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2015 Papers in Arabic-English Translation
Book · January 2015





1 author:
Mohammed Farghal
Kuwait University

Available from: Mohammed Farghal
Retrieved on: 20 September 2016

Papers in Arabic/English Translation Studies 1
An Applied Perspective

Mohammed Farghal et al.

Published by The Jordanian Translators’ Association (JTA)

This volume consists of 15 self-contained papers dealing with a variety of applied topics in
Arabic/English Translation Studies (TS). The aim is to bring together and update some scattered
material in one volume, which is hoped to inaugurate a series of other volumes in a scantily
researched area. This will definitely serve students, researchers, and practitioners who usually
experience difficulty in locating academic papers dealing with Arabic/English TS. The reader
can choose to read any article independently of the others according to his/her own interests. To
avoid repetition in the bibliography, a unified list of references is provided separately at the end
of the volume.
Professor Mohammed Farghal
Kuwait University

In this volume, one thing is certain: Farghal and his colleagues have gone a very long way
towards achieving the goal of encouraging and guiding practitioners to study their own
translational behavior and to determine what works best. Like all professional activities,
translating is a complex phenomenon, and there is no single ‘right’ approach. But reflection is
the name of the game in what we do as translators or interpreters: We do indeed reflect on
different versions, different modes and different models, comparatively assessing the merits and
demerits of a particular strategy, and in the process reshaping past and current experiences in a
manner that can only lead to improved practices.
Professor Basil Hatim
American University of Sharjah

To the Memory of Professor Lewis Mukkattash & Professor Abdullah Shakir i .

I would like to mention my teacher and colleague the late Professor Lewis Mukattash and my colleague the late Abdullah Shakir for whom this volume is dedicated. a warm word of thanks goes to my close friend and colleague Professor Abdullah Shunnaq for suggesting Jordanian Translators’ Association as an outlet for publishing this volume. ii . In particular. Last. My thanks also go to my colleagues at Yarmouk University and Kuwait University whose scholarly discussions and commentaries have contributed to the shaping of many of the ideas in this volume. but not least. I am also grateful to Mr.Acknowledgments First and foremost I would like to thank my former as well as my present graduate students who have been a source of inspiration for me over the years and who have contributed to this volume both directly and indirectly. Omar Irshaidat for helping with many technical matters. I am obliged to Professor Basil Hatim for kindly accepting to write the foreword to this book. Their love for linguistics and translation will always be a source of inspiration for us and their memories will certainly stay with us. Several of them are now university professors of Linguistics and/or Translation Studies in Jordan and abroad.

Table of Contents Dedication Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations Preface List of Phonetic Symbols Foreword 1-5 1. Basic Issues in Translator Training 7-16 Mohammed Farghal 2. Translational Miscues: Poetry as an Example 75-88 Mohammed Farghal & Rula Naji 7. Audience Awareness and Role of Translator 89-98 Mohammed Farghal & Abdullah Shakir 8. The Translation of English Passives into Arabic 41-54 Mohammed Farghal & Mohammed Al-Shorofat 4. The Linguistics of Translation 17-40 Mohammed Farghal & Ali Almanna 3. Semantic and Syntactic Hurdles in Machine and Student Translation 65-74 Mohammed Farghal & Adnan Gergeos 6. Reader Responses in Quran translation 99-114 Mohammed Farghal & Mohammed Al-Masri iii . Translating Modals by Zero Equivalents: The Case of Macbeth 55-64 Mohammed Farghal & Alban Beqri 5.

Pragmalinguistic Failure: The Case of Arabic Politeness Formulas 127-144 Mohammed Farghal & Ahmed Borini 11. Collocations: An Index of L2 Interlingual Transfer Competence 165-174 Mohammed Farghal & Abdullah Shakir 13.9. Explicitation vs. Major Problems in Student Translations of English Legal Texts into Arabic 203-209 Mohammed Farghal & Abdulla Shunnaq List of References 211-227 iv . Lexical Reduction in Scientific Translation 189-202 Mohammed Farghal & Mashael Al-Hamly 15. Media Translation: The Case of The Arabic Newsweek 145-164 Mohammed Farghal & Mashael Al-Hamly 12. Coherence Shifts in Quran Translation 115-126 Mohammed Farghal & Noura Bloushi 10. Implicitation: Discourse Markers as an Example 175-188 Mohammed Farghal & Abdullah Samateh 14.

The discussion of the textual data is not meant to offer final solutions but rather to engage the reader in what we may call ‘translational argumentation’. a unified list of references is provided separately at the end of the volume. The textual data is mainly drawn from published as well as student translations. The aim is to offer insights relating to translation activity in its professional as well as its pedagogical sphere. square brackets indicate literal translation. the legal. v . which is given in Arabic script in some articles and in transliteration in others. the religious. Boldface typing is mainly used to highlight the study items within the textual data. etc. which is meant to give a rough idea about the propositional content of some Arabic texts. The aim is to bring together and update some scattered material in one volume. hence the applied perspective of this volume. which is hoped to inaugurate a series of other volumes in a scantily researched area. where the relevance of theoretical constructs to actual translation practice is highlighted. To avoid repetition in the bibliography. researchers. It covers a variety of discourse types/genres including the literary. The reader can choose to read any article independently of the others according to his/her own interests. the journalistic. This will definitely serve students. Where employed in this volume. and practitioners who usually experience difficulty in locating academic papers dealing with Arabic/English TS.Preface This volume consists of 15 self-contained papers dealing with a variety of applied topics in Arabic/English TS.

List of Recurrent Abbreviations TS Translation Studies SL Source Language TL Target Language L1 First Language L2 Second Language vi .

List of Arabic Phonetic Symbols /b/ voiced bilabial stop /m/ bilabial nasal /f/ voiceless labio-dental fricative /ð/ voiced interdental fricative /ð/ voiced interdental emphatic fricative /ө/ voiceless interdental fricative /d/ voiced alveolar stop /t/ voiceless alveolar stop /ḍ/ voiced alveolar emphatic stop /ṭ/ voiceless alveolar emphatic stop /z/ voiced alveolar fricative /s/ voiceless alveolar fricative /ṣ/ voiceless alveolar emphatic fricative /n/ alveolar nasal stop /r/ alveolar rhotic liquid /l/ alveolar lateral liquid /š/ voiceless alveo-palatal fricative /j/ voiced alveo-palatal affricate /y/ palatal glide /w/ labio-velar glide /k/ voiceless velar stop /ɤ/ voiced uvular/post velar fricative /x/ voiceless uvula/post velar fricative /q/ voiceless uvular stop /‘/ or /c / voiced pharyngeal fricative /ḥ/ voiceless pharyngeal fricative /’/ glottal stop /h/ voiceless laryngeal fricative /i/ high front short vowel /u/ high back short vowel /a/ low half-open front-to-centralized short vowel /ii/ high front long vowel /uu/ high back long vowel /aa/ low open front-to-centralized long vowel /ee/ mid front long vowel /oo/ mid back long vowel vii .

indeed. In reading through the various contributions to this new book by Mohammed Farghal et al. a how-to guide for practitioners trying to find their way. There are many reasons for my choice of thematic focus on research and the reflective practitioner. but one particular reason stands out. one feature struck me as distinctive. is one way in which unhelpful dichotomies such as ‘theory’ vs ‘practice’ may be re-assessed. This ‘reflexivity’. and the ‘how-to’ slant which threads its way through the book and which was obviously necessitated by the authors’ concern with their students and with the translation classroom within which they operated. As the editor of the present book puts it in his introductory contribution (p. for example). is a most opportune addition to the literature. then through the analysis of appropriate ‘data’ marshalled in support. want to recommend this book not only as a handbook on the theory and practice of English/Arabic translation. is to start by raising . To perform its role effectively. as opposed to a theory of translation (as Catford would have it. this is what I would unreservedly call ‘quality research’. as the present volume does admirably. and the role research plays in promoting ‘reflective practice’ not only in doing translation but also and equally significantly in developing a theory of doing translation. namely how each contribution tells upcoming researchers the full story: from a ‘given’ assumption or set of assumptions accepted so uncritically by both practitioner and theoretician of translation alike for far too long (a ‘problem’. or empowerment of practitioners to develop and execute their own research (Hatim 2012). I want at the outset to highlight and speak to one particular theme I consider pivotal in the present context.” This is just one of the many important claims which this timely volume makes. therefore. In short. teachers and theoreticians of translation. in short). towards becoming effective researchers themselves. through a questioning which leads to ‘new’ proposals put forward as possible ‘solutions’.Foreword by Basil Hatim In presenting you with this volume of excellent collaborative work in translation theory and practice. 5): “translation theory is intended to refine and sharpen the already existing level of translating theory by bringing to consciousness a set of strategies and principles in practicing and/or prospective translators. through the maze of reflection. to arrive finally at some plausible conclusions and practical applications that translators. but also as a research manual. This is ‘research’. one of the aims of a theory of translating (with people like Nida). forcibly and insightfully. Crompton & Hatim 2015). will find highly insightful (see Candlin. students of translation and. I. would.

this is to promote the realization that a given problem is ‘real’ and that it is recognized as a problem by the majority of those it affects. including phonology. It was then that I saw originality and imagination. The practitioner is now viewed as someone who is heavily involved in the determination of the problem or the ‘puzzle’. But then a wind of change came and a generation of young researcher-writers began to occupy the forefront in theorizing practice and practicing theory. the scene for Farghal et al’s new volume is set with ‘Basic Issues in Translator Training’. a major article in which Farghal focuses on translator training in the Arab World and argues among other things for an important distinction to be drawn between a theory of translating and a theory of translation. was the New Toy Effect. Up to the 1980s. I beg the reader’s indulgence to allow me relate a personal anecdote. adjectivalization. It was about how new fashions in applied linguistics can be deceptively alluring. Syntax has pride of place when Farghal & Al-Shorafat delve deeper into the intricacies of the English passive and examine ways of dealing with this complex structure in Arabic. Staying with syntactic structures. But to return to the here and now. we saw a reversal of the trend of treating practitioners as mere consumers of research. and practitioners looked to theoreticians almost as the sole providers of this body of ‘analytical’ knowledge that could help them expand the ‘craft’ knowledge they already possessed. This challenges traditional. morphology. and that the present volume exhibits most conspicuously. ‘Translating English Modals’ by Farghal & Beqri concludes that. including nominalization. now departed (the late Professor Lewis Mukattash). with the translation activity governed by what he calls “a principle of relevance – the decision to render a segment (or an aspect of it) or not depends entirely on whether that segment is relevant in any given context”. and the title. Once a problem is defined. Essentially. Farghal & Almanna re-visit decision-making in translation and demonstrate how. mono-level view. when a young professor walked in fresh from an excellent PhD from Indiana (that was Mohammed Farghal) all jubilant with what I think must have been one of his earliest publications. And here. qualities that Mohammed Farghal has demonstrated over the years. In ‘The Linguistics of Translation’.awareness. with considerations of comprehensibility and readability uppermost in the translator’s mind. and activization. and semantics. A number of strategies seem to be employed by translators in dealing with this particular structure. research in Translation Studies was generally a matter of ‘reflection’. while English possesses a highly grammatical zed 2 . instead of the static. this process may best be undertaken at different linguistic levels. I was on a visit to Jordan in the mind-1980s and had stopped by to see a dear colleague. That is to say. intuitive views predominant in studies of the translation of English passives. a process of encouraging the kind of practitioner research that has aptly acquired the name ‘action research’. and test these against empirical data consisting of translations of English passive utterances as they naturally occur in an English text. The paper concludes with a re-statement of the need to view translation as an act of communication. solutions can be sought. syntax. if memory serves.

Next.system of modality. On the other hand. Farghal & Naji take us next into the murky area of ‘verse translation”. Farghal deals with this issue in ‘Audience Awareness and Role of Translator’. although examined extensively in the exegetical literature by Arab jurisprudents and rhetoricians alike. The notion of ‘miscue’ is central here. morphological. namely reader-focused vs. Farghal & Gergeos examine ‘Machine and Student Translation’ and address some subtle English syntactic features that tend to present formidable problems to both machine and student. often twisting. with polysemous and/or homonymous syntactic categories likely to cause serious interpretation problems to both machine and student translators. specifically to ‘Coherence Shifts in the Translation of the Holy Quran’. translators need to be vigilant to address features such as lexical appropriateness. thus offering unintended readings. the complications of word order variation are examined and the damage that may be caused in translation due to such aspects of message construction as marked stylistic inversion and subject deletion is identified. miscues are shown to occur at the phonological. The study shows that referential gaps are problematic to process in English translations of the Holy Quran. or even crippling. the translator’s inadequate language competence in Arabic and the absence of consulting Quranic exegeses sometimes trigger text-focused shifts. the need on the part of the translator to be aware of the culture-bound norms of expression in the TL becomes most acute. the cognitive structures communicated by poets. Third. From sensitive (poetic or political) texts. Farghal & Alblushi establish a crucial distinction in Quranic translation. has not made its mark 3 . parenthetical structures in English sentences for their part may trigger reference and focus mishaps in machine and student translation alike. When culture enters the equation and intercultural mistranslations become a fact of life. we move next to sacred texts. From the world of machine translation. We remain with sacred and sensitive texts in translation and survey Reader Responses in Quran Translation. tone of presentation. text-focused coherence shifts. the authors show that to avoid deviations that can mar the translation product in terms of micro. This is an extremely subtle level of Quranic discourse. By employing an Arabic political editorial translated into English by their MA translation students.and macro-features. From a translational perspective. a paper in which Farghal & Al-Masri deal with the specific issue of ‘referential gaps’ in the Quranic text. we have the issue of structural ambiguity at phrase and sentence level creating interpretation difficulties in translation activity. Here. With Shakir (May Allah bless his soul). and content organization. Finally. and one that. Thence. syntactic. It is suggested that the wide cultural distance between source text and target text may cause reader-focused shifts when opting for literal translation in handling partial and complete referential gaps. and semantic levels. There is first the issue of recognizing variation in parts of speech. Arabic employs a diversity of modal expressions which can effectively capture the various shades of meaning encapsulated in English modals.

and argues that “deficiency in pragmalinguistic competence usually results in communication breakdown or. therefore. an extremely interesting and new research area that has not attracted sufficient attention in English/Arabic Translation Studies. compensation. it is found that Translation Alone and Translation + RLF are the most occurring strategies in the Arabic corpus. Failure to cope with collocations in the SLT results in mitigating the evaluativeness parameter. The paper empirically shows that what the target reader may think is a correct interpretation of a Quranic verse may turn out to be a distorted reading caused by a referential gap. While Blended Forms and Complete Form + RLF are the most frequent RLFs in the English corpus. the evaluative vs. and translators/interpreters should. alongside their paradigmatic competence. subsequently. The issue of Translation Universals. The specific issue examined is ‘Lexical Reduction in Scientific Translation’. The paper addresses the translatability of Arabic politeness formulas into English from a pragmalinguistic perspective. possess a working syntagmatic competence. fall victim to a flawed interpretation. thus weakening the line of argumentation in the TLT. The crucial area of ‘Media Translation: The Case of the Arabic Newsweek’ is most cogently dealt with by Farghal & Al-Hamly. paraphrasing and calquing. these perceptible features present themselves more frequently and seriously in argumentative/evaluative discourse than in expository/nonevaluative discourse. occupies Farghal & Samateh in Markers in Translation. synonymy. in the absence of a sound cultural rapport with Quranic discourse. distortion of the original message”. The analysis is conducted with reference to the Cooperative Principle (CP). The study further looks into the strategies adopted by the student translators/interpreters in their attempts to render target collocations: reduction. This project is a case study with a focus on two genres seen in terms of the type of discourse employed in each. discoursal and grammatical usage. the target reader may project his/her own knowledge of his/her own religion on a Quranic text and. The analysis of the data shows that the Arabic version of Newsweek suffers from a variety of local and global perceptible errors relating to lexical. hence the importance of this particular contribution. The translation data examined shows that professional scientific translators employ various strategies in rendering a variety of English RLFs. Farghal & Borini engage with pragmatic failures and deal specifically with ‘Arabic Politeness’ issues. Terminology is dealt with next by Farghal & Al-Hamly. at best. with English Reduced Forms (RLFs) seen as problematic in Arabic work published in English. the Politeness Principle (PP). In terms of genre analysis. Thus. ‘Collocations’ (Farghal & Shakir) constitute a key component in the lexicon of natural language. the expository type. and the Irony Principle (IP). The rather bold claim by Blum-Kulka regarding TT explicitation usually being a response to 4 .

think about it. and summed up in the following terms by Boud et al (1985: 19) "Reflection is an important human activity in which people recapture their experience. and tenor problems posed in the process of translation. the question which many of us in teaching and researching translation constantly ask. there are cases of discourse markers whose sole function is not so much to explicate as to improvise. and there is no single ‘right’ approach. and tenor features relating to the formality of legal lexis can also be problematic. translating is a complex phenomenon. smooth and cohesive discourse. this tour de force in the study of translation. and in the process to create. Finally. The paper concludes that due to the syndetic nature of Arabic discourse. But reflection is the name of the game in what we do as translators or interpreters: We do indeed reflect on different versions. 5 . mull it over and evaluate it." One thing is certain: Farghal and his colleagues have gone a very long way towards achieving this goal of encouraging and guiding practitioners to study their own translational behavior and to determine what works best. comparatively assessing the merits and demerits of a particular strategy. layout.ST implicitation provides a launching pad for a truly insightful exploration of how three discourse markers function in Arabic translation. To conclude. It is this working with experience that is important in learning. and which this volumes attempts in a major way to answer is: Can the translator or interpreter be trained to become a reflective practitioner in the sense of reflective practice advocated by Donald Shon (1983). It is revealed that syntactically parenthetical non-finite clauses in Arabic legal discourse seem to be the single most difficult feature to handle. homes in on ‘Legal Texts in Translation’ dealt with by Farghal & Shunnaq. Layout features such as indentation. and in the process reshaping past and current experiences in a manner that can only lead to improved practices. different modes and different models. Like all professional activities. Three types of correspondence are identified: explicitation to explicitation. and explicitation to zero equivalent. in terms of syntactic. for example. explicitation to implicitation.

6 .


Basic Issues in Translator Training: Special Reference to Arab Contexts Mohammed Farghal Abstract 8 .

an introductory word is said about nature of human communication. meaning in interlingual communication evolves out of constructing meaning via gammaticalizing (the OP) or parroting meaning by calling up multi-word units (the IP) based on the presence of a Source Text (SL). It aims to offer a set of principles and guidelines whose presence seems indispensable. This functional and fluid division of labor. Explaining the nature of human communication. Fourth. Last. in human discourse embodies two main functions: the affective (phatic) function and the referential (informational) function at varying degrees. ‫تحب القطط النوم تحت أشجار النخيل‬. translation is an act of interlingual communication which involves the use of language. viz. The OP emphasizes the productive (generative) nature of human communication which enables language users to produce and comprehend novel propositions by utilizing a finite set of rules whose functionalization rests on already learned vocabulary items. therefore. a prerequisite for embarking on any pedagogical endeavor relating to translation. interactive process whereby explicit as well as implicit propositions are smoothly produced and received. First. and formulaic expressions. translation activity is shown to involve three stages: the pre-translating. and translation programs.The paper addresses the status quo of student translator training programs in the Arab world by looking at the practical and theoretical dimensions of TS as an emerging discipline. among others) to produce and receive previously encountered (parts of) propositions. proverbial. principles: the Open Principle (OP) and the Idiom Principle (IP) (Sinclair 1991). whether it be in the spoken form (interpreting) or written form (translating). with a discernible dominance of one over the other in various discourses. 1. Nature of Communication In its essence. an important distinction is drawn between a theory of translating and a theory of translation. By contrast. idiomatic. translation needs to be viewed as an act of communication governed by considerations of comprehensibility and readability. The propositional content. the IP stresses the parroted (memorized) component of human communication which enables language users to fall back on a huge amount of multiword units (canonically including collocational. or simply meaning. By way of illustration. the familiar English proverb Birds of a feather flock together (being the product of the IP) can readily be translated into a familiarly 9 . being the raw material for translation activity is. The production and reception of language (be it spoken or written) is a dynamic. rather than an act of prescription informed by dogmatic and obsolete views about correctness. By contrast. In this way. Second. though complementary. the translating and the retranslating stages. nature of translation. so to speak. it is argued that translation activity should always be informed by a principle of relevance – the decision to render a segment (or an aspect of it) or not depends entirely on whether that segment is relevant in any given context. The expression of propositions in discourse by language users embraces two distinct. Third. captures the usually intertwined interactional and transactional functions of human communication in its entirety (Brown and Yule 1983). the propositional content of Cats love dozing under palm trees may turn out to be a novel one (being the product of the OP) and can literally translate into an Arabic utterance that may involve a novel proposition.

idiomatized expression of meaning constitutes the foundation stone in translation activity as an act of human communication 2. Thus. and (3) interpret the significance of. Schäffner views the translator as a TT [Target Text] author who is freed from the “limitations and restrictions imposed by a narrowly defined concept of loyalty to the source text alone” (1998:238). At a more theoretical level. let’s quote from Newmark (1982) and Schäffner (1998). the same idea can be clad differently in terms of language expression by adopting variegated styles. It should be clear that the ‘limitations and restrictions’ are embodied in definition (1). Ninth Edition). a linguistic code). etc. the language user (whether he is functioning within one language or mediating between two languages) can perform an interpretative act.e. 1998. viz.corresponding one in Arabic. (2) express (an idea.e. rigorously suppressing his own natural feelings …” (1982:389). etc. viz. subsequently. In this way. However. House 1981) to ‘translation resemblance’ (Gust 1991). while the ‘freedom’ is embraced by definition (3) above.e. the translator’s task is “to render the original as objectively as he can.e. At face value. the cognitive aspect is mainly pertinent to processing and interpreting ideas rather than generating them (i. form) but essentially relay similar content.) in another. Newmark 1981.e. book) in another language. the translator) to offer translations that differ in language expression (i. and later to ‘skopos’ (Schäffner 2003. In interlingual communication. the linguistic code is fluid and variable. simpler form. one can immediately see that the first sense is restricted to interlingual communication. While ideas enjoy a high degree of constancy. sentence. ‫[ إن الطيور على أشكاالاا تقك‬Verily the birds on their forms fall]. book. the three senses above capture much of the insight and pith of the debate and theorizing voiced by different scholars working in the discipline of translation studies. Vermeer 2000) represents a steady shift from the first sense to the third sense in the partial dictionary entry above. Nature of Translation The senses of the transitive verb ‘to translate’ embodies three different. transforming them into words and utterances (i. To see the contrast more clearly. Catford 1965. though relevant and related. infer as (The Concise Oxford Dictionary. Hönig 1998. the 10 . Actually. transforming Meaning from one Form to another involves a cognitive and a linguistic process. speech. paraphrasing. The relatively recent move from ‘translation equivalence’ (Nida 1964. it is a matter of text comprehension and interpretation). (1) express the sense of (a word. esp. thus enabling the mediator (i. it involves the use of more than one language. As for the third sense. The translator’s awareness of the garmmaticalized vs. In the words of Newmark. The cognitive process in intralingual communication consists in generating and processing ideas (cognitive structures) and. By contrast. the linguistic code remains fluid and variable. i. while the second is confined to intralingual communication which may involve explaining. therefore. acts. Examining these senses.and interlingual communication. one can argue that it is relevant to both intra.

Most of these institutions were caught off-guard in terms of the availability of competent translation trainers. due to the formal and semantic bond/contract emerging between the original and the 11 . some even lack such language competence in their native language (Arabic). This bitter reality turns most translation courses at Arab universities into language rather translation courses proper. which is. While it is true that translation activity is a sophisticated linguistic exercise that can sharpen one’s language skills in the foreign as well as the native language. a by-product of such training. In addition to the serious lack of competent translation trainers. These academics believe that their formal training in literature and/or linguistics is self-sufficient for teaching translation. let alone competence in their first language (Arabic). nor interest or motivation to familiarize themselves with ST as an adequately established sub-discipline of applied linguistics. He was wondering what would be left of the test if the examinees were allowed to use dictionaries. This requirement cannot be taken for granted based on possession of high school and/or university certification relevant to language skills in the language pair. many translation students (both undergraduates and postgraduates) do not demonstrate adequate English language competence that can live up to the taxing requisites of translation activity. adequate language proficiency in the relevant language pair is an indispensable requirement. Still worse. Translation Programs Translation programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels have become a common feature of Arab universities and academic institutes. many of the students admitted to translation programs do not possess adequate language competence in the foreign language (predominantly English). Therefore. 3. One can find translation trainers who neither have a sufficient theoretical background in Translation Studies (ST). while the form shows a high degree of variability (Farghal 2003). For example. to them. Based on my personal experience. the chairperson of an English department where an MA translation program is run once assertively banned the use of dictionaries by students sitting for the Comprehensive Examination. one may cite the common belief that translation activity is nothing more than using a bilingual dictionary effectively. It is sad that translation training in such contexts and with such attitudes does not go beyond anecdotal expositions. One should note that translation activity presents constraints and complications that may not occur in intralingual communication. the task of translation teaching was often assigned to bilingual academics specializing in literature and/or linguistics.content enjoys a high degree of constancy. To draw on one interesting incident. the high degree of flexibility and freedom available to a student when he writes in English or Arabic is tremendously reduced when engaging in translation between the two languages. For instance. This recent development is due to the increasing demand for translation practitioners on the job market.

By contrast. it consists of a set of practical principles and guidelines which are intuitively implemented in translation practice by practitioners on the market. Second. By the 12 . while a theory of translating is naturally acquired through extensive translation activity wherein the set of principles and guidelines reaches a high degree of automatization in finished translators. the competent practitioner who has not engaged in any kind of formal training progressively develops a set of translation strategies that are subconsciously activated when translating. a theory of x-ing (that is. whereas a theory of translation is conscious. 4. therefore. at least at the psycho-cognitive level. Most importantly. most competent translation practitioners had never received any type of formal or academic instruction in translation studies. an analogy can be drawn between language competence (Chomsky 1964: Hymes 1972. informed and formally acquired. House’s (1981. until recently. In other words. Similarly. a theory of translating is subconscious. For example. intuitive and naturally acquired. it does not negate the presence of theory in translation activity. while the formally uninformed practitioner’s intuition that a translation may be reader-oriented or text-oriented is the output of a theory of translating. To make the distinction more down-to-earth. communicating and translating respectively) is subconsciously developed. Theory of Translation To many skeptics.(1) Native speakers of human languages gradually develop sufficient competence in their languages which enables them to use language effectively prior to engaging in any form of formal training. translation programs should base their selection of entrants on entrance examinations that gauge translational competence in the language pair rather than decisions that refer to general language proficiency and/or certification alone. First. Consequently. it consists of a set of theoretical or abstract principles and guidelines which are formally learned and consciously applied by translators. we need to draw a key distinction between a theory of translating and a theory of translation. Only after failing to access one will he opt for rendering sense independently of phraseology. Canale 1983) and translation competence (2000). The familiar argument is that. a theory of translating is essentially subconscious.translation product. a theory of translation is formally learned through exposure to or instruction in ST wherein theoretical claims are tested against naturally occurring or concocted translational data. In both cases. Thus. 2000) important distinction between a covert and an overt translation is part of a theory of translation. A native speaker can readily judge the linguistic and social well-formedness of sentences and utterances in various contexts. Theory of Translating vs. a theory of translation is conscious. he first looks for a corresponding expression in the TL. While such a polemic is generally valid. translation practitioners gradually develop sufficient translational competence through extensive translation activity. To give an example. when encountering a proverbial or an idiomatic expression. the need for translation theory/theories in translation training is far from being clear.

of those specializing in language and/or literature would object strongly to the assignment in the latter case. In this case. a theory of translating) is all that is needed for the teaching of translation courses. translation theory aims to perfect translation competence rather than create it. 5. in addition to his subconscious theory of translating. linguistics and translation classes. I am quite certain that most.e. Furthermore.e. language competence alone (i. in addition to his subconscious theory of communicating. the practicing/prospective translator is expected to work with many theoretical options whose practical application manifests itself in a translational decision. rightly in this case. a conscious theory of communication. despite the fact that it was only a matter of ‘Better late than never’. both practically and theoretically motivated.g. Hence. while translation competence without translation theory may be described as blind. let alone an amateur one. The intuitive knowledge developed by both native speakers and translators through natural exposure to communicating and translating respectively is subject to further refinement and systematization by formal training and instruction.same token. In fact. In this way. Only then will translation courses build their own legitimate reality. based on our analogy above. practical experience) may be described as blank. theory/theories of translation alone cannot produce competent translators because an adequate translation competence ought to be taken as a point of departure for formal instruction in ST. e. language. This unfortunate attitude may be attributed to the common view that translation competence alone (i. Similarly. which is. The role of translation theory is intended to refine and sharpen the already existing level of translating theory by bringing to consciousness a set of strategies and principles in practicing and/or prospective translators. scholars working within ST should struggle hard to convince other fellow scholars that a theory of translation is indispensable and that it is not even enough to be a finished translator. The importance of translation theory/theories here may be likened to the importance of a latent course of study in mechanical engineering for a practicing mechanic whose entire career derives from his practical experience in difference garages. in the presence of a theory of translation. Consequently. to asking a layman native speaker to teach language courses. a translation practitioner who has access to formal instruction in ST will develop. a theory of communicating) is far from being sufficient for teaching language courses.e. a native speaker who has access to formal instruction in language and/or linguistics will develop. One should note that asking generalists in linguistics and/or literature to teach translation courses is similar. a translation practitioner can readily judge the contextual fitness and naturalness of translations. when it comes to giving formal instruction in translation classes. There is no doubt that our friend will be a better mechanic. but only very few would question the assignment in the former case. if not all. translation theory without translation competence (i. Translation as Question of Relevance 13 . whereas. a conscious theory of translation.

Sometimes. Translation. by translating it into ‘Welcome! The Prophet visited us’ instead of the rendition above. in addition to the low degree of processability of his translation by English native speakers. M. all capable to carry out what He will’ as renditions of the Quranic verse ‫[ فأخكهم اخكه عز كز دق ك ر‬So he took them with able mighty taking]. considering the cognate accusative a relevant feature. Stewart (1981) considers the mention of ‘the Prophet’ in the Arabic welcoming formula ‫ رار كا الن ك‬،ً‫ أمك‬،ً‫[ أمك‬welcome. i. compare ‘We discussed the plan in a detailed discussion’ with ‘We discussed the plan in great detail’). and Farghal 2004. Nonetheless. Hillali give ‘We seized them with a seizure of the all mighty. being a form of communication. among others). By way of illustration. the Arabic cognate accusative is a textual feature of Arabic whose formal relevance when translating into English is very low (e. the phraseology ‘the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques' in reference to the Saudi monarch is essentially relevant to the discourse employed by Radio Riyadh. renders it as ‘Welcome! This is a great honor’.e. despite its failing to achieve a good degree of naturalness in English. Most frequently. consequently. P. It is the translator’s job to decide whether both form and function are relevant or only one of them is relevant in any given translational decision. many translators of the Holy Quran relay this feature formally into English. Sperber and Wilson 1981. Khan and T. Translational questions relating to form and function are assessed and resolved in light of three contextual factors. the question of relevance is guided by the norms of naturalness in the TL. the powerful’ and M. The general implication here is that a textual and/or discourse segment which is relevant in one context may not be relevant in another. To deem one contextual factor more relevant than the others will show in translational options. i.g. This means that what is supposed to be relayed from the SL into the TL is what is contextually relevant. This means that the audience assumes special importance in terms of relevance.The notion of relevance is introduced as a major parameter of human communication (Grice 1975. the question of relevance arises in the context of choosing between form and function in the process of translating. By way of illustration. Pickthall offers ‘Therefore we grasped them with the grasp of the mighty. welcome the prophet visited us] in his translation (Children of Gebelawi) of Najeeb Mahfouz’s (1959) Awlad Haritna irrelevant and. can be convincingly argued to be a question of relevance. the authoritativeness and sanctity of the text in question has motivated these translators to consider the Arabic cognate accusative as formally relevant. whereas it is completely irrelevant in a BBC news bulletin where ‘King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia’ or just ‘the Saudi king/monarch’ will be most appropriate. text type. Clearly. what is relevant is what sounds natural and acceptable. audience and author.e.e. again relevance presents itself as a robust maxim in translation practice. 14 . So. For example. i. Had Stewart deemed the Arabic metaphor in this formula relevant. he would have twisted the implication of intimacy and sincerity in Arabic to that of sarcasm in English. 2012. Gust 1996.

the translator’s preoccupation with SL cultural considerations may blur interlingual communication. descriptive translation. footnoting. witness how P. whether it belongs to intralingual or interligual communication. the same term may occur in a religious text where the exact technical details of the term (e. when one attempts communicating a spoken or a written message in his own language. They claim repeatedly that untranslatability is a major. 6. While the former does not affect the discourse of the text in question.g. subsequently. these renditions are hard-going and. Regardless of any role that the context may play in improvising a potential interpretation of the English renditions above. On the other hand. Situations of this kind may give rise to communication breakdowns because the discrepancy in relevance between the SL and TL is too great to be worked out on the basis of universal principles. Consequently. 15 . Their argument usually overlooks the fact that total communication. the deficit is expected to be greater in translation because it is ‘second-hand’ rather than ‘firsthand’ communication. and Dagut 1981). transliteration. Ivir 1977. see Ivir 1991). Translation as an Act of Communicating Many specialists (or pseudo-specialists) in translation studies and neighboring areas often raise the issue of untranslatability and assertively make it a central point in their discussions and expositions. considering relevance in light of TL norms would lead to renditions like ‘The reach falls short of the desires’ or ‘The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’. ‘charity’ or ‘almsgiving’ in translation. the Arabic metaphor is rightly considered an irrelevant formal feature. the translator may relevantly opt for an English cultural substitute (Larson 1982). at worst. On the one hand. In this case. e. This occurs when the translator is bent on adopting SL phraseologies at the expense of TL naturalness. if not a fatal drawback in translation practice and. In this case. the latter does so to a great extent.g.In some cases.g. Theroux’s (1987) translation of the Arabic proverb ‫[ العكي صيكي واليك صيكي‬The eye sees and the hand is short] in Abdurrahman Munif’s novel mudini-l-malḥ: taqaasiim al-layl wa-n-nahaar ‘Cities of salt: Variations on Day and Night’ into ‘The eye sees far but the hand is short’ and ‘Sight is long but our hand is short’. is a mere desideratum. lexical creation. etc. Finally. This inherent quality of both forms of communication should be taken for granted and should never pervade polemics in translation circles. the issue of relevance should be related to lexical and referential voids between languages (Rabin 1958. at best. By contrast. Thus. one may be able to argue that. incomprehensible by native English speakers.) to bring out relevant details because cultural approximation falters (for more details about translation strategies. he performs the task a varying degrees of success and/or failure. To cite an illustrative example. one should have recourse to other translation strategies (e. the fact that ‫ الزككا‬is compulsory and is strictly quantified in Islam) are relevant. the Arabic religious term ‫ الزككا‬may incidentally occur in a work of fiction where the technical details of this term are completely irrelevant. employ it as an escape-hatch to avoid serious scrutiny and analysis. In order to deal with translation voids properly. the translator should decide the relevance of gaps in terms of incidental/casual mention versus planned/instrumental mention. This being the case.

needs to be viewed as an act of communicating in its own right. Most importantly. The success of the translation product depends entirely on how meaningful and communicative it is in the TL context. In this regard. one should remember that an SL text is potentially capable of receiving more than one workable translation. the translation critic should always bear in mind that translating is not a static but rather a dynamic act of communicating.Translation. that is. break the ice] and a plethora of other expressions do not get us anywhere. Such expressions have become part of the linguistic repertoire of all educated Arabs (for more on this. despite the availability of another/other option(s) that may fare better than the one opted for. In this way. who is an example par excellence of this category). In point of fact. build bridges of confidence. A translation mistake may be viewed as a translational decision that cannot be borne out in terms of priority and relevance. In the final analysis. Comparing translations of the same text with one another should be communication-oriented. the translation critic ought to be aware of the questions of priority and relevance when pitting one translation against another. I was struck to hear from some students 16 . while translation errors maneuver within a multiplicity of potential versions. In many cases. an important distinction is drawn between a translation mistake and a translation error (Pym 1992). The translator should never lose sight of the fact that he is communicating a message from one language into another. under arms. they impact one another tremendously in terms of lexis and phraseology. Empty arguments over whether translators can use expressions such as ‫ عكال الجكوو نك‬،‫لعكب وورا‬ ‫ دك الةقك تحكت السكً اسك الجليك‬،‫[جسكورا‬play a role. In other words. The fact that many Arab translator trainers still think of Arabic in prescriptive terms gives rise to dogmatic arguments regarding lexis and phraseology in Arabic translations (TL texts). real-life situations involve either the original or the translation. The differences between the TL versions and the SL text may range from linguistic to interpretative features. Such arguments often ignore the reality that language is a living organism which changes over time and that that translation is an act of communication where the linguistic code functions as a mere carrier of content in translation. with a bias in the direction of more influential languages. such as English these days. but rarely both. therefore. A final point in the context of translating as act of communication pertains specifically to practical training in English into Arabic translation. The search for the original and the translation at the same time is predominantly an academic and/or scholarly matter. translation mistakes operate within the dichotomy of right or wrong. To cite another interesting incident in this respect. high quality. whereas a translation error may be regarded as a communicatively-motivated translational option. Even when translation activity is dealt with academically. translations establish their own usefulness and acceptability independently of the originals. it is not a matter of rejecting one translation in favor of another but rather a matter of explaining why translators may have different options in a variety of contexts that are diachronically and synchronically juxtaposed. priorities in translation practice are supposed to differ from one context to another depending on the skopos of any given translation (Vermeer 2000 and Schäffner 2003). It goes without saying that when languages come in contact. see Darwish 2005.

ً‫اطحك وكحا الحك ال كارو ا قك‬ ‫ ااوكو‬،‫دكه ا‬ ‫[ أصكي‬radio.e. the unravelling of symbolism in a poem. Therefore. a novel. abandoning. or any other type of text and tune oneself with the atmosphere of the text in order to establish a linguistic and cognitive rapport with the discourse in question. parliament. aims to drive home the fact that translating is communicating. physics]. an editorial. e. the translator should be forming.g. and loan translations. skyscraper. 7. communication breakdowns. and. The pre-translating stage is preparatory before pen is put to paper to translate proper. or a paragraph and ends with rendering the last segment. be it a word. be it a news report. e. among other things. During this stage. unnaturalness. etc. a white coup]. This important process manifests itself in two forms: loan words.g. translation activity needs to be regarded as a multi-stage process encompassing three integrated phases: pre-translating. It should be made clear to students of translation that borrowing is a legitimate and natural word formation process in human languages. It aims to secure a good understanding of the SL text. Witness how the Kuwaiti newspaper commentary title ‫[ الكواو طكال وصكو‬The boy takes 17 . the translator is required to provide meticulous interlinear notes which are meant to facilitate his work at the second stage. translation is viewed as a mechanical exercise involving the transfer of meaning between two languages in small. Arabic being no exception. a poem. For instance. radio. successive doses. the comprehension of a news report to highly challenging ones. e. a sentence. a legal document.g.that their translation teacher insisted on having ‫[ وار الخيالك‬house of images] as the only equivalent to ‘cinema’. To overcome problems like these.g. at worst. In point of fact. in the final analysis. Translation as a Multistage Process It is not uncommon for some teachers and many students to think of translation as a one-stageprocess which starts with translating the first segment of a text. One could be creative enough to imagine how an Arabic native speaker would economically tell his interlocutor that ‘he had a flat tyre/puncture’ in Arabic without employing the English borrowing ‫صنشك‬. computer. which a familiar borrowing in Arabic. if any. e. a phrase. The lack of dynamism in this orientation may result in many translational mishaps such as disconnectedness. ‫السكيناا‬. This phase is oriented toward translation rather than an ordinary reading situation. In this way. the cold war. and retranslating. to translator training which. a translational hypothesis relating to the title of a newspaper commentary may be re-formed or even abandoned after reading the first paragraph. and so on. translating. i. computer. and re-forming translational hypotheses along the way. Both categories of borrowings have become an indispensable component of the Arab translator’s linguistic repertoire which cannot be simply erased by dictates that are completely based on illusions. This exploratory mission ranges between moderately easy tasks. the sophistry associated with such matters does more harm than good. ‫[ راو ككو كا يككوت ص لاككان و اق اطيكك فيز ككا‬democracy.

we have the retranslating stage where the translator goes over the entire TL text in search of small corrections and refinements here and there. subsequently. It also shows that translator trainer programs at Arab universities still regard translation studies as derivative rather than a discipline in its own right. Other things being equal. which may be theoretically motivated.e. Conclusion This article shows that the training of student translators should start with addressing the nature of the raw material of translation activity. by bringing out the fact that human communication is realized by operating two complementary principles: the open principle and the idiom principle. the translator engages in intensive decision making regarding form and content and. The twinning of these two principles forms the basis for the possibility of offering more than one good translation of the same SL text. At this stage. a good understanding of the SL text remains the first milestone of translation process. Thus. a rendition such as 'Like son like mother' or even 'Like son like neighbor' would be needed in order to reflect the content of the commentary whose title ironically tells a different story. Whatever the case is. Lastly. Needless to say. These may range from simple amendments relating to grammar and diction to more subtle ones pertaining to textuality and discourse. of course. though cosmetic in the main. varying degrees. cultural competence and schematic competence play a pivotal role in producing a workable TL version during the execution of the multi-faceted task at this stage. a hypothesis relating to the translation of a symbolic title of a novel may undergo numerous reformulations along the way before a sound settlement is adopted.after his father] (Al-Watan 2006) may initially lend itself to the translational hypothesis embracing the rendition 'Like father like son'. The second stage (the translating stage) constitutes the cornerstone in translation activity as it involves the re-encoding of the SL material by phrasing out the source text's meaning/message in TL semiotic signs. This erroneous belief has led to giving the 18 . The amendments made at this stage may be thought of as the final touches added to different human states of affair – touches which. Only after reading the first paragraph will the translator abandon this hypothesis in favor of one that supports the polemic that the sons born to supposedly Kuwaiti fathers and non-Kuwaiti mothers may take after anyone but their presumed fathers. may prove indispensable in the translation profession. becomes a correlative of context. language competence (transfer competence in particular). the notion of equivalence/resemblance. audience and author. Thus. Similarly. language. Regardless how competent the translator is. it can be argued that good comprehension begets good translation. i. it can be argued that the retranslating stage is essential because it inevitably renders the translation a better one at. 7. the type of equivalence/ resemblance settled for. a process which is always informed by contextual factors including text-type. depending on the quality of work at the second stage and the level of translation competence on the translator's part.

The translator's awareness of the linguistic mismatches in the language pair constitutes a foundation stone in his work. The Linguistics of Translation Mohammed Farghal & Ali Almanna Abstract The paper demonstrates through the use of ample textual data that translation involves significant decision-making at different linguistic levels. including phonology. Finally. which are described in terms of right or wrong. Regardless of differing translational decisions along the way. such a theory is argued to functionalize and perfect translational competence rather that create it. Thus. It is of utmost importance. syntax. Hence. as well as translation teachers. therefore. Thus. 19 . morphology.assignment of teaching translation courses to generalists in linguistics and/or literature who have no interest in translation studies beyond being bilingual in Arabic and English. contextual factors are of paramount importance when it comes to deciding what is relevant and what is not. In particular. an important distinction is drawn between a theory translating and a theory of translation. translation mistakes. Equally important. the fitness of a translation is gauged against a principle of communicativeness whereby translation is viewed as an act of communicating rather than an act of prescribing. it is shown that translation activity is a multi-stage rather than a one-stage process. which are critically analyzed in terms potential TL versions. we should make sure that translator trainers possess an adequate knowledge of translation studies before they are entrusted with teaching translation courses. While we explain how a theory of translation is necessary. To remedy this serious problem. the pre-translating and the retranslating stages are argued to be integral to the process if cohesion and coherence are to be catered to optimally in the translation. While the translating stage constitutes the backbone of the process. this study discusses various strategies of handling linguistic parameters in the hope of bringing them into the consciousness of practicing translators. to introduce this procedural parameter into student translator training. the article argues that translation activity is essentially a question of relevance and priority. and semantics. are differentiated from translation errors.

being charged with such constraints imposed on them by virtue of the differences between the linguistic systems of the interfacing languages. obligatory features involve choices that must be followed by the translator in order to satisfy the rules imposed by the TL system. This is in line with Hatim and Mason (1990: 23) who highlight that “translation involves overcoming the contrasts between language systems: SL syntactic structures had to be exchanged for TL structures.e. congruent structures between languages. Farghal (2012) holds that languages phonologize. By way of illustration. the translator is confronted with one-to-many or many-to-one correspondences while working with any language pair. Optional features. opt for different strategies. In this respect. without which the translation will be ungrammatical. Kachru. phraseologize differently within general parameters. for instance. This fact rightly motivated Jakobson (1959) to say that translation between languages is a matter of replacing messages in one language with messages in another without getting trapped by surface linguistic features. the meaning of any lexical item in Language A cannot be identical to that in language B. In this way. Translators. One-to-one strict correspondence is. paraphrasing. on the other hand. omission. the exception rather than the rule in translation. (1982:84) claims: “Whatever can be said in one language can be said equally well in any other language”. prompt translators to adopt certain strategies to minimize such 'linguistic inequivalences' (Al-Masri 2004: 74). lexicalize. In most cases. represent cases where the translator can exercise real choice by deciding on one translation option rather than another/others. Overview Despite the fact that human languages share general rules in the sense of Chomsky's universal grammar. lexical items from each language had to be matched and the nearest equivalents selected”. if any. morphologize. similarity can be detected within difference. While Kachru’s statement may be true in a qualified manner. such as addition. Such linguistic differences at lexical or phrasal level. When discussing linguistic and/or textual considerations in translation activity. Despite the numerous linguistic mismatches between languages. therefore. On the one hand. i. let us consider the following English sentence along with its Arabic translation: 20 . it remains true that parametric variation between languages involves a lot of mismatches at the different levels of linguistic description. we believe that the disparities between languages are a matter of asymmetric equivalence or resemblance. Krazeszowki (1971:37-48) argues that there are few. syntacticize. elaboration. connotation and the like. usage. the lack of a one-toone relationship between lexical and grammatical categories. adaptation and so on. Newmark (1991: 8) stresses that due to differences in frequency. one needs to distinguish between obligatory features and optional features.1.

marking an adjective. a pronoun and a verb (‫يلعببان‬/‫همبا‬/‫ )الزنجيبان‬for the dual number. hence not deserving any further discussion in translation activity. ‫' بينما‬while'). each of the choices in (3) follows a linguistic option which is different from the one adopted in (2). ‫ يلهبوان‬for ‫يلعببان‬. using the dual form (‫ الصببيان‬for the two boys). viz. and marking the adjectives for definiteness (‫الضبيق‬/‫)الزنجيبان‬. For its turn. Here the translator has no choice but to follow these adjustments because they are imposed by the language system in Arabic.‫ تشاجر الصبيان الزنجيان عندما كانا يلعبان في الزقاق الضيق‬. we can readily see that the translator implemented four obligatory features. the last rendering (3c) extensively changes the lexis (‫ الولدان‬for ‫الصبيان‬. albeit subject to criticism.‫ الصبيان الزنجيان تشاجرا وهما يلعبان في الزقاق الضيق‬. one can imagine other linguistic options that could have been followed. To look again at the translation in (2).(1) The two black boys quarreled while they were playing in the narrow alley. That is why translation criticism flourishes in this area apart from obligatory features.‫ تعارك الولدان الزنجيان بينما كانا يلهوان في الشارع الضيق‬. One should note that obligatory features such as these are taken for granted as part of language competence.e. and ‫ الشببارع‬for ‫ )الزقبباق‬while preserving the word order and the choice of the category of conjunction. In contrast. [The two black boys fell out while they were loitering in the narrow street] As can be seen. The first rendering (3a) changes the word order from Verb-Subject to Subject-Verb while maintaining the choice of conjunction (coordination) and lexis. [The two black boys quarreled and they were playing in the narrow alley] b. it is in the domain of optional features that translators exercise decision-making and flexible choice. The second rendering maintains the word order and lexis while changing the conjunction into subordination. . The violation of any obligatory feature would produce broken or 'pidgin' Arabic. 21 .‫) تشاجر الصبيان الزنجيان وهما يلعبان في الزقاق الضيق‬2( [quarreled the black(dual) boys(dual) and they(dual) were playing(dual) in the narrow alley] Examining the Arabic translation in (2). [The two black boys quarreled when they were playing in the narrow alley] c . subordination albeit a different subordinator (‫' عندما‬when' vs. i. as can be illustrated in (3) below: (3) a.

along with its Arabic translation in Ba‘albaki’s ‫( الشيخ والبحر‬1985): (4) The boy was sad too and we begged her [the fish] pardon and butchered her promptly. In fact. we will look at translation options relating to different linguistic levels. has followed some optional decisions. they are just taken out of water before they undergo chopping or anything else. using the adjective ‫' القتيبل‬the killed' to post-modify the fish and ّ 'chopped' when employing the Arabic verb ‫' نحبر‬slaughtered' instead of the correct verb ‫قطب‬ referring to the fish as if it were a sheep or a camel. Secondly. viz. so we begged pardon from the killed fish and slaughtered it] Ba‘albaki. Firstly. Below is a suggested translation that takes care of these critical points: ّ . ‫ران‬. thus altering Hemingway’s simple narrative into stilted narrative. Phonological Features 22 . syntax. namely phonology. as can be observed. he has committed two lexical errors. he has decided to elevate the style in Arabic by choosing highly formal lexis. ‫الغبالم‬. Finally. Thirdly. and ‫نحرناهبا‬.‫وقطعناها على عجل‬ ‫) ولقد شعر الصبي أيضا ً بالحزن فطلبنا من السمكة العفو‬6( [The boy was sad too. the translator has decided to employ an Arabic synonymous lexical couplet. he has rightly changed the word order in order to offer an unmarked structure comparable to the English one. viz. In the rest of this section. and semantics. nor are they killed like other animals. ‫فالتمسببنا‬.‫العفو والمغفرة ونحرناها‬ [And the sadness overwhelmed the boy. ‫العفبو‬ ‫[ والمغفبرة‬pardon and forgiveness] in an attempt to offer more natural discourse. fish are not slaughtered the way other animals are.Let us now look at an authentic example from Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea (1952). so we begged pardon from the fish and chopped it promptly] It is within the bounds of these translation options that the translation critic can exercise his/her profession by showing how and why one option is preferable to the other options. 2. morphology. viz. ‫) ولقد ران الحزن على الغالم أيضا ً فالتمسنا من السمكة القتيل‬5( .

‫) كما األمواج تتجه نحو الشاطئ المهيب‬8( ‫تتسارع الدقائق في عمرنا نحو المغيب‬ ‫تتبادل األدوار في نسق وتوال عجيب‬ . but it is seriously lacking in poeticness because it ignores phonological features.g.) where defamiliarization and the creation of new paradigms are embodied in such features (Fowler 1996). meter. It is the phonological features that qualify (8) as poetic discourse on the one hand and (9) as commonplace discourse on the other. 23 . When compared with the translation in (8). Each changing place with that which goes before. The clearest manifestation of phonological features occurs in poetry (e. In sequent toil all forwards do contend. paralleled repetition. translating verse into verse is the most challenging task in translation. Hence. alliteration. as many believe. etc.‫جاهدة نحو هدفها في تنافس عصيب‬ [Like the waves heading for the awesome shore Minutes hasten in our age towards sunset They exchange roles in wondrous pattern and consecution Toiling towards their target in adverse competition] ‫) كما األمواج تتجه نحو الشاطئ‬9( ‫ذي الحصى‬ ‫ ال صائق ف عا ا حو اا اا‬،‫ت سار‬ ‫كل ت اول الااان د ال تس قاا‬ ‫جام حو األدام ف تنافس اقيق‬ [Like the waves heading towards the pebbled shore Minutes hasten in our age towards their end Each exchanges the place with the one before it Toiling towards the front in true competition] It is true that the prose translation in (9) is more reflective of the content of (7). a poet translator in order to render the formal properties that improvise poeticness which legitimates the discourse in this genre. it may require. This is where phonological features emerge as part and parcel of content that need to be taken care of by the translator. namely rhyme and meter. The mere layout of material in poetry translation would in no way make up for improvising key phonological features. A comparison between a verse rendering and a prose rendering of a Shakespearean sonnet is a case in point (Farghal 2012: 208-209) (7) Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore So do our minutes hasten to their end. rhyme.Phonological features become an important aspect of translation when form comes to the fore in discourse and presents itself as inseparable from content. which differs in small ways as to content in (7) while keeping the same thematic thread. one can appreciate the discrepancy between the two.

it is the phonological features that make the difference. being a psychotherapist. it is not an allor-nothing phenomenon. These proverbs often function as background for the formation of remodeled expressions (for more details. the /g/ sound may variously be replaced with /‫غ‬/. viz. thus remodeling the familiar Prophet Mohammed’s hadith (saying) ‫' صكودوا تيكحوا‬Fasting makes you healthy'. fall back on the familiar English proverb 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away' in order to communicate fresh messages that have nothing to do with food as such. Oct. ‫ راو كو‬for 'radio' and ‫ كا يكوت‬for 'computer'. as can be observed. replacing a vowel with another or a consonant with another. Sarnoff-Ross in (11) above has succeeded in choosing a title that functions as a semiotic sign which summarizes her entire article. 2011) Both remodelings. Borrowing. /‫ج‬/. apart from literary discourse. phonological features present themselves as a significant issue in borrowing and transliteration. /j/.g. it is a trade-off between form and content. which is a key translation strategy from English into Arabic. While phonological features are not relevant to loan translations where the concept of the word is borrowed independently of the form (e. One should note that poeticness is a matter of degree in human languages. Thus. For instance. Different discourses manifest different degrees of poeticness and. respectively). A commonplace title like ‫أمايك الحكح‬ ‫' لليكح‬The importance of laughter for health' would be far less effective and appealing. that is.g. where form needs to be given priority in poetry translation. see Farghal and Al-Hamly 2005). The tendency for investing existing phraseologies in the creative formation of new ones is mainly motivated by a desire to bring phonological features to spotlight in order to consolidate the message and make it more appealing to the audience. From a translational perspective. For example. e. Last. In some cases. the English sound may be replaced by more than one sound depending on the Arab region. In this case. or /‫ك‬/ (/ɤ/. (Daily Strength/Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross. e. the translator needs to fall back on his cultural heritage in order to find a rhythmic phraseology or to create his/her own remodeling which dwells on a similar theme. consider the two remodelings below: (10) A smile a day keeps misery away. Again. This necessitates taking account of phonetic gaps between English and Arabic when naturalizing a word. manifests itself in two forms: loan words and loan translations. (twitter) (11) A laugh a day keeps the doctor away. By way of illustration. in terms of phonological representation there may be cases where there are competing forms. For example. ،‫' دكه ا‬radio' and ‫' ااوكو‬computer'). a creative translator would offer a title like ‫اضكحاوا تيكحوا‬ 'Laughing makes you healthy'. such features play a key role in the creation of proverbs which mirror social life in different cultures. /k/. the two authors of this article used different forms of a recurrent 24 . everyday language is full of figurative expressions where phonological features usually occupy a position. which are important translation strategies. 21.In fact. the process is not straightforward. they are at the heart of the process of loan words where both the form and concept of the word is borrowed.g.

the doer morpheme and the plural morpheme consist of vowel changes within the abstract triconsonantal root /ktb/ 'a prelexicalized form that has to do with writing'. Ggresič (2008) from English into Arabic. Arabic morphology is largely synthetic. the reviewer and/or commissioner changed the said name to ‫جكوران‬. Each of these semantically related verbs can be input for other derivation processes.g. 3. Ali. In few cases. For example. Subsequently. the one which now appears in the published translation without consulting the translator.word while recently editing a book in Arabic about translation. ‫' كاتككب‬He corresponded with'. the choice between Al-Khalil and Hebron or Al-Quds and Jerusalem may be instigated by the ideology of the translator. ‫' اك كب‬He underwrote'. thanks to Goran Invaniševič. see Almanna 2013). the root functions as input for semantically related verbs which in turn function as input for other derivation processes. Farghal (2011). one might find domesticated phonological representations that occur in the translation of some literary genres (mainly in dramas) such as ‫ د‬for 'Mary' and ‫ صط س‬for 'Peter'. While English morphology is predominantly analytic. Sometimes. In the two morphologies. rewrite. however. Khalid and Dhafir. an English word like writers can be readily analyzed into a root. familiarity and frequency may override well-established norms. the root functions as input for prefixes and suffixes which may change word class. Competing phonological representations may also involve ideological moves (Farghal 2010. e. some English names are adjusted phonologically such as ‫ دكار‬for 'Mary' and ‫ صي ك‬for 'Peter' and some maintain the same pronunciation such as ‫ جكون‬for 'John' and ‫ وكا‬for 'Sandy'. In Arabic. Farghal 2012. whereas the corresponding Arabic words ‫' كاتكب‬writer' and ‫' ك ّكا‬book' do not lend themselves to such a linear analysis. Ibn Rushd and Ibn Sina. Farghal and Al-Manna 2014). e. writing. 25 . viz. For example. the tendency is to transliterate them by sometimes simplifying phonetic gaps. and Amman and sometimes preserving them. when translating a Croatian novel 'The Ministry of Pain' by D. To explain. Tareq. Surprisingly. One can also notice a tendency to avoid the originally Greek and later on Anglicized phonological representations of names of Arab Muslim medieval scholars such as Averroes and Avicenna in favor of more phonologically faithful forms. decided to render the recurrent name Goran as ‫صكوران‬. e. ‫' اوك ا ب‬He asked to write'. the well-known Croatian professional tennis player. In English derivation. When it comes to rendering Arabic proper names into English nowadays. etc. writer. viz. which becomes /kaatib/ 'writer' and /kuttaab/ 'writers'.g. writable. most Christian names designating places or personalities in the Arab Middle East receive Anglicized phonological representations that now compete with more transliteration-oriented representations. being aware of the familiarity of this name in the Arab media among sport circles. which may carry ideological moves. by contrast.g. ‫' ك ككب‬He wrote'. Historically. Morphological/Word-formation Features English and Arabic represent two contrasting morphologies. written. etc. ‫' ك ّكب‬He dictated'. the doer morpheme and the plural morpheme. Likewise. they had to negotiate the issue and finally settled for ‫‘ اللغك اإل جليز ك‬the English Language’ rather than ‫‘ اللغك اإل اليز ك‬the English Language’. hence the importance of opening a dialogue between those in charge of translation quality control and the translator (for more details. the root functions differently. respectively in this case.

along with their English renderings: )12( a. it is more challenging to lexically account for nouns designating processes. In many cases. Below are some authentic examples where the translator has opted for two strategies (deletion and paraphrase) when encountering a 26 . that is. legitimacy vs. the English process noun in (14) needs to be paraphrased into three Arabic words in (15).‫ي م أناس عدة‬ . as can be illustrated in the following example: (14) The industrialization of Europe started in the late nineteenth century. ‫ ش عن‬for 'legitimization' and ‫ علان‬for 'secularization'.e. For its turn.‫استقتل عل ٌي للحصول على الوظيفة‬ Ali killed two soldiers in the battle. Ali quarreled with several people. consider the following examples. so an average success in Iraq may strengthen the arm of reformers in the region] Apparently. by way of illustration. secularization. b. This morphological difference may cause problems to translators. Ali fought in several battles.g. ّ‫ الشك عي‬for 'legitimacy' and ‫ العلاا ي ك‬for 'secularism'.‫قاتل عل ٌي في معارك عدة‬ ٌ ‫تقاتل عل‬ . While it is usually easy to find Arabic corresponding terms for the English nouns designating states. Ali made every effort to get the job. ‫) ص أت عالي ال حول اليناع ف أوروصا ف أواخ الق ن ال او عش‬31( [The process of the industrial shift started in Europe in the late nineteenth century] For lack of an Arabic term. c. This confusion has skewed the coherence of the text. etc. such nouns are paraphrased into Arabic. ‫' دسك ا ب‬the one who was asked to write'. how English morphology can readily account for fine semantic distinctions via suffixation. most semantically related Arabic verbs would usually require morphologically unrelated verbs. the translator has confused the two semantically related Arabic words ‫' الايكلحي‬reformers' and ‫' اإلصكًايي‬liberals' (which share the same root) when rendering the word 'liberals' in the English ST.g. February 4. as can be illustrated in the authentic example below: ‫) وكاا كان جا الياصان اوص ياو صع الح العالاي الةا ي دةاو صو ا اص ت صه وول أخ ى ف ش ق آويا فإن جااا‬31( (The Arabic Newsweek. as can be seen. viz. viz. legitimization and secularism vs. English prefixal and suffixal derivation may present some challenges to terminologists and translators. ‫دع و ف الع اق اا أن ش د واع الايلحي ف الانطق‬ [As the Japanese economic success after the Second World War was a solid example copied by other countries in East Asia. d. ‫' او ا ا‬asking to write'. e. In terms of translation. By way of illustration. As can seen in (12). .‫ي جنديين في المعركة‬ . the four Arabic verbs that are derived from the same root require different renditions in English. ٌ ‫قتل عل‬ . Notice. from ‫ اوك ا ب‬we can derive ‫' دسك ا بب‬the one who asked to write'. the Arabic translation incoherently talks about 'social reformers' instead of 'liberal politicians' in a political context. 2003) .

in English a shark has a masculine gender (a 'he'). However.. while in Arabic. (p. 172) ‫لا ك الس ك ص م ك الخطيئ ك الواي ك ال ك و اا ك‬ . there are cases in the translation where the coherence of gender cannot be preserved. viz.] As can be seen. . This might be more congruent with the wise decision to change the 'he' to 'she' in the Arabic translation.‫غف ا اا‬ As can be observed. ‫ وهي تشد كأنها ذكر‬،‫) لقد تناولت الطعم كأنها ذكر‬23( [She took the bait as if it were a male. as is illustrated in the following example: (22) He [the shark] took the bait like a male and he pulled like a male . viz. Therefore.morphological gap.‫) قامت بإجراء فحص دم لكل هرمون يمكن تصوره‬20( [She did a blood test for every conceivable hormone] . ‫سمكة‬ ‫القرش‬. (p. may present itself as a problematic issue between English and Arabic because there is no oneto-one correspondence in gender specification.‫صادت صإج ا فحوص وم لال م دون‬ hormone. Inflectional morphology may also present some translational problems. being a fish. and she is pulling as if it were a male .‫) نحن األفغان ميّالون لدرجة عالية من المبالغة‬21( [We Afghans are prone to a high degree of exaggeration] In (18) and (19). 153) Baba's cancer was advanced. namely the English -able in this case: (Khalid Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner. nurse and translator are 27 . 2010) (16) (17) (18) (19) She did blood tests for every conceivable . ‫وكك طان صاصكككا ككككان فككك االككك د كككأخ‬ 168) . In fact.. To give an example relating to gender.200) We Afghans are prone to a considerable degree .. She could have rendered them as follows: . Inoperable. the translator has succeeded in paraphrasing the -able words correctly by adopting the paraphrase strategy. In this way. however. there is no natural way to maintain the masculine gender in Arabic. ‫ غيككك صاصكككل‬. a shark has a feminine gender (a 'she'). Nouns like teacher. ‫ح األفغان ديّالون للا الغ‬ of exaggeration (p. the ST and the TT present two different world views. One might argue that it would be more coherent in the translation to refer 'a female fish' behaving like 'a female fish' rather than as if it were 'a male fish'. therefore. while the ST talks about a male 'he' behaving like a male in eating the bait and in pulling. the TT talks about a female fish 'she' behaving as if it were a male. the translator has unjustifiably opted for deletion of the -able words in the translations of (16) and (17).. The translator has either deemed them unimportant (which is not true) or found them problematic. so she has decided to drop them. Ba‘albaki’s translation ‫( الشيخ والبحر‬1985) of Hemingway’s 1952 novella 'The Old Man and the Sea' has rightly changed the recurrent 'he' in reference to the shark to a recurrent feminine noun ‫ السمكة‬or a recurrent feminine pronoun clitic.‫لًو ئيال‬ But theft was the one unforgivable sin. the gender issue causes a coherence problem... translated by Manar Fayyadh. 2003. Gender. (p. ‫ع ا الطائ الورصي‬.

without consulting the translator. Otherwise. has two options: either to use the Arabic formal correspondent throughout. decided to awkwardly preserve all the dual forms in the published version. The dual form numbers in thousands in the translation as it is not only verbs but also nouns.e. the marked dual form or to replace the dual form with the unmarked plural form. Farghal’s decision was to employ the dual form only in a few cases where intimacy is communicated. the reviewer and the commissioner. viz. The translator may go a long way in his/her translation before discovering. pronouns. ‫معلمة‬/‫معلم‬ 'male/female teacher'.gender underspecified in English. Below is an excerpted sentence (24) from the translation (p. for instance. In the prepublished version of his translation of C. the Road makes frequent narrative use of the pronoun 'they' in reference to them.‫ حيث جلسا في ظل صخرة وراقبا حبات المطر الرمادي تنهمر عبر الوادي‬،‫فيه صخور بارزة‬ [(They) left-dual the cart in a groove covered with the linoleum and found-dual their way-dual to the top of the slope through the standing charred trunks of trees to a place with protruding rocks. whose referential value is readily recoverable from the 28 . one can argue. The translator. where the marked dual form is replaced with the unmarked plural form: ‫) تركا العربة في أخدود مغطى بالمشم وشقا طريقهما إلى أعلى المنحدر عبر جذوع األشجار الواقفة المتفحمة‬24( ‫ إلى مكان‬. where the sat-dual in the shade of a rock and watcheddual the rain drops pouring through the valley] (25) ‫تركوا العربة في أخدود معطى بالمشم وشقوا طريقهم إلى أعلى المنحدر عبر جذوع األشجار الواقفة‬ ‫ حيث جلسوا في ظل صخرة وراقبوا حبات المطر الرمادي تنهمر عبر المتفحمة إلى‬،‫مكان فيه صخور بارزة‬ . in this case. ‫ممرضة‬/‫' ممرض‬male/female nurse and ‫مترجمة‬/‫' مترجم‬male/female translator'. that the referent of a referring expression like 'John’s teacher' is a 'she' rather that a 'he'. which can be compared with (25). i. where the sat in the shade of a rock and watched the rain drops pouring through the valley] Given the high frequency of the dual form in (24) and in the entire translation in question for that matter. Farghal (2009) decided to replace the recurrent marked dual form in the Arabic translation with the plural form. adjectives. thus giving priority to the smoothness of the flow of discourse over the grammatically prescribed form. Being mainly a story about a father and his little boy.‫الوادي‬ [(They) left the cart in a groove covered with the linoleum and found their way to the top of the slope through the standing charred trunks of trees to a place with protruding rocks. whereas they are gender specified in Arabic. and adverbs must have it when reference is made to the father and his little son. Again. McCarthy’s novel The Road (2006). Number marking may also present itself as a problematic matter in translation. would feel more comfortable with it being replaced with the unmarked plural form. the Arab reader would not feel at ease encountering the marked dual form so frequently in the narrative and. the unmarked plural form is to be used for ease of articulation and naturalness. 19) where there are five dual forms.

