and analysis' The ST structure has been maintained through the
use of the fairly standard English translations of ' evaluation' ' analysis'.
Pattern repetition with antonyms is also fairly common. Consider the following:
(See examples in the book page 102 ' ) the changing fortunes'.
Pattern repetition may also occur with a combination of synonyms and antonyms.
(See examples in the book page 102 ) ' .

Root repetition
As mentioned before root repetition involves repetition of the same root in two or
more words in close proximity involves the repetition of the root .
It may be divided into three kinds:
a. System-intrinsic
b. Absolute accusative
c. Other
System-intrinsic root repetition simply reflects the fact that words in Arabic are
typically made up of roots along with patterns, etc. .'he wrote a book'. 'He
drank a drink': More common alternative in English is 'he had a drink'
Root repetition absolute accusative is used to form adverbials.
' The phenomenon of religious extremism has developed rapidly'.
Uses of root repetition which fall under the category of 'other' in general have a more
obviously emphatic function. They occur in an unlimited range of grammatical
structures. (see the book page 105).
It is also possible to find root repetition in larger stretches of text. This sometimes has
a rhetorical function and sometimes as a text-building device, i.e. it contributes to the
cohesion of the text.
The following examples provide examples of root repetition as a text-building device.
(see the examples in the book page: 105-107).
Suffix repetition:
It is the repetition of the same suffix at the end of words in close proximity (see the
book example Page: 108).
Lexical repetition:
It is a common form of repetition in Arabic. It involves the repetition of the same
word or a whole phrase in a particular sense. Repetition of a single word is termed
word repetition or lexical item repetition, while repetition of a whole phrase is termed
phrase repetition.
Lexical item repetition:
(see the examples in the book page: 109-110).
Phrase repetition:
(see the example in the book page: 111( .