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Queensland University of Technology

Translation and News Making:
A Study of Contemporary
Arabic Television

Aljazeera Case Study

By
Ali Darwish

A Thesis Submitted
In Fulfilment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

The Creative Industries Faculty
Queensland University of Technology
March, 2009

Queensland University of Technology
Candidate’s Certificate

I certify that the thesis entitled Translation and News Making: A Study
of Contemporary Arabic Television submitted for the degree of Doctor of
Philosophy is the result of my own research, conducted during the period
2005-2008, except where otherwise acknowledged.

Signed ________________________________________________

Name Ali Darwish ___ ______

Date 21 March 2009________ ___

© Copyright by Ali Darwish, 2009

All Rights Reserved.

iii

Contents
Tables and Figures viii

Acknowledgements x

Abstract xi

Notes on Illustrations, Translations and Typographical
Conventions xiii

Abbreviations xiv

Publications from the Research xv

Preface Mediated Realities: The Twilight Zone 16

Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? 20

Overview........................................................................... 20
Media effects.............................................................. 21
Mediated reality in Arab satellite television .............. 23
The case of Aljazeera ................................................. 26
Statement of the Problem.................................................. 28
Language choices ....................................................... 29
Translation mediation ................................................ 30
Television presentation as multimodal mediated social
transaction .................................................................. 32
Purpose of the Study ......................................................... 34
Significance of the Study .................................................. 35
Showcasing Aljazeera ................................................ 37
Limitations of the Research .............................................. 37
Research Questions and hypotheses ................................. 39
Research objectives.................................................... 39
Special Definitions............................................................ 41
Thesis Structure and Organization.................................... 42

Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change 46

Aims .................................................................................. 47
Overview........................................................................... 48
Satellite television ...................................................... 48
Aljazeera: the taboo-breaker ...................................... 52
The Showcase ................................................................... 53
Translation, Culture and Television ................................. 54
Mediating Cultural Change............................................... 56

Contents

iv

Cultural change or acculturation? .............................. 58
Framing Aljazeera ............................................................ 61
How Aljazeera scooped the world ............................. 67
The Aljazeera phenomenon ....................................... 70
Losing Arab hearts and minds ................................... 72
Aljazeera challenges the world .................................. 75
Media under pressure ................................................. 76
Voices from the void: the new Arab public .............. 79
Fourth Estate or Fifth Column .......................................... 81
Out of control: the taming of the shrew ..................... 84
Mission Aljazeera ............................................................. 86
News, Language, Translation and Culture ....................... 88
Translation mediation and downstream reporting ..... 90
The making of Arab news .......................................... 93
The Role of Translation in the Media ............................. 100
Translating memes and mismemes .......................... 101
Conclusion ...................................................................... 105
Gaps in the literature ................................................ 106

Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model 111

Aims ................................................................................ 112
Overview......................................................................... 113
A Multimodal Conceptual Framework ........................... 115
Multimodality and multimodal analysis .................. 117
Methods .......................................................................... 119
Philosophical assumptions ....................................... 121
Design of the Study ........................................................ 123
The case study .......................................................... 124
Data Collection ............................................................... 125
Coding of programs ................................................. 127
Sampling Procedure ........................................................ 128
Data Analysis .................................................................. 129
Analysis methods ..................................................... 129
Mediated discourse analysis .................................... 130
Sources and Logistics ..................................................... 131
Research Model .............................................................. 132
Translation analysis model ...................................... 132
Rationale and assumptions....................................... 133
Elements of the model ............................................. 137
Implications ............................................................. 137
Using the research model ......................................... 137
How the Model Works.................................................... 138
Model Categories ............................................................ 139
Direct matching translation ...................................... 141
Identitive and equative translation ........................... 142
Interventional techniques ......................................... 144

Contents

v

Compensatory techniques ........................................ 145
Supplemental techniques ......................................... 151
Types of appositive translation ................................ 153
Modulatory Techniques .................................................. 155
Reductive and expansive techniques ....................... 156
Explicatory techniques ............................................. 157
How These Translation Techniques Interact .................. 159
Conclusion ...................................................................... 160

Chapter 4 Translating the News 162

Aims ................................................................................ 163
Overview......................................................................... 164
The role of translation in mediated realities ............ 166
Translation in the News .................................................. 166
Situationality and affinities ...................................... 172
Translating the News ...................................................... 176
Information Sources........................................................ 180
News Translation as Reframing...................................... 183
Ethics of Mediating News .............................................. 186
Translation-mediated framing.................................. 190
Language of the News and the Illusion of
Modernity ....................................................................... 190
Reframing the Already Framed ...................................... 192
Framing Reality .............................................................. 194
News Frames and Translation Frames ............................ 195
Semantic framing ..................................................... 197
Truth in News Translation .............................................. 198
Applying the three-tier model .................................. 200
Conclusion ...................................................................... 204

Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News 207

Aims ................................................................................ 208
Overview......................................................................... 209
Epistemic Knowledge versus Linguistic
Knowledge ...................................................................... 210
Translation-induced metaphoric shift ...................... 211
Waking the dead and dormant metaphors................ 213
Metaphoric imperialism ........................................... 219
Metaphor, collocation and the clash of domains ..... 225
Metaphor and genitives ............................................ 227
Reductive and Summative Metaphors ............................ 230
Euphemism, dysphemism and socio-cultural
circumlocution ......................................................... 232
Verticality ................................................................ 234
Sensory-perceptual epistemic inference .................. 236

Contents

vi

Deictic inference ...................................................... 237
Sources of Influence and Normalization ........................ 238
Framing through Quotatives ........................................... 239
Conclusion ...................................................................... 241

Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts 245

Aims ................................................................................ 246
Overview......................................................................... 247
What is Simultaneous Interpreting? ......................... 247
Impact of Live Television on Simultaneous
Interpreting ..................................................................... 248
Model rationale and rules ........................................ 255
Simultaneous Interpreting Models .................................. 259
Research into simultaneous interpreting .................. 260
Conference interpreting ........................................... 260
Telecast simultaneous interpreting .......................... 262
Relay telecast simultaneous interpreting ................. 265
Time-critical, Real-time Communication ....................... 266
Interpreting Mediation at Arabic Satellite
Television ....................................................................... 268
Research Design, Data and Methods .............................. 269
Scope and limitations ............................................... 269
Technical and operational problems ........................ 270
Analysis and Discussion ................................................. 272
Information integrity ................................................ 273
Linguistic integrity ................................................... 274
Communicative integrity ......................................... 274
Interpreting and the rhetorical situation ................... 278
Modes of Operation ........................................................ 279
Expository simultaneous interpreting ...................... 280
Rhetorical simultaneous interpreting ....................... 281
The interpreter’s role within the communication
process ..................................................................... 282
Conclusion and Recommendations................................. 285

Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew288

Aims ................................................................................ 289
Overview......................................................................... 290
Aljazeera: from zero to pharaoh .............................. 291
Summary ......................................................................... 294
Research Findings ........................................................... 298
Research analysis ..................................................... 299
Implications .................................................................... 299
Conclusion ...................................................................... 300
Beyond the news ...................................................... 301

Contents

vii

The ten year itch ...................................................... 302
A sense of superiority: outshining the master .......... 305

References 308

Index 389

Contents

............... 223 Figures Figure 1—Interlocking Translation......................... 93 Figure 6— The Multimodal nature of television ......................................... viii Tables and Figures Tables Table 1— Inventory of Major Publications about Aljhazeera and Arab Media (1993 -2007) ........................... 185 Figure 17— Iran Bans CNN or Translation Error [Source: Bloomberg.................... 140 Figure 10—Direct matching and interventional techniques ................................................................................. 169 Figure 13—External variables ............................................................ 171 Figure 15—The Five Precepts of Journalism ............................................................................... 128 Table 4— Example of Translation Discourse Analysis template (developed for the research) .... 2006].......................................... 184 Figure 16—The seven standards of translation (Darwish................ 122 Figure 8 —A multimodal three-tier translation model ................................................ Culture and Television ................................... 2003) ....................... 261 Figure 21 ................ Girl before a Mirror).............2007................... 91 Figure 4—A basic model of mediated news reporting ................... 141 Figure 11—Interventional techniques ............................................................. 212 Figure 20 ........... 127 Table 3— Coding of research model ................................... 170 Figure 14—Internal variables ...................... 2003) ...................................Triadic Telecast Simultaneous Interpreting-Driven Communication............................ 263 Tables and Figures ...... 202 Figure 18— Pictorial Representation of Epistemic Reality (Picasso........................................................................................................................... 131 Table 5—Cat and Mouse Metaphor Application.............................................................. 55 Figure 2— Books published about Aljazeera 1990 .................... 118 Figure 7— Multimodal theoretical framework... 145 Figure 12—Contexts of the translation event (source: Darwish................................................. January 16................... 91 Figure 5................................................................Dyadic Simultaneous Interpreting-Driven Communication in Conference settings ..................................... 136 Figure 9—Translation Model Categories ........ 63 Figure 3— A basic model of news flow in a monolingual environment ......................................Downstream reporting model ................................................... 210 Figure 19— Smoking Gun Metaphor: the terms that are related to the meaning of the metaphor ..................... 63 Table 2— Program codes .......................................................................................

......A Typical Example of RSI Rendition ................ 283 Figure 26— Globalization Process of News Media (source: developed for this research by the author) ............................. 264 Figure 23 ......................................................................... 278 Figure 24 ..A Basic Model of Telecast Simultaneous Interpreting .................. 279 Figure 25—Duality and Centrality of the Simultaneous Interpreter’s Role ............................................................................................Translation (Interpreting) Interface in Bilingual Communication.. 303 Tables and Figures .... ix Figure 22 .....................

x Acknowledgements O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us! — From To A Louse. Associate Professor Leo Bowman. and my friends for their support and encouragement. Dr Zubaidah Ibrahim-Bell. My special thanks go to Professor Roger Bell. I am also grateful to Emeritus Professor John Dekkers for his valuable comments on the early drafts of this thesis. I am indebted to both of them for helping me in making this work a reality. Ali Darwish Melbourne. Emeritus Professor Alan Knight. and Iman Riman for inspiring persistence and perseverance. guidance and encouragement. I would also like to thank my associate supervisor Dr Lee Duffield for his meticulous and incisive reviews of my work. Robert Burns I would like to acknowledge the help of the following individuals who have contributed to the realisation of this thesis. and Assistant Professor Michael Meadows for their valuable comments on my final work. for his support. Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists. for his stimulating discussions of my work and for his constructive reviews of this thesis. and Dr Hassan Mustapha for their support and encouragement. February 2009 Acknowledgements . I would like to thank my principal supervisor. Dr Pilar Orero. Alya and Ayman. I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Greg Hearn. especially Sheila. I would like to thank my family.

Arab issues from a presumably Arab perspective. that is the rendition of discourse from one language into another at the text level. and translation as a broader process of interpretation of social behaviour that is driven by linguistic and cultural forms of another medium resulting in new social Abstract . xi Abstract A rabic satellite television has recently attracted tremendous attention in both the academic and professional worlds. as it has been repeatedly stated by its current General Manager Waddah Khanfar. this Qatari-based network station has been received with mixed reactions ranging from complete support to utter rejection in both the west and the Arab world. as it claims. Aljazeera has set out to deliberately change the culture of Arabic journalism. Working within the meta-frame of democracy. with the aim to carry out a qualitative content analysis. This research examines the social semiotics of Arabic television and the socio-cultural impact of translation-mediated news in Arabic satellite television. Having made a household name for itself worldwide with the airing of the Bin Laden tapes. social semiotics and translation theory. 2000: 66). This is a multilayered research into how translation operates at two different yet interwoven levels: translation proper. forms and social significance of other media and attempts to rival or refashion them in the name of the real" (Bolter and Grusin. informed by framing theory. and to shake up the Arab society by raising awareness to issues never discussed on television before and challenging long-established social and cultural values and norms while promoting. within a re-mediation framework which rests on the assumption that a medium “appropriates the techniques. critical linguistic analysis. with a special interest in Aljazeera as a curious phenomenon in the Arab region.

Generally. Arabic satellite television. As a new phenomenon in the Arab world. news making and reporting at Arabic satellite television and looks at translation as a reframing process of news stories in terms of content and cultural values. This notion is based on the premise that by its very nature. actually modifies the mind’s ordering and internal representation of the reality that is presented. In either case. The research primarily focuses on the news media. they are the product of lack of awareness of the dynamics and intricacies of turning a message from one language form into another. xii signs generated from source meaning reproduced as target meaning that is bound to be different in many respects. motivated or unmotivated. provides an interesting area worthy of study. for comparison and crosschecking purposes. driven by the linguistic and cultural constraints and shaped by the context in which the content is presented. In other words. which involves a reconstruction of reality into actualities in presenting the news and providing the context for it. this research examines news broadcasts by the now world-renowned Arabic satellite television station Aljazeera. which involve recontextualizations. and to a lesser extent the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) and Al- Arabiya where access is feasible. may be intentional or unintentional. especially 24-hour news and current affairs. More specifically. For the case study. such as television. The research examines the process of reframing through translation news already framed or actualized in another language and argues that in submitting framed news reports to the translation process several alterations take place. the mediation of perceived reality through a media form. they are the result of a synthesis process that consciously or subconsciously conforms to editorial policy and cultural interpretive frameworks. not only for its immediate socio-cultural and professional and ethical implications for the Arabic media in Abstract . These alterations. the original message is reproduced and the news is reframed. news reporting is a framing process.

It is known in psychology that when one refers to Notes on Illustrations. Arabic versus Arab television In this thesis. all illustrations and English translations in this thesis have been developed by the author specifically for this research. A good example of the latter is the English language channel Aljazeera English. Where the name occurs in direct quotes. xiii particular. “the author” and “the experimenter” abound in academic writing. Several spellings of the name Aljazeera have been used in the literature about Aljazeera (for example. Aljazeera. The official typographical version of the name is Aljazeera. but also for news and current affairs production in the western media that rely on foreign language sources and translation mediation for international stories. A good example of the former is Aljazeera. In many other instances. Consequently. which is owned by the US government. the spelling Aljazeera is used throughout. which is owned by the Arab ruling family of Qatar and Al-Hurra. al-Jazeera. to ensure consistency throughout this thesis and minimize distraction. Translations and Typographical Conventions . the passive voice is used and abused—things happen on their own without an agency. this spelling is also used. References such as “the researcher”. On the use of the first person Conventionally. Al Jazeera). Translations and Typographical Conventions Unless otherwise stated. academic writing has had a preference for the use of the third person to refer to the author of the work in an attempt to give a tone of objectivity to writing. Arabic television refers to television broadcasting in the Arabic language and not necessarily owned by Arabs as opposed to television owned by Arabs broadcasting in other languages. Notes on Illustrations.

throughout this thesis. Abbreviations The following table provides a list of key abbreviations used in this thesis. chances are that such reference indicates the presence of a psychological disorder. locate. where reference is made to the conductor of this research. retrieve and match TSI Telecast Simultaneous Interpreting VBI Vertical Blanking Interval Abbreviations . xiv oneself in the third person. Abbreviation Stands for… AFP Agence France Presse ART Arab Radio and Television AVT Audiovisual translation BBC British Broadcasting Corporation CNN Cable News Network LBC Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation MBC Middle East Broadcasting Centre MSA Modern Standard Arabic SBS Special Broadcasting Service SLRM Search. the first person singular is invariably used. in the interest of clarity and effective communication. Consequently.

Volume 4. Malaysia. The Closed Captioning Handbook. Volume 2. March 2008 (forthcoming). March 2006. 55-88. 444 pages. Linguistic and Epistemic Inference in Cross-Cultural Communication in Satellite Television News Media. Translation and Identity (2005) ISBN 0-957-751- 141. Book review. 446 pages. Language. Volume 2. Conference Interpreting Explained. December 2006. A Cultural Semiotic of Women's Presence in Arabic Satellite Television: Translating Fantasies into Virtual Reality. 89- 93. 41-66. 108-112. June 2006. March 2006. In Translation Watch Quarterly. 2. Volume 2. Volume 3. Issue 1.20th Jul. The Book of Wonders of Arabic Blunders in Journalism. 10. 1. 17th Jul. Penang. The Making of Arab News. In Translation Watch Quarterly. Translating the News: Reframing Constructed Realities. Attributing Terror: Evidence on Authorship: Forensic Translation Analysis of Culturally Divergent Clandestine Coded Messages. June 2006. 6. In Translation Watch Quarterly. In Translation Watch Quarterly. In Translation Watch Quarterly. Melbourne: Writescope. Melbourne: Writescope. Issue 2. A conference paper presented to the 15th annual conference of The Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC). 9. Standards of Simultaneous Interpreting in Live Satellite Broadcasts-Arabic Case Study. Publications from the Research . Politics and Media (2007) ISBN 0-975-741-934. 78-83. Volume 2. 3. Issue 2. In Translation Watch Quarterly. Book review. In Translation Watch Quarterly. Volume 2. xv Publications from the Research The following publications have been generated from the present research. Issue 4. 4. 2006. Issue 2. 2006 . 52-77. June 2007. Issue 1. Book review. 7. Issue 1. 5. 8.

biased and fragmented versions of reality. 16 Preface Mediated Realities: The Twilight Zone T he grey street is empty And everything is desolate and dreary. Everything is full of life over there! O! My first love! My sleepless beautiful city! — Wishaw. out of tune. From my knowledge of the Arab world. May 1981 I had been watching CNN and the BBC on Cable and satellite television since 1990 when the first gulf war broke out. Beyond the brief memories of today And beyond the raindrops falling on my window pane As I gaze through at the wet and cold empty street— Strangely colourless and eerie— To a November rainy day in Beirut. its history. politics and culture. it was all too obvious that these networks were reporting one- sided. with restricted access to military operations. And drinking tea without sugar. The pain in my heart intensifies as I pine for you. During that war. were allowed to cover the war. While I had access to local Arabic radio and newspapers and I had produced Arabic programs for the Australian Special Broadcasting Preface Mediated Realities: The Twilight Zone . It’s only four in the afternoon. As they embrace the sudden brunt of the evening cold. Scotland. The years slowly take me back As I grow distant and old. embedded reporters. With sorrow intense and acute. The old folks sitting around the fireplace.

It was not just the western style of presentation or uncontrolled and uncensored footage of violence that drew my attention. I had no access to Arabic satellite television. and the Lebanese dishes I occasionally cooked for my family. I was completely isolated from anything Arab or Arabic. From the start. Now that I had access to both western and Arab media. except for the texts I translated. My Scottish wife then and I and our two little children arrived in Australia from England in 1989 and I had been living in an entirely English-speaking world for more than two decades since I left my homeland Lebanon. I had my first glimpse of Aljazeera satellite television. It was more so the language itself. On CNN. I watched the second Intifada (uprising) in Occupied Palestine in 2000 and saw the two planes hitting the twin towers in New York live on 11 September 2001 and followed the kneejerk and sometimes frenzied reporting that ensued. interpreter and media analyst since 1975. the more I became convinced that translation played a critical role in framing news. and I wanted to find out how translation mediation reframed constructed realities. While I had been working as a professional translator. holding formal postgraduate qualifications in translation and linguistics and achieving scholarship in Arabic writing and translation. I could compare and contrast the style and content of reports of the same events almost concurrently and detect variations and deviations. there was something strange about Aljazeera. I have previously conducted a study of the practices and standards of the SBS Preface Mediated Realities: The Twilight Zone . There was something curious and more systematic about the expressions that were for me unmistakeably direct translations from English. and the experience was that of both ambivalence and curiosity. 17 Service (SBS). The more I watched Aljazeera. Then in 2002. intentionally or unintentionally. the news reports I analyzed. that period of my life characteristically lacked daily interactions with my home culture. I have had a long interest in the media. Apart from curiosity.

In 2004. I published a paper in both Arabic and English titled How Arabic Translators Frustrated America's War on Global Terrorism. 18 Arabic radio. socially and culturally. The second book presented a pungent critique of Arabic translation standards in journalism. This paper examined the Arabic translation of surrender leaflets dropped on Iraq during the invasion of 2003 and the role of American psyopers (psychological operator) in designing these leaflets for the Iraqi audience. boasting 62 articles and research papers about translation and Arabic media by 2007. translation and identity in Arabic media and the accelerated superficialization of human expression and experience. and The Book of Wonders of Arabic Blunders in Journalism. politics and the media and examined the social and cultural impact of Arabic satellite television on modern Arab societies! It explored various aspects of Arabic usage and incisively examined the critical role satellite television was playing in establishing and promoting expressions that not only violated language norms and standards and introduced cultural mismemes but also defied logic in language. The first book sought to develop a critical awareness of the interplay of language. and in 1998. Politics and Media (2007). dedicated to translation and the media. This paper was followed by a number of lengthy articles and papers about the role of translation in the Arabic media culminating in the publication of two award-winning books: Language Translation and Identity in the Age of the Internet. It touched upon important linguistic and sociocultural aspects of this phenomenon and sought to explain the reasons for the strong tendency to imitate foreign linguistic patterns. It examined the role of Arabic satellite television and the Internet in reinforcing specific usages and in accelerating the process of change. I set up my own online website. Preface Mediated Realities: The Twilight Zone . Satellite Television and Directed Media (2005). linguistically.

Ali Darwish Melbourne. 19 These books grew out of a serious interest in examining a curious phenomenon that is today sweeping the Arab world. March 2009 Preface Mediated Realities: The Twilight Zone . including seven years at RMIT (2000-2007). These include The Translator’s Guide (2001). This current doctoral research. from 1990 to 2002. The National Authority for the Accreditation of Translators and Interpreters. in recognition of my contribution to translation and cross-cultural communication. I have also worked in film subtitling and dubbing and in media analysis for major news organizations for several years. The Interpreter’s Guide (2003). I have also published several books on translation and cross-cultural communication. and have acted as official examiner for NAATI. where mass media is once again playing a critical role not only in reporting the news but also in shaping events and influencing public opinion. and I have specialized in translation and cross-cultural communication. In addition to the two books already mentioned. the phenomenon of Arabic satellite television and the role of translation in reframing news reports. and where reporting and news manipulation often overlap. This experience has enabled me to combine the perspectives of the professional translator. presented here. translation and media studies. and The Transfer Factor (2003). I have taught translation theory and practice at Australian universities. Translation Watch Quarterly from 2005 onwards. I have also published Australia’s first- ever international refereed journal of translation studies. is a natural progression of these foundational attempts at examining translation. the educator and the assessor. I received the prestigious Gibran’s International Literary Award for my books and achievements in linguistics. In 2007.

discourse and perspectives of the original are all contributing to language displacement in various areas of social life in the Arab world. globalization and shifting allegiances. columnist and author (1925. Relying primarily on translation of news and other program contents from English and conducting program production in English and or French. 20 Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic1 Television? From television. cultural and political change in the region becomes all the more important in a rapidly changing world of democracy. the child will have learned how to pick a lock. — Russell Baker. Arabic satellite television stations are causing a cataclysmic change in Arabic language patterns and cultural representation. prevent wetness all day long. get the laundry twice as white. its role as a controversial catalyst in the process of democratization and as an influential agent of social. which is largely in English. reporting that adopts the viewpoint of the source. Now flooded with foreign and franchised programs targeting the young and disfranchised generations—with more that 300 satellite television channels bombarding the viewers. and kill people with a variety of sophisticated armaments. Fragmentation of reality. commit a fairly elaborate bank hold-up. The effects of such mediation are Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? .) Overview As Arabic satellite television gains ever-increasing prominence in the Arab region and internationally. 2 The role Aljazeera is playing as a serious news and current affairs network in reframing the news through translation mediation is one that has not been examined in the literature. and translated documentaries that retain the format.

We live in a world erected by the stories we hear and see and tell”5 where “exposure to mass media creates and cultivates attitudes more consistent with a media conjured Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . The reason is probably not too obvious to ordinary viewers and consumers of mass media. we have never personally experienced. Framing in this sense must be understood as making specific meaning mainly through selection and exclusion and reframing as reproduction of meaning through the application of another frame through similar mechanisms. “most of what we know. The best way to substantiate the assertion that translation mediation reframes a framed message is to examine cases in which translation mediation routinely occurs as part of news making and where examples of accepted translation can be analysed and challenged. So in making this assertion. and the process of reframing news through translation of news already framed or actualized in another language. The main argument in this thesis is that translation mediation reframes news reports already framed in one language through the arrangement of translation-mediated news artefacts. This anxiety is compelled by concerns about the effects of mass media on modern democratic societies and the protection of free choice from external influences that shape both individual and public opinion.3 This thesis examines the role of translation at Arabic satellite television in the reconstruction of reality. but as Gerbner (1999) puts it. the socio-cultural impact of translation mediation on news making. Media effects The overwhelming rationale for most research into television according to Corner (1999)4 has been anxiety about its influence. examples of reframing are derived and analysed from a corpus of news broadcasts from Aljazeera. the case study. or think we know. who often find themselves working through local translators and what Palmer and Fontan (2007) call fixers. 21 not fully understood by journalists and reporters.

The nature of the media is such that a new reality is created through ongoing fragmentation of reality and rearrangement of fragmented constructs where the viewer’s mind plays a crucial role in the reconstruction of reality. This chapter aims to situate the research in the context of the current debate about the effects of television in general. no creature. the effects of media on the behaviour of individuals and communities have received serious scholarly attention in a wide range of disciplines. in our own species. 1995:4). economic and political impact of media effects and their implications. not only for democratic and relatively stable societies but also for developing countries and volatile regions— where new mass communication technologies. can ever know any other “reality” than the representations made by its brain. in turn. out of step with the rhythms and speed of development. cultural and political systems of communities. The aim has been to understand the psychological. social. from person to another” (Restak. “These representations.6 The magnificence of the human mind lies largely in its ability to construct images and worlds from artefacts and fragments through the use of patterns and schemas to build previously unseen or unexperienced three dimensional images in a complex system of meaning and perception. cultural. depend upon the brain’s organization. the ensuing change is bound to be reduced to hollow rhetoric or to develop into disenchantment and a greater sense of alienation.7 With these concepts in mind. 22 version of reality than with what reality actually is” (Pierce. As Restak (1995:3-4) argues. including human beings. are causing more rapid and irreversible changes to the social. and Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . In the absence of political and civic institutions that are able to carry the change forward by translating into action the outcomes of public debate and the values that are developed or transformed through mass media. 2000) . which differs from one creature to another and. the growing interest in the phenomenon of Aljazeera Arabic satellite television in particular.

and reality television. in a manner they consider appropriate. are now the daily staple of a broad base of young Arab viewers. documentaries and current affairs.9 while their young children are left unsupervised or in the care of foreign maids (a phenomenon that has dramatically increased in many parts of the Arab world in part due to women entering the visible10 white- collar work force in large numbers in the last decade). 23 as a necessary outgrowth of that undertaking. as has been debated in various forums and publications. These programs include an endless list of subtitled and dubbed Mexican soap operas. liberation and empowerment. religion. Cartoons and animations that glorify violence and “make pain seem painless”11. It has been causing cataclysmic social and cultural change across the entire region. As Stossel (1997) puts it. extramarital affairs and alternative lifestyles.12 Without parental guidance and taken out of their social and cultural contexts. everything is exposed—so to speak—to kids all at once. 1999 and Stossel. satellite television has been received with a euphoric surge of hope for change. The old system of moral socialization breaks down”. cloned or locally produced programs. Mediated reality in Arab satellite television In the Arab world. copycat and franchised reality TV entertainment programs. “no longer have the opportunity to teach their children about the birds and the bees gradually. music and so on. with translation playing a Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . music videos. including those in the Arab region. in certain quarters of exporting countries (see Gerbner. children’s programs. 1997). with more than 4308 television channels offering a staggering range of imported. these dubbed animations are constructing new realities for these children. The majority of Arab audiences are watching game shows. and depict explicit sex and gender relationships. These children are being imbibed with alien social and cultural values and models that have been cause for concern for educators and parents alike. talk shows. parents. the role of remediation in reframing broadcast messages at Aljazeera.

these television channels span political and geographic boundaries. two opposing currents have been pulling communities apart in two opposite directions: (1) regimes strengthening their hold on their people through greater emphasis of national identity. that the governments of the Middle East are losing their stranglehold on their publics. “I am sure my father has left my mother for his secretary. But to make an early point. In this regard. autonomy and rivalry and (2) a transnational undercurrent of aspired unity of some sort at the grassroots motivated by persistent regional troubles and a religious ‘awakening’ that seems to translate into violence and sanguine confrontations. In the “age of media plenty”. He will never come back after today. albeit with a degree of naiveté about the supposed or implied monolithic nature of Arab views in the pre- Aljazeera era.” In this complex Arab region. In this socio-political environment. Without sounding standoffish or prudish. there has never been a single Arab line ever Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . compelling governments to devise ways to counter the sudden onslaught of satellite television and to combat calls for reform and political and social freedom. as he calls it.13 “Stop chasing other people’s wives! I saw you flirting with my wife asking her to a dance!” “O Dear! What is that mark [hickey] on your neck? Let me get some medicine to remove it”. it is not unusual today to hear animated characters on Arab television talking to each other in the following manner. so much more impatient” (37). Al-Arabiya and a host of other stations. so much more individualistic. Alterman (2005) observes. cross- fertilize ideas and concepts and accelerate the rate of political galvanization. It is fascinating to see how different the new generations growing up in this environment are from their elders: so much more questioning of their identities. “any notion that there is a single ‘Arab line’ on a matter of interest is demolished nightly on Aljazeera. sovereignty. 24 critical role in the social and cultural detachment of the original meanings from their contexts.

is that the media are playing a critical role in bringing to the fore diversity of opinions. the Arab world has been polarized between Pan-Arabism and western-backed conservatism14. there are rules for debate and protocols that lead to productive outcomes. and one would get the impression that Alterman is referring to North Korea. is arguably misinformed and at best misunderstood as far as the region is concerned. people. talked and argued and discussed and marched and rallied and fought with one another over the full spectrum of issues and views in their homes. to leave it at this high level. Even the notion of public sphere. and you end up with stampedes. and it is naive and simplistic to believe that Aljazeera and the Arab media are doing this. or some other totalitarian regime. in varying degrees and in a variety of guises where despotic regimes for instance did not allow freedom of speech and expression. which has translated into armed conflicts and wars in various parts of the region and has polarized societies and communities within the same country. What is certain. 25 on any matters of interest. which is known at least to its own inhabitants as a cauldron of opposing and contradictory ideas and views. That they did not have Aljazeera to air these argumentations and views publicly does not mean that such diversity did not exist. whether this exaggerated trend which Alterman is referring to is going to lead to a renewed sense of transnational identity within a new pan-Arab framework or a further sense of alienation and disfranchisement is something that cannot be predicted at this point. which seems to be the catchphrase of the day. In established democratic societies. riots and civil unrest. reshaping and redefining social and cultural values and encouraging dissension in an unbridled manner. universities and so on. Take these away. however. However. It is not a smooth and easy process. and not about the Arab world. The New York City Blackout of 1977 is a poignant Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . For decades. schools. Without getting into the historical and political aspects of this complex region.

Aljazeera has been seen by many observers as an agent for democracy and change in the Middle East. Aljazeera is now seen to have failed to deliver on its promised reform and openness. While it continues to rake up controversial issues. In its most benign form. 2005). with more than 60 million adults illiterate. after a decade of exaggerated publicity and intense public debate of almost every taboo subject and a daily staple of dramatic violence that immediately resonates in real-life situations in hotspots everywhere in the Arab world. just when electricity went out. Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . 26 example of the law of the jungle. clipped and censored. Hailed as the best thing ever to have happened to the Arab world in recent times. Aljazeera has reached a disappointing anticlimax—beaming conflicting images and narratives to an Arab world thrown into chaos and turmoil and disenchanted viewers trying to make sense of a skein of contradictions. which up until then had not been used to such a confrontational. the majority of whom are women18. in undemocratic countries or countries gradually transitioning towards democracy. no-holds-barred approach to political or public debate on television.16 Aljazeera has been considered “one of the most important de facto Arab political parties” (Hafez.17 Nonetheless. where unemployment is one of the highest in the world and illiteracy rates are higher than the international average. this Arabic language satellite network is said to have sent a shockwave across the Arab world. Making its debut in 1996 with uncensored political programs. guests shouting over one another in a talk show. or viewers calling vox populi forums to air their grievances and frustrations with their regimes and political events. as a worst case scenario15. and the looming crisis of food shortage seriously threatening the stability of the region. The case of Aljazeera One satellite television that stands from the crowd in effecting change through mediation of reality is Aljazeera. dissonance and disarray that gnaw at the social fabric of consumer societies. are like tilting at windmills.

Gambill (2000)19 confirms that sponsoring Aljazeera has helped Qatar achieve a level of regional and international influence greatly disproportionate to its military and economic strength. as noted in the previous section and elsewhere in this thesis. On this point. However. In the larger context. Gambill puzzles over the precise function of Aljazeera as an instrument of Qatari foreign policy. it is its development of friendly ties with all countries of the region (including Iraq. to normalize relations with Israel and the West at large. the state of Qatar. “plays the role of preventative medium and an outlet for the disfranchised public. let alone by changing a government. thus providing a safety valve in what may be described as a suffocating atmosphere in Arab countries” (9). or as Zayani (2005) puts it. but not anger of the kind that can be sublimated by voting a local politician out of office. This palliative role however is seen in a more sinister light by those who subscribe to the notion of conspiracy theory and other observers less so inclined but not so gullible as to believe in the wholly altruistic motives of Aljazeera. like many observers. Iran and Israel). In that sense. an objective that does not appear at first glance to be easily compatible with sponsoring a satellite news station that broadcasts interviews with their political dissidents. and the contrast between what Aljazeera portrays and the presence of the United States Central Command a few hundred meters away from its headquarters in Doha is a constant reminder of this contradiction that adds fuel to its nebulous role. If there is a cornerstone to Qatar’s foreign policy. there has always been something Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . Aljazeera is seen as part of the efforts of its sponsor. and open debates on their religious practices”. Antagonists do not miss a chance to point this out at every occasion when Qatar is thrown into the debate about political and social reform in the region. reports on their human rights abuses. He maintains: “decisions as to the content of the station’s news coverage and the participants in its televised political forums do not appear to be influenced by specific foreign policy objectives. 27 A possible explanation for this bathos is that Aljazeera acts as a stress relief.20 However. Aljazeera in this instance “can stir up anger.

perplexing and sluggish and will suffer setbacks. depending on the point of view) of Aljazeera in the aftermath of September 11. media Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . Recent events in Iraq.21 The Arab world is changing dramatically on the political. cultural and economic levels. there had been very little interest in the diffusion of Arabic satellite television despite the serious changes the numerous television channels beamed at the region had been introducing to the culture. In a typical. The role of translation mediation of imported programs as well as home-made ones. but the tools at their disposal to help make it so are more powerful than those of their parents. Undoubtedly. identity and social values of the Arabs. The sudden impact of Aljazeera’s broadcasting of the Bin Laden tapes has motivated academics. 2006:2). Before then. Alterman (2005) observes that the process by which the Arabs will move into the Twenty First Century will be messy. as will be explored in this thesis. cannot be underestimated in the process of reconstructing mediated realities. simplistic and curious Orientalist vein. and their grandparents before them” (42). social. Occupied Palestine and most recently Lebanon are precursors of such dramatic and irreversible change. But what is most exciting to him is “the creativity that these changes are unleashing. Arabic satellite television is one such tool that is effecting irreversible change in the social system and in the identity and outlook of modern Arabs. as if it had taken up residence in a realm of pure theory” (Bernhard. 2001 attacks on the United States has raised awareness in both the academic and professional domains to a new media phenomenon that has been endemically spreading across the Arab world. There is no guarantee that young Arabs’ future will be better than their past. 28 artificial about it. Statement of the Problem The fast rise to fame (or notoriety.

religiously and politically sensitive. It has been accused of flouting journalistic ethics by showing uncensored images of war. it has been seen as the CNN of the Arab world and as a shill for terrorists. defiant and irresponsible. which has been predominantly used by other Arabic satellite television stations. Johnson and Fahmy (2008) report that “Aljazeera has been praised for its hard-hitting and independent style of journalism. they confirm the view that Arab governments and US officials regard Aljazeera as an unreliable or dangerous source of information. As Riman and Darwish (2008: 190-191) observe. Language choices In a less malevolent light. in contrast to the low variety or colloquial Arabic. Aljazeera has adopted a high variety of Arabic often referred to by western linguists as Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). particularly on entertainment channels. In this regard. Aljazeera has been criticized for its graphic coverage of victims of violence and war. It has also been criticized for presenting an array of programs that have been bombastic. social and cultural aspects of Aljazeera. On the one hand. 29 analysts and political commentators to examine this phenomenon. and western hostages about to be executed. the influence of English is so critical in this standardization process since. However. the colloquial variety of Arabic has been spreading in the Arabic media throughout the Arab world and Aljazeera is now aware of its critical role as a standardization medium of Arabic. its refusal to regurgitate the official line of Arab government officials and its commitment to accuracy and balance while at the same time showing an Arab perspective on the news” (Johnson and Fahmy. as alluded to at the beginning of this Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . As an Arabic-language television network. Examining Aljazeera’s credibility. 2008:338). on the other. Aljazeera has been seen as a bull in a china shop. and has been regarded with suspicion by both Arab and western commentators. dead American soldiers in Iraq. taking a special interest in the political. tackling taboo subjects and issues deemed culturally.

translation performs two functions at two different levels: translation proper. the focus of this study. Aljazeera relies primarily on translation of news and other program contents from English. In Arabic television. This alteration makes mediating “corrupt” concepts corrupt both the original message and the mediated one. This dual function of translation at the text level and at the social and cultural level of transfer involves interpretation and adaptation of the dynamic forces of narrative. this aspect must not be underestimated in the current climate of global political uncertainties and in light of the change that languages are undergoing. and translation as interpretation in a broader sense of the word. Only in the last couple of years has interest in this phenomenon begun to develop. translation always involves transformation and transformation intrinsically results in transmutation of the original message. seemingly forgotten in all of the commotion about the effects of Arabic satellite television is the role and impact of translation mediation or information re-mediation in actually translating and transforming social and cultural values through television. Translation mediation However. or generally in receptor languages and cultures. At the very basic level of description. justice. metaphor. which is claimed to have been the result of the cultural dimensions of its use which “have altered key words and concepts. Therefore. meaning and semiosis of salient and inconspicuous characteristics to create a reality based on re-creation Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . 2007: 1-2). in particular. the second level of “translation” is actualized through a process of re-mediation. 30 chapter. such as freedom. due to the influence of the English language. that is the translation of discourse from one language to another. In Arabic television. and truth…” (Zournazi. Scanty research into the effects of translation on reframing the original messages has been carried out despite the large body of literature in both Translation Studies and Media and Communication Studies.

mainly English. which are inevitably and by their ontic nature necessarily different from the original meanings which the original signs were intended to convey. translation plays a major role in repackaging programs and reframing reality. or viewer in this instance. may not translate into a symbolic sign of the same nature or at all or an indexical sign in the source may not be indexical in the target. The tenuous and dialectical relationship between the original sign in the source language and its replica in the target language on the one hand and the way both the original sign and its replica are interpreted at various stages of reproduction and reception by both reproducers and viewers on the other is also a process of primary and intermediate interpretation of interpretation where narrative forms and images assume meanings. One could argue that translation at both levels is to a large extent a process of disturbance. dislocation and violation of the original signs—the symbolic. For example. iconic and indexical signs—and relocation and transplantation of these signs in another language and culture for another reader. How meanings are produced or rather reproduced in television has a great deal to do with how language is used and how visual signs are framed and interpreted. to interpret and respond to in order to make meaning of the reconstructed narrative forms and images. The process entails re-mediation and repurposing of the original artefacts into a new intermediated reality where these signs may not necessarily correspond in type to their original counterparts. Given that the bulk of programs broadcast by Aljazeera and other Arabic television stations is transmitted and translated from other languages. 31 and reconstruction of already constructed realities. the indexical link between terrorism and Islam or war and democracy in western media and the metaphorical production and reproduction of these signs may not necessarily be the same in the intermediated versions. Such incongruence leads to cognitive dissonance and tension between the sign and the viewer’s perception of the Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . A symbolic sign for example.

Our communication would not be possible without it. while there are no pregivens as far as the interpretation of meaning of these signs goes. This may be understood in terms of a basic psychological definition of transaction as “a behavioural event or aspect thereof the essential nature of which is captured by interactions between the actor. It might be argued that this definition of transaction does not apply to television since transactional communication is a simultaneous two-way process and television is a one-way communication process. Television as an audiovisual medium may be regarded as a mediated social transaction that takes place between the presenter and the viewers through multimodalities. Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . It can be counter-argued. 32 indexicality of the sign that is resolved only through rationalization. iconic and indexical relations of signs. The process of semiosis may differ from person to person. However. other individuals involved and the environment”22 and transactional communication theories which emphasize “the importance of social context as a determinant of communicative outcomes”23. our relationship with the media is so profound because it responds to a deeper understanding of our psychological needs and in many respects contributes to our psychological development and confirms that the bulk of social research on media has been more focused on television than on other forms of media. When those two do not match. no communication can take place without conventional agreement within any speech community about the meaning of words or signs that refer to things. which languages remedy by shifting to metaphor as a means of rationalization. normalization or changing the perception of the sign. In other words. cognitive dissonance occurs. normalization and change of perception of the sign. in terms of the symbolic. there are givens as far as the signs are concerned. This is driven by the distinction between the ontic nature of things and their epistemic reality. Television presentation as multimodal mediated social transaction According to Harris (2004:19).

where such rewriting suspends the rhetorical properties of the target language in favour of those in the source language. This notion of transaction is important in determining how television positions itself vis-à-vis the viewers and vice- versa. As de Ruiter (2004)24 contends. whatever their intention. “All rewritings. In this sense. which may introduce new forms and concepts. distort and contain” (ibid). new genres. She also argues that rewriting “can also repress innovation. alien rhetorical features that only work in the source language are introduced to the target language. I will address it at various points of my discussion of the various aspects of Arabic television. that translation is a process of simplification. translation is inextricably intertwined with the multimodalities of the audiovisual representation. Rewriting can introduce new concepts. as I do in this thesis. if not impossible. a study of the role of language in television must accord an important central role to translation. In television that relies on foreign language sources for its packaging. to express in non-linguistic modalities” (1). it can also be argued. and since translation provides the framework for both the discourse and the representation. Consequently. 33 as I do in this thesis. of shaping power of one culture upon another. and the history of translation is also the history of literary innovation. These features largely do Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . such assumption rests on the notion that television is a mediated transaction that takes place within a specific timeframe. 1993:vii). language remains the primary form of communication. reflect a certain ideology and a poetics and as such manipulate literature to function in a given society in a given way […]. that this view of transactional communication is confused with interactive communication and that if we are to assume that the media have effects on the behaviour of viewers. Consequently. even in multimodal systems and that “language can encode and transmit complex information that is very hard.” (Zlateva. Translation as a rewriting process recreates an original text written in a source language in another form in a target language. new devices.

Purpose of the Study This research Translation and News Making: A Study of Contemporary Arabic Television has sought to examine the social semiotics of translation mediation in Arabic satellite television. One of these causes. causing the deinstitutionalization of a sign system and introducing a new set of behavioural patterns that are changing the social and cultural tapestry of Arab communities. and the introduction of new genres is merely a by-product of such a simplification process and not the result of a greater design of ideological manipulation except perhaps in the adoption of a translation strategy conducive to such results. is motivation. according to Carroll (1964). 2007:6). as Baker (2006) confirms. However. It is the result of centuries of gradual development and change at the hand of many generations of speakers. Consequently. “A language is a socially institutionalized sign system. Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . “No process of thinking occurs without a cause”25. It is rather an integral part of the very process that makes these developments and movements possible in the first place (Baker. with a special focus on Aljazeera. Moreover. or a by-product of the physical movement of texts and people. translation is not a by-product. a consequence of social and political developments. 34 not have the same rhetorical effects as in the source. but at any one point in history it exists as a set of patterns of behavior learned and exploited in varying degrees by each member of the speech community in which it is used” (Carroll. and the motivation for studying social semiotics of translation mediation in Arabic satellite television is lies in the detection if the stark dissonance between what is known about language and cultural behaviour and what is being transmitted by Arabic television that calls for closer examination of this phenomenon. translation mediation plays a fundamental role in shaping and reshaping social reality. the widespread saturation and unprecedented speed of dissemination of translation-mediated information content is accelerating the development process. 1964: 8).

El- Nawawy and Iskandar. 2006. 2006. there has been a flurry of academic and professional activities seeking to understand this new curious phenomenon of Arabic satellite television and more specifically Aljazeera and to place it in the context of a region long regarded with suspicion and contempt in many quarters of the West—a perception that has been perpetuated by the media itself. 2006. From the moment Aljazeera aired the Bin Laden tapes in the aftermath of September 11. barely scratching the surface of this important phenomenon that is set to change the region forever if it hasn’t already. have looked at the social. 35 This thesis examines three aspects of translation-mediation (or remediation) at Arabic satellite television: translation. Tatham. Zayani. telecast interpreting and voiceover and subtitling. Qusaibaty. political science and cross-cultural anthropology. Sakr. Several books. 2007). 2005. 2001. Zayani and Sahroui. particularly Aljazeera (for example. political. in both the academic and professional worlds. or by starry-eyed insiders. An interesting point to note here is that almost all the studies that Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . Lynch. climbers and sycophants. Some of the books that have been published in recent years bear the hallmarks of politically motivated or propaganda-propelled campaigns by outsiders to the language and culture of the Arab region. 2005. These aspects are analyzed in terms of the extent of framing and reframing they cause the original message to undergo. 2005. Significance of the Study So significant is the emergence of Aljazeera that never has a media phenomenon attracted so much attention in recent history. 2002. and various inquisitive studies have been undertaken in western universities. economic and cultural aspects and impact of Arabic media. articles and research papers have been published about Arabic satellite television. Darwish. by westerners and Arabs alike—researchers in media and communication. Miles. in the first instance. 2001.