Here. among 29 . the most merciful'. other word formation processes may present some translation problems. can be broached using two strategies in Arabic: borrowing the compound (which may involve translation as well) or paraphrasing the compound’s content (which may involve borrowing as well).‫) أول خطوة في تقصي موضوع ما في هذه األيام هو أن تبحث عنه في شبكة جوجل االلكترونية‬29( [The first step in researching a topic these days is to search for it in the electronic Google net] Other English word formation processes such as compounding. English technical compounds where the first syllable of the first word is usually prefixed to the complete second word to form a compound. blending and acronymy/abbreviation may also cause some translation problems when rendering them into Arabic because Arabic is much less receptive of them than English. Apart from derivation and inflection. In many cases. see Al-Hamly and Farghal. whereas conversion is a highly productive word formation process in present-day English. the most gracious. it is completely missing in Arabic where changing the part of speech of a word must involve a formal change. For example. To explain. Anglo-American ‫ أنجلو أمريكي‬and Afro-Asiatic ‫أفرو آسيوي‬. English verbs resulting from conversion need to be paraphrased when rendered into Arabic. Arabic has a few religious initialisms that must be unpacked into full English sentences in translation. we have inflectional morphology interfering with decision making in translation. i. The procedure involves employing verbs featuring the most salient and/or important sounds in a phrase/sentence such as ‫ هلّل‬for the act of uttering the sentence ‫' ال إله إال هللا‬There is no god but God'.‫ يتم فحصه بدقة في مختبرات متخصصة‬،‫) قبل أن يعبأ الماء في قوارير لالستهالك البشري‬22( [Before water is filled in bottles for human consumption.e. . as can be illustrated in the following examples: (26) Before water is bottled for human consumption. may demand a different lexicalization process in Arabic. being a story about a father and his little son. English technical compounds. for example. . it is thoroughly checked in highly specialized laboratories. ‫ كبّر‬for the phrase ‫' هللا أكبر‬God the greatest'.novel’s macro-context. For its turn. ecosystem ‫' نظام بيئي‬ecological system' and psychoanalysis ‫' التحليل النفسي‬psychological analysis'. and ‫ بسمل‬for the phrase ‫' بسم هللا الرحمن الرحيم‬In the name of God. geopolitics ‫' الجغرافيا السياسية‬political geography'. it is tested closely in specialised laboratories] (28) The first step in researching a topic nowadays is to google it. while Arabic manages to form a few compounds when rendering cases such as electromagnetic ‫كهرومغناطيسي‬. once more. The choice between the two options often depends on level of technicality and acceptability (for more on the translation of English reduced forms. this volume). therefore. it often resorts to paraphrase in rendering compounds such as biodiversity ‫' التنوع البيولوجي‬biological diversity'.

Thus.'. an English newspaper headline such as 'Barak Obama arrives in Damascus' translates into ‫' باراك أوباما يصل إلى دمشق‬Barak Obama arrives in Damascus' rather than ‫' يصل باراك أوباما إلى دمشق‬arrives Barak Obama in Damascus'.. It is a syntactic means to improvise prominence through word order variation. overwhelmingly employs the unmarked 'Subject Verb Object/Complement' word order.ً‫) لقد ابتعدت السمكة في تؤدة وعجز الشيخ عن أن يرفعها إنشا ً واحدا‬31( [moved away the fish slowly and the old man could not raise her one inch] (32) The old man went out the door and the boy came after him. . This will usually cause no difficulty for translators. corresponds to the unmarked English word order. Most importantly. which. Arabic (which is more flexible in word order) uses the unmarked 'Verb Subject Object/Complement) word order as well as the less unmarked 'Subject Verb Object/Complement' word order. Grammatical resources employed to achieve major semantic functions like negation and emphasis may be similar in some cases but different in others. This functional shift between the two word orders in Arabic is very significant in translation activity. as the Arabic word order corresponding to English S V O/C is the V S O/C rather than the S V O/C. an Arabic sentence like ‫ نهض من الفراش وهلّل عندما رأى ضوء النهار‬needs to be rendered as 'He rose out of bed and testified to the oneness of God when he observed the light of day' or 'He rose out of bed and said "There's no god but God" when he observed the light of day'. however. . the S V O/C should be maintained in Arabic. English (which relatively has a fixed word order).. Note how Munir Ba‘albaki (1985) and Nabil Raghib (2004) in (31) and (33) below respectively are aware of this structural mismatch in their translations of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea: (30) The fish just moved away slowly and the old man could not raise him an inch. The competent translator. however. Thus. e. needs to dismiss this superficial correspondence as inappropriate. the sentence 'John will not try to get a PhD' is straightforwardly rendered as ‫لن‬ 30 . however.. for example. viz. . when translating English newspaper headlines. which coincides with the English word order. By contrast.g. at face value. Syntactic Features Syntactic asymmetries between Arabic and English require special attention from translators. Let us first consider negation which can be syntactically accomplished by the use of negative particles like not in English and ‫لن‬/‫لم‬/‫ ال‬in Arabic depending on the category of Tense.. a match between the two word orders obtains.‫) خرج العجوز وتبعه الولد‬33( [went out the old man and followed him the boy] In some cases where prominence is sought. The competent translator. the translator needs to be aware of the mismatches at the sentence level which involve word order variation. would switch to the V S C Arabic word order in his/her first sentence detailing the news story. For example.a few others. ‫' وصل الرئيس األمريكي باراك أوباما إلى دمشق‬arrived the American president Barak Obama in Damascus . 4.

consequently.‫ لكن يديه كانتا ترتجفان بقوة لتدبيس الباقة على الفستان‬. notional (implied) negation involving an adverb like 'too' will be more challenging to translators who need to render the meaning of negation rather than be trapped by the form of the sentence. (39) a) The boy shook the branch indeed. (for more on this. let us consider the following excerpt taken from Elyas’ (1982:105) translation of N... etc. it needs to be rendered as an adverbial (39a) or a grammatical emphatic marker (39b). among other things: 31 . viz. the translator may also encounter several syntactic hurdles. In terms of translation.g. ‫لن يكون بمقدور جون أن‬ ‫' يحصل على شهادة الدكتوراه بسبب تقدمه بالعمر‬John will not be able to get a PhD because he has progressed in age' or ‫' تقدم العمر بجون ولن يستطي الحصول على شهادة الدكتوراه‬John's age has progressed and he will not be able to get a PhD'. 1993b). One interesting example is the emphatic cognate accusative where an act is emphasized by deriving a masdar (present participle) from the verb predicator instead of employing an adverbial.‫يحاول جون أن يحصل على شهادة الدكتوراه‬. To observe the loss that may result from overlooking the cognate accusative in translation. Working from Arabic into English. as can be illustrated below: ّ ‫هز الصبي الغصن‬ ّ )32( . 1993a. but his hands-dual were-dual shaking-dual strongly to pin the bouquet on the dress] The renditions in (35) and (37) can hardly make any sense in Arabic because they confuse implied negation with emphasis. Mahfouz’s (1923) novel ‫‘ اللص والكالب‬The Thief and the Dogs’. b) The boy did shake the branch.‫هزا‬ (38) * The boy shook the branch shaking.. . which are extracted from two different published Arabic translations: (34) I think you've been too busy to notice where I've been... the negation in the sentence 'John is too old to get a PhD' should be unpacked when rendering it into Arabic. This kind of negation in English may cause problems for student translators as well as professional translators. the cognate accusative constitutes a grammatical gap in English (note the ungrammaticality of 38) and. . Note the erroneous renditions of (34) and (36) in (35) and (37). along with a suggested translation (41) that maintains the role of the cognate accusative. )32( [. but his hands were shaking too hard to pin it on.‫) أظن أنك كنت مشغوال جدا لتالحظ أين أنا‬35( [(I) think that you were very busy to notice where I am] (36) . see Farghal 1991. However. The interpretation of the negation marker 'too' as the emphatic marker 'so' does irreparable damage to the meaning. as can be noted. e..

this kind of loss can go unnoticed for long. as the inadequate translation may read smoothly and relevantly. but they were arrogant and guilty people. the frogs. even to the most professional translators. So many times did you avoid me that I thought you were dumping me indeed! With my own free will I came back to the atmosphere of incense and to anxiety. hence the urgent need for sensitizing translators to the fact that grammar is meaning-bearing. yet they remained arrogant. Note how the translator’s disregard of the exclamation (a taxing construction in this case) and the cognate accusative in the original has compromised the emotiveness of the text. Both languages use the definite article referentially with plural and noncount nouns. just like lexis. the lice.). only Arabic may employ it generically with both categories of nouns. in which case English must use the zero article. (Al-Hayek 1996) 32 . (41) My father was able to understand you. the vermins. and the blood. With my own free will I came back to the atmosphere of incense and to anxiety. (Al-Hilali and Khan 1993) (44) So We sent down on them the flood. Another area where there is a syntactic asymmetry that needs special attention from translators is the definite article. as can be illustrated by the translations in (43) and (44) of the Quranic verse in (43) below: ‫) فأرسببلنا علببيهم الطوفااان والجاارا والقماال والضاادا وال ا م آيببات مفصببالت‬42( ‫فاسببتكبروا وكببانوا قوم با ً مجببرمين‬ )133:‫(األعراف‬ (43) So We sent on them: the flood. and the blood (as a succession of manifest signs). these were clear miracles.(40) My father was able to understand you. sinners. That's what the homeless and the deserted do. the locusts. However. This mismatch may pose problems. polytheists. That's what the homeless and the deserted do. the frogs. You have avoided me until I thought you were trying to get rid of me. etc. Unfortunately. The second sentence in (40) is unduly under-emotive and relatively detached when compared with its duly highly emotive and involved counterpart in (41). and they were of those people who were Mujrimun (criminals. the locusts.

(The Old man and the Sea) )42( . This comes as an immediate consequence of the translators’ not being sensitive to a syntactic asymmetry at the level of definiteness. To communicate the intended epistemic readings. the English modal verb 'must' and 'should' are bi-valent. In fact. But perhaps I [the old man] will pick up a stray and perhaps my big fish is around them. the translator should have employed the modalized verb ‫ال ب ّد‬. he thought. also involves mismatches between English and Arabic. which all involve generic reference in the Quranic verse. In both cases. Epistemic modality. whereas their formal Arabic correspondents ‫ يجبب‬and ‫ ينبغبي‬may express strong obligation only. (46) I wonder what he [the fish] made that lurch for. as they can be employed deontically to express strong obligation and epistemically to express strong conjecture. however. (The Old Man and the Sea). For example. we have epistemic modality expressing a strong conjecture/possibility. which can. My big fish must be somewhere. are rendered erroneously as nouns involving specific reference. they employ the referential definite article. (Ba‘albakī 1985) [The metal wire has to have slipped on her back (which is) like a mountain] Ba‘albaki’s (1985) translations in (42) and (48) erroneously express the fish’s obligation to be somewhere and the wire’s obligation to have slipped on the fish’s back respectively. instead of correctly using the zero article with these nouns. in contrast to ‫ يجب‬and ‫ينبغي‬. the five bold-faced nouns (3 plural count nouns and 2 non-count nouns) in (42). one cannot assume a one-to-one correspondence between English and Arabic modal verbs. The wire must have slipped on the great hill of his back. which constitutes the ways speakers view the world around them in terms of (un)certainty (Halliday 1970 and Lyons 1977). Thus. A grammatical gap may sometimes cause a translator to use an inappropriate translation correspondent. be used to convey both epistemic 33 .As can be seen.‫إن سمكتي الكبيرة يجب أن تكون في مكان ما‬ [Verily my big fish has to be somewhere] ‫) ينبغي أن يكون الشص المعدني قد انزلق فوق ظهرها الشبيه بالجبل‬48(. This problematic mismatch is illustrated in the translations in (47) and (48) of the bold-faced segments in (45) and (46): (45) … They [the fish] are moving out too fast and too far.

Farghal 1991. 8. ‫ينبغي‬/‫ يجب‬vs. and active participles. Mouakket 1986. No. ‫) وستبرز الحاجة إلى جيل جديد من المحطات الفضائية لسكنى عمال التجمي‬ [There will occur the need for a new generation of space stations for housing assembly workers] (51) The space-endurance record was systematically extended. 1989): (47) Buran (the Russian word for snowstorm) was lifted into orbit by the world's largest rocket. (48. Following are some illustrative examples. In some cases. which were all excerpted from an article titled 'Soviets in Space' published in Scientific America (Vol. (50. A good example here is English basic passive structures which lend themselves to translating into many Arabic alternatives including basic passive structures.6. nominalization.and deontic modality in light of the context it occurs in. (52) . 1989) and its Arabic translation which appeared in the Kuwait-based Majallat Al-Oloom (Vol. Khalil 1993. No. what is a predominantly structure-based pattern in the SL may turn out to be a mainly semantics-based pattern in the TL. 2. i. basic active structures. what is a bi-valent modal English verb (must) corresponds to two different modalized verbs in Arabic. depending on whether the modality is deontic or epistemic respectively.e.ً ‫وارتدع الرقم القياسي للبقاء في الفضاء ارتداعا منظما‬ [The record number for staying in the space rose a systematic rising] (53) Salyut 7 was equipped with a redesigned docking adapter.‫ مزو ة بوحدة مهيأة أعيد تصميمها‬2 ‫وكانت ساليوت‬ [Salyut 7 was supplied [passive participle in Arabic] with a docking unit (which) was redesigned] 34 . (54) . Therefore. El-Yasin 1996) accounts for only one translation alternative among many (Farghal 1996. In this way. passive participles.‫) ُرفع بوران (تعني بالروسية العاصفة الثلجية) إلى مداره بواسطة أكبر صاروخ دف في العالم‬ [Buran (which means snowstorm in Russian) was lifted to its orbit by the biggest launching rocket in the world] (49) New-generation space stations would be needed to house assembly workers. Saraireh 1990. ‫ال ب ّد‬. the general claim that an English basic passive structure needs to be translated into an Arabic basic active structure (Al-Najjar 1984. Khafaji 1996). 260.

let us examine the progressive aspect as a micro-syntactic feature in order to see how the two languages can handle it in translation. Mismatches between Arabic and English that need 35 . witness how Ali (1934/2006) and Arberry (1955/1996) fall short of rendering the progressive aspect properly in the following Quranic verse. they cover both meaning that is compositional in nature as well as meaning that is unitary in nature. To see how subtle this asymmetry is.As can be noted. (52) So glory be to God in your evening hour and in your morning hour. 'So glory be to Allah as you progress/move into the evening and as you progress/move into the morning'. To capture the sense of the progressive aspect. nominalization (50). viz. Arabic usually expresses the progressive aspect lexically.g. viz. the authentic translation examples above instantiate agentive passivization (48). and the passive participle (54) as workable alternatives to render English passives. 5. e. Mary is flogging a dead horse' cannot be derived from the literal meaning of the words in it. For example. respectively: . which is missed out in the two translations. Semantic Features The semantics of a language mainly consists of lexical as well as phraseological features. Ali renders the combination as a punctual act. it has a conventional unitary meaning which comes to mind once encountered in communication. English mainly expresses the progressive aspect grammatically by verb to 'be' + the marker -ing (e. This empirical fact led Khafaji (1996:37) to conclude "Hence Arabic. translators need to be aware of this grammatical mismatch. the translator needs to choose a similar strategy where a time marker interacts with a verb to bring out this progressiveness. Rather. Finally. the meaning of the bold-faced idiomatic expression in the sentence 'In her attempt to convince John. the meaning of the sentence 'The boy chased the cat' is compositionally derived from the meaning of the content words boy. Together. follows the Idiom Principle (Sinclair 1991) and derives a unitary meaning from the entire multi-word phraseology. Therefore.‫) فسبحان هللا حين تمسون وحين تصبحون‬55( (56) So glory be to Allah when you enter the evening and when you enter the morning. activization (52). chase and cat combined with the function words/markers. The latter. In contrast. John is writing a book). The former follows the Open Principle (Sinclair 1991) and accounts for meaning compositionally by deriving it from individual lexical items which are strung together according to the grammar of a given language. in contrast.g. does not avoid passivity but only expresses it differently". as has been demonstrated in this section. For example. whereas Arberry renders it as a state. One should note that the combination of the time marker and the verb ‫حبين تصببحون‬/‫حبين تمسبون‬ gives a sense of progressiveness in the Quranic verse. ‫' ينببري جبون علبى تبأليف كتباب اآلن‬John is busy with authoring a book now' or ‫' يقبوم جبون بتبأليف كتباب اآلن‬John is engaged with authoring a book now'.

Apples don’t fall far from the tree. To start with lexical gaps.People trust their uncles 36 . Peter Thereoux translates the Arabic proverb ‫[ ثلثين الولد لخاله‬Tow thirds of the boy for his maternal uncle] as 'Two thirds of a boy are his uncle’s'. there are always gaps involving both lexical and referential gaps (Rabin 1958.g. in terms of nominalization and verbalization) when it comes to familiar concepts. . Therefore. ‫ الخنصببر‬،‫ البنصببر‬،‫ الوسببطى‬،‫ السببّابة‬،‫ اإلبهببام‬usually undergo lexical unpacking when rendered into English. Working from Arabic into English. The TL reader will definitely fall prey to the incongruence brought about by a rendition that does not cohere with the surrounding co-text and context. e. some lexical gaps do exist between them. Arabic lexemes corresponding to lexical gaps in English undergo lexical approximation. they represent holes where. . ‫' عبم‬paternal uncle' and ‫' خبال‬maternal uncle' are usually rendered as uncle and ‫' عمّبة‬paternal aunt' and ‫' خالبة‬maternal aunt' as aunt. The fictitious encounter involves the citation of this proverb by one of the characters to claim more influence for maternal kinship than paternal kinship on children. Unfortunately. Ivir 1977. viz. Following are some target reader responses (American native speakers’ responses) to the English translation above in its context (reported in Farghal. the translator needs to unpack the sense of that lexeme if s/he is to render the sense correctly. In many cases. the ring finger and the little finger. Despite the fact that both English and Arabic are highly lexicalized (e. the semantic blankets of languages are never complete. when translating an SL lexeme corresponding to a lexical gap in the TL. While this may work in many contexts where the side of kinship is not important. viz. for example. the middle finger. the index finger.1 Word Level At word level. let us cite an example from fiction translation to observe how rendering an Arabic lexeme by approximation can be damaging to the coherence of the text. To see how lexical gaps can present formidable problems to even highly professional translators. it may seriously fail in instances where this kind of thing is significant. In such cases. 2004): (58) . one language lacks some lexemes that stand for shared concepts while the other language has compressed lexically those concepts in single words. .Family is everything. 5. Dagut 1981).careful decision making exist at both word level and phraseology level as this section will demonstrate. the lexical unpacking of the kinship term becomes necessary. thumb.A boy learns from his family around him. 1993). in a language pair. four of the names of the fingers of the human hand. 1992 (Cities of Salt: Variations on Night and Day. In his translation of ‘AbdulRahman Munif’s ‫ تقاسيم الليل والنهار‬:‫مدن الملح‬.g. respectively. the English translation obliterates this culturebound schema by neutralizing the distinction between the Arabic lexemes ‫' عم‬paternal uncle' and ‫' خال‬maternal uncle' in a context where the discrepancy constitutes the intended message.

there also exist some English lexemes that correspond to lexical gaps in Arabic.. among these we find words like 'spouse' which translates into ‫' روج‬husband' or ‫' روجك‬wife'. This being the case.] 37 . This incoherence is an immediate consequence of replacing the culturally determined. a novel) in order to decide 'which is which' in the treatment of a lexical gap... the allegations …. As can be observed. an order was made to the computer to replace all the occurrences of ‫ الع مًل‬by ‫الخكال‬ ‫مكًل‬. It was not until having gone past halfway in the translation that he discovered that the latter referred to a maternal rather than paternal uncle. render the TLT seriously incoherent. and 'parent' which translates into ‫الوالك‬ 'father' or ‫' الوالك‬mother'. ‫فإن اووعا ات‬ [And according to the text found in a testimony accompanied by an oath presented by Lourho corporation dated 2 November 1988.People follow their masters.. i. viz. general role of family relatedness in the context of the formation of children’s future behavior. the translator has to read a sizeable portion of a text (e. In the following example. In some cases.. Only in this way will the text make sense (see Chapter Two for more details). Without having done that.. Working from English into Arabic. on a closer examination. the wordy definition is not justified in the Arabic rendering. the translator needs to be an insider in both cultures: the SLC and TLC. ‫ العك أوراككس‬and ‫العك مكًل‬. Starting to translate the novel without having read far through the text. 3588 ‫ وفا‬2 ‫) واسب النص الوارو ف إفاو ك اصي دشفوع صياي ص د اا دؤوس لو و ص ار خ‬06( (printed in Baker 1992: 38. viz. the Arabic translation would have offered a distorted world of kinship relations. emphasis hers) . the translator has opted for awkward paraphrase based on dictionary definition because the lexeme 'affidavit' is not lexicalized in Arabic: (15) In the words of a Lonrho affidavit dated 2 November 1988.e. To capture the intended message in such cases. Depending on context.. s/he needs to unpack the Arabic kinship term. To cite a real example.g. 'A boy is his maternal uncle’s by two thirds' or 'Like maternal uncle like boy'. specific role of maternal kinship with a universally determined. where lexical approximation alone does not work. etc. the translator chose the Arabic paternal option for rendering both of them. A more acceptable and economical rendition would involve modifying the Arabic hyperonym ‫' شكااو‬testimony' by one word without falling prey to wordiness (60 above) as in (61) below: ‫ فإن‬3588 ‫ وفا‬2 ‫) واسب النص الوارو ف شااو ع لي ص د اا دؤوس لو و ص ار خ‬03( . the above English native speakers’ responses obscure the intended message and consequently.] While it is true that the term 'affidavit' is not lexicalized in Arabic.. ‫اووعا ات‬ [And according to the text found in a judicial testimony .. which remodels the English proverb 'Like father like son'. the first author of this book has recently translated the novel entitled 'Maps' (1986/ ‫ خك ائط‬2013) by the celebrity Somali writer Nurrdeen Farah in which there is a recurrent reference to Askar’s (the protagonist’s) two uncles (Uncle Orrax and Uncle Hilal).. respectively. the claims .

p. are more challenging in translation activity. p. and render the purifying dues.g. and 'ablutions' vs. which represent partially shared or completely unshared concepts. whatever good deed you send ahead for your own selves. you shall find it with God. 48) (66) And perform the prayer. (110) (Asad. To start with partial referential gaps. for. you shall find it with God: behold. you will find any good you have sent on ahead for your own souls' sake is already [stored up] with God. Lo! Allah is Seer of what you do. ye shall find it with God. and pay the alms. the rendition of ‫ ركا‬as 'charity' in fiction translation) and to other strategies. those concepts that exist in one language but they are only present partially or they are completely missing in the other. p. ‫تيا‬/ ‫وضو‬. being the relevant religions when translating from Western Christian cultures into Arab Muslim culture. for each of the English terms we have two Arabic terms that come under a hyperonym. but unlexicalized concepts in the TL. 'alibi' is rendered as ‫' ال ف صالغيا‬defense by absence' and 'date' is rendered as ‫' دوع غ اد‬a love appointment'. p. you will find it with Allah. the most important step is to locate the relevant hyperonym. God is Observant of whatever you do. and then to modify it by a lexical descriptor in order to communicate the unlexicalized sense component. (110) (Ali. referential gaps. whatever good you shall forward to your souls' account. 42) (67) Keep up prayer and pay the welfare tax. whereas it manifests itself in two functionally different forms in Islam ‫ركا‬ (which is compulsory) vs. the translation strategies adopted include approximation (charity/alms) and descriptive translation (the purifying dues/the poor-due/ the welfare tax). Because lexical gaps relate to familiar. and pay the poor-due. (110) (Arberry. e. in technical/religious texts. ‫عا‬/‫اج‬. 1. ‫( ص ص‬which is optional). one can refer to the many religious concepts that are partially shared between Islam and Christianity. 32) (64) Establish worship. such partial referential gaps usually lend themselves to the strategy of approximation in casual mentions (e.g. Among these terms we find 'charity' vs. most English lexemes corresponding to Arabic lexical gaps need to be unpacked naturally and economically. ‫ص ص‬/ ‫ركا‬. viz. assuredly God sees the things you do. i. Below are five excerpted translations of a Quranic verse featuring this partial referential gap: َّ ‫ج ُدوهُ عِن َد‬ َّ ‫صلَ ٰو َة َوءَا ُتوا‬ َّ ‫) َوأَقِيمُوا ٱل‬62( َ‫ٱّلل ِبمَا َتعْ َملُون‬ ِ ‫الز َكا َة َومَا ُت َق ِّدمُوا ِألَنفُسِ ُكم مِّنْ َخي ٍْر َت‬ َ َّ َّ‫ٱّللِ إِن‬ 110﴿ ‫ البقرة بَصِ ي ٌر‬، / The Cow. For God sees Well all that ye do. In terms of translation. vol. 18) (65) And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you. 'pilgrimage' vs. the hyperonym 'giving to the poor' has one form in Christianity (charity).In fact. For their part. 9) As can be observed.e. (110) (Pickthall. one should note that in the SL culture the concept of ‫ زكاة‬is very specific and is associated with 38 . On the one hand. including approximation. (110) (Irving. and whatever of good you send before (you) for your souls. God sees all that you do. p. 110) (63) And be constant in prayer. As can be seen.

definition. descriptive translation. the relevant features required for the full and coherent interpretation of the term are lost in translation.‫ فلنقرأ الداتحة‬. general aspect of the term (i. however. so the approximating terms charity/alms. For its part. omission. Referential gaps in less authoritative texts may also involve a variety of translation strategies including transliteration. the readers might infer that it is required of the rich as well as the poor. Moreover. On the other hand. Irving’s translation 'Welfare tax' may give rise to different implications. something that is required. without specifying that ‫ زكاة‬is obligatory and levied on the well-to-do for the welfare of the poor. It pertains generally to the amount of money paid by all people. approximation. where different strategies are employed to render referential gaps: (68 :‫) لهذا قال أحدهم قبل البدء في اللعب‬ . so he renders it as ‘the poor-due’.obligatory giving. This decision succeeds in conveying the main. target readers are likely to interpret this term in a different way from that intended in the source text. to denote the obligatory sense of ‫زكاة‬.e.e. to the government for the advancement of society as a whole. which aims at compassion and social justice rather that placing an extra burden on the poor. Following are examples extracted from Ramses Awad’s translation titled 'The Beginning and the End' (1985) of Najeeb Mahfouz’s novel ‫( بداية ونهاية‬1949). This inference does not serve the intended message.زكاة‬he states in a footnote that its main function is to “purify a person’s capital and income from the taint of selfishness” (p. Ali and Arberry’s translations seriously diverge from what is meant by the Islamic concept and. in the SL culture voluntary giving is associated with another term. Added to this are the pejorative associations which the term tax may arouse in tax payers. both translators attempt to explicate the concept to TT readers within the text as well as in footnotes. Pickthall derives his translation from the category of people who are eligible to receive it. the rich and the poor alike. i. its being obligatory). thus basing his translation on the connotative meaning of the term. which are associated in the TL culture with voluntary giving. the translators differ in the choice of the modifying word to render the more specific meaning. 40) 39 . For example.‫ ال نريد غشا‬:‫فقال حسن‬ . descriptive translation employs the headwords 'due(s)/tax'. are too general. etc.‫(وقرءوا الداتحة جرعا بصوت مسموع ولعل حسن حفظها حول هذه المائدة‬p. By contrast. In this way. Without a footnote. In this way.‫ طبعا‬:‫فقال الشاب‬ . that is ‫صدقة‬. The above different renditions give us an idea about how challenging the treatment of referential gaps in translation can be in authoritative texts like the Holy Quran. Asad derives his rendition from the spiritual connotations of ‫ .18). thus 'charity' and 'alms' technically become more appropriate renditions for ‫ صدقة‬rather than ‫زكاة‬. without a footnote.

(p. Farid Effendi wearing an overcoat over his gown. They recited Al Fatihat audibly. So the servant of Fareed Affandi Mohammed entered carrying a basket covered with a white cover. 66) ‫ فدخلت خادمة فريد أفندي‬،‫ وخفت نفيسة إليه ففتحته‬،‫) ثم بلغ المسام طرق على الباب فقط أحدهم الحديث‬22( :‫محمد حاملة سلة مغطاة بغطاء أبيض وضعتها على السفرة وهي تقول‬ )46 ‫ (ص‬. 59-60) 40 .. "and she sends you mourning pastry.Let's read al-faatiḥah. 51) . one of them said." (p.We don't want cheating. (73) . 53) (p. As for his wife.[Because of this one of them said before the beginning of playing: . "My mistress sends you her regards.My mistress greets you with peace and says this is pastry of graveyard] (73) A knock on the door interrupted their conversation. and his wife a dressing gown. The servant of Farid Effendi Mohammed entered carrying a basket with a white cover and placed it on the table. "Let’s recite the opening exordium of the Koran".. it was possible that Hassan had learned it at that gambling table. (p. Nefisa hurried to open it. "Of course not".. The youth said: . Hasan said: . "No cheating". so one of them stopped talking and Nafeesa went to it (the door) and opened it.Of course." she said.. madam.‫ ستي تسلم عليك يا ستي وتقول هذا فطير القرافة‬[Then reached their ears knocking on the door. placing it on the table and saying: . answered Hassan. The young man said.. ‫ت جل اصا ودعطفا أدا ا ده فق ال فت صال و‬ ‫) وكان ف أفن‬06( [And Fareed Affandi was wearing a julbaab and an overcoat.. And they read al-faatiḥah in an audible voice and perhaps Hasan learnt it around that table] (69) Thus before they started the deal. she wrapped (herself) in a (bathroom) robe .

This is a successful strategy where a contextual and/or co-textual link is established between definition and transliteration. the location at which the pastry is served needs to be pointed out. is unjustifiably approximated to 'a dressing gown'. 'pizza' ‫ صيزا‬and 'pasta' ‫صاو ا‬ (Italian). viz. i. 'hummus' ‫ ااص‬and 'falafel' ‫( فًفل‬Arabic) have become largely familiar worldwide. 'Allah' ‫هللا‬. Nattinger 1980. in which case it should be approximated to something like 'sir'. 'graveyard pastry'. through the passage of time. familiar internationalisms. A good clue for the translator’s judgment would be Wikipedia. By contrast. which is not the case. Once recognized. 'a bathroom robe'. Cowie 1981. the gap ‫[ فطي الق اف‬pastry of graveyard]. The title is constantly employed as an absolute social honorific when referring to Farid (Farid Effendi). which is a kind of Egyptian pastry offered at the graveyard when visiting the dead. The translator is not expected to struggle with internationalisms in translation. while ‫' ال و‬robe'. collocations and idiomatic expressions stand out as two important types of multi-word units that often necessitate special attention from translators. In some cases. Benson et al. The other two items ‫( جل ا‬a loose garment covering the body from neck to feet) is successfully approximated to 'gown' in English. adding a modifier. 'Imam' ‫إدام‬. the referential gap is defined in the first mention and transliterated in the second one. in order to capture the extreme informality of that encounter. depending on the context it occurs in. 'guy'. Examples like 'Rock and Roll' ‫روك آ رول‬. thus substituting a more general term for a specific one. Farghal and Shakir (this volume) argue that collocations are more communicatively useful than idioms because they are more familiar in discourse and can only be hardly replaceable by individual lexical alternates. To bring out this cultural nuance. they should be formally borrowed. etc.e. the first gap ‫( أفن‬a title of address indicating respect for and superiority of addressee or referent) is transliterated in (71) and elsewhere in the text. 'hamburger' ‫ ماد غ‬and 'MacDonald' ‫( داك و ل‬American). the English collocation 'public support' and its Arabic counterpart ‫ ال ع الشع‬are only awkwardly paraphraseable in translation. the translator could have maintained the same lexeme (robe). Farghal and Al-Hamly this volume. idioms are less common in discourse and are usually replaceable by lexical alternates. In (70). 5. which is a borrowing in designating the kind of gown worn when taking a bath. Yorio 1980. In (69). 1988. 'big fellow'. viz. One should note that the function of the referent here is incorporated in the location. One should note that this title may be used relationally (interactionally) in Arabic (for more on absolute and relational social honorifics. To render the gap more accurately in terms of culture transfer. Aisensadt 1981. is rendered as 'mourning pastry'.2 Phraseological Features At the phraseological level. For example. 2007. for 41 . Strassler 1983. among others). see Farghal and Shakir 1994). where such items are usually illustrated and many of them are displayed in pictures. They are a major component of the lexicon and constitute an indispensable element of lexical competence (Alexander 1978. 1987. 1988. Farghal and Obeidat 1995. may be served in any place. 1991. according to the translation. several referential gaps belonging to different cultures become. the reader is introduced with the function of the pastry independently of the location. Sinclair 1987. 'man'. In this case. the pastry. Last. In terms of translation. the translator has used different strategies for dealing with referential gaps.As can be observed above. Baker and MacCarthy 1987.

e. b. Collocations that feature secondary rather than primary senses may present the most problematic area for student translators (and even for practitioners) because of two reasons: firstly. However. Farghal and Al-Hamly 2007). manifest the behavior of words when they combine or keep company with each other. they are mostly lexicalized differently between any two languages and secondly. Collocations. the collocator 'pay' maintains its primary meaning. In all these cases. d. Farghal and Obeidat 1995. in which case semantic correspondence would often obtain between languages. viz. pay attention ‫[ عي او ا‬lend attention]. i. etc. respectively. following are some English collocations juxtaposed with their Arabic counterparts: (74) a. is to have 42 . g. the verb 'pay' has acquired collocational/secondary senses that largely differ from its primary sense. the Arabic idiomatic expression ‫[ ا على ورق‬ink on paper] and its English counterpart 'dead letter' can be replaced (albeit at the expense of reducing the degree of the text’s emotiveness) by ‫ غي دف ّعل‬and 'unimplemented' in the two languages. the English verb 'pay' can collocate freely with words relating to money. pay a visit ‫[ قوم صز ار‬perform a visit]. pay the ransom ‫ ف الف‬. Consequently. heavy rain heavy sleep heavy meal heavy fog heavy smoker ‫[أمطار غزيرة‬pouring rains] ‫[نوم عميق‬deep sleep] ‫[ وجبة دسمة‬fatty meal] ‫[ضباب كثيف‬condensed fog] ‫[شبببببخص مفبببببرط بالتبببببدخين‬person extreme in smoking] f. to start with. pay the rent ‫ ف األج‬. and pay respect ‫[ ع ّ ع اوا ام‬express respect]. The first possibility. pay debts ‫ ف ال ون‬. In all these collocations. pay a compliment ‫[ ع ّ ع اوعجا‬express admiration]. hence semantic correspondence rarely obtains between English and Arabic in collocations that sail away from primary sense. Word company may be derived predictably from the primary meaning of a word. which is the least likely. h. By way of illustration.instance. hence the ease of rendering them into Arabic. For example. they do not usually lend themselves to acceptable paraphrase in the TL (for more details. the only guarantee to deal with collocations appropriately is the translator’s possession of a good bank of them in the language pair. see Farghal and Shakir (this volume). heavy sea heavy industry heavy traffic heavy bread ‫[بحر مائج‬wavey sea] ‫[صناعة ثقيلة‬heavy industry] ‫[أزمة مرورية‬traffic crisis] ‫[ خبز من عجين غير مختمبر‬bread from unleavened dough] A close examination of the above English collocations points to three possibilities when rendering them into Arabic. viz. the verb 'pay' predictably collocate with a few other items that have nothing to do with money. c. pay wages ‫ ف األجور‬.

‫) لقد كان هروبا في آخر لحظة‬26( [It was a last moment flight] ‫) بدأت مسئولة العالقات العامة التي عملت على صيانة الضرر‬22( ‫الناجم عن أشخاص يطلقون العنان ألهوائهم مثل‬ . which is the most likely. the tinge of emotiveness furnished by idiomatic expressions can be maintained only when they appropriately lend themselves to rendering into corresponding TL expressions (whether in form or function). see Newmark 1988 and Baker 1992). Except for (75). the Arab reader would be struck by the unnatural Arabic collocations in the examples above. and 'sex organs' ‫[ األعضبباء التناسببلية‬reproduction organs] in (75)-(78) respectively have been erroneously translated into Arabic. i).] . To observe actual problems that may arise from a mishandling of English collocations.. following are some Arabic examples extracted from published translations: ( . their communicative import is rendered apart from the idiomatic phraseologies (for more details on strategies to translate idioms... In terms of translation. Following are some illustrative examples: (79) It started raining cats and dogs when Peter met his blind date at the park.semantic/formal correspondence in lexicalization. f. are frozen expressions whose unitary meaning cannot be worked out from the dictionary meaning of the individual words in them. however. 43 . the English collocations 'make a decision' ً‫[ ي ّتخبذ قبرارا‬take a decision]. 'have a narrow escape' ‫' ينجو بأعجوببة‬escape miraculously'.‫) وقد عزمت المنظمة قرارها إلعطاء الجائزة للسيد أوباما‬25 [The organization intended its decision to give the award to Mr Obama] . d. for their part. The translator’s ability to call up TL collocations that differ in lexicalization but have the same communicative value is a foundation stone as regards naturalness of the translation product. c. Some translations may sound unnatural simply because the translator fails to access correct collocations in the TL by either imposing the first possibility or unjustifiably resorting to paraphrase... Thus. the paraphrase strategy in rendering a collocation is necessitated when the TL does not have a familiar lexicalized collocation. and the electric wires were attached to their sex organs] To explain. Idiomatic expressions. h).... b. as in (74g) where the primary sense of the collocator 'heavy' is maintained. started . The second. Otherwise.‫ وكانت األسالك الكهربائية تلصق بأعضائهم الجنسية‬.. involves corresponding collocations where the collocator 'heavy' is lexicalized differently in Arabic as in (74 a. This option may be appropriately followed when the SL collocation does not correspond to a TL collocation (whether formally or functionally) as in (74 e. 'repair the damage' ‫[ إصبال الضبرر‬repair the damage]. [The officer of public relations who worked on maintaining the damage resulting from persons unleashing their whims like . )28( [ . which is an erroneous paraphrase 'It was a last moment flight' of the English collocation 'have a narrow escape'.. Such idiomatic expressions usually render the text more emotive. which is the third option.

their leaders cause great suffering . respectively: (87) The gap between the haves and have-nots still shows up clearly at the parliamentary elections. while their leaders cause much suffering.‫) اضطر المضربون إلى رفع الراية البيضاء وقبول تسوية جائرة م الشركة‬81( [The strikers had to hold the white flag and accept an unfair settlement with the company] (82) The strikers had to throw in the towel and accept an unfair settlement with the company. Except for the idiomatic expression blind date in (79).‫ يع ّد ابن خلدون منظراً ال يشق له غبار في علم االجتماع‬،‫) من منظور تاريخي‬85( [From a historical perspective. but an invasion would bring many other problems. One should note that the major challenge for translators here is to recognize the idiomatic expression as well as understand its meaning before starting to search for a rendition. Ibn Khaldun is considered a past master theorist in sociology. Ibn Khaldun is considered a theorist whose dust cannot be penetrated in sociology] (86) From a historical perspective..‫مشاكل عدة‬ [The Syrians fell between a pair of pincers. which is paraphrased because a corresponding idiomatic expression does not exist in Arabic. While the maintenance of the emotiveness in the SL text needs to remain a priority in rendering idiomatic expressions.‫) بدأت تمطر كأفواه القرب عندما قابل بيتر فتاته التي يجهل هويتها في المتنزه‬80( [It started raining like mouths of goatskins when Peter met his girl whose identity is unknown to him at the park] . . a foreign invasion would bring many problems] . the other idiomatic expressions in (80)-(86) travel idiomatically (functionally) between the two languages.‫) ما زالت الفجوة بين األغنياء والدقراء تظهر بوضو في االنتخابات البرلمانية‬88( [The gap between the rich and the poor is still clearly visible in the 44 . (83) The Syrians are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea . there are cases when paraphrase may be the only available option. Witness how the two English idiomatic expressions in (87) and (89) may have to be paraphrased into Arabic in (88) and (90). ‫ سيجلب الغزو األجنبي‬،‫ ففي الوقت الذي يسبب قادتهم الكثير من المعاناة‬،‫) لقد وقع السوريون بين فكي ك ّماشة‬84( .

to stop dealing with the entity in question). 6. while 'Cinderella' ‫ سببندريال‬and 'wash one's hand of somebody/something'‫شببيء مببا‬/‫يغسببل يببده مببن شببخص‬ convey different imports in the two languages. alternatively. Conclusion Being fundamentally a linguistic exercise. By contrast. ‫) اعتقد الكثير من األمريكيين أن هيليري كلنتون ستكون مرشبح الحبرب البديمقراطي لمنصبب البرئيس ولكبن اوبامبا‬94( . see Taylor 1998. To explain. unfair treatment in English. the latter meaning disassociating with someone/something in English (i. the English idiomatic expression 'a dark horse' in (93) has been reduced to sense in (94). morphological.Parliamentary elections] (89) The officials went through the roof when a local newspaper published a report about corruption. viz. are employed with different imports. . whereas it means stopping pinning hopes/relying on someone/something in Arabic. ‫) استشاط المسئولون غضبا عندما نشرت إحدى الصحف المحلية‬90( .e. respectively: (91) The Fayeds have turned the pre-bid House Fraser strategy on its head.‫) اإلخوة الفايد قد قلبوا إستراتيجية هاوس أوف فريزر على عرض االمتالك رأسا على عقب‬92( (93) Many Americans thought that Hillary Clinton would be the democratic nominee for president. the former 'Cinderella' indicates bad.‫ هو من أصبح مرشحا ً لهم‬،‫وهو شخص لم يكن معروف‬ Apart from the general quality of the translation. Al-Wahy 2009). 45 . the translation process needs to involve a close consideration of all linguistic aspects of the text. therefore.‫تقريراً عن الفساد‬ [The officials became so angry when a local newspaper published a report about corruption] Sometimes. need to be wary of formal similarity between idiomatic expressions as they might turn out to be idiomatic false friends (for more details. but a dark horse. but it signifies outstanding beauty in Arabic. Barak Obama was instead. Translators. the English idiomatic expression 'turn something on its head' in (91) is correctly rendered into the Arabic idiomatic expression ‫يقلبب‬ ‫[ الشبيء رأسبا ً علبى عقبب‬turn the thing's head on its bottom] in (92). including phonological. Note how the idiomatic expressions 'be all ears' ‫ كلّبي آذان صباغية‬and 'mop/wipe the floor with somebody' ‫ يمسبببح األرض بشبببخص مبببا‬correspond both in form and meaning. ‫[ وهو شخص لبم يكبن معبروف‬who is a person who was not wee-known]. for lack of a corresponding Arabic idiomatic expression. idiomatic expressions correspond formally between English and Arabic while maintaining the same communicative value or. Following are two authentic examples from the Arabic version of Newsweek where the two strategies of calling up a TL idiomatic expression and paraphrasing the idiomatic expression are employed.

pragmatic. The present chapter has selectively explored. the translator's work will definitely become an informed act. stylistic. etc. The Translation of English Passives into Arabic Mohammed Farghal & Mohammed Al-Shorafat 46 . other articles in this volume). with ample illustrative examples. The discussion also offers insights into further investigations of linguistic considerations in translation activity. and semantic features. cultural.syntactic. various strategies of handling linguistic parameters have been investigated in the hope of bringing them into the consciousness of practicing translators. 2014. linguistic features that translators need to be alerted to in their work. Together with other considerations including textual. (see Farghal and AlManna. In particular.

they give minimal attention to the structural machinery (linguistic competence in Chomsky's terminology) that functionalizes such syntagmatic relations. adjectivalization. the English 47 . see Farghal 2012). semantic and pragmatic equivalence. This has prompted translation theorists to distinguish between different types of translation equivalence: dynamic equivalence (Nida 1964). The study concludes that English passivization is predominantly structure-based. lexical. For the purposes of this paper. structural. Firstly. Background of Study 1. That is. It examines the linguistic strategies and resources that translators from English into Arabic employ when encountering passive utterances. formal equivalence (Catford 1965). more practically.Abstract The study aims to check the intuitions reported in studies on the translation of English passives into Arabic against empirical data that consist of translations of English passive utterances as they naturally occur in an English text. passivization. Such decisions are meant to bring forth equivalence. since translators employ a variety of formal markers in rendering English agentive passives. pragmatic and textual decisions (for more details. translation is a feat of transferring meaning as manifest functionally in a certain context from one language to another. any discussion of equivalence independently of these three variables is doomed because it is these contextual factors that direct the translator's options during the search for natural/appropriate equivalence. functional equivalence (de Waard and Nida 1986) and ideational equivalence (Farghal 1994). while a decorative metaphor in a newspaper editorial may call for functional equivalence or.1 Types of Translation Equivalence In its essence. It can be noted that while these kinds of equivalence address translation equivalence in its entirety by placing their primary emphasis on meaning as it is derived from the syntagmatic interrelations in discourse. we shall adopt Widdowson's (1971) trichotomy of equivalence: structural. For instance. This transfer involves ipso facto phonetic. not because of its comprehensiveness and validity in the context of translating. Being a correlative of contextual factors. whereas Arabic passivization is predominantly semantics-based. translation equivalence may differ from one context to another. ideational equivalence. structural equivalence makes direct reference to surface forms at the sentence level. author and audience. Within the context of translating. 1. activization and pseudo-activization. but rather because of its relevance to the structural machinery which is largely overlooked in other theories of equivalence. For example. It is shown that translators use many strategies with this order of frequency: nominalization. a creative metaphor in a work of art may call for formal equivalence. It is also argued that the claim that Arabic does not tolerate agentive passives is inadequate. equivalence is viewed as a dynamic parameter that constitutes a correlative of text type.

That is. 63): (5) It was the postman who opened the door. 62): (9) Le facteur a ouvert la porte. (4) La porte fut ouverte par le facteur.. (7) Ce fut le facteur qui ouvrit la porte. or in evaluativeness (Farghal 1991. semantic equivalence is based exclusively on propositional content regardless of significant differences in topicalization (Fillmore 1968). (8) Ce fut la porte qui fut ouverte par le facteur. pragmatic equivalence lies at the core of the translating process because it views equivalence in terms of communicative value as relating to utterances or kinds of message rather than sentences in isolation. we may consider (9) and (10) pragmatically equivalent to (1) and (2) above (ibid. while being relevant to theoretical analyses. or even structural equivalence. on the one hand and (2) and (4). (3) Le facteur ouvrit la porte. By contrast. pragmatic equivalence relates to the illocutionary effect of utterances and therefore cannot be established in relation to isolated sentences but rather by making references to what utterances count as in context. while leaving due room for contextual variation. p.sentences in (1) and (2) are viewed as structurally equivalent to the French sentences in (3) and (4). 2012). however. However. structural equivalence may not capture the communicative functions between the source language (SL) and target language (TL) as demonstrated by (1) and (3). or in focus (Chomsky 1968). Secondly. semantic. This being the case. can be of only limited practical value in the process of translating. respectively (Widdowson 1971: 61): (1) The postman opened the door. may coincide with pragmatic equivalence. (6) It was the door that was opened by the postman. 48 . Accordingly. semantic equivalence captures the propositional content of sentences independently of their surface forms. (2) The door was opened by the postman. Thirdly. In a few cases. on the other. (10) La porte a ete ouverte par le facteur.. Similarly. structural and semantic equivalents. p. other sentences expressing the same propositional content may stand as semantically equivalent to (1)-(4) above despite the differences they exhibit in surface forms as illustrated in (5)-(8) below (ibid.

the topic-comment or theme-rheme representation is maintained in translating (13a) into (13b).. which was originally used in Farghal (1991) for a different analysis (see below): (13) a. El-Yasin (1996) pushes Al-Najjar' s analysis a step further by arguing that English passives should be translated into Arabic topic-comment structures in order to capture both form and meaning. Farghal (1991: 144) deals briefly with passivization arguing that "Passivization is a matter of optional thematization where all arguments are usually mentioned in English. the active voice structure is preferable and more well-formed. While discussing evaluativeness. an active sentence is chosen" as can be illustrated in (14) below: 49 . 'ar-ra'iisu 'iɤtaala-hu-l-yasaariyyuuna the-president assassinated-him-the-leftists . he arbitrarily avoids the more serious problem regarding the translation of matrix passive sentences in English into Arabic. sa -yadr usu -l -xi ṭṭat a [llati quddimat min qibali mustašaar-hi] will-study-the-plan which was-presented by advisor-his . sa-yadrusu-l-xiṭṭata [llati qaddama-ha will-study-the-plan . 'the president' and `ar-ra'isu occupy the topic position in both sentences. In this way.Verb in the active voice + object coreferential pronoun . while the rest of either sentence occupies the comment position. rather than the clumsy agentive passive in (12a) above. Al-Najjar (1984: 158-160) points out that English agentive passives can be restructured in Arabic in two ways: either as an agentive passive or as an active voice clause in the word order (Object . i.1. where an argument. It should be noted that Al-Najjar confines his discussion to passivized relative clauses in English which can be readily translated into embedded topic-comment structures in Arabic (12b).‫ال ئيس اغ اله اليسار ون‬ According to El-Yasin. judged by the intuition of speakers of Standard Arabic.2 English Passives and Their Arabic Counterparts The translation of English passives into Arabic has attracted several studies in the existing literature in translation studies and contrastive linguistics.e. but it is a pragmatic choice in Arabic. as illustrated in (13) below. The president was assassinated by the leftists. otherwise. (12) a. Al-Najjar argues.‫وي رس الخط ال ص ُ دت د ص ل الاس شار‬ b. b.‫ص داا الاس شار‬ mustašaaru-hu] which presented-it advisor-his ‫وي رس الخط ال‬ However. namely the agent is obligatorily dropped.Agent) as in (11) and (12) below: (11) He will study the plan which was presented by his advisor.

Mouakket (1986: 140) writes: "In the Arabic passive sentence the agent must be deleted..(14) a. they also feature natural evaluativeness as they are argued to be generated by PSrules in both English and Arabic as can be illustrated in (15) and (16) below: (15) As for the novel. Saraireh 1990. (18) yuʻtaqadu 'anna-z-zukaama-l-ʻaadiyy-a . a rule whose output is a focused constituent. Other studies (Mouakket 1986. 'iɤtiila-r-ra' iis-u assassinated-the-president `The president was assassinated'. . If the agent is to be mentioned. or `The president was assassinated by the leftists'. . Saraireh (1990: 186) points out that "there are cases in which the agentive passive structure of an English sentence could be maintained in the Arabic translation" as can be illustrated in (17) and (18) below: (17) It is believed that the common cold . ‫ال وا ص أما عل‬ This being the case.‫اغ ال اليسار ون ال ئيس‬ `The leftists assassinated the president'. and Khalil 1993) reiterate the argument that English agentive passives should be translated into Arabic active sentences. . Farghal argues. As for topic-comment structures.. 'iɤtaala-1-yasaariyyuuna-r-'aiisa assassinated-the-leftists-the-president . ُ‫اغ يل ال ئيس‬ Thematization. b. 'ar-riwayatu qara'a-haa ʻaliyy-un the-novel read-it Ali-NOM . El-Yasin's (1996) analysis confuses thematization with base-generation by suggesting that Arabic topic-comment structures be natural equivalents for English passive sentences. ‫فق أما عل‬ ?-read-it Ali ‫أدا ال وا‬ b. ( 1 6 ) a . belongs to natural evaluativeness. which is brought about by obligatory Move α. Ali read it. However. 50 . 'amma-r-riwaayatu fa-qara' a-ha ʻaliyy-un as for-the-novel . For instance. an active sentence must be used".

the Holy Quran and Classical Arabic literature. the above-mentioned analyses of translating English passives into Arabic are mostly based on concocted. In the best of worlds. because they make minimal reference. Khalil (1993) bases his conclusions about Arab students' translations of individual English agentive passive sentences and Arab experts' intuitions about such translations on the dogmatic assumption that the only variety of Arabic that is relevant to translation is Classical Arabic.. Saraireh is interested in the syntactic rather than semantic properties of English passives of this believed that-the-cold-the-common . The Present Study As is clear. individual sentences. if any. as the grammatical subject of (17) is not agentive and functions merely as a pleonastic slot filler.. Moreover. such analyses may instantiate structural and/or semantic equivalents which can be of only limited practical use to the actual process of translating. Further. this study investigates the linguistic strategies and resources that translators from English into Arabic fall back on when encountering passive utterances. it is hoped that translation replacements will gradually find their way toward acquiring the status of translation equivalents. He concludes (p. the frequent use of Arabic agentive passive sentences in the media and modern literature has created the impression that these constructions are acceptable in CA [Classical Arabic]". to the communicative value of passive utterances as naturally occurring segments of discourse/text.e. i. the present study seeks to substantiate that grammatical equivalents established at the sentence level may be at variance with translation replacements established at the discourse level in the same sense that dictionary equivalents may be different from translation replacements (Tabakowska 1990). the present paper aims to check the alleged intuitions reported in such studies against empirical data that comprise translations of English utterances containing passive forms into Arabic as they naturally occur in an English text. Subsequently. . . Thus. the pragmatic rather than the sole semantic import of an utterance becomes a focal point in the process of translating naturally-occurring discourse. 179) that "the Arab translator's tendency to render English agentive passive sentences into corresponding Arabic agentive passive sentences originated under the influence of translation out of European languages which allow passive sentences with expressed agents. For his part. 51 . 2. ‫ع ق أن الزكام العاو‬ Obviously. This being so. among other traditional sources. Put differently.

2 Hypotheses Prior to selecting the translation task and collecting the empirical data.  passives into adjectivals 52 .3 Results The results of this study showed that the two groups of subjects employed translation replacements as manifest in five main strategies when translating English passives into Arabic (cf. The empirical data are likely to instantiate formal markers of Arabic agentive passive equivalents other than the oft-cited. Pasricha's Cooking the Indian Way. The subjects of both groups were asked to hand in a final version. The subjects consisted of two groups. These are:  passives into nominalization (verb + verbal noun). but their willingness to do the experiment was also an important factor) and the conditions under which the two groups performed the translation task (for instance. When translating English passives into Arabic. This being the case. in terms of density of passive forms. Student translators are likely to pay more attention than translation professors to structural equivalence when translating English passives into Arabic. 2. the more experienced subjects might have been able to guess what the aims of the experiment were. The experiment was also subject to some practical constraints regarding the small number of subjects. the text was an adaptation from A. since tracing the emergence of a translation replacement was not one of the aims. 2. which may render it a bit unnatural. formal marker min qibali. The first group comprised 11 Jordanian MA translation students enrolling in a course labeled 'General Translation from English into Arabic' in their first semester. They were asked to translate the English text into Arabic in their free time with practically no time limitation. Haegeman (1985)).1 Material and Subjects The translation task consisted of an English text containing 13 passive forms: 3 agentive and 10 agentless passives (see appendix). The second group consisted of 5 Jordanian translation professors who had been teaching translation courses at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. it was inconceivable to have the professors do the experiment with a time limitation imposed). especially professors (not only was the number of avail able professors not large enough. They were asked to translate the English text into Arabic in class with a forty-minute time limitation. the present study had set the following hypotheses: 1. 3. 2. Wekker and L. As announced in the book from which the text was taken (A Modern Course in English Syntax by H. translators would probably seek pragmatic equivalence where structural equivalence falters. and perhaps criticized. Hosain and S. Khafaji 1996).2.

08 100% Table 2: Frequency of each strategy for translation students Strategy No.06 21. % 11 33.66 3 20.37 100% Table 4: Frequency of each formal marker in agentive passives Formal Marker bimin qibali li-ri1d biwaasiṭat Both groups No.00 5 33.83 2 4.80 24.40 7.06 Instructors No. % 15 31. % Nominalization Passives Adjectives Actives Pseudo-actives Total No. 4 26.86 25.17 8. of renderings 61 48 39 34 16 198 30.   passives into passi ves.15 2 6.46 100% Table 3: Frequency of each strategy for translation professors Strategy Nominalization Passives Adjectives Actives Pseudo-actives Total No.24 19. and passives into pseudoactives. passives into actives.33 10 30.33 — 53 .25 13 27.50 9.18 12. of renderings No. 25 14 11 8 6 64 % 39. of renderings 36 34 28 26 10 134 26.69 17.37 20. % Nominalization Passives Adjectives Actives Pseudo-actives Total No.89 19. Table 1: Frequency of each strategy for both groups of subjects Strategy No.30 5 15.87 17.08 10 20.16 Students No.

4. for the students and for the professors. respectively. respectively. indicates the frequency of formal markers of Arabic agentive passives for the two groups combined and separately.69% and 17. The frequency of translating English passives into Arabic adjectivals and actives is similar. in turn. 30.00 100% of renderings The four Tables above relate to the validity of the three hypotheses in 2. The Tables 1-3 indicate the frequency of each strategy for both groups. being 19. The lowest frequency. as can be noted. . The results shown in Table 1 strongly verify our first hypothesis regarding the employment of strategies that furnish pragmatic equivalence independently of structural equivalence. 30. Arabic linguistic strategies and resources appropriately catered for the semantics of passivization in English. giving examples and explanations. Formally. is that of translating English passives into Arabic pseudo-actives. consider (19) and (20) below: ( 1 9 ) qama-l-mudiiru bi-ziyaarati-l-maṣnaʻi made-the-manager in-visiting-the-factory `The manager visited the factory'. ‫صام الا صز ار الاين‬ ( 2 0 ) t aʻarr a ḍa-l -ma ṣnaʻu l i -l -huj uumi exposed-the-factory to-the-attack 54 .80% of the subjects' renderings featured this strategy.15 100% 3 15 20.4 Analysis and Discussion As can be seen from Table 1.17%. while the other goes with actives.80% of the renderings involved Nominalization.Zero (Active) Total No. thus moving from structure-based to semantics-based correspondence. By way of illustration. 2. In this respect. this strategy features a pleonastic verb (a verb that is mostly devoid of semantic content) plus a verbal noun that is derived from the matrix verb in the English passive structure. Semantically based passives are structures that are passive in meaning but not in form. Arabic seems to possess two categories of pleonastic verbs: one category always goes with semantically based passives. Table 4. viz. 8 48 16. viz.2. translating English passives into nominalization (verb + verbal noun) in Arabic is the most frequent strategy.1 The Five Main Strategies 1. The following discussion will shed light on each of these strategies. 2.66 100% 5 33 15. Nominalization Nominalization turned out to be the most useful strategy for translating English passives into Arabic.

and are void semantically. b. Nowadays Indian food is esteemed all over the world. 'give an interview'.‫فانه عيور د ا تع ّر ضت ش ه القار إلى غزو ص ائل د ع و د الشاال‬ b . etc. . qama is a pleonastic active verb. ‫الانطق إلى وول ي‬ they -the-India and-the-Pakistan ‫ودنه عا ص ب ت مّ تقسيم تل‬ 55 .‫تع ض الاين للاجوم‬ As is evident. Since the earliest times the sub-continent has been invaded by many tribes from the North.`The factory was attacked'. our data demonstrate the successful employment of pleonastic passive verbs in nominalization for rendering English passives in Arabic. verbs of this sort may create structures featuring what is termed 'effected objects' in English such as 'make an attempt'.the-continent 'ilaa ɤazwi qabaa'ila mutaʻaddidatin min-aš-šarnaal to invasion tribes many from-the-North . c. (22) a. wa-munðu ʻahdin qariibin tamma taqsiimu and-since time 'ilaa dawlatayni to tilka-l-manṭiqatu recent completed division that-the-area mustaqilatayni humaa-l-hindu wa-l-baakistaan two countries independent . bearing in mind the existence of two different categories of such verbs in Arabic. Empirically.. famunðu ʻuṣuurin mubakkiratin taʻarraḍat šibhu-1-qaarati since ages early exposed semi. Interlingually. These two verbs are used only to improvise nominalization in Arabic. as illustrated by the English passives in (21) and their respective Arabic counterparts in (22) below: (21) a. 'pay a visit'. Only recently was the region divided into the independent countries of India and Pakistan. whereas taʻarraḍa is a pleonastic passive verb.

wa-munðu 'aqdami-l-ʻuṣuur fa-qad ɤuziyat šibhu-1. ‫وف مه األ ام فإن الطعام الان يحظى بالتقدير ف جاي أصطار العال‬ Note that the Arabic sentence in (23) is a topic-comment structure (the topic is italicized and the clause that follows the topic is the comment) that has been rendered evaluative by the employment of the emphatic particle 'inna in introducing the topic. b. 'was divided' and 'is esteemed' have been translated into the Arabic nominalizations taʻarraḍat 'ilaa ɤazwi. wa-fi-l-waqti-1-ḥaḍir i yaḥða-ṭ-ṭaʻamu-1-hindiyyu bi-t-taqdiiri and-in-the-time-the-present enjoy-the-food-the-Indian with-the-esteem fi jamiʻi 'anḥaa'i-l-ʻaalami in all parts-the-world . see Farghal 1991) 2. Passives The translation of English passives into Arabic passives came second in frequency. By way of illustration. tamma taqsiimu. It should be pointed out that the Arabic translations above sound natural. (25) a.c. c.qaarati and-since earliest-the-ages ?-verily was invaded semi-the-continent 56 . the English passive verbs 'has been invaded'. It should be mentioned that some Arabic translations (by 5 out of the 11 students only) of the English sentence involving the non-dynamic verb 'is esteemed' exhibited evaluative topiccomment structures (cf. consider the translation of (21c) above in (23) below: (23) wa-fi haaðihi-1-'ayyaam fa-'inna-ṭ-ṭaʻaama. Silver or gold leaf is often used for decoration. viz. The English examples in (24) and their respective empirical translations in (25) below are illustrative: (24) a. ‫وف الوصت الحاض حظى الطعام الان صال ق ف جاي أ حا العال‬ As can be seen. They therefore constitute very suitable pragmatic equivalents for the English passives in (21). 24. respectively. Farghal 1992b and El-Yasin 1996). The art of the presentation of food was also developed in these countries.24% of the renderings featured passivization. (For more on evaluativeness. and yaḥðaa bi-t-taqdiiri. Nominalization should no doubt be singled out as an important strategy when addressing the translation of English passives into Arabic.l-hindiyy-a yaḥðaa and-in these-the-days ?-that-the-food-the-Indian-enjoy bi-t-taqd-ir-i fii jamiiʻi 'aqṭaari-l-ʻaalam with-the-esteem in all countries-the-world . Since the earliest times the sub-continent has been invaded by many tribes from the North.