Ironically. but not so easily discerned is the role of translation in the remediation process of news artefacts created or produced in another language into the language of broadcasting. 36 have been published about Aljazeera and contemporary Arab satellite television and media in general have been written by Arabs living abroad or by foreigners. Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . body language and visual effects to produce television news. But Aljazeera has been accompanied by a flood of satellite television channels that are no less significant in shaping public opinion and changing social and cultural values.26 Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests a causative relationship between translation and two modalities of news presentation at Aljazeera: (1) news reporting and (2) interpretation. academically and professionally happened at the hands of Arabs and academics in the west. voice. the discovery of Aljazeera. while Aljazeera was the first home-based satellite television channel to broadcast to the entire Arab world and beyond and while its controversial programs had caused daily ruffles to Arab governments and agitated conservative sections of the Arab society. Underlying this phenomenon is the role of translation in bringing Aljazeera to the viewers and the social semiotics of the multimodalities of Arabic television. There are hardly any studies conducted on the effects of translation on news reporting at large and on Arabic television and more specifically Aljazeera. As a social phenomenon. Obvious is the combination of words. Aljazeera is claimed to have been able to change not only the way news and current affairs are reported. but also how the Arabs see themselves in relation to the rest of the world. Yet the main focus of analysts and observers remains trained on Aljazeera and to some extent its rival Al-Arabiya. which for a variety of reasons does not have the same appeal or impact as Aljazeera does.

with Aljazeera ranking highest on the remote control scale. What is peculiar about the demonstrations in Kuwait and Lebanon is their appeal to the international community and more specifically the western world. with those on lower incomes spending most time in front of the screen” (6). through the use of slogans and placards written in English. The year 2005 has been regarded as the year of the media in the Middle East. The pattern is most likely the same in other parts of the region. Aljazeera has become etched into the consciousness of the Arabs and has become an integral feature of their daily life. social and political movements in the Arab world have realized the vital role the media can play and the significance of Aljazeera in exerting pressure on governments and influencing domestic and international public opinion. in less than ten years. The non-violent demonstrations and popular civic action that took place in post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe in the first half of the decade and which spread in 2005 to parts of the Middle East have been described by media and political commentators as colour revolutions. as the case study of this research. Naomi Sakr (2001) reports that “surveys conducted in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have shown a high proportion of respondents watching television for more than three hours a day. particularly the United States. but also undoubtedly. Moreover. the Blue Revolution in Kuwait and the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon were three social manifestations of social and political reform movements in the Middle East that were in many respects played out for the cameras of regional and western cameras. Limitations of the Research The research focuses mainly on broadcasts by Aljazeera Arabic channel. 37 Showcasing Aljazeera Not only are other Arab networks emulating Aljazeera. The Purple Revolution in Iraq (purple inked fingers). Bearing in mind that a case study method usually focuses only on one case and makes inferences and is Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? .

the reader should be able to determine the nature of the argument from the evidence presented. a fundamental requirement in reporting case studies is to conduct the case study in a way that enables the result to be communicated to the reader. let alone share their “Subtitler Manual”.should allow the reader to determine the basis upon which any generalization(s) are being advanced” (Bachor. Al-Arabiya. Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . particularly through live television streaming on the Internet. According to Bachor (2000)28. a set of guidelines were drawn up. In conducting the present case study. These guidelines are discussed in Chapter 3: Conceptual Framework and Research Model. and how and why the conclusions were made.29 This observation also extends to other areas of translation work at these channels. this research is aided by a limited contrastive analysis of LBC. especially as access to these and other satellite channels became feasible. The same problem exists in the privately-owned media production companies that offer subtitling services” (86). 38 often criticised for its inability to offer grounds for “establishing reliability or generality of findings”27. “The evidence must follow convincingly and . Consequently. the analysis focuses mainly on content analysis of programs and informal communication with media professionals. “experience over the past fifteen years has shown that a large number of state-owned and privately-owned television channels are reluctant to show. Consequently.when the purpose of the presented case is to move beyond description to explanation. 2000). As Gamal (2007) confirms. Abu Dhabi TV and Al-Manar. One of the limitations of this study is the lack of access to Aljazeera’s internal processes or to process documentation—if any—that might shed light on how news is packaged through translation.

Taking Aljazeera as the focus of its case study. which posits that “an issue can be viewed from a variety of perspectives and be construed as having implications for multiple values or considerations. Identify existing research in the area of study to determine gaps in the main body of knowledge relevant to the research topic. This problem can be hypothesized as follows: Translation mediation reframes the original message. (RQ1) 2. which are driven by the research questions. The hypothesis poses the following research questions: RQ1 How does translation reframe the news? RQ2 How does the multimodality of television affect translation- mediated reframing of news? Research objectives The research objectives. mass communication and the phenomenon of Aljazeera and Arabic satellite television to: 1. Framing refers to the process by which people develop a particular conceptualization of an issue or reorient their thinking about an issue” (Chong and Druckman. this research examines how Aljazeera satellite television employs translation frames to report the news. Identify and critique contemporary research approaches to translation studies associated with news production in order to develop a theoretical framework within which a Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . This hypothesis is situated within the framework of framing theory. are to: • Undertake a review of the literature on translation studies. 2007: 103). 39 Research Questions and hypotheses This research addresses the fundamental problem of translation mediation in Arabic television.

(RQ1) 3. These two aspects of modern Arabic television are Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . Determine the elements of translation-mediated reframing in Arabic satellite television in order to understand how reframing is actualized in Arabic news. Examine the main arguments that have been put forward in relation to Aljazeera and Arabic satellite television to determine their credibility and reliability and the validity of their premises and conclusions about Aljazeera’s role as a mediated-news provider. (RQ2) • Develop and utilize a translation model in the assessment of translation-mediated news discourse. 40 research operational model can be utilized to examine the process of news translation. in order to: 1. The effects of translation on the reframing of news in the context of Arabic satellite television. and (RQ2) 2. (RQ1) 5. LBC and Al Manar (as this became later available for as short period on the Internet) on the one hand and the semiotic dissonance of packaged programs on the other. (RQ2) The research was motivated by the striking peculiarities of language usage in Arabic newscasts and translated news reports mainly at Aljazeera and comparatively at other television networks such as AlArabiya. The translation process within the context of television news production. (RQ1) 4. based on the analysis of data. Determine why and how reframing occurs in translation. Examine the nature of multimodal translation-mediation as opposed to other modes of translation mediation. (RQ2) • Use a case study approach to examine: 1.

According to Munhall (2006:441)30. observation. Additionally. translators and editors. In this context. critical analysis and interpretation and allows a meaning-centred critical approach to mediated cultural changes. when critical theory is employed within an interpretive framework. These properties reflect the social attitudes and mores and intellectual perspective of those who speak the language of a certain culture. variables and modality. or translated by translators working at or for these news providers. The main research method employed is qualitative content analysis of primary data recorded over a period of two years with additional on-going recordings of programs identified in the research as contributory or consolidating factors. within this interpretative framework and following Kress and van Leeuwen (1996) and Bell (2001). 41 extraordinarily alien to both the language and culture and are curiously interrelated. was employed in order to describe the semiotic resources and perform content analysis of the visual images in terms of values. television may be seen as a critical representation of cultural change. Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . This analysis is carried out within a critical interpretive framework that provides a structured method of inquiry consisting of identification. Downstream reporting Downstream reporting is defined here as news reports originating in English mainly by news providers and translated into other languages locally by news monitors. social semiotics analysis of the visual communication of television. its primary goal is to tease out the hidden or overlooked meanings or practices that bind experience to the social world rather than social change as such. Special Definitions Cultural dependency Cultural dependency relates to the properties of text that are culture- bounded.

and social significance of other media and attempts to rival or refashion them in the name of the real” (66). Remediation Bolter and Grusin (2000) have argued that “a medium is that which remediates. Chapter 1: Why Arabic Satellite Television. This chapter introduces the thesis. forms. Thesis Structure and Organization This thesis is organized in the following manner. It also examines the current theories. It is not that media merely reform the appearance of reality. intermediation is the act of intervening between the source text and target text through translation. Remediation according to them is reform in the sense that media reform reality itself. It critically reviews the literature that has been produced about Aljazeera and Arabic satellite television in the last ten years. Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . Native form Native form refers to the form of the original text or discourse. It is that which appropriates the techniques. 42 Intermediation In the context of this study. This chapter reviews landmark publications about Aljazeera and Arabic satellite television. For a source text to become comprehensible in a target language. Chapter 2: Mediating Cultural Change. with the aim to gain insight into these theories and models and to identify relevant arguments and shortcomings with respect to the impact of translation on news making and on the social semiotics of television. it must go through translation mediation. It is rather that "virtual reality reforms reality by giving us an alternative visual world and insisting on that world as the locus of presence and meaning for us" (61). and models of translation that have relevance to the present research.

BBC and other western networks do not speak the local language. These reporters work within a monolingual model of news reporting as Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . Index provides a quick reference to key topics discussed in the thesis. outline the conceptual framework and methodology employed in addressing the research questions and to describe the theoretical framework in which the research is grounded. This chapter presents a discussion of the salient features of translation-induced reframing of Arabic news explored in this research. This chapter examines the simultaneous interpreting in the delivery of live broadcasts at Aljazeera. 2 Darwish. References provides a list of publications referred to in the thesis either directly or indirectly. Translation and Identity. sampling and analysis. This chapter examines the strategies and approaches utilized in translating the news at Aljazeera and other Arabic satellite television networks and their impact on framing news stories. Chapter 5: Framing Realities in Arabic News. This chapter summarizes the research. discusses its implications and presents conclusions derived from the research. A. It outlines the methodology employed in this research and describe the theoretical framework in which the research is grounded. This chapter also describes the methods used for data collection. Chapter 6: Mediating Live Broadcasts. Chapter 4: Translating the News. 3 Fixers are used in situations where reporters working for CNN. (2005). Notes 1 In reference to Arabic language television as opposed to Arab-owned television broadcasting in other languages. Chapter 7: Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew. 43 Chapter 3: Conceptual Framework and Research Model. Language. along with the subsequent chapters.

May 1997. May 1997. 15 It is interesting to note that looting has not been observed as a phenomenon in war. The establishment of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in the early seventies by the two leading conservative Arab kingdoms of Morocco and Saudi Arabia was aimed at undermining the Pan-Arab movement led by Egyptian president Nasser. 6 Terry Pierce. A. Critical Ideas in Television Studies. in the domestic economy or elsewhere in the informal sector” (42). 2007. 8 Source of figure: Rafiq Nasrallah. G. J (2005). Meghan Blake (2004). Cambridge University Press. James Shanahan. The Atlantic Monthly. 4 Corner.” (2000). Book by Michael Morgan. Vol. K (2005).com/Archives/Fall05/Hafez. “An Overview of the Cultivation Theory. J (1999). etc... 16 See Darwish. Clarendon Press. Riad El-Rayyesh Books: Beirut. War lords may have organized pillaging for their own gains and individuals may have stolen bits and pieces of property from destroyed homes. Foreign Service Journal. Quoted in LeAnn Greunke. Satellite Television and Directed Media. 14 It a well known fact that the west has backed conservative regimes such as Saudi Arabia and other Arabian Gulf countries against political and popular movements in the Arab world working for greater Arab unity and unification. Writescope: Melbourne. but mass looting was never recorded. Retrieved 4 August 2007. protesters may have destroyed property. 279. Translation and Identity in the Age of the Internet. Farsi. 9 See Alterman. 11 Gerbner. Other sources estimate the number at 350 channels. The only recorded exception is the looting that took place in Baghdad during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Even then. The Atlantic Monthly.colostate. R. Pages 2 -3. In times of civil unrest. Urdu.. This is a social phenomenon that deserves a study of its own right.htm. Consequently. Man Who Counts the Killings: George Gerbner . Man Who Counts the Killings: George Gerbner .or disaster- stricken countries in the Arab world.edu/Depts/Speech/rccs/theory06. Is So Alarmed about the Baneful Effects of TV That He Describes Them in Terms of "Fascism". (2005). Is So Alarmed about the Baneful Effects of TV That He Describes Them in Terms of "Fascism". 17 Hafez.” www. Vol. but they never looted as witnessed in New York or Los Angeles. In the Lebanese civil war that lasted more than twenty years. no mass looting was ever witnessed or reported. Cited in Scott Stossel (1997). pitting Islam against Arab nationalism. (1995). 279. (1999). 10 The majority of Arab women in the work force are “invisible women”. Retrieved 7 August 2007.html. according to Nadia Hijab (2000). December 2005. author of the book Arab Media Security: The Problematic of Role and Identity. “What do we know?” Foreword to Television and Its Viewers: Cultivation Theory and Research. this does not apply to Aljazeera since it uses bilingual and multilingual correspondents who speak Arabic paired with English. 1999. Brainscapes. Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . Cited in Media Influence on the Creation of the Iraqi Stereotype. 7 Restak. 5 Gerbner. Arab Satellite Broadcasting: Democracy Without Political Parties? http://www. “The Cultivation Theory. 12 Scott Stossel (1997). United Arab Emirates. Spanish. looting was perpetrated by prisoners who were freed by Saddam shortly before the invasion began. 44 opposed to the downstream reporting model (discussed in this thesis) that relies on translation for news reports derived from western sources that are in turn reliant on translators/fixers for primary information gathering. Language. Hana (2007). IT Comes of Age In the Middle East. on Aljazeera’s talk show The Opposite Direction. The Psychological and Social Impact of Animations on Children. for example. French.tbsjournal. 13 Examples cited in Darwish. G.. “Most of these “invisible” women worked in agriculture or other family-run businesses. Hyperion: New York.

au/00pap/bac00287. 57. Prentice-Hall Inc: New Jersey. C. J. 2001. Harper & Row.htm. 20 Ibid.org/articles/0006_me2.de/226536. Retrieved 5 August 2007. B (1964). 23 Kenneth K. On the primacy of language in multimodal communication. 29 Gamal. TSI: Melbourne. Retrieved 26 August 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2008. http://www. Volume IX: Number 4.edu/~ssoy/usesusers/l391d1b.com/article/43884?page_no=2 .mpg. 26 Two major publications by the author of this thesis in 2005 and 2007 addressed this problem. Translation Watch Quarterly. Chapter 1 Why Contemporary Arabic Television? . 78-95.nysun. Nursing Research: A Qualitative Perspective. http://edoc. Is It Al-Jazeera Or CNN International? http://www. 22 Arthur S.mpi. Qatar's Al-Jazeera TV: The Power of Free Speech.utexas.org/article/513. 24 Jan Peter de Ruiter (2004). www. M. B. 45 18 Source of figures: Middle East Quarterly.aare. 30 Patricia L.edu.nl/Members/JanPeterdeRuiter/primacy .meib. 28 http://www.htm. 27 http://www. Third Edition. Reber and Emily Reber (1985).European Language Resources Association (CD-ROM). How the Arabs Compare Arab Human Development Report 2002.meforum. http://www. Sereno. also touched upon the problem of reframing of news. 19 Gary C. 21 Bernhard. Middle East Intelligence Bulletin. Issue 2. Audiovisual Translation in the Arab World: A Changing Scene. (2007). Retrieved 17 September 2007.htm. David Mortensen (1970). The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology. (2006). Gambill (2000). Fall 2002. 2007. Retrieved 24 November 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2008. Jones and Bartlett Publishers. 25 Carroll. 81. and a recent book by Mona Baker (2006) Translation and Conflict. Foundations of Communication Theory. Language and Thought. ELRA . Volume 3.gslis. Munhall (2006).

46 Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end. — Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) In this chapter: Aims Overview The Showcase Translation. Language. Translation and Culture The Role of Translation in the Media Conclusion Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Culture and Television Mediating Cultural Change Framing Aljazeera Fourth Estate or Fifth Column Mission Aljazeera News.

Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . this chapter aims to gain insight into these theories and models and to identify relevant arguments and shortcomings with respect to the impact of translation on news making of television. The aim of this chapter is thus to review the landmark publications that have examined Aljazeera to identify the main arguments and the gaps in the literature in relation to the centrality of translation in news reporting in Arabic television. 47 Aims The aim of this chapter is to present a critical review of the literature that has been produced about Aljazeera and Arabic satellite television in the last ten years in order to tease out the main arguments that appear in the current debate of this mediated social and cultural phenomenon in the Arab world. In examining the current theories. and models of translation that have relevance to the present research. This chapter consists of two major sections: one section dealing with the literature specific to Aljazeera and another covering translation theories. methods and models relating to mediated news reporting.

the main argument of this research is that translation mediation reframes news reports already framed primarily in English language. translation mediation extends beyond this initial stage of information relay to encompass the entire process of news reporting and production. I will review some of the literature in three areas related to the present research: (1) Aljazeera and transnational television. Only recently has interest grown in studying the effects of translation on news reporting. The dramatic appearance of Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . cross-cultural interactions. particularly in Iraq since the Anglo-US invasion of 2003. and Palmer and Fontan (2007) examine only one aspect of information relays or intervention: the role of the translators/fixers who work alongside western media workers. through translation-mediated news artefacts gathered and constructed by news reporters on location or by news editors back in the network offices. examine the role of translators/fixers in providing information to journalists operating in Iraq. In this chapter.1 However. and more specifically the Arabic satellite television Aljazeera. and (3) news reporting models. The literature that has examined the role of framing in the media barely deals with the role of translation mediation in constructing and/or reconstructing news reports. political. Palmer and Fontan (2007) for example. dominance and control and a broad range of social. especially in non-western media networks. Satellite television With the diffusion of transnational television worldwide in the last two decades. economic and cultural ramifications have been raised both in the public arena and in the academic world. (2) translation mediation theories. News reporting consists of several information relays that intervene between the events and the journalists who report them. issues relating to identity. 48 Overview As alluded to in the previous chapter. globalization.

presenting factual errors and erroneous information. but also because his readers were convinced that he was such a close friend of Egypt’s President Nasser that he was in effect speaking for Nasser. 49 Aljazeera on world stage in the mid nineties with its exclusive coverage of the gulf war and airing of the Bin Laden tapes in December 2001 instigated a number of studies in government and professional circles and in academia aiming to understand the effects of a liberal pan-Arab news network on Arab viewers. 2005 and Tatham. the most important leader in the Arab world” (Rugh. social and cultural change. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Some are poorly researched and lacking validity and reliability. the most widely read journalist in the Arab world in modern times. 2006). Muhammad Hassanain Haykal. Some of these are characteristically sycophantic in nature—a description which might allow readers to understand the motivations behind the sudden surge in publications about Aljazeera and Arab media in general and might lead to acknowledging the fact that most of these publications are void of any real depth and insight. mouthpieces. and its implications for political. as elsewhere in the world. Miles. so much rampant is the culture of hired journalists. To explain the former observation.2 “So many journalists are suspected of being merely spokesmen. Numerous articles and papers and several books and doctoral dissertations have been published. writers and historians and a culture of academic deceit and dishonesty in the Arab world. especially those who have written positively about Aljazeera or its competitors (such as El-Nawawy and Iskandar. yet quickly merging into the body of knowledge as respected references about the condition of Arab society and Arab media. 2004:11). are compelled to declare that they have never received any payment from Aljazeera in connection with their books. 2002. gained his popularity not only by his facility with the Arabic language. that authors. or “hired pens” of one political group or another. which was conceded even by his critics.

the Middle East and associated issues such as “terrorism” and “Islam”. The same falsity is asserted by Rugh (2004) who claims that “the best definition of who is an Arab is not in terms of religion or geography but of language and consciousness. is a potent reminder of the synchronicity of the “intellectuals”. Various research centres now boast of “experts” in these areas. It seems however that such definition applies to most modern nations and not just the Arabs. that is. 50 The number of books written on Iraq in the twelve months preceding the Invasion of Iraq in 2003. and it would be rather naive to believe that the sudden interest in Iraq in the twelve months preceding the invasion was a sheer coincidence. where the same experts appear regularly on news and current affairs programs to the extent that a certain anticipatory frame of reference is created in the minds of the viewers with respect to the differing views presented by these experts. the interest in Aljazeera as a social and political phenomenon seems to be exaggerated at times. one who speaks Arabic and considers himself an Arab” (19). which simplistically regards conversion to Islam as an automatic racial transformation and reduces the Arab identity to the ability to speak the Arabic language. the media and the political apparatus. which can be understood among all levels of Arabic society (plagued as it is by low Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . geographical and cultural records.3 The trend extends to Aljazeera itself. The latter form of inquiry—with the lack of validity of research—seems to have educed from specific interpretive frameworks strongly wedded to particular ideologies or from personal prejudices and presuppositions. In a similar vein. The notion of objectivity quickly dissolves when certain findings and descriptions are checked against historical. An example of this is the following assertion: “More people in North Africa became Arabs when they converted to Islam and gave up their previous languages” (Jamal. for example. Another example is Rinnawi (2006) who writes: “Although there is no one dialect of Arabic. raising similar apprehension about the motives of some of these studies that suddenly produce experts on the Arab world. 2004)4.

51 levels of school attendance among women. The derogatory “ji” suffix in colloquial Arabic denotes an act or a thing contemptible. As Lakoff and Johnson (1980) contend. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . The myth of objectivity has flourished in both the rationalist and empiricist traditions. So much so that any call for a broader Arab affiliation under a pan-Arab project is immediately stigmatized. based on Qur’anic Arabic and taught through school systems all over the Arab world” (22) [emphasis added]. Words such as “arbaji” (Arabism-monger) and “qawmaji” (nationalism-monger) are often used by debaters to demean their opponents. so much so that long established historical and other facts have been distorted or presented in interpretive frameworks that largely reflect the views of the researchers rather than the object of inquiry.5 Apart from the tentative nature of such a statement (and the modalities with which it is punctuated) in keeping with the tradition of academic research of post-modernity. and literacy). these ill-conceived and fabricated constructs of Arab identity seem to resonate with a large number of Arab intellectuals. where nothing is absolutely certain and nothing is certainly absolute until someone else has said something about it (when it becomes a gospel truth). Western culture has been dominated by the myth of objectivity. Consequently. But in democratic societies where freedom of expression is a sacred precept. which in this respect differ only in their accounts of how we arrive at such absolute truths” (195). “The view that we have access to absolute and unconditional truths about the world is the cornerstone of Western philosophical tradition. condemned and dismissed as out of date or even racist. on Aljazeera and other Arabic television networks of its ilk. even academic work is above criticism or the scrutiny of knowledgeable scholars and many a doctoral dissertation in this uncharted area of Arabic media has escaped the scrutiny of scholarly validation. Modern Standard is perhaps the most widely understood.

Aljazeera: the taboo-breaker Undoubtedly. the ultimate observer and arbiter. The books and articles that have been published in the last decade about Aljazeera and Arabic media in general seem to map these issues. showing meretricious disregard to established norms and traditions and in the process confusing almost everyone as to the true mission of Aljazeera. That is why a literature review of Arabic media and Aljazeera in particular must proceed with this cautionary caveat in mind. state terror. It is important at this point to emphasize that the primary purpose of this literature review is to: Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . a brief review of the literature on media effects. Aljazeera’s unapologetic policy of taboo-breaking has directly and indirectly opened the floodgates for a torrent of social. by looking at some of the titles and chapter headings of the publications reviewed in this chapter. unashamedly and speciously. political and cultural issues and topics that had been hitherto unspeakable truths: suppression of freedom of speech. is left to judge the validity of the information presented in the findings of research. However. 52 the reader. Aljazeera has provided the public forum for these issues to be heard and debated in public. One is able to trace the history of development of both. sexuality and ultimately religious discontent and secularism and religious. Spurred by a puzzling vacillation of US foreign policy on democracy and freedom in the Middle East and egged on by successive annual United Nations reports on human development in the Arab world highlighting these issues. relevant to the discussion is undertaken first. human rights. racial and ethnic minority issues. to situate the literature review of Aljazeera and Arabic satellite television in the context of this study. news making and translation. with limited resources. it would make perfect sense to construct the chapter on the literature review along these lines. Consequently. patriarchy and women’s oppression.

“[A]n Arab Oriental is that impossible creature Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . academia. the media itself and the world at large? What makes the media in the Arab region more interesting and worthy of research and examination than any other media elsewhere in the world? Is Aljazeera really the media panacea that it is trumped up to be or is it just a storm in a teacup? And what is the fuss really all about? Considering first the novelty factor associated with a widespread all- encompassing stereotypical view of the Arabs as being out-of-time underdeveloped nations suddenly acquiring modern means of communication—after all. identify gaps in the literature review with respect to the main thesis of the research and provide a framework for the discussions that follow in the rest of the chapters of this thesis. The Showcase There is no doubt that Aljazeera has set everyone talking about the impact of this new information media phenomenon in the Arab world and its momentous potential to bring about social and political reform in the region. 53 • Review landmark publications primarily about Aljazeera and secondarily about Arab television • Review arguments regarding the effects of television on culture vis-à- vis Aljazeera’s role as a catalyst of change • Review current translation theories and models relevant to the discussion of translation mediation being explored in this thesis • Review news reporting models The review aims to situate the main arguments within the context of the present research. But why would a television network such as Aljazeera attract such great attention in politics. Subsequently. satellite television and translation that have direct relevance to the main propositions of the thesis. the aim of this chapter is to present a critical review of major publications in media studies.

One looks at language as “a mode of communication of objective Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . culture and television. These interlocking concepts have been discussed separately in cross-cultural studies. the Arab world has been the centre of attention and source of concern for western observers and strategic planners. The strategic importance of the region to the west and more specifically the United States is paramount. staring vacantly out at a modern landscape he can neither understand nor cope with”(Said. In translation theory however. with the invasion of Iraq. cumulative and incremental change in individuals and societies has been widely acknowledged in mass communication studies. 54 whose libidinal energy drives him to paroxysms of overstimulation—and yet. it is presumed that media and their content have significant and substantial cognitive. 2007: 602). after thirty years of ascendancy in the Middle East. “the emergence of new media. the influence of the media to affect sudden. he is as a puppet in the eyes of the world. “fulfilled its centuries-long urge to instill American-style democracy in the Middle East” (Oren. Culture and Television Central to the notions of this research are translation. Apart from that. is not accidental”. According to Oren (2007). affective and behavioural effects on how information is acquired. the United States. As Scheuer (2008)7 observes. beliefs are structured or restructured. For a long time. As Perse (2001)6 confirms. It is not far-fetched to deduce that Aljazeera’s creation was part of a strategic move to instil such democracy in the region through the media. concomitant with the new democratic potentials and new forms of violence and terrorism worldwide. and the sudden impact Aljazeera has had on Arab society may be seen as one of the successes of US strategy in the region. Translation. there are two different lines of enquiry into how translation operates vis-à-vis language use. information needs are satisfied. and media exposure motivates social behaviour. 1978: 312). attitudes and emotional reactions to media content are formed.

However. This notion of originality versus translation has been the central issue in the debate of translation. multimodal mediated discourse from another language and another culture. where the latter shape reality and the interpretation of creative values is privileged” (ibid). in news translation. the reader or viewer in the case of television is not aware that what is being read out is anything but original despite the fact that every news item is essentially a multi-relayed. translation is often regarded with suspicion because it inevitably domesticates foreign texts and results in the formation of cultural identities and constructing representations of Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . expressive of thought and meanings where meanings refer to an empirical reality or encompass a pragmatic situation” (Rubel and Rosman. 2003:6). 55 information. As Venuti (1998) observes. and “a hermeneutic concept of language that emphasizes interpretation. Figure 1—Interlocking Translation. consisting of thought and meanings. “a translation is what we perceive when we do not read the script as primordial genesis—as the first created original” (12). Culture and Television Summing up what translation is in The Poetics of Translation. Barnstone (1993) asserts.

2000). He argues that such domestication occurs through an inscription process of foreign texts with linguistic and cultural values that operates at every stage in the production. The dynamic and cyclical nature of this reciprocal relationship between culture and behaviour creates a state of tension that is often resolved through reconciliation of the ensuing discrepancies between individual behaviours and cultural norms and values and between individuals and factions within the same community group.8 The distinction between conflict and confliction is that the former may take the form of negative response while the latter may take the form of positive response. it is those specific translation strategies employed in the translation of news. centers and peripheries that deviate from those current in the foreign language” (67). translation seems to work in reverse to what Venuti claims. When tension of this nature occurs it creates conflict or confliction. canons that conform to domestic aesthetic values and therefore reveal exclusions and admissions. that seem to contribute to the introduction of new canons in the target language—that is Arabic. In behavioural Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . circulation and reception of the translation. 56 foreign cultures. Authenticity of the translation is not usually questioned except where direct speech reporting is involved since the total new package is seen as an original production rather than a mediated one. specifically at Aljazeera. “The selection of foreign texts and the development of translation strategies can establish peculiarly domestic canons for foreign literature. rather than in the foreign language that represents the source of information. Here. Yet as this thesis demonstrates. in this multimodal medium of television. Mediating Cultural Change There is general agreement among researchers that changing behaviours will ultimately force a change in the culture of a certain community group and that a change in culture will in turn force a change in the behaviour of individuals belonging to that group (Matsumoto.

confliction soon transforms into conflict. and in creating tension between tradition and individual behaviour. metaphors. Arabic satellite television is gaining ever- increasing prominence through its mediation of social. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . in the absence of civil institutions. Social and cultural contexts are being created through primary mediation of translation of news and other programs from English and through secondary mediation of production in English and or French. In modern democratic societies. 57 psychology. which according to Avrunin and Coombs (1988) may be within an individual or in different individuals. until the tension is resolved. conflict is defined as the opposition of response (behavioural) tendencies. cultural and political change. according to Peterson (2003:2). Such all-pervading presence is catalyzing change in social and cultural traditions and mediating new meanings to create social contexts that translate into behaviours and norms. Throughout the world. Both primary and secondary mediations are “causing a cataclysmic change in Arabic language patterns and cultural representation” (Darwish. when tension occurs it creates confliction that is resolved through the democratic process. it creates either conflict or confliction. the media. However. As Ting-Toomey and Oetzel (2001:1) contend. When tension occurs. 2005:443). which may escalate into various forms of response. the news media plays a crucial role in mediating cultural change through news stories that introduce new values. such as talk shows and open debates and off-screen (in society at large) through various forms of civil actions and reactions. beliefs and norms. have become a part of the rhythms of human life. different cultures have different expectations of how conflict should be handled as more often the underlying values and norms of a culture frame conflict expectations. which is played out on-screen through various fora.9 In this respect. In the Arab world.

Central to these functions is the role of the Arabic language. In this connection. Arab media convey such cultural messages” (19-20). Rugh argues that the Arab media convey socio-cultural values on two levels: a large pan-Arab audience and a nation-state: “A great deal that is of cultural value to an individual Arab is commonly shared with other Arabs throughout the area. and (5) entertaining. the Arabic language is an especially crucial element linking the Arabs with each other and with their culture. Rugh (2004) contends that the Arab mass media perform the same basic functions as media elsewhere. also serves the function of communicating cultural identity. As alluded to earlier. identities are constituted in and through cultural representations (including those produced by television) with which ‘we’ identify (33). and Islam. the religion of the vast majority of Arabs. (4) providing specialized information for commercial promotion (advertising) or available services. 58 According to Barker (1999). Berry (1995) defines acculturation as a process that leads “to changes at the population level when the source of change is contact with other cultures” as contrasted to cultural changes that occur “when the sources of change are Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . He identifies five basic functions the media perform. providing opinions and views. one who speaks Arabic and considers himself an Arab ” (19). These are: (1) conveying news and information of general interest. Cultural change or acculturation? Researchers have distinguished between two types of change that occur in a certain community: acculturation and cultural change. tradition. it is inseparable from Arab culture. which according to Rugh (2004) and numerous other writers past and present. The best definition of who is an Arab is not in terms of religion or geography but of language and consciousness. though in different ways. (3) reinforcing social norms and cultural awareness by transmitting information about the society and its culture. history. Rugh asserts that “indeed. that is. (2) interpreting and commenting on events.

uncut. To begin with. Other examples of this kind of untamed and explicit footage of hostages being slain by their captors in Iraq. were also shown on other television Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . 59 internal events such as invention. if any. framed and stereotypical. unadapted. norms and even beliefs. The clip showed a distraught old mother trying to hug the severed head of her suicide bomber son in a pool of blood in the middle of a street in occupied Palestine. In contrast. clumsily and boorishly presented in the name of the “truth” and without finesse. Consequently. very little interaction and exposure. News stories that promote a shared outlook in the minds of the viewers are presented positively and stories that deviate from the familiar set of values. and innovation within a culture” (Castro. the television is a western invention and western television networks usually carry domestic news programs for their domestic viewers. it is fragmented. especially Aljazeera. in the context of globalization. norms and beliefs are presented within stereotypical patterns that are either dismissive or ignorant of other cultures. values. For example. It is mediating culture through the adoption of western styles. discoveries. western media and television in particular is a feature or agent of cultural change that comes about due to internal events. Arabic satellite television. thus reinforcing the values of the domestic culture. is rather an agent of acculturation. Furthermore. When such exposure occurs. to international events takes place and the domestic viewers are largely buffered from such influences. again reinforcing perceptions and misconceptions about other cultures being reported. western media and American media in particular has been exporting American values. The international versions of programs produced by networks such as CNN and BBC are not seen by their domestic viewers in the USA and Britain respectively. censored only by one frame. culture and lifestyle to other cultures of the world. Aljazeera carried a promotional video clip focusing on the Palestinian Intifada. and foreign workers being shot dead as they lay facedown on the ground. 2003: 8). Certainly. in 2004.

The immediacy of translation-mediated news television may cause a sudden impact on the receiving cultures in as much as such mediation highlights and plays out these differences on screen and creates dissonance between the values it carries and the values and norms of the receiving cultures. In the last couple of years however. The concept of journalistic freedom seems to be taken to the extreme by these channels. “controls behavior in deep and persisting ways. as recent as December 2007. the economic system. 60 channels. Culture. including LBC. many of which are outside of awareness and therefore beyond conscious control of the individual” (25). of thinking. Hall adds. It is a specific “way of organizing life. Aljazeera broadcast explicit footage of four French tourists killed in Mauritania showing the face of at least one victim. For example. in the sense that it carries values and norms that belong to another culture. showing uncensored footage of dead bodies or men kissing Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Again. Hall (1959) reminds us that culture is more than mere customs that can be shed or changed like a suit of clothes. Such juxtaposing has a contrastive effect that highlights differences and overlooks similarities as these do not bring attention to themselves within the cultural domain of the other. It should also include values that have not been espoused by the receiving culture yet perceived by the news editor to be acceptable to the audience of that culture. and even of mankind” (23). mediated news does not necessarily mean foreign. this kind of explicit treatment has been toned down a little. In his magnificent book The Silent Language. their interactivity brings to the fore not only the organizational structures that bind either of the cultures together but also the subconscious and implicit properties of the cultures in juxtaposition to one another. When two cultures are brought together in translation. disregarding other social norms and values and overriding protocols that govern civilized societies. and consequently cause value shift across viewers in defining and redefining their expectations. and of conceiving the underlying assumptions about the family and the state. However.

The situation was set to change after 2001. Researchers in media and communication. 61 the faces of relatives. Yet this kind of uncensored and uncontrolled footage becomes the daily staple of Aljazeera and other Arabic satellite television networks to be seen by millions10 of viewers of varying age groups. there has been a flurry of academic and professional activities seeking to understand this new curious phenomenon and to place it in the context of a region long regarded with suspicion and contempt in many quarters of the West. 2001. and various inquisitive studies have been undertaken in western universities. has been playing a serious role in introducing news-mediated cultural values that are causing cultural change. is not something that the Arab viewers have been accustomed to. From the moment Aljazeera aired Bin Laden’s tapes in the aftermath of September 11. articles and research papers have been published about Arabic satellite television. Although other Arabic satellite television stations such as MBC (1991). with such necrophiliac or unusual practice gradually or eventually becoming an accepted practice or cultural norm. Before this date. The following section reviews major publications that have examined Aljazeera. by westerners and Arabs alike. In this sense. and particularly Aljazeera. Arabic satellite television. or touching the bodies of martyrs killed in violence to receive blessing. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . nor is the kissing of dead bodies a widespread practice in the Arab world. 2001 attacks. hardly any books or papers were published about Aljazeera. Several books. Framing Aljazeera Since its inception. Aljazeera has attracted a great deal of attention in both the academic and professional worlds. ART (1993) and Orbit TV (1994) had been in operation before Aljazeera. their presence did not attract worthwhile attention outside their immediate viewership base. but serious interest in Aljazeera began in earnest immediately after the September 11.

economic and cultural aspects and impact of Arabic media. reaching a climax in 2005 with five books. and it would be a productive approach in this chapter to construct the discussion of these titles in a storyboard that reflects this timeline development. “Some of the books that have been published in recent years bear the hallmarks of politically motivated or propaganda-propelled campaigns by outsiders to the language and culture of the Arab region or by starry-eyed insiders. climbers and sycophants11.2007. particularly Aljazeera. See Figure 2— Books published about Aljazeera 1990 . have looked at the social. which included a chapter on CNN and Aljazeera’s Media Coverage of America’s War in Afghanistan. A chronology of publications from 1990 to 2007 reveals a correlation between major Middle East-related world events and books published about Aljazeera in the latter half of the first decade of the twenty-first century. political. barely scratching the surface of this important phenomenon that is set to change the region forever”12. the titles of these books map the historical development of this phenomenon. and another book in 2004 titled Women and Media in the Middle East: Power through Self-Expression. in the first instance. followed by Framing Terrorism in 2003. 62 political science and cross-cultural anthropology. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Peculiarly. titled Aljazeera: How the Free Arab News Network Scooped the World and Changed the Middle East. The first book to appear was in March 2002. A number of books have been written in the last ten years about the new Arab media phenomenon and more specifically about Aljazeera.

Table 1— Inventory of Major Publications about Aljhazeera and Arab Media (1993 -2007) Year Relevant Publication Title Author Type of Language Event Publication 1993 Mass Media. Table 1 lists the major publications about Aljazeera and Arab media from 1993 to 2007. Kazan Book English and Development: Arab States of the Gulf 1998 Transnational Media and Jon Alterman Paper English Social Change in the Arab World 1999 Transnational Broadcasting editor.2007 Academic and professional interest in Aljazeera coincides with events that followed the September 11. S. Fayad E. Fayad E. Online journal English Studies Journal premier Schleifer issue 1999 Mass Media. 63 Figure 2— Books published about Aljazeera 1990 . the initiation of some of these publications does not necessarily coincide with these events.A. Modernity. Given that it takes a year to write a book and at least three years to complete a doctoral research. Kazan Book Arabic version and Development: Arab Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Modernity. 2001 attacks.

64 Year Relevant Publication Title Author Type of Language Event Publication States of the Gulf expanded 2000 George W. the Montague Ken. Second Palestinian Intifada (uprising) 2001 September 11 The Changing Scene of Nabil H. Egyptian Media Waxes and S. New Politics? Jon B. Dajani Paper English attacks. Abdallah Article English Bush defeats Wanes in Its Attacks Schleifer democrat vice Against Al-Jazeera president Al Gore September. Government. Book English Bin Laden’s Arab News Network Nawawy and tapes Scooped the World and Adel Iskandar Changed the Middle East 2002 Aljazeera airs Journalism after September Barbie Zelizer Book English Bin Laden’s 11 and Stuart Allan tapes (editors) 2002 Aljazeera airs New Media. Alterman Paper English Bin Laden’s From Satellite Television to tapes the Internet in the Arab World. Book English News Media. 2003 Invasion of Iraq Framing Terrorism: The Pippa Norris. and the Marion Just Public 2003 Invasion of Iraq Media and Arab Culture: tayseer Abu Book Arabic the position and mission Arjah 2003 Invasion of Iraq Control Room documentary Jihane Noujaim Film English 2004 Tsunami Will Aljazeera Bend? John R Bradley Article English disaster Aljazeera airs Bin Laden’s tapes Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Lebanese Television Attack on Afghanistan Aljazeera airs Bin Laden’s tapes 2001 September 11 Satellite Realms Naomi Sakr Book English attacks Attack on Afghanistan Aljazeera airs Bin Laden’s tapes 2002 Aljazeera airs Aljazeera: How the Free Mohammed El.

Book English Hussein’s trial Worldwide: towards a new Chalaby media order London underground bombing War on terror Iraqi elections 2006 Saddam The Rise of Aljazeera Nicolas Eliades Paper English Hussein’s trial London underground Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . 65 Year Relevant Publication Title Author Type of Language Event Publication 2004 Tsunami Women and Media in the Naomi Sakr Book English disaster Middle East: Power through (editor) Self-Expression Aljazeera airs Bin Laden’s tapes 2005 Saddam The Impact of Arab Abdullah Paper English Hussein’s trial Satellite Television on the Schleifer Prospects for Democracy in London the Arab World underground bombing War on terror Iraqi elections 2005 Saddam The Aljazeera Mohamed Book English Hussein’s trial Phenomenon: Critical Zayani. Editor Perspectives on New Arab London Media. underground bombing War on terror Iraqi elections 2005 The Making of Arab News Noha Mellor Book English 2005 Saddam Language. Satellite Television abstracts London and Directed Media underground bombing War on terror Iraqi elections 2005 Saddam Aljazeera: How Arab TV Hugh Miles Book English Hussein’s trial News Challenged the World London underground bombing War on terror Iraqi elections 2005 Saddam Translational Television Jean K. Translation and Ali Darwish Book Arabic with Hussein’s trial Identity in the Age of the English Internet.

66 Year Relevant Publication Title Author Type of Language Event Publication bombing War on terror Iraqi elections 2006 Hamas wins Voices of the New Arab March Lynch Book English the majority of Public: Iraq. Seek the Truth. Aljazeera and seats in the Middle East Politics Today Palestinian Legislative Council elections. According to him. Aljazeera and Muslim Saddam Public Opinion Husain’s execution 2006 Israel-Lebanon The Media: Value Order Sabah Yassin Book Arabic war and Power Dominance Saddam Husain’s execution 2006 Israel-Lebanon The BBC World Service H. Aljazeera launches its new English language news channel 2006 Israel-Lebanon Media Under Pressure: Olivia Qusaibaty Book English war Aljazeera Toeing the Red Lines Saddam Husain’s execution 2006 Israel-Lebanon Losing Arab Hearts and Steve Tatham Book English war Minds: the Coalition. Change the World Alterman (2002) has analyzed the phenomenon of Aljazeera and Arabic satellite television at large. the rise of Arabic satellite- Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Amin Paper English war Arabic TV: Revival of a Dream or Sudden Death by Saddam the Competition? Husain’s execution 2007 2007 The Culture of Aljazeera: Mohamed Book English Inside an Arab Media Giant Zayani and Sofiane Sahrouni 2007 Mission Aljazeera: Build a Josh Rushing Book English Bridge.

and given a voice to perspectives that were previously absent from the Arab media” (Alterman. We wholeheartedly believe in intercultural. the first to be published about Aljazeera. 2002). inter religious. written by two Arabs living in Canada. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . the authors make this link in a rather reductionist tone. 2001. provided fora for opposition political leaders from a number of countries. be dedicated to the victims of September 11? What is the connection between Aljazeera and this tragic event? In the preface to the book. How Aljazeera scooped the world In a book titled Aljazeera: How the Free Arab News Network Scooped the World and Changed the Middle East. and interracial dialogue for better understanding of our common humanity. 67 broadcast television stations in the last decade has caused a revolution in the Arab world. dedicated to the victims of September 11. The following review sheds some light on these factors within the framework of Aljazeera. This book should be read as not only a historical account of how a satellite television network emerged in the Middle East. They have encouraged open debates on previously taboo subjects like secularism and religion. The emergence of militant religious fundamentalism is a product of decades of oppressive regimes and the virtual non-existence of a public sphere where issues are discussed and resolved (ix-x). the dedication smacks of the apologetic and of being more royal than the king. Curiously. To understand this phenomenon it must be seen within the larger context of the global. it is also the story of peoples’ quest for freedom of opinion and expression. and “have played a significant role in breaking down censorship barriers in the region. Egyptian born American resident Mohammed El-Nawawy and Egyptian Canadian Adel Iskandar (2002) chronicle the rise of Aljazeera to global prominence. a quest that if curtailed—as it has been for many years—can lead to catastrophes like those the world witnessed on September 11. Why would a book about Aljazeera. regional and local changes that have contributed to its emergence. These stations have challenged traditional state monopolies over television broadcasting.

the authors epitomize the harmonious superficial relations between Arabs who belong to different religious affiliations when they live outside their native environments and employ the story to communicate the message that Aljazeera has provided first time exposure to opposing voices. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . This book. 68 However. the authors of this self-serving. reducing the reasons for the emergence of militant groups to the absence of freedom of expression and opinion is rather simplistic and dismissive of other historical. proclamatory publication conclude that perhaps one of the reasons for Aljazeera’s success is the manner and language in which it presents Arab views. “using the power and persuasion of television” (11). where Aljazeera has continued to refer to the insurgents who are killed by US-led coalition forces as qatla (killed persons) until the British Daily Mirror published a leaked memo early this year alleging US President George W. “It is intrinsic within many Arab cultures to consider Palestinians who are killed by Israeli soldiers in the Palestinian territories as shuhada’ (“martyrs”)…” (53). “Traditionally. Commenting on Aljazeera’s controversial role in the Middle East and appeal to the Arab viewers. social. This claim soon falters on examining the reporting of news from Iraq. opens with an account of how Arab migrants in Canada discovered Aljazeera. Relating the story of two neighbours: a Muslim Palestinian family and a Coptic Egyptian family. Bush had planned to bomb Aljazeera’s headquarters in Doha. which many consider a violation of objective news reporting” (52). which consists of a preface and eight chapters. and Aljazeera has been accused by many Westerners of being biased toward the Palestinian cause because it “has the practice of describing Palestinian suicide-bombers who strike in Israel as “martyrs”. most discussion programs on Arabic TV stations are non- controversial and do little else but serve as a public relations outlet for governments” (11). cultural and economic factors.

However. which indicates inconsistency of editorial policy. but in the last five years of Aljazeera a cyclic. Aljazeera referred to civilian victims caught in the crossfire and Palestinian combatants as “killed persons”. While it is not always possible to be exhaustive. What the Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . political openness. and where very few intellectuals are prepared to talk about controversial issues in public. A cautious shift in this paradigm has been detected in the present research but not as far as using the term “martyrs” to describe those who are killed fighting the coalition forces. The authors emphasize that Aljazeera strives to have different sides listen to each other. the authors conclude their book by asserting that “Aljazeera may not be perfect. Yet terms such as “resistance fighters” and “resistance” to describe the insurgents have been detected. in the recent inner fighting between the main Palestinian factions. This in a major way undermines the nature of objectivity which Aljazeera strives to achieve. soon Aljazeera runs out of guests and the same faces and personalities are regularly seen on Aljazeera. The coverage must exhaust all possible ideas and perspectives’ (27). But perhaps this is the subjective nature of objectivity. and democracy. so much so that they have become part of the extended family of Aljazeera. Fatah and Hamas. 69 Qatar. “Its philosophy is built on demonstrating how objectivity can be attained only if all subjective views and opinions on any issue are presented and aired. The problem with this kind of approach in a polarized region where “traditional” connections play a central role in deciding who should go on air and who should not. Only those who are killed by Israeli fire are described as “martyrs”. discursive pattern has developed and the regular guests have achieved the same or more or less the same celebrity status as their hosts. but it is the only choice for Arab self-determination. Aljazeera endeavours to present both sides of the argument. Acknowledging Aljazeera as a force for democracy in the Middle East. Whether the “experts” Aljazeera hosts nightly are on its payroll is hard to tell.

Whether “the only cure for the ails of democracy is more of it”. In The Impact of Arab Satellite Television on the Prospects for Democracy in the Arab World. and doing so in a manner also unimaginable only a decade ago” (Schleifer. A search on Amazon. editor of this collection of papers. as the authors conclude.870 publications with the word “phenomenon” in the title or subtitle. military invasion or unplanned event. to Harry Potter. argues that few phenomena in the Arab world are Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . have had the greatest appeal. Even the once exciting and intriguing Osama bin Laden tapes have lost that excitement and intrigue and Aljazeera cannot expect to continue to garner viewers’ interest in rehashed materials. the Internet. The Aljazeera phenomenon The first decade of the twenty-first century will probably go down in history as the decade of phenomena in the world. In The Aljazeera Phenomenon: Critical Perspectives on New Arab Media. Aljazeera’s "Cross-fire" types of political talk shows that would pit critics of Arab regimes against their defenders: Islamists against either liberal secularists or Arab nationalists”. Such a leap of faith in Aljazeera’s ability to introduce democracy is being tested every day by sceptics.com returns 239. Aljazeera will run out of ideas and will find itself repeating itself until the next natural disaster. Mohamed Zayani (2005). From the phenomenon of terrorism. the obsession with the word “phenomenon” seems to be contagious. the audience could join in by telephone. or “Al-Foxeera” as Danny Schechter. “While debates that were unimaginable on the state national television channels flowed back and forth. that Aljazeera will cease to be. Schleifer (2005) contends that for many Arab viewers. Everything seems to be regarded as a phenomenon. globalization and transnational broadcasting. Sooner than later. (2007) puts it. 70 Arab world needs now are more media services like Aljazeera. not fewer” (206). 2005). it is by transforming Aljazeera into CNN Arabica. again expressing their own opinions.

and between Iran and the United States. He stresses that it is rather the result of active diplomacy as a mediator in regional disputes such as in Sudan. This assertion is amazingly generalized. it obfuscates the distinction between society and the political systems that govern these societies and paints a picture of a Stalinist-like Arab world. Zayani later explains that what is peculiar about Aljazeera is its ability to “expand what people in the Arab world can talk about” (6). He observes that Aljazeera is a relatively free channel operating in a region that is regarded by many observers as not so inclined towards freedom of expression. It is worth noting here however. But if people cannot talk freely how can Aljazeera expand on that which has not been talked about? This is rather paradoxically juxtaposed with the comment that the “kind of debate championed by Aljazeera is something new in the Arab world where public political debate is considered subversive” (6). but to claim that the whole region is less inclined towards “freedom of expression” is a rash generalization. that Qatar has been reaching out to South East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent as mentioned elsewhere Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . and in its role to build rapprochement between Iran and the Arab states. But what is intriguing about a pan-Arab 24-hour news and current affairs satellite television station that is funded and sponsored by the head of state of Qatar? Zayani argues that since Aljazeera catapulted to international fame it has been surrounded by controversy and paradoxically loathed and loved. Perhaps it is political freedom that is curbed and curtailed in various parts of the region. Foreign diplomacy by-product Aljazeera may be seen as an indirect by-product of Qatar’s foreign diplomacy. Zayani however is doubtful whether Qatar’s diplomacy has achieved a great deal or Aljazeera has done more than give Qatar a limited diplomatic presence and a heightened regional and international profile. Eritrea and Ethiopia. Zayani (2005) argues that Qatar’s newly acquired status is not simply due to sponsoring and hosting Aljazeera. 71 more intriguing that Aljazeera.

one would expect an increase in understanding and support of American policy. Reversing the catchphrase in the title of his book Losing Arab Hearts and Minds. Tatham (2006). winning neither heart nor mind. 72 using Aljazeera’s successful profile as the vehicle for its efforts in this direction. Instead. So void of any substance and real meaning. and the public sphere. This is where linguistic creativity stops. Zahrana (2003) observes: With such a concerted effort at the highest levels of the American government to get America’s message out. “New Iraq strategy”. The rest of the book explores Aljazeera and regional politics. These convenient straplines frame the message in a way that invokes certain images and responses and plays on uncertainty and fear rather than to inform and educate. In this regard. “To Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . “War on Terror”. to ‘win the hearts and minds’ of the Arabs and Muslims. etc. America’s intensified public diplomacy initiative has met with more misunderstandings. this trite expression has been used ad nauseam by politicians and observers of the Arab world and more specifically as regards the role of the media in actually achieving that. Aljazeera programming. it appears the opposite has occurred. and Aljazeera and regional crises. The modern style of news presentation is reductionist and simplistically summative—all major events are reduced to a headline phrase or strapline: “Operation Iraq”. as the role of the media was once stated to be. observes the reaction of the American media to the United States response to the attacks on 11 September 2001. gaining intensity and salience in 2006. Losing Arab hearts and minds “To win the hearts and minds of the Arabs” was the catchphrase of the last three years in western political discourse.13 The catchphrase has also been picked up by the Arab media with such hilarity that both the catchphrase and its translation have become synonymous with empty talk and propaganda. I will return to each one of these areas elswhere in this chapter. and support for American policies has declined globally—not just in the Arab and Muslim world (73).

He presents an account of the British views on the conflict. the United States “empires of evil” doctrine. Tatham observes: If there is one media organisation more than any other that has become associated with neo-conservatism and the US Republican Party it is Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Television. By any national measure the channel’s coverage was at times so uniformly subjective. A selection of the thoughts on war from its correspondents and anchors more than adequately illustrate this point. This tension intensifies during conflict. you decide’ appeared almost comically disingenuous. An indignant American media did little to counter the perception. How the Arabs are portrayed in the media is a topic that is addressed in this book. (35). which according to Tatham. Highlighting the connection between media bias and audience perceptions. 73 many. particularly those who do not themselves travel much beyond the borders of their own country” (54). often presents the international media with difficult decisions that may force the media to offset ideological or political beliefs against national interests. and the Fox Factor. how the Arab world reacted to the war and the state of pulling contrasts of the lesser of the two evils that existed. The dilemma that faces journalist trying to objectively and accurately cover conflicts in which their countries are involved worsens—a criticism levelled at Aljazeera for its coverage of the recent Israeli war on Lebanon. particularly in the United States. “Yet there is strong empirical evidence that the way in which individuals and cultures are portrayed does influence audiences. Tatham gives an insight into how the war in Iraq was waged. In this book. it appeared that Samuel Huntington’s prophecy of a ‘clash of civilisations’ might indeed be fulfilled. Tatham explains that the influence of television and movies on real life is widely debated in society. There is always a state of tension in the “normal conflictual/ cooperative relationship” between the media and governments that are trying to govern with the least interference from the media. moving into overdrive as it pored over the question ‘why us?’” (1). ultra-patriotic and hugely biased in favour of the President’s actions that its strap line ‘We report. Tatham Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change .

But such an observation is a little skewed as he does not offer us a definition of “modernity” in the media. this is the antithesis of modernity. On the white board. But what he is actually describing are Saudi Arabia and other gulf states. This sums up the early inculcation of stereotypes by the media of the Arabs. Tatham falls into the same trap of generalizations treating Arab media as a monolith and overlooking the peculiarities of each Arab country vis-à-vis the media. to our general manager presenting the company’s product strategy. I sat in a conference room at an American Information Technology company I worked for in the United Kingdom listening with more than fifty delegates from various parts of Europe and from the United States. one does not need to go farther than one’s own experiences in this area. Instead of displaying the product names. However. This is certainly not the practice in Lebanon for example. He claims that the output of state media may sound comical and asserts that it lacks maturity and modernity when compared with organizations such as the BBC. he displayed the picture of a camel. Consequently. until he reached the Arabic products—Arabization of computer products was still in its early stages in those days. In the early eighties. one by one. Thatham makes references to Edward Said’s work on Orientalism. However. he alludes to this by saying that in the Arab press a large space on front pages is dedicated to photographs of members of the regime welcoming dignitaries or performing functions of state. these differences. When people are reduced to a camel status. Nonetheless. he presented the products by name. it does not take a lot of imagination to figure out how those indoctrinated with such stereotypes would react. 74 asks the question: Is there any correlation between the way the Arab world has been portrayed in films and the prevailing attitudes of the audiences that watch them? To answer this question. can be educed from the detailed Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Tatham observes that in many Arab states the media are closely monitored if not controlled by the state. while not spelled out. Like most other publications that tackled Arab media.

Notwithstanding. sensational and overstimulated and while Aljazeera experiences almost similar problems to other 24-hour news broadcasting networks throughout the world. 75 account. Afghanistan. Pitting Aljazeera against the world in this manner is somewhat puzzling. And given the importance placed by the United States on free speech and the enthusiasm for it that US supporters for emerging democracy in the Middle East once expressed. Tatham concludes his observations by arguing that Aljazeera’s programs can be revolting. Aljazeera challenges the world Why would a book about Aljazeera carry such a title? Is Aljazeera challenging the world and why? These are the first questions that come to mind on picking up this book Aljazeera: How Arab TV News Challenged the World. September 11. “But even if you accept a small percentage of the nonsense that is written about it. Intifadah. where Aljazeera was on the ground covering the second Palestinian uprising. the criticisms are unsustainable” (203). and the invasion of Iraq. such as the BBC and even “the heavily-slanted” Fox TV. as I have already argued in this thesis—one regarding the erroneous description of standard Arabic as ‘classical Arabic’ and one regarding Arabic being the lingua franca of the Middle East. by Hugh Miles (2005). the lingua franca of the Middle East. in this book Miles takes us through several events that have occurred in the Arab world. There are two problems with this assertion. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Miles observes that everything on Aljazeera is in classical Arabic. especially when this satellite television network has been striving to emulate western forms of news and current affairs as faithfully and obediently as a young martial arts disciple. it is subject to the watchful eyes of critics who spare no occasion to seize on its occasional slip-ups. In the introduction to the book. there is one undeniable truth that cannot be distorted: it is the nearest the Arab world has to an independent media organisation.

thanks to Aljazeera and the rest of Arab media that are shaping Arab public opinion towards the west for the first time. Bush warned the whole world in an address to the US Congress on 20 September 2001. as Miles contends. let alone Aljazeera. “Either you are with us or with the terrorists”. become the drivers and framers of media events. and other metaphors such as “carrot and stick”. Even before Aljazeera showed these images of the US soldiers and before the airing of the Bin Laden tapes after the September 11 attacks. In this regard. that in the entire hubbub about Aljazeera. 76 His vivid account of these events and Aljazeera’s controversial coverage brings us to the conclusion that free speech is contagious and has a domino effect. Miles contends that in the west “it has become an article of faith that a freer Arab media heralds social and political change in the Middle East”. we tend to forget that the most popular shows on Arab television are Egyptian and Lebanese soap operas and films. “Arabs have been mulling over the pros and cons of democracy for almost two hundred years: what is meant is that today Arab public opinion matters for the first time” (389). particularly the United States and Britain. According to Konstantin Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Showing images of charred and bloodied bodies of dead US soldiers along with five prisoners in Iraq in March 2003 was the ultimate sin any news network could commit. President George W. Where fact and fiction are confused in the minds of decision makers and where the foot is made to wear the shoe and not the shoe to fit the foot. many childhood fantasies and folklore about “getting out of town by sundown” and “you can run but you can’t hide”. in addition to imported western game shows. He reminds us however. the US administration had been exerting pressure on the Emir of Qatar to curb Aljazeera’s free broadcasting and to tone down its content. Media under pressure Aljazeera’s coverage of the invasion of Iraq brought upon it the wrath of western governments. Aljazeera is acting as a tranquilizer.

Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . She reports that a framing analysis of the various programs has revealed specific patterns in the framing of various issues. as the literature has revealed so far. Qusaibaty observes that much of the literature on Aljazeera has adopted a generalized approach and has painted this news network with a strong positive or negative bias towards it. such as the BBC and CNN. The US also objected to the airtime given to analysts who either expressed overtly anti- American perspectives or attacked US policies in the region. economic. cultural and religious differences that characterize the region. However. Qusaibaty utilizes a framing/discourse analysis approach to select program episodes. She contends that Aljazeera’s controversial coverage has increased its credibility and popularity among audiences and that the Al Arabiyah network was founded to provide a more moderate alternative. and evaluate Aljazeera’s ability to provide a perspective other than that of its western and Arab competitors. “it was important for Washington to neutralize its biggest potential source of contradictory images and alternative commentary before launching its Afghan campaign”. social. and it began pressuring the Emir of Qatar as well as the station’s managers to set aside more time for US press conferences. there is more praise than dispraise. 77 Kilibarda (2001). Qusaibaty argues that Aljazeera has helped in creating a public space for dialogue in the Arab world and has provided an alternative to other media outlets. key US officials.14 Kilibarda (2001) reports: In early October US officials opened with a salvo of verbal attacks on the station and began applying a number of pressures on Qatar and Aljazeera in order to influence its coverage. In Media under Pressure: Aljazeera Toeing the Red Lines. Qusaibaty (2006) uses qualitative data analysis to examine the patterns of change in the Arab world and pressures for reform. Olivia Qusaibaty starts from the premise that she does not consider the Arab world a unified entity due to the important political. and paid political advertisements explaining America’s position towards the Islamic world. Washington claimed to be upset by the fact that it continued to air a 1998 interview with bin Laden that allegedly incited Muslims to rise-up against the United States.

Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . this happens to be a hard version. and acquiescing to that. expose the gap between rhetoric and reality. Sebastian is known for his combative style of interviewing. In this regard. but mainly as paranoia of western socio-political and economic invasion. My job is to show them up. The Opposite Direction and Open Dialogue. There are softer programs on option on the BBC. expose them—as I say. For Women Only. they ironically replicate English terminology. Programs. A lot of people think it's a badge of honour to come through the program and having done well. Qusaibaty claims. observation of Tim Sebastian. because of the nature of the program. such as The Opposite Direction. And a lot of people like to take you on. (3) Subjective framing. This dichotomy. (2) Focus on the west and particularly the United States. so everybody gets the same hard time when they sit down. While these are valid observations they raise a question about whether they are specific to Aljazeera programs or are universal features of contemporary television debate in general. Qusaibaty observes that while the debaters relentlessly criticize the west. they come into the studio knowing what kind of treatment they're going to get. (4) Host’s interference. I'm looking for holes in their arguments. use Yes or No closed questions to introduce the topic of debate and poll viewers. They all have holes in their arguments. shows the following characteristics: (1) Dichotomy of “them and us” (the west and the Arab world). frame events and situate their arguments using Anglo-Saxon frameworks. For example. The host interrupts the speaker and influences the debate. That's true of everybody. or put me in my place. This is what he says about his own style of interviewing: I have no particular bias towards any of them [guests]. some more glaring than others. former BBC Hard Talk presenter reveals similar patterns. We can't drag people into the studio. whoever they are and whatever political stripe they happen to represent. presents itself in several ways. 78 Her analysis of the way interlocutors conduct themselves in debating issues of three programs.

She contends: “the contrasting responses the channel has generated indicate that it provides merely a reflection of the reality it seeks to portray. Aljazeera must be seen in the larger context of what Qatar is trying to do on the world stage. Aljazeera has allowed previously forbidden discourse to emerge from behind closed doors into the public field. it is certainly not a running train. but rather depends on the divergent opinions voiced in responses to particular issues” (48). That's absolutely fine. Voices from the void: the new Arab public Public sphere has invariably been a recurring theme in publications on Aljazeera and Arab media. For about three years now. saying that Iraq could no longer remain the responsibility of just one country and calling for a strengthening of the United Nations’ role. Its awareness of the significant role it is playing in Arab politics cannot be reduced to a mere reflection of “reality”. Aljazeera may then resemble a messenger with less stringent filters than government-controlled media. Its critical role during the Israel-Lebanon war in July 2006 when the rest of the Arab countries did little to stop the hostilities has won it admiration and support in the Arab world.15 Qusaibaty concludes by reiterating what other writers and researchers have said ad nauseam: “By breaching taboos and uncovering sensitive issues. 79 or whatever—and many people do put me in my place. and if it is any indication. This assertion however discounts other factors that contribute to the framing of issues apart from viewer responses. the channel’s framing of events is not linear. especially as concerns the Arab world” (48). the Emir of Qatar indirectly criticized the US policy in Iraq. Qatar has been focusing on supporting development projects in South East Asia as well as playing a role in Arab politics. It seems to be an in-vogue concept in this area Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . in his speech at the UN General Assembly on 25 September 2007. In doing so. such editorial policy implies that Aljazeera toes a very fine line subject as concerns pressure from governments and other interested parties. While Aljazeera is motivated by the momentum of its earlier successes. Nevertheless.

which although uncertain. Lynch reiterates that mass media has been long criticized for tending to demobilize societies and to discourage political action. Zayani (2005) asks the questions: can Aljazeera be a vehicle for political change? Does a network like Aljazeera enhance or eviscerate democracy? Zayani argues that so far the Arab public seems to Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Using Iraq as the vehicle for his arguments and exploration of the state of Arab media. Lynch warns that it is not sufficient to say an Arab public sphere exists. Access is guaranteed to all citizens. In contrast. A portion of the public sphere comes into being in every conversation in which private individuals assemble to form a public body” (49). Aljazeera. is more reliable than untested opinion or guesswork. How? By breaking state control over information and giving a platform to voices that have been stifled for quite a long time. the new Arab media assumes an active role in trying to “mobilize mass publics to become politically involved” (52). 80 of inquiry with sketchy details of what this concept signifies. these television networks have redefined what it means to be an Arab. The full worth of a policy is yet to be seen” (251). which according to Goodnight (1998) necessarily pertains to the domain of probable knowledge: “that kind of knowledge. The question is what kind of public sphere is it and what kind of impact is it likely to have? What kinds of arguments dominate within it and who are the participants? Citing Gamson (2001). Lynch (2006) argues that Aljazeera and other satellite television channels have transformed Arab politics over the last decade. and by encouraging open debate about a host of issues such as Iraq. In this regard. Arab identity. Palestine. and Middle East Politics Today.16 A public sphere is a precondition for deliberative arguments. Public deliberation is probable because the future is more and less than expected. Public sphere according Habermas is “a realm of our social life in which something approaching public opinion can be formed.17 In his book Voices of the New Arab Public: Iraq.

Nonetheless. Lynch (2006) again observes that there is a noticeable amount of reflexive. its own mistakes” (55). There are those who have regarded Aljazeera as the harbinger of democracy and social liberation and those who have seen it as a western saboteur. the sudden introduction to uncontrolled public free speech and public debate must have been a real cultural shock. El-Oifi (in Zayani. its own behavior. and that is the increasing marginalization of the role of the media in development and modernization. “Aljazeera regularly airs programs devoted to questioning its own importance. “Aljazeera has become a weapon to contend with and a source of influence at the disposal of a tiny country [Qatar] which does not possess any of the classical elements of power…This extraordinary shift of power—in fact. 2005)18 argues that Aljazeera is influence without power. For those who have always been suspicious of imported western liberalizations in the absence of liberal and democratic systems. For societies that have been used to police-state oppression and an authoritarian form of puppet media. Aljazeera has been received with ambivalence in the Arab world and by the Arab diaspora. The media discourse is increasingly embroiled in an oppositional ideological underpinning” (33). the revenge of the micro state over Arab countries that have a weight in the region—points to momentous changes or imbalances which are shrewdly exploited by the American administration. 81 be content with satellite democracy. Perhaps this mixed reaction to a liberal news and current affairs television reflects the great social and political divide across the Arab society at large. Fourth Estate or Fifth Column Since its launch a decade ago. Aljazeera must have been received with a degree of apprehension and Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change .” (76). “Add to this yet another danger. self-conscious discussion within the Arab public sphere about itself and contends that ironically this self obsession may be one of the things that most identifies it as a public sphere. Moreover.

became more pronounced in the decade that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the successive political and military events that took hold of the region. The loyalist press includes Saudi Arabia. which Rugh (2004) calls: mobilization press. diverse print media and transitional print media. The culture of fifth column had been widespread in Arab politics for most of the second half of the twentieth century and any departure from the official political party line had been seen as dissention. he confirms that in most Arab countries. the Arab world was divided into three major social-political systems: conservative. The diverse print media include Lebanon. Tunisia and Algeria. Rugh (2004:23) argues that the Arab media systems do not fit neatly and completely into any of the categories of the standard classification of authoritarian. Libya. and along other entertainment television channels. Kuwait. Interestingly. While this concept of the role of the media has recently come under fire in the west. these social-political systems have been translated into four dynamic forms of media. the media operate under variations of the authoritarian theory and concludes that the media system in the Arab world “cannot be understood without specific reference to the political and other conditions prevailing at the time in the country” (23). Morocco and Yemen. loyalist press. libertarian. Sudan and pre-2003 Iraq. However. social responsibility or totalitarian. 82 cynicism. the United Arab Emirates and Palestine. semi-liberal and authoritarian-populist. Qatar. In the pre-Aljazeera and more specifically pre September 11. Jordan. as a fifth column. The mobilization press includes Syria. This delineation. Transitional print media include Egypt. Oman. Bahrain. which was taking shape during the Cold War. it seems to have been embraced wholeheartedly yet somewhat abnormally in the Arab Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . 2001 period. The common definition of the media being the fourth estate rests on the notion that the media functions as a guardian of the public interest and as a watchdog on the activities of government.

news and current affairs in the Arab world seem to be gaining prominence with the liberalization of the media in the last decade thanks to the dramatic influence of Aljazeera and the interest it has aroused in the Arab world. no doubt . 83 media. were established in competition. He contends that the traditional explanation of journalism based on the notion of fourth estate has been undermined because audiences no longer find traditional journalism as important and sustaining as they once did. Hroub confirms the general current view of Aljazeera as follows: The creation of a “regional media public sphere” has been central to Aljazeera's policy over the past 10 years.envious too. Most of these modeled themselves on Aljazeera.a number of trans-terrestrial Arabic-speaking television stations. Stockwell (2004) argues that the fourth estate gives journalists the dual benefit of placing them inside the political process but outside the institutions of governance. 20 But whether Aljazeera is creating consensus around undermining state- controlled media is doubtful. Egyptian and Lebanese. its contribution to political change is at best limited and contends that this seeming paradox remains an enigma to many analysts. Moreover. social and religious systems became the name of the new media game. The newly created virtual sphere of free debate and news access effectively rendered old-style state-controlled Arab media obsolete. Khalid Rhoub (2006) argues in the Lebanese English language Daily Star that despite Aljazeera’s importance in the creation of an “Arab” public sphere. For example. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . in style if not in substance: challenging existing political. On the role of Aljazeera as a fourth estate. News and current affairs in both Australia and United States are losing ratings “indicating a rising level of dissatisfaction with mainstream news”(4)19. Motivated by the success of the Qatar-based station . chiefly Saudi. In contrast. quality and diversity of speech. Baker (2006:142) argues that the fourth estate notion has no relation to the general quantity.

however. In an interview with MSNBC on May 13. 84 Out of control: the taming of the shrew For many viewers in the west. untamed and bombastic news and current affairs channel. look they are burying the lead. it is a combination of these two factors. Umm…With Aljazeera I thought they really had to have a belief in some kind of independent press because many of those come from state-run news institutions. So many of them I knew were going to be frustrated from the world they had come from and excited to be part of what they saw as the freest press in the Middle East. and capture the state of fluctuation and irrationality of news coverage. at least in the early years of its operation and during the period from 2003 to 2006. because he said. Jihane Noujaime. I think it’s difficult… Tom described it to me really well. when the Jessica Lynch story came out for example. you need to get on the story right way. Explaining why she made the move. Noujaime challenges the basic notion of objective reporting and calls objectivity a “mirage”. Aljazeera today is another foreign language replica of CNN. has been dealing with the events in the region. In many ways it is. David Shuster from MSNBC. she states: I was really just curious in terms of figuring out who these people were that were going to Qatar to cover the news. There is Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . The individual journalists. The transformation that has taken place over the last two years. Whether this is a natural outcome of maturation and adaptation or the result of a conscious policy on the part of decision makers is hard to ascertain. and while rationality may have been needed to streamline Aljazeera’s editorial policies. spoke to Alison Stewart about the reasons for making this documentary about Aljazeera. has transported Aljazeera into another phase of television news broadcasting. you know. unbridled and unguided by any clear policy. He was really frustrated with what was going on. may have come across as a wild. were fantastic people and had a lot of integrity. Most likely.21 For the full transcript. 2004. the director of “Control Room”. I thought was. The American media. The little boy with the handgun metaphor may aptly describe how Aljazeera. Tom Mantier from CNN. see the Appendix. Aljazeera. we live in a time where 24 hour news coverage. as journalists and as people.

However. aired in June 2007. The worst part Aljazeera is struggling with is how when there isn’t over a long tradition of being independent and being able to say anything you want in any one of these sorts of kingdoms. since September 11. and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. to criticize what we are doing. we respected Aljazeera in the sense that they were doing something that hadn’t been done in the Arab world. In a special program making the fortieth anniversary of the 1967 war and the defeat of the Arabs to Israel. But Aljazeera’s role or rather frivolity cuts deeper into the consciousness of its media workers than the trimmings of its recent journalistic tradition might show. Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. A lot of journalists. there has been a really enormous pressure not to criticize the President. with bare footprints and shoeprints treading all over them. Aljazeera. They are not telling us what’s going on. which probably escaped the attention of most Arab viewers. said look. I can say the names. In a network that spends lavishly. obviously. 85 something going on. which is a great part of journalism. the best food. while Aljazeera lamented the fact that most of the surveyed participants could not remember the war. But at the same time. I think there has also been a lot of pressure. But the difficult part about that if wee are not seeing what the other side is thinking and I think that puts us in a very dangerous situation as Americans. so he had to stand up there and report on Jessica Lynch. everybody else is reporting about Jessica Lynch. how do you establish that now? We’ve got some 200 years of being to build on that in our country and I think this helps journalism”. Egyptian President Gamal Abel Nasser. This symbolism of the passage of time. the promotional video clip and program trailer showed collaged still pictures of three deceased Arab leaders. 2004). Shuster confirms: “First of all. We need to be patriotic. a random sample of young and old Arabs was surveyed in several Arab countries about what they knew about the war. and they were ruffling a lot of feathers. they are also the nicest guys” [emphasis added] (Control Room. they’ve got the best food. was most likely symbolic of how Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Strikingly. cutting through the delicacies of cuisine. and they were reaching a lot of viewers. one impression that American journalists walk away with is what David Shuster of MSNBC experienced: “Aljazeera.

Rushing paints a bleak picture of how the American military command viewed not only Aljazeera as a hostile media network.S. (50). Qatar as a talking point for Aljazeera. More telling however is the career transition from a US Marine to a reporter at Aljazeera. While this view has been communicated to the Arabs through persistent stereotypical Hollywood portrayals. Mission Aljazeera Aljazeera. as this gives us insight into how Aljazeera operates to recruit personnel. Aljazeera was a hostile network. He recounts how he joined the Marines at the tender age of seventeen. which described the majority of my CentCom colleagues. as he puts it. how he ended up at U. Mission Aljazeera by Josh Rushing (2007) offers the reader a blend of a personal story and observations of a media professional who has so far viewed both sides of the equation. but also how democracy-exporters despise and look down on the very people they have come to liberate and educate in the ways of democracy and freedom of speech in the Arab world. I would argue that time on Aljazeera’s airways—for better or worse—gave CentCom our only opportunity to reach the audience we most needed to reach: the Arab people […] I argued my case Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . how he joined the Defense Information School to study journalism. It was certainly an insult to those who noticed the pictures. and its portrayal of the United States’s actions frustrated my superiors. 86 Aljazeera sees past Arab leaders. Rushing writes: To Fox News viewers. Marine can be. which were flashed on screen. Central Command (CentCom) in Doha. Rushing offers a first-hand account and insights into these perceptions and attitudes and the workings of the war propaganda machine. and how his encounters with Aljazeera journalists opened his eyes to the Arab culture.S. who would be outraged at the station’s reporting and vow to cut off all access to its reporters. Rushing (2007) tells the readers that he is as American and patriotic as any ex U.

In many ways too. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . too engrossed in political analyses. C-SPAN-like public affairs coverage. And while conspiracy theories inside and outside the Arab world have claimed it’s a stalking horse for a political movement. sports. Towards the end of the book.” It wouldn’t be the last time I would be accused of being a traitor. Rushing has tried to be as transparent and honest as possible and this comes across in his narrative and detailed account of the events that make up this book. it sounds rather odd to have someone working for Aljazeera not to say something good about Aljazeera. “Check your uniform and see what name is on it. throughout the book. theoretical fancy footwork and academic methodologies and procedures that give the illusion of objectivity and scientific enquiry. But in all fairness. have failed to do. (193-194) This is where the credibility of the book begins to falter a little and for cynics and sceptics. The answer is simple: We launched Aljazeera English because the Emir of Qatar said to do it. all I’ve heard as far as our mission goes is to be as credible as possible. Now that he is in the employ of the mega network empire. When I heard about the book I had almost completed my literature review. and documentaries) has been a product of his hunches and vision. Credibility is a watch word at Aljazeera and I think it’s fair to surmise that one thing the Emir wants to do is to extend the credibility he has established with the Arab network to a broader. but a review of the literature about Aljazeera could not be complete without reading Mission Aljazeera. children’s programming. international audience. He has never publicly said why he thought an English-language iteration was needed. You need to remember which side you’re on. 87 so strongly that at one point an Air Force lieutenant colonel came to me and said. Rushing assumes the role of spokesperson for Aljazeera. he speaks in the same manner as he did when he was a talking point at CentCom: A lot of people want to know why Aljazeera decided to launch an English language network. leaving us as well as the rest of the world to speculate on his thinking. one that he keeps fairly private. the book manages to add a human touch to the phenomenon of Aljazeera that other books. His growing media empire (which includes Arabic channels for news. or a target meant to draw fire from the more controversial Aljazeera Arabic. but his instincts have proven right so far.

foreign press was the primary source of information for Arabic newspapers and journalists in the second half of the twentieth century. I was touched by the ingenuity of observation and description. He contends that “…media language is heard not just by one or two people but by mass audiences. I am that bridge I had always imagined I could be. With the widespread coverage of satellite television Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . it can be argued that the shift was due to the direct influence of translation. “the refined easy style we have achieved in Arabic writing today is not attributable to language teachers in schools and colleges. nor is it attributable to writers and ancient men of letters. It is in the first place owing to the journalism of today” (111). It is the few talking to the many. but half way through. Translating Mroue (1961). there have been claims of conscious moves within journalism to simplify the Arabic language.22 Before the introduction of satellite television to the Arab world. much as these early pioneers would like to think that the shift in style of Arabic writing is due to the conscious efforts of the press. However. 88 which in many ways can be described as the icing on the cake. Language. I approached the book with scepticism. In the Arab world today. Media are dominating presenters of language in our society at large” (1). News. with news being “the primary language genre” within the media. Rushing came across as a genuine and credible narrator who finally declares “I was a former Marine. Aljazeera is carrying this all-pervading influence of news language to millions of viewers and accelerating the standardization process of the Arabic language at a rate unprecedented in the modern history of the region. Translation and Culture The vital role of language is probably nowhere as salient and influential as in news media. but I also understood the Arab media. As is the case today. Allen Bell (1991) highlights the importance and widespread influence of language in the media. without worrying about the lanes” (228).

Highlighting the role of journalists as language custodians. such as CNN. as will be illustrated in this research. 2005) regarding the role of translation in journalism and the impact of translation on the language. paving the way for the introduction of new terms and expressions in the MSA [Modern Standard Arabic] used in the news (Abdelfattah. NBC and so on. They extend to thought and logical patterns as well as argumentation patterns and paradigms. the introductions of neologisms into news media language has more to do with the lack of a systematic approach to translation. While Mellor’s reference goes back to 1990. This influence derives from translation being a process of Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . where radio is still the medium of necessity” (126). 2004. BBC. the influence of translation on Arabic linguistic and thought patterns has become more readily pronounced that will be demonstrated in this research. but television sets are not yet available in certain rural areas. There is more emphasis on literalizations and absolute literalization of English expressions. 89 in the Arab world and real-time accessibility to foreign language satellite television. and the correlation and causality between translation and the Arabic media language become stronger and arguably more established. which largely contribute to the reframing of the original message. and that such neologies are not just confined to terms and expressions of limited or confined impact. Mellor further confirms the views made here and elsewhere (Darwish. Television plays an important role as a medium even for illiterates. Denmark- based Egyptian writer Noha Mellor (2005) echoes Mroue’s view asserting that the “news media have thus played a role in the modernization of the language. 1990:42f)”. However. “The short deadlines that rule journalistic practice have forced editors and journalists to depend on quick translation of incoming news from international news agencies and sources. although high-powered newsroom production places ever-increasing pressures on journalists-cum-translators (or vice-versa). the situation is even more pronounced today at Aljazeera and other Arabic news media networks.

Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Translation mediation and downstream reporting The role of translation in news media is no less important than language itself. and has revealed serious problems with the mode of delivery and standards of rendition employed at Aljazeera (Darwish. an extreme form of literal translation where expressions are reduced to lexical meanings. the claim that it has “set a new standard of excellence [emphasis added] in translation and is used as a benchmark by professional translators all over the world” (Miles. misinterpretations and misrepresentations. As the following figure illustrates. 90 deconstruction and reconstruction of the original text. In literalization. A prelude study to the present research has examined the standards of telecast simultaneous interpreting at Aljazeera. the literalization style that has been adopted by Aljazeera is gravely contributing to mistranslations. In fact. A close examination of the translation standards used at Aljazeera reveals serious flaws with these standards. the news flows from the primary sources through the reporter/news editor and is read out (animated) by the news presenter to an audience. giving way to source language patterns to dominate the rendition. which are far from being excellent. in a monolingual news media environment. As far as Aljazeera is concerned. 2005: 335) is empirically unsupported. 2006: 75). the rhetorical devices of the target languages are usually suspended.

translation plays a secondary role (however essential in the news gathering process). whereas translation plays a Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . the news flows from the primary sources in its native form through primary reporting in mediated form to the news editor and text animator to an audience. 91 Figure 3— A basic model of news flow in a monolingual environment In contrast. Figure 4—A basic model of mediated news reporting In the monolingual model. in the translation-mediated model of news reporting.

In the downstream model. the information relays become more complex as translation-mediation occurs more frequently in the information flow between the event and audience. or translated by translators working at or for these news providers. translators and editors. Examining the problems faced by western journalists working in Iraq. They report that mistranslations and/or omissions of significant material. the role of the translators and/or fixers within this monolingual model was examined (while the present research was still in progress) by Palmer and Fontan (2007). Downstream reporting is defined here as news reports originating in English mainly by news providers and translated into other languages locally by news monitors. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . inability to understand the local culture and the fixer forming the journalist’s view of the situation. Palmer and Fontan focused on the first stage of information relays depicted in the model that intervene between the events and the journalists who report them and the role of the translators/fixers in facilitating information gathering from local sources. 92 central role in the downstream reporting model. As mentioned earlier in this thesis. They confirm the argument maintained throughout this thesis that the overwhelming majority of the journalists working on location spoke no or very little Arabic and that all of the non-Arabic journalists had used interpreters.

Most publications at hand have addressed various aspects of Arab media but they have not tackled the role of language or translation in the making of Arab(ic) news. In the preface.23 I have deliberately chosen to share this privilege with my Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change .Downstream reporting model The making of Arab news With the exception of two books. this scholarly book brings a fresh insight into the intricate nature of the Arab media. Written by an Arab living in the West. Mellor sets out to explain her motivation for writing the book: “AS A NATIVE ARAB LIVING [emphasis in original] in Europe and working in the field of media—both as a scholar and a journalist—I have had the privilege of being able to access information and publications in both English and Arabic. In The Making of Arab News. by Noha Mellor. no publications examining Arab news exist. 93 Figure 5.

The book opens with an introduction about the emergence of Aljazeera as an alternative source of news stories in the Arab world. it is worth examining very closely in this section. 94 readers by consistently presenting the views of Arab scholars and professionals side by side with the views of their western. literacy and policy. shedding light on some important aspects of language. the book goes beyond sheer juxtaposition of these views to a deeper and more incisive analysis of Arab(ic) news and how it is viewed in the west. “…challenging American media hegemony” (1). Certainly. realistic picture of the state of affairs not only of journalism but also of the general social and political climate in the Arab region. shows only reactions on the surface but does not go deeper than that” (2). particularly in the media field. the similarities and differences that exist in the Arab world. and unfortunately (as discussed later) perpetuating a few fallacies about the language and culture. Falling back on statistics and information primarily from UNESCO. “but also in the development of news genre in the Arab media and the development of television journalism. Mellor paints a grim. counterparts” (xi). Since this book is the only book that actually address Arab news making. although a worthy exercise per se. Mellor states again. “[s]crutinizing media coverage in both spheres. identity and political and civil rights. The Arab Region: Similarities and Differences. Mellor concludes this chapter by saying that “despite similarities among Arab states. have not been successful” (23). The book. explores in Chapter 1. which consists of an introduction and two parts. dispelling some of the long-held misconceptions in western media and political circles about Arab journalism. and particularly American. their efforts to launch mutual cooperation projects. which is said to have been non-existent in the Arab world television” (2). and about global convergence not only in the importation of western music and entertainment genres. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change .

In Chapter 4. and censorship—seem to have diminished. and in most situations solely. reflecting various ideological. political. Mellor confirms the dominant view that “the criteria journalists use for selecting the news vary from one culture to another. gives a thorough and informative account of the beginning. Regarding news in terms of politics. confirming that “the indulgence in foreign policy issues is not only deep rooted in the history of news reporting in the Arab region but also in officials’ attitudes towards news media” (60). This chapter looks at the news as a unifying tool and form of control. History of Arab News. Chapter 3. concluding that “Arab news agencies fail to provide a rich source of Arab news to Arab media and thereby reduce their dependence on foreign (western) news sources” (45). and examines the reasons for this drive. It then examines the role of Arab news agencies and their main function “to assist the government in disseminating its information and controlling the incoming news from foreign sources” (38). access to information. which perhaps to some degree explains why Arab news relies primarily. Categorization of the Arab Press: Rugh’s Typology Revisited. development. as several pan-Arab newspapers are now returning to the Arab world” (63). function and current status of Arab news. News Values. arriving at the conclusion that the “reasons that drove these newspapers abroad—lack of technology. Mellor then explores agenda-setting issues in the Arab press. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . 95 Chapter 2. reexamines William Rugh’s (2004) typology of Arab news and presents a critique by scholars of this typology. “The amount of foreign news in the Arab media is in fact higher than that in the American media” (43). “which stems from western theories of the press”. This chapter also looks at Arab newspapers published outside the Arab region in the past three decades. Mellor examines the values by which the news in the Arab press is selected vis-à-vis western news values. on foreign news sources. and cultural realities” (75).

Mellor examines news values in the Arab region and the west. particularly in the United States. Mellor contends that the development of the news genre in the Arab press was a long. What was the role of schools in teaching the so-called “classical Arabic” (as a separate thing. for example. pure and perfect (pristine) version of Arabic. which no longer exists. the former being “the most eloquent”. scholars and laypersons alike. and newness. Mellor claims that the “new medium demanded new genres of writing: clear and understood by a wider audience. a totally different language that has no connection or bears no resemblance to the “spoken” form) and could all pupils and students who were taught this “variety” of the language understand it in the same way as present-day students learn and understand a totally alien language such as English. Citing Ayalon (1995) and Haeri (2003). 96 social responsibility. which had been used primarily in literary genres addressing the small community of intellectuals…” (105). concluding that American journalists tend to see their mission as exposing the truth. objectivity. In part two. and the latter “an eloquent” version of Arabic. Chapter 5. begs the following questions. through these variables. recognizing the elements of “lahn” (c\_) (solecism) or “foreignness” that have crept into the Arabic language since Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . This short chapter (103-107) very briefly touches on the different types of news genre and sub-genres. hard process. the journalistic genres sprang from classical Arabic. the comparison stops there and Arabic news is treated as an isolated phenomenon. fail to make in their analysis of this phenomenon is that between “al-fus_ha” ([\]^_`) and “al-faseeha” (a\b]^_`) varieties of standard Arabic. This flawed argument. so much so that it had no direct impact on their lives or means of communication? A crucial distinction that most people. whereas this role is rare in Arab news media. The News Genre examines the news genre in the Arab media compared to western media. However. which indirectly assumes that the so-called “classical Arabic” lacked clarity and precision. prominence. In this chapter.

Yet whenever and wherever educated Arabs meet. “She finally realized why English and Egyptian Arabic felt closer to her than MSA: they were living languages”. Again. her first (and probably last) encounter with other Arabs from other nationalities and how it suddenly dawned on her that Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) was not her mother tongue and that her mother tongue was Egyptian Arabic. a dialect. Setting the scene for the discussion that follows here and in chapter 7. MSA: The Language of News. which has been erroneously labelled “classical Arabic” by Orientalists—a label faithfully adopted by Arabs (see Darwish. a living language is largely a spoken language. they complain endlessly and peevishly about their different dialects all in their own local dialects. Ironically. and it would be naive to claim that MSA is not a living language by this definition. Chapter 6. westernism and the so-called gentleman’s complex (cultural cringe) takes them as far as considering English closer to them than Arabic. this misconception stems from the erroneous definition of “living language”. phraseology and structure. the late Saudi King Faysal Ibn Abd al-Aziz is reported to have said to the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nassir at an Arab summit sometime in the early seventies that “Egyptian Arabic’ was the closest to standard Arabic in terms of terminology. This non sequitur (were the other Arabs speaking MSA?) represents the psychological trap that most so-called educated Arabs find themselves in when it comes to standard Arabic. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . 97 the Arabs’ first contact with other nations. without the slightest glitch in communication. 2005). Their sense of alienation. the chapter opens with a recount of a snippet from the autobiography of Egyptian feminist Leila Ahmed recalling the time she was working in Abu Dhabi. A living language is a language that is in active function or use. continues to explore language issues related to the news. For these people.

and has never prevented them from “thinking” and from achieving intellectual and scientific greatness to which modern civilization owes a great deal of debt. which work against each other [emphasis added]. This chapter would have benefited from studies by prominent Arabic language scholars such as Subhi as-Salih. largely non-Semitic syntax which will be dictated by the habits of thought rather than the habit of live speech. cited in the present volume and in Darwish (2005). such ideas will always find their misguided and starry-eyed enchanted followers in the Arab world. has suggested that “the future of the Arabic language will thus lie not in artificial compromises between the two native linguistic sources of classicism and colloquialism. successive imperialist and colonialist powers in the last centuries played a serious role in stunting the natural literacy process of societies of the colonized countries. Only then in possession of a language by which to think [emphasis added]. instead of relying on Orientalists and outsiders to account for the various phenomena of the Arabic language that very few people are able to appreciate and for which others do not hesitate to suggest remedies based on their understanding of their own languages. This account relies on Versteegh’s (1997) analysis of such alleged “standardization”. 98 The chapter presents a brief account of the development of MSA as a deliberate move on the part of the rulers to standardize the language during the peak of the Islamic Empire. Colloquialism has existed alongside “classical” Arabic since the early days of the Arabs. Jaroslav Stetkevych. Such audacious linguistic imperialism and condescension is probably not seen anywhere else except in the studies of Arabic by foreigners who can only understand the language through their own. will the Arabs be able to overcome the problem of conflicting colloquialism and classicism” (109). for example. Certainly. but rather in a straight line of development out of a classical morphology towards a new. Sadly. By imposing their own languages on the local population (for Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change .