The consumption of beef is forbidden to the Hindu. along with their respective empirical translations in (27) below: (26) (27) a.min qibali qabaa'ila kaθiiratin min-aš-šamaal by tribes many from-the-North . Nowadays Indian food is esteemed all over the world. b. wa-li-ṭ-ṭaʻaamu-l-hindiyyi-l-'aana qiimatu-hu fii jamiiʻi and-for-the-food-the-Indian-the-now value-its 57 in all . It should be noted that English passive verbs that are subject to adjectivalization in Arabic are stative or non-dynamic in nature.e. ‫الاسلاي‬ b. if any. . 19. Adjectivals Adjectivals proved to be the third most common strategy for rendering English passives in Arabic. ‫ويستعمل الهمب والفح ف ال ز ي‬ 3. wa-qad tuwwira fannu ʻard-i-ṭ-ṭaʻaami 'ayḍan fii haaðayniand-? was developed art presentation-the-food also in thesel-baladayn the-countries .. i. Consider the English examples in (26). wa-yustaʻmalu-ð-ðahab-u wal-fiḍḍattu and-is used-the-gold fi-t-tazyiin and-the-silver in-the-decoration . . a .69% of the renderings used adjectivals as equivalents of English passive verbs. and the consumption of pork is not allowed for Muslims.. . ‫وص ط ُور ف ّ ع ض الطعام أ حا ف مه ال ل‬ c. verbs that involve minimal action. min dalika 'anna laḥma-1-baqari mamnuuʻun ladaa-l-hinduusi from that that meat-the-beef forbidden to-the-Hindu wa-tanawuli laḥmi-l-xinziiri muḥarramun ʻala-l-muslimiin and-eating meat-the-pork forbidden on-the-Muslims ‫دح م على‬ ‫ ل ى الان وس وتناول لح الخنز‬،‫ د ذل أن لح ال ق دانو‬.‫ودنه أص م العيور فق ُغريت ش ه القار د ص ل ص ائل كةي د الشاال‬ b.. viz.

Later on it was occupied by the British. viz. particularly for English agentive passives. consider the English examples in (29). the existing literature overestimates the use of this strategy by translators from English into Arabic. b.2.. It should be noted that verblessness is not a necessary condition on the Arabic sentence for inclusion in this category. only 8. The art of the presentation of food was also developed in these countries.ḥtalathaa-l-biritaniyytina fii waqtin laḥiq then occupied-it-the-British in time later .08% of the renderings featured this strategy. which enjoy a strong presence in the grammar of Arabic and are traditionally considered topic-comment structures (however. ‫الطعام ف مه ال ول‬ ‫وص تطور ف ّ تق‬ 5. viz. wa-qad tatawwara fannu taqdimi-t-taʻami fii haa ðihi-dand-? developed art presentation-the-food in these-the duwal countries . see Obeidat and Farghal 1994).17% of the renderings exhibited actives. ‫وصت واق‬ ‫طا يون ف‬ ‫ث اا لاا ال‬ b. the Arabic translations above are verbless. Pseudo-Actives The low frequency of pseudo-actives. θumma. 17. (30) a. Actives The frequency of translating English passives into Arabic actives came fourth. ‫اآلن صيا ه ف جاي أ حا العال‬ ‫وللطعام الان‬ Syntactically. may suggest that pseudo-actives are insignificant when it comes to translating English passives 58 .'anḥaa'i-l-ʻaalam parts-the-world . ‫ذا صيا ف جاي أ حا العال‬ ‫وف مه األ ام أص ح األكل الان‬ 4. the English sentences in (26) have been rendered into Arabic equational sentences in (27). that is. because Arabic sentences may alternatively feature linking verbs as can be illustrated in (28) as a translation of (27b) above: (28) wa-fii haðihi-1-'ayyam 'aṣbaha-1-' akl-u-hindiyyu ðaa qiimatin and-in these-the-days became-the-food with value fii jamiiʻi 'anḥaa'i-l-ʻaalam in all parts-the-world . along with their respective Arabic empirical translations in (30): (29) a. By way of illustration. As we have already seen in Section 1. This strategy proves useful when encountering non-dynamic (non-action) English passive verbs.

Only recently was the region divided into the two independent countries of India and Pakistan. The dropping of the agent in (31b). rather. This is not the case. plays a significant role: (33) wa-lam tuqassam-il-manṭiqatu 'ilaa baladayni and-not was divided-the-area to two countries mustaqillayni huma-l-hindu wa-l-baakistan-u 'iliaa i nd epe nde nt t h e y -t he -In d i a n and-the-Pakistan except 59 . a full 50% — of these two cases employed pseudo-actives. (32b) is acceptable as an equivalent for (31 b) only insofar as the anonymous agency in (31b) is overlooked. as Bolinger (1980: 29) puts it. The eating habits of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent are influenced by historical and geographical factors. should not be taken lightly or coincidentally. observe the English examples in (31) along with their respective empirical Arabic translations in (32): (31) (32) a. tata'aθθaru ʻaadaatu-1-' akli. however. consider (33) below in which agency. wa-lam tanqasimu-il-manṭiqatu 'ila baladayni and-not divided-the-area to two countries mustaqillayni huma-l-hindu wa. ‫صعوادل تار خي وجغ افي‬ and-geographical ‫ت أث عاوات األكل ف ش ه القار الان‬ b. By way of šibh-i-l-qarrati-1-hindiyyati be influenced habits-the-food in semi-the-continent Indian bi-ʻawaamila taariixiyyatin wa-jaɤrafiyyah by-factors historical . 16 of the 32 renderings — i. as pseudo-actives constitute an important strategy in translating certain English passive verbs such as 'be influenced' and 'be divided'. Pseudo-actives are those Arabic verbs that are active in form but passive in meaning.1-bakistan-u 'iliaa independent they-the-India and-the-Pakistan except mu' axxaran recently . however. which are in fact the only instances in the translation task in this study that may call for this strategy.into Arabic. ، ‫دس قلي ماا الان وصاكس ان إو دؤخ ا‬ ‫ول تنقس الانطق إلى صل‬ While (32a) is probably the most natural equivalent for (30a). b.e. Interestingly. a. though anonymous. To illustrate this point. "The most useful — and dangerous — function of the passive (in English) is to enable the speaker to keep silent about who performs the action".

Bearing in mind the obvious usefulness of this strategy in translating English passives into Arabic.33% vs. 26. which has been argued to be an important linguistic resource for translating English passives into Arabic. respectively.25% of the renderings featured it.40% vs. translation professors. 39.37% for students vs. the medium discrepancy of the strategy of translating English passives into Arabic passives between students and professors — 25. the greater part of the differential in these two strategies went to nominalization. Finally. let us turn to the significant performance differences between the two groups of subjects (Tables 2 and 3): translation students vs.'by' was the most used formal marker in Arabic passive equivalents. thus furnishing further support for our hypothesis. Further. comprising 20. As the results showed. it was used more by students than by professors: 30. min qibali 'by' came second scoring 27. it can be deduced that translation professors give much more attention to translation replacements that achieve pragmatic equivalence than translation students. This hypothesis is particularly borne out by the significant difference in the employment of the strategy of nominalization: it accounted for 26. comprising 4.08% of the renderings.83%. biwaasiṭat 'by means of' was used only twice by students. 20%. student translators used Arabic actives as equivalents for English passives more than translation professors: 19. Translation Professors Having discussed the five main strategies for translating English passives into Arabic. the results showed that student translators resorted to the strategy of adjectivals more than translation professors: 20.4. 17. It can be argued here that professors are more experienced and probably more competent in translation. 31. ‫دس قلي ماا الان وصاكس ان إو دؤخ ا‬ ‫ول ت ُقسم الانطق إلى صل‬ 2. Finally.50%. viz. recently.30% vs.18%.2 Translation Students vs.16% of the renderings.' axxaran. As can be seen from Table 4. Likewise.89% vs. respectively. it was used more by students than by professors: 33. Obviously. again.06% for professors. ،.4. it was used much more by professors than by students: 33. 21. The second hypothesis in this study states that student translators are likely to pay more attention than translation professors to structural equivalence when translating English passives into Arabic.33% vs. respectively.66%. 12. a 60 . As a fourth formal marker.86% for students vs. hence they give precedence to pragmatic (illocutionary) import over formal (structural) import for the purpose of furnishing more natural equivalents.87% for professors — lends more support to our hypothesis by indicating that translation students attended to translation replacements that achieve structural equivalence more than translation professors.15%. 2. bi. li/'ilaa 'to' came third in frequency. 15.3 Formal Markers of Arabic Agentive Passives The third hypothesis is also borne out as the empirical data have instantiated formal markers of Arabic agentive passive equivalents other than the oft-cited formal marker min qibali.

hence it should be practiced independently of dogmatic and/or prescriptive tenets that frequently crop up on the linguistic scene of Arabic. It has been shown that translators fall back on various linguistic strategies and resources in their endeavor to search for Arabic natural equivalents for English passives. Further. the claim that Arabic does not tolerate agentive passives has been proved to be inadequate. In the extreme case. min qibali should be tolerated in Arabic because. Contrary to common claims in the literature. While passivization in English proves to be predominantly structure-based. the present study sends a clear message to translation practitioners and theorists alike that translation should essentially be viewed as an act of communication. Most marker was sometimes used. it is used natively in Arabic in both the mass media and modern literature. among other genres of discourse. after all. viz. Conclusion The present paper has departed from available treatments of passivization as a structural property in an attempt to reach for pragmatic parameters that govern the translator's decisions during the process of translating English passives into Arabic. contrary to claims that ascribe it to the influence of translating from European languages into Arabic. if not rejected altogether. In most cases. For instance. Thus. this paper points clearly to the different nature of passivization in English and Arabic. Consequently. Arabic passivization turns out to be semantics-based. these formal markers sound so natural in Arabic that one can trace no foreign influences. Therefore. we believe.66% of the renderings. an act of communication that should be pertinent to language in use rather than to prescriptive and/or rather obsolete varieties of Arabic that are only of relevance for historical purposes. ill-conceived as translation is. this accounted for 16. the oft-cited instruction to translate only into Classical Arabic is. it has been argued that the communicative value of an utterance should be given precedence over the semantic and/or structural value for the purpose of furnishing pragmatic rather than frequently unfitting semantic or structural equivalents. more than 75% of the translations of English passives in this study employed linguistic strategies and resources irrespective of 61 . these results show beyond doubt that translators into Arabic fall back on many formal markers to indicate agentive passive equivalents. by translating English agentive passives into Arabic actives. 3. as translators have a variety of formal markers at their disposal when phrasing out Arabic agentive passives. the common directive to avoid agentive passives when translating English passives into Arabic should be reconsidered.

39 (23. the interpretation of an utterance in Arabic as passive may stem from nominalization. Only recently was the region divided into the two independent countries of India and Pakistan. Last but not least. (Adapted from A. Since the earliest times the sub-continent had been invaded by many tribes from the North. The consumption of beef is forbidden to the Hindu. and the consumption of pork is not allowed for Muslims. The 62 . This practice often results in the loss of significant nuances introduced by English modals. In particular. adjectivals. e. The metal is beaten very fine: it can almost be blown away. They should point out that Arabic has its own linguistic resources that can handle all cases of English passivization pragmatically as they occur naturally in discourse.5%) have undergone deletion in Arabic translation. Silver or gold leaf is often used for decoration. Most importantly. Within the 166 modals in the play. and pseudo-actives. In the bulk of these cases. this research offers implications for translator training programs. Later on it was occupied by the British.the verb form. translator trainers should alert their students to the intriguing nature of passivization in Arabic. It is a case study of Macbeth. the failure to render English modals has seriously marred Arabic renderings. The influence of all the different invasions can be found in the culture and the eating habits of the sub-continent. Hosain and S. students should be sensitized to different types of translation equivalence in general and pragmatic equivalence in particular. Appendix The Translation Task The eating habits of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent are influenced by historical and geographical factors. That is. Cooking the Indian Way) Translating English Modals by Zero Equivalents in Arabic: A Case Study of Macbeth Mohammed Farghal & Alban Beqri Abstract The present paper aims to show the discrepancy brought about when translating English modals by Arabic zero equivalents. The art of the presentation of food was also developed in these countries.g. Nowadays Indian food is esteemed all over the world. when shifting from epistemic possibility to epistemic certainty. whose English modals comprise the corpus of analysis. Indian and Pakistani food are very similar. in addition to passivization proper. Pasricha. but regional and religious influences can be observed.

which denotes obligation when used deontically (as in ' He must do his assignment'). Thus. auxiliary verbs. and Palmer 1986. which adds to the degree of their indeterminacy. Arabic employs a diversity of modal expressions which can effectively capture the shades of meaning encapsulated in English modals. however. On the other hand. This indeterminacy is so clear when dealing with decontextualized sentences but often disappears when locating utterances within their relevant contexts. which ranges between factuality (e. Lyons 1977. deontic modality views the proposition at hand in terms of necessity. Perkins 1983. would indicate which reading is intended. Moreover. Halliday (1970:335) maintains that modality is "a form of participation by the speaker in the speech event. For example. In contrast with the modals may and 63 . Through modality the speaker associates with the thesis an indication of its status and validity in his own judgment. should pay utmost care when translating modality from English into Arabic. deontic modality views language as "action" (Palmer 1986). therefore. This challenge is most manifested when rendering English modals because these modals introduce a subjective parameter to the referential meaning whereby the speaker/writer includes his/her own attitude toward the proposition in terms certainty and/or necessity. The flight leaves at midnight) and possibility (e.g. concludes that. 1. the modal may denotes permission when used deontically (as in 'He may turn the TV on'). John may leave now). the same modal will have an epistemic reading when the time reference is past (as in 'He may have turned the TV on'). among others) divide English modals into two basic categories: epistemic and deontic modals. while epistemic modality looks at language as "information". The translator. most authors (Halliday 1970. which ranges between strong obligation (e. epistemic modality involves the speaker's/writer's judgment of the proposition he is putting forward in terms of certainty. For example.g. the speaker/writer becomes an evaluator of the transmitted information in the process of communication. including modals. John must leave now) and permission (e. he intrudes and takes up a position”. the task of rendering the meaning of sentences involving auxiliary verbs becomes more challenging to the translator. while English possesses a highly grammaticalized system of modality. The context of the utterance. In addition. the individual sentence 'The road may be closed' may trigger an epistemic or deontic interpretation. Coates 1983. are employed in verb groups to add nuances of meaning which relate to the entire state of affairs in the sentence. Thus. Essentially. English and Arabic Modals The verb constitutes the most important element in a sentence because its main function is to relate the arguments in the sentence together in order to produce meaningful propositions. the above authors usually address the issue of indeterminacy in English modals. While lexical verbs do this function quite straightforwardly. the interpretation of English modals is largely affected by the grammatical category of time reference.g. On the one hand. The same is true for the modal must. The flight may leave at midnight).g. which are considered the backbone of discourse. In this way. whereas it takes an epistemic reading when the time reference is past (as in 'He must have done his assignment'). and should view zero equivalents as adequate only in few cases where the import is not affected.

and yanbaγii ‫' ن غ‬should'. The authors usually engage in listing English modal verbs and their possible Arabic counterparts (e. Al-Qinai 2008. However. must and rubamaa ‫ رصاا‬vs. must and yumkinu ‫ اا‬vs. and the deontic parameter to may vs. A more holistic approach (Zayed 1984) reduces the epistemic parameter in English and Arabic to may vs. yumkinu ‫' اا‬may/might'. etc. Modality in Arabic involves a mixed bag of modal expressions rather that a neat category of modal auxiliary verbs. lexical verbs such as yuħtamalu ‫' ح ال‬be possible' and yastalzimu ‫' س لزم‬require'.g. la alla ‫' لعل‬may/might' and alaa ‫' على‬must'. John is allowed to come in now'. Examples may include 'I can do it vs. Wided 2010) take the neat system of English modals as a point of departure when approaching Arabic modality from a linguistic and/or translational perspective. In fact. This bag includes modal verbs such as yajibu ‫' جب‬must'. This elaborate array and mixed bag of Arabic modal expressions may have been the reason why modality had not been a subject of grammatical analysis in the otherwise comprehensive medieval Arabic grammar (for more details. Accounts of English modality overwhelmingly focus on grammatical rather than lexical modality. respectively.must. Therefore. El-Hassan 1990. I'm obligated to go'. I'm able to do it'. the modal should maintains the same nuance of meaning when the time reference is changed to past. 'I have to go vs. this does not mean that English lacks lexical modal resources: it just means that the grammatical category of modals is more efficient and handier than the lexical counterpart. laa budda ‫و ص‬. For example. one may find a lexical counterpart for every modal auxiliary. b. This being the case. prepositional phrases min-l-mumkini ‫د‬ ‫' الااا‬may/might' and min-l-waajibi ‫' د الواجب‬should'. as can be seen below: a. Abdel-Fattah 2005. see ElHassan 1990). Epistemic modality Weak __________________________ Strong ‫رصاا‬ ‫وص‬ Deontic modality 64 . The general conclusion of these studies is that Arabic lacks a highly grammaticalized system of modals although it possesses the lexico-grammatical means to capture all modal nuances in discourse. 'John may come in now vs. most recent studies of Arabic modality (Zayed 1984. the deontic interpretation is preserved in the sentences 'He should do his assignment' and 'He should have done his assignment'. yajibu ‫ جب‬. Unlike English. the notion of modality in English can be said to be predominantly grammatical in terms of usage. thus making it visible that the two types of modality exist in different degrees from weak to strong. Farghal and Shunnaq 1999/2011. See Abdel-Fattah 2005 and Al-Qinai 2008) in terms of epistemic and deontic modality. De Haan (1997: 50) rightly improves on zayed's typology by presenting each two items on separate continua. particles/prepositions such as qad ‫ص‬ 'may/might'. This is reasonably justified by the fact that English has a neat system of English modal verbs which manage to grammaticalize meaning in an efficient manner. respectively.

The following Table shows the frequencies and distribution of English modals and Arabic zero equivalents: English Modal Shall must Should Would Frequency 35 28 25 20 % 21% 16. this approach is based on modalistic generalizations without going into the details.95% 15. the English modal may in the sentence John may be at home may be rendered by many Arabic modal expressions. and regardless of the way we approach modality. etc.5%) in the corpus. It was published along with the English text where the Arabic translation is given on the opposite pages of the English original. The Arabic translation was made by Abdurrazak Al-Khaffaji (2008) by Dar Al-Bihar. we must realize the fact that modal expressions inject our utterances with a personal perspective that incorporates context-dependent nuances of the notions of certainty and necessity. Lebanon. Rather.95% 17. it is not in the latter case. including yumkinu.8% 15% 12% Zero Equivalent 7 7 6 7 65 % 17. This does not mean that we cannot use more than one modal expression for the same purpose. whereas laa budda ‫ و ص‬is viewed as exclusively epistemic. la ala. on the contrary. The number of Arabic zero equivalents for English modals is 39 (23. the addition or deletion of a modal expression in an utterance will most likely result in marring the intended meaning in translation activity. The choice of Macbeth has been motivated by the length of the play (being the shortest of Shakespeare's plays). yajibu ‫ جب‬is taken to be exclusively deontic. The study will confine itself to the English modals that have been lost in Arabic translation. Results The play contains 166 English modal verbs. 2.38% 17. Corpus and Procedure The present paper is a case study of the rendition of English modals in Macbeth into Arabic by zero equivalents. qad. it aims to show the discrepancy created when overlooking an English modal in an Arabic rendition.‫اا‬ Weak ___________________________Strong ‫جب‬ Clearly. Therefore. min-al-mumkini. To conclude this section. see Farghal 2012: 102-104)). Further. ease of reference (the translation being bilingual) and the relative recency of the publication. In this way. it does not aim to examine the accuracy of rendering English modals by Arabic modal expressions in this play.95% . see Badran 2001). While this is true in the former case. the intensive use of modals. it is the case that multiple modal expressions sharing the same nuance (whether epistemic or deontic) may replace each other both intralingually (within the same language) or interlingually (across two languages). because laa budda can function both epistemically and deontically (compare laa budda ‫׳‬anna-hu majnuun-un ‫' و ص أ ه دجنون‬He must be crazy' with laa budda ‫׳‬an ‫׳‬adrusa-l-yawma ‫' و ص أن أورس اليوم‬I must study today' (for more details. the shift from one modal in one category to another modal in a different category in translation usually distorts the nuanced import of an utterance (for more details. For example. Beirut. For example. 3.

and the loss in epistemic modality is negligible. could and might. . In terms of translation. The main concern will be on the study items (i. This rendering sounds as natural as laakinni sa‫׳‬astamiiħuka uðran ،‫' لان وأو ايح عهرا‬But I shall crave your pardon'. shall.. and should are the most frequent in the play accounting for almost 53% of the total number.2 must The modal must is the second most frequent in the play (16.4% 2.38% 5. which are highlighted in boldface.e. That is why the translator can readily omit it and have the Present Simple form replace the English verb group without seriously affecting the translation in Arabic. In the following example. must.12% 0% 5. as can be seen below (Back translations are squarebracketed): 66 . 4. The following discussion will examine some examples of zero equivalents of English modal verbs to see the impact they leave on the Arabic renditions. 219 / Malcolm to Macduff).. This can explain the translator's option for the Arabic zero equivalents (7/35) for this epistemically strong English modal.12% 4.12% 5. The deletion of this modal in Arabic translation seriously impacts the meaning. English modal verbs and their Arabic renditions) and other segments in the translation will be relevant only if they relate to the rendering of modal verbs. It should be noted that the use of the Arabic Present Simple form shows a negligible epistemic extra strength than the English counterpart. may. The rest of the occurrences are claimed by will. Discussion The above table shows that the modal verbs shall. They are followed by would and can which account for 24% of the total.8%) and is translated by Arabic zero equivalents seven times (7/28).6% 5. as can be illustrated below: But I shall crave your pardon.Can Will May Could Might Total 20 14 11 9 4 166 12% 8.1 shall The modal verb shall displays a high degree of certainty that comes very close to factuality. the English segment 'But I shall crave your pardon' is rendered as laakinni ٫astamiiħuka uðran ،‫' لان أو ايح عهرا‬But I crave your pardon'. which account for almost 23%.4% 6. that which are my thoughts cannot transpose. though the brightest fell … (p. must and would (which register a high frequency of occurrence in the data) account for a little more than 50% of the number of Arabic zero equivalents. Thus. ‫فالاًئا دا تزال ودع رغ أن ألاعاا ص موى‬ ‫أفاار‬ ‫ دا أ ت عليه ل تغي‬:،‫لان أو ايح عهرا‬.4% 6 2 0 2 2 39 15. angels are still bright. the deontic modality exhibited by the modal must is erroneously omitted in the Arabic rendition. with will being in the lead and might the least occurring. 4.

3 should This modal claims 25 occurrences in the play (15%). Thus. albeit very little.163) . our monuments shall become in the maws of kites] In this example. hardly should any profit bring me back here again] The hypothetical proposition in this translation parallels the degree of assertiveness in the source text. the sense of obligation is completely lost.‫ إن كان ال بد لنواو سنا وص ور ا إعاو د وفنا ألص حت أض ا نا ف اواصل الح آت‬ [If our charnel-houses and our graves had to bring back those we buried. It would leave some room. ‫ فاا د داسب عي إلى منا ثا ي‬،‫ ع و سينان وا ا‬،‫لو كنت صعي ا‬ [[Aside] Were I from Duninane away and free. negated proposition which can be back-translated into 'no profit brings me back here'. 67 . opts for a definitive. Consider the following example which includes a subtle use of should: [Aside] Were I from Dunsinane away and clear.‫لو أن وا يسنا وص ور ا تعي د وفنا ألص حت أض ا نا ف اواصل الح آت‬ [If our charnel-houses and our graves bring back those that we buried. To capture this nuance by Macbeth. as can be seen below: . The translator opts for omitting the nuance added by the embedded deontic modality within the hypothetical conditional clause while keeping the clause itself. …] 4. (p. 6 of which are translated by Arabic zero equivalents. ‫ لصعب على داسب أن عي إلى منا ثا ي‬،‫ ع و سينان وا ا‬،‫لو كنت صعي ا‬ [Were I from Duninane away and free. (p. i. the clitic Arabic particle la along with the rendition of the negative adverb hardly can be employed as below: . no profit brings me back here again] The above example involves a subtle interaction between the modal verb should and the negative adverb hardly in order to signal a hypothetical state of affairs which is less definitive than a negated proposition without should. Hence. the modality in the translation amounts to factuality (the highest degree of epistemic modality). whereas this room is completely eliminated in Khaffaj's translation. our monuments shall be the maws of kites.If charnel-houses and our graves must send those that we bury back. Macbeth (addressing the ghost of Banquo) embeds deontic modality that involves strong obligation in a conditional clause. profit would not tempt Macbeth to come back. The translator. To capture the combination of hypothetical conditionality and obligation. …] . the accompanying nuance is rendered adequately. for Macbeth to be tempted by profit. which distorts the nuanced meaning. however. As can be seen.‫ إن كان يجب على واو سنا وص ور ا إعاو د وفنا ألص حت أض ا نا ف اواصل الح آت‬ [If our charnel-houses and our graves had to bring back those we buried.e. profit again should hardly draw me here. This contrasts with the less assertive degree of modality in the source text (ST). 271) ]‫[جا ا‬. the translator should employ either the deontic Arabic yajibu ‫ جب‬or laa budda ‫ و ص‬in the hypothetical condition.

as well as the modality of must (which is not the study item here) is captured: .4 would The modal verb would occurs 20 times in the play (12%) and claims 7 zero equivalents out of the 39 instances (17. meaning that there might be a situation where 'some foul things do not wear the brows of grace'. which only occurs 4 times in the play. Taken its frequency in the play into consideration. it emerges as the modal that undergoes deletion more than any other modal (7/39) if we exclude might. Consequently they do not need to wear the brows of grace because grace would become what they say or do. However. yastatii u 'can/may' and their kin modal expressions. The frequent deletion of would may be explained by the fact that it occupies a weak position on the scale of epistemic modality. 4. Arabic also manifests the same kind of ambiguity in the use of the modal verbs yumkinu and.5 can The modal verb can shows the same frequency as would in the play (20 occurences) and lags only by one instance in the number of zero equivalents (6/39). of which two receive zero equivalents. the nuances added to the import of propositions by this modal should be maintained in translation. yet grace must still look so. thus marring the modality in the text. both English and Arabic employ can and yumkinu respectively to indicate prohibition (deontic modality) and impossibility (epistemic modality). This modal is often ambiguous between a deontic ability/permission reading and an epistemic possibility reading in which the context plays a key role in preferring one reading to the other. the deletion of this modal will seriously distort the intended message. The modal would in this context allows some room for the non-realization of the proposition in unspecified circumstances.‫رغ أن األشيا ال يئ قد ت ل س صساات ال اا فال بد لل اا أن تحافظ على فساا‬ [Though the foul things may wear the brows of grace. Witness how the nuance of impossibility introduced by the modal can in Macduff's utterance is erroneously disposed of in the Arabic translation below: 68 .4. yet grace remains intact and does not change] Unjustifiably. Below is a suggested translation where the modality of would. to a lesser extent. A logical reason for such a thing to happen would be that such foul things have grown so powerful and influential that they fear nothing and no one. In negative sentences. it does nuance the import of a proposition by significantly lowering the degree of certainty. as can be witnessed in the Arabic rendition of Malcolm's statement below: Though all things foul would wear the brows of the grace. (p. Thus.95%). 221 / Malcolm to Macduff) . yet grace must remain preserve itself[ A simple comparison between Khafaji’s rendition and the one suggested here can clearly show the translation loss caused by rendering English modal verbs by zero equivalents.‫رغ أن األشيا ال يئ ت ل س صساات ال اا غي أن ال اا تظل فساا وو ت ل‬ [Though the foul things wear the brows of grace. the Arabic translation changes the weak degree of epistemic modality introduced by would into factuality introduced by the Simple Present form (tatalabbasu ‫' ت ل س‬wear') instead of the nuanced (qad tatalabbasu ‫' ص ت ل س‬may wear'). Therefore.

4. Following is an illustrative example: What will you do? (p. which alternatively translates into maaðaa sa-taf alu ‫' داذا و فعل‬What will you do?' Both renderings capture the intended meaning of the utterance. ‫ا ى ف جحافل الجحي ال مي ال يمكن ظاور شيطان فوق دا ث ف ش ور‬ . This back-translation reflects the modality-nuanced tone in the ST. and. whereas might normally takes a possibility reading alone. Both forms can functionally replace this modal with a negligible difference in the degree of epistemic modality. could usually carries a combination of ability and possibility reading. The following extract instantiates both modals.Not in the legions of horrid hell can come a devil more damn'd in evils to top Macbeth. ‫ا ى ف جحافل الجحي ال مي يستحيل ظاور شيطان فوق دا ث ف ش ور‬ Both renderings can be back-translated as [Not even in the legions of horrid hell can appear a devil that surpasses Macbeth in his evils]. To capture the proper tone. In this way. should be rendered in Arabic translation. as can be seen in the renderings below: . the translator should relay the modality in the ST. the Arabic translation neutralizes the message by asserting that the state of affairs simply does not exist. the Arabic rendering dampens the argumentative tone in Macduff's utterance as a result of deleting the modal can. which receive zero equivalents in the Arabic rendering: 69 .7 could and might The modals could and might have 9 and 4 occurrences respectively in the play and both undergo deletion two times. will (just like shall) may be replaced with other forms (i. ( p.e. It occurs 14 times in the play and receives zero equivalents only in two cases. 115 / Malcolm to Donalbain) ‫داذا أ ت فاعل؟‬ [What you doing?] The use of the present participle form faa ilun ‫' فاعل‬doing' nearly captures the use of will in the ST's utterance. each in its own way.6 will The modal verb will is comparable to shall in its epistemic strength. the present simple and the present participle) that exhibit a slightly higher degree of epistemic modality. 4.223) . In this way. therefore. In the subjunctive mood.‫ليس ف جحافل الجحي ال مي د شيطان دلعون ف ش ور أكة د دا ث‬ [Not in the legions of horrid hell exists a devil damned in evils more than Macbeth] * * While Macduff conveys the message that the state of affairs in his utterance is impossible to take place. Both modals significantly shade the propositions in which they are employed. in which the Present Simple form or the Present Participle form is employed. which is completely missed in Khaffaj’s translation above.

and catch with his surcease success.. and reap with his surcease success. For its turn. Conclusion Despite the fact that Arabic modality is not as grammaticalized as English modality. proves 70 . which can be back-translated as 'If the assassination trammels up the consequence'. the Arabic modal encapsulates a combination of ability and possibility reading just like the English modal could. The nuance introduced by might can be captured by a variety of Arabic modal expressions. 67 / monologue by Macbeth) . ‫إن كان يمكن لًغ يال أن ؤك الن يج‬. the twin member of might. might in the above extract carries a possibility reading which is completely lost in the Arabic translation.. This fact. To capture the hypothetical condition. as can be seen below.… if the assassination could trammel up the consequence. Arabic proves to possess a myriad of modal expressions which enhance stylistic variation in translating from English into Arabic. Interestingly.. Notably.e. which occurs 7 times more than might (i.‫ولو أ ه يحتمل أن تاون مه الح ص م الال والقاضي على الال منا‬    The availability of a host of Arabic modal expressions that can relay the slight possibility in the English segment leaves no reason for the translator to render it by zero equivalent whereby the degree of epistemic modality is seriously distorted. thus moving from slight possibility to complete certainty. Arabic does not distinguish between may and might in translation: they both indicate slight possibility. however. 5. hence it must be preserved in Arabic. thus allowing room for its realization in the future. the hypothetical condition is rendered as a real condition in Arabic. ‫إن كان اوغ يال ؤك الن يج و حي صهل النجا ولو أن مه الح ص م الال والقاضي على الال منا‬ [… if the assassination was trammeling up the consequence. among others: ‫ولو أن مه الح ص قد تاون م الال والقاضي على الال منا‬ ‫ولو أ ه من الممكن أن تاون مه الح ص م الال والقاضي على الال منا‬ . the modal may. and if this blow is the be-all and the end-all here] It is unfortunate that the ability/possibility reading of could in the English conditional clause is lost in the Arabic rendering. 11 occurrences) in the play does not receive any zero equivalents. The data analyzed in this study shows clearly how damaging the nuances of English modality can be when the translator fails to capture them in Arabic translation. It could be that the translator felt that the epistemic degree of may is higher than that of might.5%) in the play. is of minimal value if the translator fails to properly understand the modal system of English and the fine distinctions that each modal displays in context. Therefore. the modal could should rendered in Arabic as: . this does not justify the deletion of might in Arabic. the zero equivalent strategy. that this blow might be the be-all and end-all here … (p. In this way. While it is true that the location of might is lower than that of may on the epistemic English scale. it has been changed into a factuality reading.. As a matter of fact. which is employed in 39 instances (23.

seriously inadequate in most cases when put under close scrutiny. which may be replaced by the Arabic Present Simple or Present Participleforms without affecting modalistic realities. The only exceptions are the epistemic English modals will and shall. 71 .


Therefore. neither does it try to find answers and solutions to the difficulties faced by such computer-aided systems of translation. it has become a necessity to make use of the available tools to save time and cost by utilizing MT to produce draft assimilated compatible versions of the original texts in the Source Language (SL) that still need the expertise of the human translator to revise and make them ready for publication.Semantic/Syntactic Hurdles in Machine and Student Translation Mohammed Farghal & Adnan Gergeos Abstract The present article addresses itself to some subtle English syntactic features that present formidable problems to both Machine Translation (MT) and Student Translation (ST) into Arabic. It is well known that computer-aided systems of translation cannot aspire to gain authenticity and universal acceptability without the help of professional human translators (Hutchins 2001). Rather. In particular. This paper doesn't aim to analyze or evaluate the mechanisms and shortcomings of the existing systems of MT. With the-state-of-the-art technology and progress made in the domain of information and computer sciences. Introduction Despite the tremendous progress that has been made in the field of Machine Translation (MT). hence the initial skepticism and fear of MT replacing and discarding human translators is by far a mere illusion. 1. wherever possible. First. Next. marked stylistic inversion and subject deletion prove problematic in this respect. the paper offers ample evidence from MT and ST indicating that word order variation affecting the basic English word order SVO may cause fatal damage to both machine and student translators. human aid by professional translators is still required to post-edit and revise poor quality outputs of MT texts that are not suitable for publication (Meijer 1993. or what is commercially known now as Translation Software (TS). it deals with the recognition of variation in parts of speech. Third. Finally. showing that polysemous and/or homonymous syntactic categories may cause serious interpretation problems to both machine and student translators. structural ambiguity at phrase and sentence level is shown to create interpretation difficulties in translation activity. Feder 2003). in the past 50 years or so. it aims to survey and show the semantic/syntactic complexities and subtleties of natural language that may obstruct the perfection of advanced systems of MT and hinder the performance of student translators trying to find their way into the profession of translation. a comparison is made between the 73 . parenthetical structures in English sentences are argued to trigger reference and focus mishaps in MT and ST alike.

g. dirty (adj) and dirty (V). Consider the example in (1) below. both renditions fail to recognize the correct part of speech of the word covers and. (2 ( 3‫ ) و‬H .machine’s output and the student translator’s output in English into Arabic translation. N. Adv. idiomatic expressions and metaphors by treating them as fixed units (Hutchins 1991).ajeeb. the syntax of the sentence in (1) makes it clear that covers is used as a verb rather than a noun. structurally ambiguous phrases and sentences. www. Syntactically. giving rise to the paralleled coordinated verbs ‘H represents… and covers…’.) in English discourse is an important aspect of reading comprehension. V. It should be noted that while the ST adopts an erroneous linear/literal rendition of the 74 . etc. ‫) وإتش اةل ااجات ال تيب األعلى واا ام الهات األغطي ال وصعات الطاواات ورو ال ّ عاص‬ ‫ طلكككب اوا ياجكككات وال غطيككك وا ككك ام الكككهات وال وصعكككات والطاكككو واسككك فااكككه وإوراككككه‬،‫تاةكككل ارتفكككا‬ As can be seen. 2. etc. some syntactic features are still causing interpretation problems for computers and student translators alike (Lewis 1997). proves impenetrable to MT and some student translators. and covers It is interesting to note that the capability of MT can be compared to the developing translational competence of student translators. parenthetical structures and word order variation can pose serious problems to both MT and student translators. The recognition of the part of speech in English discourse. and authentic translations made by senior Arab students in the College of Languages and Translation at King Saud University and the Department of English at Kuwait University. call (V) and call (N). Adj.akuwait. which is a pre-requisite for professional translation activity. Despite the fact that computer-aided systems of translation may be able to implement tools to handle difficulties related to Conversion.g. give an inaccurate translation. which is dependent on the accompanying co-text and context. ambitions and sense of humor. ‫لل عاص‬ . doesn’t involve the introduction of affixes when changing the part of speech of a word. along with its MT in (2) and student translation (ST) in (3): (1) And H represents Higher Order needs. e. which is a highly productive word formation process in English. The confusion comes from the fact that the word covers can potentially function as a plural noun or as a verb in the present tense form.e. expectations. The corpus in this study is drawn from MT outputs of some Internet online services that provide immediate translations of miscellaneous short sentences and texts (e. as a result. www. Parts of Speech The successful identification of parts of speech (i. However. It will be shown that subtle syntactic knowledge involving parts of speech. there should not have been any sort of confusion since the conjunction and precedes the word covers.

‫خلف مه الالاات‬ ‫) أكاذ ب كةي‬ On the one hand. which are identical word forms that do not relate to each other in meaning. much work is still needed in both MT and ST in this area. the verb (head) in the predicate should be assigned the correct sense. It should be noted that human professional translators have managed to automate such conscious syntactic knowledge in translation activity. However. lies. problems may arise within the same part of speech rather than across parts of speech as in the examples above. which is an important layout feature in English. whether it is a machine or a human analyzer. bears witness to this: (4) Much lies behind those words. Finally. (5. though erroneous. ‫الحّااي‬ 75 ‫) ا ائق صوش ال ّش‬ . Second. capitalization. The failure to identify the correct part of speech resulting from conversion as in (1) above may be further complicated by the existence of English homonyms. the sentence should be broken down into a Subject and a Predicate. i. (7 ‫اول كا ي ا العاصا األو اليّ ص ص لت ثًث أشخاص و و ّد ت الائات د ال يوت ف‬ . meaning ‘is found’. the word lies may function as a verb and a noun (which mean ‘not to tell the truth’ and ‘the plural noun of lie’. ‘is found’.e. For example. which were entangled within one of the irrelevant interpretations. On the other hand. illustrates this point: (6) Bush fires raging around the Australian capital Canberra have killed three people and destroyed hundreds of suburban homes. This may point to a serious need to sensitize MT systems to the ’iḍaafah construction in Arabic whereby the impossible MT rendition above would be replaced with a possible. taken from a newspaper political article. The following example in (4). Clearly. The example in (6). ‫ أغطي إا ام الهات‬. being insensitive to the syntax of the sentence. both interpretations are irrelevant in example (4). The syntax of (4) calls for three consecutive steps on the part of the interpreter. Further. First. just like covers in example (1) above. the analyzer should be aware of selectional restrictions rules which require a non-count noun after the quantifier ‘much’ in order to rule out the interpretation of ‘lies’ as a noun. hence the impossibility of the MT rendition of the said phrase. which comes from a completely different semantic field. rendition. the MT takes the second item as the head noun. along with its identical MT and ST in (5). However. respectively). viz. this further complicates the task of MT and ST. viz. may neutralize the difference between a proper name (which is always written with a capital initial regardless of its position in a sentence) and a common noun (which can be written with a capital initial only at the beginning of a sentence).phrase ‘covers self-esteem’. along with its MT and ST in (7) and (8). the relevant interpretation stems from a homonym of both forms.

the coincidence between the common noun bush with a capital initial at the beginning of the sentence and the popular proper name Bush (the present President of the United States) creates serious confusion for both the machine and student translators. For example. the machine produced a fine output as shown in (9) below: (9 ‫اول كا ي ا العاصا األو اليّ ص ص لت ثًث أشخاص و و ّد ت الائات د ال يوت ف‬ . Problems may arise from the lack of explicit markers of such relationships. runs into more serious problems as a result of rejecting a literal rendition of the lexeme fires in combination with the erroneously selected proper name interpretation because of its clear oddness insofar as world knowledge is concerned. though sensical.‫وود ت فياا دئات الانارل الواصع صحوااياا‬ As can be noted. something which is. new software for a computer) In languages which are highly inflectional like Arabic. when given the sentence with an initial small letter of the noun bush. The MT output. Interestingly. being misguided by the capital letter in the noun. ‫الحّااي‬ ‫) ا ائق األا اش ال ّش‬ 3. At the phrase level. accepting things at face value regardless of congruence with world knowledge. (10) New computer software (11) [ [New computer] [software] ] (i. the student translator creatively improvises a far-fetched. metaphorical interpretation of the lexeme fires. in the English sequence ‘adjective-nounnoun’ in (10).e. inaccessible to the machine translator. because in many other languages like Arabic these relationships are usually expressed by case endings or prepositions. apparently.e. the adjective can modify either the first noun (11) or the second noun (12). Both MT and ST in (7) and (8) above base their translations on an irrelevant interpretation of the noun Bush.(8 ‫را ضحا اما ثًث‬ ‫أشخاص‬ ‫وصعت ف العاصا األو الي كا ي ا ال‬ ‫) غحب ال ئيس صوش صشأن الايي ال‬ . however. noun compounds in English may contain head nouns modified by other nouns functioning as quasi-adjectives. Structural Ambiguity Structural ambiguity manifests itself at both phrase and sentence levels in natural language. suffers solely from that fatal decision. such phrases are usually not ambiguous because they are often clearly marked for number and gender as follows: (13) baraamija ḥaasuub-in jadiid-in 76 . The ST output. software for a new computer) (12) [New [computer software]] (i. Consequently.

lack of more sophisticated world knowledge and insensitivity to the context may cause some student translators to produce far-fetched. The example in (15). Another ambiguity-creating sequence in English is the phrase featuring ‘Adjective-nounconjunction-noun’. however. along with its MT and ST in (16) and (17). some cases still require the knowledge about the things and events being referred to. 77 . e. basic world knowledge proves accessible to student translators but opaque to machine translators. ‘tall boys and girls’.software-f-pl computer-m-sg-gen new-m-sg-gen "Software for a new computer" ḥaasub-in (14) baraamija software-f-pl jadiid-at-in computer-m-sg-gen new-f-pl-gen "New software for computers" As can be seen. Predictably. as can be illustrated in (18). the denotation of the phrase in (18) above should be crystal clear. Lacking appropriate interlingual socio-political world knowledge in the said context. hence the two readings. The context and our knowledge of the world around us are extremely important tools for the translator that may help clarify certain rather ambiguous situations. illustrates this point: (15) Pregnant women and men (of course only women can be pregnant) (16)‫النسا وال جال الحادًت‬ (17)‫النسا الحوادل وال جال‬ However. the gender agreement on the Arabic adjective disambiguates the phrase above by indicating gender agreement with either the singular noun or the plural noun. these student translators fell victim to fatal translational mishaps. translations. even ridiculous. along with its ST in (19) below: (18) The Occupied West Bank (19)‫ال ن الغ ص الاشغول‬ In a passage talking about Palestinians and their occupied lands.g. Although it is possible to resolve certain ambiguities in the SL by semantic features and roles as well as syntactic information.

fall short of explaining certain types of ambiguity which need a great deal of experience in translation activity. . In many cases. Aside from the mastery of the two languages involved in the process of translation. the source of ambiguity in (20) can be schematized in (23) and (24) below (Georges & Barakat 2000): (23) We can fish S Modal V Lexical V can fish Lexical V NP (24) We S 78 . ‘We can go fishing’ rather than the less common interpretation. Syntactically. yet meaning is highly dependent on grammar. and can as a lexical verb.At the sentence level. hence the wrong translation.e.e. is mainly concerned with the process of transferring relevant meaning (Gutt 1996. the MT and many student translators were not able to grasp the difference between can as a modal verb. ‫) اا أن يطاو ف دين صغي‬22( Despite the fact that the co-text in the sentence in (21) rules out the interpretation ‘We can go fishing’. it is a well-known fact in modern linguistic theory that grammaticality is never determined by meaning. i. Translation. polysemous and/or homonymous words enter into ambiguous syntactic relations in sentences. however. a skill or a science. prior syntactic knowledge constitutes an essential element. along with the elicited translation in (22): (21) We can fish in a small factory. Structural ambiguity at the sentence level is not always captured by machine and student translators. Both student and machine translators managed to offer a translation congruent with the more common reading of the sentence. be it an art. as can be illustrated in (21) below. However. as can be illustrated (20) below: (20) We can fish. Farghal 2004) from a SL into a Target Language (TL). ‘We put fish in cans’. Although a given context may illustrate the required meaning. MT as well as many student translators could not cope with the relevant interpretation when the sentence was disambiguated. it may. i.

occupying the nominal object position.These two different structural representations give rise to two different semantic interpretations as well. without using any semantic information. as (29) and (30) clearly show.‫) صام صز ار لجي ا ه‬ Apparently.e. ( 30. ‫ايل ذل خًل ر ار اقل صام ص ف ثانه الشيخ دحا‬ However. syntactic operations may render sentences opaque to both machine and student translators.. This example indicates that it is in fact possible for homonyms to be disambiguated by syntactic analysis.. Consider the syntactic operation affecting the English collocation pay a visit in (25) below. which proved problematic for MT (26) and many student translators (27) and (28): (25) This came during a field visit paid by Sheikh Mohammed to the General directorate for patrols and the General Security Sector…… (26) . yet it is part of the verbal slot in (23) and outside the verbal slot in (24). ‫مها جا أثنا ر ار دي ان د فوع د ص ل شيخ‬ (27) . ‫جا مها أثنا ر ار د فوع ال االيف د ص ل‬ (28). as can be seen in (30) below: (29) He paid a visit to his neighbors.. whereas in (24) can is a transitive lexical verb that subcategorizes a direct object fish. the output was correct. syntax interferes with the interpretation of semantic units that are otherwise straightforwardly understood.. i. Despite the fact that fish in both interpretations occupies the same structural position after can. This clearly shows that words occupying similar structural positions do not necessarily have the same grammatical functions. In (23) can (a modal auxiliary verb) and the lexical verb fish form the combination meaning ‘the ability to go fishing’. Once again.. the syntactic operations of passivization and relative clause reduction in (25) are to blame for the erroneous renditions in (26)-(28) rather than the collocation pay a visit itself. when an active voice sentence (29) involving the same collocation was administered to the machine and student translators. Parenthetical Structures 79 .. 4. Apart from structural ambiguity proper. hence the meaning ‘putting fish in tins or cans’.

this reflects lack of semantic knowledge on the part of machine and some student translators that the relative pronoun which can only refer to inanimate referents such as Yemen Times. as is clear in the sample translation (32): (31) Al Saqqaf. publisher and editor-in-chief of the Yemen Times. both the MT and the sample STs above twist the focus in the packaging of information by using the non-finite verb in the subordinate phrase. These examples show clearly that both MT and ST still need further work in the area of subordinated structures. which is found within the parenthetical phrase. which is seen as vanguard of press freedom in the country … ّ ‫طليع ا ّ ّ ال‬ (32. instead of the correct antecedent Yemen Times. along with its MT in (38) and a sample ST in (39).. but not in ST: 80 . which lies outside the parenthetical phrase.‫ عام‬1666 ‫ف اليي دنه‬ ‫) الشا اله‬ ‫ع ق أ ه دفي لليح ألول د‬ ‫) اك شف الشا اله‬ Other things being equal. Further confusion may be induced by the erroneous use of the subject of the parenthetical phrase as the subject of the main clause in both MT and ST.e.The corpus shows that reference interpretation in sentences including parenthetical structures may be problematic to both MT and some student translators. the relative pronoun which is mistakenly interpreted as referring back to the antecedent Al-Saqqaf. below is an example in (37).)‫) الساكااف(السقاف‬ As can be seen. ّ ‫ ص اُ ْع ُقب أن اون دفي لا ّ طو ل إلى ال‬. ‫ ون‬1666 ‫ع ق أ ه دفي لليح اك شف ف اليي ص ل‬ (36. ‫ي ّح‬ (35. Also. ‫ ون‬1666 ‫ ف اليّي دنه‬،‫ أ ّوو‬. first discovered in China 5000 years ago. i. ‫يحاف ف ال ل‬ ‫ع‬ ‫اليا تا از اله‬ the ‫ النّاش و رئيس تح‬. Consider the MT in (34) and the STs in (35) and (36) of the sentence in (33) below: (33) The tea. The example in (31) gives rise to misinterpreting reference relating to a non-defining adjective phrase relating to the subject of the main clause. ‫) اك شف ال ّشا‬ (34. Before closing this section. discovered as the verb of the main clause instead of the correct verb has been thought. has long been thought to be beneficial to health.. which shows that subordinate clauses may cause wrong gender agreement in MT.

(38 ‫ إلى ذل‬،ً‫إ ه الطّفل كان د ااث‬. she said. informal subject deletion in declaratives and initial gerundive and participial phrases may create serious interpretation problems in both MT and ST. Being transparent to native speakers of Arabic.e. Type II and Type III English conditional sentences may stylistically delete the conditional marker if and. are effectively derivable from categorial labels such as NP. (Chomsky 1965 and his subsequent works). and consequently creates serious challenges to MT and ST alike. gender agreement was not affected by the parenthetical clause in the ST in (39). On the one hand. SVO is the result of transformations that belong to the transformational component which supplements the base component in generating English grammatical sentences.(37) The baby's father. I would have accompanied you. Therefore. This syntactic operation confuses both MT and ST. 5. ‫ كان اا أن أصاا‬،‫) كان ل ى مو ليس كان د أخ ج ا‬ (42) Had the president known this. Among these transformations.‫إن‬. would soon travel to Brazil to offer scientists proof that the baby's DNA was identical to that of a deceased sibling. any change in the English basic word order.‫) أ الطّفل‬ . i. as a result. (41. below: (40) Had it not been too late. Similarly. he wouldn't have given them the permission to do 81 . as can be illustrated in (40) and (42). etc. Predicate. ‫ إلى ال ار ل لع ض العلاا ال ّ ليل أن و‬، ‫ و ساف ص ا‬. Word Order English is mostly a configurational language in which the position of the constituent mainly indicates the grammatical function. hence the major claim by Transformational Grammar that functional labels such as Subject. inversion constitutes one of the more common syntactic operations in English. ‫راال‬ ‫ألخ‬ ٍ (39 ‫) صالت إن أ الطفل ويساف إلى ال ار ل ليع ض على العلاا أن " و أن أ ه " الطفل د طاصقا د ص ه‬ .‫ال اال‬ Because of the intervening clause. hence it poses no challenge to MT and ST. inversion is highly standardized and straightforward in Yes/No questions and Wh-questions. inversion applies less frequently in stylistically marked constructions including conditionals and negative expressions. Subject-Auxiliary Inversion (SAI) obligatorily applies. On the other hand. PP. however. Direct Object. etc. VP. First.‫ صالت‬. along with their MT in (41) and ST in (43). there was a gender agreement or concord mismatch between the subject and the verb of the main clause in the MT in (38).

acquired over a lifetime of begging in the streets. consider the MT rendering in (45) of the conditional sentence in (44) below: (44) If he had known this in advance. By contrast.،‫د عا ال س ّول ف الشوار‬ ‫) صاور ل ع أن ت ق على صي اا اع فت صاد ًك د نيي آخ‬ ‫أكة‬ Other things being equal. she admitted owning two more buildings in working class districts of the capital. As is clear.‫) ع ف ال ئيس مها ل ا د الااا أن عطيا اإلذن لعال مها‬ As can be seen in (41) and (43). By way of illustration. Kofi Anan wouldn't have agreed to send the fact finding team to Jenin camp. Predictably. resulting in nonsensical renditions of the first part of the conditional sentences. 47) ‫ف دقاطعات ط ق الع ّاال للعاصا ايلت‬ . The MT rendering in (46) of the sentence in (44) is only illustrative: (46) No longer able to sustain her story. (43. the if-deletion and the subsequent SAI confused the machine as well as some student as the rendition makes it clear that the SL text is a conditional sentence. the gender agreement confusion at the beginning of the Arabic translation is an immediate consequence of the sentence initial negative expression in (46). it would be so difficult for the editor to figure out that the translations in (41) and (43) above are conditional sentences. Second. This contrasts with the unmarked position of negative expressions which are attracted by the auxiliary verb in the SVO word order. conditional sentences with the ordinary word order created less serious problems to the machine and student translators. ‫ كوف عنان ل ا د الااا أن فق أن ول ف ق تقي الحقائق لاعسا جني‬، ‫) إذا ص ع ف مها دق دا‬ Although the MT translation in (45) suffers many grammatical and lexical errors. That 82 . (45. it can be readily edited into an acceptable Arabic translation. the cause is the inversion in (44). sentence initial negative expressions obligatorily trigger SAI.

However. Apparently. Third.e. bears witness to that: (48) Given their supernatural powers. (49. the negative expression no longer able to is not marked for gender in English the way the noun phrase her story is.e. ‫ أ ا الاكون‬on the basis of the misinterpretation of their in the sentence initial participial phrase. of the confusion in the reference interpretation in (49) and (50) above. As a result. having committed the said mistake. along with its ST in (49) and MT in (50). 83 . ‫) على اع ار ص راتا الخارص للطّ يع‬ Both the ST and MT above misinterpreted the cataphor their by failing to cater for correct gender agreement with the referent in the main clause. Even worse. This may explain why MT does not operate inversion in (41) above where a finite subordinate clause is employed. sentence initial gerundive and participial phrases can cause problems to both MT and ST. The following participial phrase in (48). later on in the fronted adverbial phrase no longer able to sustain her story. the ST. ‫) على اع ار ص راتا الخارص للط يع فا غي الاهمل أ ا الاون جوام ذات أماي و ني ف الان‬ (50. hence the incongruence between ‫ صك راتا‬in the participial phrase and ‫ لك ى الجكوام‬in the main clause in (50).is. whereas MT was not. while machines can do things consecutively with little or no backtracking taking place in interpreting pronominals in discourse. fell victim to another interpretation problem whereby gender agreement is erroneously created in the main clause. Further. This may be explained by the fact that humans can backtrack and subsequently interpret forthcoming segments relevantly. if not most. inversion proves fatal to MT in both cases. it should be noted that anaphoric reference is more natural and common than cataphoric reference in Arabic discourse. the ST was sensitive to congruence in gender agreement in the participial phrase and the main clause. it is not surprising that jewels have deep religious significance in India. i. i. This discoursal mismatch may have caused some. it would be a good idea to instruct both MT and ST to change cataphoric reference to anaphoric reference when translating from English into Arabic. ‫ إ ّه غي دهمل أن ل ى الجوام دغزى و ن ّ عايق ف الان‬. As for the erroneous inversion performed by MT in (47). jewels. it may have to do with the presence of the non-finite subordinate clause. thus offering a worse interpretation than the MT.

The example in (51). In many cases. reference interpretation in parenthetical structures and word order variation may cause serious translation mishaps in MT and ST alike. structural ambiguity at phrase and sentence level. to remedy the MT deficiencies in this regard. are more relevant to interpreting than translating.‫و‬ ‫مو ليس كيعب كق‬ ‫) ص وت دعق (عقّ ت الوص ) ؟ ف الواص‬ ‫) تعقي ات اليوت؟ ف الواص صأ اا ليست صيع كاا‬ (54.‫و‬ ‫) تعق اليوت؟ ط يع إ ه ليس د اليعب كاا‬ Ignoring the second part in the text above. It has been shown that polysemous and/or homonymous parts of speech. translator trainers should shoulder the responsibility of bringing such syntactic subtleties to the consciousness of their student translators. both groups seriously lack sufficient syntactic knowledge relevant to syntactic operations which affect unmarked constructions in English. their trainers should bring to their attention such marginal structures that can be optimally natural in conversational English. the drastic change in the word order seems fatal. it should be noted. thus rendering them stylistically marked and. As for student translators. the machine should be made aware of subjectless declaratives/interrogatives. Apparently. An important finding of this study is the striking similarity between the syntactic errors committed by the machine and student translators. these problems produce incomprehensible renditions where heavy post-editing is needed. 6. illustrates this: (51) Sounds complicated? Actually. In the case of MT. Such informal features. the deletion of the dummy subject it in the declarative Yes/NO question rendered it incomprehensible to the machine as well as the student translators.‫و‬ (53. (52. in theory at least. along with its MT in (52) and some sample STs in (53). consequently. Looking at the poor quality of the translations in (52)-(55). it isn't as difficult as it may seem. Whereas future technological development induced by human intervention is expected. informal subject deletion in English declaratives/interrogatives may bewilder both machine and some student translators. impenetrable to the interim translational competence in MT and ST. 84 . Conclusion This paper has addressed itself to some syntactic areas with which MT and ST may experience difficulties.Finally. in addition to the familiar imperatives. ‫) ردور دعق ؟ ف الواص م ليست صع كاا تظا‬ (55. (54) and (55).

any genuine development in future MT must take this important mismatch into consideration. Translational Miscues in Modern Arabic Verse Mohammed Farghal & Rula Naji Abstract This paper addresses itself to the notion of ‘miscue’ from a translational perspective. student translators demonstrated an awareness of basic grammatical and world knowledge such as gender concord and primitive coherence which proved opaque to machine translators. In particular. On the one hand. Apparently. Therefore. this study may offer us some insights into the modes of human reasoning and mechanical (machine) reasoning in translation activity.Finally. the human brain’s ability to backtrack opens some reasoning avenues that are not yet available to MT. It is argued that oral reading miscues during the decoding process in translation manifest 85 . subtle syntactic processes proved fatal to both MT and ST. On the other hand. it constitutes a case study dealing with miscues in translating Modern Arabic Poetry into English.

syntactic. which may be twisted by misreading a word or a sentence. He concludes that (p. arguing that (p.” Along the same lines.themselves in written traces which may be called ‘translational miscues’. the term ‘miscue’ was first employed by Goodman (1962) where he develops a system for comparing expected oral reading responses with observed oral reading responses. Chafe (1970) views the reconstruction of meaning as the function of all these systems together. Burke (1976) explains that it is impossible to deal with any of these systems without addressing the others since they are interrelated. This being the case. graphic. 1. phrase. syntactic. the cognitive structures communicated by poets. morphological. morpheme. Similarly. it is emphasized that poetic discourse may fall victim to translational miscues. insertions. For his part. he argues that the written language becomes parallel to the oral language in a literate society.49) “In order to gain a fuller understanding of the reading process and of the miscue phenomena. reading (the process through which miscues occur) is a psycholinguistic process involving the use of language in its written form to get to meaning. or reversals. Page (1976) considers reading as a process in which the reader attempts to reconstruct the author’s meaning. which cause the most frequent miscues. omissions. To him. one must examine miscues. Sims (1976) states that substitutions. and semantic levels. meaning in the context of miscue analysis is treated as “analogy. giving ample examples from the translation of Arabic poetic discourse into English. the translator’s ability to establish an informed and intimate rapport with the poem s/he is translating remains the sole possible guarantee for genuine translatability. may occur at the sound. In effect. which may twist. According to him. and semantic systems). or even cripple. word. To show the importance of miscues.e. and clause levels. Throughout. not simply as changes involving individual words. Concept of Miscue Historically. His system is concerned with meaning and how it changes when miscues occur both at the word and sentence levels. or the relationship between the reader’s idea 86 . Rousch (1976) argues that words in the reading process possess a semantic relationship in the mind of the reader in a way such that he will anticipate the forthcoming word from the previous one. phonetic. Also. Montoro 1976). arguing that attempts to separate them are merely a linguistic tradition. Subsequent work has focused on the interaction between different cue systems in the reading process (i. there has been emphasis in the existing miscue research on the interaction between the reader and the text. the paper systematically demonstrates that translational miscues may occur at the phonological. but as phenomena which occur in a total language context” (cf. with the possibility that the reader may come up with a substitution that has no semantic relationship with the expected response.55) “The preservation of meaning through restructuring plus substitutions that vary from zero to close semantic relationship with the original reflects a strong awareness of meaning without close attention to individual words.

are due to an accidental and/or subconscious phenomenon that involves minimal decision-making while the translator is not aware of the fact that s/he is committing a miscue. they may result from misreading one letter or more in a word. while a translational mistake may result from a host of other factors such as deficiency in language competence and inability to grasp a proposition. In this way. the ultimate goal of reading is to be able to understand written material. This paper. is meant to bridge this gap by systematically presenting a translational account of miscues. inserting a word. It should be noted that the area of translational miscues is still virgin ground as the existing miscue literature is dedicated to examining miscues in terms of education rather than in terms of translation. some of which relate to reading. Translational Miscues Translating involves many types of problems. They may be phonological.e. On the one hand. and to use it for one’s own needs. translational mistakes result from conscious decision-making while the translator is not aware of the fact that s/he is committing a mistake. Finally. Translational miscues may occur both at the word and the phrase/clause levels. Durkin (1978) considers any deviation from what is printed as a miscue because deviation alters the meaning of words and sentences. omitting a word.and what the idea represents”.” Therefore. She divides miscues into four types: substituting one word for another. The situation at the phrase/clause level is similar as miscues may bring about serious distortions of the meaning by assigning erroneous grammatical relations which are usually signified by phonetically-unrealized case markers in Arabic or by invoking irrelevant composite senses of phrases/clauses. according to Encarta 97 Encyclopedia. “An activity characterized by the translation of symbols or letters into words and sentences that have meaning to the individual. which are posited to form a subcategory of translational mistakes (i. emphasizing the interrelation between meaning and knowledge during the comprehension process. one must look for a procedural distinction. mistranslations) and a completely different category from translational errors (Pym 1992: 178-9). which is. to evaluate it. or semantic. or from calling up a sense of the word that is incongruent with the context in question. 2. morphological. The question that poses itself now is: How do translational miscues form a special subcategory of translational mistakes? To answer this query. 87 . At the word level. a translational miscue must be based on a mistaken oral response during the decoding process in reading. and inability to identify a word. Translational miscues may be viewed as the written traces of what is assumed to have been oral miscues during the reading process. therefore. syntactic. Translational miscues. on the other hand. or from misassigning phoneticallyunrealized vowels within a word.

e. 3. right for bright and see for seed. e. argues Adonis (1978). the choice of words is important in poetry. kisser for killer. modern poetry is viewed as a new experience. Boutlon (1977: 152) writes: Poetry is made of words and obviously. or one phoneme sequence for another. the word ḥilm means ‘patience. e. 568) “This careful use of language [in poetry] is the most significant difference between ordinary prose and poetry. unlike non-poetic discourse. For instance. 88 .” Moreover.The present study addresses itself to translational miscues in modern Arabic verse. namely in a collection of poems entitled Victims of a Map. indeed. S. Ismail (1967: 174) has the following to say about this complexity: [our translation of quotations below] The orientation of the neo-poetic movement experience deals with language in a special and innovative way.g. and A.” Thus. Darwish. viz. the importance of Manner may greatly exceed the importance of Matter in verse. is a case rather than a mere group of words and meanings. phonological) miscues as “those which involve changes of one or two phoneme sequences within a word.e. Such a creative use of language in modern Arabic verse is expected to furnish rich soil for translational miscues. which consists of a select group of poems by three renowned contemporary Arab poets. While translational miscues may turn out to pertain to translating from Arabic into other languages in general as Arabic is highly rich in phoneticallyunrealized voweling and/or case-assignment and an elaborate network of lexical ambiguity (among other sense relations).g.g. Pickering and Hoeper (1982: 570) write that “No word in great poetry can be moved or replaced without harming or changing the whole” and that (p. The modern poem. the translating task will even be more complex and challenging when it comes to modern Arabic poetry. Phonological Miscues Sims (1976: 46) defines submorphemic (i. Al-Qasim. In this spirit. especially in vowels where we have long and short vowels enjoying a wide distribution. M. we find a large number of words featuring the same radicals but different vowels. or omit or add a sound.” The reader may substitute one vowel sound for another. Consequently. This type of miscues is very common in reading Arabic. Similarly. To this effect. in a sense it is the whole art of writing poetry. care for car and gave for give. Adonis as translated into English by Abdullah Al-Udhari (1984).g. or make a reversal of the phonemes. Lewis (1969: 113) contends that “The modern poet then is faced with a difficulty of communication as great in its way as the difficulty presented by his subject matter. skate for steak and kiss for sick. e.