It is expected that within the next twenty-five to thirty years. Yet she fails to make the connection between the increased reliance on these foreign sources and their impact on the style of news language through poor translations. More to the point. Values in Language. Back translation follows an arbitrary approach that weakens the point these examples try to illustrate. the author discusses the role of foreign news agencies from a sociopolitical viewpoint and admits that Arab news media depend on foreign news sources. 2005) and the fact that most Arabic news is translated from various foreign news agencies. attribution. In chapter 2. A discussion of active vs. the French in Algeria) and/or encouraging the use of the vernacular as a means of upward mobility in society (for example. hierarchy of textual Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . the trite Arabic expression (d_e [_f) (ila tHalika) (literally. these colonial powers contributed significantly to relegating standard Arabic to a lower status in education and professional life. thanks to Aljazeera and other Arabic satellite television networks—despite the numerous criticisms one might level at them—the perceived gulf between standard Arabic and the local dialects is diminishing at an unprecedented accelerated rate. For example. when in fact it is a direct poor translation of the linking device “to this end”. Chapter 7. Arabic expressions that have crept from English through translation in the first place are lost in back translation. is translated into “About this” (page 131). the British in Egypt). Today however. provides specific examples of Arabic news with back translations. “to that”). this chapter completely ignores translation as a critical and defining factor in the development of these styles (see Darwish. 99 example. major dialectical differences will have merged into standard Arabic or an “educated” streamlined version already in use in many quarters of inter-Arab interaction. which is used and overused ad nauseam in Arabic news today. passive voice.

Low translation standards.24 certainly through literalization and mimicry. arriving at the conclusion that the Arab news media have pushed the limits of freedom and enforced a healthy spirit among media outlets. and which produced the first firmly rooted and consequential cultural communication with modernity. particularly for the literary generation active in the first quarter of the present century. British and other European media of equal importance are completely ignored. 1970). it was this generation which put modern Arabic on its present course. Strikingly. cannot be complete without exploring the influence of translation on these aspects of Arabic news. The Role of Translation in the Media This section of the literature review addresses itself to translation and the role of translation in the media in general and Arabic media in particular. At the same time. there is hardly any significant literature on the role of Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . her analysis of western media focuses solely on American media. ill-equipped and unqualified as translators. tense and deictic. modernization and creation of new writing styles in journalism—are adversely contributing to copycat representations. It contradicts the claim that “the discovery that there was a mysterious link missing for a successful thought transfusion from the Western into the Arabic culture became a source of frustration [emphasis added]. What enabled all this to happen was the gradual appearance of affinities between Arabic and the modern European family of languages” (Stetkevych. as it was fully committed to innovation. and the book. which unknowingly defined modern Arabic. One striking oddity about this book is that while the author lives in Europe. and literalization—a misguided notion of literal translation as a means of innovation. fostering new journalistic practices. Most of those who translate the news from foreign sources are journalists who are by all accounts untrained. 100 representation. The final chapter sums up the present volume. it seems. is catering for the academic taste of American scholarship.

we are learning to translate. a translation model or theory is developed within the limits of these frames of thought. and so on. the child who asks his mother the meaning of a word is really asking her Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . psychoanalysis. The realization among translation writers in the past 30 years that translation is a complex system has been gaining momentum with the globalizing effect of mass communication technologies and the convergence of cultures in one global media culture. As Octavio Paz (1971) observes.” (6). thinking is basically a process of translating.. Characteristically. These theories and corollary models have spanned the translation phenomenon on two axes: a vertical axis that examines the paradigmatic relationship of translation to text at different levels of structure and a horizontal axis that examines syntagmatic relationship of translation to the various applications of text. semiotics.25 According to Schulte and Biguenet (1992). post-structuralism. 101 translation in the news despite the central role translation plays in the process of news reporting.. translation theories have tagged along the various intellectual changes elsewhere and translation theories have reflected the dominant trends of thought of the day. This relationship has governed translation strategies and approaches. all acts of communication are indeed acts of translation. postmodernism. Translating memes and mismemes It makes sense at this point in our discussion of the role of translation in news reporting at television in general to examine the influential concepts. structuralism. now that “it has become clear that translational thinking is fundamental to all acts of human communication. theories and models of translation at large. This will help elucidate some of the problems encountered in translation of news reports. be it hermeneutics. Depending on the prevalent trend of thought at every juncture of development of human thinking. In their view. “when we learn to speak.

as the specific nature of culture one is exposed to can be grasped only when projected onto what is familiar. or otherwise. However. With this in mind. The more alien the latter. paraphrasing and rewording within the same language is not translation. Here. vocational. not only languages have to be translated. Assuming that access to the full significance of that Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . many different cultures have come in close contact with one another. Eco refutes the proposition that every interpretation is a translation. In Harold bloom’s words: ‘interpretation’ once meant ‘translation’ and essentially still does” (5). this notion becomes a metaphor that is applied to other areas of interpretation. In tackling such issues. that is interpretation of something in one language through the translation of discourse describing or defining that something into another language.26 Paz argues that the very medium that makes translation possible—that is language. let us proceed to the concept of translation-mediated interpretation. calling for mutual understanding in terms not only of one’s own culture but also of those encountered. the more inevitable is some form of translation. For Eco. translation within the same language is not essentially different from translation between two tongues” (152). observes that we usually associate translation with converting one language into another. In this sense. be it foreign. In a rapidly shrinking world. He argues that something can act as the interpretant (following Pierce’s model) of a given expression without being a translation of it—“at least in the proper sense of the word” (127). Umberto Eco (2003)27 warns against using translation to mean interpreting in this sense. technical. Agreeing with Gadamer (1960). However. Iser (2000) for example. a clear distinction must be made between thinking and the verbal expression of thought because thinking is not translating — verbalizing thinking is. 102 to translate the unfamiliar term into the simple words he already knows. However. is essentially a translation. “Nowadays however. he argues that it cannot be refuted that every translation is always an interpretation. interpretation can only become an operative tool if conceived as an act of translation.

or units of imitation. The concept of memes was first introduced by Dawkins (1976). memes are cultural replicators. according to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. While these pseudo memes are circulated through the media they remain alien to the linguistic and cultural perspective of the Arabic language and reframe the original message in a particular way that was not intended in the source. A meme. some kind of interpretation takes place. cultural memes become cultural mismemes. which both involve social semiotics. Take for example the English expression the moment of truth. Without reconstructing source intersubjectivity within the linguistic and cultural interpretive framework of the target language. In importing foreign styles and practices of broadcasting to package news and programs. This expression was first introduced by American novelist Ernest Hemingway in his story Death in the Afternoon (1932). The dilemma of nativization of such borrowed artefacts (including metaphors) in Arabic is a real one since in the absence of intersubjectivity between the source and the target cultures is bound to produce mistranslations that in turn produce pseudo cultural memes (or mismemes). behaviour. that are supposed to transmit such ideas within a culture. knowledge transfer or translation mediation. signifying the point in a Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . interpretation of these artefacts occurs. is an idea. 103 something can be achieved through a target-language bounded mind or through translation proper of the discourse describing the thing. translating discourse and narrative accompanying these artefacts and constituting the content of packaged programs entails a degree of interpretation. When such replicators fail to transmit these ideas correctly because of mistranslation or a specific translation strategy. At the same time. As such. Consequently. as a translation of the Spanish expression el momento de la verdad. style. they produce mismemes that replicate a defective meme. or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. the present research examines both aspects of packaged news. They can also work as cross-cultural transmitters to other cultures through cross-cultural communication.

104 bullfight when the matador makes the kill. 2005: 334). and later developing into the idiomatic meaning “a critical or decisive time on which much depends. has been used incorrectly. Consider the following example (source: Darwish. a crucial moment”. Figure 6-The Moment of Truth (source: Darwish. This is derived from the way the matador raises both arms and the sword above his head a moment before he thrusts the sword into the bull’s neck to finish off the bull. which means very little in Arabic. Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . 2005) A translation of this expression has found its way into the Arabic media and has been widely used by news editors and reporters. The moment of truth is more critical to the matador than it is lethal and final for the bull itself. Literally translated into (agbg\_` ah\_). this expression.

Conclusion In a recent telephone conversation with my younger sister.••‚Š˜u [_f Back translation: But (the moment of the truth)28 has never been for one day between George Bush and Saddam Hussein only. this observation is true. To a very large extent. Despite the noise. criticality or cruciality. regarding my recent book The Book of Wonders of Arabic Blunder in Journalism. she made the poignant comment that it was rather pitiful that most constructive and daring criticisms of media practices regarding translation and language standards were made from outside the Arab world and that people living in the region were unable to express these views more freely from within the Arab countries. Such a moment has also occurred thousands of times during the time of relationship between the Iraqi people and their Arab brethrens from their Maghreb to their Levant. Aljazeera was not discovered initially by researchers. 105 j`klm nop qros cbp tuov wxty tu (agbg\_` ah\_) ci_ Ž{ ~‰`Šˆ_` ‹Œ• . and its scathing critique of media practices in the Arab world. a journalist who lives in the United Arab Emirates. While a back translation may not quite highlight problem.. analysts and commentators living in the Arab world. Politics and Media. everyone seems to have jumped on the bandwagon and now hardly any centre or university anywhere.t•v€ w•} k‚ ah\•_` ƒ„… †‡ˆ{ ~zg{ cb|} ••pŠ‘u cu ~’Š“_` ”•tg–€m Ž‚`Š“_` —“˜_` cbp a‚™“_` cuš . including the Arab world has Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . as the preceding literature review has revealed. Clearly. clamour and remonstrance that have accompanied Aljazeera.. and it is evident that the translation is a cultural mismeme. Soon after. using this expression in this loose manner in Arabic is unusual. the Arabic version does not convey the meaning of the English original of decisiveness. Rather it was discovered by Arabs living overseas.

These observers have traced Aljazeera’s development and have recorded the circumstances that have made it possible for Aljazeera to take centre stage in media and politics and turn into a household name worldwide. a diplomatic boon for Qatar (its host country and chief financial sponsor). Walker contends. objectivity and bias. surveys. and what can be discerned from the literature review are interpretive or historical models informed by political postulates grounded Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . field studies and content analyses have been utilized in the analysis and development of the research findings. Interviews. formal and informal. anti-Semitic. a dangerous cultural phenomenon. These studies have relied on qualitative and quantitative research methods to make sense of the sudden impact of the Aljazeera phenomenon. These studies have not adopted a clear theoretical framework. women’s representation. Gaps in the literature This chapter has reviewed landmark publications that have tackled the idea of Aljazeera from the vantage point of external observers. a harm to Arab unity. and an international broadcaster competing successfully against the BBC and CNN”. One recurrent theme that seems to resonate through the literature on Aljazeera and Arab media in general is social and political change within the framework of democracy and liberalization. a beacon of democracy.29 These descriptors. mobilization effect. a purveyor of Al Qaida propaganda. and gender and identity are issues that have been addressed in the current literature on Aljazeera and Arab media in general. Public sphere. a challenge to hegemony in the Middle East. organizational culture. increased latitude of freedom of speech and expression. Walker (2006) has argued that Aljazeera has been “described as a challenger of the Arab status quo. comprise the Idea of Aljazeera. 106 not engaged a student or two in research about Aljazeera and Arab media looking at Aljazeera from various angles and different perspectives. In The Social Construction of Aljazeera.

which have translated into transnational satellite broadcasting. the social and cultural impact Aljazeera has been causing through translation-driven language changes and semiotic packaging of programs. translation plays a critical role in the process of change that is taking place in the Arab media and Arab communities that are being affected by Aljazeera. not only in the literature reviewed in this chapter but also outside the confines of academic and institutional walls. An interesting observation to made here is that minority or ethic media services. have also been influenced by the translation-defined stylistics employed by Aljazeera and Arab satellite television. more specifically the news. Those who have addressed this problem in this review. thus allowing a linear mode of interpretation of political. as Aljazeera develops and reaches maturity as a media organization. cannot be underestimated. Despite the misgivings of Arab and western politicians and governments about the role Aljazeera is playing. attributes the emergence of Aljazeera in the Anglo-European world to larger changes in the media environment in the Arab world. concepts and Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . Characteristically. have regarded the changes in the journalistic style as a favourable outcome of the contact between Arabic and other languages. Yet so far it has been almost totally ignored in the literature at hand. Aljazeera has changed the media landscape in the Arab world. Nonetheless. such as Mellor (2005). What is baffling about the whole process of translation-mediated news at Aljazeera and other Arabic television channels is that expressions. such as the Australian Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). there is also a common thread across views and arguments for and against Aljazeera. both qualitative and quantitative approaches have yielded similar results and more or less arrived at similar conclusions. 107 in the eventuality of democracy. As this research has established. What transpires however is while there is a bipolarity of opinions about Aljazeera. a more positive view seems to reinforce itself. Rinnawi (2006) for example. especially English. social and cultural manifestations of media phenomena.

is translated into something like “responses to the actions” (›t“{œ` •m•r) instead of “responses to the action” (†“^_` •m•r). and Aljazeera in particular. Our Ears and Our Eyes. Journalism. in a world where agendas are determined by channels of interest. p5. 3 A simple quick internet search of “experts + middle east” reveals this trend. 2 In the Acknowledgements section of his book Al-Jazeera: How Arab TV News Challenged the World. news and media. 4 Ali Abbas Jamal (2004). it gives the idea that there are several events and several responses to these events. Aljazeera and Muslim Public Opinion: “The author received no financial remuneration from any of the media organisations discussed in the book. does not address the role of translation in reframing the original message. This chapter has revealed that there is clearly a serious gap in the literature and body of knowledge with respect to the impact of translation on news making. V. in the plural. The Political Influence of Al-Jazeera Network on Kuwaitis: A Uses and Gratifications Study: Doctoral Dissertation: The University of Southern Mississippi Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change . 108 metaphors that defy the logic of language are being used by Arab journalists throughout the full spectrum of Arab media and are being accepted by viewers and other language and news consumers. when the intended meaning is several actions in response to one event. they are not connected with any vested media interest”. London. The Coalition. El-Nawawyi and Iskandar (2002) state: “More important. the English word “reactions”. Notes 1 Palmer J. Hugh Miles (2005) writes: “I have never received any payment from Al-Jazeera in connection with this book. autonomous of any governmental or personal influence.” In the preface to their book. This anomaly clearly demonstrates how translation mediation is introducing new expressions that are incorrect translations that reframe the original message. The literature at hand on translation. In this example. readers should understand that the authors of this book remain independent. (2007). To conclude this section with an example of such anomalies.” Steve Tatham (2006) also declared in the Acknowledgments section of his book Losing Arab Hearts and minds. This is short of accurate reporting to say the least. Sage Publication. and Fontan.

February 27. 21 http://video.msn. A book review of Millor.S. M. 20 http://www. 19 Stephen Stockwell (2004). 12 Darwish. and word-level borrowings are being applied out of place to other linguistic situations where these borrowings do not collocate.au/rn/learning/lifelong/stories/s1174641.pdf. Perse. 2006. Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.edu/~zulick/MovementTheory/glossary. has been widely understood by the Arabs and has been incorporated into many facets of other Arabic dialects. Jeffery Sheuer is author of the Big Picture. Elizabeth M. J.net/modules. 2001. The arguments about the influence of such literal translation on the language Chapter 2 Mediating Cultural Change .au/apsa/docs_papers/Others/Stockwell. 16 http://www.adelaide. The Egyptian dialect. Volume 2.msnbc. For example.infowar- monitor.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=76024. http://www.com/id/4971287/&fg=&from=00&vid=e282b4 42-9336-4da4-852b-fbd056809b56 . Clyde H. S. by Philip Seib (2008).access. American University.wfu. 13 Prepared statement of Dr. Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations.dailystar.msn.com/?mkt=en- us&brand=msnbc&tab=m5&rf=http://www. (2006).gpo. Also see Note 1. For example. M. The Personal.gov/congress/senate. Retrieved on 20 September 2007. In Zayani. R. (2005).php?op=modload&name=soundbyte&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=3&page =6. G. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.abc. 11 See note 1.com. Condit. United States Senate One Hundred Eighth Congress. 2003. In Translation Watch Quarterly. one has to stop and think about the sources of influence of such expression (do the inhabitants really enjoy cancer?). Retrieved on 27 September 2007. Avrunin. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. (1998). 15 The Art of the Interview. A. (2005). (p3) 7 Excerpt from the back cover of the book The Aljazeera Effect. The Aljazeera Phenomenon.htm. Retrieved on 26 September 2007. Reconsidering the Fourth Estate: The functions of infotainment. to say in English "sit on the table" instead of "sit at the table" is a violation of the English language norm. when an Arabic news reporter tells us that the island inhabitants enjoy thyroid cancer. The influence of English on Arabic should not be underestimated.. The Making of Arab News. M. This phenomenon is not restricted to immediate translations of foreign language reports. Coombs.net.edu. 66-79. N. 9 The Structure of Conflict Book by George S.lb/article. 6 Media Effects and Society. and Lucaites. T. Influence without power: Aljazeera and the Arab Public Sphere. The wholesale literal borrowings are breaking up the constraints of collocations. Why Democracies Need Journalistic Excellence. Zaharna. for example. 8 By using these terms in this sense. www. 1988. First Session. (2005).html. 14 http://www. (ed). Caudill. Retrieved 20 September 2007. American Public Diplomacy and Islam. Similar violations are taking place in Arabic through the media and through translation mediation that is based on the literal tradition. School of Communication.. Retrieved on 27 September 2007. 22 Literal translation is introducing change that violates the basic language rules and norms. L (editors). In Contemporary Rhetorical Theory: A Reader By Celeste. 17 Goodnight. I make a distinction between the negative and positive forms of “conflict”. 18 El Oifi. Retrieved 30 September 2007. Technical and Public Sphere of Argument: A Speculative Inquiry into the Arto f Public Deliberation. Issue 1: 78. 109 5 This is simply not true. Retrieved 20 September 2007. 10 Aljazeera claims that 70 million viewers watch it.

110

should not be understood as a call for the maintenance of some sort of linguistic purity. They rather
alert to the impact of absolute literal translation of idiomatic expressions that lose their intended
meanings and at the same time violate basic linguistic rules of Arabic.
23
People living in many parts of the Arab world have the same if not better access to similar sources,
thanks to the Internet and global satellite television.
24
Source: http://www.adath-shalom.ca/history_of_hebrew.htm.
25
See Darwish A. (2003). The Transfer Factor.
26
Paz, O. (1971). Translation: Literature and Letters. Translated into English by Irene del Corral. In
Schulte, R. and Biguenet, J. (1992). Theories of Translation: An Anthology of Essays from Dryden to
Derrida.
27
Eco, U (2003). Mouse or Rate? Translation as Negotiation. Weidenfeld and Nicolson: London.
28
The word “truth” in Arabic requires the definitive article “the”.
29
Walker, K. (2006). The Social Construction of Aljazeera.
http://www.rhetoricalens.info/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_id=22. Retrieved on 27
December 2007.

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Chapter 3
Conceptual Framework and Research
Model

Every discourse, even a poetic or oracular sentence, carries
with it a system of rules for producing analogous things and
thus an outline of methodology.
— Jacques Derrida (1930 -2004)

In this chapter:

Aims
Overview
A Multimodal Conceptual Framework
Methods
Design of the Study
Data Collection
Sampling Procedure
Data Analysis
Sources and Logistics
Research Model
How the Model Works
Model Categories
Conclusion

Chapter 3
Conceptual Framework and Research Model

112

Aims
The aim of this chapter is to outline the conceptual framework and
methodology employed in addressing the research questions and to
describe the theoretical framework in which the research is grounded.

This chapter also describes the methods used for data collection,
sampling and analysis, including the research model employed in the
analysis of the data.

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Conceptual Framework and Research Model

113

Overview
The preceding literature review has revealed a serious lack of attention to
the role and impact of translation in news making, in terms of news
content and news production, not only in Arabic television but also in the
media at large. There is hardly any landmark publication or known
research in this area in both translation and mass communication studies.
Only a handful of publications dealing with news translation directly or
indirectly exists. These include Clausen (2003), Kuo and Nakamura
(2005), Millor (2005), Darwish (2005, 2006, 2007), Baker (2006), and
Palmer and Fontan (2007). Only recently has interest been taken in this
area, culminating in a conference held in England in June 2006.1

Recent examples of erroneous or contentious translations of news reports
and political statements have highlighted a shortage of serious studies on
the causal relationship between translation and news reporting and a lack
of appreciation of the different approaches to translation. Most research
on translation has examined the broader problem of translation, while the
literature on translation heuristics has largely concerned itself with
problems of style, genre and text typology across language and
knowledge domains. A translation-focused study of the news remains
lacking.

Furthermore, the media’s emphasis on the precepts of objectivity,
neutrality, fairness, truthfulness and accuracy, enshrined in the codes of
ethics of journalists, suggesting rationality and stability of the discourse,
is sharply contrasted by the absence of any attention to translation in these
codes of ethics as a major critical factor in ensuring these precepts are
upheld. This contrast is further compounded by the paradox that exists
between the traditional notion of meaning as a fixed production that has
dominated the approach to translation for decades and the multimodal
notion of meaning-making “in any and every sign, at every level, and in
any mode”2 that has been increasingly dominating current theories of

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Conceptual Framework and Research Model

114

meaning. Post-modernist theories of meaning that have influenced
translation theories and models have created a dichotomy of referential
versus contextual production and reproduction of meaning:

“In traditional theories of meaning, signifiers come to rest in the
signified of a conscious mind. For poststructuralists, by contrast,
the signified is only a moment in a never-ending process of
signification where meaning is produced not in a stable,
referential relation between subject and object, but only within the
infinite, intertextual play of signifiers”3.
When the signifier and signified are associated they become a sign that
has signification, but as poststructuralists have argued, the relationship
between the signifier and signified is not permanently fixed. As Holmes
(2005) explains, the arbitrariness of this relationship means that language
is a system without positive terms. “To repeat a signifier it is not
necessarily true that a signified associated with it in a former signification
will also be repeated” (Holmes, 2005:125). In his breakthrough work on
semiotics, Saussure proposed that it is the relationship between systems of
signifiers rather than between signifier and signified within any one
system that “determines the kinds of thought concepts that are associated
with any one signifier” (Holmes, 2005:125). However, Saussure’s notion
of stable systems of signifiers was strongly criticized by Derrida who
argued that there was no such thing as a stable sign system. “What is
problematic in Saussure is that he regarded the relation between a
signifier and a signified to be a cozy one-to-one correspondence, as in a
parallelism, as if all signs were constituted by symmetrical values (that
could be measurable) of the signifier and signified” (Holmes, 125).
However, this notion of fixed signification has been a central problem in
translation studies.

The literature review has also established grounds for selecting framing
theory within an interpretive, multimodal, social-semiotics theoretical
framework for this study. Social semiotics provides the mechanisms for
the analysis and interpretation of the news content and the visual
communication that accompanies the discourse of television.

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115

The present chapter describes the conceptual framework adopted in the
analysis of some of the salient features of Arabic satellite television,
Aljazeera in particular, in addressing the question of translation in news
making. The primary aim of this study has been to examine the role of
translation in the making of Arabic news and in representations of social
and cultural values through translation mediation.

A Multimodal Conceptual Framework
How to reconcile the paradox created by the two contrasting views on
meaning described in the preceding paragraphs is a challenging task. An
attempt to extend multimodality to a social semiotic analysis of
translation in television might help to reduce the paradox to an operational
model that can be used for both production and evaluation of translation
mediation in television with universal applicability.

The conceptual framework for this research is thus based first on the
assumptions that translation is a constraint-driven process. It is a process
that is constrained by several variables such as space, time, quality of
information, problem-solving aptitude or ideologies. These constraints
always circumvent the realization of an optimal approximation.

The second assumption is that translation is only an approximation of the
original and not an exact replica of the original. Central to the debate on
translation is the notion of equivalence and whether complete translation
is achievable across the different levels of expression. Baker (1992)
argues that although equivalence is achievable to some extent, it is usually
influenced by various linguistic and cultural factors; therefore it is always
relative. One can argue that the relativity of equivalence is governed by
the conditions of multimodality of the communication process within
which translation operates. In translating live broadcasts, such relativity is
clearly illustrated in the problem of translating dialogues, especially when
two linguistically and culturally divergent languages, such as English and

Chapter 3
Conceptual Framework and Research Model

116

Arabic, are involved. The dilemma here is real. If equivalence is
achievable on the linguistic level, it might not be so, on the cultural level.
Even if linguistic and cultural equivalences are found, the communicative
function of such equivalence is doubtful — the cognitive, linguistic and
pragmatic distance between the dyads within the cross-lingual
communication situation might not be achievable at all.

Ultimately, translation is a multimodal communication process that takes
place in a temporal-spatial environment. It operates at several levels
simultaneously: linguistic, cognitive, socio-cultural, psychological, geo-
historical (time and space), and aesthetic. These levels are bound to be in
conflict with one another across languages. A certain expression in one
language might find its equivalence only on one or two levels, but not at
all levels at once. For example, when Robert Burns’ “My love is like a
red, red rose.” is translated into another language, all six levels are
activated in terms of the intrapersonal and interpersonal perspectives of
communication and linguistic, social and cultural reality— the translator’s
ability to understand and communicate the socio-cultural reality
embedded in the text is always governed by his or her distance from the
text.

According to Watson (1993), every text has a certain perspective on
reality. Reality is external to the text, but the reader seeks it as presented
in the text through its semantic context. Communicating such perspectives
on reality through the medium of translation involves a process of
reconstructing and imaging reality in the target language. The imaged
reality, no matter how close it is to the original, is bound to be an
approximation only. How exact the image depends only on the degree of
matchability between source and target textual realities and the distance
between them, and on the translator’s ability to understand, interpret and
match. This problem, which is inherent in the relative nature of the
relationship between the text and the mental picture it creates in the mind

Chapter 3
Conceptual Framework and Research Model

audio and kinetic. These are: (1) remediation. which operate at the boundary between the internal and external worlds. As Sturken and Cartwright (2001) remind us. Seeing is something that we do arbitrarily as we go about our daily lives. may be interwoven”. which all operate within framing theory. These modes are visual. To look is to actively make meaning of the world. becomes more complex in translation. as the text is reconstructed outside its native environment. (2) contrastive translation analysis. As Ahl and Allen (1996) contend.4 Consequently. and (4) critical discourse analysis. and a framework of beliefs. The multimodal theoretical framework of this multi-level research draws primarily on four theoretical sources. It combines three major modes that subsume submodes. In order “to make an observation one must have an idea of what could be seen. observing the social semiotics of television must be done within a structured framework that enables the observer to ask adequate questions about the observed phenomenon. The study of television as an audiovisual phenomenon rests on observation. static-kinetic communication medium is multimodal. (3) visual communication analysis. observation is a structured experience that is always interpreted by cognitive models. which requires not only seeing but looking. 117 of its reader (for example. As Kress and Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . the word table may evoke different images of table in different readers or in the same reader in different contexts). which provide the basic concepts for describing the social semiotics of translation mediation in Arabic satellite television at different levels of analysis. both confirming and disconfirming. Multimodality and multimodal analysis Television as an audiovisual. All of these modes mostly simultaneously combine to produce a meaning in totality. At no point does the observer access the external world directly. “to see is a process of observing and recognizing the world around us. Looking is an activity that involves a greater sense of purpose and direction” (10).

which is the unit of social intercourse. these different modes cannot be treated as separate. Every television production creates its own semiosis through a visual. 1964: 24). auditory and kinetic synthesis. may take any of the following combinations in a social Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . which was advanced by Berne (1964) posits that at any given moment in social intercourse individuals “will exhibit a Paternal. strictly bounded and framed specialist tasks. Briefly. Subsequently. Figure 7— The Multimodal nature of television The conceptual framework is supported by a transactional analysis model. The model is used to establish the transactional nature of television and the transactional roles television presenters assume in the delivery of programs. A transaction. Figure 7 illustrates how these modes combine to produce meaning. Adult or Child ego state and that individuals can shift with varying degrees of readiness from one ego state to another” (Berne. Transactional Analysis (TA). in this kind of multimodality common semiotic principles operate in and across different modes. 118 Van Leeuwen (2001:2) explain.

as I discuss in Chapter 4. More specifically. transactional analysis is useful in the analysis of situationality and affinities of the news makers. When the response is appropriate and expected and follows the natural order of healthy human relationships. When it is not. More active Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . This in part may account for the strategies they employ to reframe the original message and may explain why they adhere to literal rather than functional translation. privilege either numbers or words and focus on the use of numerical measurement instruments or interviews for data collection. the transaction is said to be complementary. In as far as the present research is concerned. a crossed transaction occurs. Broadly speaking. or between the media workers and the viewers in terms of positioning and interactivity. Translating the News. a Parent-Child relationship between the source text originator (assumed and not present) and the translator may result in such a translation strategy as the translators may hold sacred the original message and may in a way determine their definition of fidelity of meaning. Adult-Adult (problem solving). how they see themselves and where they belong vis-à-vis the original text and the translation. resulting communication breakdown and social difficulties. its media workers and viewers assume in the transactions that take place either within Aljazeera programs as displayed on screen. including the translators. Methods Stressing the point that research methods should flow logically from the questions one asks and calling for making use of more multidimensional methods. an analysis of the social semiotics of Arabic television is facilitated by gaining insights into which ego states Aljazeera. Child-Child or Parent-Child (playing together). 119 aggregation: Parent-Parent (critical gossip). Transactional analysis is concerned with diagnosing or identifying the ego states of the individuals engaged in the transaction. Deacon (2000) contends that “our research traditions. by and large.

understand. As Dirkx and Barnes (2004) confirm.” (96-97). a contrastive critical discourse and content analysis approach was employed. perspectives. in one way or another. become problematic. the logical research method needs to address three areas of this assertion: translation. and construction and reconstruction of realities. 120 and tangible methods for data collection (e. the central question that remains unanswered is restated as: Translation-mediated news causes the news to be reframed. videos. social. That was placed within a Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . or some way. In seeking to understand the phenomenon of translation-mediated news production. and the process itself is shaped by a host of presuppositions and assumptions that we bring to the inquiry. theories.g. paradigms. Since the purpose of this research is to examine the causative relationship between translation mediation and news content and production in reframing the original message. and in as far as such framing is taking place in a multimodal environment. where at least two language and cultural systems are usually interactively engaged in production and reproduction of meaning. To establish this assertion at the linguistic. and beliefs” (1). and (3) social semiotics as defined by Thibault (1991) with particular attention to the notion of contextualization. including our worldviews. through an examination of data from Aljazeera. virtually all forms of inquiry and research aim at some form of interpreting an aspect of the world. (2) critical discourse analysis that emphasizes the role of vocabulary choices in process categorization (Fairclough. make sense of an aspect of that world that has. the ontology informing this research is an interpretive research utilizing (1) framing theory. To understand what these interrelated phenomena are. “We seek to explain. artwork) are rare in both quantitative and qualitative research literatures.. 1995). photography. mediation and framing. to examine the social semiotics of news presentation in Arabic satellite television. cultural and ideo- political levels within the context of the study. Our motivations for engaging in this process of interpretation vary widely.

Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Framing theory enabled the critical discourse analysis of news production in its native form and the constraint-driven. the multimodal framework utilized in this research was grounded in four interrelated theoretical models: critical discourse analysis. informed by a rhetorical contrastive approach. Identifying these philosophical assumptions enables us to set clear boundaries around the area of research and define the objects of enquiry within these boundaries. three-tier translation model should enable a structured and rational analysis of translated news. Philosophical assumptions Different theoretical models have different philosophical assumptions. which informs the epistemology of the research. functional pragmatic translation model. This model. 121 structured three-tier model of translation that seeks to account for variances and discrepancies and error detection and analysis across translations. Consequently. Øvretveit (1998:58-59)5 argues that if we can recognize the different philosophical assumptions underlying a research study. we can relate the theoretical models to the context of the study through causality or other types of influences. visual communication analysis within framing theory and visual social semiotics. since these philosophical assumptions define how the objects of study are conceptualized. sought to explain the phenomenon of translated-mediating reframing in relation to news making and the social signification of reframed news discourse. as alluded to earlier in this chapter.

As Schudson (2003) and numerous other scholars confirm. not only between the elements of a visual composition. Following on from the preceding discussion. “It moves the analysis of news away from the idea of intentional bias. the analysis of frames in this manner will enable the research to explore the factors contributing to or influencing certain translation outcomes. One could go one step further and argue that in television. Consequently. the visual. 122 Figure 8— Multimodal theoretical framework Framing theory offers a sound framework for the analysis of translation- mediated news. framing is a central concept in the study of news. That is. framing also occurs between modes. but also between the bits of writing in a newspaper or magazine layout…”. This is an important aspect of the concept of framing in the study of translation- mediated news production since the reframing occurs as a product of the translation process. to acknowledge that news stories frame reality is also to acknowledge that it would be humanly impossible to avoid framing” (35). which is beset by a myriad of constraints that generally inhibit the realization of the original message in the target language. or rather translation frames. it becomes clear that framing is a multimodal process. auditory and Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . As Kress and Van Leeuwen (2001:3) argue. “there can be framing.

1993). social practices. 1999 and Prince. The study was also designed to examine the effects of translation mediation on both the textual content (discourse) of news and the modality of presentation. the study was designed to judge two distinct yet interwoven modes of contemporary Arabic television that reinforce cultural norms and values and have a causal effect on these socio-cultural values: translation and visual presentation. Meanings are jointly made by the participants to some social activity-structure. creative. They are made by construing semiotic relations among patterned meaning relations. The semiotic nature of television and dynamic nature of the translation process lend themselves to an interpretive qualitative research method. Social semiotics is concerned with the study of meaning-making in social contexts. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Critical linguistic analysis emphasizes the role of vocabulary choices in the process of categorization (Fairclough. and actively dynamic”. Design of the Study The design of the study was closely aligned to the multimodal nature of the object of inquiry. 1995) utilizing contrastive analysis. and the task of social semiotics is to develop the analytical constructs and theoretical framework for showing how this occurs. the basic logic is that of contextualization” (Thibault. 1991). Finally. “The basic premise is that meanings are made. as Deacon (2006:106) concludes. and the physical-material processes which social practices organize and entrain in social semiosis. 123 kinetic. “qualitative research can be systematic and rigorous and still be innovative. The functional pragmatic translation analysis approach is based on optimality theory that posits that forms of the language arise from the resolution of conflicts between lexical. and rhetorical constraints (after Kager. grammatical. In social semiotics. Consequently.

“A pragmatic reaction to this state of affairs should be obvious: apply whichever approach or a combination of approaches proves to be useful and informative” (58). However. it is claimed that Aljazeera is objective in its reporting of the news. this case study has sought to examine the relationship between “objective” reporting and translation as practised at Aljazeera. which makes the case for a contrastive view on both objectivity and translation. According to Stake (2000). As I have already highlighted in the previous chapter. but they are not a suitable basis for generalisation. An interpretive approach is premised on the notion that there exist multiple realities of a phenomenon and not a single reality and that these realities can differ across time and place. Stake also contends that “case studies are the preferred method of research because they are epistemologically in harmony with the reader’s experience and Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Consequently. Both assertions are challenged in this thesis. 124 The case study The research adopted an interpretive qualitative approach to the study of the phenomenon of Arabic satellite television taking Aljazeera as its case study. case studies are widely believed to be useful in the study of human affairs because they are down-to-earth and attention-holding. In this medium of communication. A case study method was used in this research. Tamanaha (1999)6 observes that issues in social science have been framed in either interpretivism or positivism term and that a shift has occurred towards recognition that both approaches can complement each other. It is also claimed that Aljazeera has set the standards for translation. but also frames these news stories in a manner that reduces their objectivity. these two aspects of news reporting are intertwined. as translation mediation not only plays a major role in the provision of information for the content of news stories.

a case study is used to examine one specific example. Since the research was concerned with the product rather than with the processes and procedures of production or with the reactions of viewers to Arabic television.7 Moreover. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . and a strong link exists between the overall editorial processes and the sub-processes of translation at the discourse production level. in Gomm. According to Yin (2003:1)9. or a combination of the two—and where access to the cognitive and operational processes of such discourse production is not possible. as Campbell (2003)8 confirms. Huber and Snider (2005:95)11 confirm that a great deal of information can be gleaned from the case study method. In scholarly circles. according to Gerring (2007:1)12. case studies are the preferred strategy when “how” and “why” questions are asked and when the researcher has little control over the events and when the focus of study is on a contemporary phenomenon in a real-life context. Hammersley and Fosters. they contend that the weakness of the case study method lies in that the conclusions are derived from one case only. However. case studies are frequently discussed within the context of qualitative research and naturalistic inquiry. Nonetheless. case study research belongs to a quasi-experimentation approach. no interviews or surveys were conducted. which is hardly sufficient to make a generalized conclusion. 125 thus to that person a natural basis for generalization” (Stake.10 This method of enquiry is appropriate for the analysis of translation-mediated news. be it through straightforward translation. where the researcher/analyst has no control over how the news discourse is constructed and reconstructed. in all instances. As a method of uncovering knowledge. the case study rests on the existence of a macro-micro link in social behaviour. 2000:19). editorial intervention. Data Collection The research was conducted outside the Arab world by monitoring Aljazeera broadcasts made possible through a pay-TV subscription.

no human participants were involved and no ethical clearance was required. The primary and secondary sources of news and current affairs programs were governed by three considerations: 1) Aljazeera being the main focus of study as a 24-hour news and current affairs broadcaster. and then in 2005 and the first half of 2006 and ongoing. and LBC. It is not a 24-hour news and current affairs broadcaster. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . these are mostly localized. Pattern analysis was utilized. patterns or difference in relation to Aljazeera. Due to the dynamic nature of Arabic satellite television and the accelerated rate of development and change taking place at Aljazeera in response to various factors. This enabled the research to compare and detect persistent and changing patterns. While LBC broadcasts news and current affairs are of a serious nature. the data was derived from recordings of news broadcast sources. 126 Consequently. Data collection focused on the content of programs broadcast by Aljazeera. preliminarily in 2004. and secondarily Al-Arabiya. These recordings were coded for easy identification and classification. 3) LBC (Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation) being an assortment broadcaster of news and entertainment programs. variations and paradigm shifts over a tenable period of time. 2) The limited access to Al-Arabiya (Al-Arabiya is carried by ART twice a day for a one-hour news and or current affairs segments) although it is also a 24-hour news and current affairs broadcaster. primarily Aljazeera. categorised and analysed systematically and inductively within a three-tier model. Both Al-Arabiya and LBC were used for comparison purposes in order to detect observable similarities. in terms of the degree of transfer to determine the extent of reframing.

Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . For certain programs. Table 2— Program codes Code Meaning Program Channel ALJNEWS01 Aljazeera newscast main bulletin Newscast Aljazeera ALJNEWS02 Aljazeera news cast news in brief News brief Aljazeera ALJOPDIR Aljazeera Opposite Direction Talk Show Aljazeera ALJMTO Aljazeera More than one opinion Talk show Aljazeera ALJDHAR Aljazeera Day’s Harvest Newscast & current affairs Aljazeera ALJWO Aljazeera For Women Only Current Affairs Aljazeera ALJBENEWS Aljazeera Behind the News Current Affairs Aljazeera ALJSHARIA Aljazeera Islamic Law and Life Religious Program Aljazeera ARBNEWS Al Arabiyah newscast News Al Arabiyah ALMNEWS Al Manar newscast News Al Manar LBCNEWS LBC newscast News LBC LBCCAFF LBC current affairs Current Affairs LBC LBCMUSIC LBC music video clips Music LBC LBCENT LBC entertainment Entertainment LBC LBCREAL LBC Reality TV Entertainment LBC The following table presents the coding system developed and employed in the content analysis using the research model discussed in the second part of this chapter. 127 Coding of programs A structured method of classification was adopted for the coding of programs. such as For Women Only. The following table shows the coding system developed for categorising the programs recorded. consequently no numeric values were assigned to them. sub codes were also used. These codes were used for identification and classification purposes.

Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . a representative sample of materials was selected from a huge collection of programs recorded during the research period in three program categories: news bulletins. This approach enabled the research to assume the role of the viewer critically responding to mediated anomalies. current affairs and documentaries. a sample is not evaluated by the results or the characteristics of the sample but rather by examining the way by which it is selected. Due to the protracted period of the research and the ad hoc nature of of anomalies across programs. the sampling and selection of text followed a naturalistic critical-viewer approach. talk shows. 128 Table 3— Coding of research model Code Meaning DM Direct matching DM IDEN Direct matching Identitive DM EQT Direct matching Equative INT Interventional INT CMP Interventional Compensatory INT MOD Interventional Modulatory INT EXP Interventional Explicatory Sampling Procedure According to Fowler (1993:11)13. With this in mind. with the following criteria: • Translation mediation: discourse or narratives that are clearly translated from foreign news providers • Interpreting mediation: programs had interviews or debates with foreign guests through the mediation of a simultaneous interpreter • Semiotic dissonance: instances where the visual representation did not match the social and cultural values of the viewers.

Semiotics is a formal mode of analysis used to identify the rules that govern how signs convey meanings in a particular social system (Eco. Visual semiotic analysis examined the cultural perspectives of visual representations in terms of the positioning of elements within each image or frame. a consistent pattern emerges from the analysis of data that points to serious translation anomalies. The present research relies on Arabic examples from Aljazeera broadcasts. and other elements that contribute to the reconstruction of frames. Visual semiotic analysis examines “the composition of spatial syntagms with regard to the ‘informational value’ of the positioning of elements within an image” (O’Neill. While these examples have been selected randomly. 2005). 1989). Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . For the proposed study. narrative and visual semiotic techniques were used to uncover the patterns that determine translation-induced socio-cultural framing. 129 Data Analysis Data analysis utilised a mixed approach that employed a variety of techniques. 1979. Harris and House. This approach was adopted because it allows multimodal analysis. 1999). Semiotic and discourse analysis was used to analyse translation-mediated language. several analysis techniques have been developed by various researchers (Fiol. 1989 and Fiol. images. Analysis methods An integrative qualitative content analysis method was used to analyse the collected data. Left to right orientation and visual representations as indicators of cultural shift were explored. in Fiol. Within semiotics. metaphors. Critical analysis was utilised to explore correlation and causality among translated data.

Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . structure (both micro and macro levels). In the translation-related discourse analysis. Fitness for purpose refers to the ability to render the text suitable for its purpose. correctness. 2003)14. the rules in the model described later in this chapter were applied to the level the translation was operating at. matchability. completeness and intention —both the informative and communicative. and the following template was developed and used to capture the analysis in a manner relevant to the model. • Information integrity • Linguistic integrity • Translation integrity • Fitness for purpose As previously defined15. refers to the ability to render the text in a sound language in terms of grammar. 130 Mediated discourse analysis Each news item was analyzed against the following criteria (Darwish. Linguistic integrity on the other hand. and approximation. while translation integrity refers to the translation strategies adopted by the translator and to his or her ability of comprehension. audiences and application. This latter criterion rests on the notion that text can be repurposed for various media. information integrity refers to the ability to retain the same information in terms of accuracy. coherence and cohesion. production.

jZk [l\gm nopZ[ qKiZ[ rstu r[vw v[xydMs[ . Analysis and Interpretation. not because of the barbaric nature of what they committed. Back Translation I feel deep sorrow for the tragedy of Bigley’s family who showed nobility and courage. data was collect from television broadcasts from Aljazeera.IJKLMN OPQR STUVW XYZ[N X\]^_ I\`KJ aKbcdZ e^dJ fbc_ TgMW [lz{|W KdZ IoT_TQZ[ Ig^Q}Z[ ~Q•_ €•m ‚^Z . not at the barbaric nature of the killing. but the way frankly they played with the situation in the past few weeks. but the way they did it. the content of Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Access to Aljazeera and other Arabic satellite television networks was made possible through a standard monthly subscription to a cable television service provider to gain access to the Arabic television channels relevant to the research. no field study was conducted. Al-Arabiya and LBC. Analysis Norm Constraint Lexical Semantic Pragmatic Rhetorical Model Tier Primary Operative Interpretive Ideological Type of Translation Direct Matching Interventional Operation Assessment Cultural Frame Sources and Logistics As stated in the foregoing section Data Collection. I feel utter disgust towards those people who did this. who have behaved with extraordinary dignity and courage. recording and analysis of collected data was conducted ex situ—that is at the location where the researcher is based. Monitoring. Since this research was concerned with the product rather than with the processes that the producers (the professionals working at these television networks) of the broadcasts follow. I feel utter revulsion at the people who did this. 131 Table 4— Example of Translation Discourse Analysis template (developed for the research) Semiotic Source hUYid_ TgMWN . for his family.jZk KU_ [l\gm XYZ[ I•oT}\Z OKƒoW n„ZN …†^\J Original Text I feel desperately sorry for Ken Bigley.. Instead.

but a constraint-driven. Translation analysis model To evaluate the validity and reliability of translation-mediated discourse of news reports within a multimodal remediation framework. 132 recorded programs was analyzed within the theoretical framework outlined and the research model detailed in this chapter. production model that seeks to map a set of operations that take place within the translation process. Herce et al (2003)16 distinguish between two types of model: research model and production model. Each of these levels has a set of translation techniques that can be used to achieve an optimal rendition within the constraints each text and language pair present. require assumptions that greatly simplify reality. This model is characteristically a functional. This multimodal model rests on the notion that translation is not a haphazard cognitive activity that involves arbitrary choices. They contend that there is a difference between these two types of models and argue that a production model is better suited to well-defined. 2003). a dynamically adaptive constraint-driven translation model has been developed for this research. where choices are governed by the degree of transparency and opacity and Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . repetitive tasks. The model is a further development of a basic three-tier model previously developed as a generic operational translation model consisting of primary. a translation analysis model was developed. They also argue that all models. irrespective of type. Research Model In order to analyze the impact of translation-mediation that accompanies the visual images of news reports. operative and interpretive levels of operation (Darwish. dynamically adaptive decision-making system.

In translation. becomes a daunting task in the absence of a structured translation framework. The problem is further complicated by the lexical field and range of possible alternatives and synonyms at word level. Working around constraints while trying to represent the internal structures of the text. Rationale and assumptions The problem of discrepancy between the original message and its translation and variance across different translation versions of the same text may be analyzed and accounted for within an enhanced multimodal three-tier model of translation. without safeguards. The operative level is concerned with functional meanings derived from the communicative intention of the text and functional-pragmatic application of the language. At this level. in terms of information content. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Different languages employ different syntactic. informative communicative intentions or perspective. This model consists of three levels of operation that vary in intensity and salience within the same text and across translations. awareness of these differences is critical in deciding the most appropriate device in the target language that does not compromise the integrity of the source text. sentence and paragraph. The dilemma that faces translators is the state of tension that exists between two divergent languages and the quest to convey both intentions of the original text: the communicative and informative. the risk of distorting the message is a real one. The primary level relies heavily on literal and lexical meanings derived from dictionary-based data at three structural levels: word. The interpretive level is concerned with the informative intention of the source text and the function of the translation in the target language. pragmatic and rhetorical devices to express the same ideas or concepts. 133 convergence and divergence that exists at any given level between any two languages in process—in other words the degree of translatability.

To manage these conflicting constraints. 1) The point of departure is the closest point between source and target languages. there must be a mechanism of selecting [translation] forms that incur ‘lesser’ constraint violations from others that incur ‘more serious’ ones (after Kager. THEN a shift to the operative level is warranted. Therefore. as Hewes and Planalp. the model provides explicit rules for translation production and analysis. THEN a shift to the interpretive level is required. “Constraints are typically conflicting. 134 The model is anchored in optimality theory and regards translation as a temporary system of conflicting forces that are embodied by constraints. 1987 call it) between the writer and the reader of the source text. Following Kager (1999) each translation constraint makes a requirement about some aspect of equivalent output. The model is also driven by the following assumptions: Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Empirical and anecdotal evidence has shown that no translation form can satisfy all constraints simultaneously. This means the most direct translation is the primary option. The fourth rule is critical in determining whether the translator/interpreter should intervene to recover in the translation the shared knowledge (or intersubjectivity. 3) IF the operative level fails to preserve the informative intention of the source. 2) IF this fails to preserve the informative and communicative intentions of the source. in the sense that to satisfy one constraint implies the violation of another” (4). 4) To make explicit in the translation what is implicit in the source so long as what is implicit in the source is readily accessible to the intended reader of the source. These rules include the following. 1999:4).

For example. In the contrastive analysis of text and translations. 135 1) A high level of uncertainty about the source text will increase the degree of indeterminacy about the intended meaning of the source text. the model also integrates functional pragmatics. which is based on the notion of action- centred understanding of text. 2) A high level of uncertainty about the source text will cause greater translatorial interference. This integrates thought and logical pattern analysis to identify the structural and reasoning schemas in the message. 2000:171). 3) A high level of uncertainty will produce a literal translation. where “pragmatic aspects are not simply added to non-pragmatically understood linguistic forms” (Titscher et al. the concept of verticality in English and how it translates into Arabic is a focus area in the analysis of the thought and logical aspects of transfer. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model .

Two linguistic items or verbal expressions may match in “contextlessness”. An idea. notion or thought that is expressed in one language can be expressed in another in a similar or different fashion. What is expressed in one language can be expressed in another. • Equivalence is relative. 136 Figure 9 —A multimodal three-tier translation model This model is also guided by the following principles of equivalence. but they may not correspond in Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . • Equivalence is dynamic.

137

context. A Source Language word or verbal expression changes
counterparts in different Target Language contexts.

• Equivalence is interactive

• Equivalence is contextual

• Equivalence is approximate

Elements of the model
The model outlined in Figure 9 —A multimodal three-tier translation
model is important for our understanding of the relationship of the factors
that are brought to bear on the original message when it is re-mediated
through translation. The model consists of six fundamental components:
source text, source text semiotic environment, translator, editor and
animator, target text semiotic environment.

Implications
The implications of this model for the production and evaluation of
translations are explored through the analysis of the constraints and the
causal relationship between the translation choices and constraints and the
development of translation categories for each level within the model.

The model implies the establishment of explicit rules that bring a measure
of control to the translation process and the evaluative process of
translation products.

Using the research model
The research model was used in the analysis of the translation of news
monitored on Aljazeera.

A basic version of the research model was developed by the author
(Darwish, 2003) and has been successfully used by several researchers in
relation to aspects of the translation problem. For example, Merkle
(2005)17 used the model to examine the external pressures on the
translator and their relationship to censorship. Kulwindr Kaur Sidhu

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Conceptual Framework and Research Model

138

(2005a, 2005b, 2006) used the model extensively to study the translation
of scientific text from English into Malay.18

The model has proved to have universal applicability in terms of
understanding the phenomenon of translation and the choices and
decisions involved. Closely related to the present research, Abusalem
(2008) employed the basic version of this model as the main framework
for analysis in examining the role of translation in reporting translated
scripts by Aljazeera. He confirms that the three-tier model “allows for the
explanation of script manipulation through translation. […] The model
provides an effective framework to determine the degree of such
interpretation” (126).19

How the Model Works
These three modes are not watertight divisions and may overlap or coexist
within the same translation. The primary mode involves direct matching
techniques, while the operative and interpretive modes will always require
translatorial intervention that takes the form of supplemental, reductional
or substitutional data. Such intervention is necessary and sometimes
obligatory to place the translation in the context of the translation
situation for the target language readers who do not have access to the
same extralinguistic information that enables them to make assumptions
about the informative and communicative intentions of the text and make
inferences to understand the text.

The following translation techniques may be used in translation within the
three-tier model of operation. These techniques vary in response to
different translation situations within the same text and may involve the
entire sentence or parts of it.

Any departure from direct translation however must be driven by the
constraints imposed by the degree of convergence and divergence that

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139

exists between the source and the target languages, and not by arbitrary
choices or personal preference alone.

Model Categories
Within the three-tier model, translation techniques fall into two main
categories:

• Direct matching techniques
• Interventional techniques
Direct matching techniques include identitive and equative techniques
while interventional techniques include: compensatory, modulatory and
explicatory techniques.

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Conceptual Framework and Research Model

140

Figure 10—Translation Model Categories

The following section explains these categories and their application in
more detail.

Chapter 3
Conceptual Framework and Research Model

141

Direct matching translation
In a one to one relation, direct translation through matching linguistic
components is the most common translation technique. It consists of two
main techniques:

• Identitive translation
• Equative translation

Figure 11—Direct matching and interventional techniques

The shortest distance
Direct translation must not be confused with literal or verbatim
translation. Direct translation is choosing the shortest distance between
the source language and the target language and starting from the closest
point possible between them. There is no real justification, moral,
professional or otherwise, for moving away from direct translation, unless
such a departure is dictated by the nature of transfer, the degree of

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142

translatability of the original text and the extent of cooperativeness of the
target language to express the information content of the source.

Consequently, the first recourse is to match the target to the source
through direct matching, (identitive or equative translation), where a one-
to-one relation does exist between the source and the target, or by
substitutive translation, where there is a lexical or conceptual gap in the
target language. However, in certain translation situations, identitive or
substitutive translation is not always possible and other compensatory
techniques such as supplemental translation may be used.

Identitive and equative translation
Identitive translation is used when all characteristics of a match in the
target language are identical to the source language item lexically,
semantically and pragmatically. Equative translation is used when an
identical counterpart does not exist in the target language.

Identitive translation
Identitive translation is a direct translation technique where two concepts
have identical characteristics and are usually expressed by established,
crosslingual one-to-one synonymies on the same level of abstraction and
within a similar communicative situation. For example, “mother” and
“mutter”, “unknown soldier” and “jundi majhul”.

Equative translation
Equative translation on the other hand, is a direct translation technique
where two concepts with identical characteristics are expressed with
words that are also identical on the morphemic level as well as on the
lexical, semantic and pragmatic levels. Let us consider the word
“unknown” in a different context.

The teacher was unknown to the students. But they realized soon
enough that he was an authority on the subject he taught.
Here the word “unknown” takes on a different meaning in English and
requires a different translation technique. In Arabic for instance, the

Chapter 3
Conceptual Framework and Research Model

143

notion of “unknown” in this context may be expressed directly with
equative translation: un + known = ghayr ma’ruf as follows:

Equative translation should be differentiated from the substitutive calque
translation condition where only the literal sense of the source language
expression is calqued or equated. See Calque Translation under
Compensatory Techniques later in this chapter. Consider the following
examples.

Original The following publications are available. Please take
note of the copyright message of each publication if you
plan to download or reproduce them in any way.

Translation Las publicaciones siguientes están disponibles. Por
favor tome nota del mensaje de derechos de propiedad
literaria de cada publicación si usted planea
descargarlas o reproducirlas de cualquier manera.

Here a one-to-one relation exists between the following sentences:

• The following publications are available.
• Las publicaciones siguientes están disponibles.

Chapter 3
Conceptual Framework and Research Model

plural form are están None available disponibles Grammatical. interventional techniques are used to fill the gap or remove the constraint. plural form following siguentes Grammatical. plural form. the word “ma’idat” means “banquet-laden table” and the banquet (food) itself. adjective –noun transposition publications publicaciones Grammatical. For example. 144 English Spanish Type of Modification the las Grammatical. Also a person may choose his or her own counterparts of source language expressions based on their own understanding and matching abilities. Cross-lingual synonymy is conventional in nature and is dependent on similarities of the communication situation in both languages and on two factors: community and individual. plural form Identitive/equative translation is matching by identical one-to-one “synonymy”. is “ma’idat al-mufawadat” (‰t¢mt^ˆ_` £k•tu) instead of “tawilat al-mufawadat” (‰t¢mt^ˆ_` a_mt¤). one must guard against introducing “common” mistakes into the target language. or where constraints in the target language prevent the realization of direct matching (identitive and equative). Interventional techniques When a gap exists in the target language. These interventional techniques are: • Compensatory • Modulatory • Explicatory Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Strictly speaking. in Arabic the collective identitive translation of “negotiating table”. In both situations. as expressed by leading Arabic media outlets. A speech community may collectively choose a certain counterpart for a foreign word or phrase.

there are three categories of interventional techniques in terms of distance from the source: primary. interference occurs. Compensatory techniques When direct identitive or equative translation is not possible at any given level of textuality. These categories correspond to the three modes of operation in that model. Within the three-tier model of translation. compensatory techniques may be used. When these techniques are used unjustifiably in the translation. operative and interpretive interventional. These techniques include the following subcategories: • Substitutive • Supplemental techniques Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . 145 Figure 12—Interventional techniques The following section examines these techniques.

weekend = Le weekend. Substitutive techniques include: • Loan translation • Claque translation • Modulatory substitution • Implicative translation • Intersectional translation • Disjunctive translation • Privative (negational) translation • Supplantive translation • Transplantive translation • Metonymic translation Loan translation Loan translation is a substitutive technique that borrows the words or expressions of the source language. Such counterpart might consist of one or more than one word. there are three categories of substitutive techniques in terms of distance from the source: primary substitutive (that is in the primary mode). where a source language word is embedded as is in the Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Native-form notational transplantation (is also used as a supplemental technique. where there is a lexical or conceptual gap in the target language and represents them in the target language through transliteration. For example. transcription or native-form notational transplantation. 146 Substitutive techniques Where a one-to-one match does not exist between the source and target languages. Within the three-tier model of translation. the translator may substitute the closest counterpart available in the target language for the missing match using any of the following substitutive techniques. The borrowed linguistic items may retain their native pronunciation or be adapted to the phonetic system of the host language. operative substitutive (in the operative mode) and interpretive substitutive (in the interpretive mode).

obligation. Calque translation Calque translation is a type of borrowing which traces the contours of the original source language expression (which may be a word. or ability by different types of substitutive structures. “space shuttle” is calqued into Arabic as makUk fada’i (Ž•t•{ ¥oiu). An important distinction is made here between loan translation and claque translation (see the following section Claque Translation). Modulatory substitution Modulatory substitution is a paradigmatic substitutive translation where a source language condition placed on the action in the sentence is modulated in terms of permission. Calque translation is essentially copying or tracing the meanings of individual parts of the source language word while loan translation is basically borrowing the words or expressions of the source language. 147 translation (or more generally in target texts) to supplement translated information. Loan translation is borrowing the source target words themselves. For example. while calque translation is borrowing the meaning parts of the source language words. This translation technique derives from Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . a phrase or a short sentence) and translates it as a verbatim mirror-image of the original. Calque translation should not be confused with loan translation.

Disjunctive translation Disjunction translation is a substitutive translation technique used where the concepts exclude one another on the same level of abstraction. Consider the following example. “suicide”. For example. or the parallel classification systems are out of synch with one another in the way they classify concepts. pragmatic or rhetorical reasons. “crusaders” and “mujahideen”. and to a certain extent. semantic. Intersectional translation is usually target language focused and is concerned with core meanings shorn of cultural register. “kamikaze” and “istish-had”. 148 grammatical modulation that exists in language. Car is subordinate to vehicle. This technique is sometimes used where there is a conceptual gap in the classification system of the target language. All of these sentences are expressing the same modal condition. “vehicle” and “car”. Intersectional translation Intersectional translation is a substitutive technique used where a source language concept intersects or overlaps with a target language concept and where no direct identitive translation or counterpart exists. Modulatory substitution may be used as a substitutive technique when one type of structure cannot be realized in the target language for syntactic. For example. Implicative translation Implicative translation (or translation by implication) is a substitutive technique that translates a concept in terms of another concept that either subsumes it (hyponymy) or is subsumed by it (hypernymy). “sword” and “knife”. For Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Certain languages conflate concepts and others break or rather slice them down into sub-concepts.

For example. convention. The technique is sometimes used where one language is gender-sensitive and one gender- neutral. non-violent and peaceable are not interchangeable. flammable= inflammable. Consequently. as it is often the case. etc). supplantive translation becomes appositive translation (see Appositive Translation under the following section Supplemental Techniques). in certain situations. Islamic (Hegira). Supplantive translation Supplantive translation is a translation technique that involves supplantation of one concept. disjunctive translation should be avoided when gender differentiation is not an essential part of the message and where gender differentiation introduces markedness in the translation. adult: man ¦ woman. Privative translation Privative (or negational) translation is a substitutive technique used where one concept contains the characteristics whose negation occurs as characteristics of another concept. compression = decompression. However. standard or system in the source language with an adjacent one that has an identical function in the target language. Translation by negation is used when a direct translation is not possible because of syntactic and semantic restrictions. negation is employed where no direct positive match is found in the target language. As a rule of approximation. In translation. When used in conjunction with the source text counterparts. privative (negational) translation must be used very carefully because the negation of one state does not always necessarily mean the opposite state. supplantive translation replaces the source language components altogether. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Iranian. For example. Examples of translation situations where supplantation may be applied are with measurement systems (Imperial versus metric). currency. Humanize = dehumanize. calendars (Gregorian. 149 example. lunar. adolescent: boy ¦ girl.

or Japanese and Chinese. phrase. If such is the case. So when we say Lion-heart for Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . supplantive translation is target language reader focused. such as English and Arabic. Metonymic substitution Metonymy is a figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated. from Greek met numi : meta-. name. 150 Like appositive translation. On its own. in language pairs that do not. the term “metonymy” is derived from the late Latin word met nymia. Arabic and Farsi. It literally means beyond seeing. Arabic-based. acronym or abbreviation) into the target language text without translating the borrowed item. French and Japanese. Transplantive translation Transplantive translation is a type of loan translation that involves the transplantation of a source language item (word. transplantation is readily noticeable and requires special attention on the part of the translator. Using transplantive translation on its own is insufficient. transplantation is hardly noticeable. transplantive translation is not an effective technique with languages that do not share a common script. Transplantive techniques work with language pairs that share a common script such as English and French. In language pairs that share the same foundational script system (Latin-based. as in the use of Washington for the United States government or of the sword for military power [American Heritage Dictionary]. Etymologically. Kanji etc).+onuma. it is imperative that the translator should employ appositive translation as a supplemental technique. However. Cyrillic. see. In Arabic the term is known as “kinaya” (avt§y). Supplantive translation is a useful technique to inform the target language reader specifically when referential integrity is not compromised by the technique. meta. which means to conceal or cover.

Supplemental techniques include: Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . no other translation works to reproduce the metonymical expression. strictly speaking. especially conventional metonymies. Within the same language. It is culture and situation informed. Certain metonymies acquire the same metonymic relation in translation. are also closely related to collocation — another reason for their resistance to translation. there are three categories of supplemental techniques in terms of distance from the source: primary substitutive (that is in the primary mode). For example. Supplemental techniques Supplemental techniques add data to make up for the deficiency in direct translation where substitutive techniques are inadequate or ineffective. Metonymy is not always readily translatable into another language. Metonymies. and the relationship between the two parts of metonymy is not always the same. the substituted entity is translated. When a metonymy is not translatable. Others do not. operative supplemental (on the operative mode) and interpretive supplemental (in the interpretive mode). “the kettle has boiled” may legitimately be translated into “the water has boiled” where. 151 instance. intervention is needed and metonymical translation techniques may be used. Within the three-tier model of translation. there are at least four types of metonymy: • Substitution of cause for effect • Substitution of effect for cause • Substitution of proper noun for one of its qualities and • Substitution of one of the qualities of a proper noun for the proper noun Metonymy follows the principle of economy in language. we conceal the real name of King Richard by substituting the quality of being very brave for the proper noun. In this case.

non-essential information that can be omitted without changing the basic meaning of the sentence. In English. phrases. A non-restrictive appositive provides additional. restrictive appositives are not set within commas. Non-restrictive appositives are usually set within commas to indicate their non-restrictive function. Mr Bill Clinton. or clauses in a sentence have the same relationship or reference to other elements in the sentence as in the following example. it does not restrict or delimit the preceding noun or pronoun. pronoun or phrase. The teacher John Smith will give a lecture tonight. It identifies or specifies The US President. Mr Bill Clinton is an appositive or in apposition to The US President as it refers to the same person. There are two types of appositives in language: restrictive and non- restrictive. Apposition is when two words. In other words. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . A restrictive appositive delimits or restricts the meaning of the word it modifies. The US president. 152 Appositive translation and additive translation Appositive translation Appositive translation is the use of an apposition construction in which a noun or noun phrase is placed with another as an explanatory equivalent or alternative and where such information is not explicitly stated in the source. pronouns or phrases which they modify. In this sentence. will be visiting Australia later this year. Appositives identify or explain the nouns. It provides essential information necessary to maintain the meaning of the sentence. It is usually a single word that follows a noun.

153 Steve Bracks. the Premier of Victoria. phrase or clause expresses a concept alien to the target language and does not have a direct closest natural equivalent. appositives may be used when the word. Types of appositive translation The following are the main types of appositive translation: • Juxtapositional alternative appositives • Parenthetical appositives • Parenthetical native-form appositives • Parenthetical interpretive appositives • Explanatory appositives Juxtapositional appositives are appositives that are positioned side by side. or when the closest natural equivalent belongs to a different register or is not common. Most if not all appositives in translation are non-restrictive even when they may function as restrictive appositives in the target language translation. operative appositives (on the operative mode). Such referentiality ties down the information in the translation to the source text or to the knowledgebase of the source. The purpose of juxtapositional appositives is to provide an alternative translation that is more familiar or clearer to the target language reader. which would not otherwise be ensured. This type of appositive usually involves transplantive translation. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . there are three categories of appositives in terms of distance from the source: primary appositives (that is in the primary mode). In translation. urges Victorians to become water savers this summer. Within the three-tier model of translation. Appositive translation is used to ensure the referential integrity of the translation. or interpretive appositives (in the interpretive mode).

For example. the Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . In translation. Parenthetic native-form appositives are appositives that retain their native form. expression or concept is new to the target language and needs explanatory intervention on the part of the translator. Additive translation techniques include: • Genitive additive and • descriptive backing Genitive additive translation Genitive additive translation is explicitization of a word by adding a descriptor that explains the nature or kind of that word. where a word. This is usually cited on first instance to help the reader understand the newly introduced and less common terms. Additive translation Additive translation is the use of a word or phrase to qualify a source language item without which identitive translation fails to communicate the intentions of the source text. 154 Parenthetic appositives are qualifying or explanatory alternatives that are set off within parentheses. Removing the parenthetical native-form appositives from the translation compromises the integrity of information especially where the intended users of the information will have to consult with source language speakers through interpreters who are most likely unfamiliar with the target language terms. parenthetic appositives function in the same way. which may not be readily understood by the lay person. This technique of information presentation is applied to ensure referential integrity. It is standard and best practice in non-Latin based scripts such as Arabic to use parenthetical native-form appositives juxtaposed to translated or transliterated terms where no lay terms exist in the target language. Parenthetical interpretive appositives are appositives that take the form of phrasal interpretations of the word or phrase in question.

“Titanic” means nothing to those who do not know what Titanic is. a phrase or a sentence in order to communicate the intentions of the source and remove the constraints. Descriptive backing Descriptive backing is changing a proper noun into a generic noun to denote a predominant characteristic as in “She is a Thatcher”. This literally means: “When the ship Titanic was built. descriptive backing is extended to any lexical category as a discriminative qualifier. As a supplemental compensatory technique.” In this example. Additive translation may also involve partial apposition. it was absolutely the largest steamship the construction of which completed. the translator employed additive translation to qualify the source word “Titanic” as a ship because on its own. in reference to a strong personality. in the second. To avoid repeating the word “ship” in the same sentence. However. in modern Arabic both bakhira and safina are used interchangeably. Modulatory Techniques Modulatory techniques are concerned with adjusting or adapting the source text. Bakhira literally means steamer or steamship. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . which may be a word. 155 sentence “At the time of her construction. the translator used the word safina (a§b^°) in the first instance and the synonym bakhira (£Š-tp). Modulatory techniques include: • Reductive and expansive techniques as a compensatory technique to convey the meaning of the source text in a natural target language form. the Titanic was the largest ship ever built” may be rendered in Arabic as follows: ¨™¤©` [•ª t…«t§p •¬ £Š-tp Š®y€ wxty dxt¯vt¬ a§b^° wb§p tuk§ª.

It is therefore target-language focused. which include translation by form extrication when a semantic component is derived from linguistic or grammatical form and translation by condensation and obversive translation. which is the expression of an idea by two nouns that have overlapping meaning connected by "and" instead of a noun and its qualifier. Compactive translation Certain languages employ a rhetorical technique known as hendiadys. Arabic is a good example of this tendency. Within the three-tier model of translation. In translation from such languages into Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Translation by expansion is the reverse of contraction. Reductive and expansive techniques Translation by reduction or expansion is a modulatory technique to convey the meaning of the source text in a natural target language form. 156 • Extricative translation techniques. This subcategory includes three classes: • Compactive translation • Expansive translation • Subtractive translation • Extricative translation Reductive translation Translation by reduction is the reduction of lexical items to a smaller construction to avoid awkward renditions caused by divergent rhetorical techniques. there are three categories of modulatory techniques in terms of distance from the source: • Primary modulatory (that is in the primary mode) • Operative modulatory (on the operative mode) • Interpretive modulatory (in the interpretive mode) Modulatory techniques are target-language focused.

there are two categories of explicatory techniques in terms of distance from the source: operative explicatory (in the operative mode) and interpretive explicatory (in the interpretive mode). semantic or rhetorical rules of the target language where a direct translation is not possible. They can be an integral part of the text without textual markers or annotations pointing to them as distinct from the original text or parenthetic explanations alerting the reader to their interpolative annotative nature. Explicatory techniques Explicatory techniques seek to explain a source language text (a word. or sentence) where no direct match is found and where none of the compensatory techniques is adequate to convey the informative and communicative intentions of the source text. Transpositional translation Transpositional translation is a translation technique where a part of a sentence is transposed on to another position within the sentence (intrasentential transposition) or a sentence is transposed into a new position within a string of sentences or paragraph (intersentential transposition). phrase. Within the three-tier model of translation. Explicatory techniques are interventional techniques if prescribed by the discrepancy between the source and the target and are target reader oriented. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . 157 English or other languages that do not place emphasis on hendiadys. Such transposition is dictated by the syntactic. Explicatory techniques include: • Definitional translation is the use of a phrase or sentence to define a term or a phrase in the source by stating its precise dictionary-based meaning instead of translating it directly. the translator may condense the two nouns into one or change them into noun and qualifier.

formulation of a meaning in the interpretive mode of translation. • Exemplificatory translation is dynamic translation technique where an example is used as a parenthetic partitive appositive to provide an example that is more familiar to the reader of the target language than the actual concept itself. Since description is bound to be partial or exclusive. Theses categories often overlap and coexist with other translation techniques such as appositive translation. 158 • Descriptive translation is the use of a description to translate a term or a phrase in the source by characterizing it instead of translating it directly. Definitional translation Definitional translation is the use of a phrase or sentence to define a term or a phrase in the source by stating its precise dictionary-based meaning or its non-conventional implicative meaning instead of translating it directly. it Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Descriptive translation is the process picturing an object or a concept in the source language. Descriptive translation may be used where no one-to-one relationship exists between source and target language material. Descriptive translation Descriptive translation is the use of a description to translate a term or a phrase in the source by characterizing it instead of translating it directly. loan translation and claque translation. A definition is stating a precise meaning or significance. phrase or sentence to explain a term or a phrase or even a mechanical device in the source instead of translating it. that is it focuses on certain aspects from a specific viewpoint. • Explicative translation is the use of a term. and where none of the other interventional techniques is adequate to convey the intended meaning of the source.

Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . Exemplificatory translation is used to recover intersubjective data by citing an example closer to or derived from the culture of the target language. or even a mechanical device to explain a term or a phrase in the source instead of translating it. and employing direct translation. 1) Apply an identitive translation technique. This technique is usually target-reader oriented. Exemplificatory translation Exemplificatory translation is a dynamic translation technique where an example is used as a parenthetic partitive appositive to provide an example that is more familiar to the reader of the target language than the actual concept itself. apply an equative translation technique. It is a way of explaining a general or unfamiliar concept by citing a specific. It should be strictly used where no other technique works and should be clearly indicated as translatorial annotation. phrase. How These Translation Techniques Interact Starting from the closest point possible between the source language and the target language. Explicative translation Explicative translation is the use of a term. 159 may produce a shift in focus thus distorting the communicative intention of the source. Otherwise. it might be seen as interference. 2) If no direct match is found. where a one-to-one direct match is found. familiar example. explicative translation is used in conjunction with other compensatory translation techniques such as loan translation or claque translation. Sometimes. sentence. preferably within square brackets.

2005). Translation studies has traditionally ignored a field in which the process of interlingual transfer is performed by journalists and not translators. apply a suitable modulatory technique. or where a lexical gap exists in the target language. 4) Apply a suitable compensatory technique. Media studies has remained largely monolingual in its approach and blind to the crucial intervention of translation in news production. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model . 1964). translation has been pivotal in the circulation of news which describes a highly interconnected world”. problems of translation mediation were detected in the analysis of data collected from Aljazeera’s news broadcasts. 5) Failing that. since the establishment of the modern journalistic field. a largely unexplored area which falls in between academic disciplines. This chapter also introduced a comprehensive model of translation within three tiers of operation: primary. 4. The three-tier model was informed by optimality theory and theory of constraints and has benefited from work previously developed by the researcher. 2 Kress and Van Leeuwen (2001). substitutive or supplementary. The following chapters present the findings of the study. visual communication analysis (Bell. Yet. It focused “on news translation. 2004) and transactional analysis (Berne. use an explicatory technique to remove the constraint. operative and interpretive. or barring that. interventional translation is required. By using this research model. 160 3) If equative translation fails to convey the intended meaning. 2001). Notes 1 Translation in Global News is a conference that was held in June 2006 at University of Warwick in England. Conclusion The study was conducted within an interpretative multimodal social semiotics framework utilizing an adaptive three-tier model and was largely informed by an integrative theoretical approach derived from literature in the fields of social semiotics (Van Leeuwen. 2001. multimodal discourse analysis (O’Halloran.

Volume: 35.google. A. Université de Moncton. 8 In the foreword to Yin (2003). 9 Case Study Research: Design and Methods By Robert K. A.com/journal/33edu.. http://books. Retrieved on 31 December 2007. At-turjuman online and Darwish. At- turjuman online and Darwish. To Sum Up: Avoiding Unsustainable Futures. Writescope: Melbourne. 17 Merkle. John (1998). Fontela. (1993).hk/eng/staff/eoyang/icla/Denise%20Merkle. D. In Gomm. Influencing through Argument. The Transfer Factor. 12 Gerring. 16 Herce.. Australia. T.com. Retrieved on 31 December 2007.google. (2003). 14 Following Darwish. C. J. Case Study Research: Principles and Practice. 2003. and Kulwindr Kaur Sidhu (2006).com/books. Yin. (eds) (2000). 15 Darwish.gseis.edu/guides/research/casestudy/pop2a. R. Retrieved on 30 December 2007. Hammersley. (2003). R. Translation Journal http://accurapid. www. (1995).htm. London.ucla. and Lindh. A Model for Designing Decision-based Translation Tests. E. 18 See Kulwindr Kaur Sidhu (2005). http://books. A. A. J.colostate. University of Malay Press.google.doc. Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model .au/books?id=6hdyaQ9q2CwC&pg=PA58&dq=Interpretivism&sig=uXpqj3gv nL8w2hEs5z1c4vbBmgQ. 6 Brian Z. 11 Huber. A doctoral thesis. Duchin. Pan-Arab Satellite Television Phenomenon: A Catalyst of Democratization and Sociopolitical Change. Queensland.. Sage Publications: UK. Tamanaha (1999). Floyd J. (2000). A.com.ln. Writescope: Melbourne. Translating Scientific Texts English to Malay. Issue: 1. 13 Fowler. Key Texts. (2005). M. Oxford University Press. Radcliffe Publishing. and Snider. (2003). Page Number: 89+. (2007). 161 3 http://www. IDEA: USA. P. (2007). http://books. Cambridge University press: Cambridge. Adams Business Media. Survey Research Methods. R. Sage Publications.html 4 Ahl and Allen. The Case Study Method in Social Inquiry. Case Study Method: Key Issues. Parallelism between Language Learning and Translating. Realistic Socio-Legal Theory: Pragmatism and A Social Theory of Law. A Model for Designing Decision-based Translation Tests. A. and Foster. External and Internal Pressures on the Translator: Relationship to Censorship. B. E. Futures.edu/faculty/kellner/pomo/ch1. Comparative and Cross-Cultural Health Research: A Practical Guide. 1996:13.cfm. 19 Abusalem.au/books?id=BWea_9ZGQMwC&dq=case+study 10 http://writing. Queensland University of Technology. The Transfer Factor. 7 Stake.edu. (2005). F. 5 Øvretveit. (1995). Retrieved 31 December 2007. A.

and incommensurable with. The Sociology of News. 162 Chapter 4 Translating the News News is not a mirror of reality. 1987. In this chapter: Aims Overview Translation in the News Information Sources News Translation as Reframing Ethics of Mediating News Language of the News and the Illusion of Modernity Chapter 4 Translating the News . The Body in the Mind. there have been studies of the semantics of non-Western languages done in very great detail—sufficient detail to demonstrate that the conceptual systems underlying some of them are fundamentally different from. It is a representation of the world. Alexander. 2003 In recent years. and all representations are selective. Mark Johnson. xiii. our conceptual system. —Jeffrey C.

This chapter examines the impact of translation on news making and argues that by submitting news to translation it undergoes a reframing process that entails a reconstruction of a constructed reality already subjected to professional. While critically relying on translations of news from international providers. these networks are contributing to the reframing of news events and creating information and cultural misfits. news and current affairs television is increasingly becoming a primary source of information for viewers worldwide for both domestic and international stories. Chapter 4 Translating the News . This chapter should pave the way in the subsequent chapters for a discussion of the specific aspects of news translation at Aljazeera. 163 Aims With cable and satellite television networks spreading rapidly and competitively across the globe. often unintended by the original sources and sometimes unwelcome by the intended viewers. institutional and contextual influences.

not so much in terms of the actualities of the events. with both live and recorded broadcasts evidently relying primarily on translated reports from various news sources. but rather in terms of the inconsistent approach to the translation of news artifacts originally transmitted via the English language. Chapter 4 Translating the News . In most situations. This kind of approach to translation of news sources is also believed to be a critical factor in reframing the news in a certain way as to elicit specific responses form the viewers. While some of the terms and expressions used to describe aspects of these events have been dictated by the original source text—for example. nor does it prove the intentional adoption of the expression of the original message. Both events have received extensive media coverage on Aljazeera and other media networks in varying degrees. It should be stated from the outset that remaining faithful to the literal sense of the words of the source does not necessarily mean faithfulness to the intent of the original message. the trial and the sentence. the Arabic translation remained faithful to the source without editorial intervention—other linguistic artifacts have been translated haphazardly and inconsistently. the adoption of absolute literal translation is believed to be the cause of dissonance between the source and target versions of news stories broadcast on Arabic satellite television. The case study of Aljazeera is no exception. The news stories covering these two events have been widely inconsistent. perhaps subliminally. if the English source used “topple” to describe the ousting of Saddam. even within the same network and across news bulletins. 164 Overview I began writing this chapter to a backdrop of two major events taking place in the Middle East: (1) Saddam’s death sentence passed down by the Iraqi Supreme Court against controversies about the legitimacy of the court. and (2) Israeli occupation forces launching their military offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza and the West Bank.

it is not quite true that interlingual transfer is performed solely by journalists. while journalists may have relied on these translations to frame their news stories. news agencies have always recruited translators to do the translation of foreign language sources. a largely unexplored area which falls in between academic disciplines. in March 2006 as part of the current research. As we examine in this chapter. This chapter is an expanded and revised version of a paper published prior to the Warwick conference. the translation of these stories adds another dimension of complexity to the process of reproducing the news. which in itself is problematic. Chapter 4 Translating the News . Translation in Global News is a conference that was held in June 2006 at the University of Warwick in England. since the establishment of the modern journalistic field. However. It applies the three-tier model outlined in the previous chapter. Yet.1 While this claim has some validity to a large extent. and as alluded to in the early chapters of this thesis. 165 Furthermore. despite glaring infelicities. Translation Studies has traditionally ignored a field in which the process of interlingual transfer is performed by journalists and not translators. no serious research has so far been undertaken to examine this critical aspect of news reporting and mediation. “Foreign language skills would appear to be critical for correspondents who sought to explore the subtleties of the stories from the countries to which they were posted” (79). translation has been pivotal in the circulation of news which describes a highly interconnected world”. As Knight (2000) confirms. and it is only now that attention has been given to news translation. It focused “on news translation. whichever is the language used to gather information for the news stories. western correspondents rely heavily on the English language while gathering information for their stories. Media Studies has remained largely monolingual in its approach and blind to the crucial intervention of translation in news production.

Translation is a process that is driven by many constraints at different levels of text—that is. 166 The role of translation in mediated realities The role of translation in mediated realities cannot be overlooked or underestimated in a study of contemporary Arabic television. 2003:91). lexical. functional and semiotic—and at various stages of development and production. If this surmise were true. The argument maintained throughout this research is that Aljazeera and all other Arabic news providers are operating at an absolute literal translation level (down to the preposition levle) that is causing the original message to be distorted and the target language to be undermined at the lexical. Translation in the News Translation has recently received some attention in the news with controversies over the translation of the Bin Laden tapes by CNN. since a close analysis of translations at Aljazeera and other Arabic satellite networks reveals horrifying quality standards. “These constraints affect the perceived and desired quality of the translation and dictate the choices and decisions the translator makes” (Darwish. To reiterate. translation is a deconstruction-reconstruction process of a text constructed in another language. By its very nature. it has been claimed that Aljazeera has set the international standards for translation in the media (Miles. and more so of Aljazeera as a serious news and current affairs television network. As it is illustrated here and in the subsequent chapters this claim is supported by evidence derived from a corpus of news broadcasts from Aljazeera. semantic. 2005). pragmatic. The view taken in this chapter is that translation is a constraint-driven process. idiomatic and metaphorical levels of composition. highlighting an inconspicuous problem of translation-mediated communication and the critical importance of Chapter 4 Translating the News . Aljazeera and other news outfits. it would be a frightening proposition and a sad reflection of the state of affairs of both the media and translation worldwide. syntactic.

1999:12). 167 accuracy and precision of translated messages. Different times however assign different value to the importance of translation. For whatever one might say about the inadequacy of translation. Translations are not made in a vacuum. translation-mediated knowledge transfer is becoming increasingly important in “the complex chains of global interdependencies”4. This view has been articulated by several writers and scholars in translation studies. especially in times of crisis and global instability. In one respect. The situationality of the translator within the larger context of the social transaction plays a major role in the translation strategies chosen at a particular instance in the process of knowledge transfer.”2 More so in today’s globalization3 and global television news media. “most contemporary Chapter 4 Translating the News . The German genius Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) once asserted that the translator must act “as mediator in this commerce of the mind. we have transformed a widely spread and diverse world into a single global megapolis” (Devlin. as Andre Lefevere (1992) confirms. making it his business to further this intellectual exchange. The way they understand themselves and their culture is one of the factors that may influence the way in which they translate” (Lefevere. The state of tension and conflict is often resolved through reframing that conforms to specific editorial policy. “Translators function in a given culture at a given time. “being able to transmit vast amounts of information rapidly from continent to continent. where often “voracities and verities are sometimes interacting”5. norms and formulas. As Gentzler and Tymoczko (2002) observe. 1992: 14). motivated by the doctrine of fidelity. Yet a host of situational factors are willy-nilly brought to bear on this quest for the truth in translation. especially in an area of human activity as viscous and ephemeral as news media. nevertheless it is and will remain one of the most important and worthy occupations in the general intertraffic between peoples. the translator seeks to be faithful to the original.

and linguistic. responses. contends that “[I]n its socio-cultural dimension. and attitudes to both source language and target language realities (Darwish. These interactive and interdependent influential variables consciously and subconsciously influence the actor’s cognitive behaviour. depending on the specific historical and material moment” (xx). Toury (1995) for example. focus. 2004). They also influence the actor’s cognitive and affective responses to the source text and product. 168 translation studies scholars view the process of translation as heterogeneous with different issues addressed by different translations and different translators at different times and different places. temporal and/or spatial affinities and perspectives. or even the possibilities and limitations of the cognitive apparatus of the translator as a necessary mediator” (54). translation can be described as subject to constraints of several types and varying degrees. These Chapter 4 Translating the News . ideological. It follows that translations take place in various situations and environments where the translator may change locations. thus entailing different strategies that ultimately produce different translation products. cultural. and different translators performing under different conditions will choose different translation strategies and produce different products. These extend far beyond the source text. Toury (1995) argues that translation has to contend with two languages and two cultural traditions. the systemic differences between the languages and textual traditions involved in the act. and ultimately affect the nature. This will define whether the translation subscribes to the norms of the source text or to the norms of the target culture. Regarding translation as a norm-governed activity. quality and pace of knowledge transfer and they may act as a reinforcing positive or negative factor in defining the overall translation strategy. He asserts that socio-cultural factors influence and likely alter the translator’s cognition. The translator’s basic choice is to work towards the norms of the source text or the target culture as an initial norm.

All of these levels impose immediate constraints on the translation process”. On the meso level. the translator has to deal with constraints imposed by society at large. External variables can be further broken down into extrinsic and intrinsic. On the micro level. Figure 13—Contexts of the translation event (source: Darwish. 2003) The relationship and interaction between these entities within the translation event dictate the strategy and decisions that the translator follows. his or her aptitude and system of meaning and the idiosyncrasies of matching two distinct linguistic entities. the translator has to deal with external group standards. On the mega level. specifications and values. 169 relationships in the translation process can be understood in terms of the following model. On the macro level. “Each entity within the hierarchy imposes its own constraints and norms on the translation process.6 In previous work7. which are in turn informed or dictated by the mega level. the translator has to deal with constraints imposed by organizational or institutional values and system of beliefs. I identify two types of translation variables: external and internal. the translator has to deal with constraints imposed among other things by the text. yet form an integral part of the Chapter 4 Translating the News . Extrinsic variables are those physical variables that are extraneous to the act of translating.

protocols. legibility and audibility of discourse. technology. textual. interlingual and attitudinal variables that have an impact on the act of translating. standards. tools. Intrinsic variables include: information medium. These include the cognitive. norms. time and space. Internal variables are those nonphysical variables that constitute the core cognitive activities of the act of translating. readability. 170 translation event. systems. machines. Figure 14—External variables Chapter 4 Translating the News . Intrinsic variables are those variables that belong to the act of translating and are a manifestation of the translation act. Extrinsic variables include: the environment.

particularly in television news media. Chapter 4 Translating the News . the manner in which these variables are played out on and off screen in relation to each other. vis-à-vis a particular news story will substantially affect the perspective of the story causing accuracy and precision to vary in salience and producing a reconstruction of an already constructed reality. 171 Figure 15—Internal variables In many translation-mediated news reporting situations and environments.

(6) ideology and (7) purpose. An example of this is translations of English documents produced in Australia and translated for the ethnic communities within Australia. In news translation in particular. the interplay of all of these factors and variables is more pronounced. Another possibility is where the translators may exist in Chapter 4 Translating the News . It is the product of professionalism and it claims to interpret everyday occurrences to citizens and other professionals alike” (Tuchman. Furthermore. the translator may physically exist in the location of the source language (SL) text. Location In terms of location. translators and or translation-journalists work under the same conditions. but they also frame their interpretation within the institutional context and situationality of these organizations. 1978: 4-5). intense and immediate. influences and constraints. 172 As Tuchman (1978) confirms. This has generally been the case with most translation work. gathered. not only do they bring their own perspectives. “News is located. the translator may physically exist in the location of the target language (TL). (2) time. documents written in one language are translated by local translators. where in receptor languages and cultures. Consequently. at least seven interrelated influential variables are brought to bear on the translation process. Situationality and affinities In any translation situation. However. (5) cultural dependency. Such interpretation is a construction of reality as these news workers see it. and disseminated by professionals working in organizations […]. (4) language proximity. influenced by the institutional processes and practices of the organizations in which they work. news is the product of news workers who draw upon institutional processes and practices to make information available to consumers. where the various situationality-driven affinities may act as a reinforcing positive or negative factor in defining the overall translation strategy. These are: (1) location. (3) language.

Not only does it impose logistic constraints. or the translator may exist in the same time interval of TL but not SL. but it also defines the ownership of text in terms of how the translator regards the text he or she is translating and whether such sense of ownership gives the translator licence to modify the text to suit certain target language requirements or objectives. • The translator’s “native” language is a variation or a derivative of SL or TL. For example. that is the reporter being physically in the location of the news event or story being reported. Time In terms of time. the translator may exist in the same time interval of the Source Language and the Target Language. cultural and ideological affinities of the translator to the text being translated. In the 1990s. Location plays a critical part in the psychological. The translator may exist in neither SL nor TL time. imposes a mode of operation that is different from ex situ reporting. Chapter 4 Translating the News . 173 neither SL nor TL location. where the reporter is physically elsewhere. In translation-mediated news reporting. • The translator’s “native” language is the same as TL. The translator’s “native” language is neither SL nor TL. major Japanese computer companies commissioned translators in Singapore to translate Japanese manuals into English for the Australian market and other English speaking countries. in situ reporting. we have the following situations: • The translator’s “native” language is the same as SL. a text written in The United States is translated into Arabic for the United Arab Emirates by Arabic speaking translators living in Australia. Language In terms of language.

Convergence and divergence variability may be intrinsically linguistic. This may be measured in terms of the operations required to render one sentence in one language in another language. that is the linguistic properties of language such as lexis and syntax may vary across languages. lexically. lexis and idiom. or linguistically manifested socio-technological developmental characteristics. The path of least resistance is often the shortest point possible between the source and the target and the most direct translation. 174 Language proximity Languages are said to be convergent or divergent depending on the degree of similarity between them in terms of syntax. languages that belong to the same family of languages are usually convergent and families that belong to different families of languages are usually divergent. depending on the degree of difference between these languages. the distance between any two languages varies on a continuum from close convergence to wide divergence. as a general rule. routes routinized through pattern recognition and pre-alignment of these patterns may be used as off-the-shelf solutions. Such variability determines the degree of translatability between languages in translation. Chapter 4 Translating the News . which are not necessarily the most direct translation. In translation. Any given text that is submitted to the process of translation is bound to vary in terms of transparency and subsequently congruency to target language. Any translation activity involves a number of operations aimed at reproducing the source language text in the target text through the path of least resistance. morphologically. However. the number of operations required to complete the translation. SL and TL are convergent or divergent languages. Furthermore. On the linguistic level. and the techniques and strategies employed. The distance between source and target languages is measured by the degree of similarity phonologically.