He paints the back of day and creates daylight out of his feet. for the trees so they can sleep.forbearance. along with its English translation: . they will be superscripted or subscripted depending on the intended lexical meaning. 89 . dancing for the soil so it can yawn. like a destined cloud.‫وللشج ك نام‬ ‫ لل ا ك ةا‬، ‫األدل راصيا‬ ‫و صفا الناار‬ ُ ‫ايث يي الحج صحي‬ . Yesterday he carried a continent and changed the position of the sea.‫سحر‬ ّ ‫ على ج ي عي ا عًد ال‬، ‫وما مو عل تقاط األط اف اصشا‬ He comes unarmed like a forest. He lives where the stone becomes a lake. and gentleness’. drawing the magic sign on the forehead of time. while the word ḥulm means. And here he is speaking of crossroads. discernment. ‫أت‬ ‫ و س عي اها الليل ث‬،‫ين د ص ديه اارا‬ ، ‫ حيا و حلِّ ُل اليأس داايا‬. It should be noted that such vowel differences are mostly unrealized phonetically and if they are phonetically realized. ‘a dream’.he lives and fools despair. Vowel miscues may seriously distort the intended meaning in the translation of verse as can be illustrated by the following example taken from Adonis’s poem ‫‘ دزدور‬Psalm’.‫والظل د ن حيا‬ ‫فسح‬ . the shadow a city . borrows the night’s shoes and waits for what will not come. wiping out the vastness of hope.‫ و قل ال ح د داا ه‬، ‫ق ل أعزل كالغاص وكالغي و ُ ُّو وأدس اال صا ّر‬ ‫ن ظ دا و‬ .

and subsequently missed the intended meaning altogether in his translation. polish it. intra-. This intratextual weaving of the image culminates in his subject’s “drawing the sign of daybreak on the forehead of time”. function as a declaration of freedom in the Palestinian context. the translator fell victim to a phonological miscue (substituting [i] for [a] whereby he misread the key word ‫[ السح‬al-sa ḥar] ‘daybreak’ as ْ‫[ السِّح‬al-siḥr] ‘magic’. “carrying a continent”. “painting the back of day”. “fooling despair” and “wiping out the vastness of hope”. thus intertextually establishing an oft-cited association between a physical phenomenon (daybreak) and a spiritual phenomenon (hope). along with its English translation: ‫ د ال خور واليّن ل‬، ‫عطين ورص أُاالُاا أك اوا‬ ‫د‬ ‫أُ قِّطاا كالع وس وأجْ لوما‬ ‫أ ْص أ علياا وور د‬ ُّ ‫أمز فوصاا جذوعي د ال ّشوق والحل‬ ‫وأرْ بولُاا إلى أا اص‬ ‫دليئ كال فّاا‬ ! ‫خفيف وخحْ ا ك ُا ْا ب الخح‬ Who will give me and sandalwood. Full like an apple. Fine and green like Khadir’s colt. the phonological miscue constitutes the replacement of a consonant with another. Being unaware of this poetic discourse. a piece of paper Adorn it with dots like a bride’s make-up. Lemke 1985. Shake my roots of longing and dreams over it And send it to the loved ones. as can be illustrated by the following stanza from Adonis’s poem ‫‘ أغني‬A Song’. which.In this poem. Adonis intratextually (for more on inter-. viz. and contratextuality. among others. and Hatim 1997a) creates a vivid image where his subject performs extraordinary actions. Sometimes. Bless it with the Koran’s praise of the Madonna. together. see Martin 1985. “creating daylight out of his feet”. 90 to wrap incense .

In effect.g. ْ‫إلى واع ٍ د صً ٍو ود د الاس حيل‬ We travel like other people. between the roots of trees) but rather in the darkness of clouds and between the branches of trees. e. but he also failed to furnish coherence in the poetic discourse as. Not only did the translator obliterate this intertextual web. which does not obtain in the Palestinian context. And we said to our wives: go on giving birth to people like us for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey To the hour of a country.e. for roots are not to be shaken and if ever they were. the possibility of shaking them over something else is eliminated due to their being located underground and/or deep inside. between the roots of the trees. thus translating juðuuc ‘branches’ as juðuur ‘roots’. The same phonological miscue occurs in Al-Udhari’s translation of the following stanza from Darwish’s poem ‫“ ساف كالناس‬We Travel Like Other People”. but we return to nowhere. This creative poetic metaphor is designed to show that formal attributes of human activities may not signify their authentic nature. in the most creative poetic context.In this stanza. one cannot imagine the shaking of roots over something.‫ق الغيوم‬ ْ‫ لب ْ ن دنا دئات السني لناال مها ال ايل‬:‫وصلنا لزوجاتنا‬ . to which the poet is schematically making reference. to a metre of the impossible. ‫كأن الس ْف‬ ‫ساف ُ كالناس لاننا و عو ُو إلى أ ش‬ ُ ‫ط‬ ْ ‫ وفنّا أ با نا ف ظًم الغيوم وصي جذوع الشج‬. It should be noted that the poet in the above stanza wants to communicate the message that the action at hand is not an ordinary burial in that the loved ones are not buried underground (i. viz. ‘travelling’ as a human activity would be genuine only and only if ‘the traveler’ would return to a free homeland. ‫ جنيا‬، ‫ النخل تساصط علي رط ا‬،‫ومز إلي صجه‬ (Maryam: 25). and consequently disrupted the coherence of the poetic discourse. We have buried our loved ones in the darkness of the clouds. it is the intratextual twinning of the out-of-the-ordinary poetic image and the socio-cultural realities of the 91 . As if travelling Is the way of the clouds. which is established through intertextualizing with the highly celebrated Quranic verse in which Allah asks Maryam [Virgin Mary] to shake the branch of the palm tree in order to get fresh dates. the translator fell victim to a phonological miscue by replacing the pharyngeal consonant [c] with [r]. where a metaphor that is developed intratextually is disrupted: ّ .

the translational miscue in this poem amounts to offering a fleshless skeleton insofar as poetic discourse is concerned. which can only be an indication of a vision of life. despite the fact that the original phrase. The stanza above demonstrates the poet’s deep pessimism by making everything bid farewell as if an imminent. Our last example of phonological miscues comes from Adonis’s poem ‫اليح ا (دخ ارات د وديات‬ )3582 ‫‘ ايار صي وت‬The Desert (The Diary of Beirut Under Siege. This being the case.communicative context that brings meaningfulness to the above text. 1982)’ and involves the substitution of the glottal stop [’] in al-’amal ‘hope’ for the [r] in al-raml ‘sand’. 92 . viz. Roads like pauses between the breathing and the words say goodbye. the poets say goodbye. falls in a wilderness to say goodbye. the phonological miscue inadvertently replaces a thought-world of death with a thought-world of hope. glow. lower their leaves to say goodbye. In such an atmosphere. And the poem says goodbye. ‘A body wears [wearing] hope’. The alphabet. there is no room for ‘hope’. viz. The papers that love ink. ‘A body wearing sand’ can only be an indication of ‘death’. overall disaster were to take place. A body wears hope.، ‫والقيي صالت وواعا‬ Trees bow to say goodbye Flowers open. This being the case. as can be illustrated below: ، ‫شج نحن ليقول وواعا‬ ، ‫ف ح زمو ُن ّاس أوراصه ليقول وواعا‬ ‫رم‬ ، ‫ت تقول وواعا‬ ‫ط ق كالفواصل صي ال‬ ‫نفس والالاا ب‬ ‫ب‬ ، ‫جس ل س الرمل سقط ف تيا به ليقول وواعا‬ ُ ‫ورق عش‬ ‫ق الح‬ ، ‫والشع ا قول وواعا‬ ‫واألصج‬ .

The following extract is taken from Darwish’s poem ‫“ إذا كان ل أن أعي ال ا‬If I were to Start All Over Again”. as a consequence. distorts the conveyed meaning. the translator obliterates the proposition of choice and. Consequently. by restricting this state of affairs to one road. It should be noted that inflectional morphemes may constitute an integral part of poetic discourse in that they may be thematically employed to communicate ideological moves. respectively. As can be seen. In contrast. to my steps. plurality in poetic discourse. I’d hang my shadow on two rocks for the fugitive birds to build a nest on my shadow’s branch.‫ولانن و أعو ُو إلى صُ ْ طُ ْه‬ I will return if I have to return to my roses.‫ص تُ ّؤو وص و تُؤو إلى ص ط ه‬ ّ‫ على غي ب ظل‬، ‫عشا‬ ‫إذا كان ل أن أُعي ال ا‬ ‫ ف الدروب ال‬، ‫أواف ثا ي‬ ُ ّ‫أُعل‬ ‫ق ظل على صخ تي ل ن الطيو ُر الش‬ If I were to start all over again I’d choose what I had chosen: the roses on the fence. the poet intends to communicate the message that he has many options where some lead to Cordova and some do not. let us examine two translational miscues relating to singularity vs.4. To get started. I’d travel again on the road which may or may not lead to Cordova. as can be seen below: ‫أعو ُو إذا كان ل أن أعوو إلى وردتي فساا وإلى خطوتي فساا‬ . Al-Udhari had another translational miscue by rendering the singular ‫‘ وروت‬my rose’ and ‫‘ خطوت‬my step’ as the plural ‘my roses’ and ‘my steps’. the translator of verse must be aware of the nuances of meaning deployed by such grammatical elements. the translator inadvertently rendered the plural ‫‘ ال ُّ رو‬the roads’ as the singular ‫‘ ال ّ ر‬the road’ and consequently caused serious damage to the poetic discourse. Morphological Miscues The morphological miscues discussed in this section belong exclusively to inflectional morphology. 93 . ُ ‫أخ ا ُر دا اخ‬ ‫ ورو السياج‬:‫ت‬ . Later on in the same poem. by speaking about many roads. That is.

94 . are blue. viz. betrays the poetic discourse by dispensing with the encapsulated intimacy and uniqueness. thus reducing the symbolism to mere reference to ordinary belongings. ُ ‫والعيافي ُ ررصا‬ And the earth is a feast. ْ ‫طارت إلى رد ٍ و عو ْو‬ ُ ‫والعيافي‬ You’d like to know my country? ‫أن تع ف وطن ؟‬ ‫وت‬ ‫واله صيننا؟‬ And what’s between us? ‫ وطن له ف القيو ْو‬- My country is the joy of being in chains. that is. Another area for morphological miscues is possessive markers in poetic discourse as can be illustrated by the following example from Darwish’s poem ٍ ‫ف صعي‬ ٍ ‫‘ دط اع ف خ‬A Gentle Rain in a Distant Autumn): A gentle rain in a distant autumn ْ ‫ف صعي‬ ٍ ‫دط اع ف خ‬ And the birds are blue. ُ ‫ ررصا‬. It should be clear that the poet is making reference to unique entities. sadly. The translational miscue in the above stanza impersonalizes a personal entity. . ‫‘ وروت‬my rose’ and ‫‘خطوت‬my step’ by translating them into ‘my roses’ and ‘my steps’. but the translation. ‫‘ ص ل‬my kiss’ is rendered as ‫‘ ص ل‬a kiss’ and consequently marginalizes the poet’s intimacy to his homeland.But I will never go back to Cordova. ْ A kiss sent in the post. ْ ‫ت ج‬ ٍ ‫وأو ا دو‬ And reasons for a new death. ْ ‫واألرضُ عي‬ The birds have flown to a time which will not return. respectively. It is unfortunate that the translator erased the symbolism embodied in the uniqueness of the signifieds which the poet deploys. ‘my rose’ to symbolize ‘his occupied homeland (Palestine)’ and ‘my step’ to symbolize ‘his infancy’.. for the poet is identifying occupied Palestine with his own kiss rather than with a kiss understood generically. ُ‫ قُبلتي أ‬ْ ‫رولت ف ال‬ ْ ‫وأ ا و أُر‬ All I want ‫ذصح ْن‬ From the country which slaughtered me ‫د صًو ال‬ ‫غي دن بل أد‬ Is my mother’s handkerchief . viz..

"‫وأاب الجُلجُله‬ “Take him away. Officer! ّ ‫اش ط‬ Tell him: The Officer’s boot ّ ‫صل له إن اها الش ط‬ Is handsomer than your face. I know the gallows ْ‫أع ف أن ال با ْقيله‬ Are waiting for me ‫صا ظار‬ But I’m only a poet worshipping my fire ‫ار‬ ‫شاع أع‬ ‫ "وي‬- ‫غي أ‬ And I love Golgotha. the poet’s diction is based on a comparison of two items and should not be construed in an absolute sense or as relative to choice among a multiplicity of items. Arabic comparative and superlative forms may constitute a major area for translational miscues. Therefore."‫مو د وجا أجال‬ ‫آ ا عي الحها الهم‬ Age of the golden boot You are the handsomest and most expensive.. An equally interesting translational miscue relating to comparatives and superlatives comes from the translation of Al-Qasim’s poem ‫‘ خاتا النقاش د وجان‬End of a Discussion with a Jailer’ as can be shown below: ‫الصغرى‬ From the window of my small cell ‫د ُكو ب ر زا‬ ‫ ت ْ ُس ل‬،‫أصي ُ أشجارا‬ I can see trees smiling at me.Further.e. ‫ " ُج ّ ا ش ط‬- “Sir. the golden shoes representing the occupiers) with weakness (i..” ‫ " ُج‬- . The following poem ( ‫‘ العي الهم‬The Golden Age’) by Adonis is an illustrative example: “Take him away. 95 .” . Officer . the juxtaposition of power (i.” ". the translator’s option for the superlative instead of the comparative forms amounts to a major distortion of the message.e. that is. relayed the comparative ‫‘ أغلى‬more expensive’ as the superlative ‘most expensive’ and the comparative ‫‘ أجال‬handsomer’ as the superlative ‘handsomest’. the poet’s folks under occupation) is completely erased in the translation. Notably.. being insensitive to the significance of comparative and superlative forms in poetic discourse. ..‫أ ت أغلى أ ت أجمل‬ The translator.

e. respectively. miscues in poetic discourse relate mainly to the Arabic phrase called ‫الاحاف‬ ‫‘ والاحاف إليه‬Construction of Addition’. In effect. Syntactic Miscues Translational miscues in the area of syntax manifest themselves at the phrase and clause levels. inadvertently relayed the superlative forms in question into gradable adjectives. ‫عن دا همب الشا ا إلى النوم أصحو وأا وُا ْ د هواة ال ّرثاء‬ ‫ تُي حون على وط ٍ د وحا ٍ ود شج ٍ د و ا ٍ ودا‬: ‫أصول لا‬ ‫أمنئا صالسًد د حادث المستحيل ود صيا الاهصح الفائح‬ ‫ مل ُكلنا شا ا ْ؟‬. which is sometimes interpreted inadvertently as adjectival rather than additive by translators. that is. Following are illustrative examples from Darwish’s poem ‫عن دا‬ ‫‘ همب الشا ا إلى النوم‬When the Martyrs Go to Sleep’. ّ‫و وافه ت ا وتيل‬ From the window of my small cell ‫د أجل‬ ‫الصغرى‬ I can see your large cell. in a relative sense. this area of cognitive correspondence between the two entities is lost altogether in the translation above. the poet’s use of the superlative forms ‫ اليغ ى‬and ‫ الا ى‬must be construed in an absolute rather than relative sense if it were to communicate the schema the poet is working with. The movement from ungradability to gradability. the translator’s option distorts the poetic thought-world by interpreting these superlative forms. Unfortunately. viz. As a result. i. 5. 96 . The translator. ‘micro-cell’ and ‘macro-cell’ respectively. i. At the phrase level. ‘small’ and ‘large’. ‘small’ and ‘large’ cripples the poetic discourse encapsulated in the symbolism of the poem. which are supposed to be taken in an absolute sense. ‘micro-’ and ‘macro-’ vs. ‘the macro-cell’ represents ‘the entire occupied homeland (Palestine)’.‫ت‬ ‫د الوص ب‬ ‫س صو‬ ُ ‫وأو‬ ‫ لا‬، ‫ق وص ا‬ When the martyrs go to sleep I wake up to guard them against professional mourners..Roofs filled with my people.e. ‫ األُما أمل‬، ‫ووطواا‬ Windows weeping and praying for me. the poetic schema takes a concrete entity (the macro-cell) as a point of departure for initiating a symbolic entity (occupied Palestine). however. ‫الكبرى‬ ‫د كو ر زا‬ ‫أصي ُ ر زا‬ Most importantly..

Are we all martyrs? The translator. thus mitigating the mood of melancholy and despair cast by the original phrase.. from the surplus-value of the slaughter. 97 . ‫ ألن الحيا ايا‬. amateur. translational miscues may involve tense and voice. I congratulate them on their safety from the incredible event. among other grammatical categories. rendered ْ ‫‘ موا ال ثا‬lovers of mourning’ as ‘professional [amateur] mourners’. the poet intends to harshly criticize those writers whose tacit profession is to compose insincere elegies upon the falling of Palestinian martyrs in the occupied Arab land. only the rendition taking the Arabic phrase as a ‘Construction of Addition’ proper may refer to all categories of mourners (i. mirage and water. Following is an extract from Darwish’s poem ‫“ أف دةل مها النشي ؟‬Is it in Such a Song?’.e. It should be noted that while both renditions in English may carry the intended pejorative nuances. who was miscued by the ‘Construction of Addition’. hold a victory sign and the key to the last door So as to shut this song from us? But we will live because life goes on. At the clause level. ‫لنغلق مها النشي علينا؟ ولاننا ووف حيا‬ What does life say to Mahmud Darwish? You have lived. loved and those you loved are dead? Is it in such a song we cushion a dream. As a matter of fact. ‫وداذا تقو ُل الحيا ُ لاحاوو ورو ش؟ عشت‬ ‫ و حا ُل شار ي ٍ ودف ا آخ صا‬، ‫أف دةل مها النشي ُوو ُ الاا‬ .. whose English translation features a syntactic miscue relating to tense: ‫ق داتوا؟‬ ُ ‫ستعش‬ ‫ ع فت وكل اله‬. This miscue twists the reference from ‘the incredible as an event (by way of metaphor)’ to ‘the event that took place though it was thought to be incredible’..I say to them: I hope you wake in a country with clouds and trees. I steal time so they can snatch me from time. Similarly. professional. ‫ عشقت‬. or otherwise). the translator was miscued by the phrase ‫( ااوث الاس حيل‬a Construction of Addition) in the above extract by translating it as ‘the incredible event’ instead of ‘the event of the incredible’.

. hope. a semantic miscue involves the translator’s assignment of a contextually incongruent but a lexically related sense or proposition. 1985) play a vital role in the assignment of meaning through an indispensable interrelation between linguistic meaning and world knowledge (Page. As a matter of fact. but is. It should be noted that the translator committed a translational mistake in addition to this translational miscue as he erroneously used the English verb ‘drown’ instead of the correct English verb ‘sink’ in his translation. as can be illustrated by the translation of the following extract from Adonis’s poem ‫اليح ا (دخ ارات د وديات ايار صي وت‬ )3582 ‘The Desert (The Diary of Beirut under Siege. the poet. Notably.It is clear that the replacement of the future verb form ‫(‘ و عشق‬you) will love’ with the past verb form ‘you loved’ in the translation has erased the paradox intended by the poet.ْ ‫غرقت جا ف ال دا‬ The blood a boy was talking about ‫كان طفل ح ّ ث عناا‬ And whispering to his friends: :‫و وشوش أصحاصه‬ Only some holes known as stars ْ ‫ل ع ف الساا‬ Remain in the sky. Following is a semantic miscue at the word level in the translation of the first stanza of Darwish’s poem ‫‘ عارف الجي ار الا جول‬The Wandering Guitar Player’: 98 . ‘all those you will love are dead’.. abstract paradigmatic lexical relations may sometimes intervene during the process of translation such that syntagmatic and/or semiotic lexical relations are disrupted . which is meant to convey the totality of loss. the paradoxical inclusion of the future in the past is an integral part of the poetic discourse. However. 6. Yule. Contexts (both linguistic and physical. inclusive of the future. i. thus initiating the counterintuitive poetic metaphor ‘A star was sunk in blood’ instead of the creative poetic metaphor ‘A star sank in blood’. ، ‫ُو ّايت أ جاا‬ ‫ال دا ال‬ ‫الةقو ال‬ ‫غي ُ صع‬ The syntactic miscue above involves the rendering of an active verb form ‫‘ غ صت‬drowned [sank]’ as a passive verb form ‘was drowned [was sunk]’. unfortunately. 1985). Semantic Miscues Semantic miscues occur both at the word and clause/sentence levels. . that is.. In either case. is establishing cognitive correspondence between the massive killing of civilians and the disappearance of stars.e.a situation which gives rise to a semantic miscue. on the tongue of a child. The translator may sometimes fail to assign the correct voice. completely missing in the translation. 1982)’: A star was drowned in blood.

thus obscuring and distorting the poetic discourse. viz. being unaware of this important distinction. was miscued into rendering ‫ ا الايا‬as ‘iron water’. ‫اح وو يغ لهاك اإلله‬ We long for a new god. but by getting up in arms that Palestinians can restore their occupied homeland.. which captures the intended meaning. Sometimes. yet they stand for referents that carry different associations in Arabic. being insensitive to collocational meaning. as pictures [paintings] cannot combat monstrosity (i. ‫و تاس ما‬ Nor turn the fish away from the face of the moon. ‫ حديد المياه‬، ‫ جلي ا‬،‫صح ا‬ ‫اح إلى ُدن اا‬ And we sail through it to its end. ‫و ت و الحوت ع وج به القا‬ The words ‫‘ اوت‬whale’ and ‫‘ واا‬fish’ are hyponyms since both are sea creatures belonging to the class of fish. ‫دوع ا دوت‬ We have become familiar with our shores of despair.He was a painter ، ‫كان روادا‬ But pictures ‫ولا ّ اليور‬ ، ‫عاو‬ Usually Don’t open doors ‫و تف ُح األصوا‬ Nor break them . ‫ووا‬ ‫تُقنا إلى ر ٍّ ج‬ The translator. instead of the potential English collocation ‘numbing water’. while the ‘fish’ is invariably associated with positive connotations. ‫ع‬ We carry on moving and never listen to that God. As a result. The translator. ‫وشطآ نا أس ألبفنا رضينا صه‬ We have grown to accept its frozen sea with iron water. this semantic 99 . which may not make sense in English at all. . while the ‘whale’ is a symbol standing for the occupiers. It should be noted that the ‘moon’ in this poem is a symbol of freedom for the Palestinians living under the yoke of occupation. semantic miscues at the word level may relate to collocational meaning rather than lexical sense proper.e. the ‘whale’ is associated with monstrosity. as can be illustrated by the closing stanza of Adonis’s poem ‫‘ و الج‬The New Noah’: We have an appointment with death. . It seems the poet is communicating the message that it is not by painting and the like. occupation). was miscued into rendering ‫ الحوت‬as ‘the fish’ instead of ‘the whale’.

In fact.miscue disrupts the poetic coherence of the text. the poet is conveying the message that there are many ways to affiliate with a homeland. is a futile enterprise because there is no homeland in the first place. as can be demonstrated by the following stanza from Adonis’s poem ‫اليح ا (دخ ارات د وديات ايار صي وت‬ )3582 ‘The Desert (The Diary of Beirut under Siege. where the presence of an ambiguous clause miscued the translator: ‫ مالي ومالك؟‬:‫أوظف دال ؟ فقال الاةقف‬ ‫ أ‬:‫صال الاوظف‬ An employee said: “Where can I invest my money?” 100 . one of which is to ‘walk [to it] like any other pedestrian’. ‫ليس مناك وط‬ ‫د‬ As can be seen. Consequently. Let us now turn to some examples featuring semantic miscues at clause/sentence level rather than at word level. the translator was miscued into relaying ‫ راج ٍل‬as ‘man’. . but also women and children. 1982)’: ‫ووف ت ى‬ You will see Say his name ُ ‫صل اواه‬ Say I painted his face ُ ‫روات وجاه‬ ‫أو صل‬ Stretch your hand to him ‫حو‬ Or walk like any man ‫أو بو ْ كاا سي كل راجل‬ Or smile ْ ‫أو اص س‬ Or say I was once sad . However... which is a sense specific to Egyptian colloquial Arabic.. the search for a homeland. the rendition of ‫ راج ٍل‬as ‘man’ distorts the poetic discourse as it is not only men who affiliate with the homeland. Following is an example from Darwish’s poem ‫‘ دطار أثينا‬Athens’ Airport’. which is the sense in Standard Arabic. instead of ‘pedestrian’.. semantic miscues may stem from dialectal differences in the lexicon. Adonis argues. leaving the target reader confused as to what ‘iron water’ signifies.، ‫أو صُلْ از ت د‬ You will see ‫ووف ت ى‬ There is no homeland . In some cases.

ُّ ‫ح‬ Another semantic miscue at the sentence level occurs in the translation of Darwish’s poem ‫ق لنا‬ ‫‘ أن حب الخ ف‬We are Entitled to Love Autumn’. ‫ اانا الشع ُ وال سال‬. the abrupt employment of colloquial instead of standard Arabic. This being the case. It should be noted that the poet invests two discourses or thought-worlds. the poet’s schema. It is unfortunate that the translation fuses the two polar discourses into one by equating the Employee with the Intellectual in terms of interests. which is doomed in translation. committed a semantic miscue. not being cognizant of this symbolic poetic shift in style. To witness the change of the seasons. i. The translator. I wish we were an abandoned plant.‫تسا ل آصاؤ ا اي طاروا على ص ّا ال دح‬ We are entitled to love the end of this autumn and ask: Is there room for another autumn in the field to rest our bodies like coal? An autumn lowering its leaves like gold. Colloquial Arabic. as can be illustrated below: ُّ ‫ح‬ :‫ق لنا أن حب اا ات مها الخ ف وأن سأله‬ ‫وح‬ ‫ ونحن نمد ُد أجسادنا فيه فحما؟‬،‫أفي الحقل متسع لخريف جديد‬ ‫ا لي نا عش ُداال‬ ُ ‫ لي نا ور‬، ‫خ ف ُن ِّاسُ أوراصه ذم ا‬ ‫ق ال ي‬ ُ ‫لنشا دا الف‬ ‫ جنو العيون لنسأل عاا‬،ْ ‫ و ا لي نا ل و ّو‬. it is needless to say that the poetic pun. which is predominated by material interests. is absolutely incongruent with that of the translator. However. which is supposed to be free of such interests. adds to the aesthetic value of the text in Arabic. but he was also unaware of the poetic utilization of two different varieties of Arabic: Standard Arabic vs.An intellectual said: “Your money and mine?” Clearly. and consequently missed the point altogether. when it actually means “This is none of my business!” Not only was the translator insensitive to the poetic context where his generic referents expounded differing points of view toward Palestinian socio-cultural realities. viz. and the one of the Intellectual.‫ق صي الفيول‬ . the translator misinterpreted the expression ‫ دال ودال ؟‬by translating it into “Your money and mine”. the one of the Employee. I wish we didn’t say goodbye to the south of the eye so as to ask what 101 .. I wish we were fig leaves. which can be argued to be deeply rooted in the Palestinian socio-cultural reality in particular and the Arab one in general.e.

where the question is rhetorical in nature. Therefore. However. are blue. for he will be asking for nothing but his mother’s handkerchief and reasons for a new death. As can be noted. 102 .Our fathers had asked when they flew on the tip of the spear. ‫ال تقولي أنا غيمة في المطار‬ All I want ْ ‫فأ ا و أُر‬ From my country which fell out of the window of a train ْ ‫وقط‬ ْ‫رجاج القطار‬ ‫تد‬ ‫ب‬ Is my mother’s handkerchief ‫د صًو ال‬ ‫غي دن ل أد‬ . in fact. thus unjustifiably belittling herself. one can see how the translator was miscued into relaying the sentence ‫و ح ا ُو أجساو ا فيه فحاا؟‬ ‫فج‬ ٍ ‫ أف الحقل د س لخ‬as involving a purpose relationship rather than a circumstantial relationship. this rhetorical question is rendered erroneously in the translation above such that it is still begging an answer. ْ ‫واألرضُ عي‬ Don’t say I wish I was a cloud over an airport.ْ ‫ت ج‬ ٍ ْ‫وأو ا دو‬ And reasons for a new death. By examining the translation closely.. It should be noted that the autumn is employed as a symbol of death with leaves falling all over. the sentence above may be relayed as ‘Is there any room for a new autumn with us resting our bodies in it like coal?’.she is only a cloud over the airport'. Poetry and God’s name will be merciful to us. as there is no indication of wishing to be a ‘cloud’. which is a negative symbol in this poem. Our last example of semantic miscues at the sentence level is drawn from the translation of Darwish’s poem ‫ف صعي‬ ٍ ‫‘ دط اع ف خ‬A Gentle Rain in a Distant Autumn’. it causes a breakdown in the coherence of the poem by bringing in a wish that is completely incongruent with the subsequent modest demands. This sentence. saving no room even for a new death. ُ ‫والعيافي ُ ررصا‬ And the earth is a feast. as can be shown below: A gentle rain in a distant autumn ْ ‫ف صعي‬ ٍ ‫دط اع ف خ‬ And the birds are blue. . ُ ‫ ررصا‬. which is not asking for too much. is merely a request by the poet of his subject not to say that . the rendition of the sentence ‫‘ و تقول أ ا غيا ف الاطار‬Don’t say I wish I was a cloud over an airport’ is semantically miscued. on the part of Darwish’s subject. on the contrary. However. the translation does not communicate such a message.

which is originally a readingbased orientation. Conclusion The present study constitutes a contribution to miscue analysis. gives an insight into the nature of translational problems in general and miscued translational responses in particular. from a translational perspective. It has been shown that the discussion of translational miscues. syntactic. morphological. therefore.7. Al-Qasim. S. and A. if the translator is miscued during the process of translating. 103 . an elaborate examination of translational miscues in Modern Arabic Verse as exemplified by three celebrity Arab poets (M. Thus. To minimize miscues. s/he may end up presenting a thought-world that markedly conflicts with the one communicated by the poet. it has been pointed out that poetic discourse may be seriously twisted or even be crippled by the translator’s falling victim to phonological. as such a thing would be the only guarantee for capturing schemata as they manifest themselves in creative poetic discourse. or semantic miscues. Adonis) has been followed. which are argued to be the printed traces of oral miscues in reading. the poetry translator needs to first establish a cognitive rapport with the text. Darwish. That is. Throughout.

Introduction Texts manifesting culture-bound features of expression tend to pose communicative problems to both the translator and the recipient of the target language (TL). student translators need to be alerted to features such as lexical appropriateness. Hence. it shows that English native speaker informants are readily cognizant of deviations from TL textual norms. The recipient approaches 104 .and macro-features. tone of presentation. Such deviations appear to mar the translation product in terms of micro. By employing an Arabic political editorial translated into English by MA translation students.Audience Awareness and Role of Translator Mohammad Farghal & Abdullah Shakir Abstract The paper demonstrates that the translator needs to be aware of the culture-bound norms of expression in the TL if s/he is to offer a translation which is accepatable to target readers. and content organization when engaging in translation activity. 1.

The text. The essence of the notion is that translators (like successful writers) address. The Present Study This study aims to investigate the role of the TL audience in determining the communicative acceptability of a translated version of an SL text. Saedi 1992). traits. according to this view. This implies that processing the content of the TL text can be subjective in a number of ways. Komissarov (1987) argues that this can best be achieved if the cognitive knowledge extracted from the TL text coincides with that of the SL text producer. An SL text is normally addressed to an audience who. on behalf of the SL writer. which shape the message at both its micro . can speak of communicative failure wherein the translator fails to realize translation equivalence (1E) in its multidimensional sense (cf. The investigation will be informed by the audience's interaction with and reaction to the predications manifested in the surface structure of the TL version of the text. particularly the notion of the Equivalent Effect Principle. One.g. Addressing the above notion will. Sa'deddin (1987). When the ST is translated into another language. TL recipients whose beliefs. Among the contextual elements that determine the degree of processiblity. The notion of audience and its role as a determinant of interlingual acceptability has been emphasized by translation theorists. are usually catered for in such conventions. Nida (1964). 2. the TL recipient evaluates and sometimes modifies the in-coming message within a frame of reference in which his cognitive knowledge structures and convention-based nouns of address play a determining role. presumably. the power of the text is not invariant and. and conventions of address. Wilss (1982). attitudes and modes of thinking need to be taken into account when translating. therefore. in this case. naturalness. share with the text producer his/her cognitive knowledge structures. processing the content of the translated text tends to be contingent upon the recipient's ability to glean the message and appropriate it. the 'truth' of the content is not 'enshrined' (Rayor 1987). Consequently.the translated version of the source text (ST) with background knowledge and longestablished conventions of expression and processing most often dissimilar to those of the original ST recipient. (Cauer 1896 and Koller 1978 cited in Newmark 1981) to see what or who determines the equivalence sought by the translator. cultural values. Thus. inevitably lead us to look into other relevant notions. it is not uncommon for a literal translation of an SL text to be rejected by the TL discourse community (Swales 1990) as being incongruent with their long established forms and strategies of address. complies with norms of rhetorical logic of address (Kaplan 1982) shaped by the culture in which it has developed.and macro -levels.linguistic occasion). Contextual elements. and acceptability of address are the 'who' (recipient). de Ward and Nida (1986). the 'what' (the socio . The 105 . e. and the 'how' (the style of address favored by the TL recipient). Jackobson (1957). and that since the recipient is not a passive reader.

1 Material This paper is based on translated versions of an Arabic recommendation letter (See Appendix 2). Egocentricisms of SL texts crop up at two levels: the micro level (mainly lexis) and the macro level (content organization). revealed in the surface structure of the text. especially when the SL text incorporates culture . an oversimplification of both the translating and reading processes. The TL audience processes the verbal input and transforms it into conceptual codes that can be integrated. reduce. Their 106 . Taking the TL text as the medium of interlingual communication. such a role is often constrained by considerations related to the degree of freedom that the translator can enjoy. Both the translator and the TL audience are engaged in a text -negotiating process (Hatim 1985).. and the bi. In so doing. equivalence in the experiences of the participants (de Beaugrande and Dressler 1981: 216). the translation process takes on the role of an approximation process whereby gaps are bridged. Experiences are encoded in the memory of the SL writer and are. To realize this. When the translator (informed by his analysis of both the SL text and the TL audience) perceives such experiences as opaque to TL audience. or totally rejected as being deviant from acceptable norms of address.specific features. The consideration of the TL audience emanates from the translator’s awareness that the TL reader/recipient is not a passive target. Thirteen MA translation students translated the letter into English.polarity of semantic as opposed to communicative or functional translation (Newmark 1981). according to this view. translators need to establish ". To minimize such egocentricisms and divergent experiences. modified. Geertz (1973) describes the translator as an 'ethnographer': he is the locus of contact between two cultures where each is equipped with its own linguistic. Viewing the TL recipient as a passive target is. In a similar argument. However. 2.. the translator gets engaged in a 'decentering' process ( K r o l l 1 9 8 4 ) w h e r e i n a n e f f o r t i s ma d e t o e l i mi n a t e t h e 'egocentricisms' of the SL text that may impede communication. At the micro level. assumes the role of a mediator who first explores the SL text for elements which may handicap accessibility of the message and therefore may interfere with positive interaction on part of the TL audience. egocentricism may unfold in lexical items blending into their sense components experiences unexchangeable in a given sociolinguistic event.translator. literary. translators may expand. or modify textual components. Their decoding by the TL recipient hinges upon their availability to him. the translator attempts to make the text 'efficient' (effort -saving for the TL audience) and 'effective' (achieving sought results) (de Beaugrande and Dressler 1981). lead to pragmatic failure and communication breakdown. and rhetorical techniques of articulating a message. in fact. Rendering a replica of the SL text may. then.

appreciation) when transferred into TL equivalents. Jordan. the following general comments were received: 1. more of a personal letter than a recommendation letter g. These courses include three translation courses from and into Arabic. and categorized under the following headings: 1. As content bearers. analyzed. text lacks focus 2. The eight native speakers were asked to read the translations and record their comments.e. the following comments were noted: a. exaggerative e. Some key lexical items were unanimously rejected as being awkward.translations were then given to eight native speakers of English doing advanced Arabic courses at Yarmouk University. awkward structure 4. content organization Under the 'semantic load of lexical expressions' and 'tone of presentation'. the force inherent in them in their SL version seems to have failed to elicit the intended response (i. the following lexical expressions were literally translated in the thirteen TL texts and were marked as 107 .1 Lexical Expressions Lexical items play a key role in conveying attitudes. inappropriate in this kind of text f. awkward in this context c. contextually dissonant. semantic load of lexical expressions 2. Rather. sentences too long 5.2 Analysis Before dealing with the analysis. difficult to follow the thread of thoughts 2. However. it is introduced here as a text incorporating stylistic features likely to pose translating problems at both the micro. emotions. notes. and unduly hyperbolous. we wish to make it clear that the present text (the recommendation letter) was not selected as representative of Arabic style of writing recommendation letters. are generalizable only to texts manifesting comparable features. confusing ordering of sentences 3. The argument and discussion. and beliefs. tone of presentation 3. and suggestions as regards the style in which the letter in its TL version was written. To illustrate. they play a significant role in the present study. dispositions. hyperbolous d. unduly intimate expressions b. They project at the forefront of the discourse as spots of attraction and audience-enchanting elements. Their comments were collected.2.and macrolevels. more persuasive than descriptive or reporting h. 2 . looks like a recording of an argument between writer and reader Under content organization. therefore.

fondness of sonorous and penetrating lexical items. The 'I-You' or 'I-He' relationship (Moffette 1968) is not unusual in recommendation letters. Though pleasing in chivalric prose and poetry.siwa-r-rijaal [except those men] . and potentials for future research are described.e. In order to indentify the senses each of the target lexical items invokes in the SL (Arabic in this case). but its occurrence is entailed by discoursal necessities. Matters relating to the personal relationship between the writer of the letter and his/her student (e.aṭ-ṭaalib-u-l-c aziiz [the dear student] . we will provide below componential analysis of each. such features would sound rather dissonant to most educated Arab readers when they occur in a text of a function similar to the one we are dealing with. But in recommendation letters.risaalah šaaqqah [arduous mission] .c aziiz (the dear) fall into category (a). hyperbolous 'ibnii (my son) and al. viz. ‘unduly intimate expressions’. traits. and a clear inclination for grandiloquence.laa yušaqqu la-hu ɤubaar [his dust cannot be penetrated] The above lexical expressions lend themselves to two semantic categories: a. i. Category (b) of the lexical items in this text incorporates into their semantic make-up elements of exaggeration (when viewed within the contextual frame of the text and its text type) and a flavor of Classical Arabic where chivalric decorative style was a characterizing feature. Teachers in Arab culture tend to look on their students as 'sons'. risaalah [mission/message] + religious association + arduous effort + endurance 108 . he was/ is as dear as my son) are usually of no significance to the party to whom the letter is addressed. They would sound as empty expressions void of convincing power. The two items are not. Such stylistic features were used (and to some extent are still in use) to hold sway over the audience. Such a style was marked by proclivity for exaggeration.tilmiiðii wa-bnii [my pupil and my son] .awkward by the TL group: .yanhaḍu bi-haa [undertake it (with utmost courage and forebearance)] . uncommon in teacher -student discourse.g. metaphoric expression. mention of the 'participants' (Grimes 1976) in the text. unduly intimate b. such an intimate and personal tone tends to give way to a more distanced and neutralized descriptive tone wherein the recommended academic or professional achievements. however.

these are: a. resonant and transgressive. and hyperbolous senses. 109 . Rejection of the literal renderings of the above items indicates that the translating process in the case of this text (and perhaps other comparable ones) is regarded as a process of mediation and subsequently communication rather than as a process of 'sensu stricto' and subsequently cultural accommodation. they were rejected as being dissonant. anticipating the TL audience's response to the senses conveyed b. The translator needs to take into account that realizing the Equivalent Effect Principle (Nida 1964) in the TL can be unachievable. In such a process. and that a process of approximation (Holes 1984) ought to be sought in this case. A recommendation letter does not absorb all those exalting.+ devotion to a cause + counter resistance yanhaḍu bi-haa [undertake it (with utmost courage and forbearance)] + acceptance of challenge + acceptance of responsibility + serious enterprise + voluntary undertaking ar-rijaal [the men] + strong masculinity + courage + sturdiness + allegiance to a cause + chivalric traits laa yušaqqu la-hu ɤubaar [his dust cannot be penetrated] + extreme (physical) effort + excellence + competitiveness + championship + extreme speed + chivalric traits A look at the analysis shows how the above lexical items are overloaded with senses usually uninvokable in this verbal event. luring. When these SL items were rendered literally in the TL. two contextual elements play an informative role. the text type of the translated material.

we are concerned with how content is mapped onto the text. we will have a quick survey of its macro-components (see Appendix 1). but also to problems emanating from cultural divergences and modes of thinking and address relevant to the SL and TL texts. priority ought to be given to form at the risk of sounding awkward and/or unnatural. Further.g.1. or at least Ideational Equivalence (Farghal 1994) rather than opting for Literal/Formal equivalence blindly. whereas in an author-or text-centered text. in a reader-centered text. hence its being a blend of exposition and instruction.2. that is. in the case of conflicting strategies of text production and text processing .2 The macro-structure of the text Our central aim here is to identify those textual features responsible for promoting or impeding sense-continuity in the text as viewed by the TL audience. In order to see how the SL text is organized and how that reflects upon the TL versions advanced by the student translators. or at best. among other things.both being nurtured over centuries of practice . An audience processing strategies of a given text type are governed largely by those previously activated in processing texts of comparable function. The way it is mapped activates in the TL audience (and the SL audience) text-experiential strategies which function as a frame of reference for judging the communicative acceptability of the SL text (and the TL version). thus adopting Functional Equivalence (Kachru 1984 and De Waard & Nida 1986) or Textual Equivalence (Catford 1965). The text begins with an evaluative and affective sentence which expands to incorporate three clauses with referential items (the recurrent definite article 'al' and the pronoun ‘allaðii (which) which unduly assume shared knowledge with the reader who still doesn't know what almasraḥ (the theater) refers to. Consequently. Armed with this awareness. impeded. Part of the experience of the TL audience is their experience of strategies (linguistic and non-linguistic) employed to produce such a text (see Kress 1982 for more details). nor is he informed of how this masraḥ is 'extremely 110 .Attention in such a process should be given not only to problems of language codification (e. the translator should be aware of the fact that text type lies at the core of the translating process. The inevitable tug of war between Form and Function in the translating process should always be informed by text type. A look at the comments provided by the group of native speakers of English (see section 2. one could argue. lexicalizing of the SL vocabulary items).) shows that 'lack of focus' in the text can be attributed to the 'confusing organization of content' and 'the awkward structure of the text'.interaction is expected to be crippled. In other words. the translator's option for one type of equivalence rather than another is constrained by the type of the text. The text we have in this study is in principle meant to pass on information about a student by his professor in the form of a recommendation letter. 2. Thus. the translator needs to relay the message independently of form in order to approximate the effect. priority should be given to function.

it comes as a concluding and assertive statement in a tension-laden argument. and 'more representative' of an Arabic recommendation letter than the old version. which is an emphatic and concluding Arabic instrument. The third and fourth sentences substantiate the assessment set forth in sentence 2. (see Appendix 3). 'more coherent'.. being contextualized by the first one. fit very well into the hierarchic structure of the text by introducing the writer's conclusion and recommendations (for the modifications at the micro level. and allatii (which) in clause (b). being warranted by the preceding ones. together with the old one. thus giving prominence to the student's 'academic achievement' and his research abilities. 3. Their comments stressed that the TL text now 'sounds much more English ' than the versions they read previously.1. The new SL version.. In response to the comments we received in section 2. The first sentence sets the scene. the sentence suffers two referential ambiguities signaled by the reference markers wahwa (and it is) in clause (a). The reader is provided with little clue as to what these two elements refer to in the text. offers an assessment of the student's work and provides more context to the information introduced in sentence 1 as regards the student's subject of study. Conclusions and Implications 111 . providing background information that identifies the relationship between the participants (teacher and student).. Often. The second sentence is obtrusive in its tone as indicated by the sentence initiator wa-ðaalika ma … (and that was what . The concluding and assertive tone has been mitigated by subordinating the predication of the statement through introducing it as shared and given information marked by the subordinator ca1a-r-raɤmi min (although). In addition to its obtrusive and assertive tone. The fourth sentence reveals a tone similar to that in the previous sentences. The second sentence.). see the section below). the content of the SL text was reorganized and sentences were broken down into smaller and manageable units. The third sentence is also an evaluative and obtrusive statement. The fifth sentence plays down the assertive and obtrusive tone of the one in the old version (sentence 3). Sentences 6 and 7. and leaving him with no chance to evaluate or appreciate the 'student's effort'. The main macro features of the new SL version relate to the reorganization of the content. together with the occasion that prompted the verbal event (a recommendation letter by a supervisor of an MA thesis). passing judgmental views on behalf of the reader. 'more acceptable'. was shown to three professors of Arabic. Its obtrusiveness derives from the function it performs in the discoursal environment it normally exists in. The new version was then translated (see Appendix 4) by one of the present researchers and shown to the same group of native speakers of English.lacking in theoretical studies based on practical experience'. The new version was judged as 'more compact'.

the text underwent a process of constituent transposing wherein sentences shifted positions and made up new paragraphs which emerged as a result of restructuring the content. and student translators need to be engaged in an exploratory process wherein matters related to the function of the text (i. see Carrell 1982 and Farghal & Shakir 1992). The text was negotiated. metaphoric. Remapping the content of the SL text entailed changes at both the micro. and the rhetorical and social function of the text. in light of the role he/she is entrusted with. can remap the SL text to fit it into the TL audience formal and content schemata (for more details. and the views and comments of the three professors of Arabic who read the original SL version. Two terms of reference informed the modification: the first was the views and comments of the group of native speakers of English. At the micro level. The second was the assumption that the translator is not a machine translator. and šurriftu [I was honored. he/she assumes the role of reader and writer who is well aware of the TL audience culture. making decisions informed by the translator's knowledge of the TL cultural conventions and modes of expression. At the macro-level. It is important for translator trainers to import to their students that translating is a process that is promoted not only by the translator's linguistic knowledge. The translator.e. A couple of points emerge from the discussion: 1. its text type) and the relationship between the writer's choice of lexical items in the SL text and their convincing power when rendered in the TL need to be carefully studied. hyperbolous and grandiloquent expressions were played down. 'ibinii [my son]. Experiential matching should be considered. and text linguistics. and factors leading to acceptability or rejection of the translated version need to be monitored and taken into account 2. discourse analysis.and macrolevels. A pre-translating phase should be stressed.c aziiz [the dear]. but also by his knowledge of the TL culture. and the emotive charge was dwindled.A close look at the modified version of the SL text shows that drastic changes have been made to its topographical structure and mode. as being awkward in this context of situation.g. In this spirit. Some constituents were even deleted e. 112 . al. modes of thinking and conventions of expression. but with an obvious 'bias' toward the TL audience. practical translation courses need to be founded on a solid base of socio-linguistics. the audience modes of thinking. rather.

I would like to mention the efforts of my student and son in t h e f i e l d o f‬‬ ‫‪t h e a t e r a n d it s co n n ec t i o n w i t h s c i e nc e i n t h e interest of drama especially acting‬‬ ‫‪which lacks a great deal of theorization connected with practical expression in the area of‬‬ ‫‪creativity. This in‬‬ ‫‪reality has been performed b y t hro u gh perseverance and analytical mentality.‫‪Appendix 1‬‬ ‫)‪(The SL Text‬‬ ‫شها ة وتزكية‬ ‫أود أن أذكر بكل الخير جهود تلميذي وابني ‪ -----------‬في مجال المسر وربطه بالعلم‪ ،‬خدمة لفن المسر وخاصة في فرع‬ ‫التمثيل الذي ينقصه الكثير من التنظير المرتبط بالتجربة العملية في مجال اإلبداع‪ .‬وهي رسالة شاقة ال ينهض بها سوى الرجال الذين تأسسوا تأسيسا ً ال يشق له‬ ‫غبار وهو أمر حققه ‪ -----------‬من خالل مثابرته وعقليته التحليليحة ودأبه وتحصيله في قسمي المسر في جامعة ‪---------‬‬ ‫‪ -‬والمسر بآداب ‪ ------------‬في مرحلة التمهيدي ومرحلة إعداده للماجستير الذي شرفت حقيقة باإلشراف عليه واالستمتاع‬‫بإنجازه المنهجي التحليلي غالبا ً والوصفي أحيانا ً‪ .‬وهو أمر ارى أنه خليق بعناية المسئولين في كلية التربية والفنون الجميلة‬ ‫بجامعة ‪ ،----------‬حثا ً وحضا ً على المواصلة األكاديمية التي ستجني ثمارها على يديه ويدي زمالئه في الحركة المسرحية‬ ‫األردنية خالل خمس سنوات‪. artfully.‬‬ ‫‪Appendix 2‬‬ ‫)‪(A sample of the student translations of the SL text‬‬ ‫‪A Certificate of Merit‬‬ ‫‪With all the best. persistence and‬‬ ‫‪113‬‬ . That was what the dear student achieved as he mastered the movements‬‬ ‫‪of acting and scripting in Jordan (historically. and theoretically) in a‬‬ ‫‪methodological attempt to enlarge the circle of drama by means of science. professionally.‬وذلك ما حاوله الطالب العزبز ‪،-----------‬‬ ‫إذ أحاط بحركة التمثيل في األردن وكذلك حركة اخراج وحركة النص (تاريخا ً وحرفة ونظرية ثم فنا ً) في محاولة منهجية‬ ‫لتوسي دائرة الفنون المسرحية عن طريق العلم‪ . This is in fact an‬‬ ‫‪arduous mission which only matchless and unparalleled men can a c co mp l is h .

he attempted in a systematic approach to expand the sphere of theatrical art by making use of relevant technologies.‫ فإني أرى أن السيد‬،‫على التجارب العلمية واإلبداعية‬ . In this context.and -----------University.‫جامعة‬ Appendix 4 (A translation of the modified SL version) I have supervised Mr. ‫اقل الاس ف األرون ودحاووته ل وظيف ال قنيات العلاي خ د لاها الف‬ ‫لقد أحاط بحركة التمثيل في األردن كما أحاط بحركتي اإلخراج وكتابة النص المسرحي بأبعادهما التاريخية واالحترافية‬ . as well as the movements of directing and scripting in Jordan. In fact it was a real honor for me to supervise him and enjoy his performance which was mostly analytical and sometimes descriptive. On the basis of my knowledge of his efforts in the field of Theater. degree. ----------.A. especially in Acting which is lacking in theoretical studies based on practical and creative experience. X's thesis which he submitted for the M. professional.‫ و‬--------. though descriptive at times. I would like to highly commend his endeavors in the field of Theater to put theatrical technology to the service of theatrical arts in Jordan. X has demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the historical. I believe that 114 . Equipped with this knowledge. degree in Theater and I have been aware of his approach which is basically analytical.‫ ومن هنا حاول وبشكل منهجي توسي دائرة الفن المسرحي في األردن باإلفادة من التقنيات العلمية المتعلقة بهذا الفن‬.، ‫ال حث اله س ن ف دعظاه إلى األولو ال حليل د ش د الوصف أايا ا‬ .b o t h i n his undergraduate studies and in his preparation of his M.‫ كما أنه جدير بتشجيعهم له على مواصلة دراسته التي أتوق لها نتائج مثمرة في المستقبل القريب‬.great achievement in the two branches of theater in University -------------. Though a hard enterprise undertaken only by those who are well-qualified. ---------. his efforts proved to be a real success .‫اثناء دراسته في قسم المسر في جامعتي‬ ‫ وخاصة في فرع التمثيل الذي يفتقر إلى الدراسات النظرية المبنية‬، ‫وبناء على اطالعي على جهده في مجال المسر األردني‬ ‫ جدير برعاية المسؤولين في كلية التربية والفنون الجميلة في‬---------. and theoretical aspects of the movement of acting. Mr.‫لق أش فت على روال الطالب‬ ‫ وف مها السياق أوو أن أثن على جاوو ف‬.and University -------------.A.thanks to his perseverance a n d analytical approach during his study at University -------------. This is a matter which is worth the concern of the officials of the college of Education and Fine Arts in University by motivating and urging him to complete his studies whose benefits will be achieved in five years. Appendix 3 (The modified SL version) ‫واطلعت على دناجه ف‬ ‫ الاس‬،‫ ال أع ما لنيل ورج الااجس ي ف دوضو‬----------.‫والنظرية‬ ‫ إال أن هذا الطالب قد نجح في هذه المحاوالت بفضل مثابرته ومنهجه التحليلي‬،‫ورغم أن مثل هذه المحاولة تعد مهمة صعبة‬ .

Background There seems to be a consensus that translation leaves the door wide open to gain and loss in communication. Thus. consequently. O’Shea. open form questionnaires prove to be more indicative of readers' comprehension of Quranic translation than their closed counterparts because participants. absolute communication remains a desideratum (cf. the study shows that referential gaps may cause serious problems to native speakers of English when they interpret Quranic messages in translation.” Catford (1965:94) links the possibility 115 . Based on the results obtained from two types of questionnaire (an open form and a closed form). I also believe that he should be encouraged to pursue his studies which. the potential for a communicative gain or loss is not only present interlingually but also intralingually. there is an inevitable possibility that cultural elements are changed in translation. will yield fruitful results in the near future. X should receive due attention from the academics in the Faculty of Education and Fine Arts at University -------------. as this study substantiates. However. We are unlikely ever to find two individuals having absolutely the same experience of any event or action. 1. 1996:238). De Waard & Nida (1986:42) maintain that translation loss is due to the fact that “sources and receptors never have identical linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Reader Responses in Quran Translation: The Case of Referential Gaps Mohammed Farghal & Mohammed Al-Masri Abstract This article deals with reader responses to select translations of Quranic verses that involve referential gaps. I am sure. may overestimate their understanding of Quranic messages when responding to closed form questionnaires. The fact that we need to translate is in itself the proof that different language communities possess different cultural repertoires and.Mr. Further.

Farghal 2010. to a reasonable degree. 2012). i. All translators would agree on the importance of rendering the SL message faithfully.of untranslatability to the circumstance when “it is impossible to build functionally relevant features of the situation into the contextual meaning of the TL text”. for example. Translators. this volume). see Shunnaq 1994. as some terminology would suggest. Nida (1994:148) points out that although it is unlikely that there may be “untranslatable languages”.” Most translations should target the average reader and the understanding of the texts should be basically tested by means of responses from average readers. In order to enable people to comprehend the message. Nida and Reyburn 116 . especially in religious texts. This article discusses the degree of similarity in the responses of source language and target text readers. Nida and Taber (1982:1) believe that “correctness must be determined by the extent to which the average reader for which a translation is intended will be likely to understand it correctly. 1986:33). but most may not be able to do this successfully. does not significantly add to the SL message but it only employs a target language equivalent of something which is found in the source language context. by studying the target language recipients’ responses. a given translation can be validated. Admitting that “Difficulties arising out of differences of culture constitute the most serious problems for translators and have produced the most far-reaching misunderstandings among readers” (cf. Since the former is taken for granted. which. must have enough intellectual capacity to overcome the chasms of languages and cultures. one should not overlook the possibility that the pursuit of a functional equivalent. However. it is not unlikely that in certain languages “there are idols of words as well as idols of wood”. That is to say. as target language readers’ response will be important for deciding whether a translation is successful or not. if it has an effect on the recipient similar to that the source language text had on the source language recipients. should not affect his rendition adversely. Another important factor is the translator’s attitudes towards the message communicated. in turn. their role is integral to the whole process (cf. the latter assumes maximal importance. at worst. the most important of which is the faithfulness to the SL message. translators should be able to “draw aside the curtains of linguistic and cultural differences” (de Waard de & Nida (1986:14). Waard de & Nida. Theoretically. especially those who deal with culture-specific texts. concerns their ability or readiness to translate. and he adds that “the translating of religious texts can be a good testing ground for the limits of translatability”. managing which serves the intentions of the translator rather than those of the original author (For more on this. The fact that the original text may lead to different interpretations allows for what Farghal (1993:262) calls ‘extrinsic managing’.e. This orientation implies that recipients are not ‘passive targets’. Farghal and Borini. We have to tolerate some inevitable loss. The translator’s own interpretation. He thus places paramount importance on the pursuit of a functional equivalent for a suitable rendition of the SL message. they may resort to footnoting. independent of other factors. It also argues that translators have to be sensitive to readers’ response. a translation can be successful or valid when it is likely to bring about on the TL receiver effects similar. but this should not discourage translators from searching for strategies that make translation possible.

Dagut (1981: 63) asserts that “. there is not necessarily a one-to-one or even a one-to-many correspondence in semantic or syntactic relations between languages. this implies that utterances translated today. which is a prerequisite for solid comprehension (Ivir. translations are vulnerable and they may jeopardize reasonable comprehension. obscurities. religious language often has connotations that can be rendered by specific equivalents at one time but.. a TL rendition should not inform. we shall mean [by voids] that there is no single English [TL] designator which provides the required equivalent encapsulation of the situational features”. the presence of culture-specific terms and images augments the problems. as time goes by.e. and fuzzy boundaries. Ivir (1991:50) explains that these gaps are created by different ‘extralinguistic realities’ in different cultures. when the SL text intends to preach or dictate.” since there is always something “unutterable” in the words that can be “uttered” repeatedly. (a) the didactic load. corresponding to referents outside the ken of the language community”. religious discourse is timeless. as Nida (1994:147) puts it. De Ward and Nida argue that religious language “generally recognizes the failure of words to communicate truth. Rabin (1958: 127) defines them as “blank spaces in the field of reference. dominate over his knowledge of languages and their cultural interpretations because of his emotional identification with these languages. for example. In particular. 2. i. there is a principal trichotomy of loads – namely. Referential gaps Gaps in languages range from discoursal gaps to phonetic gaps. Religious language deals with supernatural events that lack finite or solid bases. where needed.. 1991:53). In other words. In this respect. Thus. for instance. In addition. religious discourse often has cultural and linguistic gaps that defy bridging. Consequently. for example. which means that it may gradually come to have new connotations – a situation that gives rise to possible future paradoxes and inconsistencies. translators will frequently be obliged to resort to interpretations because of the nature of the text. “are always many-to-many. (b) the informative/expressive load. Referential gaps are at the heart of such ambiguities. and (c) the evaluative load. The relations. This feature imposes a choice between furnishing translations proper or interpretations.(1981:2) concede that the translator’s attitude towards the languages involved can. The verses of the Holy Quran are woven in intricate and sharp ways. In the Holy Quran. a new exegesis. translators need to be sensitized to the crucial strategies by which the SL texts communicate. may develop new connotations and associations in the SL without influencing TL renditions. Religious language also reflects “transcendental experiences for which ordinary language seems to be so inadequate” (Waard de & Nida. In the case of the Holy Quran. As far as referential gaps are concerned. they do not refer to any ‘extralinguistic reality’. these equivalents may fail to render new connotations of the SL term brought about by. So. Since languages are different. In addition.” a fact that opens up for ambiguities. Translation of religious discourse poses a large number of problems. for example. to provide the right information to the TL audience. 1986:21). religious language is subject to different interpretations. when one culture lacks an element 117 . in fact.

backgrounds. The study thus has two dimensions: a receptive tool (the closed form) and a productive one (the open form). that is. Thus. This endeavor is here examined by having TL recipients judge to what extent the TL text is comprehended. In such instances. Catford (1965:94) distinguished between two types of “gaps” in respectively linguistic untranslatability and cultural untranslatability. translators often resort to transliteration to overcome the gap. Methodology 3. the communicative value (Saedi. transliteration offers no information since the transliterated term is not comprehensible by itself but only by means of the linguistic and the ideational context. Arberry (1980). we hope that this article will shed light on some dimensions in translation in general and Quran translation in particular. Dagut (1981:64) regards the former as “voids resulting from intralinguistic factors” and the latter as “voids resulting from extralinguistic factors”. a strategy which. 3. as they enjoy no existence in the language community in question”.2 Procedure The translations of 16 Quranic verses were set up in two questionnaires. Twenty participants responded to the open form and the twenty others to the closed form. In addition. 1990:390) conveyed to the TL recipients is greatly impoverished. which allowed the participants to use their own words and to express their own attitudes and motives. that is. 20 of whom responded to questionnaires in Jordan while on holiday and the rest responded to the questionnaires in the United States. a relation of one-to-many. a third group of 3 readers were asked to 118 . Farghal (1995:198) explains that referential gaps are ‘experiential’. Along the same lines. Dagut (1981 64) argues convincingly that certain languages are better equipped with the compressed power of designator than other languages. ranging from “straightforwardly understood” to “makes no sense at all.” The second questionnaire (Appendix II) arranged the 16 Quranic verses so that each verse required a different response. They represented different age-groups. and Pickthall (1980). amounts to a confession that the gap is untranslatable. This leads to further gaps in the linguistic mapping of different as well as similar extralinguistic realities. implying that some languages have well-defined terms for designating referents that correspond to more than one term in the TL. partial and complete gaps).which the other culture has. 3. being completely alien to the TL recipients. And. To sum up. consequently.1 Subjects and Corpus The participants in this study were 43 native speakers of English. competent translators need to realize these dimensions when handling texts with cultural or linguistic peculiarities. in effect. All these verses involve referential gaps (namely 22. a fact which makes for conceptual incompatibility between members of different linguistic communities. nationalities and professions and comprised both men and women. In order to check the validity of the answers to the closed form. they are “missing entities in a certain culture. Long before Ivir. The translation corpus consisted of a total of 16 carefully selected translations of Quranic verses that were thought to cause some comprehension problems and were taken from the translations of Ali (1934). The first questionnaire (Appendix I) checked the degree of comprehensibility on a scale of 5 levels.