A smoking gun is a culturally laden figurative expression that means “something that serves as indisputable evidence or proof. Cultural dependency Cultural dependency relates to the properties of text that are culture- bound. especially of a crime”. This phenomenon is known in French as Les Faux Amis or false friends in English. a Sherlock Holmes story published in April 1893. without losing some of their associative meanings. Take for example the expression “smoking gun”. Most likely. rhetorically and schematically. the imagery originally comes from American Western movies. They evoke images closely related to social behaviour and temperament. in The Gloria Scott. However. is said to have been the first to use the phrase smoking pistol albeit in a non-figurative Chapter 4 Translating the News . Moreover. Many expressions in language are specific to the cultures to which they belong. Words may sound or look similar. pragmatically. at least directly. which has recently been parroted with sickening frequency by almost all English media outlets in reference to almost everything on earth from weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to Alzheimer’s disease. where a gunslinger is caught with his gun still smoking. Many other expressions are inherent to one specific culture and cannot be easily transferred. but their meanings may be somewhat different. especially in the case of related languages. The expression is attributed to US Republican congressman Barber Conable during the Watergate investigation although Arthur Conan Doyle. rhetorical differences also play a critical role in determining the translatability. Some of these expressions are universal and can be transferred with some ease across cultures and languages. phonological similarity does not necessarily entail semantic or pragmatic matchability. semantically. Phonology in translation helps in determining word matches more easily. 175 syntactically. These properties reflect the social attitudes and mores and intellectual perspective of those who speak the language of a certain culture.

and more to the point. translation in the news has thus far occupied a very small area of research into translation and communication studies in general. The major publications (including 115 books) in both media and translation studies have neglected this area. none of the major publications in either discipline pay serious attention to how translation affects news making and reporting. 176 sense: "the chaplain stood with a smoking pistol in his hand. the figurative sense of “smoking gun” is untranslatable in the same figurative manner. Translation-mediated news production is generally acutely under-researched and particularly not researched at all in Arabic television. Translatable texts are texts that are transparent. with the exception of Darwish (2005. catch phrases and cultural idiosyncrasies. There is little research to date into the effects of translation on English-language news and on news translated primarily from English into other languages. 2007) and Clausen (2003). A transparent text is a text that presents universal information in a neutral style of writing." Regardless of when and who said it first. A review of the literature at hand indicates serious research deficiencies in this area. and while television news. Despite the centrality of translation in shaping the news. free from jargon. has been at the center of “academic hyperactivity” for the past Chapter 4 Translating the News . The role of translation in framing the news seems to be severely neglected in both journalism and translation studies. who slightly touches upon language import through news. Translating the News Despite its crucial role in news making. the Arabic language. Transparency of text is the quality of text to be transparent to other languages. and while translation-mediated news reporting has had a long history in international relations. in particular.

some of these differences are translation-induced and as the original news reports are submitted to the translation process Chapter 4 Translating the News . Anecdotally. news translation has so far occupied a miniscule area of the research. translation in this area has so far received little attention in both communication and translation studies. Not only is translation a vital component of the work of these organizations. viewers are able to compare the same news reported by different channels and are able to intuitively discern the subtle differences in the reporting. Al- Arabiyah and LBC) or across languages (for example. serving thousands of daily newspaper. conference proceedings. Translation has recently received some attention in the news with controversies over the translation of the Bin Laden tapes by CNN. 1997: 44). radio. and non- classified technical reports). to name the main ones. it is also an essential part of the operations of non-English news providers worldwide. the BBC Monitoring Service. 177 twenty-five years (MacGregor. English- language CNN. whether in the same language (for example. the US Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). which for the main part rely on these organizations for their news and other information sources. Yet surprisingly despite its centrality in the production of news in both directions. With the advent of satellite television and Internet technologies in several languages. the Associated Press. Arabic-language Aljazeera. CNN and Aljazeera). periodicals. have provided daily feeds of extensive coverage of open source intelligence information (obtained from full text and summaries of newspaper articles. For over sixty years. monitored worldwide. and Reuters. television and radio broadcasts. Aljazeera and other news outfits. television and online customers with coverage in all media and news. a federal agency that monitors and translates foreign media into English. BBC and Fox TV.

News stories are also based on the intuitive. Consider the following excerpt form CNN’s foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour in Baghdad: AMANPOUR: Obviously. These characteristics of news help determine the telling of the news stories and the way in which audiences are likely to interpret them” (27). and sometimes that does happen on stories of brief prominence. Confirming this view. some history and geography—but the moral grid is primary. are sitting trial. Martin Woollacott (2005). it evolves and is distinctly autonomous. This moral grid. But on the bigger stories the moral view is debated. Dobkin (1992) explains that “News stories are organized according to standard production formulas. professional assumptions of news journalists and producers. as well. emphasis added]8 Chapter 4 Translating the News . for so many people here and probably around the world. seven of his henchmen. places and numbers. and in the proper state of mind for advertisers. which for the main part attempts to reconstruct a constructed reality. too—names. is responsible for framing news reports and stories. entertained. 1991). insulated to some extent from the pressures of government”. as Woolacott calls it. It has been argued that although the news media present reality "the way it is" news writers and editors construct a subjective picture of reality by selecting and organizing information in a way that makes sense to them and their audiences through framing (Ryan. a deep sense of satisfaction that Saddam Hussein and. co- defendants. According to former foreign editor of The Guardian. they would indeed be poor creatures. long brutal reign of his. They want a briefing on the physical facts. television audiences need not only to be informed but also seduced. in this case. “The first thing journalists want to know in a crisis is what are the rights and wrongs of it. [source: CNN. 178 they also undergo a reframing process. journalists are instinctive moralists. If they simply stuck with this as a given. finally facing justice for some of the crimes they're alleged to have perpetrated through that long.

[The Age]9 Being aware of your planned visit to Indonesia. and (2) formal and ad hoc translation of text processed in its original form in situ and ex situ. US President George W. 179 The moral stance is framed in the phrases “deep sense of satisfaction”. It can be argued that in doing so. How can they be facing justice for crimes they are alleged to have perpetrated? Using the expression “face justice” in its loosest sense to mean “stand trial” frames the news report because the expression “face justice” connotes guilt on the part of the accused. but warned that the ousted dictator's stunning capture would not end deadly attacks on US forces in Iraq. In the western media. foreign information Chapter 4 Translating the News . foreign information sources.10 In translation-mediated news. this framing process involves two things: (1) first-hand account of such events as witnessed or heard in their native form and submitted to the translation process by often bilingual correspondents and field reporters. The correspondent has already made up her mind about Saddam’s guilt. rightly or wrongly. Bush vowed today that Saddam Hussein would face "justice he denied to millions". “seven of his henchmen”. the original frames are subjected to a reframing process that changes the perspective and meaning of the original frames. another outcome of the meeting was the resolution to bring to your attention our strong views and lasting commitment to ensure that those known Indonesia figures who have documented involvement the attempted genocide of the East Timorese will face justice. especially translations (with the exception of direct quotes and statements) are usually used as raw material that submits to a synthesis process to produce the news report. More interesting is the surreptitious logical contradiction caused by the use of “alleged”. who transmit their own translations to their news networks (and the Big Four). The following excerpts illustrate the presumption of guilt connoted in this expression. and has framed news facts in a biased manner. in the Arabic media specifically. and “finally facing justice for some of the crimes”. In contrast. This is far from objective reporting.

have provided daily feeds of extensive coverage of open source intelligence information (obtained from full text and summaries of newspaper articles. And as political scientist Leon V. “News is not what happens. For over sixty years. Most international news is ready-made. Associated Press. Information Sources Most international news is provided as daily feeds by major news agencies from open-source information. periodicals. news agencies have a powerful and invisible influence on the news that appears in the newspapers. and non-classified technical reports). 180 sources are translated verbatim down to the sentence and phrase levels. I have firsthand experience and knowledge of how newsrooms operate. the operational aspects of news production can be gleaned from the product itself. For these newsrooms. Having worked in newsrooms and information media outfits in the past. Sigal (1986) contends. and translation mediated reframing. is not always possible. monitored Chapter 4 Translating the News . either conveyed by foreign correspondents or raw-translated by in situ or ex situ monitors from open sources of news already framed. translation constitutes the primary source of information. television and radio broadcasts. The “pervasive nature of agency material can help set agendas for those organisations which have placed their correspondents in the field” (115). conference proceedings. obfuscation. and the so-called Big Four: Reuters. As Knight (2000) reminds us. but what someone says has happened or will happen”. where translation plays a central role in the making and production of news. The synthesis process in this case is largely limited to basic text rearrangement that is subject to distortion. radio and television. a federal agency that monitors and translates foreign media into English. Although access to the operations of news production at media outlets such as Aljazeera. United Press International and Agence France Presse. the US Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)11. the BBC Monitoring Service.

It is not unusual these days for news feed providers to outsource news media material captured primarily from the Internet. the preferred medium for most news material of low priority. television and online customers with coverage in all media and news. outsourcing open-source information to translation agencies and freelance translators has become a more cost-effective option for some of these operators. UPI. to mete it out to their pool of freelance translators for exploitative payment and dubious quality standards. reshape and rewrite it into the 100 hours of regular radio news programs broadcast…” (190). to translation agencies and for these agencies. and while recording it. AP. a monitor-translator listens to the broadcast live on radio or television. this operation has become increasingly more efficient. which instantly identifies the source. radio. This “enormous productive news processing”. “an estimated million words a day stream directly into newsroom computers and spill out from agency printers. Reuters. where it is submitted to “productive news processing” and reframing. and the raw translation is edited by the duty editor and then dispatched to the news room. On a regular day. TV and news agencies of 140 countries in seventy different languages and passes on the world’s most important stories. he or she types up a summary of the news into the computer. 181 worldwide — serving thousands of daily newspaper. BBC Monitoring in Caversham listens in to radio. Domestic copy is supplied by the BBC’s General News Service” (190). Chapter 4 Translating the News . With technological advances. With globalization. The items are prioritized and translated according to editorial policy or instructions. The raw material is in fact raw translations of these open source news broadcasts. According to Boyd (1999). Boyd confirms. requires taking “the mass of raw material coming in and refine. The transition from the typewriter and reel-to- reel recording devices to computerized and digitized processing has meant shorter turnarounds and more pressure to produce ever increasing information loads and a higher potential for error and misinterpretation. PA.

Almost all international news derives from the “Big Four” news agencies: Reuters. United Press International and Agence France Presse” (16). which results in further fragmentation. Ali said earlier that his house had been destroyed. 182 Clausen (2003) contends that these international news agencies play a strong role in globalization in their function as international wholesalers. which for the main part rely on these organizations for their news and other information Chapter 4 Translating the News . As Bell (1991) also confirms. (The News International. he said. His young son was buried in rubble but pulled out unharmed. for not only is translation a vital component of the work of these organizations (The Big Four). “The international news agencies have great influence in international newsrooms. and any major discrepancies between the English language news feed and the source language text or discourse can be traced back to the originator of the news feed. he said. however. reframing and interpretation. In most situations. His young son was buried in rubble but pulled out unharmed. Pakistan) How the news item was put together in English in the first place and what happens to it when it is translated into other languages are two questions worthy of study. minor editorial changes are made to the news feeds received from these sources. Associated Press. does not necessarily lead to ‘homogenisation’ of international information flows” (17). This may in part be attributable to the fact that most news feeds provided by these agencies are routinely translated into other languages. (Reuters) Ali said earlier that his house had been destroyed. Their strong agenda-setting function. “most news outlets carry far more news originated by other organizations than by their own journalists. His young son was buried in rubble but pulled out unharmed. but it is also an essential part of the operations of non-English news providers worldwide. The following example illustrates the situation where the same news item is repeated in its native form (English) by various news media providers unchanged and retaining the original frames. (The Telegraph. Calcutta. he said. India) Zulfiqar said earlier that his house had been destroyed.

News Translation as Reframing Despite the crucial role translation plays in framing domestic and international news. Furthermore. These services use translations of primary English information sources in their news broadcasts and other current affairs programs. Britain. Germany. accessed during this survey. With the exception of the code of ethics adopted by the Press Foundation of Asia. translation in this area has so far received little attention in both communication and translation studies. culturally and/or linguistically diverse communities. France. In Australia for example. hardly any attention is given to translation as a Chapter 4 Translating the News . neither “translation” nor “language” (except occasionally) is entertained in the codes of ethics of journalism and media associations and institutions in advanced first world countries. Yet while the SBS code of practice recognizes “English as the common language of Australia and therefore as a major vehicle through which SBS can promote cross- cultural awareness”. translation into these languages adds another dimension to the problem of open source information. the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) provides foreign language services in several community languages. none of the surveyed codes mention translation as a principal factor in ensuring accuracy and objectivity. Consequently. such as Australia. and none of the United Nations fifty-one founding member states cite translation in the codes of ethics of their media and journalism associations. Yet surprisingly despite its centrality in the production of news in both directions. enshrined in the Principles on Reporting Ethnic Tensions. USA. which boast ethnically. 183 sources. which evolved from a nine- nation journalism conference held in Davao City (in the Philippines) in April 1970. a survey of more that 370 codes of ethics and codes of practice adopted by different media outlets around the world shows a serious lack of attention to translation. and Canada.

truthfulness. especially translations (probably with the exception of direct quotes and statements) are usually used as raw materials that are submitted to a synthesis process to produce news reports that supposedly conform to editorial policy. Almost all of the surveyed codes of ethics focus on ensuring: accuracy. foreign information sources. editorial policy. objectivity and neutrality. except casually in the treatment of subtitling and voiceovers for television. and AFP (Agence France- Presse). Associated Press. among other things. culture. It is not highly unusual to come across the same news item repeated “as is” by different news and information media providers. Figure 16—The Five Precepts of Journalism (source: author) Generally. and rehash the same principles in almost the same carbon-copy format. Chapter 4 Translating the News . information gathered and packaged as news feeds by newswire agencies. and ideology. such as Reuters. are used and reused wholesale by various news and media outfits worldwide. fairness. politics. How can these be upheld when foreign language sources are translated? Recent world events have clearly demonstrated that such is a consistently risky undertaking fraught with problems relating to language. 184 defining factor in news production. In most situations however.

foreign information sources are translated verbatim down to the sentence and phrase levels. It highlights the central role translation plays in framing and reframing news and documentaries and argues that factors such as Chapter 4 Translating the News . Figure 17—The seven standards of translation (source: author. 185 For most non-English news media providers. Given the poor translation skills of most journalists and translators and the lack of structured methodologies in news translation that ensure accuracy. fairness. and translation mediated reframing of source information. as evidenced in this chapter. obfuscation. In the Arabic media for example. major violations of these principles are inevitable. The synthesis process in this case is largely limited to basic text rearrangement that is subject to distortion. news feeds constitute the primary source of information on international and surprisingly domestic and regional events. truthfulness. 2004)12 This chapter examines translation-driven framing of news in Arabic satellite television vis-à-vis international and domestic codes of ethics and codes of practice. objectivity and neutrality of reported news and transferred information through translated documentaries.

perhaps bowing to US pressure to toe the line after a spate of controversies that saw Aljazeera and the US Administration drift apart and relations sour in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq. Qatar on 12 July 2004. 6) Present diverse points of view and opinions without bias or partiality. cultures and beliefs and their values and intrinsic individualities in order to present unbiased and faithful reflection of them. credibility and diversity. factual and accurate picture while giving full consideration to the feelings of victims of crime. metonymy. are real and potential culprits in translation-driven framing of news. war. Since then. Ethics of Mediating News In an unprecedented initiative. courage. independence. programmes and news bulletins unequivocally in a manner which leaves no doubt about its validity and accuracy. and to individual privacy and public decorum. euphemism. giving no priority to commercial or political considerations over professional ones. excerpts from this code of ethics have been promoted by Aljazeera in regular program ending and inter-program breaks highlighting ten major points13. 1) Being a globally oriented media service. 4) Treat our audiences with due respect and address every issue or story with due attention to present a clear. Aljazeera published its code of ethics in an ostentatious launch on the back of a media conference in Doha. Aljazeera has adopted the following code of ethics in pursuance of the vision and mission it has set for itself: 2) Adhere to the journalistic values of honesty. balance. allusion and quotatives. 3) Endeavour to get to the truth and declare it in our dispatches. their relatives and our viewers. Chapter 4 Translating the News . persecution and disaster. 7) Recognise diversity in human societies with all their races. 186 metaphor. 5) Welcome fair and honest media competition without allowing it to affect adversely our standards of performance so that getting a "scoop" will not become an end in itself. fairness.

what is known as the language of journalism. you should avoid exaggeration when describing events. Equally. particularly in light of the acts of aggression and harassment to which journalists are subjected at times. In the section titled “Composition and Treatment”. Cooperate with Arab and international journalistic unions and associations to defend freedom of the press. the Code of Practice (or conduct). simplification should not mean resorting to slang words unless the context requires that (such as citing a slang phase). 2) Adjectives and attributes of a general nature most often cast doubt on the credibility and neutrality of the story (heinous conduct. Consequently. 187 8) Acknowledge a mistake when it occurs. or talking to people with expertise or opinion. Hailed as a progressive approach to journalism and the media in the Arab world. left un-translated into English. This requires non-emotionalism [emotional detachment] towards the events in a manner that such emotionalism does not suggest to the viewer that there is sympathy or bias towards one party or another—even through what is called body language (gestures. 11) Stand by colleagues in the profession and offer them support when required. 9) Observe transparency in dealing with news and news sources while adhering to internationally established practices concerning the rights of these sources. facial expressions. barbarism. presenting the news. 3) Simplified standard Arabic is the language of the channel— that is [the language which is] free from complexity and affectation. Chapter 4 Translating the News . 4) Language is a communication tool. which is obviously at least in part a translation from an English textbook on journalistic writing. and a journalist must master it in order to be able to use its vocabulary and phrases in a manner that will serve the news/report/topic because not using the correct word or phrase undermines the accuracy of the journalistic material. states: 1) Poise and not sensationalism is what wins your audience’s respect. promptly correct it and ensure it does not recur. 10) Distinguish between news material. in other words. opinion and analysis to avoid the pitfalls of speculation and propaganda. etc). However. language errors and weak constructions negatively affect the channel’s reputation. the new code of ethics adopted standard Arabic as the language of broadcasting at Aljazeera. savagery).

how does it link whatever guidelines there are to both the Code of Ethics and more specifically the Code of Conduct? This remains speculative and what is known to date supports the view taken here that Chapter 4 Translating the News . Words and sentences that have more than one meaning or which may be construed to underestimate or abuse any belief. content analysis of both news broadcasts and current affairs programs soon reveals that these principles have not been uniformly and consistently observed in either news broadcasts or regular programs. and it is rather indicative of the lack of awareness or underestimation of the role and impact of translation in the realization of all of the above instructions. it seems he has been given licence to conduct his program in his own Egyptian dialect. While the focus of these principles is news reporting. Consequently. but information gathered through informal personal communication with translators working at Aljazeera prior to the launch of its Code of Ethics confirm that no such guidelines document existed. tricks] and memorized pre-cast phrases (such as [Arabic expressions]). Hayakal is regarded by Aljazeera’s journalists as Le grand maître de journalisme arabe. This violates the rule that Standard Arabic will be used. What is interesting however is if such a document now exists. is that Aljazeera is willing to break its own rules when it is unable to enforce them. This program is presented from start to finish in colloquial Egyptian. Nowhere is translation mentioned in these codes of ethics and conduct. A good example of principle three is the weekly program presented by veteran Egyptian journalist Muhammad Hasanain Haykal. culture or individual. race. and using correct and easy expressions that have direct significations to communicate the required meaning. 188 5) Avoiding trite rhetorical devices [literally. and is approached with awesome reverence. Ma’a Haykal: tajribatu hayat (With Haykal: A Life’s Experience). What this tells us though. There may be some guidelines for translation that exist somewhere in a separate document. with occasional standard Arabic. socially.

and monitor its output. the 1990s were characterised by what could almost be an obsession with ethics in the west and across professions.”14 However. However. it is not surprising that Aljazeera adopted a code of ethics. Evidence we have to date suggests a predominant absolute literal translation approach permeating not only Aljazeera’s news reports but also every single news agency and network across the full spectrum of Arabic media. which are subject to interpretation. During the war. Moreover. what is really surprising is the absence of translation as a defining and constitutive factor in upholding these ethics. distinguish between what is news and what is opinion and analysis. Trailing behind its western masters. Chapter 4 Translating the News . Aljazeera’s code of ethics has been seen as a reaction to the mounting pressure from the US administration over its coverage of the war on Iraq. cannot guarantee that separation. the distinction is not that simple and a set of rules. 189 translation ranks low on the list of priorities of developers of these codes despite the centrality of translation in the daily productions at Aljazeera. As a media network modelled after the western school of media. especially when reports are mediated through translation and there are no clear standards or policies to guide the translation process. As Coady and Bloch (1996) observe. acknowledging unintended mistakes if and when they occur and ensuring they do not recur. it was only a matter of time before a code of ethics was seen as a cutting edge solution for the apprehensions surrounding Aljazeera’s professional standards. Aljazeera’s adoption of a code of ethics should not be puzzling. The then Aljazeera spokesperson Jihad Ballout is reported to have said that the code of ethics is designed to have the network “adhere to professional core values. US officials accused Aljazeera of shoddy and biased journalism and providing a media platform for terrorists.

In this sense. rhetorical). These tradeoffs affect the degree of approximation between the source and the translation. I argue that what are regarded as underdeveloped old Arabic styles of writing by English language standards are highly developed and sophisticated styles that have become out of step with modern Arabic due to the decline of Chapter 4 Translating the News . Why is translation a process of approximation? In the presence of constraints that prevent an exact replication of a source text. The ultimate objective of true translation is to convey the message of the original text in its totality. Language of the News and the Illusion of Modernity Looking at the impact of literal translation on language. pragmatic. one could contend that translation is a process of simplification. it (ideally temporarily) suspends the rhetorical properties of the target language in favour of those in the source language. strategies and constraints. However. but this is not always possible and tradeoffs have to be made. an absolute equivalent is not possible at all levels of text (lexical. Consequently. semantic. processes. a translator’s choices are not always driven by constraints. but rather a translation-induced “Mickey-Mouse” recreation of western styles through adherence to form stripped of its rhetorical features. alien rhetorical features that only work in the source language are introduced to the target language—features which largely do not have the same rhetorical effects as in the source. A translator may choose a specific strategy to realize a specific objective in the absence of constraints. 190 Translation-mediated framing Translation mediated framing is framing that is informed or driven primarily by translation—its techniques. syntactic. thought and expression in Arabic journalism today. I argue that modern writing styles of Arabic journalism today are not the product of original invention or ingenious planning.

as Chapter 4 Translating the News . Compared to Arabic writing styles in the Golden Age. they choose the call for reform or renewal to turn away suspicion and doubt about their real motives”. Some Arab journalists and researchers have given in to the illusion that the professional body of Arab journalism decided one day to change the Arabic language writing styles deliberately and consciously and that they collectively decided to lay down a clear and decisive strategy to achieve this goal—so much so that the Lebanese journalist Adeeb Mroueh (1961) confidently declares: “[t]he refined easy style we have achieved in Arabic writing today is not attributable to language teachers in schools and colleges. It is in the first place owing to the journalism of today” (111). Some of these misguided or misled “reformers” went as far as calling for giving up the standard Arabic language in favour of the vernacular. as Afifi (1980) asserts. 191 Arab civilization during the Ottoman rule and European colonization and post-colonial imperialist domination. diversionary tactics and political correctness. science and technology and were more or less emulated in a reversed simplification process when the bulk of knowledge store was translated into European languages. “For the calls of today are the same as those of yesterday—a combination of ignorant voices driven by incompetence and lack of culture and education and voices motivated by racist claims or historical hatred waiting for the opportunity to spread their venom. There is nothing surprising about this. modern styles represent a primordial stage of development. However. It is wrong to assume that the so-called “simplification” of modern Arabic has been due to a deliberate act on the part of Arab journalists in the last half of the twentieth century. Sometimes. nor is it attributable to writers and ancient men of letters. there is no need today to resort to this kind of camouflage. These old styles served well when linguistic development was on a par with intellectual progress in literature. There is no doubt that the twentieth century saw various individual and collective moves and campaigns to simplify and modernize the Arabic language.

Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Ibn Khaldun. 1997:5) and regional Chapter 4 Translating the News . and the reproduction of almost the same presentation format—for example. all news media networks have a news crawl at the bottom of the screen (see figures)—most news information carried by these media outlets is already framed at the source. Western powers led by the USA. effective and powerful communication styles. does not mean “just the advent of globally available television services. 192 blatant foreign interference has become a clear policy. complexity and artistry during the Golden Age of the Arab and Islamic Empire. Reframing the Already Framed Despite the cloning effect globalization of news media has had on regional and national terrestrial and satellite television. were shining examples of clear. During the most influential Ottoman rule. became the language of administration and Arabic was confined to religious studies. mixing Turkish with Arabic and Farsi. On the pretext of fighting global terrorism. Usually. There is no doubt also that Arabic writing styles became stale and archaic during the Ottoman influence and European colonialism that followed after these writing styles reached a superlative degree of refinement. it is in their representation to the viewers through translation mediation that the frames are reframed. have attempted to force a language and cultural change in the Arab region to the extent that a new American “sanitized” version of the Quran has been published by the US government. the visual clutter and graphic razzmatazz that accompany news presentation. During that time. geniuses such as al-Farabi. a hybrid variation of the Turkish language. but the fact that such services have begun to play a role in international politics” (MacGregor. whose writing styles were highly refined and sophisticated. Turner (1991) argues that the phenomenon of global news the CNNization of the world.

which was also carried in the same way by other leading English language news outlets. presented by Faisal Al-Qasim. The following example from Aljazeera may highlight this problem. is that Chapter 4 Translating the News . indirect contextualization and below the belt punches. . 193 social and political change. [Original text] ”hª`oˆp ŽyŠbuœ` ²b•Š_` jŠi¯v Œ `etˆ_ ~j`Ši_` ³´k…t˜u a®b¤ ab\¬ :•°tg_` †]b{ µŠ-œ` abpŠ“_` aˆhxœ` †… ~•…k}€ ›¶t|¯v ·tvro° [•ª Œf a^b¸|_` ab¤`Šgˆvk_` av•o“|_` Ž{ ab¤`Šgˆvk_` ¹b®º¬ cª tuov nop »k\¯v •_ `etˆ_ ·abxo¤™{€ ‰tb¤`Šgˆv• ·t•b{ a“vŠ˜_` •i} ¥rtp ”xtˆvf ¼Š{ cu ”x€ j€ ·[º°o_` ½mŠg_` agvŠ¤ [•ª auoi\ˆ_` [Translation] FAISAL AL-QASIM: Good greeting[s] my dear viewers. Why doesn’t the American President deign to make his absurd democratic sermons except to Syria? Someone wonders: Are the other Arab regimes platonic democracies? Why hasn’t Bush ever spoken out about applying democracy in Saudi Arabia. The newly found “freedom” of the press suffers from oscillation and sporadic instrumentalization of inter-state feuds and rivalries. 2006. 2005). are contributing to social and cultural change in an unbridled and unplanned manner. Aljazeera. and other Arabic media networks. insinuations. and there seems to be a lack of a clear strategy on how to implement this agenda. such as Al-Arabiyah. which is ruled in the manner of Medieval Times? Or is it because of his too much faith he has already blessed the Shari’a law over there? This kind of contextualization and framing is used over and over in the same and other programs. re- elected] for a new presidential term. Here is a sample from Aljazeera’s tabloid program al-ittijah al-mu’akis (The Opposite Direction). detected in innuendos. aired on January 3.15 The problem with this Arabic news item. But as noted elsewhere (Darwish.avŠi|“_` ”¬¾p ¿•¸p ”but\u Š®ª ‹Š˜u k•“¬ cu jtv€ k“p ½™ª©` ¶tsm £kvks ab°t•r avŒo_ ABCDEFG HIJK tu `ef ÀbÁ_` £•tb‚ cª Ž•¸¯_`m Literal Translation: The announcement came days after Musharraf undertook through his lawyer to take off his military uniform and give up the command of the army should his election be returned [that is.

This means that some human beings must do the selecting. Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999. and as Alan Knight (2000) explains in Reporting the Orient. “news is not a mirror of reality. To understand the role of news frames. we may turn to framing theory for answers. However. it is not the real world. and all representations are selective. his chief lawyer has said. public opinion. Here is the same news from the BBC and Reuters. These ideas reproduce and reinforce themselves in the news making process.Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf will give up his post of army chief if he is re-elected president and will be sworn in for a new term as a civilian. Schudson (2003) states. as Tuchman (1978) puts it. edit and prioritise news. certain people make decisions about what to present as news and how to present it” (33). the news frame is problematic in its characteristics and the perspectives it presents. As a theoretical perspective.16 ISLAMABAD (Reuters) . “Journalists inhabit a culture of ideas which shape the way they report. because it offers plausible explanations for the way news Chapter 4 Translating the News . select. she contends that like any frame that delineates a world. It is a window on the world. his lawyer told the Supreme Court on Tuesday. re-creating apparently flexible ways for imagining the world outside the newsroom. or media studies” (Norris et al. through the frame of which we learn about the world. It is a representation of the world. 2003:10). “whether in the fields of social psychology. the concept of framing has become increasingly common in understanding mass communication. 194 Musharraf was not elected in the first place.17 Framing Reality The general view among media researchers and practitioners alike is that the news is a representation of the real world.” (21). Journalists are at the forefront of those making such decisions. Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf will give up his post of army chief if he is re-elected for another term of office. Echoing this view.

[emphasis in original]. A frame is a property of a message. The selection Chapter 4 Translating the News . News Frames and Translation Frames Ryan (1991) contends that “far from being an objective list of facts. Elliott and Shmueli (2003). One of the major problems of translating news or any kind of text for that matter is a phenomenon known as shift in focus. One could argue that obligatory syntactic shifts in translating news reframe the message through shifting the focus from the subject to the verb in Arabic for example. To illustrate. 195 is constructed and presented to the viewers and readers. a shift in focus is introduced that frames the message differently. This constraint requires an obligatory shift to conform to the linguistic syntax norms of the target language. and as Hallahan (1999) confirms. the standard simple sentence structure in Arabic is Verb + Subject + Complement as opposed to the English simple sentence structure Subject + Verb + Complement. Arabic sentence structure : Went the boy to school. These interpretive frames reflect judgments made by the creators or framers of the message (Hallahan. “framing involves both the construction of interpretive frames and their representation to others”. English sentence structure: The boy went to school.1999:207). Rhoads (1997) defines a frame as “a psychological device that offers a perspective and manipulates salience in order to influence subsequent judgment. According to Kauffman. a news story results from multiple subjective decisions about whether and how to present happenings to media audiences” (54). “a frame limits the message’s meaning by shaping the inferences that individuals make about the message” (207). By doing so. . This shift in focus is practically a shift in perspective through linguistic manipulation and reconstruction.” This definition focuses on two relevant elements of framing: perspective and manipulation. Furthermore.

[Channel Nine. In either case. The following excerpt form a news item broadcast recently by Channel Nine may illustrate this selection and construction process. Detectives are now focusing the investigation on what they call a pack of young Middle Eastern men who allegedly went on a vicious rampage. How this news excerpt translates into other languages and retains the same news frame will depend on the translation strategy and approach chosen by the translator and on the editorial intervention of the news editor. following the December eleven riot. cited in Ryan. while the “December eleven” would be lost to both the translator and the news editor. 1985. Chapter 4 Translating the News . 1991:54). These are images of the three young men police want for questioning for the cowardly stabbing. Framing is an active process of signification by means of which we consciously participate in the construction of reality” (167). Most likely. In analyzing this news excerpt. 196 process produces a news frame where “an entire newscast rather than a single story can carry news frames” (Ryan. Baker (2006) defines frames as: “structures of anticipation. strategic moves that are consciously initiated in order to present a narrative in a certain light. one is inclined to conclude that this shift of date format is a subtle (conscious) semantic framing at the micro level. They do not appear to either journalists or audience as social constructions but as primary attributes of events that reporters are merely reflecting” (Katy Abel. which is operating in a larger frame or meta frame—that is the frame of terrorism and the September 11 events. These news frames “are almost entirely implicit and taken for granted. the word “cowardly” would be edited out of the translation as it might be deemed culturally inappropriate. a new news frame is created. 1991:54). 2006] Of special interest in this example is the use of the American month-day format instead of the standard Australia day-month format. since making the semantic connection requires active elicitation of the original news frame.

. the American Ruler of Iraq. In the first instance.6 + ). [al-Hayat online] j`kl Š®ÁÄb° ¶tª•Œ` . Consider the following excerpts from a newspaper headline and Arabic news broadcasts showing how the words “deposed” and “toppled” have been mirror-translated into Arabic. 0 +12 12 3 . among other things.. In the second. which means “to perish or almost perish. said the American forces are facing organized resistance from loyalists to the Chapter 4 Translating the News . the word also means someone who is of weak or loose character”. the Arabic word (”p Ãtºu) “mutah bihi” is used. This word means “plucked out. The choice of words frames the news report to produce a specific semantic meaning. [BBC. Colloquially. which means “wanton”. the Arabic word (Âo•¸u) “makhlu’” is used. 197 Semantic framing One of major areas of translation reframing of news occurs at the semantic level. 4 $+ +5 % ! " Š‹ . 17 8 9' [Translation] Paul Brimmer. 18/10/2005] ! " [Translation] Trial of deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. This Arabic word is a derivative of the verb (Ãt¤) “taha”... akin to the standard Arabic word (¿b•-) “khalee’”.Ž¢tg_` [Translation] The deposed Iraqi president for the ninth time before justice today. and pulled up by the roots”. / *+ . [Aljazeera. Arabic. job_` ¶t•g_` jtu€ a“°t¯_` £Šˆ•_ Âo•¸ˆ_` Ž‚`Š“_` ²b•Š_` a_t‚Åp ½o®_tºvm a|•Á_` ½o“¤tgv ½out\ˆ_`m aˆi\ˆ_` ro•} [•ª £og_tp ½`šŠpm ÆÇ . torn off.& . 13/06/2003] #$ % & '( ) *+ .Prosecution will force Saddam and Barzan by force to attend the court and the lawyers boycott the session and demand the dismissal of the judge. to get lost in the land”..

in what he called sheer political sabotage operations. as he says. A $E ' 9 :+ . . the toppled Iraqi president coldly watches witnesses testify about unspeakable torture under his regime.5 < 9. December 5. [BBC. who are getting involved. as Windschuttle (1997) explores. [ash-sharq al-awsat]20 + &1 = > ? @ A B1 0CD . this is an indirect admission of the numerous constraints imposed on the process of news reporting. and the belief that journalism can report the world truthfully and objectively is considered by various scholars not only wrong but naïve. However.. Truth in News Translation Generally. [BBC. From only a short distance away. At times Hussein's rage forces him to his feet and a judge orders guards to silence him. 2003]22 The chief lawyer for deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein says he has been denied access to his client for the first time in more than a year. Windschuttle contends that “the claim that journalism is a pursuit of truth and an attempt to report what really happens is not refuted by the fact that many Chapter 4 Translating the News . [CNN. 2005]21 The New York Times first reported the withdrawal saying Saddam's son Qusay and one of the toppled Iraqi president's personal assistants. ! " '1 F G ! #D [Translation] […] at the time when the American soldiers are asserting that they are about to deal with the remnants of the regime of the toppled Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. 14 December 2003]24 In recent newscasts. Aljazeera opted for “the former Iraqi president”. thus creating a new semantic frame. To a large extent.. journalism is often seen as the pursuit of truth. . May 6. Abid al-Hamid Mahmood. 5 February 2006]23 Ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is in custody following his dramatic capture by US forces in Iraq. 198 deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Let us now consider how English media framed the event. a more neutral descriptor. Arguing against this view. this view is not widely held. carried a letter from Saddam authorising the huge cash removal. [The Guardian.

Yet pursuit of truth in translation is predicated on the notion that Chapter 4 Translating the News . in interlingual interaction. languages converge and diverge on a continuum of proximity. Moreover. This truth can be effectively rendered if it is grasped by the reader. this is not any easy goal to achieve. accurate. apart from their inherent structural and developmental differences. the famous Italian proverb “traduttori. adaptive. Newmark (1991) decrees that translation “is concerned with moral and factual truth. Both belong to human behaviour. 199 journalists often fail to achieve these goals. 1991:1). human behaviour can be organized. As BeDuhn (2003) contends. unpredictable and individual. It is obvious that there are good and bad journalists just as there are good and bad scientists. or even more fallaciously. By the same token. and that is the purpose and the end of translation” (Newmark. literary context and cultural environment. Human behaviour is complex. doctors and builders. However. the conclusion that all reporting is misleading and inadequate. and human behaviour is the least exact. However. 1997:5) [emphasis in original]. traitors) is essentially an admission of the limitation of translation in conveying the truth of the original message. and languages are dynamic and constantly changing in response to the changing environment. One of the most common fallacies made by contemporary media criticism is to draw from the premise that some reporting is misleading and inadequate. Different individuals acquire languages differently. tradittori” (translators. This will vary from individual to individual and from situation to another. that news reporting is inherently misleading and inadequate” (Windschuttle. rationalized and controlled. unbiased translations are based on three major factors: linguistic content. Finally. No two individuals are the same. In his book About Translation. “The very same three things are consulted to assess a translation once it is done” (xvi). neither journalism nor translation is an exact science.

to adopt Iser’s view. which is an act of translatability. Interpretation is primarily a form of translatability. the world. the interplay of all of these factors and variables is more pronounced. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer soon Chapter 4 Translating the News . intense. and not a haphazard activity (Darwish. 2003)— and mechanisms must be found to ensure the process remains under control. 200 translation is a rational. and their work is essentially an act of interpretation. Applying the three-tier model A serious example of erroneous translations is the initial rendition by Arabic media networks of the US President George W. result-focused process that yields a product meeting a set of specifications. Bush’s reportedly improvised phrase “crusade” in the aftermath of September 11. Iser confirms. As Wolfgang Iser (2000) maintains. tacit or expressed. which has framed the US response ever since in the minds of viewers of these Arabic networks. 2001 terrorist attacks as a “Cross-ade War”25. In a damage- control exercise. influences and constraints. with a small “c” rather than “Crusade” with a capital “C”. objective-driven. and as such. translators and or translation-journalists work under the same conditions. and (3) “when incommensurabilities. immediate and complex. such as God. and human kind—which are neither textual nor scripted—are translated into language for the purpose of grasping and subsequently comprehending them” (6). “each interpretation transposes something into something else” (5). Furthermore. The translation-mediated framing of the President’s message forced the White House to explain the pragmatic aspects of the usage of the term “crusade”. interpretation is bound to be different in three situations: (1) when different types of texts are transposed into other types. In news translation in particular. (2) when cultures or cultural levels are translated into terms that allow for an exchange between what is foreign and what is familiar.

we can immediately see the extent of reframing that has taken place in the translation. But the purpose of his conveying it is in the traditional English sense of the word. to the tragedy of his family (sorrow for the tragedy of Bigley’s family). but the way frankly they played with the situation in the past few weeks.d_e `o•“{ cv„_` Ít§_` ¶ŒÎ… ¶`šf š`¾Ïˆ–Œ` .aªtÁ–m É™®x ‰Š•Ê€ Ž¯_`m Ž•‘bp a••tª £t°Ëˆ_ ¹bˆª Ì°Ëp Š“–€ tˆ_ avŠpŠ®_` a“b®º_` —®|p zg{ ²b_ . Moreover. imprecise and stripped off its original rhetorical effects. Most serious is the shift in focus from the victim. but the incremental effect contributes to the reframing of the original message. Consider the following excerpt from the British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s statement on the brutal killing of British hostage Ken Bigley in Iraq. which is inaccurate. not at the barbaric nature of the killing. aired on Aljazeera in October 2004 and the Arabic translation voiceover. Original English text: I feel desperately sorry for Ken Bigley. 201 afterwards told reporters that President Bush only meant to say that this is a "broad cause" to stamp out terrorism worldwide.. not because of the barbaric nature of what they committed. I feel utter revulsion at the people who did this.d_e t•p `o•“{ Ž¯_` agvŠº•_ Ét•v€ ci_m ~”b•ª `ouk‚€ Back translation: I feel deep sorrow for the tragedy of Bigley’s family who showed nobility and courage. the man who lost his life. who have behaved with extraordinary dignity and courage. the president would regret if anything like that was conveyed. "I think to the degree that that word has many connotations that would upset many of our partners or anybody else in the world. it's a broad cause. for his family. the expression “they played with the situation” Chapter 4 Translating the News . I feel utter disgust towards those people who did this. but the way they did it. Arabic voiceover: [•¯§ˆp Š“–€m . There is no mention of “Ken Bigley” in the translation. [source: Newsday. Inc." said Fleischer. Here.] Other examples do not have immediate reactions as this one.

I feel utter revulsion at the people who did this. Cultural Frame The following recent example further illustrates the risks of news mistranslation. not because of the barbaric nature of what they committed. Semiotic Source hUYid_ TgMWN . for his family. 2006] Chapter 4 Translating the News . Back Translation I feel deep sorrow for the tragedy of Bigley’s family who showed nobility and courage. who have behaved with extraordinary dignity and courage.jZk [l\gm nopZ[ qKiZ[ rstu r[vw v[xydMs[ . not at the barbaric nature of the killing. but the way frankly they played with the situation in the past few weeks. but the way they did that.IJKLMN OPQR STUVW XYZ[N X\]^_ I\`KJ aKbcdZ e^dJ fbc_ TgMW [lz{|W KdZ IoT_TQZ[ Ig^Q}Z[ ~Q•_ €•m ‚^Z . I feel extreme disgust towards those people who did that. These infelicities can be summarised in the following Translation Analysis template.jZk KU_ [l\gm XYZ[ I•oT}\Z OKƒoW n„ZN …†^\J Original Text I feel desperately sorry for Ken Bigley. desperately sorry) seem to be the cause of operating at the operative level.. Figure 18— Iran Bans CNN or Translation Error [Source: Bloomberg. Analysis Norm Constraint Lexical x Semantic x Pragmatic x Rhetorical x Model Tier Primary x Operative Interpretive x Ideological Type of Translation Direct Matching Interventional Operation Assessment Lexical constraints dictated by collocations in the source text (for example. 202 is rendered as “the way they did it”. January 16.

a speech community may choose by convention to adopt a system of approximates that filters through to the individual system of approximates. On the general level. Sometimes. and which play a crucial role in the extent of loss. these approximates. It can also be argued that by Chapter 4 Translating the News . the translation act is always an act of intervention to reconcile these two systems of approximates. These will be brought to bear on any rendition. values and so on. the process is subject to the laws of relativity. diction and convictions. and long-term causal effects. develop and employ effective translation strategies that ensure objectivity of news reporting. Fairclough (2003:8) argues that texts have immediate causal effects in that they bring about changes in our knowledge. 1998. Again. semantic and pragmatic. 2005). motivated or otherwise. interference and perspective of the translation. or at least raise awareness of the potential risks of translation to news framing. there are irreconcilable differences between the two systems. syntactic. In cross- lingual mediated communication. It is therefore necessary for journalists. 2001. lexical. as I have discussed elsewhere (Darwish. attitudes. news translators and translation educators to forge an understanding of the relationship between translation and news framing in order to define. 2003. beliefs. news producers. 2004. On the individual level. optimality and approximation. 203 Moreover. it is not immune to the translator- writer’s idiosyncratic features of style. are dependent on the individual’s own competence and system of classification. Excluding individual differences among translators in terms of competence and performance. while translation is an attempt to communicate aspects of the original message in another language. translation is at best a process of approximation where two systems of approximates—individual and general—coexist and sometimes compete.

and have been undergoing a process of refinement. there is the possibility of introducing new causal effects that are not intended in the original text. in their recent coverage of Saddam Hussein’s trial. Conclusion Straddling tradition and modernization. it has for the main part managed to strike a balance between two opposite poles. these television stations have experienced a marked increase in news and current affairs programs that rely on juxtaposing different and contrastive views of East and West. This has placed a great deal of demand on these Arabic satellite television stations to vie for influence as international Arab media players and as presumed regional democratization and normalization agents in the Arab world. while Al-Arabiya as “the deposed Iraqi president”. indicating internal Chapter 4 Translating the News . Aljazeera has set out to be something different. There are also serious discrepancies within the same television channel across news stories. While there are similarities between Aljazeera and Al-Arabiya in terms of news production and presentation. despite the fact that both channels have used the same news feeds provided by the international news agencies and despite their claim to objective and unbiased reporting. However. For example. has forced other countries in the Middle East to set up their own copycats— a case in point is the launch of the Dubai- based Al-Arabiya in March 2003. there are also stark differences in the way they frame the news. These networks have been quickly pressed into service to provide live world-class news and current affairs programs. 2001 terrorist attacks and US-led war on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan that followed. Aljazeera has referred to Saddam as “the former Iraqi president”. With a clear agenda to lead the Arab world into the twenty-first century and a dream of western-style democracy. Consequently. adjustment and sometimes spells of atavism. its overnight rise to fame in the aftermath of the September 11. 204 subjecting text to the translation process.

Evidently. No 3.etan.theage. 11 Source: http://www. Accessed February 16.usatoday. 10 Source: http://www. Over-reliance on translation as the main source of information is certainly a major contributor to the creation of target language news frames. Modes of Translation.net/NR/exeres/4B3ABFB8-9082-4B05-B399-7BF68D4A39D6. A.com. especially in the case of Arabic. 128-129.ac. 3 The influence of global media processes has certainly caused linguistic shifts in English speaking countries. The Durham University Journal. Ironically. Accessed February 16. Al-Arabiya’s slogan is: “Al-Arabiya keeps you closer to the truth”.net/NR/exeres/22C26017-A9C5-4A97-BE3B-1C1845968113. discussed or addressed. (2003). 12 A PowerPoint presentation by the author (2004). Notes 1 http://www2. American English remains part of the body of the English language and its logic and the fact that English speaking countries have adopted Americanisms has no relation to the effects of English on other languages. Nonetheless. the definition of truth seems to be a viscous one depending on the duty editor. The Transfer Factor. The illustration is developed by the author specifically for this thesis. especially Arabic.com/translation/seven_standards_translation_new. (1953).uk/fac/arts/ctccs/research/tgn/events/tgn/.org/irp/fbis/riddel. www.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0510/19/lol. 7 Darwish.htm.com/life/columnist/mediamix/2004-07-18-media-mix_x. 4 Quotation from Globalization: A Very Short Introduction by Manfred B. 2006.translocutions. 2 Quoted in McFarlane. June 1053.warwick.cnn.1972). J. Accessed February 16.htm 14 http://www.htm 15 http://www. 9 Source:http://www. 8 Source: http://transcripts.02. Writescope: Melbourne. For the Arabic news media.html?from=storyrhs.htm Chapter 4 Translating the News . Vol XLV. often unintended by the original sources and sometimes unwelcome by the intended viewers.html. UK.au/articles/2003/12/15/1071336846380. Steger (2003:2). The Transfer Factor. Writescope: Melbourne. these television networks are contributing to the reframing of news events and creating information and cultural misfits. in their over-reliance on translations of news from international providers.org/news/2001a/10mcnr. 205 inconsistency of editorial policies and that the concept of framing and translation-induced framing is not fully understood. A.fas. (2003). 6 Darwish. 2006. the impact of these processes on non-English speaking countries is different and is still very little understood.pdf 13 http://english.html. 5 From the title of a poem by Marianne Moore (1887 .aljazeera. 2006.aljazeera.

daralhayat.co.guardian. Chapter 4 Translating the News .uk/2/low/south_asia/7000120.2763.bbc.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3317429.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0.html 19 Source: http://news.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4684238.cnn.00.asharqalawsat.com/sections.+ (attributive article meaning) pertaining war”. 206 16 http://news.stm 20 Source: ash-sharq al-awsat.co.asp?section=4&issue=9169 21 Source: http://www. http://www.reuters.co.stm 17 http://www.bbc.bbc.stm 24 Source: http://news.uk/hi/arabic/news/newsid_2985000/2985222.com/arab_news/levant_news/01-2006/Item- 20060131-22115bd6-c0a8-10ed-0013-5f0aeba0db69/story.com/2005/WORLD/meast/12/05/robertson/ 22 Source: http://www.co.stm 25 The conventional Arabic translation of “Crusade war” is “harb salibiyyah” ( HHHH JHHH " I HHHH ). which literally translates into English as: “cross.html 23 Source: http://news.bbc.950307.com/article/topNews/idUSISL1129520070918?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNe ws 18 Source: al-Hayat online: http://www.

collocation and the clash of domains Metaphor and genitives Reductive and Summative Metaphors Euphemism. 207 Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News In this chapter: Overview Epistemic Knowledge versus Linguistic Knowledge Translation-induced metaphoric shift Waking the dead and dormant metaphors Metaphoric imperialism Metaphor. dysphemism and socio-cultural circumlocution Verticality Sensory-perceptual epistemic inference Sources of Influence and Normalization Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News .

which creates discourse that contributes to sociocultural change. It aims to identify the relationship between the linguistic and epistemic realities of news discourse in the translation-mediated process of reframing. focusing on the dissonance that this kind of mediation causes between the epistemic and linguistic knowledge as embodied in the discourse of news broadcasts. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . 208 Aims This chapter presents a discussion of salient features of translation- mediated reframing of Arabic news broadcasts transmitted by Aljazeera and other Arabic satellite television channels. This chapter takes a different approach to the discussion of framing and reframing in that it focuses on cognitive dissonance as a psychological state of contradictory cognition of the same reality expressed in two different languages.

For example. they are bound to produce cognitive dissonance due to the disagreement that ensues between the linguistic forms within the language pair used to express the same epistemic phenomena. Left irreconciled. such infelicities are bound to change the shared experience of a speech community or surreptitiously reconstitute its social and cultural model. This chapter examines aspects of translation-induced dissonance in linguistic and epistemic inference and aspects of reframing that such dissonance creates in translated newscasts and argues that translation mediation is a primary causative factor of dissonance that plays a major role in reframing news items. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . the English hypothetical conditional antecedent "If I were you" is a compensatory linguistic technique to achieve concordance between linguistic and epistemic inferences when it is physically impossible for one person to be another person physically. For the main part. This chapter draws on examples from Arabic news and current affairs corpus of the Aljazeera satellite television network. 209 Overview Modern languages have developed linguistic patterns that are often in consonance with the epistemic knowledge of the world. Languages differ in their linguistic representation of epistemic knowledge and when any two languages are juxtaposed. epistemic knowledge is inferred from such linguistic patterns and when dissonance occurs between linguistic and epistemic inferences. not just immediately but also incrementally over time. language compensates by utilizing certain linguistic patterns and rhetorical techniques to realign linguistic and epistemic realities.

210 Epistemic Knowledge versus Linguistic Knowledge Our knowledge of the world’s phenomena is often expressed in linguistic- epistemic forms that express these phenomena metaphorically or define them conventionally. Other epistemic forms may include pictorial and audio-visual representations of epistemic knowledge. 1 Epistemic forms include charts. Girl before a Mirror)2 Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . As our knowledge of these phenomena changes through discovery and scientific enquiry. as well as illustrating the relationships among the different facts and concepts being learned”. “An epistemic form is a target structure that guides the inquiry process. It shows how knowledge is organized or concepts are classified. that visually organize information. Figure 19— Pictorial Representation of Epistemic Reality (Picasso. process flows. Sherry and Trigg (1996:38) define epistemic forms as models of information. a shift in the epistemic definitions of these phenomena occurs causing dissonance with the epistemic forms used to express them linguistically. maps.

When such reconciliation occurs. 211 Translation-induced metaphoric shift When epistemic shifts occur. the linguistic patterns in most situations do not concur with the epistemic knowledge. 2005: 4). While our knowledge of this phenomenon has changed—that is. readjustment does not happen right away and a metaphoric lag persists until the cognitive epistemic schema is reset. which for all intents and purposes may be in disagreement with its ontic nature. This is an important aspect of metaphors because “their meanings (the ground of the metaphor) are captured by terms that are not lexically related to the lexical items in the metaphors” (Hasson and Glucksberg. metaphors act as re-constitutive epistemic forms that reconcile linguistic and epistemic realities. To avoid this dissonance between our epistemic knowledge and linguistically represented epistemic form. we now know that the sun does not rise—the epistemic form remains in use. For example. “the sun rises” is a linguistic form that originally described a natural phenomenon as observed by people who understood it that way. once believed to be related to ailments of the heart. [American Heritage Dictionary] However. A good example of such metaphors is the term “heartburn”. metaphors become dead or dormant metaphors—they lose the idea or phenomenon they initially denoted. typically extending toward the esophagus. when subjected to a translation process that focuses on the lexical items of the metaphor Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . Only then does complete reconciliation take place. Heartburn (n) an uneasy burning sensation in the stomach.3 Consequently. and now known to have nothing to do with the heart. the form is transferred into a metaphor that invokes a perceptual and cognitive representation consistent with the new epistemic reality. and sometimes associated with the eructation of an acid fluid. This property of metaphors makes them susceptible to epistemic shifts. Yet we continue to use the term metaphorically to refer to the burning sensation in the stomach.

The following figure illustrates this dynamic nature of metaphors. 1987) contends that “every literal utterance ultimately presupposes a nonrepresentational. Reinforcing this notion of metaphor. Hence metaphor is a device for regulating the interaction of propositional and physiognomic representations. The meaning of any metaphor will be determined only against a preintentional background that cannot be represented propositionally” (Johnson. which in the context of our discussion creates consonance between two types of epistemic representation. and subsequently for creating or restoring consonance between the epistemic and linguistic realities. The linguistic form of the metaphor is propositional. skills. nonpropositional. “is fundamentally one involving physiognomic representations. Benzon and Hays (1987) make a distinction between physiognomic and propositional representations as one between a photograph of a scene and a verbal description of the scene. preintentional “Background” of capacities. that is to say. Searle (reported in Johnson. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . and stances in order to determine its condition of satisfaction. Figure 20— Smoking Gun Metaphor: the terms that are related to the meaning of the metaphor4 In this connection. They argue that the filtering or extraction process which underlies metaphor. 1987:72). 212 rather than on the terms that are related to the meaning of the metaphor. for recognition” (59).

hearing the metaphors constructs the model. for an adult. to please. a person. according to Kövecses (2000:17).” or constitute social. whichever is the level of operation. in the first instance. the translation of these metaphors is bound to frame the original message in a way that is not intended in the source text. according to Hatim and Mason (1990:69). according to Newmark (1988) is twofold: cognitive-referential and aesthetic-pragmatic. one of the functions of metaphors. For a child. 213 This semiotic status of metaphors. beyond their textual considerations. Waking the dead and dormant metaphors The purpose of metaphor. It can be argued however. For Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . since metaphoric use of language invariably conveys additional meaning. to interest. for example. Based on this constitutive view of metaphor. and psychological realities for us”. 1990:233). and should seek to understand the “writer’s whole world-view” (4). 1988:104). “Solutions to problems of translating metaphor should. Applying the three-tier model outlined earlier in this thesis. cultural. culturally bound metaphors that seek to align these realities are particularly problematic in translation. that metaphors do both. which is simultaneous. a quality or an action more comprehensively and concisely than is possible in literal or physical language. to surprise” (Newmark. an object. is to appeal to the senses. constitutes the crucial factor in deciding how a metaphor should be translated. be related to rhetorical function” (Hatim and Mason. a concept. However. hearing and using the metaphor reflects and constitutes the model for others. they are in fact constitutive of cultural models. Kövecses contends that conceptual metaphors do not simply reflect cultural models. to delight. This world view is actually the epistemic reality which is for the main part in congruence with the linguistic reality as expressed by the chosen epistemic form of metaphor and with the epistemic schema. its pragmatic purpose. is that they “can actually “create. “Its referential purpose is to describe a mental process or state. to clarify ‘graphically’.

which is increasingly left irreconciled in daily usage of both the colloquial and standard forms. “create an illusion”. as in “create a peaceful environment”. and so on. The concern here is not merely with how the original message is reframed to produce a certain primary interpretation by the audience. Another example of this kind of dissonance is the Arabic translation of the word (astronomical) in the sense of “extremely large. producing faulty metaphors. invent”. take the verb (create) in English and its metaphoric sense of “make. gradually changing the frequency. which means (1) “to create or cause to come into being from nothing”. currency and foregrounding of the primary and secondary meanings of the verb and eventually causing metaphoric shift. Arabic news editors and translators at Aljazeera and elsewhere are contributing to the framing of metaphors in such a dissonant manner. as (abi•{) (falakiyyah) in the sense of “pertaining to astronomy”. Operating at the primary level and applying an absolute literal translation. is usually an attribute of God in sense (1). exceedingly great. dissonance between the epistemic knowledge and linguistic form occurs. “create web pages”. In translating English expressions comprising the word “create” into Arabic. causing cognitive dissonance in alert minds when encountered. In this example. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . The Arabic counterpart for the verb “create”. the concrete sense of the word (falakiyyah) is reversed. (2) “fabricate. the likelihood of communication breakdown or misunderstanding increases. but rather with the social semiotics of such reframing and its compounded and incremental effects on the thought patterns and cognitive schemata of the recipients. (¹•-) (khalaqa). enormous”. fake”. and (3) “to assess or evaluate” [old usage]. a rendition no less moronic and retarded than the Arabic rendition of (create) which has been obstinately circulated and repeated by Arabic media producers and news editors. When this happens. 214 instance. Faulty metaphors resulting in metaphoric shifts cause cultural and linguistic changes and mismatches of shared experience among members of the same speech community.

energy. The word (jumud/•oˆs) means freeze.1 A E 2.1c Pertaining to astronomy wages exceed expectations. 1. It always invariably refers to astronomy in its epistemic reference to “outer space. pave the way Normally Arabic would loosely express the same notion with a similar metaphor6 that emphasizes the state. and evolution of celestial bodies and phenomena”5.1). (2) start a conversation with someone you have not met before.1a kasru al-jumud. the idiomatic expression (to break the ice) has been translated into Arabic verbatim as (kb•Á_` Š|y) (kasru al-jalid) and is now being used in quite a different fashion from its English counterpart. motion.1a ujurun falakiyyah tafuqu at-tawaqqu’at. 2. Break the ice: (1) make people who have not met before feel more relaxed with each other. This is a clear case of Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . However.1) is normally used in sense (3) of break the ice. (3) make a start. the new metaphor is used in senses (1) and (2) however in situations where breaking the ice is not called for. especially the positions. The rendition in (2. distribution. standstill. composition. 215 1. For example. condition or action of the object rather than the object itself as in (2. dimensions. 1. solidity and by extension. 2. The problem with this infelicitous metaphor is that the word (falakiyyah) does not invoke the same (back)ground meaning of (as considerable as the vastness of the universe) as its English counterpart in the same context.1b Astronomical wages exceed expectations.1 .1b To break the freeze.‰t“‚o¯_` ¨o^¬ abi•{ ros€ 1. Another example of metaphoric shift occurs when a source language metaphor is erroneously translated to produce a different pragmatic application of the translationally reproduced metaphor.

Flavell and Flavell (1992) trace the origin of this metaphor to Europe: “This idiom is at least five hundred years old.2 M C NJ @ O 4K 1" E " K ( <C@D . It is rather ironic that in a region. but it is found in other European languages also.2).. As a point of interest. But ice was not enjoyed by those whose livelihood depended on plying a small boat up and down the river. where the next war is predicted to be over water and where whatever is left of its water resources is rapidly drying up or filling with refuse. which describes aspects of the current Lebanese political crisis. The allusion is thought to be to the hard ice that formed on European rivers in severe winters centuries ago. % $4 1 2. making a start on a project." Q3 D " 3 / P).7 Example (2..2a Yesterdays session ended (up) in “breaking the ice” between the parties that have previously participated in the national dialogue and in agreeing to a “media truce”. It is not unique to English. 1992:113). Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . 216 compounded linguistic-epistemic dissonance. is typical of this infelicitous usage of “breaking the ice”. Consider the following example. Their first task was that of breaking it up so that work could begin. Gradually it came to mean embarking upon a relationship and breaking down the natural reserve one feels in the presence of strangers [emphasis added]” (Flavell & Flavell. Originally the expression was used to mean just that. Breaking the ice usually happens between total strangers and not with bedfellow politicians who have had rounds and rounds of private talks and discussions and vicious and flagrant mud slinging matches in public and in the media. In years gone by it was indeed possible to skate on the Thames. that such an expression (break the ice) is insanely spreading in media and political circles and fatuously parroted by laypeople at large. 2.

2). discomfort and inconvenience. Long before the advent of Arabic satellite television and the rise to prominence of inept translators. one removes formality. (3) formality. which may result in redness of the face. and (4) outlay or cost. and individualistic – and therefore never a singularity. if (break the ice) is used in the sense of “making a start”. audacity and brazenness to conduct any meeting with anybody in the same manner as they have reportedly run down the country and brought it to ruins. The word (kulfa) is an interesting one because it has compounded conceptual and metaphorical meanings: (1) unusual redness of the face. they will more likely see it as a living metaphor. So when one “lifts kulfa”. and since cost is sometimes associated with discomfort and discomfort with redness of the face. where one who has accepted the use of this word in this same context as normal. To this end. Casnig (2003) contends that “[a] metaphor's only cause of death is the acceptance of its poetic meaning into the normal vocabulary of the host language. which sometimes occurs when meeting total strangers. in this context. This expression literally means (to lift the shyness). to go back to example (2. It is difficult to clearly distinguish the living metaphor from the dead because a language is dynamic. journalists and copycat news editors. So. which implies redness of the face because of discomfort or shyness. it makes perfect sense to express the notion of (break the ice) in a manner that is native to the environment and culture where ice does not occupy a large area of consciousness. sometimes associated with bashfulness. these seasoned politicians are no strangers to one another and have the temerity. the expression (a^•i_` ¿{r) (raf’u al-kulfa) had been naturally used in this context. then why “break the ice between the parties”? If it is used in the sense of “breaking down the natural reserve one feels in the presence of strangers”. If one has never heard a given word in a specific metaphorical context. (2) discomfort and inconvenience. 217 This is definitely an alien metaphor culturally and geographically. will not likely identify it as a metaphor at Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News .

as illustrated in (2. most discussion of metaphor has assumed a progression from live metaphor to dead metaphor. 2. *@ ? W >&$@ Will the elections be the hard way out of the “bottleneck” to 2. the potential of the metaphor losing its nexus to the original meanings and applications in its native environment and taking on a life of its own in the host environment is real. These are metaphors in the process of expiring”. Certain metaphors start out as concrete. and post- metaphoric) are not necessarily in full correspondence across languages and cultures.3a save America from the Iraqi quagmire? Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . regardless of the translation strategy or level of operation (within the three-tier model).10 Consequently. but if we attend to them we can see at once that they [are] unmistakable metaphors. Furthermore.2) and in the following examples. as in our earlier example of “the sun rises”. Grey (2000) confirms that “[t]he difference between live and dead metaphor is that dead metaphor is just an ordinary part of our literal vocabulary and quite properly not regarded as metaphor at all”.8 Furthermore. a dead or dormant metaphor in one language may translate into a live metaphor or a live metaphor into a dead or dormant metaphor in another causing major epistemic dissonance. Furthermore. but they can be easily revived. Both the pre-metaphoric state of expression and the metaphoric lifecycle (pre-metaphoric. physical expressions of epistemic reality. once a metaphor in one language is transplanted in another.3 *+ 8 &DV ( ( (T N$3) R . metaphoric.9 Grey also reminds us of an intermediate category of metaphors: dormant metaphors which consist of expressions “which we use without being conscious of their metaphorical character.1 @D. 218 all”. . But not all metaphors start out as live metaphors and they then die or become dormant and so on.

In example (2. But it is clear from the combination of (bottleneck) and (quagmire) and the missing (or implied) subject of the metaphor (bottleneck) that the latter metaphor is applied incorrectly. In this regard.4a language through various communication and conversation activities in the classrooms. metaphors act as social framers. Lakoff and Johnson confirm that our metaphor-based conceptual system governs our everyday functioning. it is not clear whether parenthesizing bottleneck is motivated by the awkwardness of usage or presumed newness of the metaphor. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . In example (2. using the metaphor (building bridges of trust) “between students and the Arabic language” is a clear case of a metaphor gone awry. He asserts the following. 219 2.\ -3 9 P@ Building bridges of the trust between the student and Arabic 2. It is fundamentally metaphorical in nature and essentially culturally based. Making several observations on the role of metaphors in defining the structures of our daily activities.4 [A % 2 B). GMD8 2Q= 1 X % G 1 &Y ( Z $1 .3). Consequently. Phillipson (1992) alludes to the imposition of new mental structures in language contact. since bridges of trust are normally metaphorically built between individuals or between corporal entities. Metaphoric imperialism Lakoff and Johnson (1980) have argued that our conceptual system “plays a central role in defining our everyday realities” (3). down to the most mundane details. which further illustrates the confused application of the metaphor (bottleneck). One picture that this metaphor might evoke when linked to the (quagmire) metaphor in this sentence is that the (quagmire) has a (bottleneck).4).

downward expression. or more accurately social and cultural submissiveness through metaphoric acculturation. It is unheard of for example to say: “the trade union is resorting to a carrot and stick policy to secure wage increases”. he argues that asymmetrical interaction is a central feature of such imposition of imperialist structure as can be clearly seen in what he terms “media imperialism”. By collectively indulging in this practice. and more specifically in Arabic satellite television. 1992:166). or “Iran is using carrot and stick diplomacy in its negotiations with the US and Europe over its nuclear energy program”. 220 “What is at stake when English spreads is not merely the substitution or displacement of one language by another but the imposition of new ‘mental structures’ through English” (Phillipson. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . undoubtedly. the idiom (carrot and stick) is a culture-specific condescending. but they are also importing culturally dissonant ones and they seem to be at home with the obsequious roles such downward metaphors define for them. Culturally dissonant metaphors are creeping into the language and are defining and redefining viewers’ mental structures and world views. political and cultural systems. Most Arab journalists use it without a second thought. 1992:61). This kind of stubborn insistence on absent-minded. Not only are the journalists adopting faulty metaphors. one of the branches of cultural imperialism (Phillipson. they are unwittingly embracing the linguistic forms of social and cultural subordination models. Yet this culturally dissonant metaphor seems to be used ad nauseum in both Arabic media and politics. Elsewhere. politically and intellectually inept journalism is unwittingly causing a metaphoric shift in Arabic that smacks of linguistic imperialism. This downward asymmetrical interaction is nowhere more obvious than in news media translation. It is always used in reference to a higher authority or a domineering power enticing and threatening a subordinate group. In this connection. which compound the problems of already repressive social. community or nation.

overruns the clumsy and squint Arab and Vietnamese terrorists. with one bullet and a broken leg. which the metaphor establishes to the extent of reinforcing submissiveness and acceptance of an imported.8 8 . who cannot for all the evil in their hearts shoot straight. Coyote. and which is used mindlessly in Arabic news. “No one can insult you without your permission”. 221 2.4a which the West is using to convince it to stop its sensitive nuclear activities is doomed to fail. inappropriate cultural superiority model. is the metaphor (a game of cat and mouse).8 .4 C3 $ V I X C @ + @ "] TE % B " .11 Eleanor Roosevelt has been quoted as saying. Here. and Chuck Norris. deeply ingrained in the psychological and social makeup of those who adopt them without adjustment. heroes and villains. where the forces of nature and laws of physics work in cahoots. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . metaphors such as this one (carrot and stick) are indicative of subservience. It is wholly reasonable to expect that over time./ P=V 1 C 3 ! * +% $ C) 4 MD ^ 1 Tehran stressed yesterday that the “stick and carrot” policy 2. and where a feeling of injustice rankles in the hearts of the viewers or those reacting to this model with some sense of justice. Another role. Road Runner outmaneuvers the resourceful and tenacious Wile E. C4 . cowboys and Indians. Yet it seems these journalists are oblivious of this skewed relationship of cops and robbers. the dumb Tweety Bird outsmarts Sylvester the Cat. Bugs Bunny always defeats Daffy Duck. being invariably bent and broken to favour the superior man. This English metaphor is usually used to describe a situation where one person is more powerful than another and uses this advantage in a cruel or unfair way.and relationship-defining metaphor that seems to have equal appeal to Arab journalists and political commentators. From a social semiotics viewpoint. these metaphors of subservience cause a social and cultural shift through the imposition of new mental structures and epistemic realities.

This may be a moot point.7) and the cat to the government and the mouse to the press in example (2. sometimes in societies 2.5 $E . the cat and mouse tally with the Jordanian government (the cat) and parties (the mouse) in example (2.3 @( . * % 9 B 1 There is also the game of cat and mouse.8a that have this margin of movement [leeway] between the press and the government.@E 9 fD 8 b _P % `& J f c+8 g $ . In these examples.5) and Washington (the cat) and Tehran (the mouse). In the logical progression of the sentences.. 222 2..8).5a The game of cat and mouse has started between the Jordanian government and [political] parties over the priorities of the joint committee.6 2% . but it shows how the epistemic reality of the Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . 2. C4% G$a % .7a municipality end? 2. @M 2.7 W+ J % E@ 3J 1 _P % `& J C@$) @ When will the game of cat and mouse between the peddlers and the 2. This rhetorical matching is not always adhered to and cognitive dissonance ensues between the epistemic reality of the metaphor and the linguistic reality. 2.8% b _P % `& J .6a and mouse and that the meetings of the five countries have become part of the necessary means required for the game. The sequence in both examples requires additional cognitive acrobatics to link the cat to the municipality and mouse to the peddlers in example (2. J ) . Consider the following examples. the epistemic reality is defined by the metaphor (a game of cat and mouse).8 % J+ .J !%T + % c ? d <) 1 It seems that Washington and Tehran are playing the game of cat 2.8 e C 5 C 9 ( + @ .+ %8 2 DA K I T K % * 1 _P % `& J -8 1 .

bully. coerce Press Mouse Chased. Boorstin. harassed. a search in Google for “carrot and stick” returns around 445. Table 5—Cat and Mouse Metaphor Application Example Tenor Vehicle Dimension 2. asks: “How does it benefit the world when people freeze the metaphors of alien history into ideology? For ideology itself is a contradiction and denial of man’s endless powers of novelty and change which are suggested by the very idea of progress”. This will.000 results. reinforce the power of the metaphor to make experience coherent. bully. harassed.6 Municipality Cat Chase. of course. A metaphor may thus be a guide for future action. intimidated. intimidated 2. bullied. fit the metaphor. intimidate Peddlers Mouse Chased. “[m]etaphors may create realities for us. If the Internet is anything to go by. harass. a submissive metaphor will reinforce submissiveness and a defeat metaphor will engender defeatism. 223 parts of the metaphor is organized in the writer’s mind or epistemic schema in each instance. intimidate. Such metaphoric infelicities are seldom encountered in borrowings or transfers from other languages say into English in the normal course of Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . In this sense metaphors can be self-fulfilling prophecies”(156). Consequently. in turn.7 Government Cat Chase. especially social realities. harass. bullied. The carrot and stick metaphor is one such metaphor that is turning into ideology. Boorstin (1993) argues that peoples cannot be expected to share the intellectual product of a certain nation if they have not shared the processes from which it came. coerced As Lakoff and Johnson (1980) again suggest. Such actions will. Calling for encouraging peoples of the world to make their own metaphors.

the CNN reporter relayed the interpreter’s rendition in English as: “the position of the Arab countries towards Israeli is clear”. It also stems from the fact that Laundromats were owned by the mafia as a legitimate business front for illicit earnings—a combined social semiotic that does not exist in this fashion elsewhere. An example of such social semiotics is the metaphor “money laundering” (concealing the source of illegally gotten money). With no access to the Arabic utterance. Now. as a new metaphor in Arabic. The social semiotics of metaphors cannot be discounted in assessing linguistic-epistemic dissonance. they get mixed up. This metaphor is translated into Arabic as (›`ouœ` †b|Ò) (ghasil al-amwal) (money washing). is a good indication of how these realities are normally reconciled. when the then Egyptian foreign minister and current general secretary of the Arab League. This immediate reconciliation of epistemic reality and linguistic reality. 224 knowledge transfer. told a press conference at Sharm al-Shaikh in Egypt in October 2000 that “the position of the Arab countries towards Israel is clear” in Arabic ( ›mk_` Ì‚ou Ñ¢`m †b•`Š°f cu abpŠ“_`). The idea is that when one washes dirty clothes in one tumbling washing machine. But one thing is certain: it does not convey the same epistemic reality. conveys the same metaphoric meaning as its English counterpart is extremely debatable. the interpreter conveyed this statement in English as: “the attitude of the Arab countries towards Israel is clear”. whether (money washing). For instance. Arabic news media seem to be ill at ease with this kind of treatment and a blinkered approach is almost always invariably the prevalent solution resulting in absolute literal translations. that is the swap from attitude to position. This metaphor has its origins in the use of public Laundromats in American cities. Amr Moussa. the Lebanese metaphor (Lebanon is a country of minorities)12 has been recently translated verbatim by both Lebanese Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . Within this category.

Apart from the elevation of the expression to a metaphor Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . Apparently. where the concepts of safety in numbers and divide and rule overlapped. However. endemically corrupt14. and superficially democratic social and political system. They enable language to operate on the basis of the economy principle. Thin-slicing the social composition into small constituents of more than sixteen sects and small denominations. such as Octavia Nasr. Let us go back to our example at the beginning of this chapter (the sun rises). census-resistant13. Lebanon is a country of minorities) was a clever if not devious invention by pre-civil war politicians as group therapy for a sick. mass (inbound) ethnically and religiously driven immigration and naturalization policies designed to tip the demographic balance in favour of certain denominations. thus abbreviating and compacting the number of words needed to express thought. anachronistically feudal and sectarian. while an analysis of this complex and peculiar sociopolitical phenomenon is interesting in its own right. and divisive foreign language policies15 have certainly changed the social tapestry of the country in the sixty years that followed its independence from colonial France in 1943. Also. collocation and the clash of domains Metaphors permeate language and no language can be effective and efficient without metaphors. expressing a world of knowledge in a few words. Metaphor. Senior Editor of Arab Affairs at CNN in a recent comment on the events in Lebanon. The Arabic original (‰tb•‚œ` k•p ½t§®_) (lubnan baladu al- aqalliyyat) (that is. They paint a mental picture worth a thousand words. 225 politicians and Western news media reporters. irredeemable. what is relevant to our discussion here is the fact that the Arabic metaphor was treated as an absolute truism when translated into English. people have come to believe their own lie and are lost forever. the metaphor seems to have lost its metaphoric sense over time even in Arabic as revealed in the translation by Arabic speaking “experts”.

This interaction is essentially metaphorical in nature. for example. The disruption in the epistemic form of these miscollocations is a direct result of a clash between two incongruent domains. utilizing and incorporating ideas. the English collocation (jump to conclusion) is a metaphoric relationship between (jump) that is to leap. to say in English “cast a question” instead of “raise a question” is an infelicitous lexical combination that would cast doubt on the epistemic reality of the expression since “cast” belongs to the throw- domain and “question” to the question-domain. absorb a loss). are metaphors that resemble the act of mental assimilation to the act of digesting food and the act of taking in. For example. (the finish line). instead of (tÉgbg\¬ €k®v/Š–t®v) yubashir/yabda’ tahqiqan “start/commence an investigation” is an equally infelicitous lexical combination. 226 to restore the linguistic-epistemic consonance. For these metaphors to maintain their linguistic-epistemic consonance. loss. restricted. spring over or skip (rather than walk) and (conclusion) being the end or final part of something. we would probably need to describe the sunset! Words such as digest (as in digest a report) and absorb (as in absorb an idea. to say (Étgbg\¬ ѯ^v) yaftah tahqiqan “open an investigation”. and other notions. idiomatic) are used to denote a figurative condition. collocations of all types (such as free. argue that because of the arbitrary. By the same token. recursive and language-specific nature of collocations. which is represented physiognomically. The infelicity they refer to is a result of the disruption in the epistemic form causing linguistic-epistemic dissonance. 1987) a system of implications in one domain interacts with the implicative system of another domain. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . where usually (after Johnson. in Arabic. McKeown and Radev (no date)16. to express the phenomenon as we now know it would take a few sentences. For example. By the time we finished. “substituting a synonym for one of the words in a collocational word pair may result in an infelicitous lexical combination” (3-4). to a sponge soaking up water respectively.

introduces new metaphors in the target languages that distort the meaning of the original metaphor. Metaphor and genitives Another aspect of translation-induced linguistic and epistemic dissonance is seen in the genitive construction of metaphors. 2004. possessive. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . 227 When these collocated metaphors are translated verbatim. In other words. particular source domains seem to apply to a clearly identifiable range of target concepts”. partitive. 2004. but they also distort the epistemic reality of the original metaphor. ironically by adhering to the lexical items of the metaphor. Similarly. In English genitives. 2005). That is. which literally means to jump to the results. In most situations the discrepancy (which is also found in non-metaphoric constructions) is caused by a mismatch between the functions and categories of genitive relationships across languages: attributive. as Gowers (1948)17 reminds us. they create epistemic dissonance in the target language. it is a dud. Two factors make such renditions infelicitous: “scope of metaphor” (Kövecses. Not only do these incongruities “make a perspicacious reader laugh at something you want him to take seriously”. resulting in metaphor creep (Darwish. This rendition is an inane expression since (¾^gv) yaqfiz and (Ó•t¯x) nata’ij do not collocate to create an acceptable metaphor and consequently fail to invoke the same mental picture as their English counterpart in English. and so on. the infelicity in translating the metaphor. A case in point is the Arabic rendition by Arab journalists of the preceding idiomatic expression “to jump to conclusion” as (Ó•t¯§_` [_f ¾^gv) yaqfizu ila an-nata’ij. descriptive. 2000) and “metaphor creep” (Darwish. “…the source domains of conceptual metaphors do not have unlimited applications. Kövecses (2000:35) argues that conceptual metaphors have a limited scope. born-still metaphor. 2005). Changing the original application of the metaphor in translation renders the metaphor out of scope. objective. subjective.

explicative or partitive. Let us consider the current English metaphor (bridges of trust). that is.18 This latter aspect is important because it causes inaccuracies of rendition into languages with different genitive constructions. and typically an “objective” grammatical relationship while the possessive forms and adjectives are used to express the “subjective” grammatical relationship. Stand-alone indefinite nouns are usually realized with full terminal nunation—that is. doubling the inflectional sound (nÔn)19 (for example. the nunation is suspended to a single inflectional sound as in our example (aynu + ar- rajuli). 228 prepositional phrases beginning with “of” are used to describe nouns. aynun). and creates different epistemic realities. The Arabic genitive is marked morphosyntactically.20 The relationship between the genitive constituents is determined by the type of genitive in this construction. The following table illustrates how genitives are constructed in Arabic. denoting possessive. The suspended nunation works in exactly the same way as the English (of). Arabic distinguishes between two major types of genitives: real and metaphoric. Metaphoric genitives (also known as lexical genitives) express an extrinsic or transient relationship between nouns. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . When the noun is added to another noun in the genitive construction. which serve to define or specify. They can be used to change nouns into adjectives to indicate a number of relationships. such as Arabic. Real genitives (also known as semantic genitives) express an intrinsic relationship between the nouns. real or metaphorical.

trusted bridges. 229 2. and if the of- genitive can be used to change nouns into adjectives. it should be possible to express this adjectival relationship by inverting the genitive construction to produce (trusted bridges). Otherwise. the genitive type of the metaphor (bridges of trust) is nonsensical if it simply means (trust). In contrast. since both (trust) and (confidence) usually Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . In other words. if the genitive type indicates a type of bridge. The metaphor goes something like this: entity A and entity B need a connection between them to improve relations: a bridge.9a Successful collaboration depends upon trust between people working together. What kind of bridge? A bridge that can be trusted (a confidence-building measure or device).9 Successful collaboration depends upon bridges of trust between people working together. the Arabic literal translation of (bridges of trust) (jusuru ath- thiqa/ag‡_` ro|s) points to a bridge that belongs or leads to (trust). 2. In this example. or bridges that can be trusted. This usage can be gleaned from English translations of this borrowed metaphor as (bridges of confidence). However. why need a bridge? It would be simpler and less convoluted to say building trust.

the English expression (build bridges of trust) may imply mutuality. they act as epistemic frames. and people in it […]. 1965. They highlight a one-dimensional representation of reality to the exclusion of other dimensions since depending on the vividness and force they evoke.10a).. a bridge by definition “provides passage over a gap or barrier” in either direction. 1966. Here is an example from Arabic news. as Benoit (2001) maintains. but a partitive relationship between (bridges) and (trust). Reductive and Summative Metaphors Finally. ideas. which are reductive. By explaining one thing in terms of another. summative and exclusionary in nature. metaphors function as a terministic screen (Burke. 2001). In effect. “[m]etaphors help us understand and interpret the world and the events. which could be either trust or confidence. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News .10 . cited in Benoit. 230 translated into Arabic as (thiqah/agÕ). In contrast. metaphors set a frame around only one aspect at a time of epistemic reality. 2. > @E 9 4 M 2( % 4 1 A J@ &Y ( Z $1 2.. After all. which is further reinforced by the insertion of the word (mutual).10a Building bridges of mutual trust between the citizen and the police (policemen) in the local community… As the back translation reveals (2.They can influence audience perceptions or interpretations of the world”. the genitive (bridges of the mutual trust) does not denote a description of the bridges.

In the latter sense.1 ! >&$@ ' M@$+ ] ED / 4 3 h J+ * 3.2) is the expression (point of no return). In this example (3.2a The country is [sitting] on the mouth of a volcano after things have reached the point of no return and the language of dialogue has been replaced with the language of challenge and confrontation.1a Al-Maliki is looking for a lifeline to pull him out of the Iraqi quagmire [swamp].2 X < J@ % b]A 3Q G&D K < "% . Of interest in this example (3. “where it signifies the point where an aircraft does not have enough fuel to return to the starting point”21 and has come to mean “the point in a course of action beyond which reversal is not possible”. the metaphor of quagmire. 3. C( %. which is compounded and reinforced by the (lifeline) metaphor. 1 9 3 AQJ . @ X1 3.8 1. Not many speakers are aware that this expression comes from aviation. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . 231 3. This tunnel vision is reinforced in a host of borrowed metaphoric expressions such the following example. But neither the original expression nor the translation implies continuing on the course of action yields positive results when in fact either outcome is possible. evokes a one-dimensional pictorial summary of Iraq.1). the deterministic expression has been exported to other languages. including Arabic.

dysphemism and socio-cultural circumlocution Euphemism is another area of cross-cultural communication where linguistic-epistemic dissonance occurs. Through euphemism and symbolism he was able to express his thoughts and escape the wrath of the rulers. in order to avoid possible loss of face: either one’s own or.1058) lived in an era of religious and political despotism. by giving offense. that of the audience. According to Neaman and Silver (1983). 232 Euphemism. Furthermore. The first call ever for family planning and contraception may be ascribed to him in the following verse (Darwish. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . The famous Arab poet-philosopher Abu al-Alaa al-Ma’arri (973 . They are dynamic and adaptive to the internal and external social changes and are more relied on in taboo-governed societies and oppressive political systems. or of some third party”. 1989-2001). reflecting the social mores of the times and the system of beliefs of the people who belong to a certain language and culture. the psychological and linguistic patterns underlying their formation are the same” (9). euphemisms are intrinsically language and culture-specific. we tend to substitute another word free of negative associations when unpleasant elements of response attach themselves strongly to the word used to describe those negative associations. Allan and Burridge (no date)22 define Euphemism as follows: “A euphemism is used as an alternative to a dispreferred expression. They argue that “[h]owever culturally and historically based euphemisms may be.

Being the cynical and satirical philosopher that he was. which are linguistically and culturally driven. restricted to religious text). frequency and distribution in Modern Standard Arabic (that is. Walk lightly! Methinks the surface of the ground is but of 3. or the other person in a relationship with equal status. In this verse.u uvs 8 Hj k0H+lAm8 n Hopm8 k mZjqk l^rPm= Khaffifi el-wata’a ma athunnu adima al-ardi il-la min 3. where the word “partner” is normally morphologically marked either as a male partner (sharik/dvŠ–) or a female partner (sharika/aivŠ–). is a social euphemism that is specific to Anglo-American cultures and is made feasible linguistically by the gender-neutrality of the English language. Decrease copulation! Methinks the surface of the ground is 3. 233 3.3b these bodies. In modern times. and while certain euphemisms in one language may find their Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . the use of “partner” to refer to “a husband or a wife. a complete congruence does not always exist across languages. from affirmative action to political correctness to international conflicts. This is not so feasible in gender-sensitive languages such as Arabic. the word (al-wata’a) (¶¼o_`) is an infinitive root noun that has two meanings: (1) to tread on and (2) euphemistically.”23 Such a call would have been a certain death sentence in those times. it is highly likely that his euphemistic message was “to go easy on sexual intercourse because the earth is being covered with the remains of too many people. While the latter meaning has been demoted in terms of currency. in Al-Ma’arri’s days. Consequently.3a hathihi al-ajsadi. irrespective of their sex”. it functioned as a strong secondary meaning. a spouse.3c but of these bodies. For example. to engage in sexual intercourse. various social and political movements have introduced euphemisms.3 lA Hk s(mK l7l5k s l t.

While the Arabic word (fadha’/Z c9) originally means “vast and unlimited space. the word “space” used in combinations such as “Eurospace”. and it is substituted for a neutral or euphemistic expression for just that reason. “line of duty”. “insurgents”. it has gradually come to mean “outer space” in its primary meaning. Verticality Verticality is a common feature across languages. For example. Words such as “war on terrorist”. These and similar euphemisms and dysphemisms are translated verbatim into other languages and in this case Arabic. For example. are all euphemisms or dysphemism used for maximum effect. empty space or void”.24 Verticality is a conceptual metaphor of action. In other words. that constitute a specific epistemic reality. 234 counterparts in another. again define dysphemism as follows: A dysphemism is an expression with connotations that are offensive either about the denotatum or to the audience. “Euro Mediterranean space”. In English. Allan and Burridge (no date). almost all Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . While euphemism is employed to make negative or offensive things sound less offensive or neutral. dysphemism is employed to make positive things sound euphemistically offensive or negative. it occupies a large space in idiomatic expressions. is a euphemism that has been transmitted literally into Arabic. however with “space” meaning “outer space”. or worse still become dysphemisms. “martyrs”. “bring to justice”. defining the social or political stance of those using them. “target” (versus “liquidate”). the register and pragmatic usage of such euphemisms may not coincide. dysphemism is euphemism in reverse. condition or state invoking an upward or downward movement or direction to express intensity. or both. Furthermore. Both euphemism and dysphemism are frequently used in political and social discourse. certain euphemisms lose their euphemistic nature when translated verbatim.

Robert Kaplan (1966) observes different rhetorical movements in discourse patterns across languages. (Arabic) In his classic. The linearity of discourse is extended to and enforced by its building blocks.2a sa atiru mina al-farah. For example. as in “downturn”. “under siege”.1 I am so happy I could fly. He confirms that English employs a top-down linear (vertical) pattern while other languages exhibit a variety of circular. and then. by a series of subdivisions of that topic statement. zigzag patterns. to prove something. 235 positive things are expressed in terms of being “up”. much-quoted and controversial article. “high” and “highly”. Yet a peculiar translation-induced Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . 7.2b I will fly with (literally. and to employ that idea in its proper relationship with the other ideas. other languages favour a horizontal perspective and express intensity in degrees of energy. from [because of] the) happiness.2 FP 4_ 7. “An English expository paragraph usually begins with a topic statement. Consequently. or perhaps to argue something” (Kaplan 13-14). “high quality” and “highly appreciate”. This elevatory experience is a universal feature of all languages and cultures and is also found in expressions of elation and “high spirits”. verticality constructs an epistemic reality consistent with native English speakers’ vertical view of the world. strength and weakness. proceeds. which create the epistemic forms of verticality. 7. “low” and “under”. severity. At this level also. immensity or enormity. each supported by example and illustrations. parallel. Arabic traditionally expresses these notions in terms of intensity. as in “cheer up”. 7. to develop that central idea and relate that idea to all the other ideas in the whole essay. “low quality”. and almost all negative things are expressed in terms of being “down”.

under siege. deep conflict. high competence. Sensory-perceptual epistemic inference Linguistic-epistemic dissonance occurs with perceptual expressions such as (sound) and (seem). translators. which is in stark violation of Arabic norms. Instrumental in all of this mass linguistic chaos is the media. standards and rules. high professionalism. is causing a surreptitious linguistic-epistemic shift. With the profusion of hundreds of satellite television channels beaming across the Arab region. high definition. 236 phenomenon in Arabic today is the all-pervasive adoption of the English language perspective of verticality in the daily parlance. deep concern. Wholesale borrowing of English expressions. flawed journalistic styles and expressions are being propagated at an unprecedented rate and are being adopted in other areas of human activity. This alien usage. high performance. are being used willy-nilly everywhere in the Arab world. deep doubts. raise awareness. politicians. This psychosomatic linguistic disorder is set to change modern Arabic forever thanks to translation and journalism. such as highly appreciate. translation-induced. and a generation of children has grown up in this linguistically contaminated environment. For over a decade now. in every quarter of human thought and action. deep crisis. deep regret. and so on. journalists. thinkers and tinkers are daily parroting these expressions in such a bizarre fashion unaware of this incongruence. by laypersons and specialists alike. Arab viewers have been bombarded with literal translations of the examples above. doctors. under the circumstances. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . under construction. Teachers. idiomatic expressions and specialized terminologies of modern Arabs. English uses both to express an epistemic reality visually and auditorily. high skills. high quality. engineers.

f ( % J+ 5 8.2 It seems the Republicans will lose the next presidential elections. which refers to someone or something nearer in place.1 That sounds good to me.3) changes the perceptual distance of reference.4 . [this seems good to me].8 % J+ 8. the shift from (that). . 237 8. Deictic inference Another point worthy of note in our discussion of linguistic-epistemic dissonance in translation is deixis.1 @D. 8.1) to (this). Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News .3b This seems to me good. 8. 8. or thought in (8. Curiously. or thought in (8. The distinction between the existential and referential functions of deictic elements is sometimes confused.3a hazha yabdu li jayyidan.3 . 8.4b (it) seems that the Republicans will lose the next presidential elections. This clearly demonstrates the different perspectives of both languages and the different epistemic forms that express the sensory perceptual experience of epistemic realities. A& .4a yabdu anna al-jumhuriyyeen sa yakhsaruna al-intikhabat ar- ri’asiyyah al-qadimah. time. which refers to someone or something more remote in place.% + C E . While the difference does not cause a major problem in knowledge transfer it certainly does change the epistemic form. 8. time. Arabic in this instance normally expresses both perceptual notions visually and it is almost impossible to express the notion of (sound) in Arabic without producing affected forms.