This suggests that native speakers of English may overestimate their comprehension of Quranic translation. at least according to this study. 14. Table 3. we find that 48. 19. 18. 25 Substitution 5 1. the match and mismatch results in the third group (3 subjects) will be discussed. which is an overview of comprehension. 20 Substitution + Addition 1 12 Definition + Literal translation 1 29 When we turn to Table 2. 4. When we exclude the column "satisfactory sense" as not indicative. Then. only 19. 9.13% found the verses difficult to comprehend. it becomes obvious that native speakers of English have problems in comprehending Quranic referential gaps in translation.17% who were either unable to make sense of the translations in question or did not respond. whereas about only 28. 11. Finally. 3.15. 22.13% of the participants thought that they comprehended the verses in general. 27. Results and Discussion Table 1 illustrates that the linguistic corpus in the present study bears witness to many different strategies in the translation of Quranic referential gaps. 16. reveals that in the questionnaire with the open form. 4. however. 28 Definition 6 5. 6.83% of the participants demonstrated a good understanding of the translations vs. the findings of the open form and the closed form will be presented and compared. the education variable will be examined to see whether it had any bearing on the results attained by means of the two different types of questionnaire. Next. 13. Distribution of translation strategies in the corpus Strategy Frequency Found in examples Literal translation 11 2. Table 1. 119 . 21. the corpus will be examined in light of the translation strategies adopted in the rendition of Quranic referential gaps into English (Ivir 1991). 70. 3.respond to both questionnaires so that we could compare the same readers’ response to the closed form with that to the open form. 23 Addition + Literal translation 2 8.3 Data Analysis First. 26. 17.

3 15 4 20 4 20 3 15 6 30 9. 0 0 6 30 9 45 3 15 2 10 3. Further. and they were not aware that in Islam. closed questionnaires always leave room for erroneous correspondences between source language and target language concepts. For example.The third group of readers furnishes evidence that the responses to the closed form presented in Table 4 are unreliable as a measure of genuine comprehension. % No. Such misconceptions can only be detected in an open questionnaire Table 2 . 0 0 0 0 3 15 5 25 12 60 5. Results of the closed form questionnaire A Verse B No sense at all C D Very little Satisfactory sense sense No. It therefore seems as if participants in studies like the present one tend to believe that they fully comprehend passages which are. the former being compulsory and the latter optional. 5 25 5 25 7 35 0 0 3 15 6. only partially understood. 1 5 5 25 4 20 4 20 6 30 13. 0 0 6 30 5 25 4 20 5 25 14. % 1. 2 10 5 25 4 20 3 15 6 30 10. 6 30 6 30 4 20 1 5 3 15 120 . E A lot of sense Straight- forwardly understood No. I 5 0 0 2 10 6 30 11 55 8. 3 15 1 5 7 35 3 15 6 30 16. 0 0 1 5 6 30 1 5 12 60 2. % No.17% of their answers to the two forms match as opposed to a 70. 0 0 7 35 5 25 4 20 4 20 11. since only 29. 2 10 0 0 4 20 5 25 9 45 7. % No. in reality. 0 0 1 5 8 40 I 5 10 50 15. there are two terms for 'giving to the poor' namely: zakat and sadaqah.83% mismatch. 0 0 4 20 2 10 2 10 12 60 12. 10 50 6 30 2 10 1 5 1 5 4. many participants thought that the Islamic term zakat corresponded exactly to the Christian term alms. % No.

20 Table 3. 1 5 4 20 2 10 2 10 2 10 9 45 contact with women Ali 17. A lot of sense F Straightforwardly understoo d The SL Term in Translation No. 5 25 11 55 2 10 0 0 0 0 2 10 defiled Arberry 10. Pickthall 4. 13 65 5 25 2 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 purify Pickthall 8. 6 30 3 15 3 15 1 5 3 15 4 20 private parts Arberry 15.Total 10. 5 25 9 45 3 15 2 10 1 5 0 0 gifts Pickthall 14. 2 10 12 60 3 15 2 10 1 5 0 0 visit to Mecca Pickthall 13. 5 25 1 5 5 25 5 25 4 20 0 0 to clean. 10 50 5 25 3 15 1 5 1 5 0 0 what their right hands own Arberry 16. 0 0 1 5 0 0 3 15 4 20 12 60 prostrate. 3 15 9 45 3 15 0 0 2 10 3 15 reached their period Arberry 9. A B C D No response No sense at all Very little sense E Satisfactory sense No.93 34.. 4 20 5 25 3 15 3 15 3 15 2 10 no sense of the shame of sex 20.. % 1.02 44 108 13... 2 10 7 35 3 15 6 30 2 10 0 0 take for yourselves clean sand 18.. 1 5 14 70 4 20 0 0 0 0 1 5 Purify .02 76 24.11 32 57 18.. % No.... 1 5 8 40 11 55 0 0 0 0 0 0 vow ye vow 19. Pickthall 22. 5 25 11 55 2 10 1 5 1 5 0 0 purify Arberry 11.. Pickthall 7. Pickthall 3.. % No. 0 0 0 0 1 5 3 15 4 20 12 60 bow down. 2.. high ground and rub Pickthall 121 Arberry Arberry Ali Pickthall Ali Ali . Results of the Open Form (The Solid line indicates verse boundary). % No. 2 10 7 35 6 30 1 5 1 5 3 15 ceremonial impurity 21. 1 5 12 60 4 20 1 5 1 5 1 5 unclean. Pickthall 5. % No. 1 5 7 35 1 5 1 5 8 40 2 10 pilgrimage Pickthall 12. % No. 5 25 4 20 3 15 0 0 1 5 7 35 have had contact. 0 0 10 50 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 50 And He has enjoined.. 2 10 12 60 2 10 2 10 1 5 1 5 Be as my mothers back 6.

3 15 1 5 6 30 3 5 4 20 3 15 have cleansed themselves Arberry 27. Results of the Third Group (Closed and Open Forms) Verse No. 0 3 Total 8 16 Total 6 18 Match = 14 = 29. Pickthall Table 4. 0 3 5. 1 2 6.23. 2 1 16. 17 85 2 10 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 God has commanded you. 0 3 2. How and with what would they purify themselves? It should be noted that no native speaker of Arabic will miss the message of the Quranic verse in the original "wa'in kuntum junuban faṭṭahharuu" (al-maa'idah: 6) since the predicates junub (= having semen on oneself due to ejaculation by any imaginable 122 . 1 2 12.17% Mismatch = 34 = 70. 13 65 4 20 2 10 1 5 0 0 0 0 vow you vow Arberry 25. Match Mismatch Verse No. 2 1 3. 0 3 8. 2 1 11. 7 35 9 45 3 15 0 0 0 0 1 5 put away women.. 1 2 13. 3 15 0 0 3 15 0 0 1 5 13 65 monthly course Arberry 26. purify yourselves" (Pickthall 1980: 135) and "If you are defiled. 3 15 7 35 6 30 2 10 2 10 0 0 expenditure Arberry 24. 8 40 8 40 4 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 legal period..83% In order to illustrate the readers' response... 0 3 14. purify yourselves" (Arberry 1980:1:128) in order to see how the participants in the study responded respectively to the instructions "Give examples of people who are unclean" and "Give examples of 'people' who are in a state of being defiled. 2 1 7. Pickthall 29. Arberry 28. 0 3 9. 1 2 10.. Match Mismatch 1. 1 2 15. let us consider terms 4 and 6 on the open form "And if ye are unclean. 1 2 4.

prayer. criminal people. possibly sinners . High school students lagged negligibly behind at 18. 2. anyone from a leper or a whore to an outcast or a low class person. murderers. namely. 3. 4. b) Sample interpretations of the ways in which one could purify oneself: 1. 2. which runs counter to the intended material sense of the original. morally corrupt. 6.those who have done wrong against society or others. This being the case. that is.41% ("a lot of sense") and 41. 4.means) and taṭahhara (= to take a bath) both belong to the general. etc. spiritual sense that is denotatively related to sin. sin dichotomy). material sense to a general. unwashed. to remove the ejaculated semen by means of bathing. worshippers of idols. Similarly. atheists. washing and obtaining forgiveness. 3. most participants interpret faṭṭahharuu in a spiritual sense. 'purify'. these decisions seriously distort the meaning of the terms of the original. spiritual sense. which is the natural consequence of a specific. 5. junuban. respectively. Unfortunately. This can be clearly seen from the participants' interpretations of 'unclean' and 'defiled' and the way they thought one could purify oneself as indicated below: a) Sample interpretations of 'unclean' and 'defiled': 1. common criminals and thieves. any sinner in a Biblical sense. is construed in a general.41% ("straightforwardly understood") vs. From a translational perspective. 5. This twist in denotation amounts to a major difference in meaning between the original and the translation that impedes the understanding of the intended message. godly acts. dead people. material happening that is completely unmarked for religious appropriateness (which would qualify it in terms of the virtue vs. It is clear that the distortion of the messages in the translated terms is caused by the shift from a specific. namely. eaten the wrong food. doing good and repenting their sins or wrongdoings. 123 . and both translations use a literal rendition. 13% and 32% for the Master's and Ph. Pickthall and Arberry both use substitution. through prayer and worship. renouncing their sins. 'unclean' and 'defiled' for junuban. Consequently there is a breakdown of communication in these translations. have touched certain criminals. for faṭṭahharuu. atheists. The findings of the closed form (in Table 5) show that holders of a Bachelor's degree ranked highest in the rating of comprehensibility of Quranic verses at 16. asking forgiveness and seeking to lead a better life.75% and 25%.D. degree holders. unmarked register in Arabic.

58 4 13.69 7 24. % No. % No. (4) 6 12. especially when considering the generally poor performance of the participants in all groups.5 5 10. Results of the Education Variable (The Open Form) Degree No sense at all Very little sense Satisfactory sense A lot of sense Straightfor ward ly understood Total No. D. as mentioned.99 3.74 37 15. % No.97 2. No. Master’s D.43 21 16.respectively. % No. % 1. AA.34 2 6. % No.48 8 27. however.75 20 25 80 100 2. also be examined in the open form questionnaire. % 1.42 15 31.58 43 18.99 124 .41 53 41. of subjects No. % No. No.95 23 99. Table 5.89 2 6.25 6 12.34 11 37. Results of The Education Variable (The Open Form) Degree No response No sense at all Very little sense Satisfactory sense A lot of sense Straightforwardly understood Total No . % No.14 29 99.13 20 15. it is not enough to be statistically significant.89 6 20. High school (1) 16 20 17 21.06 20 31. more reliable for uncovering participants' responses (Table 6). % No.25 12 15 15 18. Bachelor 53 22. Although the figures are more indicative of the participants' comprehension than those of the open questionnaire. of subjects N o.93 0 0 2 6.25 64 100 4. % No.84 64 27.53 17 7. no positive correlation between the level of education and the rating of comprehensibility in this study.89 29 99. There is.31 14 21.33 48 100 The education variable can. % No.5 13 20. Ph. (6) 8 12. High school (1) 10 34. (1) 3 10. therefore.88 9 14. (8) 4 3. Table 6.62 30 23. Bachelor’s D.79 3 10.5 16 33. which was.33 18 7. % No.41 12 8 100 3.

" It must be explained that the Quranic verse is not offensive to anybody. In this study we have used passages from the Holy Quran. or 'ideational equivalence' (Farghal 1994) by employing one or more of the translation strategies at their disposal when they encounter referential gaps. We can therefore claim that our findings apply to Arabic religious discourse in general and the Holy Quran in particular. they introduce false conceptions about the Holy Quran which is an extremely serious fact.01 53 30.(8) 2 4. I find the idea that I am considered unclean and a source of pollution offensive..69 18 15. such as those used by Arberry who rendered 'private parts' for "genitals" and 'what their right hands own' for "their woman servants" (Arberry vol. Conclusion This study has tried to explore the problem of referential gaps in the translation of unmatched cultural elements by drawing evidence from select translations of Quranic verses. a translation is an act of communication. Translators should endeavor to convey the communicative value of the referential gap by any means. It can be concluded that readers' response should be considered a key variable in translation. one Western PhD holder participating in the study did not understand the following translation correctly ". Accordingly.05 19 10. in the final analysis. and ye find no water. If you have been in contact with women. it is thought-provoking that most of the translations used in the study failed to convey the source language message into the target language.46 26 14. Even when it is kept in mind that perfect communication is impossible both intralingually and interlingually.17 7 6. regardless of how formal.69 11 6 100 5.03 24 20. when semantic translation (Newmark 1988) and semantic equivalence (Widdowson 1971) fall short of comprehensibility. commenting that "it may be helpful to notice that as a Westerner and a woman. We assumed that such gaps impeded cross-cultural communication. PhD (4) 8 6.52 6 5. elevated. or 'functional equivalence' (de Waard and Nida 1986). it simply states that a man has to clean himself with earth if he had been in contact with women and finds no water before performing prayers. and not use problematic paraphrase and literal translation.. Master’s (6) 47 27. practical solutions. translators should opt for `communicative translation' (Newmark 1988). poetic. Consequently. As such it cannot operate in a vacuum in which messages are blocked.62 17 4 100 5. The claim that the authoritativeness of the religious text is the determining factor when it comes to decisionmaking in translation should be reconsidered in light of the reader response variable because.92 15 8.94 14 8. man or woman. 125 . and refined the style of the original.1 1980: 128). then take for yourselves clean sand and earth" (Ali 1934:242). For instance. This fact calls for immediate.90 53 45. reader responses proved this to be the case.

it serves to bring into focus reader response as an important variable in the translation of religious discourse and even on a small scale. The mission of translating the meanings of the Holy Quran will invariably be in for more criticism than praise. Notice that you should deal with each utterance as a completely independent entity. It deals basically with the translation of certain elements from the Arab-Islamic culture into English. The study takes evidence from the Holy Quran for completely academic purposes. as shown in this study. it should be borne in mind that theory may sometimes be far from practice. You are kindly requested to tick () the box that best fits your understanding of the verse that corresponds to it. This questionnaire is intended to be the basis for a study on translation problems. All the same. Be sure that your responses to this questionnaire will not be circulated and that they will only be used for purely academic purposes. We wish to emphasize that this study is not meant to depreciate the efforts of the renowned translators whose work we have used. However.Last but not least. Appendix I Dear Friend/Colleague. focus on the meaning of the words in bold type. we have to pay homage to those outstanding translators of the Holy Quran whose efforts and contributions are highly acknowledged throughout the world. Please be informed that you may not consult references in the course of responding to this questionnaire. While trying to understand the content of each verse. The questionnaire involves a number of selected translations of certain Quranic verses. Personal information: Name (optional):_______________________________________ Nationality:___________________________________________ Age:_________________________________________________ Sex: Male Female Bachelor’s Degree Education: High School or below Master’s Degree PhD or more General field of Study: _______________________________ 126 .

The ‘verse’ translated

no sense
at all

very little

1- “And He has enjoined me to
pray, and to give the alms, so
long as I live”.
2- “Purify [Abraham and
Ishmael] My house for those who
go around and those who
meditate therein and those who
bow down and prostrate
themselves (in worship)”.
3- “And those who say, regarding
their wives, “Be as my mother’s
back”, and then retract what they
have said, they shall set free a
4- “And if ye [before prayers] are
unclean, purify yourselves.
5- “O Prophet ! [Mohammad]
when you divorce women,
divorce them when they have
reached their period. Count the
period, and fear God your Lord.”
6- “If you are defiled, purify
7- “Perform the Pilgrimage and
the visit (to Mecca) for Allah.
And if ye are prevented, then
send such gifts as can be obtained
with ease.”
8- “Prosperous are the believers,
who in their prayers are humble,
and from idle talk turn away, and
at almsgiving are active, and
guard their private parts save
from their wives and what their
right hands own.”


Makes a
lot of


9- “... If you have been in contact
with women. and ye find no
water then take for yourselves
clean sand or earth..”
10- “Whatever alms ye spend or
vow ye vow, lo ! Allah knoweth it
11- “And say to the believing
women that they should lower
their gaze and guard their
modesty,.... and should not
display their beauty except to
their husbands, their fathers,.. or
small children who have no sense
of the shame of sex”.
12- “If you are in a state of
ceremonial impurity, bathe your
whole body”.
13- “O ye who believe! when ye
rise up for prayer, wash your
faces, and your hands... . And if
ye are sick or on a journey, or one
of you cometh from the closet, or
ye have had contact with
women, and ye find no water,
then go to clean, high ground
and rub your faces and your
hands with some of it”.
14- “And whatever expenditure
you expend, and whatever vow
you vow, surely God knows it”.
15- “They will question thee
concerning the monthly course.
Say: It is hurt; so go apart from
women during the monthly
course, and do not approach them
till they are clean. When they
have cleansed themselves, then
come unto them as God has
commanded you”.


16-“O Prophet! [Mohammad]
when ye (men) put away women,
put them away for their (legal)
period and reckon the period.

Appendix II
Dear Friend / Colleague,
This questionnaire is intended to be the basis for a study on translation problems. It deals
basically with the translation of certain elements from the Arab-Islamic culture into English. The
study takes evidence from the Holy Quran for completely academic purposes. The test involves a
number of selected translations of certain Quranic verses. You are kindly requested to write in
simple English what you understand from the “verses”, giving special attention to the word(s)
written in bold type, when the utterance seems too long. When it involves one or two short
sentences, try to paraphrase it in your own words. Along with some utterances, you will find
certain questions. Try to make sure that you entirely depend on the utterance when you kindly
answer them. Notice that you should deal with each utterance as a completely independent entity.
Be sure that your responses to this questionnaire will not be circulated and that they will only be
used for purely academic purposes. Please be informed that you may not consult references in the
course of doing this task.
Personal information:
Name (optional):_______________________________________
Sex: Male


Education: High School or below
Master’s Degree

Bachelor’s Degree
Ph.D. or more

General field of Study:______________________________________.

1. “And He has enjoined me to pray, and to give the alms, so long as I live”.

Arberry, vol.1 (1980: 333)
* Is ‘almsgiving’ optional or compulsory?
2. “Purify [Abraham and Ishmael] My house for those who go around and those who meditate
therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves (in worship).”
Pickthall (1980: 23).
* How would ‘purification’ take place? What would one use to purify Allah’s house?
* Differentiate between meditate, bow down, and prostrate.
3. “And those who say, regarding their wives, ‘Be as my mother’s back’, and then retract what
they have said, they shall set free a slave.”
Arberry, vol.2 (1980: 263).
* Does this make ‘their wives divorced? Explain.
4. “And if ye [before prayers] are unclean, purify yourselves.”
Pickthall (1980: 135).
* Give examples of people who are unclean.
5. “O Prophet! [Mohammad] when you divorce women, divorce them when they have reached
Arberry, vol.2 (1980: 284).
6. “If you are defiled, purify yourselves.”
Arberry, vol.1(1980: 128).
* Give examples of ‘people’ who are in a state of being defiled. How and with what would
they purify themselves?
7. “Perform the Pilgrimage and the visit (to Mecca) for Allah. And if ye are prevented, then send
such gifts as can be obtained with ease.”
Pickthall (1980: 37).
* Differentiate between ‘Pilgrimage’ and visit (to Mecca).
* Give examples of ‘gifts’ and how/where they can be sent.
8. “Prosperous are the believers, who in their prayers are humble, and from idle talk turn away,
and at almsgiving are active, and guard their private parts save from their wives and what
their right hands own.”
Arberry, vol.2 (1980: 37).

9. “...If you have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves
clean sand or earth...”
Ali (1934: 242).
* Does the phrase ‘contact with women’ involve sexual moves?
* How would one take for himself/herself ‘clean sand or earth’?
10. “Whatever alms ye spend or vow ye vow, lo! Allah knoweth it all.
Pickthall (1980: 56).
* Give examples of ‘vows you vow’.
11. “And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty,
... and should not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, ... or small
children who have no sense of the shame of sex”.
(1934: 905).
12. “If you are in a state of ceremonial impurity, bathe your whole body.”
Ali (1934: 242).
* Give examples of one who is ceremonially impure.
13. “O ye who believe! When ye rise up for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands...... . And if
ye are sick or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have had contact
with women, and ye find no water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and
your hands with some of it.”
Pickthall (1980: 135-6).
14. “And whatever expenditure you expend, and whatever vow you vow, surely God knows it”.
Arberry, vol.1 (1980: 68).
* What may ‘expenditure’ involve?
15. “They will question thee concerning the monthly course. Say: ‘It is hurt; so go apart from
women during the monthly course, and do not approach them till they are clean. When they
have cleansed themselves, then come unto them as God has commanded you”.
Arberry, vol.1 (1980: 59).
* What exactly is the monthly course?
* How would women cleanse themselves?
16. “O Prophet! [Mohammad] when ye (men) put away women, put them away for their (legal)
period and reckon the period.”
Pickthall (1980: 747)


132 .


made overt by the reader or listener through processes of interpretation”. or. The data consists of selective examples involving potential problems related to such shifts. see Mustafa. Quran translation into foreign tongues has always been a controversial issue among Arab/Muslim scholars since Medieval times (for more details. this issue was resolved when religious bodies. gave permission for translating the Quran provided that Quran translators explicitly state that their translations are not replacements 134 . Introduction Blum-Kulka (2004: 291) defines coherence as “a covert potential meaning relationship among parts of a text. On the other hand. In particular. she divides coherence shifts into two categories.Coherence Shifts in Quran Translation Mohammed Farghal & Noura Alblushi Abstract This paper aims to shed light on reader-focused and text-focused coherence shifts in Quran translation. When examining coherence shifts. such as Al-Azhar (Egypt). She equates coherence with the text`s interpretability. while the second involves text-focused shifts of coherence which result from mistranslations. The study concludes that coherence shifts constitutes a serious problem in Quran translation. More interestingly. thus considering general changes or loss in meaning of the Source Text (ST) through translation as affecting its coherence. to better understand the true limits of translatability” (p. there is a consensus nowadays that existing Quran translations should be taken as interpretations of the sacred text rather than exact translations. 2001). Blum-Kulka argues that distinguishing the two types of shifts is important because it helps in having “a better understanding of what translation can and cannot do. in other words. 2001: 273). which calls for remedial work in future endeavors. Being the Arabic Word of God verbatim. the first results from the Target Text (TT) reader’s failure to make sense of the ST because of different world views. thus offering unintended readings. which leads to reader-focused coherence shifts. 297). which are excerpted from five well-known English translations of the Holy Quran. Hence. the translator’s inadequate language competence in Arabic and the absence of consulting Quranic exegeses sometimes trigger text-focused shifts. However. 1. Translatability can be defined as “the capacity of some kind of meaning to be transferred from one language to another without undergoing radical change" (Alpert. the wide cultural distance between source text and target text may cause reader-focused shifts when opting for literal translation in handling partial and complete referential gaps. the Holy Quran constitutes the most important source of authority for Muslims. On the one hand. The results show that Quran translators sometimes fall victim to such shifts.

examining potential reader-focused coherence shifts is a way towards rendering a more coherent Quran translation. (2) The Koran Interpreted by A. failure to do so may result in ineffective translation. being overwhelmingly source-oriented. 1930/2006. the translator`s task is to fill any cultural voids that may impede the TT readers` interpretability of the TT. The present study will draw selectively on examples excerpted from 5 translations of the Holy Quran as follows: (1) The Message of the Qur’an by Muhammad Asad. 2. Irving. The Quran translator Mohammad Asad (2003: vii) notes that the linguistic gap between Arabic and English is a source of coherence shifts to a TT reader because “the coherence of the Quranic world view and its relevance to the human condition escape him altogether and assume the guise of what. one can readily observe that most Quran translations are source-oriented and hardly. In the case of the Quran. 1980/2003. 2001). Translation and Commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. This creates a void in translation. beliefs and value system recognized in the ST.of the ST and that they are merely rephrasings based on the agreed upon meaning of the original. in Europe. Arberry. in a text that is deeply rooted in the source culture. is frequently described as ‘incoherent ramblings’”. (5) The Glorious Quran by Muhammad M. B. J. and in this case. a TT is likely to be new to the TL readers. Reader-focused Coherence Shifts Blum-Kulka states that reader-focused coherence shifts occur “as a result of a text being read by culturally different audiences” (2004: 305). take the needs of the target audience to access the intended meanings into consideration (for more details. Because of this cultural distance. Despite this. TL culture might not share the same cultural assumptions. if at all. this normative system. 1934/2005. hardly accommodates to the needs of TT readers. 1930/1996. see Mustafa. (4) The Qur’an the Noble Reading by T. in most cases. Therefore. (3) The Qur'an. In Quran translation. She argues that this kind of shift is unavoidable because. However. the translator will often be confronted with culture-bound expressions that are difficult to convey to the TT readers (The TT reader is assumed to be the average Western reader). most Quran translators resort 135 . 1985/1993. Pickthall. in their endeavors to supplement translations. Text. Blum-Kulka (2004: 298) also notes that the normative system dominating the translation process can contribute to creating reader-focused coherence shifts in translation.

In this way. 18) Both translators employ the word due(s). to denote the obligatory sense of zakat in the TT. while those that employ them reduce the number of reader-focused coherence shifts. p. however. God will reward them. Asad derives his rendition from the spiritual connotations of zakat: he notes in his footnote that its main function is to “purify a person`s capital and income from the taint of selfishness” (p. relates to a referential item that exists in both languages and cultures with different implications. by doing so. the translators differ in the choice of the generic word chosen to render it. so he renders it as ‘the poordue’. for. something required. (110) (Asad. Consider the verse and the translations: ‫يي‬ ‫وأصبي ُاوا ٱليل ٰو و اتُوا الزكاة ودا تُق ِّ ُدوا بأل فُ بس ُا ِّد ْ خ ْي ٍ ت بج ُو ُ بعن ٱّللب إبن ٱّلل صباا تعْالُون ص ب‬ ١١١﴿ ) ‫ال ق‬ And be constant in prayer. in order to prevent the occurrence of reader-focused shifts. The principles and rules encompassed in this term make it a challenging concept to render fully in translation. and whatever of good you send before (you) for your souls. This refers generally to a certain amount of money gathered from the well-to-do and paid to the poor. unawareness of a referential item is likely to impede the TT reader`s comprehension and ability to interpret the TT coherently.18). These culture-bound expressions in the translation of the Quran constitute either partial or complete cultural/referential gaps that need to be filled in the process of translation. p. The area of reference is the primary source of this kind of shifts. Lo! Allah is Seer of what you do. 32) Establish worship. i. whatever good deed you send ahead for your own selves. you shall find it with God: behold. The following discussion will reveal that most reader-focused coherence shifts are found in translations that opt out of using parenthetical material and/or footnotes (for more details on strategies to deal with culture-bound long introductions to suras and a great amount of explanatory notes to bridge the cultural gap where potential reader-focused coherence shifts might arise. (110) (Pickthall. see Newmark 1988 and Larson 1998). as the name indicates. people are urged to pay zakat and are assured that. A partial referential gap in translation. and render the purifying dues. By contrast. Pickthall derives his translation from the category of people who are eligible to receive it. This modification succeeds in conveying the main aspect of the term. In the following verse. God sees all that you do. A familiar Islamic concept which constitutes a partial referential gap is the concept of zakat ‫ الزكا‬. and pay the poor-due. thus basing his translation on the connotative meaning of the term. it is also obligatory and constitutes the third of the five pillars of Islam. you will find it with Allah. both translators attempt to approximate the concept to TT readers by defining it 136 .

defined above as being ‘gifts’. you will find any good you have sent on ahead for your own souls' sake is already [stored up] with God. p. (110) (Irving. that is sadaqah. For his part. without specifying that zakat is obligatory for the well-to-do and not the poor. so the term ‘charity’. assuredly God sees the things you do. Target readers may derive different implications from this rendition since it carries different associations from those of zakat in the Islamic context. God is Observant of whatever you do. Welfare tax pertains generally to the amount of money paid by all people. i. these readers are likely to interpret this term in a different way from that intended in the source text. p. Moreover. (110) (Ali. Vol. which is associated in the TL culture with voluntary giving is too general.e. In addition. Similar changes can be found in Arberry and Irving`s renditions of zakat. and without a footnote. to the government for the advancement of society as a whole. 9) Arberry employs ‘alms’ as an equivalent for zakat. For example. thus ‘charity’ becomes a more appropriate rendition for sadaqah but not zakat. Without a footnote or any other means of explication. 48) It should be noted that in the SL culture the concept of zakat is very specific and is associated with obligatory giving. whatever good you shall forward to your souls' account. ye shall find it with God. and pay the alms. In this way. clothes. For God sees Well all that ye do. in the SL culture voluntary giving is associated with another term. p. (110) (Arberry. the relevant features required for the full and coherent interpretation of the term are lost in his translation. Consider their translations: And perform the prayer. This lexical item is too general and does not have the same denotative meaning of the Islamic term. or food to poor people” (2003). given with free will. rich and poor alike. 42) Keep up prayer and pay the welfare tax. different implications might arise from Irving`s translation. Ali`s translation seriously diverges from what is meant by the Islamic concept of zakat. Collins Cobuild Advanced Learner`s Dictionary defines ‘alms’ as “gift of money. Ali employs “charity” as an equivalent for zakat: And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before their footnotes as an obligatory tax and provide sufficient amount of technical information about it. in order to prevent a reader-focused shift. the readers might infer that it is obligatory for the 137 . you shall find it with God. the nature of these alms. Likewise. 1. He uses Modern American English in his translation of the Quran and renders zakat as ‘welfare tax’. diverges from the obligatory nature of zakat.

Therefore. the legal period is prescribed to rule out pregnancy. (1) (Asad. a significant reader-focused coherence shift can be found in Irving`s translation. send them away according to their [legal] number and count up the amount [of months carefully]. it is very unlikely that TT readers will get the intended message. However. The term uddah is a Quranic euphemism referring to the legally prescribed waiting period before a divorced woman can remarry. but his translation can be misleading. thus rendering it as ‘the waiting period appointed for them’. whenever you [and other Muslims] divorce women. For his part. the result being a reader-focused coherence shift. He also supports his translation with sufficient information in a footnote to clarify the meaning of this Islamic concept. too. p. Both Arberry and Irving`s translations may lead to reader-focused coherence shifts. Secondly. the translation lacks consistency because Irving translates the two occurrences of uddah in this verse differently. Consider the following verse along with Asad`s translation: ۟ ‫ الطًق) ٰ َٰٓأ ُّاا ٱلن ُّى إبذا طل ْق ُ ُ ٱلنِّسآَٰ فطلِّقُومُ لعدتهن وأاْ ي‬١﴿ ‫ُوا ٱلعدة‬ ‫ب‬ O Prophet! When you intend to divorce women. Having defined uddah in the first instance. Ali and Pickthall also explicate this meaning of this term in their translations by rendering it as the “prescribed period’ and ‘(legal) period’. so both lack equivalence. neither renditions conveys the full sense of uddah. 332) This translation is vague for two reasons. p. Arberry employs the word ‘period’ as an equivalent for the term uddah. Firstly. (1) (Irving. he then renders the second instance generically as ‘the period’ to ensure the consistency of his translation. Let us now examine the translation of a complete referential gap uddah to see how it can lead to reader-focused coherence shifts. This inference does not serve the message of zakat which aims at compassion and social justice rather that burdening the and poor alike. respectively. divorce them with a view to the waiting period appointed for them. and reckon the period [carefully]. 994) Asad approximates this concept to TT readers by explicating its meaning of the first occurrence of the term through using a descriptive phrase. His translation lacks clarity and consistency as he translates the first instance as ‘[legal] number’ while the second as ‘amount of months’ as can observed below: O Prophet. as can be observed below: 138 .

choices that indicate a lack of awareness on the translator`s part of the SL text`s meaning potential” (Blum-Kulka. about 75% of them provided interpretations relating to the monthly period rather than the intended legal sense” (p. When dealing with such gaps in Quran translation. 3.O Prophet. Count the period. text-focused coherence shifts result primarily from the translation process and affect the ST’s meaning potential in translation. when you divorce women. it is vital for translators to address them by employing appropriate strategies. divorce them when they have reached their period. when literal translation is employed. Text-focused Coherence Shifts Whereas reader-focused coherence shifts are mainly incurred to fill any cultural void that may impede TT readers` interpretability of the translation. (1) (Arberry. These shifts occur “as a result of particular choices made by a specific translator. as failure to do so may result in a reader-focused coherence shift. including borrowing and paraphrase combined with descriptive modification and. Some text-focused coherence shifts may be caused by the translator`s unconscious interventions in the ST`s meaning potential. it usually fails to deliver the complete meaning of the cultural item. therefore.151). the TT will offer an interpretation that is not intended by the ST because of a mistranslation committed by the translator. to bridge the gap. p. as can be seen in the translation of the following verse which involves an Islamic teaching: ،‫إن ٱليفا و ْٱلا ْ و بد شعآَٰئب ب ٱّللب ۖ فا ْ اج ْٱل يْت أ بو ٱ ْع ا فً جُنا عل ْي به أن يطوف بهما ۚ ود تطو‬ ١٥١﴿ ‫ ا فإبن ٱّلل شا بك علبي‬، ًۭ ‫خ ْي‬ ) ‫ال ق‬ 139 . Without explicating the meaning. this translation will certainly cause a reader-focused coherence shift. 2. Notably. 2004: 301). To sum up. footnotes. on the one hand. and the non-existence of equivalent concepts usually leads to incongruity in the meanings offered by English translations of Quranic culture-bound expressions. 284) Farghal and Al-Masri (this volume) note that using ‘period’ as an equivalent for uddah may lead target readers to confuse it with the menstrual cycle in women because “when the text was given to a group of 20 American native speakers. Literal translation often fails because Arabic and English are two languages that are radically different. On the other hand. cultural gaps are unavoidable because language systems and cultures do not share the same reference networks. The translator`s task is. target readers will most likely interpret the message according to their own culture and experience of the world. Consequently. thus affecting the meaning of the Quran and its coherence in translation. when a text involves a partial or a complete cultural gap. in several cases. Vol.

As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the symbols set up by God. Therefore. God is Appreciative. God is All-grateful. With anyone who volunteers some good. (158) (Asad. pp. (Arberry. However. should compass them round. having come to the Temple on pilgrimage or on a pious visit. 42) Safa and Marwa are some of God's waymarks. ‫طوف صب بااا‬ (Literally ‘go round them’) signifies running. to go around them (as the pagan custom is). between these two hills. 1. This is rendered accurately by Asad and Irving in the above translations because they opt out of literal meaning in favor of intended meaning. no wrong does he who. or pacing. p. p. p. it is no sin in them. 158. 62-63) Safa and Marwa are among the waymarks of God.[Hence. 48) Lo! (the hills) Al-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the indications of Allah. and thus. 24) 140 . Anyone who goes on Pilgrimage to the House or visits [it] will not be blamed if he runs along between them. Allknowing. Aware.] behold. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House (of Allah) or visiteth it. 13) Al-Safa and Al-Marwah are two hills between which Muslims are required to travel back and forth seven times during the annual pilgrimage and the Lesser pilgrimage. so whosoever makes the Pilgrimage to the House.. (158) (Pickthall. strides to and fro between these two: for. (158) (Irving. And he who does good of his own accord (for him).be sure that God is He Who recogniseth and knoweth. So if those who visit the House in the Season or at other times. Aware. And if any one obeyeth his own impulse to good. (158) (Ali. lo! Allah is Responsive. and whoso volunteers good. all-knowing. if one does more good than he is bound to do . God is responsive to gratitude. p. text-focused coherence shifts occur in the translations below: Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of Allah.behold. it is no fault in him to circumambulate them. Vol. or the Visitation.

In addition to inaccurate decisions by translators.g. (183) (Fast) a certain number of days. These renditions create a reality that is completely different from the intended one. and [in such cases] it is incumbent upon those who can afford it to make sacrifice by feeding a needy person. and (for) him who is sick among you.In these translations. ‘circumambulate them’ and ‘go around them’. if the context does not help. resort to exegeses. Furthermore. And whoever does more good than he is bound to do 141 . viz. the comparative ۟ ‫‘ وأن تيُو ُد‬and if you fast it is better for you’ to demonstrate that structure is employed in ْ ‫وا خ ْي ًۭ ل ُا‬ making up for the days missed in Ramadan by fasting on other days is better than the other option. This text-focused coherence shift committed by these translators distorts the meaning in the TT and is likely to conjure up completely different pictures in the minds of TT readers as to how this ritual is performed. or on a journey. Blum-Kulka (2004) also indicates that the most serious text-focused coherence shifts occur as a result of the translator`s failure “to realize the functions a particular linguistic system. going round two hills vs. [shall fast instead for the same] number of other days. traveling back and forth between two hills. 27) The above verses order Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan and permits those who are unable to fast or are ill to make up for the days they have missed by either feeding the needy or fasting the same number of days later. whereas Asad`s failure to preserve the comparative relation that holds in the ST distorts the ST’s meaning in his translation below: O you who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you. (184) (Pickthall. Ali. 301). translators have to invest contextual elements (e. or particular form. Although Muslims are given two options. it is better for him: and that you fast is better for you if you did but know. To demonstrate this point. that ye may achieve piety. plays in conveying indirect meanings in a given text” (p. But whoever of you is ill. To avoid similar text-focused shifts. This specific instruction is rendered accurately in the above translation by Pickthall.but who does good of his own accord. consider the following verse which employs the comparative structure to explain a specific Islamic teaching: ۟ ُ‫ٰ َٰٓأ ُّاا ٱل به ادن‬ ٰ ‫ًۭدا د ْع‬، ‫) أ ا‬١١١﴿ ‫وا ُك بب عل ْي ُا ُ ٱليِّيا ُم كاا ُك بب على ٱل به بد ص ْلب ُا ْ لعل ُا ْ ت قُون‬ ‫ت‬ ٍ ٍۢ ‫ُوو‬ ،‫ا أوْ عل ٰى وف ٍۢ ٍ ف بع ًۭ ِّد ْ أ ٍام أُخ وعلى ٱل به ُ بطيقُو ۥهُ فب ْ ًۭ طعا ُم بد ْس باي ٍۢ ٍ فا تطو‬،‫فا كان بدن ُا د ب ح‬ ۟ ‫صو ُم‬ ) ‫ ال ق‬١١١﴿ ‫وا خي ٌۭر ل ُكم إبن ُكن ُ ْ تعْل ُاون‬ ُ ‫ ا فاُو خ ْي ًۭ ل ۥه ُ وأن ت‬، ًۭ ‫خ ْي‬ O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you. Pickthall`s bracketed addition of the phrase (as the pagan custom is) detracts from the meaning and is completely irrelevant. or on a journey. (the same) number of other days. so that you might remain conscious of God: (183)[fasting] during a certain number of days. Arberry and Pickthall render ‫ طوف صب بااا‬respectively as ‘compass them round’. and for those who can afford it with hardship there is a ransom: the feeding of a man in need . even as it was prescribed for those before you. It would be too difficult for pilgrims to go round two hills) or. p.

or I will bring you a burning brand to light our fuel. a call was sounded: “Blessed are all who are within [reach of] this fire. soon will I bring you from there some information.does good unto himself thereby. I may bring you from there some tiding [as to which way we are to pursue]. or bring you [at least] a burning brand so that you might warm yourselves. The following example involves two heteronyms: the demonstrative adverb 142 . The following examples demonstrate how a literal translation of the preposition ‫‘ ف‬in’ changes the intended meaning of the ST and leads to different implications. may lead to the wrong inference. possibly to the interpretation that those doomed to Hell are blessed by God. (184) (Asad. (8) (Ali. (7) But when he came close to it. for to fast is to do good unto yourselves if you but knew it. As a result. the phonological similarity between two function words may cause a text-focused coherence shift. Asad’s translation fails to deliver what the verse conveys. This mistranslation diverges from the intended meaning of the ST and is likely to result in a text-focused coherence shift. a voice was heard: "Blessed are those in the Fire and those around: and Glory to God. (7) But when he came to the (Fire). A literal translation like the one offered by Ali. the Sustainer of all the worlds” . 643) Behold! Moses said to his family: "I perceive a fire. Blessed be those in the fire’ means those who are within the area illuminated by the fire or within reach of it. (8) (Asad. p. that ye may warm yourselves. ُ ‫إب ْذ صال ُدووى أل ْملب به إب ِّ آ س‬ ‫) فلاا‬٧( ‫س لعل ُا ْ تيْ طلُون‬ ٍ ‫ا وآتبي ُا ِّد ْناا صبخ ٍ أوْ آتبي ُا صب بشاا ٍ ص‬،‫ْت ار‬ )‫ النال‬١( ‫ُورك د في النار ود ْ اوْ لاا و ُو ْحان هللاب ر ِّ ْالعال باي‬ ‫جا ما ُو بو أن ص ب‬ Lo! [while lost in the desert] Moses said to his family: “Behold. an import that is rendered accurately by Asad. 979) Exegeses explain that the preposition ‫ ف‬must not be understood literally. but the shift was caused due to the translator`s failure to realize the role of the comparative relation in delivering the proposition in the ST. Sometimes. p. and all who are near it! And limitless in His glory is God. p. 49) English does not lack the tools to construct a comparative structure. so the phrase ‫ُورك د فب‬ ‫ص ب‬ ‫ار‬ ‫‘ الن ب‬Lit. Similarly. as well as Pickthall. the Lord of the Worlds. Arberry and Irving (not quoted here to avoid repetition). I perceive a fire [far away]. the translator`s failure to realize the function of a preposition may result in a textfocused coherence shift.

(66) (Arberry.өamma ‘there’ and the temporal conjunction өumma ‘then’. Arberry`s translation of ‫ ا‬، ًۭ ‫‘ ش باي‬witness’ in the verse below fails to deliver the accurate meaning because he confuses it with the Arabic word for ‘martyr’ . and it clave. 201) The mistranslation committed by Irving changes the relation holding between verses 63 and 64 from an indication of a place into a temporal relation. ‫﴾ وأ ْرل ْفنا ثم‬٣١﴿ ‫ق كالطوْ بو ْالع بظي ب‬ ٍ ْ ‫فأوْ ايْنا إبلى ُدووى أ بن اضْ ب صِّعياك ْال حْ فا فلق فاان ُكلُّ فب‬ ﴾٣٣﴿ ‫﴾ ثُم أ ْغ ْصنا ْاآلخ ب‬٣٥﴿ ‫﴾ وأ جيْنا ُدووى ود دعهُ أجْ ا بعي‬٣١﴿ ‫(الشع ا ) ْاآلخ ب‬ Then We revealed to Moses. (64) and We delivered Moses and those with him all together. they say: “ God has favored me. but the one offered by Arberry is erroneous: ۟ ‫ت أو ٱ ف ب‬ ۟ ۟ ۟ ٰ ‫) وإبن بدن ُا ْ لا ليُ طِّئ فإ ب ْن أ‬٧١( ‫عا‬، ًۭ ‫ُوا ج باي‬ ‫ص ْ ُا‬ ‫ادنُوا ُخ ُهوا با ْهر ُك ْ فٱ فب ُوا ثُ ا ٍ ب‬ ) ‫ النسا‬٧٧( ‫يي ًۭ صال ص ْ أ ْع ٱّللُ على إب ْذ ل ْ أ ُك دعاُ ْ شه ٌۭيدا‬ ‫ُّد ب‬ ‫ٰ َٰٓأ ُّاا ٱل به‬ You who believe. combined with the translator’s lack of awareness of the ST`s meaning potential. which are identical in the absence of voweling. and each part was as a mighty mount. 'Strike with thy staff the sea'. (64) and saved Moses and all those who were with him. (66) (Irving. Whereas Aberry is sensitive to the orthographical cue signaled by the first vowel. (65) Then We let the rest drown. p. Vol. The translations given by Irving and Pickthall deliver the accurate meaning. Referral to exegeses could have prevented the shift caused by heteronyms in the above example. 45) 143 . p. Irving is miscued by the apparent phonological similarity. (65) then We drowned the others. (71) Among you there are some who procrastinate. as can be observed in the two translations below. (63) We brought the others up next. thus rendering them appropriately. 2. thus producing a text-focused coherence shift. If any disaster strikes you. a linguistic phenomenon where lexemes share the same spelling and pronunciation but have unrelated meanings. or march off all together. (72) (Irving. (63) And there We brought the others on. but the translation of the Quran could involve other linguistic phenomena which. p. take your precautions and march off in detachments. 67) So We inspired Moses as follows: "Strike the sea with your staff!" It opened up and each section was like a huge cliff. for I was not a witness along with them. which is also spelled and pronounced the same way. The following example involves lexical homonymy. can be a potential source of text-focused coherence shifts.

Arberry`s translation presents a different understanding. Usually. and if disaster overtook you.' (72) (Arberry. 1. p. he would say: Allah has been gracious unto me since I was not present with them. any ambiguity surrounding homonymy can be resolved through context. (72) (Pickthall. take your precautions. In the above verse. his rendition of ‫ ا‬، ًۭ ‫ ش باي‬as ‘martyr’ gives the impression that they were present in the battle ground. The same confusion causes a text-focused coherence shift in the following example which also involves homonymy. The verses then warn believers of the hypocrites who join them in battles but loiter behind in an attempt to avoid fighting. but Arberry mistakes it for ‫ ا‬، ًۭ ‫ش باي‬. ‫ ا‬، ًۭ ْ‫ بدي‬refers to any town or place as Ali accurately renders it. It is rendered accurately by Irving and Pickthall. a case in point is the above example. then. Arberry (below) and Asad (pp. then move forward in companies. in that I was not a martyr with them. 78) O believers.O you who believe! Take your precautions. 'God has blessed me. Vol. However. p. he says.e. 110) The word ‫ ا‬، ًۭ ‫ ش باي‬in the above example is an exaggerated form derived from ‫شام‬. 20 – 21) mistakenly understand it as a reference to Egypt. i. In the verse below. the Arabic word for ‘martyr’. where the verse that involves a battle might have contributed to confusing ‫ ا‬، ًۭ ‫ ش باي‬with the Arabic word for ‘martyr’. ‘witness’ or ‘be present’. but homonyms can be problematic if they occur in a context that tolerates ambiguity. This translation leads to a text-focused coherence shift. then advance in groups. which implies an opposite understanding from that present in the ST. the believers are urged to be careful during battles by advancing in consecutive groups or advance all together in a single group. The verses then narrate the hypocrites thanking God for staying behind and not being present at the time of the fight. However. but it shares a relation of homonymy with the Arabic word for ‘martyr’ due to the transformation undergone during the derivation process. or move forward all together. Witness the translations below: 144 . Arberry`s erroneous rendition would also lead TT readers to derive implications other than those intended in the ST. if an affliction visits you. This results in a mismatch of the denotative meaning between the ST and the TT. as the lexical item is homonymous. (71) Some of you there are that are dilatory. or advance all together. (71) Lo! among you there is he who loiters.

that. (61) (Ali. Hence. and they were laden with the burden of God's anger. we will not endure one sort of food. the translators' misinterpreting ‫ ا‬، ًۭ ْ‫ بدي‬as a reference to ‘Egypt’ changes the meaning of the ST in the TT. 1. because they disobeyed. by contrast. This because they went on rejecting the Signs of God and slaying His Apostles without just cause. and ye shall find what ye want!" They were covered with humiliation and misery. pray to thy Lord for us. In verse 57.' And abasement and poverty were pitched upon them. Hence. that. corn. so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth groweth. 36) The text narrates an incident involving the Children of Israel during their journey after fleeing Egypt. If the reference denoted ‘Egypt’. its pot-herbs. Nevertheless. herbs. it would be the usually uninflected noun ‫دي‬. its garlic. Moreover. and were transgressors. (61) (Arberry.ُ ‫ُْخ بجْ لنا بداا تُ ٍۢن ب‬ ُ ‫وإب ْذ صُ ْل ُ ْ ٰ ُاوو ٰى ل يْ ب عل ٰى طع ٍۢ ٍام ٰو با ٍۢ ٍ فٱ ْو‬ ‫ت ْٱألرْ ضُ بد ٍۢ ص ْقلباا وصبةآَٰئباا‬ ‫ لنا رص‬، ۟ ُ‫وفُو بداا وع بواا وصيلباا صال أت ْس ْ ب لُون ٱل بهى مُو أ ْو ٰى صٱل بهى مُو خ ْي ۚ ٱ ْم ط‬ ۗ ْ ُ ‫وا مص ٌۭرا فإبن ل ُا دا وأ ْل‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ۟ ُ ‫ب ِّد ٱّللب ۗ ٰذلب صأ اُ ْ كا‬ ْ ‫ض بص‬ ‫ت ٱّللب و ْق ُلُون الن بيِّي‬ ُ ‫و‬ ٍ ٍۢ ‫ت عل ْي با ُ ٱل ِّهل ُ و ْٱلاسْان ُ وصآَٰ ُ و صبغح‬ ‫وا ْافُ ُون صبـا ٰ ب‬ ‫ب‬ ٰ ۟ ۟ ْ ِّ ‫صبغ ْي ب ٱلح‬ ) ‫) (ال ق‬٣١( ‫ق ۗ ذلب صباا عيوا وكا ُوا ْع ُون‬ And remember ye said: "O Moses! we cannot endure one kind of food (always). we are told that God sent down unto the Children of Israel food consisting of ‫‘ الا والسلوى‬manna and quails’ to sustain themselves after they fled Egypt. this shift could have been avoided if the translators were aware of the morphological clues. Therefore. 'Moses. This because they rebelled and went on transgressing. and cucumbers. and onions. cucumbers. lentils. onions." He said: "Will ye exchange the better for the worse? Go ye down to any town. 'Would you have in exchange what is meaner for what is better? Get you down to Egypt. as a punishment they were told to seek any city or town to find the food they wanted. They were not told to head to Egypt (the place they were fleeing from) to seek this food. because they had disbelieved the signs of God and slain the Prophets unrightfully. in the above text they complain to Moses about having to eat the same food everyday and ask him to pray for God to send unto them other kinds of food. Vol. that He may bring forth for us of that the earth produces . p. you shall have there that you demanded. lentils. They are reprimanded for not showing gratitude and Moses refuses to ask for this kind of food through prayer since it is considered lowly and is available in any city or town. the fact that ‫ ا‬، ًۭ ْ‫‘ بدي‬a town/district’ here is inflected indicates that it is the singular of ‫‘ أديار‬towns/districts’. they drew on themselves the wrath of God. 145 . it needs to be translated as ‘any town or place’.' He said. 32-33) And when you said.

2. then it withers. Through semantic change. p. whereas the life of the world is but matter of illusion. And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment. which also has the same spelling and pronunciation in Arabic. is used The above verse is the only instance in the Quran where the word ‫ٱل ُافار‬. (20) (Irving. and idle talk. in its original sense ‘tiller of the soil’ (Ibn Katheer. 954). and a rivalry in wealth and children. And in the world to come there is a terrible chastisement. and the present life is but the joy of delusion. this word has come to be known primarily as reference to ‘unbelievers’. and forgiveness from God and good pleasure. and pageantry. whereof the growth is pleasing to the husbandman. Vol. but afterward it dries up and you see it turning yellow. 315-316) ْ the plural of ‫كاف‬. (20) (Pickthall. In the Hereafter there will be both severe torment and forgiveness as well as approval on the part of God. It is as a rain whose vegetation pleases the unbelievers. It may be compared to showers where the plant life amazes the incredulous: then it withers away and you see it turning yellow. 260) Know that worldly life is merely a sport and a pastime [involving] worldly show and competition among yourselves. and thou seest it turning yellow. and boasting among you. and in 146 . p. Vol. 545) Know that the present life is but a sport and a diversion. an adornment and a cause for boasting among you. but it was misinterpreted by some translators as a reference to ‘unbelievers’. as well as rivalry in wealth and children. p. pp. Worldly life means only the enjoyment of illusion. p.Finally. 2006. as the likeness of vegetation after rain. This word refers to ‘tillers’ or ‘husbandmen’ in the verse. The translator's unawareness of the polysemous nature of the word ‫ ْٱل ُافار‬in the verse below causes a text-focused coherence shift. 282. soon it will be just stubble. and rivalry in respect of wealth and children. (20) (Arberry. Asad. 3. Witness the translations below: ‫ث أ ْعجب‬ ٍ ‫ب ولا ًْۭو و بر ن ًۭ وتفا ُخ ٍۢ صيْن ُا ْ وتااثُ ًۭ فبى ْٱأل ْد ٰو بل و ْٱألوْ ٰل ب ۖ كاة بل غ ْي‬ ًۭ ‫ٱ ْعل ُا َٰٓو ۟ا أ اا ْٱلحي ٰو ُ ٱل ُّ ْيا ل بع‬ ٰ ۚ ‫ًۭاا ۖ وفبى ْٱآل بخ ب عها ًۭ ش ب ًۭ ود ْغفب ًۭ ِّد ٱّللب و برضْ ٰو ًۭن‬، ‫ ا ثُ ُاونُ اُط‬،ّ ًۭ ‫ٱل ُكفار اتُهۥُ ثُ باي ُج ف ٰىهُ ُديْ ف‬ ٰ ‫ُور‬ ) ) ‫الح‬ ‫ودا ْٱلحي ٰو ُ ٱل ُّ ْيآَٰ إبو د ُ ْٱل ُغ ب‬.)٧١( Know that the life of the world is only play. and (also) forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure. then it becomes straw. let us consider the example below where the source of confusion is polysemy (the presence of related senses of the same word). then it becomes broken orts.

The discussion shows how reader-focused shifts pose a challenge for translators. Some mismatches may arise from the cultural distance between ST and TT audience.both senses the connotation of covering or concealing something exists. the discussion of text-focused shifts reveals that serious skewing of meaning does exist in some professional translations of the Quran. i. 4. the above verse employs ‫ ْٱل ُافار‬allegorically in its original sense to compare ‘unbelievers’ to ‘tillers’ or ‘husbandmen’. (those who cover or conceal things). while others may stem from inaccurate decisions on the translator`s part. in order to derive and provide the accurate underlying meaning of Quranic text. which renders the relevant sense. In this way. Most importantly. it is linked to the translator`s interpretation of the ST and his choices in translation. and we have concluded that paraphrase and footnotes are the most adequate strategies to bridge both partial and complete cultural/ referential gaps in translation. Most of these shifts could have been averted if sound linguistic competence in both Arabic and English is secured on the translator’s part. Pragmalinguistic Failure: Arabic Politeness Formulas in Translation Mohammed Farghal & Ahmed Borini Abstract 147 . thus resulting in reader-focused coherence shifts. thus leading to text-focused coherence shifts. Arberry and Irving`s choices depart from the intended ST meaning and results in a text-focused coherence shift. This imagery is preserved in Pickthall's translation. This kind of shifts is not directly linked to the translatability of the Quran. Text-focused shifts help identify another problem underlying the transfer of the ST meaning into the TT. However. Conclusion The paper establishes that coherence shifts in Quran translation result in mismatches that seriously affect Quranic meaning potentials.e. This exegetical strategy helps Quran translators avoid jeopardizing Quranic meanings. in addition to subsequent consultation of major Quran exegeses.

etc. however. Introduction The present study examines the translatability of politeness formulas from a pragmalinguistic perspective. It sheds light on the important role of illocutions. semantic meaning) and illocutionary force (i. which literally means “May your head be saved”. but it has an illocutionary force of ‘offering condolences’. distortion of the original message. one may need to learn the convention and conditions of use of a politeness formula like yislam raasak. the Politeness Principle (PP). which corresponds to English Thank you. The paper argues that deficiency in pragmalinguistic competence usually results in communication breakdown or. Finally. Pragmatic knowledge includes the ability to know the relationship between propositional content (i.” In particular. Sometimes. Davies (1987:82-83) assumes that “formulas may seem restricted to the kind of speaker who may use them. and the Irony Principle (IP) in understanding the pragmatics of politeness and subsequently translating it appropriately into the TL.e. the model translations of Arabic politeness formulas have been checked against the intuitions of a group of six native speakers of English. which corresponds to Arabic ḥaððan saciidan and Arabic šukran. the Cooperative Principle (CP). pragmatic function) of any politeness formula.e.) and the PP and IP of Leech (1983) play an important role. the medium through which they may be expressed and various aspects of the setting in which they are used. In other cases. along with some serious problems with several of these formulas in Stewart’s (1981) translation of Mahfouz’s novel. Levinson 1983. He demonstrates that this expression has “drifted extensively from its semantic import by acquiring a wide spectrum of illocutions. the relation between the two is very clear and easy to determine as in the case of English Good luck.).This paper addresses itself to the translatability of Arabic politeness formulas into English from a pragmalinguistic perspective by examining 15 politeness formulas from Najeeb Mahfouz’s (1959) novel Awlad Haritna. the kind of addressee to whom they may be used. thus becoming a pragmatically multipurpose expression”. This claim has been supported by the poor performance of 20 MA translation students on a translation task of the 15 politeness formulas in this study. Farghal (1995b) contributes a study on the pragmatics of ’inšaallah [If God permitted] in Jordanian Arabic. For instance. this formula may function as a threat as can be illustrated in (1) below: 148 . it is not possible to relate the propositional content to its pragmatic function. 1. CP and its maxims (Grice 1975. etc. where things like performatives and illocutions (Austin 1962. at best. By way of illustration. Searle 1981. a difficulty may arize when the same formula is conventionally used to perform more than one illocutionary force in different situations.

This is what Arndt and Janney (1985:285) call “politeness from an interpersonal view”. 5. it is not easy to determine the performative verb of the illocutionary act assigned by uttering certain formulas. ’inšaallah btilmis-it-tilvizyoon! touch+you-the-television “I dare you to touch the TV set!” It may also be uttered by an interlocutor to implicate unsatisfaction as in (2) below: 2. xer ’inšaallah! good “What’s the matter with you?” One of the serious obstacles that a translator may face is the ironic usage of some politeness formulas on certain occasions. More specifically. cafwan forgiveness (as a reply to thanking) “You’re welcome”.1.e. In other cases. a speaker may use the following politeness formula to insult a person not participating in the interaction as in (3) below: 3. To demonstrate this. being impolite in polite ways.. especially in expressing various kinds of ‘wishing’. tawakkal cala-llaah 149 . ’allah yirḥam ’abuuh ! God have mercy his father “May God have mercy on his father!” In example (3). consider the following examples: 4. ’aṭaala ’allaahu cumrak prolong God your age “May God prolong your life!” 6. i. the politeness formula has been ironically used to perform a ‘conflictive’ act of insulting.

as in the construction of politeness formulas in Brown and Levinson (1987). Even in the case of underlying universals. there are certain peculiarities of every culture. or non-words which can constitute utterances by themselves are another word class found in all languages”. a house very politely. Pragmalinguistics is the study of the linguistic ends of pragmatics. e. By way of illustration. one may 150 .” Applying pragmatic analyses to problems of translation is based on Levinson’s (1983:326) assumption that “despite the probable universality of processes like implicature. one very noticeable difference between English and Arabic formulas is the frequency of religious references in Arabic.g. A problem may also arise when the translator is faced with interjections such as English Oops. It occurs when the pragmatic force mapped onto a linguistic token or structure is systematically different from that normally assigned to it by native speakers. dastuur (said by a person entering a house to draw attention to his arrival and/or intrusion). Ameka (1992:101) points out that “interjections . there will always be considerable room for pragmalinguistic misunderstanding. which may correspond to Arabic lah in some contexts. a formula that may functionally correspond to English Goodbye in Arabic is ’allah macak (May God be with you) in a variety of contexts. which constitute one of the most serious challenges to translators. For instance. while in the same context in English. there are likely to be significant differences not only in the structure of languages but in their use”. Some interjections can be used as politeness formulas in a highly language-specific manner as can be illustrated in (7) below: 7. It deals with the appropriacy of encoding the pragmatic force of an utterance. This Arabic attention getter interjection is uttered in this context to attract the attention of people inside a closure.depend on-God “Put trust in God.those little words. Thomas (1983) introduces pragmatic failure as a kind of communication breakdown by second language learners due to the lack of pragmalinguistic competence. Politeness formulas tend sometimes to show some kind of divergence between the two languages in question. hence. which the corresponding English polite formulas may lack (Bentahila and Davies 1989:100).

which was translated by Philip Stewart (1981) into “Children of Gebelawi. All of them were native speakers of Arabic. which aimed to consult native speakers of English with regard to suggested equivalents. In addition. and finally a blank alternative for any other appropriate translation (see appendix 2). the translation used by Stewart. 3. the first 20 MA translation students met by the researchers while distributing the questionnaire were selected.not use an interjection for a similar situation. Research Methodology 2. They were instructed by their director to check the acceptability of the translations relying on both context and their intuitions. along with literal translations of the Arabic politeness formulas. The second questionnaire. was given to 20 MA translation students in Jordan. included the source English contexts (from Stewart’s translation). holding a BA in English language and literature and then working toward their MA in Translation.2 Participants For the purpose of this study. an English speaker may use formulas such as Hello! Or Anybody here? 2. which consisted of 15 underlined Arabic politeness formulas in their original contexts. These educated people were somewhat familiar with the Arab culture through their daily contact with Jordanians. Instead. this questionnaire offered six suggested alternatives in each case: three selected from the participants’ responses. one rendition to demonstrate non-equivalence. These formulas are taken from Najeeb Mahfouz’s (1959) novel Awlad Haritna.” The study was carried out by means of two questionnaires. The following table (Table 1) summarizes the results by 151 . Another group of informants consisting of six native speakers of English who had been working for the British Council in Amman for at least two years was selected. The participants were asked to translate only the underlined formulas and to take enough time to do so (see appendix 1). 2. The first questionnaire. Results The translations of 15 Arabic politeness formulas by Stewart and the participants in this research have been analyzed and categorized in light of some theoretical considerations and suggestions of English native speaker consultants.1 Research Design This study examines 15 Arabic politeness formulas identified by the researchers as involving potential pragmalinguistic difficulty to translators of Arabic texts into English.

These levels refer to pragmalinguistic failures stemming from illocutionary force. anybody here? 13 ’iḥim 75% (cough) 14 bilhana wi ššifa 60% I hope you’ll enjoy it. 6 jabal yaṭlub-il-qurb minak 20% I want/would like to marry your daughter. 152 . Analysis and Discussion This section addresses itself to the major pragmalinguistic problems in translating the Arabic politeness formulas in the questionnaire by distinguishing different levels of analysis in an attempt to account for the main sources of pragmalinguistic failures in the participants’ renditions and Stewart’s translation. indirectness. irony. and interjections. be tolerant! 4 tacabak raaḥah 25% Don’t mention it! 5 ’inšaallah 35% I hope so. 7 laa tu’aaxiðna ya bunay 30% Excuse me! 8 faqul calaykum-is-salaam 35% You won’t get much peace! 9 mubarakah ṣadaqah 40% Bless this great friendship! c alayka haaðih-iṣ- 10 c adam mu’axaðih 20% before that thing 11 rabbana yiḥfað maqaamak 25% I’m afraid to say. the percentage of inappropriate renditions of each politeness formula and the model translations of the politeness formulas. 12 yaa saatir 20% Hello. 4. TABLE 1 No Arabic Famula Percerntage Model Translation 1 yislam famak 40% Well said! 2 ’al’amr minkum wa ’ilaykum 45% It’s all up to you! 3 waḥḥidu-l-laah 45% For God’s sake. 15 taslam yadayki-l-jamiilah 40% Bless your beautiful hands.

40% of the respondents did not express this force in their renditions.” [May your mouth be saved!] Many student translators could not appropriately assign the intended force to this formula. the student translators managed to assign the intended illocutionary force.e. Atris said. the student translator did not conform to the pragmalinguistic norms of English. even Adham was never hungry.. Huda turned to Gebel: “Have you anything to say. which is not obvious in the surface structure. as can be seen in (9) below: 9. as it does not convey the force directly. because this would constitute an under-translation. Well said! As can be noted. it seems pragmatically adequate.4. such an utterance would likely be perceived as sarcastic or hostile rather than polite. i.. but they could not encode it appropriately in English as can be demonstrated in (11): 11. not even for a day.] 153 .” [The matter is from you and to you . In some cases. following on from the story about Gebelawi. May God keep your mouth safe! In this case. Therefore... Thus. (10) observes formlaicity and preserves the intended illocutionary force in translation. on the basis of theoretical considerations and the intuitions of native speakers of English. “There was some good in the world. Gebel?” He looked at the ground and said: “’al’amr minkum wa ’ilaykum . In fact. “Thank you!”. we may suggest translating this formula into (10): 10.” The old woman appeared at the door and said to Atris!“yislam famak. While the speaker (S) intended to perform an act of complimenting.1 Illocutionary Force The analysis of the data shows that one source of pragalinguistic failure in translation is that the illocutionary force of most Arabic politeness formulas is not always visible in the surface structure as can be illustrated in (8) below : 8.

” Abda shouted wretchedly : “waḥḥidu-l-lah!” [Say Allah is One] 45% of the participants translated the formula in (14) literally by maintaining its semantic import. It’s your problem. A sweet voice roused him: “Coffee Mr.” He turned and saw Badria holding out the cup to him. In other words. By way of illustration. as can be illustrated in (15): 15. the intended illocutionary force in the Arabic formula is a polite piece of advice ‘to calm down’. Sometimes. 45% of the subjects and Stewart mistranslated the above formula by ignoring the intended polite act into: 12. while. 154 . That is. One should note that maintaining the propositional content of many Arabic politeness formulas in English would. translators may fail to pragmalinguistically grasp the implicit performative verb of a politeness formula.Unfortunately. which makes it difficult to assign its illocutionary force. such renditions manifest an ambivalence of function that makes the TL reader unable to grasp the conveyed meaning of the utterance. To maintain the intended force of the formula in (11). 25% of the student translators in this study failed to understand the implicit performative of the formula in (16): 16. according to the context in (14). “Come and hear what people are saying. sacrifice politeness. in many cases. and see the latest game that’s being played with the honor of Gebel’s people. It’s all up to you. literal translation may fail to convey the illocutionary force of the polite formula and subsequently distort the message as can be seen in (14): 14. Qassem. a) Be a monotheist! b) Say that God is one! The TL reader may interpret (15) as utterances said by a preacher who requests his audience to reassert their believing in God. the translator may opt for: 13. Farhat shouted to the crowds.

” [Your tiring me is a relief] In this politeness formula. It’s pleasure to take trouble for you. However. sir! b) Your demands don’t bother me! Pragmatically. it is more appropriate to render this formula as what most of the informant English native speakers of went for in (21): 21. which also goes against Stewart’s translation that overstates the implicit performative (18): 18. Badria expresses her pleasure to be at the service of the superior hearer. Pragmatically. Balkiti: “You are very cagy. Finally.He took it and said. but you’ll soon get used to me and tell me all your secrets. The act performed comes as a reply to thanking. For example. it needs to be emphasized that a difficulty may arise when the same formula is pragmatically used to perform more than one illocutionary force in different situations. God willing. however. Hence. thus becoming a pragmatically multipurpose expression. The speaker (Gebel) intends to perform a polite act of expressing possibility of and hope for complying with Balkiti’s wishes. don’t bother yourself for me. Badria intends to communicate something like “Don’t mention it.2 Indirectness 155 . Farghal (1995b) shows that the frequent formula ’inšaallah [If God permitted] has drifted extensively from its semantic import by acquiring a wide spectrum of illocutions.” Gebel: “’inšaallah. “Why the trouble. The example in (19) bears witness to this: 19. this tends to go against the producer’s intentionality and the reader’s acceptability.” Badria : “ tacabak raḥah.” [If God permitted] The analysis shows that 35% of the respondents translated the above formula maintaining its conventional semantic import thus: 20. a) Anything for you. as can be illustrated in (17): 17. some renditions fail pragmalinguistically. I hope so! 4. sir!”.

It has been assumed that politeness is one of the main motivations for people to adopt the strategy of indirectness (Brown and Levinson 1978. 20% of them could not properly relay the indirect marriage proposal expressed by Gebel when uttering the politeness formula in (22): 22. indirect polite utterances may be problematic in translation. Gebel wants to be related to you] Balkiti: “You’re the man I’d gladly give my daughter to. goes too indirect by translating the formula in (22) into: 24. which may lead to pragmalinguistic failure. Viewed in this way. Gebel wants to be your son-in-law. More subtly. Gebel said with an impetuousness (while he was thinking of Sayyeda.” Most inappropriate renditions of the formula in (22) are similar to the overly direct expression in (23): 23.” [Lit. which enables the speaker to avoid the responsibility of having committed a certain act (Sifiano 1993:70). Thomas 1993. In their renditions. Interestingly. which is a multifunctional linguistic phenomenon. this may suggest that there are limitations for indirectness in both the SL and TL in accordance with the pragmatic norms of Arabic and English.Closely related to the notion of politeness is the notion of indirectness. Therefore. by contrast. to translate an indirect Arabic formula into English either very directly or too indirectly could relatively distort the message and subsequently delude the recipient regarding politeness. Balkiti’s daughter): “Gebel yaṭlub-il-qurb minnak. we agree with Leech’s (1983:231) argument that some politeness formulas in one language can be more polite than their equivalents in the other only in the sense of 156 . Stewart. Although the student translators attempted to relay the implicated meaning of the utterance into English. Gebel asked to marry your daughter. Farghal and AlManna 2014). this undoubtedly sacrificed the polite message conveyed by the strategy of indirectness. However. many student translators failed to make a clear distinction between direct and indirect speech acts. An important justification for this view stems from the fact that indirect polite utterances might have more than one plausible interpretation.

Therefore. the speaker may exploit the PP in order to uphold the CP though he/she seems to infringe it superficially. a) I would like to marry your daughter. we respect the intuitions of the English native speakers who went for translating the formula in (22) into: 25. a) Excuse me! b) Pardon me! 4. the IP operates in human interaction alongside the CP and the PP.e. Further. the speaker intended to express some kind of excuse. By way of illustration. That is. According to Leech (1983: 142). If Khonfus came now.” Then to Rifa’a: “laa tu’aaxiðna ya bunay [Don’t blame us my son]. some Arabic politeness formulas are ironically used to perform a conflictive act of insulting. In light of the context of this formula. In other words. Hanoura said. something like (28): 28. some Arabic formulas expressing polite requests may look more direct than they really are. which is called by Arndt and Janney (1985) “politeness from an interpersonal view”. 157 .3 Irony By way of conversational implicature (Grice 1975).” An examination of the students’ renditions of the formula in (26) shows that 30% of them tended to translate it more directly and less politely as can be illustrated in (27): 27. we can be impolite in polite ways. consider (26): 26. “You are nothing but worthless hashish addicts. b) I want to marry your daughter. i. you’d fall at his feet. but they are also too direct to express a polite request. A hashish smoker has no inhibitions. a) Be lenient with us! b) Don’t blame us! Not only do the renditions in (27) ignore to convey the appropriate illocutionary force of the Arabic formula.relativizing them to pragmalinguistic strategies such as indirectness.

a contextualization of ironic formulas seems necessary to give the translator a chance to grasp the conversational implicature in such cases. Therefore. the speaker’s intended meaning on the one hand and sentence meaning on the other can be seriously at variance. in the case of ironic uses. as can be illustrated in (29): 29. such literal renditions ignore the fact that. They attacked Batikha. Clearly. You won’t get much peace! Further. “ironies require particular background assumptions to rule out the literal interpretations”.” Rifa’a: mubarakah calayk haaðihi-ṣ-ṣadaaqah [May this friendship be blessed upon you] 158 . Roughly speaking. a) Peace be upon you. maintaining the IP in the TL can be considered one of the most serious linguistic obstacles the translator may encounter in relaying Arabic politeness formulas into English. 35% of the subjects failed to maintain the IP in English. More specifically.In terms of translation. the ironic meaning may be maintained in the TL by paraphrasing it as follows: 31. c) You’ll be safe. faqul c alaykum-is-salam. the inappropriateness of the translations in (30) bears witness to the fact that some student translators were not aware of the pragmatic norms of encoding Arabic ironic formulas. ironies are pragmatically indirect speech acts that are used to perform various kinds of illocutions.” [Say peace be upon you] In their renditions of the formula in (29). Abda said anxiously: “Let’s just remember that Khonfus is the ruler of Gebel’s people and that his family’s friendship is an answer to prayer. This being the case. By way of illustration. and he disappeared from view.” Yasmine frowned and said: “Batikha is not Bayyumi. Ali: “Rifa’a has friends. because they could not differentiate between the implicated ironic use of this formula and its conventional semantic meaning. If you defy Bayyumi. according to Levinson (1983:126). b) Say you are in peace. Note the inappropriate renditions in (30): 30. consider the formula in (32): 32.

the problem seems to be twofold. e. which begin as polite formulas but soon acquire the implicated sense of being impolite.4 Euphemism One of the main problematic areas in relaying Arabic linguistic politeness in English involves euphemistic formulas. By way of illustration. the speaker adopts the strategy of irony to avoid being impolite. taboos. many student translators could not render appropriately the Arabic euphemistic formulas. To observe the PP. Based on the data in this study. the formula in (32) is intended to be offensive and sarcastic. euphemism in Arabic may present much confusion to the translator in his/her attempts to find English equivalents (see Farghal2012. As a strategy of politeness.Used ironically. b) Congratulations on this friendship. two hours before “cadam mu’aaxaðih” [without blame]. a) Congratulations. the ironic force of the utterance in Arabic is clear from its exaggeration in being overpolite. The context of (32) reveals that Rifa’a does not intend to perform a congratulatory act as many respondents (40%) and Stewart opted for in their translations.g. Farghal and AlManna 2014). and afterwards either you’ll be pleased with me or you can chase me away with your curse. thus: 34. the relative culture specificity of some linguistically taboo expressions tends to confuse the translator and force him/her to shift from respecting the euphemistic norms in the TL to giving more importance to the intended meaning in the SL formula. note the Arabic formula in (34): 34. That is. Bless this great friendship! 4. both translations do not observe the IP in English. Arafa with boundless confidence (as he introduces a medicine for sexual weakness to the Trustee): “A grain of that in a cup of tea. by referring to them by means of apparently inoffensive formulas (Leech 1983:147). Notably. which is something that can be relayed in English using the same strategy. First. as can be illustrated by the respective renditions in (33): 33.” 159 . however. Pragmatically. By and large. the producer utters some expressions euphemistically to disguise unpleasant subjects.

thus offering renditions like: 35. as the inclusion of this euphemistic expression is meant to save the superior hearer’s face (Brown and Levinson 1978). rabbana yiḥfað maqaamak.” [May God protect your status!] One should note that the deletion of this euphemistic formula distorts the pragmatics of the original message. Kadri the Trustee asked him: “Any news of your wife?” Arafa answered as he sat down beside him: “Stubborn as a mule. making love) attempted to apply the Arabic strategy of euphemism literally to English. the Arabic formula in (38) was left out in the English translation by 25% of the student translators as well as Stewart: 38. Therefore. a difficulty may arise when some euphemistic formulas are parenthetically used right after the mention of what is assumed to be a taboo expression. however. as can be seen in (37): 37.e. a) before you know what! b) before that thing! Secondly. We believe.Notably. a) before excuse me! b) before pardon me! c) before without blame! By contrast. whereas it is relatively not in English. For example. many respondents as well as Stewart translated this formula by clarifying the implicated meaning. before making love! This explicitness may be due to the translator’s thinking that mentioning ‘making love’ in Arabic is a taboo. a) I’m afraid to say! b) Excuse my language! 160 . it is essential to maintain politeness through euphemism by rendering this formula into something like: 39. as can be illustrated in (36): 36. 20% of the student translators who seemed to understand the implicated meaning of the euphemistic formula above (i. that the euphemistic strategy should be maintained in translation.

4. 20% of the subjects translated this formula literally. In their translations. One of the main roots of the problem of translating interjections from Arabic into English seems to be the lack of theoretical linguistic research in Arabic regarding this area. the question arising here is how to overcome the difficulty of finding the English equivalent for the Arabic interjection. interjections can be considered one kind of politeness formulas that may create obstacles to translators. It should be noted that such an interjection is a complete utterance that performs a polite speech act. veiler!] Then he heard the door creaking open. calling out: ya saatir [O. 35% of the participants adopted a deletion strategy toward this 161 . according to Kryk (1992:195). As they are usually highly conventionalized and may be used in different situations to perform polite acts. lack exact equivalents across languages. ignoring the intended implicature. we can argue that these respondents’ do not possess the needed communicative competence to select the pragmatic system of using interjections in English as a TL. consider the interjection in (40): 40.” The interjection in (40) is meant to be a permission-taking formula to enter the house uttered by the man in an attempt to get the attention of the females inside before he could be let in. Therefore. Further. Qassem went into Qamar’s courtyard to collect the ewe.5 Interjections Interjections are another significant yet neglected area of linguistics that may interrelate with politeness phenomena. Unfortunately. and her voice saying: “Good morning. interjections. God! The problem here stems from the respondents’ inability to abide by the pragmatic criteria and failure to match linguistic choice with pragmatic functions. as can be illustrated in (41): 41. a close look at the participants’ translations revealed that many of them could not grasp the intended meaning behind the pragmatic use of some Arabic interjections. By way of illustration. especially when the latter is used for politeness purposes. Being highly language-specific. come in. Adopting Stalker’s (1989:183) hypothesis that “Pragmatic choices are guided by communicative needs”. Oh.

the question form ‘Anybody here?’. she asked him to come in. some renditions (15%) offered inappropriate interjections such as Hum! English native speakers. Hello! Anybody here? More opaque to translating are primary interjections as opposed to secondary ones. Ouch! I have been stung by a bee! Likewise. 162 . Many student translations of this formula (60%) ranged from paraphrasing to deletion. he said: “’iḥim” [an attention getter sound similar to ‘coughing’]. or a combination of both as a polite attention getter for the interjection in (40). which is still virgin ground insofar as research is concerned. Arabic possesses a similar class of interjections. However. other participants (25%) demonstrated a different kind of communication breakdown in their renditions by trying to paraphrase the illocutionary force at the expense of politeness. Ameka (1992) defines a primary interjection as a little word or non-word that can constitute an utterance by itself. By way of illustration. a) I’m coming! b) I’m coming in! c) I’m here! Although the renditions in (42) may express some degree of politeness as the speaker can get the attention of those inside. consider the Arabic interjection in (45): 45. To get their attention to his arrival. as can be noted in (42): 42. open for him. which can be considered an appropriate equivalent. Then. Similarly.interjection. such as English Oops! and Ouch! A primary interjection can be used as a coutterance with other units as in (44): 44. Rifa’a found the door ready. this may be insufficient at the politeness level and unsatisfactory on the part of the hearer. tended to opt for the idea that the speaker in this context should ‘cough’. The intuition of the native speakers of English stressed formulaicity and approved greeting ‘Hello’. Only a small number of participants’ (20%) managed to render this interjection of politeness appropriately as: 43. by contrast. thus neglecting the context and the performance of a fully-fledged speech act that contributed to the understanding of the entire context of situation.

for instance. 163 . it has been shown that student translators’ unfamiliarity with formulaicity of English has contributed much to the occurrence of inappropriate renditions. Finally. Most importantly. It has been argued that mistranslating Arabic politeness formulas reflects erroneous understanding of the pragmatic norms of English politeness on the part of translators. most often. they try to maintain the semantic import of the Arabic formula at the expense of the intended illocutionary force. Therefore. translators need to identify pragmatically the way native speakers of English handle politeness and the way they operate the CP and the PP. An Arab may adopt the strategy of euphemism. they may apply the pragmalingistic norms of Arabic to English in an attempt to maintain the meaning of the Arabic formula. while the same situations may not call for the use of any euphemistic expressions in English. or insulting. which makes their renditions opaque and unintelligible to English readers. “to situationalise the text by relating it to its environment”. because some English formulas have fixed forms in accordance with context. they may ignore the way a certain politeness formula is used in its English context of situation. they have either maintained the Arabic formulaic expression or just paraphrased it into English. Further. in Hatim and Mason’s (1990: 32) terminology. By examining some problematic areas that may have led to communication breakdown. even in cases of irony.5. cause communication breakdown and distortion of the source message. That is. Many student translators could not grasp the distinction between what is formulaic and non-formulaic. Conclusion The primary concern of this paper has been to investigate the main pragmalinguistic problems that may hinder the process of translating Arabic politeness formulas into English. In some cases. student translators may fall victim to pragmalinguistic failure as they attempt to convey the illocutionary force of politeness formulas. threatening. it has been shown that the lack of linguistic and pragmatic competence will. the analysis has indicated that student translators often adopt literal translation as a solution when they encounter difficulty in translating any formula. Hence. What these translators need to do is. in certain formulas on some occasions. Also. Thus. we have attempted to explain possible sources of pragmalinguistic failure.

‬‬‫فقال جبل وهو يداري ضيقه بالنظر في األرض ‪:‬‬ ‫‪164‬‬ .‬يهمني أن أعرف رأيك‪...‬‬‫وإذا (تمرحنة) العجوز ‪ .‬تقول موجهة الخطاب إلى عتريس ‪:‬‬ ‫‪ -‬يسلم فمك يا عتريس‪ ،‬كالم كالبرتقال السكري‪.2‬فالتفت هدى (الهانم) إلى جبل متسائلة ‪:‬‬ ‫ ألديك ما تقول يا جبل؟ ‪ ....1‬فقال عتريس معلقا ً على ما سم من قصة الجبالوي ‪:‬‬ ‫ كان في الدنيا خير‪ ،‬حتى أدهم لم يج يوما ً واحداً‪.‬‬ ‫‪ .‫‪Appendix 1‬‬ ‫ترجم ما تحته خط إلى اللغة اإلنجليزية ‪:‬‬ ‫‪ .

‬‬ ‫‪ .‬‬ ‫‪ .‬‬ ‫‪165‬‬ .2‬قال حنورة ‪ :‬ما أنتم إال حشاشون ال خير فيكم‪ ،‬ولو م ّر أمامكم اآلن خنفس لسجدتم بين يديه‪ .‬‬‫فابتسمت عينا البلقيطي المحمرتين وقال ‪ :‬إنك الرجل الذي أعهد إليه بابنتي مطمئنا ً‬ ‫‪ .‬ثم قال باندفاع‪.9‬وقالت عبدة ‪ :‬زارتني زكية زوجة خنفس ‪ .‬‬ ‫جبل ‪ :‬إن شاء هللا‪.‬‬‫إلتفت وراءه فرأى "بدرية" تحمل الفنجان‪ ،‬فتناوله قائالً ‪:‬‬ ‫ لم التعب؟‬‫فقالت ‪ :‬تعبك راحة يا سيدي‪.‬ولنذكر فقط أن خنفس‬ ‫سيد آل جبل‪ ،‬وأن صداقةأهله دعا ٌء مستجاب‪.‬ما أفخم مسكنهم‪ ،‬المقاعد الوثيرة‪ ،‬السجاد الفاخر ‪ .‬‬‫فهتفت عبده جرعا ً ‪ :‬وحِّ دوا هللا والمسامح كريم‪.3‬وصا فرحات وسط الزحام ‪:‬‬ ‫ تعال اسم ما يقال وانظر كيف يعبث العابثون بآل جبل على آخر الزمان‪..8‬قال علي ‪ :‬لرفاعة أصدقاء هزموا بطيخة فاختفى من الحارة‪.‬ثم وهو يلتفت إلى رفاعة ‪" :‬ال‬ ‫تؤاخذنا يا بني"‪ ،‬فليس على الحشاش حرج‪.‬‬ ‫‪ ..‬‬ ‫فقالت ياسمينة مقطبة ‪:‬‬ ‫‪ -‬بطيخة ال بيومي‪ ،‬إذا تحديتم بيومي فقل عليكم السالم‪. 6 :‬‬ ‫ يا معلم‪ ،‬جبل يطلب القرب منك‪.‬‬ ‫فضحك جبل في نشوة طفل (وهو يفكر في طلب يد سيدة من البلقيطي) ‪ .‫‪ -‬األمر منكم وإليكم يا سيدتي‪...‬‬ ‫‪ .‬‬ ‫‪ ..4‬وأيقظه من تهويمته صوت عذب يقول ‪:‬‬ ‫ القهوة يا معلم قاسم‪..5‬بلقيطي ‪ :‬إنك شديد الحذر‪ ،‬ولكنك ستأنس إلي سريعا ً وتفضي لي بكل أسرارك‪.

‬وإذا بصرير الباب يُفتح وصوت الست يقول ‪ :‬صبا الخير!‬ ‫‪ .12‬دخل حوش قمر ليأخذ النعجة وهو يقول ‪‘" :‬يا ساتر" ‪ ...13‬ووجد رفاعة باب المسكن مفتوحا ً فغمغم قائالً ‪ :‬إحِم!‬ ‫فأذنت له بالدخول َفد َ‬ ‫َخ َل‪.10‬قال عرفة في ثق ٍة ال ح ّد لها مخاطبا ً المعلم (وهو يعطيه دوا ٌء للضعف الجنسي) ‪:‬‬ ‫ قمحة منه على فنجان شاي قبل "عدم مؤاخذة" بساعتين‪ ،‬وبعدها إما ترضى عن محسوبك عرفة وإما تطرده من الحارة‪.‬‬ ‫‪166‬‬ .11‬وسأله قدري الناظر ‪ :‬هل من جديد عن زوجك؟‬ ‫فأجاب عرفة وهو يتخذ مجلسه إلى جانبه ‪ :‬عنيدة كالبغل‪ ،‬ربنا يحفظ مقامك‪. we first provide the Literal‬‬ ‫‪Meaning (LM) of the Arabic politeness expression. Otherwise.‬‬ ‫‪ .‬‬ ‫فرشف السنطوري رشفة وقال ‪ :‬تسلم يديك الجميلة!‬ ‫‪Appendix 2‬‬ ‫‪Choose the most appropriate Politeness Expression to fill in the blank relying on both context‬‬ ‫‪and your intuition as an English native speaker...‬‬‫‪ .‬‬ ‫‪ . we suggest five translations.‬‬ ‫‪ .14‬وعادت (سكينة) بلفافة فاعطته إياها وهي تقول ‪:‬‬ ‫ فطيرة بالهنا والشفا‪. For each blank. you can fill in (6) with your‬‬ ‫‪suggested rendition. so that‬‬ ‫‪you can choose the equivalent in English.15‬قدّمت عواطف للسنطوري فنجان الشاي ‪. Secondly. if there is any.‬‬ ‫فقال لها رفاعة في ضجر ‪:‬‬ ‫‪ .‬‬‫فتلقاها بيديه قائالً ‪ :‬اشكري عني السيدة الكريمة‪..‫ٌ‬ ‫مباركة عليك هذه الصداقة‪.

Thank you! 5. following on from the story about Gebelawi. You’re right! 3. Well said! 4. 3. Bless you! 2.” 1. Atris said. Farhat shouted to the crowds : “Come and hear what people are saying. For God’s sake! 167 . even Adham was never hungry. and see the latest game that’s being played with the honour of Gebel’s people. (No comment) 6. 4. 5. It’s your problem.” Abda shouted wretchedly : ‫ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬ (LM) : “Say Allah is One” 1. 2. “Have you anything to say. Madam! 3. not even for a day. Gebel?” He looked at the ground and said : (LM) : “The matter is from you and to you. It’s all up to you. Madam. It’s up to you. 2. The matter is in your hand. Huda turned to Gebel. The old woman appeared at the door and said to Atris :‫ــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬ (LM) : “May your mouth be saved !” 1.1. “There was some good in the world . (No comment) 6.

5. 4. 6. (No comment) 6. 2. but you’ll soon get used to me and tell me all your secrets. 2. Believe in the One God. Perhaps so! 3. 168 . please! 5. Take it easy . 3. (No comment). 5. 4. Don’t mention it. I hope so. It’s a comfort to serve you. I will. A sweet voice roused him : “Coffee Mr. 3.2.” Bedria : ‫ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬ (LM) : “Your tiring me is a relief.” 1. Stop it. hopefully. He took it and said : “Why the trouble. God willing. Not at all.” He turned and saw Badria holding out the cup to him. Balkiti : “You are very cagy. 5. 6. 4.” Gebel : ‫ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬ (LM) : “If God permitted” 1. don’t bother yourself for me. It’s a pleasure to take trouble for you. Qassem. (No comment). 4.

Don’t blame us. (No comment). 5. I want to marry your daughter. ‫ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬ (LM) : “Say peace be upon you” 1.” Then to Rifa’a : ‫ ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬. 2. Balkiti’s daughter) : ‫ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬ Balkiti : “You’re the man I’d gladly give my daughter to. and he disapeared from view. 2. 2. (LM) : “Do not blame us my son” 1. Gebel said with an impetuousness (while he was thinking of Sayyeda. forgive us. They attacked Batikha. 6.6. (No comment) 6. A hashish smoker has no inhibitions. Hanoura said : “You are nothing but worthless hashish addicts. you’d fall at his feet. 8. 7. Please. my boy. Ali : “Rifa’a has friends.” 1. Gebel wants to be your son-in-law. If Khonfus came now. 4. You’ll be defeated. 3.” Yasmine frowned and said : “Batikha is not Bayyumi. I’ll be honoured to marry your daughter. 5. Forgive them son. 169 . 4. 3. If you defy Bayyumi. I’m sorry for that. Yo won’t get much peace.” (LM) : “Gebel wants to be a relative of yours. I ask for your daughter’s hand.

. Peace be upon you.. you do it. either you’ll be pleased with me or you can chase me away.” 170 . Arafa with boundless confidence (as he introduced a medicine for sexual weakness to the Trustee) : “A grain of that in a cup of tea two hours before “‫ ”ـــــــــــــــــ‬and afterwards. Abda : “Zakia. I should congratulate you. exuse me. 5. 6. visited me . 9.” Rifa’a said : ‫ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬ (LM) : “May this friendship be blessed upon you!”. You are losers.. 6. 3. (LM) : “without blame” 1. (No comment). 4. They became very rich. Bless this friendship. (No comment). excuse me. 5. Let’s just remember that Khonfus is the ruler and that his family’s friendship is an answer to a prayer. 4.3. 11. 4. You should be pleased with this friendship. Khonfus’ wife. Congratulations on this friendship. ‫ ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬. making love 2. 10.. 1. 6. Kadri (the Chief) asked Arafa : “Any news of your wife?” Arafa answered as he sat down beside him : “Stubborn as a mule. 2. 3. you know.

6. Rifa’a found the door ready. (LM) : “’ihim” (an attention getter sound. God preserve you. 4. sorry to say that before you.” (LM) : “O. he said : ‫ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬ Then. calling out: “‫ ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬.” Then he heard the door creaking open. excuse me! 3. 2. Anybody here! 2.(LM) : “May God protect your status!” 1. 12. open for him. veiler!” 1. she asked him to come in. 13. and her voice saying : “Good morning. thanks! 5. (No comment) 6. (No comment). Excuse me ! 4. Qassem went into Qamar’s courtyard to collect the ewe. Anybody here? 2. Hello! 3. To get their attention to his arrival. come in.) 1. (He coughed) 171 . I’m here ! 5. Can I come in? 3. Can I come in ? 4.

5. (No comment)
14. Sekina came back with a package which she gave to the guest saying : “A pancake,
‫ ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬.”
(LM) : “With happiness and being very well”
1. enjoy it!
2. I hope you’ll enjoy it .
3. I wish you a good appetite.
4. please!
5. (No comment).
15. Awaatif brought Santouri a cup of coffee.
Santouri took a sip and said (thanking her) : ‫ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ‬
(LM) : “May your beautiful hands be saved!”
1. Bless your beautiful hands.
2. Thank you!
3. Preserved be your lovely hand.
4. Thanks!
5. (No comment).


Media Translation:
The Case of the Arabic Newsweek

Mohammed Farghal & Mashael Al-Hamly

The present project is a case study of the Arabic Newsweek, namely the translation of two
constant features: a main column page and a stars news page. The purpose is to examine the
two features from a translation assessment perspective over a period of about four months. The
selection of the two genres is informed by the type of discourse employed in each, that is, the
evaluative vs. the expository type (Hatim & Mason 1990). The corpus will be subjected to a close
examination aiming at detecting perceptible errors (Hickey 2003), which, being lacking in
naturalness, draw attention to themselves in the target language. The errors are first divided
into general categories such as structural, lexical and discourse features, then they undergo finer
classification and subsequently assigned to sub-categories like grammatical usage, collocations,
cohesive ties, etc. The analysis of the data shows that the Arabic Newsweek version suffers from
a variety of local and global perceptible errors relating to lexical, discoursal and grammatical
usage. In terms of genre analysis, these perceptible features present themselves more
frequently and seriously in argumentative/evaluative discourse than in expository/nonevaluative discourse.

1. Introduction
Traditionally, emphasis has been placed on the translation of authoritative texts such as literary
works and religious books (for example, see Nida 1964 and Newmark 1981; 1988). However,
with the emergence of translation studies as a legitimate branch of the larger discipline of
applied linguistics, the focus has been modified to include a plethora of discourse genres. These
include journalistic material (both editorials and news reports), advertisements, and manuals,
among other things (for example, see Hatim and Mason 1990 and Hatim 2000).

Despite some methodological differences, most authors view translation as transferring the
message or meaning of a source text into a target text (Jackobson1959; Nida 1964, 1969, 1977;
Kachru 1982; Newmark 1981, 1988; De Waard and Nida 1986; Larson 1984; Farghal 1993a).
Notably, the disagreements do not relate to the content but rather to the vehicle (form) by

which the message is conveyed, i.e., the type of equivalence which the translator adopts, for
example formal (Catford 1965), functional (De Waard and Nida 1986), or ideational (Farghal

Debates on various types of equivalence soon lose their appeal if they are not supplemented by
a theory of context. The option for one type of equivalence rather than another is regarded as a
correlative of the dynamic nature of contextual factors, including text type, audience and
author, among other things. For instance, a creative metaphor should be relayed intact when
translating a poem, regardless of the fact that it may be hard to process in the target language.
The same metaphor, however, will call for a different treatment when encountered in a
newspaper editorial, where the audience rather than the text type comes in as the most
relevant contextual factor.

As an act of communication, translation or interlingual communication, just like intralingual
communication, involves, ipso facto, the presence of two parties: a producer and a receiver. The
receiver, who is either a hearer (in the case of interpreting) or a reader (in the case of
translating), may make judgments as to the quality of the oral or written input he/she receives.
In most real-life situations, these judgments are passed independently of a source text, that is,
the target text is evaluated on its own right as an existing text that communicates meaning
autonomously in relevant contexts. Some receivers may not even perceive that what they have
heard or read had involved translation activity, simply because the act of communication often
overrides, and sometimes even omits, the tacitly superimposed translational intervention.

However, the communicatively suppressed translational action comes to the forefront in
scholarly and/or academic endeavors. As a result, systematic ‘translation quality assessment’
has emerged as an important area in translation studies. Given the nature of translation activity,
one may not be surprised by the fact that existing models of translation assessment are sourcetext oriented (Tirkkonen-Condit 1989). This orientation often manifests itself in correspondence
between forms (Catford 1965), effects (Nida 1964), or text-types (Reiss 2000), among other
things. Taking the source text as a point of reference, Newmark (1988), for example, bases
translation quality on the referential and pragmatic accuracy as key parameters of the target
text. Similarly, House (1997) offers a model of translation assessment founded on a doublebinding relationship between the target text, on the one hand and the source text and the
target culture, on the other. Clearly, priority is given to the source text and its cultural
environment within these models (fore more details, see Burkhanov 2003:108-113).


Taking the English source text as a point of departure, Abdel-Hafiz (2002) selectively surveys the
Arabic Newsweek for translational mismatches. Some of his examples come under
imperceptible errors because they sound natural in Arabic despite the fact that they may
deviate from the intended meaning in the source text. Some others are wrongly analyzed in the
heat of searching for faults with the translation. As for the methodology, it confuses concepts
with types of errors, e.g. error analysis sections are presented under rubrics such as formal
equivalence, functional equivalence, managing, etc. as well as error types including linkage and
grammatical problems. Added to this is the fact that there is no genre and statistical analysis of
the data in this study.

In a more practical development, Hickey (2003) presents a model of translation assessment
based on potential judgments of lay readers. He divides translation features into imperceptible
and perceptible. Imperceptible features escape the attention of the reader either because of
their high quality in terms of accuracy and/or appropriateness or because of the reader's
inability to access the original. By contrast, perceptible features are those which a lay reader
“would, or could, consciously notice and suspect of being erroneous because they somehow or
other draw attention to themselves” (p.22). Perceptible and imperceptible errors may seem to
correspond to ‘overt’ and ‘covert’ errors (House 1922, 1992) but, in fact, they differ from them
in that they do not represent a double-binding relationship between the target text and the
source text. That is, lay readers can figure out perceptible errors without making reference to
the source text. Based on this important distinction, we have opted for Hickey’s rather than
House’s dichotomy.

2. Objectives of Study
The present study aims to examine media translation into Arabic from a translation assessment
perspective. Specifically, the study will examine the Arabic translation of two recurring
Newsweek features in 15 issues of the Newsweek in Arabic (published by Kuwait Dar Al-Watan
in collaboration with Newsweek international). The two features, a main column page and a
stars news page, are meant to represent argumentative and expository discourse, respectively.
It should be noted that the Newsweek news material is essentially evaluative, as this publication
is a weekly magazine rather than a daily newspaper, where expository news reporting and news
evaluation are quite common. This being the case, the closest segment to expository genre we
could find is the stars news page. It is hoped that this contrast, though atypical, will bring out
important insights into the type and frequency of perceptible translational errors in the two

The survey intends to lay hand on perceptible translation features as perceived by the two
researchers functioning, so to speak, as lay readers. These perceptible errors are assumed to be

the cause of the oft-heard complaint made by the Arabic Newsweek readers about the quality of
the Arabic used in terms of accuracy and/or appropriateness. The purpose is multi-faceted. First,
the perceptible features will be specified and divided into general categories of errors, including
grammatical, lexical, and discoursal problems. Second, each general category will be presented
in sub-categories, for example, lexical problems will be sub-divided into errors relating to
individual word meaning, collocations, and circumlocutions, among other things. Finally, a
statistical analysis will be presented to show the frequency of each general category and subcategory in the two genres.
3. Significance of Study
Much work has been done on theory building in translation studies in general (Nida 1964;
Catford 1965; Newmark 1981; Larson 1982; De Waard & Nida 1986; Hatim & Mason 1991; Bell
1991; Neubert & Shreve 1992; Baker 1992; and Hatim 2000, among others). Similarly, a large
amount of research has been conducted with respect to English/Arabic/English translation. In
this vein, some studies have focused on researchers' intuitions, which are based on specific
contextualized or de-contextualized material from the two languages (Al-Najjar 1984; Mouakket
1986; Saraireh 1990; and Farghal 1991, 1992, 1993c, 1994, among others). Others have drawn
insights from empirical data stemming from student translations (Shunnaq & Farghal, this
volume; Khalil 1993; Farghal & Shakir, this volume; Farghal 1995a, 2003; and Hatim & Mason
1997, among others). Some other studies have had recourse to existing translations, especially
literary ones as a source of translation criticism (see, for example, El-Yasin 1996; Aziz 1999;
Farghal & Naji, this volume).

Clearly, there has been a great deal of research about theory-oriented translation models and
more practice-oriented translation criticism. The presence of media translation in this
voluminous literature does not go beyond anecdotal reference to de-contextualized segments
from here and there, despite the fact that media translation is probably the most practicable
type of translation in this age - the age of technology, news agencies, internet and globalization.
From here comes the serious need for a fully-fledged study on media translation in order to
explore its norms and quality. As for the choice of the Newsweek, it need not be explained, for
this widely distributed international weekly is one of the more influential magazines in the
4. Methodology
4.1. Material
The input material for this project consists of two constant full-page features: a main column
page 'World View' written regularly by Fred Zakaria, who is a native speaker of American English
and a stars news page, which is anonymously compiled. In the first magazine feature, the picture
of the columnist is conspicuously displayed in the top right-hand corner in the English original
and in the top left-hand corner in the Arabic translated version (See Appendix 1). The second
feature clearly displays pictures of the stars on top of their news segments (See Appendix 2).

The choice of the first segment is motivated by the fact that editorials of this type usually
involve argumentation that necessitates the employment of a language density not required in
straightforward news reports. Therefore, column features, being highly evaluative, are potential
ground for translation problems, a prediction that has been confirmed by pilot browsing into
some copies of the Newsweek in Arabic by the present researchers. As for the selection of the
second segment, it is meant to represent expository discourse in the absence of non-evaluative
news reports in the Newsweek. The assumption here is that stars news genre, largely being nonevaluative, may involve less language density and subsequently a different picture of perceptible
4.2. Procedure
After the acquisition of 15 recent issues of the Arabic Newsweek along with their English
originals, the Arabic corpus was carefully examined for perceptible features, which then
underwent categorization and statistical analysis. In the course of analyzing the data, reference
was made to the English versions only when need had arisen to strengthen arguments and draw
further insights.

Perceptible features were categorized into three main categories: lexical, discoursal and
grammatical. Lexical errors include wrong collocations and idioms, wrong words, and
circumlocutions and repetitions. Discourse errors fall within two categories: conjunction errors
and phraseology errors. Grammatical errors feature problems with prepositions or pronouns,
subject verb agreement, word form, and articles, among others.
4.3. Translators’ Background
Two teams of translators are involved in the translation process; the first is the Washington DC
team. This team consists of a group of Arabic native-speakers who are not necessarily based in
Washington but are in charge of a first draft translation of the Newsweek. The second team is
based in Kuwait and consists of translators who are also Arabic native-speakers with a bachelor
degree in Arabic language and Literature. This team is responsible for proofreading/editing the
first draft version of the Newsweek. Kuwait-based translators are not concerned with
correctness of the English-Arabic translation but more with the correctness/grammaticality of
the Arabic text.
5. Results
The number of perceptible errors in the whole corpus is 266. The World View page claims 214
(80.45%) errors while the Stars News page contains only 52 (19.55%) errors. The maximum
number of errors per page in the World View data is 22 against 6 in the Stars News data. A
relatively similar ratio obtains regarding the minimum number of errors per page, viz. 7 errors in
the World View data against only 1 error in the Stars News data. The overall breakdown of
errors shows that discoursal features are the most frequent at 43.8%, lexical features come in
second place at 35.7%, and finally grammatical features account for 20.5%. Bar graph 1 shows

this distribution.
Overall Disribution of Types of Errors in the Corpus


Discoursal errors
Lexical errors
Grammatical errors


Bar graph 1.
However a different pattern of distribution of features obtains across the two genres, both in
terms of typology and frequency. Typologically, discourse features come first in the World View
data at 48.13%, while lexical features are the most frequent in the Stars News data at 48.1%. By
contrast, discourse errors occupy second place in the Stars News data at 28.86% while lexical
errors assume second place in the World View data at 32.7%. As for grammatical features, they
come third in both genres at 19.17% in World View data vs. 23% in Stars News data.

In terms of frequency in the corpus, features in the three categories are remarkably more
frequent in the World View data than in the Stars News data, viz. discourse features account for
38.72% vs. 5.64%, lexical features for 26.3% vs. 9.4%, and grammatical features for 15.41% vs.
4.51, respectively. The distribution of errors across the two genres is shown in Bar graph 2


Within the category of lexical errors. 180 . wrong words are more frequent than wrong collocations/idioms in the Star News data.47%. and finally lag circumlocution/repetition at 9. Across the two genres.Breakdown of Errors 120 100 80 World View Stars News 60 40 20 0 Lexical errors Discoursal errors Grammatical errors Bar graph 2. however. wrong words come second at 42.42%. Bar graph 3 below indicates the breakdown of lexical errors across the two genres. wrong words account for 56% while wrong collocations/idioms score 32%. wrong collocation/idioms score the highest frequency at 48. Breakdown of Lexical Errors 40 35 30 25 World View Stars News 20 15 10 5 0 Wrong collocations/idioms Wrong word Circumlocution/Repetition Bar graph 3. viz.11%.

as well as titles of books (e. Finally. Get rich or die trying).17% in the Stars News data.e. Hulk. X Men). music albums (e. Excluding the miscellaneous subcategory. As for the data on grammatical errors. a word should be said about zero versus near-zero translatability as represented by citing culture-sensitive material in source language versus transliteration. It had to be you. for example ‫ روايبة‬Pattern Recognition would be accompanied with the Arabic 181 .54% in the Stars News data. Across the two genres. Missing conjunctions are more frequent than wrong phraseologies in the corpus at 69. Les Misérables).33% in the Stars News data.49% vs.5%.g.19% and the least frequent error involves pronouns at 7. Breakdown of Discoursal Errors 80 70 60 50 40 World View Stars News 30 20 10 0 Wrong phraseology Missing conjunction Bar graph 4. Across the two genres. In some instances.g. Similarly. and/or movies (Lion King.34% against 10.The breakdown of discourse errors shows two main sub-categories: missing conjunctions and wrong phraseologies. Arabic translation or transliteration would accompany the English text.27% in the World View data against 33. The Bar graph below represents the breakdown of discourse errors across the two genres.95% while they only account for 2.66% in the World View data against 1. they contain seven subcategories including a miscellaneous one.55%. As for wrong phraseologies. The expository text (i. they score 20. the most frequent type of error involves prepositions at 30. wrong/missing prepositions maintain the highest frequency at 29.g. viz. West Wing. pronoun errors maintain the lowest frequency at 5. When the women come out to dance) and/or plays (e. missing conjunctions in the World View data score 66. 30. respectively. The Simpsons. Cabaret.g.89% in the Stars News data. 8 Mile. the stars news page) featured a noticeable employment of zero-translation when the text included names of T. Bar graph 5 below shows the breakdown of grammatical errors across the two genres.V. programs (e. the distribution of discourse features is quite different. Rock Talk).

the reader may opt out by abandoning the engagement altogether. despite their being local errors (Hendrickson. Breakdown of Grammatical Errors 12 10 8 6 World View Stars News 4 2 0 Wrong/missing preposition Wrong/missing pronoun Wrong word form Wrong/missing article Wrong agreement Micellaneous Bar graph 5. Overview As sampled by the Arabic Newsweek. world view page). 1980). Only two instances of the combined use of both the English and Arabic texts were found in the argumentative text under study. On the one hand. Analysis and Discussion 6.translation in brackets ‫التعببرف البى األشبكال المميببزة‬. problems in form. Alternatively. may represent a serious source of annoyance during the decoding process. Names of magazines. featured the use of transliteration mainly when need had arisen.1. The argumentative text (i. cause the target reader to pause reluctantly and think hard in an attempt to reconstruct the linguistic reality in terms of form and/or content. 6. media translation from English into Arabic suffers from a variety of perceptible errors that seriously affect the quality of translation. and ‫ كتباب‬Halloween would be followed by )‫(الهالوين‬. for example ‫ كتباب‬The Gathering Storm was accompanied with )‫ (العاصفة المتجمعة‬and ‫ كتاب‬Ending the Vietnam war with )‫)انهاء حرب ايتنام‬. which is a 182 . for example ‫ طبائرات‬،‫ مؤسسة السباااك‬،‫ منظمة ميمولاير‬،‫ مجلة دي زايت األلمانية‬،‫نيوزويك‬ ‫ و بريبديتور‬16‫أف‬.e. the employment of a wrong preposition. these problematic features draw attention to themselves and. subsequently. Being uninterpretable and/or unnatural. on the other hand. organizations and airplanes are all transliterated. For example.

wrong collocations/idioms come in first place scoring higher than wrong words which come in second place in the World View data. it can be readily observed that evaluative discourse (represented by the World View page) presents more challenging ground to media translators than non-evaluative discourse (exemplified by the Stars News page). Scene setting. thus effecting more confusion and dismay in target readers. 1980. it should be noted. viz. namely wrong collocations/idioms and wrong words. Nattinger. see Johnstone. 1993) 6. necessitates a heavy use of conjunctions. Tone setting. as it mainly involves mere monitoring of states-ofaffairs. confusion or bad impressions on the part of the reader. In fact. this discrepancy may have to do with the language density across the two genres. which is a matter of appropriateness.1. Yario.45% vs. This interesting finding may be attributed to the fact that evaluative discourse involves a language density that correlates with setting the tone rather than setting the scene (as in non-evaluative discourse) for the expression of propositions/ideas. also differs in terms of genre. perceptible errors in the World View page are four times more than those in the Stars News page (80. or an odd collocation. collocations and hypotactic structures in an attempt to persuade the reader and bring about a change in his/her attitude. where collocations are expected to play a more important role in argumentation or evaluative discourse (for more details. in a text may create irritation. the reader’s inability to figure out meaning is usually caused by the translator’s failure to phrase out or code message properly. form and content problems interact within some segments. The following subsections will illustrate the types of lexical errors committed in the Arabic Newsweek with elaborate examples from the data. On the other hand. Aisensadt. In this case. lexical errors are the most frequent in the Stars News data at 48.1%. in effect. they constitute a major element in the make-up of the lexicon and. In terms of genre. is less demanding linguistically. 1981. In many cases.2. 1980.2 Lexical Errors Lexical features come in second place claiming 35. content problems. 1990. 183 . Wrong Collocations/Idioms Collocations and idiomatic expressions are two important categories of English multi-word units. hence the emphasis is on conveying rather than evaluating information (for more information. whereas they score second place in the World View data at 32. a significant part of lexical competence (Alexander. however. whereas the converse order obtains in the said sub-types in the Stars News data. often create dismay in readers because the reader cannot come to terms with the meaning of a certain part of the text. The frequency of sub-types.7% of the errors in the entire corpus. 1991) than in expository or non-evaluative discourse. see Hatim and Mason. As has been said above. Renkema. Looking globally at the data across the two genres.55%). 19. 1978.7%. 6.matter of accuracy. viz. by contrast. being global in nature.

hence the presence of the collocations ‘strong tea’ and ‘weak tea’. Benson et al 1986. the translator’s failure to operate the Idiom principle in the target language will inevitably result in erroneous collocations but not necessarily erroneous idiomatic expressions. see Sinclair. there are only few cases of mistranslated idiomatic expressions in the data. The results of the present study lend further support for the argument that collocations are more problematic than idioms in translation. In terms of translation. The response to the second question may suggest two further indications. Strassler. By contrast. It should be noted that while literalness remains one of the main methods of translation. Consequently. but it simply indicates that words may choose different collocates in different languages. as lexical substitutes are always there as a workable solution in the case of idioms. 1991). Cowie. 1981. This does not mean that some languages are richer in collocations than others. This being the case. the collocation ‘public support’ is only awkwardly paraphraseable. among others). Baker and MacCarthy. the [± dense] feature of a drink in English is collocationalized in terms of the features [±strong] and [±weak]. 1987. the Open Choice Principle does work as an alternate in the translation of idioms but it is practically ruled out in translating collocations (for the discussion of the two principles. Shakir and Farghal (this volume) argue that collocations are more communicatively useful than idioms because they are more common in speech and are rarely replaceable by lexical substitutes. namely 4 errors out of 38 errors in the World View data and none in the Stars News data. 1995. hence they overlook such deviations in the heat of 184 . as is the case in the Newsweek.1988.g. anf Farghal and Obeidat. Assuming that translation is done by caring native speakers of the target language. hence the presence of the Arabic collocations ‫ شا ثقيل‬and ‫شا خفيف‬. the question that poses itself is: Why would translators sanction the presence of erroneous collocations in their translations? Or more pragmatically: Why would translators not reread their translations and subsequently naturalize such collocational deviations? The answer to the first question has something to do with the translator’s option for literal translation in cases where it does not work. 1988. The most frequent error in collocations is the choice of an inappropriate collocate for a word. As a matter of fact. which results in an awkward or unnatural combination in the target language. it is of little use in the area of collocations. e. as collocations rarely correspond between different languages. 1983. whereas the same feature is collocationalized in terms of the features [± heavy] and [± light] in Arabic. That is.g. For example. idioms are less common in speech and are readily replaceable by lexical substitutes. Firstly. e. it may be the case that translators rarely regard their translations as fully-fledged texts away from the source language texts. the idiomatic expression ‘bury the hatchet’ is replaceable by the lexical alternate ‘end the dispute’. we have decided to combine the two categories.

‫ كيف يمكن للمرء أن يجابه هذا التوجه؟ األمور ليست حالكة [السواد] كما تبدو للوهلة األولى‬.‫للحكومات التي تعمل معا ضدها‬ 2002) ‫ حيبث كبانوا‬،‫ أولئك الذين لم يستط ذووهبم البدف كبانوا يؤخبذون إلبى خبارج القريبة‬:‫ و جاء في احد تقارير ميمولاير‬. but rather that this collocational competence may not be optimally functionalized in the process of translating.. Thus.considering the translation an immediate reflection of the original in terms of content as well as form.‫ كمبا أن الطقبس سبيجعل العمبل العسبكري أمبرا مسبتحيال حتبى الخريبف القبادم‬،‫القيام بعمل عسكري سيتالشى‬ (December 3..e. From now onwards. In this case. underlined material represents relevant erroneous segments. the absence of appropriate translator training may be to blame. 10 . 2002) .‫الجنسية‬ ‫ بدأت مسئولة العالقات العامة ليزي غروبمان التي عملت علبى صبيانة الضبرر النباجم عبن أشبخاص يطلقبون العنبان‬. 2002) .‫ إن الوقت قصير جدا‬. ignoring bracketed material which relates to other types of errors(.‫ فان تركيا قامت بعمليه تحرر اقتصادي واسعة النطاق‬،‫تركيا و أقليتها الكردية‬ ‫ فبان الضبغط باتجباه‬،‫ ديسبمبر‬8 ‫ فان لم تصل األمور إلى مرحلة المواجهة بعد وقت قصير من‬. By way of illustration... she/he does not possess an adequate feel that enables her/him to call up appropriate/natural collocations in the target language in the context of translation activity.. the translator’s collocational proficiency should be regarded as part of her/his translational competence rather than her/his linguistic competence in general. 6) involving an erroneous idiom. i.1 (November 26. the excerpts in (1) – (5) do not read well because of the erroneous collocations that feature wrong collocates.‫ و يعني هذا قدر أكبر من العمليات الدولية و التنسيق التحقيقي‬.3 ‫ فمبواردهم هبي مبوارد يرثبى لهبل حبين تقبارن ببالقوى المجتمعبة‬.e.‫يتمتعون بقدر ضئيل مبن أسبباب التفبوق الجوهريبة‬ (December. 2002) . the Arabic preposition ‫ منبذ‬does not collocate with the 185 . ‫ألهوائهم مثل‬ ،‫ فبان بوسبعها تحسبين اتفباق كلنتبون‬،‫ مسبتخدمة مزيجبا مبن العصبى و الجبزر‬،‫ و إذا تفاوضت اإلدارة بصورة حسنة‬. 2002).‫ بصورة كبيرة جدا‬،‫الذي يعاني الكثير من نقاط الضعف و النقاط الخطرة‬ Other things neutralized (i. while bracketed material represents corrections which are not relevant to the discussion at hand (For more examples of erroneous collocations and wrong words.‫يكون من السهولة بمكان إعادة لعب هذا الفيلم ثانية‬ ‫ [ف] اإلرهابيون اليبوم‬. see Appendix 3): ‫ [و رغم] المعارك األخيرة بين‬،‫ و رغم الحكومات السابقة المقسمة و الضعيفة‬،‫ فرغم أسوأ ركود اقتصادي منذ جيل‬.5 (November 5.. Below are five excerpts from the corpus featuring erroneous collocations as a result of choosing a wrong collocate and one excerpt (No. This does not mean that some native speakers may lack collocational competence as it is part and parcel of general linguistic competence.4 ‫ و كانببت األسببالك الكهربائيببة تلصببق بأعضببائهم‬. it is possible that the translator is not adequately competent in the area of collocations in his first language.‫يتعرضببون للضببرب و التعببذيب بالتيببار الكهربببائي لسبباعات طويلببة‬ (November 12. 2002) ..6 (November 14. Secondly.2 ‫ و لبن‬.

2002) . respectively.‫أصبحت مصدر معلومات مرموقا بالنسبة إلى اإليرانيين المتعطشين‬ In each of the underlined expressions above. for ‫ منبذ‬and the verbal noun ‫ عبرض‬for ‫فبيلم‬. it does not read well because of twisting the Arabic idiomatic expression ‫ سياسبة العصبى والجبزرة‬in a way that distorts the flow of discourse and puzzles the target reader.9 ( December 24. In some cases. ‫الفت للنظر‬. Below are two excerpts showing this kind of problem: 186 . It is the job of the translator to employ such natural expressions even when the source text segment does not manifest collocational an Egyptian weekly. i. the translator should have naturalized the two collocations by choosing appropriate collocates such as ‫ سنوات طويلبة‬،‫ عشرات السنين‬،‫عقود‬، etc.. 2003) . the translator managed to relay the English collocation ‘gave an interview’ correctly into ‫ أدلبى بحبديث صبحفي‬but. To illustrate. failed to properly incorporate the attributive adjective ‘remarkable’ into the Arabic text because she/he was unable to call up the collocation that constitutes the natural habitat for the corresponding Arabic adjective. naturalizing the collocation in (2) should involve a further step by abandoning the corresponding Arabic collocation altogether for lack of naturalness in the text and subsequently opting for a more function-oriented Arabic collocation such as ‫كتابة هذا السبيناريو‬ ‫ ثانيبة‬or ‫أداء هبذه المسبرحية ثانيبة‬. Arabic discourse does not tolerate these expressions without post-modifying collocates. In other cases. the collocational problem shows a different directionality. To explain. viz. To solve these problems.2 (December 3. (8) and (9).8 (February 4.‫أسبوعية مصرية‬ ‫ و ستجد أنظمة الحكم في الشرق األوسط – و غالبيتهبا أنظمبة غيبر ديموقراطيبة و غيبر مصبلحة [إصبالحية] إن مبن‬. some Arabic expressions in the data feature superfluous collocates.e. Earlier this month Saddam gave a remarkable interview – his first in 12 years .noun ‫ جيبل‬in (1) and similarly the Arabic noun ‫ فبيلم‬does not collocate with the verbal noun ‫ لعبب‬in (2). which are an immediate consequence of rendering English collocations literally.‫الصعب عليها بصورة متزايدة البقاء في السلطة إن لم تنفتح‬ ‫ و التببي‬،‫ و الكثيببر منهببا تبببث مببن لببوس انجلببوس‬،‫ و ينبغببي علببى واشببنطن أن تمببول المحطببات التلفزيونيببة الفضببائية‬. As can be seen. consider the English text corresponding to (7) above: 10. unfortunately. the problem occurs because of the translator’s failure to employ a necessary collocate in the target language. 2002) . though fewer in the corpus. As for the excerpt in (6). Moreover. The excerpts below illustrate this: ‫ عامببا – لمجلببة‬12 ‫ أدلببى صببدام بحببديث صببحافي الفببت – و هببو األول منببذ‬،‫ ] و [ فببي وقببت سببابق مببن هببذا الشببهر‬. the natural expressions are ‫ تنفبتح علبى غيرهبا (مبن‬،‫الفت للنظبر‬ )‫ دول العبالم‬and ‫ المتعطشبببن للحريبة‬in (7). there is a missing collocate that would not escape the attention of the lay Arab reader.

. 2002) It is clear that the erroneous Arabic expressions ‫ عن كثب شديد‬. (November 5. Wrong Words Among lexical errors. ‫إن حقيقببة العببالم المعببولم هببي أن مجموعببات صببغيرة فببي العببالم اليببوم قببادرة علببى إحببداث قببدر كبيببر مببن المتاعببب‬ . 6.‫ حمدا ّلل على الوضو األخالقي‬. ‫ توماس كريتنسين من أم آي تبي (معهبد ماستشوسبتس‬،‫و يقول احد ابرز الخبراء األمريكيين في شئون آسيا الشرقية‬ . this deficiency manifests itself in the translator’s inability to distinguish cognitive and/or near-synonyms in terms of lexical usage.‫ تراقب‬in (11) and ‫ العالم المعبولم‬in (12) are literal renditions of the English collocations ‘watch…. the lexeme ‫كثبب‬. the erroneous choice of the underlined words is very clear. 2002) . the translator was not aware of the constraint that.2.‫(للتكنولوجيا) " إنه ما من شك في أن كوريا الشمالية تراقب مبا نفعلبه فبي العبراق عبن كثبب شبديد‬February 18. are the underdog renders the use of the Arabic word ‫ كفبا‬in (13) inappropriate – the correct cognitive synonym is ‫صبراع‬.very closely’ and ‘globalized world’. respectively.‫( واالضطراب‬December 10.‫فالعراق يتطلب استراتيجية (عسكرية) متشددة في حين تتطلب ايران استراتيجية (سياسية) رخوة‬ ‫ لقد‬. hence the impossibility of emphasizing it by an intensifier.‫ ويشر بيتسوان أن "األخبار و الصور من جمي أرجاء العالم بدأت تبث إلى منازل أبناء جنوب شرق آسيا‬.‫الدواف األمريكية و احتمال خلق أوضاع أفضل في العراق‬ As can be noted. 2003) 12. the Chechens. the attributive adjective ‫شبديد‬. in contrast with English.42% . .2. the translator has fallen victim to the pleonasm ‫العبالم المعبولم‬ instead of the familiar Arabic term ‫العولمة‬.11%.13 ‫على ما يبدو [فموقف الرئيس بوش البين تجاه الحرب على اإلرهاب تفهم على ما يبدو] كفا روسيا المعقد م‬ (November 12. In many cases. It may be argued that this kind of error is a clear indication of a deficiency in the translator’s lexical competence.e. The fact that the Russians are the top dog while their subjects. In other words. In (14)."‫موحد‬ ‫ وعندما كنت أوضح الحاجة الملحة لتجريد صدام من أسلحة الدمار الشامل و الفرصة العظيمة لمساعدة العراقيين‬. which is close to the frequency of wrong of collocations/idioms at 48. the 187 .. the Arabic collocation ‫ يراقبب عبن كثبب‬cannot be modified by an intensifier. 2002) .‫الشيشان‬ 14. the use of a wrong word is the second most frequent type of error at 42.11. i.. Following are four excerpts involving lexical usage problems: ‫ فصورة الرئيس بوش باللونين األبيض و األسود فقط للحرب على اإلرهاب تفهمت‬. which enjoys no existence in Arabic independently of the above collocation. in fact. is inherently emphatic.15 ‫شاهدوا األحداث السياسية في البلقان و الشرق األوسط و الشيشان و هو ما أدى إلى رف وعيهم بشعور إسالمي‬ .16 ‫ كانوا يستمعون بنوع من السخرية و يجادلون في الحقائق و في وجهة نظري حول‬،‫على بناء دولة عربية عصرية‬ . Similarly.

It must be noted that solid lexical knowledge in translational competence should enable translation practitioners to neutralize phonological similarity between Arabic words and subsequently call up the correct lexical item in the process of translating.Cruse 1986). For its part. 2003) . The resulting 188 . 6.12 (November 18. point to a serious deficiency in the translator’s lexical competence. phonological similarity may have been a factor. which may have been caused by the similarity in phonological form. which is a cognitive synonym of the correct introductory verb ‫يببين‬. (14) suffers from an erroneous use of the introductory Arabic verb ‫يشبر‬. the translator confused the sociological term ‫مصبلحين‬/‫‘ مصبلح‬reformer/reformers’ with the political term ‫إصببالحيين‬/‫‘ اصببالحي‬liberal/liberals’ in (18) .18 (February 4.19 (January 21. Once again. especially when it comes to differentiating between cognitive and/or near-synonyms in terms of correct lexical usage. Once again.يشبككون‬the two verbs may be argued to be near-synonyms. In other cases.employment of the Arabic adjective ‫ رخبوة‬to modify ‫ اسبتراتيجية سياسبية‬is inappropriate – the correct adjectives in this context are the cognitive and/or near-synonyms ‫ مرنبة‬or ‫ متسباهلة‬. Similarly. the last excerpt involves a mistaken use of the verb ‫ يجادلون‬instead of the correct verb ‫ . These examples. the translator employed the Arabic verb ‫‘ أقببدمت‬committed wilfully’ erroneously instead of the correct verb ‫‘ تقبدمت‬approached/came near’ in (19). ‫نجاحا معتدال في العراق يمكن أن يشد من ساعد المصلحين في المنطقة‬ "‫ "هل يمكنك أن توق لي على هذه؟‬،‫ "أقدمت فتاة نحوي تحمل نسخة من الصورة و طلبت مني قائلة‬:‫ يقول‬. the phonological similarity between two Arabic words may be the source of creating confusion in translators. 2003) In (17) above. among others. Consider the following excerpts from the corpus: ،‫ ابلغني دبلوماسي آسيوي رفي المستوى أخيرا بأنه قبل هذا الشهر لم يكن يفهم معنى عبارة "حين تستل سيفك‬. 2003) . Similarly. probably due to phonological similarity. Circumlocution Circumlocution is a lexical strategy whereby the translator falls short of coding meaning efficiently and effectively in the target language by describing or exemplifying the target word or phrase as a result of the translator’s being unable to maintain the same degree of lexical specificity between the source and target texts (Brown 2000."‫استخدمه‬ ‫ فان‬،‫ و كما كان نجا اليابان االقتصادي بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية مثاال قويا اقتدت به دول أخرى في شرق آسيا‬. the translator’s insensitiveness to phonological form is a clear indication of premature lexical competence.2. Likewise.3. the translator mistook the Arabic adverbial ‫‘ أخيبرا‬finally’ for the correct adverbial ‫‘ مبؤخرا‬recently/lately’.

They fall within two sub-categories: conjunction errors and phraseology errors. this type of error accounts for only 9. in which discourse relations are primarily asyndetic and hypotactic.‫ يمكن أن تؤدي الحرب إلى استحثاث[تشجي ] هجوم إرهابي كبير يقوم به صدام أو آخرون‬.‫االستقرار‬ 189 . The two examples below are illustrative: ‫ سيؤدي تواصل عدم اليقين و أسعار النفط المرتفعة’ وانخفاض االستثمارات التجارية إلى تحطيم‬،‫ وفي الداخل‬. especially in evaluative discourse where the employment of conjunctions accounts for 69. That is to say.22 . To illustrate this point. an Arabic translation should feature more conjunctions than the English original and. Consequently.1 Conjunction Errors Arabic discourse is well known for its explicit paratactic nature. the translator from English.‫ ومن غير الممكن أن تساعد حقيقة أن جثة تشاندرا ليفي عثر عليها في وقت الحق في منتزه دوك كريك‬.20 (December 3.3. is to make the text stick together and furnish a natural flow of discourse. 2002). is usually awkward and repetitious. into Arabic should be careful enough to cater for this discourse mismatch. In terms of frequency. the Newsweek translators are not adequately aware of this rhetorical fact.‫ ومن غير الممكن أن يكون للعثور على جثة تشاندرا ليفي في وقت الحق في منتزه دوك كريك أي دور‬.23 6.21 (February 11.rendition.49% within discourse errors.8% of the total number of errors. though understandable. The main function of Arabic conjunctions. Johnstone. 2003) As can be observed.‫المسلمين في كل مكان في العالم أن تلتهب‬ (February 4. 1966. Apparently. Following are two illustrative paragraphs: ‫[ و] يمكن لمشاعر‬. 2003) . ‫االقتصاد‬ . the messages in (20) and (21) above are coded awkwardly and repetitiously. Discourse Errors Discourse features are the most frequent in the corpus claiming 43. The following sub-sections shed more light on the nature of these types of errors. respectively: .24 ‫[ ف] إذا تفجر العراق من الداخل فان المنطقة بأسرها ستعاني انعدام‬. wa ánd’ and fa ‘so’ in particular. conversely. 6.3. 1991).‫ ستؤدي الشكوك المتزايدة وأسعار النفط المرتفعة وانخفاض االستثمارات التجارية إلى تحطيم االقتصاد‬،‫ وفي الداخل‬. consider the same messages encoded efficiently and effectively in (22) and (23) below. with a heavy use of conjunctions (Kaplan. an English translation should include fewer conjunctions than the Arabic original.47% in the data.

the translator’s failure to code the intended meaning clearly and/or properly may cause a breakdown in communication. Note that the translator of (26) as (25) managed to fill the first gap with the emphatic particle ‫ إن‬. ‫ أو باألحرى أن يتوقف عن فعل شيء‬. independently of its basic or primary meaning. phraseology errors are less common than conjunction errors (30. (January 20. the asyndetic ordering of the sentences in the English paragraph is appropriate and natural. 2003) .5% vs. respectively and.25 ‫ و كذلك‬.2. offered an asyndetic text which natural Arabic discourse does not tolerate. as it conforms to the discourse norms in English. in effect.‫يمكن للحوافز‬ The Arab reader will immediately notice the restrained flow of Arabic discourse in (22) and (23) above. both types of errors affect the text globally but in different ways. 69.‫ ]ف[ الضغط قد ينجح‬. That is to say.‫ هو البدء في التحدث إلى كوريا الشمالية عن مناف تخفيض التوتر و بدء عالقة جديدة‬،‫ إن الحل قصير األمد الوحيد‬.g. To see how serious phraseology errors are. by contrast. Ø Pressure might work. whereas his/her failure to employ conjunctions discoursally may only affect the flow and tone of the text. However.49%. Ø We have no option but to try both. ‫ف‬ cliticized to the pronoun ‫ نحن‬to give ‫ فنحن‬instead of the combination of the emphatic particle and the clitic ‫)إننا‬. where it is possible to leave the intersentential relations implicit or suppressed (for more details. the lack of an adequate number of conjunctions constrains the impetus of the evaluative tone and consequently weakens the impact of the argument.‫معها‬ (January 21. she/he failed to fill in the other two discourse gaps with the conjunctions ‫ ف‬and ‫و‬. let us examine the four excerpts below: 190 .‫ [و] ليس أمامنا من خيار سوى أن نجرب النهجين‬. In Arabic discourse. Also. Phraseology Errors In terms of frequency. Consequently. as a result of the translator’s failure to optimize the use of conjunctions. The only short-term solution is to start talking to North Korea about the benefits of de-escalating and starting a new relationship. which makes up for the lack of a conjunction (e. so might incentives. respectively). let us examine the English paragraph corresponding to (23) above (The null sign ø indicates the place where a conjunction and/or a discourse marker is needed in Arabic): 26. However. 2002) Clearly. Ø We want this regime to do something – or rather to stop doing something. these suppressed formal features are needed in order to render the discourse natural and appropriate. they are definitely more serious than conjunction errors because they jeopardize the conveyance of meaning in its primary existence. To shed more light on the significance of this discoursal mismatch between Arabic and English. see Hatim 2001).‫ إننا نريد هذا النظام أن يفعل شيئا‬. 6.3.

‬فصورة الرئيس بوش باللونين األبيض و األسود‪ ،‬فقط للحرب على اإلرهاب‬ ‫تفهمت على ما يبدو كفا [صراع] روسيا المعقد م الشيشان‪(November 12.‬‬ ‫‪ .35‬وفي موقعبه االلكترونبي (حيبث ينشبر الحادثبة منبذ فتبرة)‪ ،‬يفتبرض مبوبي وجبود دافب ‪ " :‬ربمبا يكبون البداف أنهبم ال‬ ‫‪191‬‬ . the last excerpt in (30) suffers from a phraseology problem. which corresponds‬‬ ‫‪to the English text in (32). the phraseology of (29) is awkward and hard to process by the reader.‬فموقبف الببرئيس ببوش الواضببح تجباه الحببرب علبى اإلرهبباب تفهبم علببى مبا يبببدو‬ ‫صراع روسيا المعقد م الشيشان‪(November 12.‬‬ ‫)‪(December 24.30‬وفي موقعه االلكتروني (حيث ينشر الحادثة منذ فترة)‪ .. 2002‬‬ ‫‪In (27).29‬لقد فعلت إدارة بوش الكثير لتنفير العالم بأفعالها و لكن أيضا بأسلوبها و نبرتها‪(January 28. as can be contrasted with the‬‬ ‫‪correct coding of the message in (33) below:‬‬ ‫‪ .‬‬ ‫‪compare (29) with the correct coding of the message in (34) below:‬‬ ‫‪ .‫‪ . 2002) . It is clear that‬‬ ‫‪the translator has failed to convey the intended message given in (31) below.31‬حمبدا ّلل علببى الوضبو األخالقببي‪ .‬‬ ‫‪ .‬‬ ‫‪ . 2003) .34‬لقد فعلت إدارة بوش الكثير لتنفير العالم منها‪ ،‬ليس بأفعالها فقط‪ ،‬و لكن أيضا بأسلوبها و نبرتها‪.33‬ورغم أنهم (الماللي) قادوا االقتصاد إلى الهاوية‪ ،‬إال انه توجد اليبوم أقليبة قويبة فبي إيبران اسبتفادت بشبكل كبيبر مبن‬ ‫الثببورة‪ .‬‬ ‫‪The situation in (28) is not any better because the way the intended message is phrased out by‬‬ ‫‪the translator befogs the editorialist’s attack on the Mullas in Iran. Mobi’s words are meant‬‬ ‫‪to spell out the motive behind the attack but the translator’s rendition can hardly convey the‬‬ ‫‪intended message.. the reader may wonder how to interpret or make sense of the Arabic text. 2002) . President Bush’s black-and-white picture of‬‬ ‫‪the war on terror has apparently made sense of Russia’s complicated struggle‬‬ ‫‪with the Chechens.‬فرجال الدين يستخدمون نصيبهم من النفط إلرضاء الكادر الديني و البيرقروطيين الفاسدين والطالب‬ ‫الثوريين و ضباط الجيش‪(November 24.‬يفترض موبي وجود داف ‪ " :‬ربما ال يحبون (المهاجمون)‬ ‫الرجال النحيفين الصلعان الذين يؤدون أغاني لمطربين آخرين الغطاء؟ أنا متأكد من أن ذلك هو السبب‪".28‬و رغم أن قادت االقتصاد إلى الهاوية‪ ،‬إال انه توجد اليوم أقلية قوية في إيران استفادت الثورة منها بشكل كبير من‬ ‫الثورة‪ .‬‬ ‫‪For its part.22‬حمدا ّلل على الوضو األخالقي‪ .‬فرجببال الببدين يسببتخدمون نصببيبهم مببن الببنفط إلرضبباء الكببادر الببديني و البيروقببراطيين الفاسببدين و الطببالب‬ ‫الثوريين و ضباط الجيش‪.‬‬ ‫‪Similarly.. Thank goodness for moral clarity. Examine the rendition in (35) as a possible coding of the message:‬‬ ‫‪ .‬‬ ‫‪ . 2002) . To see this.‬‬ ‫‪32.

4. Agreement Errors Errors in agreement came second in grammatical errors accounting for 15. ‫فإنني ال أرى كيف يمكن أن تتراج‬ (October 1. . the translator has failed to employ a preposition. 2002) .. 6.36 ( December 17.e.e. i.1.1%. The fact that the Newsweek translators make some grammatical mistakes points to a deficiency in their grammatical competence (Canale. 1983).‫في المنطقة‬ – ‫ وبغض النظر عن وجهات نظر المرء األوليبة لناحيبة حسبم الموضبوع العراقبي – و قبد كنبت أحبد المؤيبدين لبذلك‬.32 (February 18.. 2003) . 6. ‫ لإلصال‬should be ‫م‬ ‫ اإلصال‬and ‫ لناحية‬should be ‫ من ناحية‬.‫السبب‬ 6. grammatical errors affect the meaning of the text in specific ways and can be readily corrected by the careful reader.2.19% among grammatical problems..‫يحببببببون الرجبببببال النحيفبببببين الصبببببلعان البببببذين يبببببؤدون أغببببباني لمطبببببربين آخبببببرين! أنبببببا متأكبببببد أن ذلبببببك هبببببو‬ (December 24.40 ‫ منهم وحول أكثر من رب تلك الجمهورية الصغيرة إلى ارض‬200. ‫ المتوسط‬should read ‫في المتوسط‬. The following subsections throw some light on the types of grammatical errors in the data.000 ‫ قتل الروس نحو‬،‫ فخالل العقد الماضي‬.)‫ (يتبين أن "العواقب الوخيمة" هي أن األمم المتحدة تقوم بإرسال عشرات أخرى من المفتشين‬. This kind of error accounts for 30. Below are two illustrative examples: (February 18.‫يباب بيئي‬ 192 . Wrong/Missing Prepositions The most frequent type of grammatical errors is the translator’s failure to employ a correct preposition by either using a wrong preposition or omitting the employment of a preposition altogether. examples (36) and (37) include wrong prepositions. As for (38).‫ وعدد األسابي اإلضافية في السنة التي يعملها األمريكي المتوسط بالمقارنة مب األوربيبين الغبربيين‬.38 2002) As can be observed.4.. Being local in nature.39 2003) ‫ بالمائة من عدد سكان‬10 ‫ وهو ما يصل إلى‬،‫ من المدنيين‬100...5%. 2002)". .4. i.. Grammatical Errors Grammatical errors are the least frequent in the corpus at 20. Following are some examples from the data: ‫ واألهم من ذلك أنه أعلن في خطابه أن واشنطن ستنتقل اآلن إلى عملية ترويج "أكثر تعاطيا" لإلصال الديموقراطي‬.000 ‫ وشتت أكثر من‬،‫الجمهورية قبل الحرب‬ ..

In both cases. which is active in form but passive in meaning (for more details. the number agreement rule must be applied when the agreement is between a verb and a resumptive pronoun.In (39). To observe gender agreement. the error is in the plural form of ‫‘ سبيدة أولبى‬First Lady’..4. the lexical subject ‫ البروس‬does not agree in number with the subsequent verbs in the text. As for (40). 6. Apparently. However.43% among grammatical problems in the data.4.3. it is a matter of deriving the correct word form by the translator. 6. the correct verb form is ‫ سبتتعرض‬. which is [± human] and [± masculine]. 2003) . hence the correct forms of the subsequent verbs should be ‫ شتتوا‬and ‫حولوا‬. see Farghal and Al-Shorafat.‫ الن كوريا الجنوبية ستعرض لدمار هائل في هذه العملية‬،‫إلى الحرب ضد كوريا الشمالية‬ ‫ هببن روزالببين كببارتر و ببباربرا بببوش و بيتببي فببورد و نانسببي ريغببان و‬،‫ و اجتمعببت خمببس سببيدات أوليببات سببابقات‬. 2003) . respectively. below are two examples: ‫ فقد بدأت الجماعات اإلسالمية مثل الحماس و الجهباد ممارسبة تنفيبذ العمليبات االنتحاريبة ضبد المبدنيين اإلسبرائيليين‬.‫الحرب‬ 193 .4. this volume). Wrong/Missing Definite Article Errors that involve wrong or missing definite article account for 9. 2002) . which is sanctioned in Arabic.42 (January 28. which erroneously occurs as ‫ سبيدات أوليبات‬. To illustrate. the numerical phrase ‫ عشبرات أخبرى‬does not agree in gender with the head noun ‫ المفتشبين‬. consider the two examples below: ‫ [ف] ال نستطي الذهاب‬. the phrase should read ‫ عشبرات آخبرين مبن المفتشبين‬.……. the translator omitted number agreement on the basis of the absence of such agreement between the verb and its lexical subject in ‫ قتبل البروس‬.43 (December 10. To illustrate.‫العاديين و بأعداد كبيرة‬ ‫ و قد أيد توني بلير العمبل األمريكبي رغبم حقيقبة أن غالبيبة داخبل مجلبس وزرائبه و برلمانبه و داخبل ببالده تعبارض‬.‫ فأنه ليست لدينا سوى تهديدات قليلة تتسم بالمصداقية اآلن‬،‫ دعنا نواجه الحقيقة اآلن‬،‫ و لكن‬. whether it involves derivational or inflectional morphology.‫هيالري كلنتون‬ In (41). 2003) . instead of the correct form ‫سبيدات أَول‬..44 (February 18. Errors of this type account for 13. Wrong Word Form Sometimes the translator fails to derive the correct form from a particular word. as we can see.41 (January 21.21% among grammatical errors. As for (42). the passive verb form ‫ ستعرض‬is inappropriate.

4. 2003) . the text does not sound Arabic.، . 2002) 194 . Wrong/Missing Pronoun Errors in pronouns score 4 occurrences (7. the example in (46) lacks the pronoun ‫ هبي‬in the place of the underlined null symbol.. etc. the cataphoric resumptive pronoun cliticized to the emphatic particle ‫إن‬redundantly duplicates the anaphoric resumptive pronoun ‫ .‫في ذلك الوقت‬ ‫ حيبث ازدهبرت سباللة‬،‫ جنوب شرق آسيا‬ø ]]‫ لكن منطقة واحدة كانت االستثناء لهذه القاعدة الكئيبة [لهذا الواق المر‬. 2002) . Following are four different types of miscellaneous errors: .‫ مصنعا للبلوتونيوم‬،‫ في غضون أشهر‬،‫ستصبح‬ ..52% in the data. In (44). 2002) . punctuation.42 (January 28.48 (December 10. Consider the two examples below: ‫ و هبي دعبوة رفضبتها تركيبا بغبباء‬،‫ إنها أوروبا نفسها هي ا لتي دعت تركيا إلى التقدم بطلب العضوية في السببعينات‬. that is.‫ عشبية حبرب الخلبيج‬،1991 ‫ هل هذا هو المزاج السائد اليوم؟ كال! انه في الواق وصف لألجواء السبائدة فبي ينباير‬. Miscellaneous Errors This subcategory contains a mixed bag of grammatical errors which accounts for 24.‫ إن اإلسالم لم يتمكن من عقد سالمه م عالم اليوم‬،‫ و لكنه ال مفر منه‬،‫ إنه واق غريب‬.50 (November (January 14.45 (November 26.‫لطيفة [معتدلة] من اإلسالم على مدى قرون بأتباع يعدون بعشرات الماليين‬ In (45). 6.55% among grammatical problems). 2002) ‫ ببل و حتبى‬،‫ كان على الواليات المتحدة أن تشحن لقوات األمن الكينية ال أجهزة الكمبيبوتر و الشبيكات فحسبب‬. Without this pronoun.هبي‬hence it should be deleted. For its part. 2002) . Among these miscellaneous errors.‫أجهزة التصوير‬ ‫ ببل إنهبا أن تتمثبل فبي أن كوريبا‬،‫ ليست أن كيم جونغ قبد أصببح فجبأة رجبال شبريرا بصبورة أكببر‬،‫ و األزمة الحالية‬. 6.. the correct form is ‫‘ الغالبية‬the majority’ rather than ‫‘ غالبية‬majority’. the translator failed to employ the Arabic definite article with the underlined generic noun. copula.6. negation.46 (November 5.In (43) the translator wrongly used the Arabic definite article with the proper noun denoting the Palestinian Islamic Movement ‫‘ حمباس‬Hamas’. we find problems relating to tense. complementizers.

the bulk of the Newsweek material is inherently evaluative. the placement of the negative particle ‫ ال‬is awkward and hard going. the example in (49) features a redundant complementizer – the underlined ‫أن‬. For its part. ‫التبي سبادت‬. The verbal Arabic Adjective ‫ السبائدة‬can only make a reference to the present time. often create irritation. Finally. hence a finite Arabic verb in the past tense form must be used. discoursal and grammatical errors. phraseologies. the errors range between rectifiable local problems such as odd collocations and erroneous grammatical features and more subtle. In (48). cannot be represented by a caliber higher than that of the Arabic Newsweek. in Arab readers. which renders their task more taxing in creating and subsequently translating discourse. native language 195 . In order for the text to sound Arabic. we believe. In terms of genre analysis. evaluative/argumentative discourse proves to be more challenging than non-evaluative/expository discourse as indicated by both the quality and volume of perceptible errors in the corpus. given the well-known international status of the source English publication. in contrast with nonevaluative news reporting which is predominant in daily newspapers. which draw attention to themselves. which. and even dismay. the reference in the text relates to January 1991. To solve this problem. Lagging in time with respect to news coverage. such perceptible errors affect negatively the overall quality of translation activity. viz.In (42). These errors. This finding points to the argument that this would be an extremely serious problem in the case of the Newsweek because. global problems like the translator’s employment of an unnatural flow of discourse and hard-going. there is a tense problem. Conclusion and Implications Based on an examination of the Arabic Newsweek. What implications can be drawn from this study? First and foremost. especially when we are dealing professional media translation. Collectively. However. weeklies are built around managing rather than just monitoring news. or even uninterpretable. In terms of seriousness. (50) includes a punctuation error – the underlined comma should be replaced with a period. 7. the negative particle may be placed immediately after the complementizer ‫ أن‬. it is clear that professional media translation from English into Arabic suffers from a variety of perceptible problems including lexical. the said complementizer must be deleted.

a candidate who is highly proficient in Arabic and English may prove a failure in translation activity because interlingual communication involves skills that go well beyond general language proficiency. it should sound as a native text created for a public readership in the target language culture. Finally. Vernacular Arabic. independently of their corresponding source texts at the hands of professional editor translators. we believe. they should undergo optimal naturalization in terms of discourse and diction. Prospective translators should receive extensive translator training in order to develop their translational competence at the level of structure. This depends on the efforts exerted by individuals to excel in the standard variety as well as the degree of attention given to the role of standard Arabic in different Arab countries. This may have to do with the special status of Arabic. lexis and grammar. therefore. Such skills. but equally important. Arabic diglossia involves a Low Variety (any given local dialect) and a High Variety (Standard Arabic). as is the case with the Arabic Newsweek. 196 . It is not enough for a candidate to be a university graduate of a foreign languages department.competence in Arabic should not be taken for granted in Arab translators. where a diglossic situation predominates the linguistic scene in all Arab countries. as a second language which is ‘pseudo-natively’ acquired through formal education and continuous contact with spoken and written material within the Arab culture. A second important implication is that media bodies should ensure the presence of translator training on the part of candidate translators. This being the case. are the output of professional translator training. so to speak. The Arabic Newsweek case shows clearly that the Arabic native speaker translators who are employed to do translation activity at two stages (primary translation in Washington and translation editing in Kuwait) are seriously deficient in Arabic language competence at various levels: discourse. lexis and discourse. At the end of the day. target language texts. a media translation should not sound as a translation. may occasionally interfere with performance in the standard written variety. To accomplish this goal. The degree of competence achieved in standard Arabic may vary greatly from one individual to another and from one Arab country to another. Consequently. Arab translators' knowledge of standard Arabic should be carefully checked before entrusting them with translating into Arabic. should be treated as fully-fledged texts in their socio-cultural environment. It should be noted that translational competence may not replicate general language competence in any language pair. which are the output of translation activity. It can be argued that educated Arabs speak their dialects natively and standard Arabic.

197 .

The unnaturalness of the product. etc". among others). 1. Yorio 1980. "a composite unit which permits the substitutability of items for at least one of its constituent elements". 'kicked the bucket' and 'bury the hatchet' are 198 .Collocations: An Index of L2 Interlingual Transfer Competence Mohammed Farghal & Abdulla shakir Abstract Collocations constitute a key component in the lexicon of natural language. paraphrasing and calquing are shown to play a significant role. viz. The failure to cope with collocations in the SLT results in mitigating the evaluativeness parameter. The higher percentage of inappropriate collocations in interpreting is argued to be relevant to the time factor. Cowie (1981:224) defines a collocation as. therefore. It should be noted that collocations are more communicatively useful than idioms for the simple reason that they are more common in authentic speech and/or materials and are rarely replaceable by lexical substitutes. possess a working syntagmatic competence alongside their paradigmatic competence. clichés. Conventionally. 'to harbor evil thoughts' and 'public support' are only awkwardly paraphraseable. The results of this study show that collocations are a problematic area where student translators/interpreters frequently stumble when working into L2. the paper argues. transposition. is "immutable in the sense that its parts are unproductive in relation to the whole in terms of the normal operational processes of substitution. Nattinger 1980. 1988. Aisenstadt 1981. e. formulaic discourse markers.2% in translating and 66. idioms are less common in authentic speech and/or materials and are readily replaceable by lexical substitutes. and non-canonical forms best represented by collocations. compensation. e. Cowie 1981. thus weakening the line of argumentation in the TLT. on the other hand. Introduction Multi-word units in general and collocations in particular constitute a key component in the lexicon of natural language (Alexander 1978. 1988. multi-word-unit taxonomies variously include canonical forms such as idioms. expansion.g. The strategies of reduction.8% in interpreting. synonymy. Sinclair 1987/1991. (Mitchell 1971:59). etc.g. An idiom. the percentage of inappropriate renderings of target collocations is 48. Baker & McCarthy 1987. whereas. The study further looks into the strategies adopted by the student translators/interpreters in their attempts to render target collocations. Translators and/or interpreters should. comes as a consequence of the translator’s/interpreter’s inability to call up the relevant collocations in the target language. proverbs.

using the word that comes first to mind as an equivalent to the SL word. natural language should be looked upon as fundamentally constituting syntagms rather than paradigms. for non-semantic information decays more rapidly than semantic information. collapses in the case of collocations where form and content become inseparable in that the interpreter cannot capture a collocation in the SL if he is not capable of calling up its counterpart in the TL. In point of fact.e. i. While highlighting the supremacy of the Idiom Principle over the Open Choice Principle. Due to the foregoing complications in simultaneous interpreting. in order to optimize the use of his syntagmatic repertoire while working under great pressure of time. To bring the discussion to focus. Most of the idioms that we ask our students to use are not. Sinclair (1987:7) writes. Uhlenbeck 1978. The translator has the entire discourse at his disposal when translating. really necessary". It can be argued that the first psychological process is more common to interpretation in its first stages and often proves successful. particularly collocations. Seleskovitch 1978. thus viewed as being highly prefabricated or preconstructed rather than original or creative. "Most normal text is largely delexicalized. cited in Lederer (1978:328). according to Alexieva (1990:2-3). Lederer (1973). in fact. Further. Levi (1967:1172) writes. the translator has sufficient time to ponder the translation units ranging from the lexical item to the entire discourse. The special status of collocations brings them to the fore in the teaching of translation and/or interpretation classes. "I think it is time we gave up exercises that ask students to 'use the following expressions in a sentence'. while the interpreter has only a few seconds to render the unit of interpretation. "The process of translating has the form of a game with complete information . the message is retained while the form is forgotten (Le Ny 1978). more creative. we have to distinguish between translation and simultaneous interpreting. and appears to be formed by exercise of the idiom principle. The simultaneous interpreter. form should be played down in favor of content in interpretation. Yorio (1980:440) rightly notes. who can operate at a high level of lexical specificity. The simultaneous interpreter needs to be both quick-minded and quick-tongued. here L2. can only access the temporally relevant unit of interpretation which makes his task more challenging and. that is.replaceable by 'died' and 'end the dispute'. respectively. while the second strategy affiliates mostly with professional interpreters. before being entrusted with the task of translating and/or interpreting into it. the translator's and/or the interpreter's internalization of the collocational restrictions in L2 constitutes a fundamental prerequisite for providing idiomatic/natural product.a game in which every succeeding move is influenced by our knowledge of previous decisions and by the situation which resulted from them". with occasional switching to open choice principle". many scholars argue for capturing sense or message meaning rather than linguistic or language meaning (Pergnier 1978. Put differently. This argument. and interpreting by the deliberate calling-up of a specific term to match a given word. talks about two psychological processes in interpreting : interpreting through primary meanings. The translator and/or the interpreter needs to possess a working syntagmatic competence in the TL. whereas the simultaneous interpreter has access only to the current unit of interpretation. Consequently. among others). The interpreter's failure usually results in his 199 . This syntagmatic competence embodies a good knowledge of multi-word units. by contrast. however.

Other things being equal. This awareness-building process is perhaps most relevant to translator and interpreter training programs. they relate to the student interpreter's/translator's inability to recognize how one lexical item restricts the co-occurrence of other lexical items that may collocate with it in a particular verbal setting. This can be attained mainly through deliberate exposure to certain text types. However. 2. rather. reduction. we can speak of opaque and transparent collocations. and functionalized as the verbal situation may require. paraphrase. Exposure to various text types is a basic step in the process of building awareness of how pertinent collocations and other multiword units can serve the purpose of the SL writer/speaker and how they can satisfy the anticipations of the TL receiver. Student interpreters and translators need to be aware of how particular lexical items stored in isolation in memory can be synthesized in patterns where the occurrence of one item predicts the occurrence of the other. this immediacy is not always within the reach of L2 users. The editorial argues against the 'American 200 . activated.. and transfer/calquing. and. the less natural the intended communication will be. The Present Study 2. compensation. The goal of achieving naturalness in modes preferred by the TL community can be achieved by means of building up a memory bank of collocations and other multi-word units which can be called up. They involve the failure to recognize the collocational behavior of one lexical item within a given verbal setting as represented in the text type in question. This expectancy mechanism enables the language user to activate his memory bank the moment a collocant is uttered so that the pertinent counterpart is called up to fill in a semantic slot in the particular discourse. This awareness-building process is a reflection of the process the human memory employs for internalizing and patterning incoming information so that an expectancy mechanism is developed and consequently activated each time a collocant is uttered.1 Subjects The sample is comprised of thirteen senior MA translation students who had completed most of the practical and theoretical translation courses in a translation program. synonymy. the Gulf War and the American-Iraqi relations. 2. The higher the rate of these strategies the less effective the translation and/or the interpretation is.adoption of strategies of lexical simplification. viz. consequently. Unless such collocational patterns become part of the memory bank of the student interpreter/ translator. In this context. Opaqueness and transparency here do not relate to unawareness of the meanings of individual lexical items comprising the collocation under consideration. namely. it is assumed that the above strategies are used at a higher rate by the interpreter than by the translator owing to the time factor.2 Material and Method The study is based on an Arabic newspaper editorial dealing with a topic of political appeal. communication is certainly doomed to falter. Immediate activation of the memory bank and recall of relevant collocants are characteristic of LI discourse users.

Whereas they rendered only 33. Four months later. The subjects' renderings of the collocations were noted. Do the student interpreters and translators adopt the same strategies in their attempts to compensate for shortage of equivalent target collocations? 3.embargo on political dialogue with Iraq'. and categorized (see section 3 below). Because of the long period between the interpretation session and the translation session. Unless equivalents are readily accessible and retrievable from the memory bank. they rendered more than fifty percent of them (51. in addition to the strategies they adopted.8%) appropriately in translating. Analysis and Discussion The results show that the performance of the subjects differed significantly as they switched from interpreting to translating. and the subjects' renderings of these were noted both in the interpretation and the translation sessions. This is understandable when the following factors are taken into consideration: The time factor: The time lapse allowed in simultaneous interpreting is usually short and the student interpreter has to perform more than one operation during it. The insufficient interpreting experience of the students. taking into account the fact that graduate translation programs at Arab universities focus on teaching translation rather than interpretation (usually one or at most two courses are offered in a translation program). 2. A frequency count of each type of rendering was obtained and the equivalents provided were categorized in accordance with the strategies adopted. the interpreter will inevitably provide lexical items that may not appropriately do the intended job. but which first come to his/her mind. 201 . Twenty-four collocations in the editorial were selected. and the subjects were asked to interpret it simultaneously in a language lab. Does the time factor. inherent in the process of interpreting. The text was recorded by one of the present researchers. 1. What strategies do student interpreters adopt in their attempt to overcome the influence of the time factor and fill in semantic gaps when they come across an opaque collocation 3. analyzed. He has to comprehend the semantic unit on hand and simultaneously search for equivalents in the TL.2% of the target collocations appropriately in interpreting. 2. the students were provided with the same text to be translated in writing. influence the quality? and completeness of the target collocations provided in the interpretation session? 2. most of the subjects did not recall doing it previously.3 Purposes of the Study The study attempts to answer the following research questions: 1. The analysis focused upon the problems the subjects faced in rendering equivalents of the target collocations while interpreting and translating. The rationale behind that was to urge the students to rely only on their memory bank in the process of searching for equivalent English collocations. The students were not allowed to use dictionaries in the translation session.

the student interpreters/translators seem to have resorted to the same cognitive strategies in their attempts to compensate for a shortage of readily accessible and retrievable L2 collocational patterns. Strategy Generalization Deletion Message Abandonment Percentage 8.1 Reduction This applies to cases where either an incomplete or a non-equivalent rendering of the target collocation is provided. Observe. A Breakdown of the responses provided via reduction strategies in simultaneous interpreting.2% Deletion 4. deletion.6% 3. Strategy Percentage Generalization 9. It includes three sub-strategies : generalization. 3. for instance.7% Table 2.2%).3% Message Abandonment 3. A Breakdown of the Responses Provided via Reduction Strategies in Translation.5% Table 1. The following strategies were adopted in both the interpreting and translating sessions.7% 11.1 Generalization This seems to have been a persistent strategy in the interpretation session based on semantic and schematic considerations where context of situation and assumptions of shared knowledge tend to play a decisive role in the process of searching for target equivalents.8%) in the interpretation session than in the translation session (17.Apart from this finding.1. and message abandonment (see Tables 1 & 2). This strategy scored a higher frequency (23. 3. the following generalized renderings of the target collocations provided in the interpretation session: (1) Target Collocation Received Rendition 1a military build-up American Forces 202 .

d) where 'foreign nationals' is rendered as 'hostages in Iraq'. In (1. 'economic embargo' is rendered as 'another embargo' . Had the recipients (the researchers. It is worth noting here that the political position of most of the Jordanians during the Gulf War was anti-American-led coalition.a). The same can justifiably apply to (1. hence 'American Forces' was provided as target collocation. cognitively incorporates the intended semantic unit. shows that the context of situation seems to activate responses commensurate with what the student interpreter assumes to be knowledge shared with the recipients and which.a) some student interpreters seem to have assumed that 'military buildup' in the Gulf was in other words driven and engineered by the US. such responses could have been considered void of content if judged on a right-wrong scale. In (1.1b terrible consequences destructive war 1c economic embargo another embargo 1d foreign nationals hostages in Iraq 1e historic initiative peace initiative A look at the above examples reveals that the student interpreters were drawing more upon schematic knowledge and assumptions of shared knowledge of the intended recipients than on collocational patterns or pertinent stored lexical items. (1. This explains the motives behind the collocations provided.a response which derives from the student interpreters' awareness of the series of sanctions taken by the UN Security Council against Iraq before the war. and due to the 203 .c). for example. thus a cognitive addition based on existing knowledge of the political milieu replaces the target collocation. It seems that she/he has assumed that since /tahdiid/ (threatening) and /tarhiib/ (intimidation) are cognitive synonyms. therefore. Another type of generalization is illustrated in the following examples: (2) Target Collocation Received Rendition 2a intimidation and threatening threats 2b military build-up armies 2c peaceful settlement settlement In these examples the student interpreter seems to have been considering the input of the message by picking up the key item acting as a super-ordinate element when compared with the other element(s) supposed to have co-occurred with it. in this case) been alien to the political stance of the student interpreters.

Observe the examples provided in (3) below: (3) Target Collocation Received Rendition 3a to direct severe criticism criticizing 3b apparent objective objective/goal 3c historic initiative initiative 3d pre-meditated aggressive aggressive plans intentions 3e domestic and foreign policy policy As can be noted. A look at Tables (1) and (2) shows that this strategy was operative more in the interpretation session (11.7%.2 Deletion This refers to cases where one or more elements of the intended/target collocation is/are deleted.80% Synonymy 18.2 Synonymy Strategy Percentage Reduction 23. Thus 'apparent objective' has been neutralized when rendered merely as 'objective'.time factor involved in interpreting.20% Paraphrase 10.e. 3. The same applies to 'pre-meditated aggressive intentions' when reduced to 'aggressive plans' since the focus of the source text seems to be placed upon the element of 'pre-meditation' for inflecting military and economic damage on Iraq. 3. respectively).1. when the student interpreter/translator either failed to grasp the semantic unit in question. and 'historic initiative' seriously suffers when reduced to 'initiative'. 3. the absence of the target collocants in the received responses affects the intended force of the message and empties it of its emotive impact. These types of failure were not persistent in either the interpretation or the translation session (3. but most probably because of the student interpreters' failure to provide a complete one. not because the one provided semantically shares the content of the ones deleted. 'threatening' could be an adequate key item that incorporates both meanings.3%).3 Message Abandonment This strategy has been resorted to in very limited cases.00% Compensation 12.32% 204 . or when he/she failed to provide any of its constituent elements.6%) than in the translation session (4.5% and 3. i.1.

are appropriately rendered in the target language.Transfer/Calquing 2.20% Reduction 17.30% Transfer/Calquing 0. Percentage of responses rendered via different strategies in Translation (in order of frequency) Tables (3) and (4) show that searching for lexical items synonymous with the target ones was a major strategy in the processes of interpreting and translating. It has been noted that the deviant collocants in almost all cases in interpretation and translation are the modifying elements. Nouns. viz.20% Compensation 12.20% Paraphrase 4. Strategy Percentage Synonymy 18. on the other hand.03% Table 4. This tends to support our argument in sections (1) and (2) above that the student interpreters' failure in most instances is likely to have stemmed from a shortage of collocational patterns pertinent to political discourse. Percentage of responses rendered via different strategies in simultaneous interpreting (arranged in order of frequency).20% Table 3. it scored a frequency of (18%) in the former and (18. The examples in (4) below illustrate the above observations: (4) Target Collocation Received Rendition 4a terrible consequences bad consequences 4b pre-meditated aggressive aggressive intentions intentions 4c public support popular support/ common support 205 . It also seems that insufficient exposure to L2 political discourse is behind the student interpreters'/ translators' inability to recognize the semantic narrowing which entails the choice of a particular modifier of a noun rather than the ones provided.2%) in the latter.

thus exploiting all available means to that end. while paraphrases scored 10.3% of the collocations were rendered in paraphrased form in the translation session. have not yet developed a sensitivity to observe specialization brought about by the co-occurrence of particular lexical items in a given verbal situation. The instances provided in (6) below reveal how the target collocations are replaced by lavish and incompact paraphrases which. therefore. or almost all. the student interpreters/ translators seem to have tried to avoid paraphrasing opaque collocations except in very limited instances : only 4. can be viewed as an attempt to maintain communication (Farghal and Obeidat 1995). heavy reliance on such a strategy will certainly impair the naturalness of communication and discourse flow. This state of unpatterned L2 lexical items seems to be behind the student interpreters'/translators' reliance on searching for synonyms in their attempts to maintain communication. the items inappropriately combined to produce the target collocations. However. 206 . perhaps due to insufficient exposure to comparable L2 discourse. The examples in (5) below illustrate how the meanings of the target collocations are distorted as a result of the students' opting for lexical items whose co-occurrence does not meet the anticipations of the L2 recipients of the discourse.4d apparent objective explicit objective/ surface objective/ aiming publicly at 4e comprehensive peace overwhelming peace/ overall peace/ general peace The examples above show that the student interpreters'/translators' reliance on the open choice principle (as opposed to the idiom principle) for rendering the target collocations indicates that L2 lexical items have not yet been patterned as independent meaningful units retrievable in response to the discourse type in question. (5) Target Collocation Received Rendition 5a military build-up military gathering 5b terrible consequences the expected disaster 5c social welfare social entertainment 5d economic embargo economic supply 5e to thwart such plans to destroy such trends As the figures in Tables (3) and (4) show.3 Compensation The responses provided here represent all.32% in the interpretation session. Paraphrasing. 3. This also indicates that the students.

Below are some examples of transfer: (7) 7a Target Collocation probe the Iraqi position Received Rendition check the pulse of Iraq 7b intimidation and threatening fearing and threatening 7c apparent goal superficial goal 7d thwart/abort such plans corrupt such plans 4. the interpreters'/translators' knowledge of paradigmatic relations such 207 .5 Transfer/Calquing It is clear from the figures in Tables (3) and (4) that the student interpreters'/translators' reliance on calquing has been kept to a minimum and that the frequency of occurrence of transferred responses is justifiably negligible . and at the same time do not meet the target audience's anticipations of compact and idiomatic expression: (6) 6a Target Collocation harbor ill will Received Rendition wish to do no good/ hide evil date 6b comprehensive peace settling all disputes/ solving all problems and issues 6c impose economic ban trading with/use force to embargo stop economic relations 6d thwart/abort such plans hinder by force the implementation of such plans/stop from carrying out plans 3. Conclusion Interpretation/translation teaching can greatly profit from the study of collocations. In particular. Put differently.predictably. the idiom principle should be brought to the fore because the open choice principle can only be appropriately utilized when it is functionally coupled with an effective use of the idiom principle.a situation which indicates that LI interference in the processes of interpreting and/or translation was not effectively operative. do not fit the time lapse in simultaneous interpreting.

translation programs need to: a. or by consulting specialized dictionaries. a press conference. respectively. c. hyponymy. "pre-meditated aggressive intentions". To achieve this end. are not to be interpreted/translated in isolation from the content and purposes of the text in question. allot sufficient time for lab practice where authentic recorded texts (lectures. "historic initiative". Opaque collocations can be disambiguated via consultation with the interpreter/ translator trainer. "harbor ill will". etc. etc.2% of the target collocations in interpreting and translating. seminars. The rest of the trainees will be the audience and their job will also include noting down the weaknesses of the interpretation provided. undoubtedly ensues from a deficiency in the area of collocations in particular and multiword units in general. undergo extensive training that has collocations as a major concern. speeches. The subjects' erroneous rendering of 66. "to show its good will".) are accessible to student interpreters. Not only naturalness is crippled by the erroneous rendering of collocations. Prospective interpreters/translators should. incorporate simulation sessions where one trainee is selected to act the role of an interpreter in. despite its having good wording and syntax. for instance. etc. while a second trainee will act the role of the press reporter. Misinterpreting or mistranslating the target collocations will certainly result in distorting the argument by neutralizing it when it is not meant to be neutral. Collocations like "to direct severe criticism". antonymy. 208 . The oftenheard complaint that a translation does not sound English. A careful analysis of the text (the editorial from which the collocations are extracted) reveals that the select collocations mark the progression of the line of argumentation and signal its emotive and evaluative trend. The trainer can take the role of the interviewee.. therefore. b. "(its) apparent goal". "intimidation and threatening".8% and 48. encourage student interpreters to build up their text-type dictionaries in which they record the collocations relevant to the type of text and argument they are dealing with. should be supplemented with a competent syntagmatic repertoire that functionalizes and idiomaticizes their synonymy. is a matter of concern. One of its major implications is that the student interpreters'/ translators' repertoire of collocations in the target language is still in need of much enrichment. "terrible consequences". but also the evaluativeness parameter (Farghal 1991. Immediate feedback from the trainer and the trainees can be very helpful. 2012). for they reflect the thread of argument the author attempts to maintain.

Introduction Discourse markers (DMs) play a considerable role in communication. The paper concludes that the syndetic nature of Arabic discourse." (Pym 2005: 33). and explicitation to zero equivalent. 209 . Instead. Implicitation: Discourse Markers in Translation Mohammed Farghal & Abdullah Samateh Abstract The present paper aims to examine Blum-Kulka's (1986) claim that cases of explicitation in the target text (TT) correspond to cases of implicitation in the source text (ST). conjunction signals the way the writer wants the reader to relate what is about to be said to what has been said before. 1. accounts for the presence of several cases of DMs which do not correspond to implicit DMs in the ST and whose sole function is to improvise smooth and cohesive discourse. "they impose a relationship between discourse segments they introduce and the immediately prior discourse segments. The findings show that there are three types of correspondence in DMs: explicitation to explicitation. and thus achieve greater transparency as they "knit the discourse together […] and orient the reader." (Farhan and Fannoush 2005: 5). unlike the asyndetic nature of its English counterpart. Baker (1992: 190) also attributes similar values to their presence in discourse. she writes: Unlike reference. A corpus of three discourse markers (DMs) in an Arabic translation is examined against the DMs in the English ST.Explicitation vs. the use of conjunction does not instruct the reader to supply missing information either by looking for it elsewhere in the text or by filling structural slots. and ellipsis. explicitation to implicitation. substitution.

should be aware of their functions and usage. 1976.Put simply. 1995. In particular. Farghal and Al-Hamly. 1971. Zajjaji. has been subjected to elaborate analyses in order to reveal its multi-faceted functions in discourse (Abdel Hameed. Karin. McCarthy. et al. etc).1990. they engage themselves in classifying the particles into categories as per their syntactic properties. Anees.). Farghal 2012. AlKhfaji 2011. and ’adawaat al-bayaan 'explicative apposition' ‫أدوات البيان‬. Bell.. 2004. and circumstantial functions. Farhan & Fannoush. the Arabic conjunction wa 'and' ‫و‬. 1983. 2005. 1965. 1990. 1974. Zajjaji. Hamad & Zu'bi. Fareh. 1999. Dworzynski et al. 1981. Hatim 1997b. 2005. thus taking them beyond the borders of grammar and allowing their semantic and pragmatic dimensions to be accorded due attention as well (Al-Hmouz. Al-Jubouri and Knowles (1988) indicate that wa and fa 'so' are found to be the most recurring DMs in Arabic discourse. The translator. 1979. 1983. namely. They perceive these DMs as cohesive devices whose sole function is to coordinate units in discourse (Al-Hmouz 2001). 1984. Holes.. however. 1991. Halliday and Hassan. 1987. 1998. Crew. 1987. alternative. 1976. studies conducted cross-linguistically have yielded significant results. 1966. the Arabic өumma 'then' ‫ ثم‬signals meanings of sequence with a span of time. 1998). 1984. while in Arabic the focus is on the structure of written discourse (Tahaineg and Tafish 2011). et al. 1990. adversative. Cross-linguistically. Arabic discourse. Lately. 2009. 1989. etc. 1974. Cantarino. etc. Johnston. the last few decades are marked by particular interest in the study of DMs. Fareh. Al-Batal. The underlying reasons why DMs are cross-linguistically understudied is probably because their analysis in English is mainly speech-oriented since they are mainly approached from the perspectives of dysfluencies and language acquisition. more research is needed. Ansari. they are cohesive devices that bind the textual elements and signal logical relationships within the text to ensure a natural and smooth flow of discourse. 210 . it has been reported that the Arabic wa is identified with multiple discoursal functions. 2011. Stubs. etc. the existing literature tends to show that most Medieval Arabic grammarians devote much effort and space to the parsing aspect of DMs and pay scant attention to their textual functions (Abdel Hameed. (Howell. 2001. Nevertheless. 1990. That is. 1993. 1984.. Thus. 1999. Likewise. Hamdan and Fareh. among others). Kammensjo. for the absence of such awareness could lead to altering the meaning potentials of translations. 1965. including ’adawaat al-rabt 'connective particles' ‫أدوات الربط‬. Hamad and Zu'bi. but they largely overlook their semantic and pragmatic aspects. Chung and Nebaker. de Beaugrande and Dressler. where the functional polysemy of DMs is highlighted.). 1975. Al-Jubouri. Tahaineg & Tafish. additive. Schiffring. 1984. Muzni. 2007. etc. Examples of researchers who have explored the multiple functions a single DM can perform in various contexts include (Cantarino. the semantic and pragmatic aspects appear to be played down despite their significance in facilitating information processing for the receiver. comitative. Kamal. With reference to Arabic in particular. especially in contrastive studies involving Arabic and English.). Williams. By contrast. Illyyan. therefore. ’adawaat al-‘atf 'conjunctions of sequence' ‫أدوات العطف‬. 2006. this volume. being syndetic. Saeed & Fareh. abounds in DMs and makes frequent use of them (Baker 1992. Tahaineg and Tafish 2011. the resumptive.

and adversative. resultative/consequential. Moreover. ’ið ‫ إذ‬and bitaalii ‫ بالتالي‬employed to introduce causal. resumptive. Saldanha (2008) finds the claim invalid. e. 3. Penguin Books) and its Arabic translation ðaatu al-ridaa’i al-’abyad (Beirut.sequence with immediacy or with a short span of time. the sequential. adversative relationships. which corresponds to an explicit cause-result counterpart in Arabic. however.. which corresponds to an explicit commentative relation signaled by fa in Arabic. bixtisaar 'in short' ‫ باختصار‬. we would have three explicit DMs in the Arabic sentence corresponding to zero DMs in the English sentence. the English semicolon separating the two main parts of the sentence calls for the use of the Arabic fa as a DM. Consequently. the logic of the sentence is based on an implicit causeresult relationship in English. resumption of discourse. Dar Al-Bihar 2003). For example. Purpose of Study The purpose of this study is to examine Blum-Kulka’s (1986) claim within her oft-cited Explicitation Hypothesis that instances of explicitation in the target text (TT) must correspond to instances of implicitation in the source text (ST). In addition. The choice of the novel is solely motivated by the fact that it is a representative sample of professional fiction translation which is commissioned by a reputable publisher like Dar Al-Bihar. whereas an Arabic translation would make it explicit by the use of a DM like bimaa ’anna or bisababi 'because'. By contrast. The Arabic fa has also been shown to encode several syntactic and semantic functions. It is worth noting that DMs can be single words like the ones cited above or phrases. 2. an Arabic translation is expected to outrank its English source in the use of these elements. resultative. Given its syndetic nature. muqaaranatan bi 'in comparison with' ‫ مقارنة ﺒ‬etc. and an implicit commentative relation in English signaled by punctuation. which fall beyond the scope of this study. prompting cases of DMs with zero source equivalents. the DM wa would be required at the beginning of the sentence as a default DM to maintain a natural flow of discourse. Looking at English and Spanish. namely. adversative. The data consists of 55 examples featuring fa. implicitation of DMs are extracted from the first five chapters of the English novel (The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins 1960/2010. resumptive. their recurrence brings about a high degree of textual cohesion and coherence in Arabic writing. It should be noted that the Arabic DM wa 'and' 211 . the cause-result relationship between 'Arabic syndetic nature' and 'the lavish employment of DMs' in the first sentence in this paragraph (bold-typed) is suppressed in English. as well. fiimaa ’adaa 'except for' ‫ فيما عدا‬. Building on the findings of Saldanha.g. explanatory. Arabic discourse employs DMs lavishly. causal. Study Material Instances of explicitation vs. English can be asyndetic to a large extent. the current study assumes that the same phenomenon might obtain between English and Arabic. and consequential function. where non-finite phrases and punctuation may signal suppressed logical relations. explanatory. In this way. she argues that there are instances of explicitation that are not necessarily instigated by implicitation in the ST. and adverbial clauses. in order to signal commentative material as well as naturalize and smooth the flow of discourse. Semantically.

" […] I have been made all the readier to comply with this request by a passage at the end of his letter. "Whatever way it ends it must end wretchedly for me..[ ‫ توقّف فجأة عن التحدث في هذا الموضوع‬،‫فبع ما ذكر أنه لم يشاهد أو يسم أي شيء عن آن كاثريك‬ 212 .g.. Arabic fa can signal both sequential and additive functions.. and resumptive functions: (1) "Except that we are both orphans. and Miss Farlie's father was a rich man. causal. sequential. the adversative.. it often occurs with bittaalii 'therefore' in wa-bittaalii 'and therefore' to consolidate the logical relation and smooth the flow of discourse. After mentioning that he has neither seen nor heard anything of Ann Catherick.[ ]. The analysis shows that out of the 20 instances fa corresponds to implicitation in the ST in 11 cases (55%). we are in every respect as unlike each other as possible. resultative.‫ وهي تملك ثروة كبيرة‬،‫ فأنا فقيرة معدمة‬. Hence. whether this could be attributed to the fact that Arabic discourse is overwhelmingly syndetic while English discourse is largely asyndetic. In fact. […] I can never claim my release from my engagement. she went on. namely.[ .‫ فنحن نختلف بعضنا عن بعض في كل األمور األخرى اختالفا كبيرا‬،‫"وفيما عدا أ ّ ّننا يتيمان‬ " ،‫] ال يمكنني أبدا اإلقدام على فسخ الخطوبة‬. to explicitation in 3 (15%).‫ فكيدما انتهت هذه المسألة ستكون نهايتها حزينة جدا بالنسبة إل ّي‬،‫تابعت قائلة‬ . 20 instances. My father was a poor man. namely. viz. making up 36% of the corpus. explanatory. Data Analysis and Discussion 4.‫ وبخاصة بعد قراءتي للمقط األخير من رسالته الذي أثار الذعر والخوف في نفسي‬،‫]صمّمت على تنفيذ ما طلبه مني فورا‬. Medieval Bin Hishaam Al-Ansaari (2002/ d. and combinatory with sawfa in ‫' فسوف‬will' as well as with ’in 'if' in ‫فإن‬. which has almost alarmed me.761h) goes even further and argues that fa performs six different functions.has been excluded from the study data. because it is usually used as a default conjunction which practically carries no or little semantic content when it comes to marking logical relationships. and to zero equivalent in 6 (30%). resultative/consequential. I have nothing and she has a fortune.. e. 4. he suddenly breaks off […] ،‫ فبينما كان والدي رجال فقيرا‬. albeit it is the most common in Arabic. a coordinative.1 The DM fa The data reveals that fa is the most frequently used of the three DMs under investigation. causal. this DM is largely considered too light to carry semantic content independently of other more semantically oriented DMs. it is mainly used to enhance rather than replace such markers. The Arabic extract in example (1) below involves many instances of fa which perform different functions.. According to Al-Afghani (1970).‫كان والد اآلنسة فارلي رجال ثريا‬ ". The analysis of the three study Arabic DMs will determine whether or not they always have corresponding elements in the ST. and if not.

as a result. Yet. Hartright. bearing in mind that it presents new information which revolves around Miss Catherick rather than Mr. it could be noted that the use of fa in ‫ فأنا‬and ‫ فكيفما‬correspond to and and the suppressed thus in the ST respectively. Similarly. in fact. there seems to be a shift of topic in the following paragraph. but still within the context of the same discourse. Also. for the adversative relation is signaled by fiimaa ’adaa 'except that' rather than by the fa. his life might be in danger. thus. Consequently. the following paragraph is related pragmatically to the preceding one. In other words. the fa in ‫فكيفما‬introduces a cause-effect relationship between the first and the second clause. It. Thus. and the Arabic fa is employed to introduce that relationship and. Below are more examples involving different functions of fa. Likewise. which has almost alarmed me. By contrast. the insertion of fa makes the translation sound redundant. orient the reader. In fact. Note that the contrast in the source text is signaled by the multifunctional 'and'. wa-fiimaa ‘adaa 'and except that'. the fa in ‫ فأنا‬introduces the clause that describes Miss Halcombe's poverty as the result of her father being a poor man. The reader would feel that something is missing if it is left out. whereas Miss Farlie's wealth is the result of her father being a rich man. in the ST and it is brought to the surface in the TT to orient the reader and smooth the flow of discourse. 213 . Miss Farlie states that she could not afford to renege on her engagement to Mr. For example. which expresses the speaker's adversative attitude in the second one. the second instance of fa is needed to enhance the contrast DM bainamaa 'while' by smoothing the flow of discourse and improvising cohesion. signaled in the ST as well as the TT by the DM except that and ‫ فيما عدا‬respectively in the first clause. and wabixaasatin 'and especially'. Percival and in the second one she spells out the cause or reason. He attributes his request to the fact that he has been watched and followed by some strange men ever since he returned to London. wa-hya 'and she'. corresponds to an explicit resultative marker and in the ST. it can be observed that the adversative relationship between the two clauses is. due to its immediate recurrence in the following sentence. Hartright in which he prevails on Miss Halcombe to get him an employment outside London. However. The fa is supposed to enhance that adversative relationship as well as smooth the flow of discourse. therefore. it being commonly used as a default DM in Arabic. the resumptive fa in ‫ فبعد‬does not correspond to implicitation in the source text. The preceding paragraph is mainly about a letter from Mr. So. but the translator opts for using a stronger contrast marker because he probably feels that wa is not semantically strong enough to carry the contrast. However. the fa is employed to naturalize the discourse and render it cohesive. etc. fa corresponds to an implicit causal marker because. it would make her life a misery.It is clear that fa in the first mention in ‫ فنحن‬corresponds to neither explicitation nor implicitation in the ST. viz. In the first sentence. That first paragraph concludes with the above sentence I have been made all the readier to comply with this request by a passage at the end of his letter. whereas the first one may be considered superfluous. there are three instances in the above excerpt where wa is employed as a default DM whose sole function is to render the text cohesive rather than mark logical relations.

we have a case of explicitation in Arabic ‫ بالرغم من‬corresponding to an explicit English but.‫بيرسيفال ولكني لن أكون أبداً زوجتك المحبة‬ This excerpt conveys the contrasting attitudes of Mr. nonetheless.4. it is the ‫ بالرغم من‬DM that serves as the corresponding equivalent of the ST contrast marker. as well as a case of Arabic explicitation fa corresponding to zero equivalent in English. Percival anticipates a loving wife in Mrs. but the lady cannot just afford to love him. Sir Percival. this suppressed concessive marker is brought to the surface as fa in the TT in order to enhance the conditional marker and smooth the flow of discourse and. ،‫وبالرغم من أنني كنت في حالة نفسية سيئة تجعل من الصعب عل ّي الدخول في حديث اجتماعي م شخص غريب‬ . By contrast.e. the text might read as Never! But/Yet if you still persist it in maintaining our engagement. employs two DMs i. the following example (3) involves an instance where TT explicitation corresponds to ST implicitation: (3) May she not give it in the future? Never! If you still persist it in maintaining our engagement. Sometimes. it renders the text more explicit. but the meeting was inevitable. This is signaled in the ST by the contrast marker but. the fa and ‫ بالرغم من‬although/despite the fact that. The function of the fa is to enhance the adversative relation and smooth the flow of discourse. I may be your true and faithful wife. ‫أال يمكنها منح حبها له في المستقبل؟‬ ‫ فإنني سأكون زوجتك الوفية والمخلصة يا سير‬،‫ فإذا ما زلت مصراً على االستمرار في خطوبتنا‬.1 Adversative fa (2) The state of my spirit little fitted me for the society of stranger. Farlie. Farlie. I may be your true and faithful wife. This contrast in their attitudes is signaled in the ST by the suppressed contrast marker but or yet. That is.‫أبدا‬ . and it can be readily worked out by the ST reader. In this example. as can be illustrated in (4) below: 214 . but never your loving wife.‫فق كان ذلك األمر ال مفر منه‬ The fa in (2) serves as a coordinating element between the dependent clause and the independent clause whereby it introduces the second clause which stands in an adversative relation to the first one. therefore. its deletion would only result in a less assertive tone and less cohesive discourse. The target text. it can do the job with or without the fa marker. Mr. the adversative fa involves an instance where the target explicitation corresponds to zero equivalent in the ST. However.1. Sir Percival. but never your loving wife. as a result. Percival and Mrs. However.

This is indicative of the syndetic nature of Arabic discourse which. ever to be left alone. 4.‫ كانت رفضها البقاء بمفردها ولو لحظة واحدة‬،‫المحافظة على مظاهر العروس السعيدة‬ 215 ‫في‬ . . The contrast is marked by the ST explicit contrast marker while and its counterpart in the TT ‫بينما‬. while both texts use a corresponding contrast marker. Vessey and Miss Halcombe were richly clad. of the dresses which the ladies now wore.‫األثواب التي ارتدتها السيدات‬ . prefers a highly frequent use of DMs to achieve text competence and facilitate the reader's understanding. expresses itself in a sudden unwillingness. Arabic employs fa along with the contrast marker ‫ بينما‬in order to enhance it and smooth the flow of discourse.2 Explanatory fa The function of the explanatory fa is to signal that the second clause/sentence is an explanation. the fa in this construction has no corresponding equivalent in the ST. both texts correspond explicitly in that they both use an explicit explanatory marker. on her part. by the curious contrast. Miss Farlie was poorly dressed in plain white muslin. Farlie's unusually poor dress. By contrast. the clause my function was of the purely judicial kind serves as an explanation of the preceding one. the TT would sound unnatural and the reader would feel something is missing. rather in material than in color. it provides a clear contrast between Mrs. However. unlike English.‫كان فستان اآلنسة فارلي المصنوع من الموسلين‬ It is clear that the second sentence in the above example conveys two contrasting ideas. ‫ والصعوبة المتناهية التي تواجهها‬،‫واإلشارة الوحيدة التي أمكنني مالحظتها والدالة على ما يعتمل في داخلها‬ . Instead of retreating to her own room. whereas the TT explicitly uses the DM fa to introduce the explanatory clause. a degree of explicitness can be observed in the TT in that. yet they differ in the method adopted. In other words. So. as usual. The ST employs an emdash to indicate explanation. on the other. if the fa is not combined with the Arabic particle ‫ قد‬to which it is often prefixed. on entering the drawing-room. comment or illustration of the preceding one. However. following is an instance where TT explicitation corresponds to ST implicitation: (6) The only sign I detect of the struggle it must cost her to preserve appearances at this trying time.(4) I was struck. the TT settles for punctuation along with a DM. ‫لفت انتباهي عند دخولي قاعة االستقبال التناقض الالفت للنظر باألحرى في نوعية وليس في ألوان قماش‬ ،‫ فبينما ارتدت السيدة فاسي واآلنسة هالكومب فستاتين ثمينين غاية في األناقة‬. its presence is necessary as an Arab reader would feel a discoursal gap if fa is not prefixed to bainamaa. For instance. Vessey and Miss Halcombe's elegant dress on the one hand and Mrs.‫ فق كان دوري مجرد القيام بدور الحكم‬،‫ولكن واجبي كان مختلفا تماما‬ In this example. she seems to dread going there.1. Consider the following example: (5) But my duty did not lie in this direction – my function was of the purely judicial kind. While Mrs. While the ST employs a punctuation mark.

she seems to dread going there. Farlie's unwillingness to be left alone. however. 4. whereby the second expresses a state of affairs or action that comes as a result of the first one.3 Resultative/Consequential fa The resultative fa performs a consequential function between two clauses/sentences. Thus. for example.‫بي عند الباب‬ ‫بطريقة‬ This example indicates that the two texts correspond explicitly in using the explanatory phrase for example and ً‫مثال‬respectively. by contrast.ً ‫ كان يبدو عليها أنها كانت تخشى القيام بذلك العمل كلّيا‬،ً‫فب ال من اللجوء إلى غرفتها كما كانت تفعل سابقا‬ As can be observed in (6). without finding my mother much the younger woman of the two. represents an instance where the DM fa has no corresponding equivalent in the ST: (7) I never saw my mother and my sister together in Pesca's society. a degree of explicitness can be observed in the TT in that. the text might be interpreted as Thus/In this way. settles for an explicit DM in order to signal explanation and smooth the flow of discourse. The DM thus/in this way is left suppressed in the ST. ‫ كانت األولى تبدو أكثر حيوية من الثانية‬،‫أضف إلى ذلك أنه خالل استقبال والدتي وشقيقتي لصديقي بيسكا‬ ‫ كانت والدتي تضحك جذالً من‬،‫ فمثل في هذه المناسبة‬. instead of retreating to her own room. the second sentence offers an explanation for Mrs. The following example. while both texts use an explicit explanatory marker. However. this is a case where TT explicitation corresponds to ST implicitation.‫طريقة تهالكنا ترحيبها به وسلوكها تجاهه‬ ّ ‫تحطم نتيجة ارتطام‬ ‫ بينما كانت سارة تقوم بلملمة بقايا فنجان شاي‬،‫بيسكا به وهو يسرع لاللتقاء على األريكة‬ . while my mother was laughing heartily over the boyish manner in which we tumbled into the parlor. I could have done so beyond all doubt.. If I had felt professionally called upon to set up a case against sir Percival Glyde. In this way. we have an explicit Arabic DM that corresponds to a zero equivalent in the ST. the reader would feel a missing link. she is possessed by fear. Sarah was picking up the broken pieces of a teacup. on the strength of his own explanation. Arabic attaches fa to it to enhance the exemplification marker and smooth the flow of discourse. Without it. made under any circumstances. On this occasion. The target text.1. Consider the following example: (8) It is the great beauty of the law that it can dispute any human statement. ّ ‫إن عظمة القانون هي قدرته‬ ‫ المصّر بها في مختلف‬،‫الفذة على تفنيد اإلفادات واألقوال البشرية كافة‬ ‫ فلو شعرت ولو لحظة واحدة أن واجبي المهني يدعوني‬. and reduce it to any form. yet it could be perceived by the reader. which the professor had knocked off the table in his precipitate advance to meet me at the door.‫الظروف ونقضها بأي شكل من األشكال‬ 216 . as usual. Therefore.

in this context. which performs a similar function in this context. It serves as the Arabic equivalent of a ST implicit resultative marker like as a result. be blurred by the choice of the often default additive wa. The work of cleansing the monument had been left unfinished. In the first sentence. Consider the following example: (10) I can do little more than offer my humble testimony to the truthfulness of Miss Halcombe's sketch of the old lady's character. ‫وبالفعل ال يسعني إضافة شيء إلى ما قالته اآلنسة هالكومب سوى القول إن شهادتها تلك صادقة‬ . consequently. the translator opts for fa rather than the additive DM wa. So. Vessey looked the personification of human composure and female amiability. otherwise. The fa is brought to the surface in the TT in order to signal consequence and smooth the flow of discourse. Mrs. which introduces the resultative proposition.. etc. it performs a causal relationship between two sentences whereby the second sentence is the cause of the first one. this is a case of TT explicitation that corresponds to ST implicitation.‫في الحال‬ The employment of fa in this example is triggered by implicitation in the ST.4 Causal fa The causal fa indicates the cause of an action or a state of affairs. therefore.]. and the person by whom it had been begun might return to complete it. The TT equally employs the Arabic fa. the second part of the ST sentence serves as the result of what has transpired in the first one and is introduced by the source resultative marker and.1. etc. That is. the fa introduces a cause-result relationship between the first sentence and the second one. the following is an instance where the ST and TT correspond explicitly: (9) The partial cleansing of the monument had evidently been accomplished by a strange hand [. Hence. It could be observed that the first sentence presents a set of factors about the law that would naturally result in Mr. ]. By contrast.‫ لما ال شك فيه كنت أقدمت على ذلك العمل‬،‫ بناء على أقواله‬،‫لرف دعوى ضد السير بير سيفال غاليد‬ ..‫فأغلب الظن سيعود ذلك الشخص إلتمام عملية التنظيف التي بدأها ولم ينهها‬ Clearly. ‫ومطابقة تماما ً للواق‬ As can be seen. 217 . However. which is the equivalent of so/therefore.[ ‫تأ ّكد لي أن عملية التنظيف الجزئي للنصب التذكاري قام بها شخص غريب عن المنطقة‬ . which formally corresponds to and in the ST. this is an example where the ST and TT correspond explicitly in terms of the DM.‫ فق كانت السيدة فاسي تجسيدا حيًا لرباطة الجأش اإلنسانية واللطف النسائي‬. Hartright being compelled to set up a case against Sir Percival Glyde.. 4.. in order to highlight the resultative function which would. the speaker states that he cannot afford but endorse Mr.

However. the fa is employed in Arabic to signal the continuity of the discussion. This could be attributed to the fact that this type of fa. it is employed to smooth the Arabic flow of discourse and make the translation more explicit. he spared us all embarrassment on the subject of the anonymous letter. Vessey's character. Given the asyndetic nature of English and the use of the past perfect 'had stopped' in the sentence. appositional. ‫ إذ‬may perform a causal relationship and signal suddenness.761h). The reader would feel something is missing if it is not employed and the cause-result relation would be lost. Thus. indicates the continuity of the discourse with a shift of topic. 218 . the ST reader can easily perceive the connection..5 Resumptive fa The resumptive fa. It signals the continuity of discourse. and additive functions.. create a logical link between the preceding and following sentences. it presents new information within the context of the same discourse. Percival touches on the issue of his own accord. 4. that is. Consider the following example: (11) As soon as Miss Farlie had left the room.‫الرسالة اللغز موفراً على الجمي صعوبة مفاتحته بذلك الموضوع‬ . by diverting to it of his own accord. as is the case here. Rather. and in the second one he spells out the cause or reason for doing so. It could be noted that the example above revolves around the anonymous letter. His claim goes along that of Bin Hishaam Al-Ansaari (2002/d.1. and sentence-initial. there is a notable mismatch between the ST and the TT when it comes to resumptive fa.]. it concerns the pragmatic aspect of discourse. she embodies serenity and good humor. Thus. ‫ حتى بادر هو من تلقاء نفسه إلى اإلشارة إلى موضوع‬،‫ما أن غادرت اآلنسة فارلي الغرفة‬ ‫ فق توقف في لندن في‬. and smooth the Arabic flow of discourse. while the first sentence concerns the sense of relief felt by those present when Mr. the following sentence is related pragmatically to the preceding one. with a shift of topic whereby the addresser presents the receiver with new information. the second one concerns how he comes to know about the letter itself in London. the use of fa is triggered by an implicit causal marker like because in the ST which is brought to the surface in the TT to orient the reader and smooth the Arabic flow of discourse. which mostly occurs paragraph-. In fact. Therefore. establishes a link between the just concluded ideas/thoughts and the following ones. clause-. However.Halcombe's account of Mrs. 4.2 The DM ’ið According to Al-Afghani (1970).[ ‫طريق عودته من هامبشير‬ The use of fa in the example above is not prompted by implicitation in the source text. who also adds adverbial. He had stopped in London on his way from Hampshire […].

The second sentence of the ST provides justification for the speaker's action in the preceding one. However. the translation exhibits addition in two consecutive instances.. Gilmore to the speech in the quotes is supposed to resolve any potential ambiguity regarding his identity. the reason being the lengthy discourse. is used here as a corresponding element to the implicit causal maker in the ST.‫ إذ ال فائدة من العودة الى ليميريدج ما لم يطرأ أمر ضروري يحتم عودتنا‬،‫قررت تمديد إقامتنا هنا أسبوعا آخر‬ ّ ‫ "سأترك لك االهتمام بالتفاصيل يا‬:‫ إذ قال‬،‫موطد العزم‬ ‫ أو باألحرى‬،‫] ولكنه رجل عنيد‬. which corresponds to zero equivalent in the ST. it gives the reason why the speaker decides to prolong their stay for another week. it would be better. 19 instances have been noted. That is to say. the first mention of ‫ إذ‬corresponds to a causal marker because. and it may or may not correspond to implicitation in the ST. .]. resolute. it has been identified solely with the causal and adverbial function. ‫إذ‬ corresponds to implicitation in the ST in 12 cases (63%). constituting 34. are the participants. In fact.. the Arabic causal marker ‫إذ‬. viz. Mr. Do what you think right for my interest. and consider me as having personally withdrawn from the business until it is all over. addition of the reporting clause he said ‫قال‬. Consider the following extract: (12) I have resolved to prolong our stay for another week at least. 'Merriman... I leave details to you. So. in which the two lawyers. but his occasional reference to himself grieves me still more. By contrast.[ . The addition of the reporting clause ‫' قال‬he said' is intended for speaker identification. and to zero equivalent in 4 instances (21%). even more acceptable in this context to substitute the phrase ‫ إذ قال‬by a more appropriate expression like 219 . Out of the 19 instances. which is suppressed in the ST and brought to the surface in the TT to orient the reader and smooth the flow of discourse. whose nearest equivalent could be since. […] but he is obstinate – or let me rather say.[ . This is an example of Arabic explicitation that corresponds to English implicitation. It is useless to go back to Limmeridge till there is an absolute necessity for our return..‫ماريان‬ ‫ ولكن الذي زاد في حزني عليه ذكره العرضي إلى ما‬،‫] شعرت باألسف جرّاء هذا األمر‬. because. in the second mention. Gilmore and Mr. to explicitation in 3 cases (16%). Thus. etc. which is left implicit in the ST and insertion of the adverbial DM ‫إذ‬.The data analysis shows that ‫ إذ‬is the second most recurring DM of the three in the translation under investigation.' […] This is sad. and they sometimes sound as if they were reporting what their clients say. in this context.5% of the corpus (almost tying with fa). He says that the effort to return to his old habits and pursuits grows harder […]. Nonetheless. Percival.[ ‫ إذ قال إنه قد صعب عليه كثيرا العودة إلى متابعة أعماله وعاداته المعتادة‬،‫آلت إليه أحواله‬ As can be noted.‫ وإلى أن نتوصل إلى إتفاق اعتبرني كأنني انسحبت من المسألة بكاملها‬،‫ افعل ما تراه مالئما لمصالحي‬. It should be noted that the discourse revolves around their respective clients. the reporting clause linking Mr. is fairly marked by suppression of speaker identity. ‫ إذ‬is attached to a reporting clause and does not correspond to implicitation in the ST..

. Consider the following example: (13)He was evidently in search of me.2 Adverbial ’ið There is a unanimous consensus among Arabic grammarians that the primary function of ‫ إذ‬is an adverbial one (Medieval Bin Hishaam Al-Ansari 2002/d.2. Nonetheless. the second sentence of the ST provides justification for the speaker's claim in the preceding one. Therefore.1 Causal ’ið The causal ‫ إذ‬introduces a sentence that describes the cause or gives the reason for the action or state of affairs in the preceding one. it gives the reason why the speaker claims that He was evidently in search of me.761h). a gap would be felt in the Arabic text..2. The utilization of ‫إذ قال‬. ‫ إذ‬equally performs an adverbial function because it may be translated as when or as. makes the speaker sound as if he were quoting a client and thus failing to resolve the ambiguity. which may lead to altering the meaning potential of translation.]. she has sent to say she wants to see me directly […]. The ST reader can easily perceive the connection as well as the suppressed causal marker. This clause is introduced by the English causal marker for. This type falls under the category 220 . It also means that marked (unjustified) explicitation exists even at the level of discourse markers.‫أصارحك القول يساورني القلق بشأن لورا‬ It is clear that the causal marker ‫ إذ‬is brought to the surface in the TT to serve as the corresponding equivalent of an implicit counterpart because. the use of the adverbial ‫ إذ‬is significant in that it smoothes the flow of discourse and renders it more natural. the following is an instance of Arabic explicitation that corresponds to implicitation in the ST: (14)To tell you the truth. This is a case where the language pair corresponds explicitly in the employment a DM. I am uneasy about Laura..‫ إذ ما أن شاهدني حتى أسرع نحوي بخطى سريعة‬،‫بدا وكأنه كان يبحث عني‬ As can be seen. In the third mention. However. 4. just like a dependent because clause in English. That is to say. It can be noted that the second clause describes the reason why the speaker feels perturbed by Laura's request. Arabic needs to bring the causal marker to the surface in order to orient the reader and naturalize the flow of discourse. This shows an erroneous case of employing addition.[ ‫ إذ أرسلت في طلبي على وجه السرعة‬. the Arabic causal marker ‫ إذ‬is used here as a corresponding element to the explicit causal maker in the ST. 4. for he quickened his pace when we caught sight of each other. which translates into something like when he said or as he said. this DM can only introduce a dependent clause that cannot stand on its own. . By contrast. The Arabic text would be incohesive without it. which is not implied in the source text.‫ وتاب قائال‬to resolve the potential ambiguity. Without it. for. Below are more examples of the functions of ‫ إذ‬in the data. etc. One should note that the translator has erroneously punctuated this DM with a period rather than a correct comma.

which may be translated as therefore. This indicates that ‫ بالتالي‬only performs the resultative/consequential function. in fact. Gilmore's narration is fairly marked by suppression of speaker identity. which could be translated as when or as is not implied in the ST. to substitute the phrase ‫ إذ قال‬by ‫ إذ سأل‬since the following quote is a question rather than a statement. Farlie with the quoted question because Mr. The DM ‫إذ‬. The data shows 16 instances of this DM.3 The DM bittaalii Despite its being a pervasive feature of Arabic discourse. which is. in the accusative case that denotes the time and place of the verb".25%). 1999. and we can trust him. this DM communicates the same meanings as ‫يجة لما سبق‬ and ‫إذ‬. Thus.of what (Khalil. is suppressed in the ST and the adverbial marker ‫إذ‬. It corresponds to implicitation in the ST in 8 cases (50%).75%). the reporting clause linking Mr. is almost nonexistent. Consider the following example: (16) Mr. The resultative/consequential ‫ بالتالي‬functions to either establish a link between two clauses of a compound sentence where the second clause occurs as a result of the preceding one or to introduce a sentence that occurs as a consequence of the preceding one. thus. to explicitation in 7 cases (43. 4. as we could trust no one else. even more acceptable in this context. p. "Would dear Gilmore be so very obliging as not to worry his friend and client about such a trifle as a remote contingency?" ‫ "أيمكن للعزيز غيلمور‬:‫ إذ قال‬،‫كان جواب السيد فارلي على رسالتي هائما ً جداً وبعيداً تماما ّ عن صلب الموضوع‬ ّ ‫أن‬ "‫يتلطف بحيث ال يقلق صديقه ومو ّكله بمثل هذا االحتمال الضئيل التافه؟‬ The clause ‫ إذ قال‬is brought to the surface in the TT to be the corresponding equivalent of a parallel implicit clause in the ST. the only function it has been identified with in the translation under investigation. and to zero equivalent in 1 instance (6. ‫ وبالتالي يمكننا‬،‫علما ً أن صداقة السيد غيلمور م أسرة فارلي قديمة تعود إلى جيلين من الزمن‬ 221 . However. performs an adverbial function and. resolve any ambiguity that might arise from identity suppression. Review of the existing literature yields no results. ً ‫ نت‬، ‫ من ث ّم‬. making up 29% of the corpus. Gilmore is the old friend of two generations of Farlies. which corresponds to a zero equivalent in the ST. The reporting clause is intended for speaker identification by associating Mr. Consider the following example: (15)Mr. According to this dictionary. consequently. 252) refers to as "adverbial object. and proved to be wandering and irrelevant in the extreme. except for Al-Mu'jam-l-ghanni (E-version) by Abul-Azm. consequently. The utilization of ‫ إذ سأل‬is justified here because it makes the reader realize that the speaker is quoting the character he has just mentioned and. The reporting clause he said. Farlie's answer reached me by return of post. to which ‫ قال‬corresponds. Farlie to the speech in the quote is supposed to resolve any potential ambiguity regarding his identity. helps to keep the flow of discourse cohesive and smooth. which is a noun. as a result. it would be better. therefore. research on the DM ‫بالتالي‬.

Conclusion The argument presented in this paper runs counter to Blum-Kulka’s (1986) hypothesis that instances of explicitation in the TT must correspond to instances of implicitation in the ST.‫الوثوق به كليا‬ According to Quirk. it makes the translation sound redundant. A more natural version could be achieved by a rendition like ‫يكون ق صدّق أمراً ال يمكن أن يحصل على‬ ‫االطالق‬. ‫ يكون بالتالي‬، ‫ فأي ولد يصدق وجود األشبا‬،‫ وبالتالي‬، ‫ال وجود على االطالق لشيء يسمّى باألشبا‬ .e. implicitation and zero equivalent in the ST. In other words. could be seen as the corresponding element to the English DM and. By contrast. The data indicates that this claim is valid in some cases but invalid in others. resultative. while the addition of wa is meant to make that function more explicit and the discourse more cohesive. explanatory.e. The discussion of three Arabic DMs fa. et al. being more semantically oriented. The employment of DMs in Arabic discourse ranges between marking purely logical relations and rendering the discourse 222 . can equally perform the same function. i. Since the Arabic DMs bittaalii and wa. i. resumptive. ’ið and bittaalii. thus using the Arabic confirmatory particle ‫ قد‬instead to naturalize and smooth the flow of discourse. BlumKulka does not seem to have taken into account the nature of different languages. the second mention of the DM ‫ بالتالي‬has no corresponding element in the ST. bittaalii. given its occurrence in the immediately previous sentence and. which is usually employed as a default DM whose main function is to cater to cohesion in Arabic discourse. DMs may correspond to implicitation in some instances but may not in others. while the second one should be deleted in order to avoid redundancy and offer natural Arabic discourse. 5. most writers in Arabic prefer to employ a more semantically-oriented DM (bittaali here) and. which co-occur in the above example. therefore. it represents an erroneous case of employing this DM. can carry the weight of a semantically-loaded DM alone (as in the example above). As a matter of fact. and adverbial function. By contrast. there is optimal formal correspondence between the DMs of the TT and their ST counterparts in the first occurrence. shows that they may correspond to explicitation. which perform different discoursal functions including the adversative. The first bittaalii should be kept. at the same time. It should be noted that wa.‫يصدق أمراً اليمكن أن يحصل على االطالق‬ As can be seen. the consequential function. However.. the English DM and signals multiple textual functions including the consequential one as in the above example. (1986). any boy who believes in ghosts believes in what can't be. Consider the following example: (17)There are no such things as ghosts. keep wa as an enhancer of the logical relation as well as a cohesive marker. causal. and therefore. there are instances where the target DM has no equivalent in the ST. the target DMs ‫ وبالتالي‬are the corresponding equivalents of the ST DMs and therefore.

This being the case. unlike English whose discourse is equally asyndetic. This study demonstrates through authentic translational data that Arabic makes frequent use of DMs because of the syndetic nature of its discourse. Besides naturalizing and smoothing the flow of discourse. hence. as far as DMs are concerned (Saldanha 2008). some erroneous cases of employing DMs in professional translation into Arabic may occur. something which renders the translation redundant and/or unnatural. formal correspondence between English and Arabic in terms of DMs cannot be stipulated.more cohesive. Nonetheless. it is mainly used to enhance other semantically oriented DMs. Apart from its frequent use as a default DM. it is generally felt that wa is too light a DM to mark a logical relation. 223 . Arabic DMs facilitate the reader's understanding of the text through creating the necessary semantic and pragmatic links. It can be argued that what obtains between Spanish and English also obtains between English and Arabic.

English RLFs take various forms. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).. in many cases. NASA (National Aeronautics Space Administration). LCD (liquid crystal display). The study offers both a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data. which is widely known for its tendency to reduce words/phrases. English. offers scores of reduced lexical terms such as DNA (deoxyribo nucleic acid). (Yule 1985). Translation Alone and Translation + RLF are the most occurring strategies in the Arabic corpus. UN (United Nations). A few common abbreviations feature Latin individual letters such as ie for id est. etc. Lexical Reduction in English Reduction or subtraction (Kreidler 1998) is a major word formation process in English. It works with the assumption that RLFs can be problematic in Arabic translation because English commonly favors the employment of such forms while Arabic opts for reduced forms only infrequently. DNA. This involves two procedures which differ only in the pronunciation of the output. The purpose is to examine authentic Arabic translational data in an English text type (popular science articles) that usually abounds in the use of RLFs. this is motivated by the principle of economy but some reduced forms may also be instigated by the desire to improvise professionalism and euphony (Newmark 1988). LCD. requiring them first to understand what the RLF means (which. The data shows that professional scientific translators employ various strategies in rendering a variety of English RLFs. This will certainly make the work of translators more taxing. consequently. DVD (digital versatile/video disc). It involves the removal of some parts of existing lexical items/phrases in order to create new ones. am for ante meridiem 224 . Nowadays. The first procedure offers acronyms which are pronounced as ordinary English words like NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). involves tracing the RLF back to its full form) and then to find an appropriate strategy to render it in the Target Language (TL). While Blended Forms and Complete Form + RLF are the most frequent RLFs in the English corpus. eg for exempli gratia. AIDS. etc. while the second results in abbreviations which are pronounced as individual letters such as USA (United States of America). 1. The use of the initials of the words in lexical phrases to construct new words stands out as the most familiar process. holds the banner of science and technology and. etc.Lexical Reduction in Scientific Translation Mohammed Farghal & Mashael Al-Hamly Abstract The present paper is a case study of the rendition of English Reduced Forms (RLFs) in Majalat AlOloom (the Arabic version of Scientific American). FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization). NASA. in order to see how translators render them into Arabic. Essentially.

and Sr for senior. bike. The most common procedure in clipping is to cut off the first (or. carboxide. smog from smoke and fog. e.g. Examples include geopolitics. e.g. Other familiar abbreviations may take the initials of two syllables in the word and have them stand for the whole word. psycholinguistics. in contrast with English. among many others.g. the use of a modified version of acronyms was confined to phrases with a religious tinge (They all feature allah). Dr and St. Another familiar reduction process in English is the blending of two lexemes to produce a word representing a new concept. basmala ‫ صسال‬for the phrase bismi-llaah ilraħmaan il-raħiim ‫‘ صس هللا ال اا ال اي‬In the name of God.and pm for post meridiem. Afroasiatic. while others are spoken out as individual letters. The procedure involves employing verbs featuring the most salient and/or important sounds in a phrase/sentence to indicate the uttering of full phrases/sentences such as hallala ‫ملل‬ for the sentence laa ’ilaah ’illaa ’allah ‫' و إله إو هللا‬There is no God but God’. among many others. the letter ‫ م‬after a date for miilaadii ‘AD’ ‫ديًو‬. and ħawqala ‫ اوصل‬for the sentence laa ħawla walaa uwata illaa billaah ‘There’s no refuge nor strength but in God’. 2. Traditionally. Note that some of these abbreviations occur as written forms only and receive the pronunciation of the entire word in spoken communication. one might find a few abbreviations and blends. Eng for engineer or English and Rev for Reverend. or the first and last letters in the word. Lexical Reduction in Arabic Arabic. the clipped forms occur in writing only and are pronounced as full words. and biochemistry. and bra. Jr and Sr. employs RLFs on a small scale. the last) syllable in the word and have it stand for the whole word. to a lesser extent. Familiar examples of written abbreviations which are spoken out in full include the Arabic letter . the letter . In some cases. phone. kabbara ‫ ك‬for the utterance ’allahu ’akbar ‫‘ هللا أك‬God's the greatest’. ecosystem. Jr for junior.g. among many others. The standard procedure is to combine the onset consonants and/or syllable(s) of one word with the last syllable of another. Examples include brunch from breakfast and lunch. morphophonemic. e. the most gracious.‫ و‬followed by a dot for duktoor ‘doctor’ ‫وك ور‬. Few of them are only written forms such as Prophet Mohammed’s honorific sal‘am ‫ صلع‬for the sentence salaa ’allahu ‘alayhi wa salam ‫صلى هللا عليه‬ ‫‘ وول‬May peace be upon him’. e. TV for television and TB for tuberculosis. In modern standard Arabic.‫ م‬followed by a dot for muhanndis ‘engineer’ ‫دان س‬. e. among a few others. Examples include gym. St for saint. the most merciful’. lab. and autocide from automobile and suicide.g. A more common manifestation of blending in technical materials involves taking one part of a word (one or more syllables) and combining it to a full word. and the letter after a date for hijrii ‘Hijri /Islamic 225 . Dr for doctor. The second most common English RLFs involve the application of clipping to exiting words in order to create new ones.

calendar’ ‫مج‬. Pure blends, for their turn, are very infrequent in Arabic; examples may include
mutašaa’il ‘optimistic and pessimistic’ from mutafaa’il ‫‘ د فائل‬optimistic’ and mutašaa’im ‫د شائ‬
‘pessimistic’ and ’a‘di aa’ ‫‘ أع صا‬enemies and friends’ from ’a‘daa’ ‘enemies’ and ’asdi aa’
‘friends’. However, due to the continued influence of English technical terms, Arabic sometimes
employs blends where one part of the first word is attached to the second word in full to form
what is called in Arabic ‫‘ الا كب الازج‬the blended compound’ such as kahrumaγnaatiisii
‫‘ كا ودغناطيس‬electromagnetic’ from kahrabaa’i ‫‘ كا صائ‬electric’ and maγnaatiisii
‘magnetic’ and ’afru’aasyawii ‫‘ أف وآويو‬Afro-asiatic’ from ’afrii ii ‫‘ أف ق‬African’ and
’aasyawii ‘Asiatic’ ‫ آويو‬.

3. Translation of English RLFs
English, which is an international lingua franca nowadays, offered and is still offering scores of
RLFs, particularly the employment of initials to stand for lexical phrases, in various fields and
occupations including business, industry, tourism, science, technology, academia, etc. The expert
as well as the translator is astounded by the huge number of these RLFs and the opaqueness
encapsulated thereof (Spencer 1988). The general tendency to use RLFs in written as well as
spoken English discourse, which is mainly motivated by economy, euphony, and prestige and/or
professionalism (cf. Newmark 1988), may cause serious problems to translators in first
interpreting SLFs and then in rendering them into the Target Language (TL). The kind of
problems occurring depends on whether the language pair involves genealogically related
languages, e.g. English and other European languages, or those genealogically unrelated
languages, e.g. English and Arabic.

In the former case, initialisms whose source is not English may vary across European languages,
which are receptive to such lexical reduction, e.g. SSSR, USSR, UDSSR, and URSS in Russian,
English, German and French respectively all refer to former Soviet Union. The variation
emanates from the initials in the phrase in each language. However, more recently, there is a
tendency in several European languages to borrow English initialisms formally. Examples include
English internationalisms such as AIDS, DNA, DVD, LCD, etc. (González 1991; Bankole 2006).

In the latter case, English and Arabic, the rendering of initialisms becomes more complicated
because Arabic does not use the Latin alphabet in the first place, nor does it behave receptively of
this lexical phenomenon in the second place (cf. Al-Qinai 2007). Translators of English
initialisms into Arabic, therefore, may adopt different strategies in rendering them. By way of
illustration, let us take the familiar English initialism DNA, which is variously translated into
corresponding individual Arabic letters reflecting the English pronunciation ( ‫)و ان ا‬, or an
Arabic acronym (‫)ال ا‬, or an Arabic loan translation ( ‫الحا النوو‬/ ‫)ال يا الوراثي‬, or a combination
of two or more of them.

4. Purpose, Material and Procedure
The purpose of this study is to examine authentic Arabic translational data in an English text type
(popular scientific discourse) which frequently employs the use of RLFs, in an attempt to see how
translators render them into Arabic. Consequently, the study will offer a typology of the strategies
used, along with a qualitative and quantitative discussion of each strategy.

The material consists of 15 Arabic translations (See Appendix 1) of their Scientific American
originals (See Appendix 2) appearing in Majalat AlOloom, a publication of Kuwait Foundation
for the Advancement of sciences (KFAS), Kuwait. Each English article will be closely examined
for RLFs, noting whether the RLF is used alone or alongside the full form. Then, the English data
are juxtaposed with the Arabic translational counterparts and subjected to careful analysis.

As is clear, the study material is a par excellence sample of scientific translation. Scientific
translation, it is generally believed, focuses on the accurate conveyance of the content of
scientific discourse. Ilyas (1989: 109) writes "In scientific works, subject-matter takes priority
over the style of the linguistic medium which aims at expressing facts, experiments, hypothesis,
etc. …… All that is required in fact is that of verbal accuracy and lucidity of expression". If the
translator is required to improvise verbal accuracy and lucid expression, one wonders what
remains of the linguistic medium Ilyas is underestimating in the above quote. There is no question
that the translator's knowledge in the relevant area is a prerequisite in scientific translation (Nida
1964; Giles 1995; Saedi 1996; Al-Hassnawi 200). However, an effective rhetoric of scientific
discourse should accompany the rendition of accurate scientific information. Sharkas (2009), in
an article titled "Translation Quality Assessment of Popular Science Articles Corpus Study of the
Scientific American and its Arabic Version", criticizes the translation quality which focuses on
factual quality and noticeably underestimates textual adequacy which caters for cohesion and
coherence. She rightly concludes that it is not enough to have science articles translated and
edited by specialists in the relevant areas in the absence of translation training that sharpens their
transfer competence.

It should be noted that the present study is not meant to conduct a quality assessment study of the
Arabic version of Scientific American. Other things being equal, the purpose of this investigation
is to examine how professional specialist translators deal with English RLFs in Arabic translation
as sampled by Majalat AlOloom. Therefore, the discussion, analysis and critique therein are
solely confined to RLFs, the feature under investigation.

5. Categories of English Data

There are three categories of the English data extracted:
1. The RLF is employed immediately after the complete form in the first mention but alone
in subsequent mentions, e.g. human accelerated region 1 (HAR1), Throughfall
Displacement Experiment (TDE), net primary production (NPP), Resource Description
Framework ((RDF), Universal Resource Identifier (URI), etc.
2. The RLF is employed independently of the complete form. This category falls into five
a) Abbreviations (pronounced as individual letters), e.g. DNA, RNA, HIV, U.S., etc.
b) Acronyms (pronounced as words), e.g. NASA, AIDS, etc.
c) Clipped (spoken and written) forms, e.g. lab, chimp, etc.
d) Written Clipped forms, C (Celsius), Calif. (California), Colo. (Colorado), etc.
e) Blended forms, e.g. iPhone, e-mail, ecosystem, biodiversity, geothermal, etc.
3. The RLF (employed alone) modifies a Generic term (such as virus, gene, experiment,
etc.) in the first mention but alone in subsequent mentions, e.g. FOXP2 gene, PrERV1
virus, AMY1 gene, etc.

Table 1: Number of occurrences for the categories of English data in terms of frequency.
Categories of English Data
Category type
Number of occurrences
Blended form
Complete form + RLF
Written Clipped form
RLF + Generic form
Spoken Clipped form

Table 1 above indicates that the total number of English RLFs in the corpus is 120 first mention
instances (subsequent mentions are not reported) which are distributed over 7 categories.
Noticeably, blended forms, complete forms + RLFs and abbreviations account for about 76% of
the data. This comes as no surprise because the high technicality of the terminology in scientific
discourse necessitates the employment of such techniques.

6. Strategies Employed in Translating RLFS
The corpus instantiates 6 Arabic strategies in translating English RLFs as follows:
1. Translation Alone: The translator simply translates the English source term into Arabic.

2. Translation + RLF: The translator translates the word/phrase and follows it with the
complete form and reduced form.
3. Arabic Generic Word + Borrowing: The translator borrows the English term but precedes
it with an Arabic generic term to clarify the translation.
4. Borrowing Alone: The translator borrows the English term and writes it using Arabic
5. Borrowing + Acronym: The translator borrows the English term in Arabic alphabet and
follows it with the English acronym.
6. Translation + Borrowing: The translator translates as well as borrows the English

Table 2: Number of occurrences of translation strategies in terms of frequency
Translation Strategies
Strategy Type
Number of occurrences
Translation alone
Translation + RLF
Arabic generic word + Borrowing 22
Borrowing alone
Borrowing + Acronym
Translation + Borrowing



Out of the six strategies noted in the translation strategies, the highest percentage is the translation
alone strategy, followed by the use of translation with the reduced. The following discussion
sheds more light on each of these strategies.

6.1 Translation Alone
This is the most frequent strategy in the data (41.6%). The high frequency of this strategy derives
from the fact that it is employed in a variety of RLFs where the translator expects the reader to be
familiar with the Arabic translation independently of the English RLF. The variety includes:

a) Clipped Forms such as:
‫كاليفور يا‬




‫الشا ا ز‬


b) Abbreviations such as:


‫الوو ات الا ح األد اي‬


‫ال ك ورا‬


‫جادع كاليفور يا‬


‫ص طا يا‬


c) Blended Forms such as:
‫الانظود ال يئي‬


‫' اخ ياصي ف اإلايا الحيو‬biostatistician'.

‫دنطق الغ‬

‫الطاص الح ار األرضي‬

‘geothermal energy’

Firstly, clipped forms may include both proper and common nouns. On the one hand, clipped
forms of proper nouns are rendered in Arabic alphabet in full, e.g. ‫ كاليفور يا‬for 'Calif.'. On the
other hand, clipped forms of common nouns are translated into their Arabic full counterparts, e.g.
‫ دخ‬for 'lab'. It should be noted that clipped forms like these must be rendered into their Arabic
full counterparts as there are no corresponding clipped forms in Arabic.

Secondly, there are some English abbreviations pronounced as individual letters which must be
translated into their Arabic full forms such as USA and PhD. Examples like these are never
borrowed using Arabic alphabet. However, there are some abbreviations (not found in our data)
which may lend themselves to borrowing through Arabic alphabet and are pronounced as
individual letters such as ‫ و أ أ‬for 'CIA' and ‫ ص ص و‬for 'BBC'.

Thirdly, and more importantly, scientific discourse frequently features blended technical forms
where the first syllable of the first technical word attaches to the full form of the second word to
form a compound concept. The corpus shows that most of these terms are translated into Arabic
phrases featuring two full forms or more, e.g. ‫ الانظود ال يئي‬for 'ecosystem' and ‫اخ ياصي ف اإلايا‬
‫ الحيو‬for 'biostatistician'. As is clear, this strategy unpacks the meaning of the English blended
term employing Arabic translation alone.

6.2 Translation + RLF
Table 2 above shows that the second most frequent rendition of a technical RLF involves an
Arabic translation of the complete form immediately followed by the English RLF. This strategy
accounts for 22.5% of the overall data. It is clear that the translator endeavors to make sure that

79). The translator successfully uses the head noun ‫‘ لغ‬language’ to modify the name of the program. Apparently. However. in which case s/he can rely on the English RLF. hence the erroneous rendering. In the subsequent mentions. Apparently. The reader. This abbreviation stands for HyperText Markup Language. The translator can look the RLF up to know what it stands for. ‘… the primary language – the Resource Description Framework (RDF) – which is layered onto the basic HTML and …’ (Web Science Emerges. RDF ‫اللغ‬.e. viz. the translator feels comfortable with his Arabic rendition and expects the reader to process it easily. i. p. HAR1 ‫‘ النااي‬region HAR1’. viz. He should have looked up the complete form of the RLF in a specialized dictionary in order to render its content. However. albeit it duplicates one of the initials (the one for head noun). he employs a generic word to preface it. 231 . ‫اللغ ال ديز للنص الفوص‬. The following examples involve this strategy: HAR1 ) ‫الا سارع (الاعجل‬ CO2 ‫أكسي الا صون‬ ‫النااي ال ش‬ ‫ثا‬ RDF ‫لغ إطار عال وصف الاوارو‬ In the first example.the Arabic translation is processed correctly. thus doing away with the RLF. the translator gives an Arabic translation of the English complete form (human accelerated region 1) along with the RLF. the translator mistook the L in the abbreviation to stand for ‘layer’ rather than the target ‘language’. The second example offers an Arabic translation along with the RLF in the first mention but only the Arabic translation in subsequent mentions. the translator feels. Interestingly. The translator just borrows the abbreviation without rendering what it stands for. This is meant to facilitate processing by the reader. probably because the authors deem it a familiar RLF in web science. CO2. viz. HTML ‫‘ ط ق ال‬layer HTML’. s/he uses the generic word followed by the RLF. The complete English form and the abbreviation are employed parenthetically to explain what the term ‘the primary language’ means viz. the translator employs the translation of the head noun in the phrase ( ‫ النااي‬region) to preface the RLF in every subsequent mention. the complete form of the second abbreviation in the quote above (HTML) is not given in the English text. viz. The third example offers a five-word Arabic translation of a three-letter abbreviation (RDF) whose complete form (Resource Description Framework) is given in a footnote. instead of using the abbreviation alone in subsequent mentions (as the English text does). may have difficulty processing the Arabic translation.

The translator here opts for prefacing the abbreviation or acronym with a generic word to facilitate the processing for the reader. However.4 Borrowing alone There are a few examples where the RLF is borrowed alone whether in Arabic alphabet or English alphabet (9. the source text employs generic words in the first mention of highly technical RLFs. In some cases. ASPM ‫‘ الجين‬ASPM gene’. 6. in the second example (HIV). not being certain that the generic word would do the job. Besides. Cleary. the Arabic generic word duplicates the last initial in the English RLF as can be illustrated in the two examples below: NASA ‫‘ وكال‬NASA agency’ HIV ‫‘ الفي وس‬HIV virus’ In the first example (NASA).6.3 Arabic Generic Word + Borrowing (in Arabic or English alphabet) This strategy comes third in the data (18. In few cases. the translator. the translator wants to naturalize the discourse as well as facilitate comprehension.g. This strategy compensates for the zero translation of such terms by the continued employment of the generic term. The following examples are illustrative: ‫األ ر‬ for 'AIDS' ‫ال ا‬ for 'DNA' ‫ال ا‬ for ‫اليو يسيف‬ for 'UNISEF' IEEE for 'IEEE' 'RNA' 232 . In many cases.1%). the initial 'V' for the generic word 'virus' is duplicated by the Arabic generic word ‫' الفي وس‬virus'. the terms would sound unnatural without the generic term.3%. e. as in: ‫ الا فج‬TNT ‫‘ داو ال‬TNT explosive material’. Similarly. may reinforce the generic word with a post-modifier immediately after the borrowing. the target text will employ the generic term in all subsequent mentions. the initial 'A' for generic word 'Administration' is further duplicated by the Arabic generic ‫' وكال‬agency'.

233 . e. is not available when borrowing into Arabic. they are pronounced as Arabic words (See strategy 2 above). ‫)و أن أ‬. this is an editorial decision to adopt this Arabic acronym as an equivalent for this recurrent term in science materials.Tg for 'Tg' As can be seen. in two recurrent cases and due to editorial policy. the translator includes the English RLF only in the first mention.g. It should also be noted that the Arabic definite article ‫ ال‬is added to Arabic acronyms which only require the zero article in English.g. However. she/he only employs the Arabic acronym in subsequent mentions. he reinforces the borrowing in Arabic alphabet by mentioning the English RLF. constitutes zero translation. The data instantiates only few examples of such internationalisms (4.5 Borrowing + Acronym This strategy is often applied in cases of familiar English internationalisms where the translator works with the assumption that the reader is aware of such abbreviations. which employs the Latin alphabet. When adopting this strategy. i. e. In some cases. whereas it is adopted when borrowing from Arabic into English. ‫ جااو‬is transliterated as jihad and ‫ اااس‬is transliterated as Hamas. and NATO ‫الناتو‬. Apparently. The specialist translator should be able to combine borrowing with translation in order to facilitate comprehension. which is an abbreviation pronounced as individual letters in English. is systematically acronymized as ‫' ال ا‬addanaa' in Arabic. while Arabic can readily acronymize English acronyms such as AIDS ‫األ ر‬. UNESCO ‫اليو ساو‬. English acronyms may be borrowed as words in Arabic alphabet. i. rendering the abbreviation as is in English alphabet is indicative of the translator's inability to translate the sense of the RLF and. 6. that is. The employment of 'IEEE' (which is an online database) and Tg (which is a measurement of 'thyroglobulin') in the Arabic text without any attempt to translate the concept is a serious weakness in the translation. the English abbreviations DNA and RNA are borrowed as Arabic acronyms ‫ال ا و ال ا‬. it is extremely uncommon to acronymize English abbreviations such as DNA. It should be noted that the Latin alphabet is replaced with the Arabic in such borrowings. consequently. ‫ )الحا النوو‬or borrow it as individual letters in Arabic alphabet (viz. It should be noted.e. two of which (DNA and AIDS) are highly recurrent in the corpus. The first (DNA). ‫ اليو يسيف‬for 'UNICEF' and ‫ األ ر‬for 'AIDS'.e.4%). The usual practice is to either translate it (viz. The reason for the adoption of borrowing alone seems to stem from the universal or local (magazine-specific) familiarity with these terms. Similarly. transliteration.

viz. Strategy Type Translation alone Translation + RLF Borrowing alone Arabic generic word + Borrowing Borrowing + Acronym Number of occurrences 29 5 3 2 0 Percentage 74.6. which is largely unfamiliar to the Arab reader. the decision in the third item is rather opaque as the Arabic counterpart.1% 0% Borrowing clipped into full form Translation + Borrowing Total 0 0 39 0% 0% 234 . ‫ك ودوروم‬. let us examine Tables 3 and 4 below. and the translation strategies employed in translating these categories. i.4% 12. A better option is to borrow it in Arabic alphabet. respectively. i. the translator in the first three examples above opts for borrowing the technical part of the RLF in English alphabet instead of employing translation alone. As for the fourth item. While this decision is transparent in the first two items because the borrowed terms are as familiar as their Arabic counterparts.7% 5. Categories of English Data in Relation to Translation Strategies To shed more light on the relation between the most frequent English categories that were used in the source English text..e.8% 7. as can be illustrated in the following examples: GM biodiversity agroecological Chromosome 4E ،‫الاحور جينيا‬ ‫ ال يولوج‬،‫ال نو‬ ‫أ اولوج رراع‬ 4E ‫الي غ‬ Apparently. blended forms and complete form + RLF (See Table 1). viz.6 Translation + Borrowing The corpus contains few cases (4. 7.4%) where translation is combined with borrowing in Arabic or English alphabet.e. ‫ الحيو‬،‫ و ال نو‬، ‫الاحور وراثيا‬. the translator rightly retains the English abbreviation (4E) but unjustifiably translates the generic word 'chromosome' into ‫الي غ‬. which is a very familiar borrowing in Arabic. ‫ صيئ رراع‬is more transparent to the Arab reader. Table 3: Number of occurrences of English category Blended form in relation to translation strategies.

albeit more opaque. Strategy Type Translation + RLF Arabic generic word + Borrowing Translation + Borrowing Borrowing + Acronym Translation alone Number of occurrences 12 12 Percentage 40% 40% 2 1 3 6. It should be noted. e. the use of the blended form was the most frequent category among the data under analysis. that English adjectival blended forms do not lend themselves readily to the strategy of translation alone.g. while nominal blended forms lend themselves easily to translation into Arabic by rendering the blending syllable as a full adjective ‫ الحيو‬to post-modify the noun ‫الايايا‬.As discussed in section 5 above. 235 . the second most frequent English category was the use of English Complete Forms + RLF. This category (as shown in Table 4) is rendered by Translation + RLF (40%) and Arabic Generic Word + Borrowing (40%). Table 4: Number of occurrences of English category complete form + RLF in relation to translation strategies. ‫ ايوكيااو‬where ‫ ايو‬functions as a blending syllable from ‫‘ ايو‬biological’. Both strategies aim to facilitate the processing of such highly technical phrases by the addition of the RLF or the employment of an Arabic generic word. This process is not usually available for adjectival blended forms where translation plus borrowing becomes more likely. Thus. It can be argued that the main motivation here is to achieve transparency by avoiding opaque blended compounds. the blended form 'biochemistry' will be translated into the transparent ‫ الايايا الحيو‬rather than the opaque Arabic blended compound ‫ال يوكيايا‬. For example. It can be argued that these two strategies constitute the key to dealing with discipline-specific English RLFs. This simply indicates that what is familiarly known in Arabic as 'the blended compound' is not a priority by the Arab translator when translating blended forms. 'biochemical' is translated into the Arabic blended compound ‫ صيوكيااو‬rather than the awkward ‫( ايو كيااو‬in which two adjectives are employed) or the rather opaque blended compound. the strategy of Translation alone will be sufficient where the transparency of the Arabic rendition is very high.4%) is rendered into Arabic by translation alone (As shown in Table 3). In few cases.7% 3. it is found that the bulk of blended forms (74. however. Having a closer look at those blended forms. as mentioned in section 5 above. The translator's main task is to achieve a good degree of transparency of such RLFs in Arabic scientific discourse.3 10% Borrowing alone Borrowing clipped into full form Total 0 0 0% 0% 30 Also.

Translation Strategies in Relation to Categories of English Data This section discusses another aspect of the data.g.g. While the first category usually requires Translation combined with other strategies (see discussion of Table 4 above).. that is. e. To explain.% 4% 2% Acronyms Generic term + RLF Total 0 0 50 0% 0% Table 5 predictably shows that the most frequent input for Translation Alone is blended forms (56% / see discussion of Table 3 above). the second category requires translation alone. the Table indicates that the second most frequent input for Translation Alone is abbreviations (28%). Category type Blended form Abbreviation Written Clipped form Complete form + RLF Spoken Clipped form Number of occurrences 28 14 5 2 1 Percentage 56% 28% 10. and ‫ كا ساس‬for Kan 'Kansas'. USA for United States of America. Examples include ‫ الوو ات الا ح‬for USA and ‫ ال ك ورا‬for PhD. which are pronounced as individual letters. non-technical abbreviations. NPP for Net Primary Production and general. Examples include ‫ دقاصل‬for vs 'versus'.6% 18. e. abbreviations.8% 0% 0% Spoken Clipped form Use of RLF with a generic term Total 0 0 27 0% 0% 236 . Category type Complete form+ RLF Abbreviation Blended form Written Clipped form Acronyms Number of occurrences 18 5 5 0 0 Percentage 66.5% 14. ‫ دئو‬for C 'Celsius'. Table 6: Number of occurrences of English categories in relation to translation + RLF. Table 5 also indicates that written clipped forms usually require Translation Alone (10%).8.e. the relationship between the most frequent translation strategies employed. translation alone and translation + RLF (See Table 2). and the categories of English data that they were derived from. Tables 5 and 6 below provide a detailed breakdown of these two strategies. Table 5: Number of occurrences of English categories in relation to translation alone strategy. fall into two categories: technical discipline-specific abbreviations. More interestingly. i.

g. 5. the use of the English RLF aims to consolidate the comprehensibility of the usually transparent Arabic translations. 3. Clipped forms usually recover their complete forms in Arabic translation. ecosystem ‫ النظ ال يئي‬for ecosystem. The employment of the RLF in the Arabic rendition is meant to ensure the comprehension of such highly technical terms.Table 6 shows that the most frequent input for the strategy Translation + RLF is Complete Form + RLF (66. Blended forms are usually unpacked and subsequently translated into Arabic complete forms. e. they are Abbreviations (18. scientific discourse is full of technical jargon and reduced forms that require a degree of scientific knowledge and/or background on the part of the translator.8%). 237 . Pedagogical Implications 1. 9. The data shows that English RLFs in popular scientific discourse require a special treatment when translated into Arabic. e. Editorial decisions by a magazine may sometimes override mainstream tendencies as in the invented Arabic acronyms ‫ ال ا‬for DNA and ‫ ال ا‬for RNA. 3. the strategy of borrowing usually involves the employment of generic words and post-modification to facilitate comprehension. 6. Student translators need to be made aware of the highly technical nature of scientific discourse. it is clear that the rendition of most RLFs contributes significantly to the verification of the Explicitation Hypothesis (Blum-Kulka.g. 2. i. 10. Student translators need to be familiar with the different categories of lexical reduction in English in general and English scientific discourse in particular.e. Quantity-wise. which argues that explicitation is an inherent feature of translation activity. 2. In the absence of translating. 7. Student translators need to be made aware of the various translation strategies that specialist professional translators employ when rendering RLFs in scientific discourse.6%). The most taxing problem is to render the technical RLFs in a comprehensible manner while preserving the scientific jargon. 4. 1986). the translation is always more explicit than the original. Examples include (TDE) ‫ دشار إرال الاطول الاط‬for Throughfall Displacement Experiment (TDE) and (TLRS) ‫ الاس ق ًت الش يا صالحاجز‬for Toll-like receptors (TLRS). As for the other less frequent inputs for Translation + RLF.5%). Familiar abbreviations are simply translated into Arabic complete forms. Conclusions 1.. In both cases. CO2 ‫ ثا أكسي الا صون‬for CO2 and Blended Forms (14. This usually necessitates combining translating with borrowing to ensure that the reader understands the RLF. comprehensibility may become at stake. If the translation is used alone in the first mention. Unlike other types of discourse.

8/0‬‬ ‫وليو‪ /‬أغسطس ‪ .21‬الع وان ‪ . 8/0‬وليو‪/‬‬ ‫أغسطس ‪ .2636‬ص‪.11 -58 .‬ت جا ا اا ع ال اي و ع ان الحاو ‪ .‬الاجل ‪ .‬الاجل ‪ 20.8/0‬وليو‪/‬أغسطس ‪.‬‬ ‫‪238‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ .0/1‬دا و‪ /‬و يو ‪ .20‬‬ ‫الع وان ‪ .2636‬‬ ‫ص‪.‫)‪(Arabic Articles‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬ ‫‪Appendix 1‬‬ ‫الحقيقة الناصعة للاات ينا جاصلو سا ‪ .32/33‬وفا ‪ /‬و سا ‪ .2636‬ص ‪.‬الاجل ‪ .‬الاجل ‪ .23-35 .‬‬ ‫الوقود البيولوجي (الكراسولين)‪ :‬البديل المتاح للنفط مستقبال للااتب ميوص و و ل‪ .‬الع وان ‪ .2636‬ص ‪.‬للااتب مياس‪ .‬الاجل ‪ .0/1‬دا و‪ /‬و يو ‪ .‬الاجل ‪ .‬ت جا اات النج و ع ان الحاو ‪ . 20‬الع وان ‪ .2665‬ص‪. .‬ت جا ف}او العجل و جان‬ ‫خور و ال ح ‪ .53-12 .32/33‬وفا ‪ /‬و سا ‪ .2665‬ص‪5-5 .‬الاجل ‪ .10-16‬‬ ‫تطور المعادن‪ .13-20 .‬الاجل ‪ 21‬الع وان‬ ‫‪ .20‬الع وان ‪.‬‬ ‫ما الذي يجعلنا بشرا؟ للااتب صوورو‪ .‬‬ ‫)‪Appendix 2 (English Articles‬‬ ‫‪‘Local Nuclear War’.20‬الع وان ‪ .‬للااتب صور ل و فيش و فيشوف و كالين س‪ .‬الاجل ‪ 20.‬لاجل ‪.2636‬ص‪.‬للااتب ا ان ‪ .‬‬ ‫‪.5/1‬دارس‪/‬أص ل ‪ .‬ت جا دحا اس ا اات و دحا وصس‪ .20‬الع وان ‪ .5/1‬دارس‪/‬أص ل ‪ .‬للااتب مار ‪ .2636‬ص ‪.20‬الع وان ‪ .21-38 .‬ت جا أاا ال ااون و ع ا لقاور رااو‪ .21‬الع وان ‪ .5/1‬دارس‪/‬أص ل‬ ‫‪ .2636‬ص‪.51-85‬‬ ‫بزوغ علم الوب للااتب ا جل شاصولت و تي صي رل ‪ .32/33‬وفا ‪ /‬و سا ‪ .2660‬‬ ‫ثمن الطفرات الصامتة للااتب شادار و م وت‪ .32/33‬‬ ‫وفا ‪ /‬و سا ‪ .2665‬ص‪.31 -5‬‬ ‫هل العولمة تساعد فقراء العالم أم قد تضر بهم؟ للااتب ص صارون‪ .13-52‬‬ ‫أموال حقيقية من عوالم افتراضية‪ .01 -51‬‬ ‫الزراعة في المستقبل‪ .‬‬ ‫نجوم تتكون من غيوم للااتب ت و ‪ .2636‬ص ‪.20‬الع وان ‪ .‬الع وان ‪ .32/33‬وفا ‪ /‬و سا ‪ .‬للااتب روصوك و توون‪ .‬‬ ‫حرب نووية إقليمية‪ ،‬و المعاناة عالمية‪ .‬الاجل ‪ .21‬الع وان ‪.2665‬ص‪51-18 .‬الاجل ‪.0/1‬دا و‪ /‬و يو ‪ .‬الاجل ‪ .‬للااتب ولسشليا و و امل‪ .‬ت جا ع ا لقاور عاص و وعي دحفوظ ‪ .‬الاجل ‪ .‬الاجل ‪ . By Alan Robock and Owen Brian Toon (January 2010).2636‬ص ‪.‬‬ ‫تعزيز قوة اللقاح للااتب كاروون و كول دان‪ .‬‬ ‫التغيير المناخي‪ :‬تجربة متحكم فيها‪ ..‬‬ ‫شركات التقانة الحيوية تخطط لتحقيق زراعة مستدامة‪ .2665‬ص‪.21‬الع وان‬ ‫‪ .30-36 .‬ت جا خح اواا و ع ان الحاو ‪ .01-10‬‬ ‫مدى اهمية الضحك‪ .22‬الع وان أغسطس‪ /‬و ا ‪.

‘Web Science Emerges’. Cox & John P. ‘The Naked Truth’. By George Huber and Bruce Dale (July 2009). 86. ‘Boosting Vaccine Power”. ‘Does Globalization Help?’. 239 . Hurst (June 2009) . ‘Laughing Matters’. (April/May 2009). 42-49. pp. ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Rain’. ‘Local Nuclear Power’. pp. M. By Nigel Shadbolt and Tim Berners-Lee (October 2008). pp.               ‘Climate Change: A Controlled Experiment’. By Nina Jablonski (February 2010) . By Erick Young (February 2010). Fischer. 52-59. pp. (March 2010). pp. By Steve Ayan. (October 2009). Fischhoff and Galindez. 84-91. pp.65). 68-73). By Katherine S. ( April 2006). pp. ‘Future Farming’. 44. Glover. 82-89. By Richard Heeks.94. By Stan n. pp.V. 24-31. By Rober Hazen. ‘Biotech’s Plans to sustain Agriculture. By Nathalie Garcon and Michel Goldman (Ocotber 2009). Cindy. pp. pp. Chamary and Laurence D. By Borel. By Pranab Badhan. Toon (January 2010). ‘The Price of Silent Mutations’. By J. By Jerry D. Pollard (May 2009). 34-41). Reganold ( April 2010). ‘Real Money from Virtual Worlds’. Wullschleger and Maya Strahl (March 2010). 72-79. 78-83. ‘Evolution of Minerals’. pp. pp. ‘Grassoline at the Pump’. pp. Pp. 74-81. By Alan Robock and Owen B. 46-53. 58. ‘What Makes us Human’. Pp 76-81.49.(January 2010).

Shunnaq Abstract 240 .Major Problems in Student Translations of English Legal Texts Mohammed Farghal & Abdullah T.

political science. they find difficulty in properly incorporating English parenthetical non-finite clauses within Arabic legal discourse because Arabic usually favors finite clauses when rendering them. physics. "Therefore. such as 'In Witness Whereof'.g. chemistry. Halliday (1978) talks about Register as a defining feature of a language variety. It demonstrates that MA student translators face serious problems when dealing with syntactic discontinuity in a UN legal document. etc. To him. accounting.g. public administration. much legal writing is by no means spontaneous but is copied directly from 'form books'. whereas. economics. e. religion. Crystal and Davy (1969: 194) write. Finally. This expertise presupposes an acquaintance with the content and form. The translation task also offers evidence for many of the students' inability to deal properly with some layout features such as indentation. 241 . English legal texts exhibit certain patterns which are not found in other technical materials or other general varieties. and tenor problems. in which established formulae are collected". It is commonly taken for granted that every discipline has its own jargon or technical vocabulary. hence lack of professionalism and precision. layout and tenor that guides the language user to the differentiation between one register and another. This being so. e. it is usually form represented by syntax. layout. as they are called. law. Technical materials normally cover specialized literature emanating from different disciplines such as sciences. These peculiarities are mainly established forms that are taken in their entirety from the standardized legal register. which is not used to mark paragraphing in the study text but rather to lay emphasis on key propositions. it is Field that comes to the fore as a defining feature. Introduction Postgraduate translation students usually receive extensive training in both Gen eral and Technical Translation. The draftsmen's incessant effort to externalize intentions in their documents so as to avoid ambiguity inevitably brings about inherent peculiarities of legislative texts. 1. Apart from content. In technical materials. Mode and Tenor. In particular. The translator's failure to cope with content would obviously result in mistranslations which could be fatal in real-life situations such as court trials. The translation of technical materials requires special expertise in t he relevant discipline in addition to the general language competence. Field simply relates to Subject-matter which distinguishes one discipline from another. tenor features relating to the formality of legal lexis presents itself as another obstacle for many participants in the translation task. his failure to cope with form would most likely result in register failures. Register can be defined in terms of Field.This paper aims to show that the translation of English legal texts into Arabic may involve syntactic. legal English exhibits a high degree of linguistic conservatism.

Second. 213).1 Syntax The most problematic area for the examinees relates to the handling of the parenthetical material separating the matrix subject 'The General Assembly' from its multi-verbs in the complements. The present study The present paper aims to highlight the problematic areas in translating a UN legal document (See Appendix) as encountered by MA translation students on their Comprehensive Examination.. layoutrelated problems. by which attention is drawn to the parts of the documents which are crucial to meaning. such as `hereons' and `hereunders'. Being unaware of this common asymmetry. `invites'. 2. 'encourages'. 'appeals'. the translator needs to opt for both a finite and an overtly-marked clause in Arabic. had already received at least two years of translation training when they sat for the test. From looking at their translations. 'invites'. 7/13 of the examinees explored this option. and 'requests'. respectively. are many. 5/13 of the examinees were unaware of the second 242 . numbering 13. constitutes a key gate to finding one's way smoothly through the text.The features of legal English. Third. They were allowed free access to different reference books during the test. thus imposing another constraint on the translator besides the finiteness parameter. thus mistakenly rendering non-finite English clauses into erroneous nonfinite Arabic clauses. 2. the whole parenthetical material consists in non-finite English clauses. Observe the data in (1) below: (1) Gravely concerned Commending Noting ‫دع ص ( دع ّ ) ع صلقاا الش‬ ‫مثنية على‬ ‫مالحظة‬ The renderings in (1) above involve formal equivalence. viz. This syntactic choice is often avoided in Arabic in favor of finite clauses (Farghal 2012). The ability to cope successfully with syntactic discontinuity. the features of layout. viz. First. which is a characteristic feature of legal texts. as expounded by Crystal and Davy (p. hence their erroneousness. This being the case. By contrast. the grammatical characteristics such as the chain-like nature of some of the constructions. they are dealt with separately below in the hope of sensitizing the translator to the symmetries and asymmetries that ought to be attended to when engaging in English/Arabic legal translation. Unfortunately.. Despite the fact that these categories may interrelate and intersect. syntactic discontinuity (Bhatia 1983). and the minimal use of anaphora. In the study text. A closer look at the English non-finite clauses in the parenthetical material reveals that they are inherently elliptical. Arabic does not allow the deletion of the circumstantial marker. Finally. and tenor-related problems. the circumstantial marker 'while' is categorically dropped in English legal texts. the legal register's preservation at all levels of forms which have long been abandoned. it has been noticed that the problematic areas basically fall into three categories: syntax-related problems. the careful interplay between precise and flexible terminology in vocabulary. The examinees.

hence they are relevant to the process of translating. The translator’s unawareness of the second constraint results in a serious distortion of the document in Arabic. The splitting-up of this sentence into many sentences in the target 243 . italicizing. formally as well as syntactically. organizations..constraint. that is. all actions. etc. The translator needs to be aware of the employment of significant layout features in technical texts in general and legal texts in particular. capital initials are required in a variety of linguistically-defined phenomena. thus rendering the non-finite English clauses into unmarked finite clauses in Arabic. indentation. Thus. Basically. a successful handling of parenthetical materials. being language-specific. the flow and the integrity of the text are broken by the replacement of commas. lakes. To illustrate. whether they be in the parenthetical or the matrix material. Observe the data in (2) below: (2) Gravely concerned ‫وتع ع صلقاا الش‬ Commending ‫وتةن على‬ Noting ‫وتًاظ‬ Noting with great appreciation ‫وتق ّ ر‬ It should be noted that the actions alluded to in the parenthetical material in the English text are all Perfective. On the one hand. capitalizing. the shift from non-finite to finite clauses usually entails a shift from commas to full-stops. names of rivers. by full-stops. among other things. a single sentence with only one full-stop appearing at the end of it. the covertness vs. which are characteristically nonfinite clauses in English. Apparently. sentence beginnings. for example. 2. this relates to paragraphing. can be of significance in the text. is an indispensable skill when engaging in English-into-Arabic legal translation. On the other hand. underlining and bold-typing. these features are sometimes governed by language-specific constraints such as the standards of paragraphing and capitalizing in English. Layout features. i. The failure to do so may affect both the cohesion and coherence of the text. the UN document on hand constitutes.... the overtness of the circumstantial marker in the English non-finite and the Arabic finite clauses in the parenthetical material plays a key role in the cohesion and coherence of the legal text under study. These linguistically-induced capitalizing rules are non-existent in Arabic. the aforementioned structural asymmetries between English and Arabic have led 12/13 of the examinees to wrong syntactic choices which have serious repercussions on both the layout and the cohesion of the text. will be Imperfective. thus producing different textualizations. and.2 Layout Layout refers to the sketch or plan of the text's physical appearance. on the other hand. viz. and graphitic choices. for example. the failure to utilize a cohesive -tie may affect both the cohesion as well as the coherence of the text. have no bearing on the process of translating. To illustrate. viz. whereas those called for in the matrix material are all Imperfective. proper names.e. On the one hand. By way of illustration. their employment will affect the meaning of the text. Consequently.

but. … ‫ن الياور ف كا ون‬260/11 ‫) الجاعي العاد تشي إلى ص ارما رص‬5( ‫ كما تعبّر عن قلقها الشديد تجاه االضطهاد الالإنساني‬. To illustrate. The General Assembly. In typewritten translations...e.. viz. i. ‫النسا واألطفال ف ظل الفيل العني‬ As can be observed. it fails to relay the emphasis thoroughly on the matrix subject. 10 out of the 13 examinees in this study used many full-stops in their translations. (5) above preserves punctuation and indentation as two layout features. Unfortunately. ،‫لماليين النساء واألطفال تحت نظام الفصل العنصري‬ Other things being equal. (5) needs to be rewritten as (6) below (Assuming that it is handwritten rather than typewritten): ،‫إن الجمعية العامة‬ ‫ كا ون‬30 ‫ن الاؤرخ ف‬260/11 ‫إذ تشير إلى قرارها‬ 3586 ‫األول‬ ‫لاً ي‬ 244 ‫إرا اوضطااو الًإ سا‬ ‫وإذ ساوما القلق الش‬ )6( . thus failing to relay the role of italics in the original. but also by italics. However. Being unaware of this important feature in legal texts. and its subsequent verbals. observe the example in (3) along with its erroneous rendering by one of the examinees in (4) below: (3) The General Assembly. the unbroken format. i.. the replacement of the comma in (3) by the full -stop in (4) above disrupts the flow of the text. none of the examinees explored this option.e. Gravely concerned about the inhuman oppression of millions of women and children under apartheid.. To appreciate this point. this emphasis can only be relayed by underlining. in handwritten translations. therefore.1980 ‫أول‬ .. thus interrupting the structural and semantic flow of the text. which is obtained not only by indentation. observe the appropriate rendering of (3) in (5) below: ‫) إن الجاعي العاد‬1( ‫ كا ون‬30 ‫ن الاؤرخ ف‬260/11 ‫إذ تشي إلى ص ارما‬ 3586 ‫األول‬ ‫وإذ ساورما القلق الش إرا اوضطااو الًإ سا لاً ي‬ . the emphasis obtained by italics can be readily relayed in Arabic by italics or bold-typing. Recalling and Gravely concerned. Recalling its resolution 35/206 N of 16 December 1980.. To capture this role.language affects the linguistic packaging of information in the text alongside the textual and visual coherence it encapsulates.

in (7a). Tenor refers to the relations among the text producers and receivers. Legal texts are characterized by the employment of a highly formal style relating to all word classes. the other two being Field and Mode (for example. Finally. 5/13 of the examinees had tenor problems when they rendered the highly formal 'Appeals' by less formal Arabic verbs. especially the level of formality. thus securing optimal layout equivalence in the translation of legal texts. nouns. which is of direct impact on the Tenor of legal texts. standard. that is. 6/13 of the examinees rendered the highly formal 'generous' in "generous contributions' by less formal Arabic adjectives. colloquial. verbs. in (7c). viz. the plight of women and children c.. generous contributions ‫مساهمات كريمة‬/‫مساهمات كبيرة‬ ‫تحت‬ d. Third. under Apartheid First. To illustrate the importance of the Tenor problem. the tenor problem was more serious in that 9/13 of the examinees rendered the highly formal 'plight' by less formal Arabic nouns. As a genre of technical materials. in (7b). formal. see Halliday & Hasan (1985: 29-44)). Let us now look at Tenor as it relates to the translator’s lexical choice.. Appeals to all Governments ‫حقوق‬/ ‫وض‬/‫حالة‬/‫مشكلة‬/‫مأساة‬ b. (6) above relays all significant layout features. punctuation.. observe the data in (7) below: ‫تدعو‬/‫تطلب من‬ (7) a.. highly formal. 7/13 of the examinees 245 . etc. We have already looked at syntactic and layout features that are problematic to student translators of English legal texts into Arabic. Second. indenta tion and italics.3 Tenor Tenor is one of the three aspects that define Register.. ‫النسا واألطفال ف ظل الفيل العني‬ Clearly. 2. legal texts exhibit their own features of formal styles at various linguistic levels in both English and Arabic. viz. adjectives and particles.

More specifically. ‫دحن‬ c. namely: 1. 4. The extraordinary long sentences of the legal text which are entailed by the presence of lengthy parenthetical material.. because there are many subtleties relating to syntax. a high percentage of them encounter tenor problems in their lexical choice. layout and tenor problems that should be attended to when engaging in this activity.had tenor problems relating to the highly formal preposition 'under' in 'under Apartheid' when they rendered it by the much less formal preposition. The heavy use of lexical repetition instead of anaphora. The paper has shown that Arab student translators of English legal texts stumble when it comes to handling syntactic discontinuity embodied in the parenthetical material. Indentation doesn't signal paragraphs in the strict sense. stu dent translators should be made aware of the main characteristics of the legal text. 3.e. rather. which is an almost exceptionless tradition in Arabic legal texts. rather. i. These subtleties need to be brought to the fore in English/Arabic technical translation classes. thus failing to capture the formality parameter which is integral to the translating of English legal texts.g. Most of them are also unaware of layout features in legal texts that have serious bearings on the process of translating. key propositions. causing lack of professionalism and precision. 3. don't greatly affect the propositional content of the text. ‫ف ظل‬ Tenor problems. Conclusion The present study has demonstrated that the translation of English legal texts into Arabic involves many syntactic. the key Noun Phrase 'Women and Children' is repeated several times in the English legal text in hand. The initiation of the Arabic text needs an emphatic particle `inna. To appreciate the tenor problems. respectively: (8) a. emphasizing. it is of great importance that translation training programs consider problems of syntax. layout and tenor that are peculiar to legal texts. observe the appropriate rendering of the boldfaced items in (7) above in (8) below. 2. e. it is a layout feature meant for singling out. they result in register problems. Further. hence their importance in legal translation. ‫وخي‬ d. The fact that translation practitioners in general and student translators in particular need to be sensitized to the special problems encountered in the translating of legal texts becomes of central importance. it should be noted. Thus it should not be taken for granted that a competent translator of general materials is of necessity a competent translator of legal texts. layout and tenor of both SL and TL. Hence. A merely general translating ability would here fall short of employing working and/or convincing legal translations. ‫تناش‬ b. 246 .

and authorizes it to organize conferences. resulting in the killing. Gravely concerned about the inhuman oppression of millions of women and children under apartheid. Encourages the Special Committee against Apartheid to intensify activities in support of women and children oppressed by apartheid. Commending the Special Committee against Apartheid and its Task Force on Women and Children for giving special attention to the plight of women and children under apartheid. seminars and missions for this purpose. 2. detention and torture of schoolchildren protesting against discrimination. Noting the wide observance of 9 August 1981 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Struggle of Women in South Africa and Namibia. Recalling its resolution 35/206 N of 16 December 1980. the enforced separation of women from their husbands and mass starvation in the reserves. Noting with appreciation the establishment of the International Committee of Solidarity with the Struggle of Women in South Africa and Namibia.APPENDIX Women and children under Apartheid The General Assembly. Invites all Governments and organizations to observe 9 August annually as the International Day of Solidarity with the Struggle of Women in South Africa and Namibia. 1. 247 .

3. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure the closest co-operation by the Centre against Apartheid and the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs as well as the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat. 4. 5. Appeals to all Governments and organizations to provide generous contributions to the projects of the national liberation movements and front-line States for assistance to refugee women and children from South Africa. with and assistance to the women and children of South Africa in their struggle for liberation. Invites the co-operation of all Governments and organizations with the Special Committee in promoting solidarity. with a view to maximum publicity for the plight of women and children under apartheid and their struggle for national liberation. 102nd plenary meeting 17 December 1981 248 .

ii .

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