9. bridge the gap. break the ice.`&9 $ )_+ g$ 9. Both instances of (there) and (here) may be construed as referential deictic elements. go back to square one. the ball is in your court now. 238 9. Associated Press and Agence France Press.1a hunaka man ya’ti ila huna lis-siyahati faqat. including Arabic. is considerable. news and current affairs satellite television is playing a critical role in causing epistemic-linguistic dissonance through adherence to literalization of form irrespective of the pragmatic function of language both in the source and target. Time- critical deliveries and poor translation skills are causing these news feeds to be translated verbatim into most languages. It can be said with confidence that translation reveals the way one understands the source language. Arabic normally avoids this combination. While the existential (there) and referential (here) can occur in the same sentence in English. and bring to justice. The volume of literalizations causing epistemic shifts in translations from English into Arabic. the devil is in the details.1a There are those who come here for tourism only. at least on first reading/listening.1 . Sources of Influence and Normalization Cross-cultural interaction through translation is unavoidable. In modern times. It is a window to the cognitive processes of the translator or journalist-cum-translator. Apart from the literal transfer of technical terms and basic discourse. for example. 9. given the compacted nature of the syntactic structure (as illustrated in 9. into all languages of the world. The bulk of news is translated from daily news feeds supplied by major news agencies such as Reuters.1b). idiomatic expressions such as carrot and stick.1b there who comes to here for the tourism only. are brazenly Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News .

During the recent conflict between Israel and Lebanon (July 2006). Yet both the Arabic and English oxymora have been parroted in news reports in Arabic and English language news media. and no one seems to be any the wiser. sloppy or absent-minded Arabic translators was back-translated into English as (uncalculated adventure*). the Arabic word (] X ) (mughamarah) is a reckless. This dissonance between the epistemic reality and linguistic reality in both languages remains unreconciled. undemocratically elected or parachuted Arab politicians. Neither the Arabic term in Arabic nor its English translation makes much sense in either language. changing as we have already seen the perspective and perception of these epistemic phenomena. which can be direct purporting to be the exact utterances of the person who made them (sensory evidential) as in example (A). Framing through Quotatives Quotatives are employed to frame the news item in a manner that attributes the content of the message to its source. literally meaning (uncalculated adventure). uttered by installed.25 The Arabic term. (uncalculated) and (adventure) do not normally collocate in English either. which is actually a bad translation of the English term (uncalculated risk). or Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . 239 transferred into Arabic in their literal sense. (mughamarah) and ( 1 w) (ghayr mahsubah) do not collocate. By definition.26 Statements are attributed through the use of quotations. some Arab politicians and their media mouthpieces described Hezbullah's military operation of capturing the two Israeli soldiers. thoughtless act. as ( w ] X 1 ) (mughamarah ghayr mahsubah). Consequently. By the same token. A quotative evidential is an evidential that signals that someone else is the source of the statement made. most likely under the influence of English language instructions from their masters and or negative translations by inexperienced.

He added that the road to Al-Aqsa required honest leaderships.A R@ + B K N+ G . While Aljazeera has been increasingly using quotative evidentials (such as according to him.A. . This is short of comical in Arabic since it ignores the intrinsic grammatical functions of articles. as he alleges) in reporting the news to attribute utterances. and defeated. BP ( 9% 0C + ) y ]Tw 1 x. A " . problems of the kind seem to filter through. Bin Laden called upon whom he called the truthful (honest) scholars of the Islamic World to establish what he called a consultation commission.8 O d8% . It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found. “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida. In a bid to create a perception of objectivity and neutrality of news reporting. stopped. but it does not end there. words and sentence structures that signal to the listener that what follows is a speech ascribed to the person reported to have uttered it. but it does not end there and that it will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found. 240 indirect reporting the utterances but not necessarily in the same exact words (quotative evidential) as in example (B). 1 2 % . "$ z Z MD AB Q V 0 Z 10 Translation And Bin Laden said that what he called the Gaza holocaust is an important historic event and a decisive calamity.”27 Example B President Bush has told Congress that the war on terror begins with al-Qaida. as he described it. 2001. Arabic original . and defeated. Aljazeera is guilty of using these quotatives in such an irritating frequency. stopped. 1 3A% .A. Consider the following example from a recent Beyond the News program (16 March 2009) about a new Bin Laden voice recording. Example A As President Bush said in an address to Congress on September 20. according to a White House source. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News .

These attributives reframe the original message in Arabic signalling to the audience that Aljazeera does not embrace these source language descriptors. Assessed within the three-tier translation model outlined in this thesis. This all too obvious and ‘in your face” technique is in a way forced by the fact that the news source is not Arabic and that within the bounds of the original text. which Western media have been using unconditionally in describing events in Afghanistan. “terrorists”. Conclusion Languages normally compensate for epistemic-linguistic dissonance within the same language environment by elevating the linguistic form to a metaphor or by adjusting existing metaphors through metaphoric shifts. by changing the social and cultural perspective. most recently. Pakistan and other hotspots in the “greater” Middle East. Iraq. from an editorial viewpoint. which is not always necessarily positive. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . “terrorism”. they overemphasize the point that Aljazeera does not adopt the descriptors in the original message. “the so-called terrorism”. However. which are a poor and too explicit a way of ensuring neutrality and objectivity. However. skewed epistemic frames contribute to psychological and social change. which from a purely translation perspective are unjustifiable. Aljazeera has abandoned the use of phrases such as ”war on terror”. While Aljazeera might think that the use of such quotatives is its way of ensuring neutrality. and the like. they are producing an opposite effect. and cause communication breakdown due to loss of shared experiences and to the way they frame reality. in favour of the conditional quotatives “what is called the war on terror”. epistemic-linguistic dissonance that occurs in translation between divergent languages is usually the result of culturally incongruent. these quotatives fall within the “interference” category. skewed epistemic frames. certain adjustments are made. 241 Not only that. Apart from the immediate distortion of source-language epistemic realities.

& Trigg.html. Retrieved 10 October 2006. It appears to. but rather a propositional representation of a physiognomic perception of an epistemic reality. unreconciled linguistic-epistemic dissonance seems to be more prevalent in translations into Arabic than in translations from Arabic into other languages. We know it does not rise. 7 Source of Arabic text: http://www. Notes 1 Sherry. but that is not the point. This is largely due to incompetence and short deadlines that force journalists-cum-translators to adhere to the surface structures of source text and operate at the primary level of rendition. Since going to air in 1996. http://www. 3 It can be argued that the expression (the sun rises) is relatively speaking not a metaphor. 36(3). To our perception the sun still rises. 242 In translating news sources. This chapter has taken a different approach to the discussion of framing and translation-mediated reframing by focusing on cognitive dissonance as a psychological state of contradictory cognition of the same reality.htm. 2 Picture courtesy of Overstock Art. Educational Technology. 38-44. and we need a term to describe the latter. Retrieved 15 November 2006. 4 Clipart courtesy of http://www.1) is a calque translation of the English expression (to break the standstill) introduced into Arabic during the Cold War era. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . Furthermore. Epistemic forms and epistemic games. M. It is also a deep-rooted translation tradition that seems to be further entrenched in the psyche of most translators and translation-reliant thinkers and intellectuals across the Arab world.com/girbefmir.overstockart. (1996). dawn/daybreak and sunrise are different.com/iconica-photos/imagezoo-iz024 5 American Heritage Dictionary.. Aljazeera has been contributing to linguistic-epistemic dissonance in the Arabic language through adherence to a primary level of rendition and literal translation strategies. expressed in two different languages. framing and reframing through linguistic-epistemic dissonance is an ongoing process that has implications beyond the immediate message of the original to the fundamental thinking patterns of those who adopt such dissonant forms. 6 It must be noted that even this metaphor (2. For a farmer and a sailor for example.net/NR/exeres/EA06A1BB-E07E-4FBE-8657- 0DD0C274DBED. L. and it often looks beautiful when it does.inmagine.aljazeera.

2006. English was introduced to primary schools of private and charity organizations (such as al-Maqasid Islamic Charitable Association.si. Lebanon has been divided along sectarian-driven foreign language lines. especially in the sixties. where everyone is a minority. using air quotes or intonation with a dead metaphor in speech or typographically emphasizing it in writing immediately brings it back to life. Roughly around that time.HTM.pdf . 14 “Corruption is widespread in Lebanon.htm#Target. qalban (objective). the inflection is omitted (zero inflection). ec.annaharonline. An anticorruption law was drafted in 2002. Country Report: Lebanon. Retrieved on 10 November 2006.latrobe. 12 An assumed representational metaphor of a country comprised of minorities. Retrieved from cached pages 12 November 2006.europa. for example.ie/~philos/vol4/metaphor. 17 http://ourcivilisation. The landing of the Fifth Fleet in Beirut in 1958 at the request of the Lebanese President Camille Chamoun to quell pro Pan-Arab civil unrest marks the beginning of American influence in Lebanon. 18 http://omega. In contrast.umich. 10 Interestingly. The reasons are.com/smartboard/shop/gowerse/chap7. British culture did not offer such dynamism or have the same appeal. Retrieved 15 November 2006.edu/latin/grammar/of_english. 11 Source of Arabic text: www. education and health costs and red tape which provides civil servants with opportunities. High profile cases of corruption among politicians have had a negative impact on the public perception of the integrity of the political class. and qalbin (dative/genitive).com/htd/ARAB061023. While American culture was more attractive to most youths aspiring after freedom. 21 The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. 15 For quite some time. 13 One orphan census was conducted in pre-independence Lebanon in 1932. Retrieved 10 November 2006. French has been the second (if not the first) language of most Christians while recently introduced English the second language of most Muslims. democracy and American values. Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News . 20 In colloquial and lazy spoken Arabic. given the French colonial legacy in Lebanon and France as a single francophonic point of reference.com/metaphors/metaphor_chapters/living_and_dead_metaphors. 9 http://www. Retrieved 10 November 2006. the nunation is reduced to a single inflection. Online version . Being the second official language. 19 The way nunation works is by terminating the word with and additional (unn) sound.tangra. Commission Staff Working Paper.au/linguistics/LaTrobePapersinLinguistics/Vol%2001/1AllanandBurridge. but has not yet been presented to the Parliament” (Commission Of The European Communities. cultural affiliation to English was not as straight forward given the bipolarity of Anglophonic reference (American and British).htm.htm. For largely Christian Lebanese francophones. In genitives. cultural affiliation to French was a straightforward matter. inter alia. 22 www. there was ambivalence towards affiliation to American culture given the prevalent official and popular attitude towards American foreign policy in the region. {COM(2005) 72 final}). ayn ar- rajul. the Arabic word for heart is (—•‚) qalb (zero inflection). Retrieved 15 November 2006. Retrieved 15 November.pdf. low salaries and high living. 243 8 http://knowgramming.eu/world/enp/pdf/country/lebanon_country_report_2005_en.ul. The introduction of English in the early fifties may be seen as a direct result of US intervention. For example.html.cohums. 16 http://www.edu/~radev/papers/handbook00. owned by the late Sunni Prime Minister Sa’ib Salam) and later to government schools in predominantly Muslim areas.pdf. Annex to: “European Neighbourhood Policy”.ohio-state. with full inflection: qalbun (subjective).edu.

(2005).sil. A. 1). Online publication at at-turjuman.com online. Language: Arabic. ”.state. (2006). 244 23 This is based on the Quranic verse “You have been too busy propagating until you have visited the graveyards” (Propagation. Arab Politicians and "Uncalculated" Translations.com online. 26 http://www. Online publication at at-turjuman. A. “English Verticality in ‘Square’ Arabic Translations”. 25 Further explored in Darwish.org/linguistics/glossaryOflinguisticTerms/WhatIsAQuotativeEvidential. 24 Further explored in Darwish. Language: Arabic.gov/s/ct/rls/pgtrpt/ Chapter 5 Framing Realities in Arabic News .htm 27 http://www.

245 Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts In this chapter: Aims Overview Impact of Live Television on Simultaneous Interpreting Simultaneous Interpreting Models Interpreting Mediation at Arabic Satellite Television Analysis and Discussion Modes of Operation Conclusion and Recommendations Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts .

246 Aims In the previous two chapters. Soon enough. political observers. analysts and commentators. I explored the central role of translation in news production at Aljazeera. real-time. The role of interpreter-mediated. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . I examine the emerging styles of delivery of simultaneous interpreting in Arabic satellite television and highlights aspects of two distinct modes of operation. cross-cultural and multilingual communication becomes crucial in live debates. In this chapter. house style modes of delivery are beginning to evolve through a refining development process. expository and rhetorical. which are for the most part unintended by the producers of such mediated programs. in a fledgling industry that is growing at an amazing pace. talk shows and newscasts that seek to effect regional change through international interaction with officials. that seem to vary in salience of specific functional qualities that reframe the original message. These modes of delivery reframe the original message and produce variances and infelicities.

is unmistakably a distinctive hallmark of Arabic translation not only in the media but almost everywhere translation is required. they more often get it critically wrong. through examination of the predominant translation models at Aljazeera and other Arabic television networks. the role of translation as a framing process of news making and reconstruction of constructed realities. when the broadcasters move away from the literal sense. Whether by tradition or lack of scientific translation methods. and calls on the Secretary General to ensure that this situation is corrected. by focusing on words rather than on the purport of the original language. The original intentions of the message are lost especially when the concepts are culture-specific. which is motivated by an equally primitive notion of fidelity. The primitive method of literalization. unfamiliar and or colloquial. Arabic translators seem unable to deviate from the literal surface translation of text so much so that the United Nations General Assembly passed a critical resolution at its fifty-fourth session on 21 June 2000 regarding literal translation in UN Arabic documentation. 247 Overview The preceding chapter established. and which ignores the dynamic nature and pragmatic functions of languages. I examine another aspect of translation mediation that plays an equally crucial role in transmitting news and current affairs programs live as they unfold and in framing the messages they carry to the viewers: simultaneous telecast interpreting. What is Simultaneous Interpreting? Simultaneous Interpreting (SI) today is an important aspect of live international satellite broadcasts since it facilitates ad hoc cross-lingual communication and brings to the viewers arguments and Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . In this chapter.1 Typically however. Article eleven highlighted the problem: 11) It notices with concern that some of the documents produced in Arabic tend to follow a consistent pattern of excessive literal translation.

simultaneous interpreting has become the bread and butter of live current affairs programs and news broadcasts. This can be gleaned externally from the quality of interpreting and linguistic and paralinguistic skills of the interpreters hired for these roles. and the high levels of interpreting staff turnover. While conference interpreting has a long Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . political and cultural change. The overnight success of Arabic media networks such as Aljazeera. This chapter focuses only on the modes of delivery of simultaneous interpreting at these satellite television stations monitored over the period of research and examines the role this type of mediation plays in framing and reframing the original message. At the same time. For Arabic satellite television stations eager to portray themselves as standard bearers of western-style democratisation. 248 counterarguments by foreign experts. Impact of Live Television on Simultaneous Interpreting Live simultaneous interpreting for television broadcasts is a form of interpreting that requires skills and modes of delivery that are quite different from other forms of simultaneous interpreting. such as conference interpreting. Al- Arabiya and LBC (Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation) has been partly attributed to their ability to bring to the Arab viewers ad hoc views and opinions through simultaneous interpreting as the program unfolds. analysts and observers about domestic and international issues in a time-critical manner. and to engage “the other” in the debate. It is a recent phenomenon that has rapidly gained prominence. it has highlighted major operational and performance shortcomings and weaknesses relating to the competency standards of interpreters hired for this crucial task and inconsistent broadcasting policies pertaining to telecast simultaneous interpreting (TSI). None of these outfits however seems to have been prepared for this kind of delivery or has anticipated the pivotal importance of simultaneous interpreting.

They have encouraged open debates on previously taboo subjects like secularism and religion. BBC and other international cable television stations. live simultaneous interpreting is quite a recent phenomenon dating back to the early 1990s. In the Arab world. The supposedly fortuitous rise to fame of Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . have given impetus to simultaneous interpreting into English (and other languages). In Europe for example. and on the scene press conferences. As discussed in the preceding chapters. and “have played a significant role in breaking down censorship barriers in the region. “triggered [a] series of developments that led to the establishment of private television in Arab countries. on-the-go interviews with local figures. on CNN. the rise of these Arabic satellite-broadcast television stations in the last decade has caused a revolution in the Arab world. 249 developmental history that goes back all the way to 1945 when the first United Nations conference on international organization was held. More recently. These stations have challenged traditional state monopolies over television broadcasting. 2002). According to Alterman (2002). live television interpreting is somewhat younger. provided fora for opposition political leaders from a number of countries. the discovered popularity of the Cable News Network (CNN) among the Arabs. the advent of these Arabic satellite television stations in the Arab world has dramatically changed the way news and current affairs programs are presented in Arabic today. particularly during the first gulf war and the invasion of Kuwait. 2002). and given a voice to perspectives that were previously absent from the Arab media” (Alterman. simultaneous interpreting for television had an early beginning at the height of the cold war in the early 1960s. Embedded reporting. Undoubtedly. analysts and observers. inaugurated with the 1991 launching in London of the Middle East Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) by Saudi business interests with the support of the royal family” (Kraidy. simultaneous interpreting has gained global significance with the dramatic changes on the world stage. live broadcasts from war zones.

to (3) instances of on-the-spot corrective instructions by frustrated program presenters to these unfortunate interpreters (for example. This in turn has created a critical demand for professional. has placed a great deal of demand on Arabic satellite television stations to vie for first place as an international Arab media player and as a regional democratization and normalization agent in the Arab world. discrepancies and distortions in the messages conveyed. Attempts to compare and analyze live broadcasts of major world events on CNN. and emergence of “mutual admiration societies” so to speak and camaraderie between interpreters and more appreciative and sympathetic program presenters (who in some instances try indirectly to aid the interpreter by explicating their Arabic utterances with English translations). In some respect. these television stations have experienced a marked increase in news and current affairs programs that rely on juxtaposing different and contrastive views of East and West. 250 Aljazeera in the aftermath of the September 11 events and US-led war on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. as symptoms of a more serious problem. (2) inconsistency of delivery modes. These symptoms range from (1) a high level of staff turnover (discerned from the sudden absence of interpreters and change of interpreting voices and garnered through analysis of informal communication). since no comprehensive academic field study has been carried out to date. qualified simultaneous interpreters. have created a problem that presents itself to the viewers. these symptoms give us a glimpse of the kind of pressure simultaneous interpreters find themselves working under at these television stations. and the scarcity of adequately trained competent Arabic interpreters on the other. The obvious lack of experience on the part of these satellite stations in simultaneous interpreting on the one hand. it is not uncommon for a program presenter to chide the on-duty interpreter for supposedly making a mistake). BBC and Arabic satellite television reveal major flaws. While it is not the intention here to focus on these aspects of telecast simultaneous Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . Consequently.

“money laundering”. presents serious difficulties for some of these simultaneous interpreters: idiom. idiom and structure of the Arabic language. As noted earlier. grammatical inflections2. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . and “carrot-and-stick” to name a few—abound in Arabic translations. 2004). The approach is partly due to the foreign language teaching methods employed in Arab education institutions generally and the absence of professional development of translators and interpreters. 251 interpreting (TSI). Arabic translation and interpreting work in general is characteristically literal. syntax. examples of clumsy and nonsensical literal renditions of idiomatic expressions—such as “in cold blood”. and continues to make a serious dent in the lexis. Adequate formal interpreting and translation training remains out of reach of would-be interpreters and confined to a handful of universities and institutes. it is worth noting that TSI suffers from poor standards relating to language. “fat chance”. enunciation. comprehension and information transfer competence. the high variety of the language. Literal translation is an old legacy in Arabic literature and translation that has been perpetuated in both directions by both Arab and Arabist translators. as a “Christian holy war”4. Today. it is not surprising to hear English idiomatic expressions rendered verbatim in Arabic. “throw a spanner in the works”. Anyone with a smattering of another language and the right connections can become an interpreter overnight. Thus. and 3 suchlike. Comprehension problems have also been detected. In certain instances. A case in point is the live rendition of the controversial term “crusade” uttered by the US president George W Bush straight after the September 11 events. pronunciation. this approach has been responsible for the evolution of new ideologies and cultural mismemes based on erroneous translations from other languages and cultures (Darwish. which is the medium of delivery for telecast simultaneous interpreting. Standard Arabic.

the misguided and antiquated notion of fidelity and meaning in translation that posits that literal translation is faithful translation. This may explain the extensive use of notes in many translations. 1998) no serious attempts have been made to set up a professional Arab organization for interpreters and translators. a number of universities in the region offer four-year degrees in interpreting and translation. paradoxically. perhaps a signal that both are emerging professional fields. may have their strong roots in the tradition of translating the Holy Qur’an— a tradition that has strongly affected other forms of translation. despite repeated calls and recommendations5 (Darwish. To date. and major efforts to develop a pan-Arab program for translation by various organizations (Baker. Baker. and the lengthy introductions that tend to precede them” (in Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . endeavours of this nature have remained confined to virtual reality or have soon faltered. Arab[ic]-speaking countries in North Africa appear to be at a similar stage of development” (Bancroft. However. According to Mustapha (1998). 2004: 36-37). and as already stated in this chapter. Such persistent views. 252 Furthermore. accommodating the target audience is not generally favoured given the Qur’an is the Word of God. 1998) dating back to 1979 and 1987. 1988. More importantly however. revealed in Arabic to the Prophet Muhammad. literal translation is caused by the lack of a structured translation-mediated knowledge transfer methodology. 2004) was “unable to locate a professional [emphasis added] association of interpreters in the Middle East with the exception of Israel” and “no codes of ethics and standards of practice have been developed to date in Arab countries or Israel. The recommendations by the Conference on Arab Cooperation in Terminology held in Tunis in 1986 called for “setting up national translator associations or unions at state level under the aegis of a pan-national Translators Federation”6. A report by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (Bancroft. “[m]ost translations of the Qur’an are source- oriented. which ignore the fact that translation is first and foremost an act of dynamic communication.

Literal translation The promise of the free is debt. Interpretive level A promise made by a free man out of free will is like a debt that is unpaid. Source text Transliteration wa’dã al-hurri dyn. This phenomenon can be illustrated within the three- tier model of translation outlined in this thesis. Most translators tend to work at the primary level of rendition. Primary level A free man’s promise is a debt. 1998: 203). The tendency is to violate rather than satisfy the constraint. Operative level A promise made is a debt unpaid. Consider the following example. Verbatim Translation Promise [genitive] the free [unmarked] [implied copula] [zero article] debt. and to produce literal translations that basically compromise the integrity of information in terms of what is carried across to the other language and how it is perceived by the target language. even in the presence of constraints that prevent the realization of both the communicative and informative intentions of the source. where the primary level refers to the closest point possible between the source and target languages. largely ignoring the dynamics of both languages in expressing the same notions with different rhetorical techniques. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . 253 Baker. this model consists of primary. operative and interpretive levels and four modes of orientation: source. reader and author (with their combinations). the operative level refers to the functional properties of rendition. and the interpretive level refers to the informative intention of the source text and the function of the translation in the target language. To remind the reader. target.

Interpretive level It is better to give charity than to ask for alms. by adhering to the literal form of the source. the operative. the translator (or interpreter) tries to satisfy the constraint by moving to the operative level. Primary renditions are valid only in the absence of constraints that prevent the realization of source meaning in the translation. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . which clearly shows how they can inadvertently convey the wrong message through “metaphor creep” in this instance. and if the translation still does not convey the source meaning. most Arabic interpreters (and translators) would automatically render this example at the primary level. a shift to the interpretive level is necessary. Literal translation The upper hand is better than the lower hand. Let us examine a more serious example7 within this three-tier model. Source text . it forces native speakers of English to submit the sentence to further cognitive processing and analysis to arrive at the intended meaning. target-oriented rendition is adequate to convey the intentions of the source message. 254 While the Arabic nominal sentence rendered as a copula sentence in English at the primary level makes sense to the Arabic translator because it mirrors the Arabic construction and because of access to the source text. In other words. Otherwise. Again. Transliteration alyadã al-‘ulya khayrun min al-yadi as-sufla. Verbatim Translation The hand the upper [post modifier] [implied copula] better from the hand the lower [post modifier]. Primary level The upper hand is better than the lower hand. In the above example. Operative level It is better to give than to receive.

117- Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . To recapitulate. This is bound to be the shortest route between the two languages or routes routinized through pattern recognition and pre-alignment of these patterns. Again. cultures and various communicative situations through such alignment. the model is based on the notion that translation is a process of approximation driven by constraints and that “the ultimate goal of any translation strategy is to solve the underlying problem of translation-mediated communication and to remove the external and internal constraints imposed on the translation process in order to unlock potential alternatives” (Darwish. the number of cognitive processing operations depends on two factors: (1) the distance between the languages coupled in the translation process and (2) the inventory of matched patterns. On the interpreter’s side. the operative level here should capture the essence of the Arabic metaphor. In time-critical decision-making. and it is often said that we all speak in clichés—nothing is really invented. Efficiency in retrieving data will depend on the interpreter’s linguistic pattern recognition ability within larger patterns and his or her ability to match and align these patterns at appropriate levels of approximation. the path of least resistance is always taken. Model rationale and rules The rationale for this three-tier model was discussed in Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model. 255 the interpreter has introduced an English idiomatic expression “the upper hand”. thus seriously distorting the intentions of the source and reframing the original message. As such. errors of the nature described above are bound to occur during performance. Prefabricated language makes up a large portion of the linguistic stock. the success of interpreting is governed by the interpreter’s ability to pre-align prefabricated linguistic data and bridge the distance that exists between the two languages. which means “superiority or advantage” rather than being “charitable” or “magnanimous”. 2003. If the interpreter has confined such patterns to the rudimentary level.

The point of departure is the closest point possible between source and target languages. To manage these conflicting constraints. 2. the model provides explicit rules for translation production and analysis. THEN a shift to the operative level is warranted. Direct translation does not necessarily mean literal translation. this must mean that the overriding consideration in selecting these forms is the preservation of the semantic and pragmatic aspects of the original message. 256 118) and “…to achieve optimal approximation between the source and target versions of text in terms of utility and appeal” (Darwish. 2003. in the sense that to satisfy one constraint implies the violation of another” (4). Following Kager (1999). 112). each translation constraint makes a requirement about some aspect of equivalent output. precision and appropriateness of TSI rendition and to determine whether the rendition is optimally approximated to the source in terms of its informative and communicative intents. which is anchored in optimality theory. This means the most direct translation is the primary option. The model enables us to address the question of accuracy. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . These rules include the following as discussed in Chapter 3 Conceptual Framework and Research Model. 1. there must be a mechanism of selecting [translation] forms that incur ‘lesser’ constraint violations from others that incur ‘more serious’ ones (after Kager. rather a conventional equivalent or counterpart. Empirical and anecdotal evidence has shown that no translation form can satisfy all constraints simultaneously. 1999:4). IF this fails to preserve the informative and communicative intentions of the source. Therefore. Logically. regards translation as a temporary system of conflicting forces that are embodied by constraints. The model. “Constraints are typically conflicting.

THEN a shift to the interpretive level is required. we spend more. a building is normally described as tall rather than high (tall and building collocate).8 Also in English both short and quick collocate with temper. we buy more. if pre-alignment has been confined to the rudimentary level. but narrower viewpoints. while in Arabic sharp and temper collocate— hence the compounded problem of translating the above example in the primary or operative mode. The power of this English text derives from the rhetorical technique of contrast between taller buildings and shorter tempers. To make explicit in the translation what is implicit in the source so long as what is implicit in the source is readily accessible to the intended reader of the source by virtue of the intersubjectivity that exists between the source writer and the source reader. However. In certain translation/interpreting situations. The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings. IF the operative level fails to preserve the informative intention of the source. which is an essential component of the original meaning of the message. the interpretive mode is the only mode of operation available to the translator/interpreter to produce a sound translation. In English. However. Let us Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . mainly because of the condition of collocations. 257 3. To maintain the contrast without violating the norms of the target language. while in Arabic a building is high rather than tall (high and building collocate. when a wide gap exists between the source and the target languages. and so on. but have less. but enjoy it less. as mentioned earlier. wider freeways. but shorter tempers. tall and building do not). this rhetorical technique. wider freeways and narrower viewpoints. 4. does not work in the same way in other languages (for example. Let us examine one more example. thus producing interpreting dissonance. and from the collocations of adjectives. shifting to the interpretive mode in time-critical responses imposes a serious constraint causing linguistic incongruence between the two languages. certain adjustments will have to be made at the operative level. Arabic).

despite the fact that the Arabic post-modifier (suspected in them) is a descriptive permanent attribute. In other words. in an interview that it benefited the United States and the entire world. in this case producing an oxymoron. Without running the risk of being too technical here. In this instance. one can produce a word that captures the English phrase “suspected terrorists”. and the dissonance-free rendition of (suspected terrorists) in Arabic is normally a phrase meaning (persons suspected of being terrorists). the phrase suspected terrorists is almost invariably translated into Arabic as “terrorists suspected in (i.e. Translation: •mk\ˆ_` ŠbÒ štÁ¯}Œ` cª ²v`r t|b_mkxoy abyŠbuœ` absrt¸_` £Švšm w“{`• a“^§u `e ½ty d_e ½Ëp t•“u wvŠs€ a•ptgu Ž{ Éa••t‚ ••b{ ”®¯˜ˆ_` cbbpt…rÛ_ . by using the traditional Arabic method of analogy to coin new words. 258 consider one representative example of interpreting dissonance caused by faulty pre-alignment. the terrorists are not yet terrorists. How can they be terrorists and at the same time suspected of being terrorists? This is how the noun + adjective construction works in Arabic. However. In the English construction suspected terrorists. Original: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended the unlimited detention of suspected terrorists saying. the pattern (mustaf’al) means Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . the adjective (suspected) qualifies and delimits the noun (terrorists). Nonetheless.¿ˆs€ •_t“_`m £k\¯ˆ_` ‰tvŒo•_ Back translation: The American Foreign Minister Condoleezza Rice defended the unlimited detention of the terrorists suspected of them saying in an interview held with her that that was of benefit to the United States and the entire world. Arabic is based on word patterns. the adjective in the Arabic noun + adjective construction (obligatory syntactic transposition) describes and does not qualify or delimit. of) them” (obligatory transposition and anaphoric pronoun”). In contrast.

The three-tier model described in this chapter is informed by the constraints and limitations imposed on the translation process rather than by the translator’s choices. The term also fails to account for other forms of interpreting that have nothing to do with conference settings. as Gentile (1988) contends. where failure to satisfy the constraints results in a skewed translation that falls outside the acceptable range of approximation and the parameters of the original message. one could coin the new word “mustarhab” to mean deemed terrorist and by extension. For example. suspected terrorist. In the same vein. physical presence of the interlocutors. and so on. or to establishing correspondences of appeal “even at the cost of having to overhaul the semantic message completely" (86). means “deemed weak”. where the translator may assign priority to close matching of the semantic content depending on the type of text. simultaneous interpreting is often associated with conference interpreting. For example. Holmes (1994) proposed a system of hierarchy of correspondences between the source and target languages. “conference interpreting as an umbrella term does not do justice to the varieties of interpreting which are carried out in Australia [and elsewhere] even though these can be considered varieties of simultaneous and consecutive interpreting” (480) [insertion added]. Simultaneous Interpreting Models For obvious reasons. The image of a diplomat addressing the United Nations General Assembly or Security Council through an interpreter is conjured up whenever simultaneous interpreting is generally discussed. In his remarkable work. the word “musta’da’f”. which is based on this pattern. However. the late scholar James S. 259 “someone or something deemed something”. environment. It is therefore important for the purposes of this study to make a clear Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . there is a fundamental difference between conference interpreting and telecast simultaneous interpreting in terms of modes of delivery.

two types of simultaneous interpreting models developed by various researchers have been identified: full process and partial process. These information processing- oriented models offered formal representations of the interpreting phenomenon that did not correspond to real life (Moser-Mercer. one-way bilingual (or multilingual) communication that takes place between a speaker (dyad 1) and an audience (dyad 2) via an interpreter or several interpreters (in multilingual settings and relay interpreting. The speaker is usually visible and audible to the audience. 1997: 194). Conference interpreting Conference interpreting (CI) is a dyadic. His or her speech is air-transmitted via loudspeakers to the audience and via a one-way closed circuit communication system to the simultaneous Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . 1997). time-constrained multitasking environment of simultaneous interpreting that involves a high degree of cognitive processing” (in Danks et al. Initial research focused on intuitive accounts of the interpreting process. 1997). and by mid-1970s interest had shifted to theoretical analysis and empirical research culminating in a multistage view of interpreting by the late 1970s (Moser-Mercer. The crisis and the flurry of diplomatic activities that accompanied this major political event highlighted shortfalls in our understanding of the interpreting phenomenon. Within this developmental framework. where the interpreter who does not know the speaker’s language piggybacks another interpreter who does)9. Moser-Mercer concludes that “a powerful model of the interpreting process must be broad enough to include aspects that reflect the complex. 260 distinction between telecast simultaneous interpreting and conference interpreting. Research into simultaneous interpreting Research in interpreting began in earnest in the period that followed the Bay of Pigs Crisis in 1961.

when speakers read [out] a text which has also been given to interpreters [beforehand]” (184). However. as opposed to oral discourse. especially in conference interpreting settings such as the United Nations. it presents new problems relating to the density and peculiar linguistic construction of written texts. offers the interpreter “visual presence of information. and the risk of linguistic interference (185). In ideal conference conditions. observation of simultaneous interpreters working from scripted speeches in settings of this kind shows that seasoned interpreters. this is not always possible and sometimes “blind” booths are used that block the interpreter’s visual contact with the speaker and audience. which reduces memory problems”. which combines sight translation of the speech. the interpreter translates the speaker’s source discourse into the target language as it is received. Figure 21 . being aware of the speaker’s potential departure from the scripted speech. “Simultaneous interpretation with text occurs frequently. During performance. and transmits the target rendition simultaneously to the target language audience via a one-way closed circuit communication system. 261 interpreter who usually sits in a special soundproof booth.Dyadic Simultaneous Interpreting-Driven Communication in Conference settings As Gile (1995) confirms. Gile observes that while this mode of simultaneous interpreting. However. would anticipatorily use the Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . the interpreter can see both the speaker and the audience. scripted simultaneous interpreting occurs frequently.

for the benefit of a television audience (viewers) (dyad 3) who act as passive receivers in as Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . with the original speaker still audible in the background” (207). It has a narrower scope of application than dubbing. or at a remote location. Gile concedes that scripted simultaneous interpreting “does seem to make interpretation possible under acoustic and delivery conditions which would be prohibitory without the text” (185). However. Telecast simultaneous interpreting Pöchhacker (1995) observes that simultaneous interpreting in live broadcasts is one of the more specialized forms of language transfer in the audiovisual media. simultaneous interpreting has increasingly covered live ad hoc and scheduled press conferences and speeches by statesmen and women and politicians as well as news broadcasts utilizing sign language. subtitling and other translation-mediated techniques since it is confined to live unscripted interviews. as we shall see later in this chapter. via a simultaneous interpreter.10 Yet as Pöchhacker (1995) confirms. discussions and talk shows. who may be in the same studio as the program presenter and sometimes other guests. 262 script as prerecorded notes. this raises the question whether this form or mode of performance (that is. and occasionally the other guests11. scripted interpreting) can actually be termed “simultaneous interpreting” or whether it is pseudo interpreting or another form of revoicing. interpreting into the target language is “broadcast as a voice-over. two-way bilingual communication process that takes place between a foreign language speaker (dyad 1). Generally. Telecast Simultaneous Interpreting (TSI) is a triadic. In recent years. Nonetheless. as a rule. To this end. and the talk show presenter (dyad 2). this is not necessarily the case in the study under investigation and the rule is not always observed. and would pre-highlight key ideas in the speech to help them cope with any deviation from the written text. who may be at the same location where the talk show is being produced or at a remote location.

and transmits the rendition to the target language audience via a television broadcasting system. the interpreter translates the foreign speaker’s source discourse into the target language of the audience as it is received. It is also not uncommon to have at least two interpreters. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . Figure 22 .Triadic Telecast Simultaneous Interpreting-Driven Communication During performance. The talk show presenter and the onsite and offsite guests may or may not know the language of the foreign speaker. The foreign speaker is visible and audible to all parties in the studio. a primary interpreter and a relief interpreter assigned to the TSI task. The interpreter also communicates the utterances of the program presenter (and the guests. This is not audible to the viewers. 263 far as interacting directly with the other dyads is not possible. via a closed circuit communication system. and to the audience through controlled camera shots. as it may). The situation can increase in complexity when there is more than one foreign speaker at different locations and or in the studio where the talk show is being conducted.

264 Figure 23 .A Basic Model of Telecast Simultaneous Interpreting Unlike other forms of simultaneous interpreting. Consequently. and transmitting target discourse become more vital for effective performance. This increases the potential for errors and other performance anomalies and reduces the quality of output to unacceptable levels. 1995:207) than conference interpreting. especially when “in some respects the level of output expected in media interpreting is even considerably higher” (Pöchhacker. such as conference interpreting. Telecast Simultaneous Interpreting is seldom scripted. TSI interpreters are increasingly under pressure to respond to live adlibbed discourse. attentive listening skills and synchronicity of receiving source discourse. Given the ad hoc nature of most programs. Many TSI interpreters fail to perform effectively because they tend to listen to the speaker pre- emptively without defining the various levels of communication in the source discourse and without recognizing the different levels of abstraction at which they can work within the parameters of the original Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . processing.

As noted in previous work. the public speaker addresses an immediate audience. physically or virtually present (in television broadcasts) in a monolingual environment. The advice frequently given to interpreters to concentrate on ideas rather than on words has been often misused and misunderstood. in these specific instances. This scenario adds to the complexity of TSI. It is rather moving from one level of abstraction to another where the interpreter can separate the utterance from the words and content from form” (Darwish. 265 discourse. relay interpreting is employed where the station’s primary interpreter is not qualified to work from the language of the foreign speaker (primary passive language) and piggybacks another interpreter at the same or another station who is competent to work into the primary interpreter’s passive language (from which the interpreter is competent to interpret professionally into his or her active language). For example. “moving from words to ideas does not mean to have a free rein to change. a Japanese Foreign Minister’s speech is interpreted into English by a CNN Japanese-English interpreter and relayed from English into Arabic by the Arabic satellite station’s English-Arabic interpreter. fatigue and too much concentration on rendition to the extent that the speaker’s voice may be drowned by the interpreter’s own voice at certain critical segments of the speaker’s utterances. In other TSI settings12. In this regard. the balance between listening and speaking may become affected by inappropriate acoustics. Relay telecast simultaneous interpreting In certain situations. MacWhinney’s cue validity concept discussed earlier can be put to practice with effective results. Furthermore. since the station’s primary interpreter relies solely on the interpreter at the Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . The public speaker’s address is broadcast to a global television audience through a simultaneous interpreter who may be physically located onsite or remotely at the television station. add or omit utterances at will. causing major distortions or omissions. 2003:170).

which has attracted a great deal of attention in the last decade particularly in Australia. and the many independent word-like sound constructs. Speed. including paralinguistic. which involves the full range of communicative devices. which is primarily consecutive or quasi- simultaneous. the literature at hand does not sufficiently examine the modes of delivery of each of these types. Real-time Communication Much of the literature dealing with the types and modes of interpreting has focused primarily on three main types: simultaneous. accompanying or replacing the linguistic and kinesic message…either simultaneously to or alternating with them” (in Pöchhacker and Shlesinger. Pöchhacker (2004:150) also confirms that the interpreter’s spatial position and the co-construction of interactive spoken discourse. kinesic and proxemic behaviours. coherence and precision of delivery depend on the source interpreter’s quality of rendition and mode of delivery. or at least has not been articulated Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . 2002: 240). Poyatos (2002) contends that despite twenty-five years of research or rather recycling of poorly understood fundamental ideas about paralanguage. Time-critical. 266 source station. The differences in modes and styles of delivery remain severely under- researched. However. More specifically. With the exception of liaison interpreting. consecutive and liaison. has been the subject of few corpus-based studies on nonverbal communication in dialogue interpreting. the many modifiers of it which result in marked formal and semantic changes. contradicting. a significant aspect of simultaneous interpreting seems to have received little attention. paralanguage as a feature of interpreting mode of delivery has been discussed in forensic linguistics within the context of court interpreting. which we use consciously or unconsciously supporting. it has not been fully exploited as “the nonverabal long-term qualities of the voice. For example.

the stations seem to have recruited interpreters drawn primarily from the United Nations pool of interpreters and retired interpreters as well as others from regional countries such as Iraq. This crucial SI factor adds to the complexity of action as it affects the quality of performance. how and when to apply a particular strategy is of crucial importance leading to the conclusion that “the emphasis shifts from knowledge structures to the dynamic nature of their use” (194). Egypt and Algeria. resynchronized transmission. It is a time-critical performance that requires a heightened level of awareness and cognitive priming to enable the interpreter to make accurate time-critical decisions (Darwish. simultaneous interpreting remains a high- powered. Lebanon. Live broadcasts usually utilize time-delayed. such as simultaneous interpreting. the Search. 2003). With poorly managed technologies. Moser-Mercer (1997) confirms that in time-constrained tasks. stressful real-time task. With the sudden demand for simultaneous interpreters. All the same. multi-track asynchronous. Live satellite television “simultaneous” interpreting however is not quite simultaneous. As already noted. Retrieve and Match (SLRM) mechanisms. the rate of delivery. Those interpreters were not Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . 267 explicitly. Locate. Jordan. despite this inconspicuous advantage. Simultaneous interpreting is live communication that takes place in real time. recovery strategies and synchronicity of performance. this delay sometimes results in the interpreter’s getting ahead of the speaker thus producing dissonance and voice lag. This technique sometimes enables the interpreter to gain a few seconds (the delay is usually 3 to 5 seconds or up to 10 frames per second) to formulate his or her utterances in advance of the actual broadcast. That is because the organization of knowledge is more crucial for the retrieval and response times than possessing the appropriate knowledge structures. the unprecedented rapid success of Arabic satellite television stations has taken them by surprise.

misunderstanding or inaccuracies on the part of the simultaneous interpreter. Consequently. they accept whatever they hear with no argument. UN meeting rooms have seen a great deal of argumentation. as already noted. al-Ashmawi (1983) asserts “…hardly anyone [at the United Nations] listens to simultaneous interpreting except those who are utterly ignorant of the other language. two major styles of delivery are observed. it is quite rare and indeed surprising to find a UN delegate who could not speak or comprehend English. a general mediocre competency standard seems to prevail. and pre-scripted translated speeches are routinely distributed to participants beforehand. Simultaneous interpreting has reportedly become more of a cushy “mimesis” job. To further explore the different styles of TSI delivery. simultaneous” interpreting proper probably because simultaneous interpreting as practised at the United Nations is for the main part pre-scripted. Aljazeera and LBC were chosen for the case study. Interpreting Mediation at Arabic Satellite Television Initial informal observation of Arabic satellite television indicated major discrepancies and variations of styles and modes of delivery of Telecast Simultaneous Interpreting (TSI). Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts .”13 Twenty years on. 268 initially equipped to perform “live. or because the interpreter has skipped a sentence or two while trying to catch up to the speaker. Having said that and in light of the new mode of performance required by live television broadcasts and the obvious lack of a consistent simultaneous interpreting policy. Delivering lengthy speeches in the UN official languages other than English is just another formality that the United Nations is still unable to get rid of. With English having become the predominant language of communication globally. In this regard. the situation does not seem to have considerably improved. Notwithstanding the various serious to trivial interpreting errors that are detected from time to time. disagreement and paroxysms of anger because of errors.

the impact of these modes on framing and reframing the original message was also a major consideration of the study. In addition. However. broadcasting the same events. to define these modes and provide an analysis of identified styles of delivery in order to determine their salient features. albeit in a very limited fashion. These programs were later grouped into two major categories: ad hoc live events. First regular talk shows. ad hoc conferences and international events were recorded. 269 Empirical evidence was gathered from live and repeated broadcasts over a period of research with the majority of programs recorded in the second year due to a marked increase in international and regional activities requiring live TSI. compared across stations. and were further analysed within the three- tier model outlined earlier in this chapter. The major focus of this study was to examine the delivery modes of TSI at Aljazeera. analysed. and against English language stations. it was possible. newscasts. Research Design. due to the ad hoc nature of these events live recordings had their limitations in terms of completeness and coherence. and live talk shows and current affairs programs. Scope and limitations Ad hoc live events included unscheduled. transcripts and other documentary evidence. These events provided good data for analysis. to compare segments of recorded statements and speeches to source Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . such as CNN and BBC. Data and Methods The modes of delivery of simultaneous interpreting at these satellite television stations were monitored over a period of two years. on-the-scene press conferences and statements by US and British political leaders. Nonetheless. with LBC occasionally utilized where possible for comparison purposes only. idiosyncrasies and communicative effectiveness in live television broadcasting.

In recent broadcasts. including the news. • In initial broadcasts. It is worth noting that Aljazeera and LBC do not necessarily broadcast similar types of programs to enable a comparison of content and performance levels across the two stations. and BBC and more so to scripts available from other sources on the Internet. Consequently. 270 discourse aired by English language television stations such as CNN. one LBC current affairs program that occasionally hosted American and European guests was primarily used. min washinton (from Washington) and akthar min ra’y (more than one opinion). analysis of technical operations is currently restricted to the product itself and its on-air delivery14. the foreign speaker’s voice is muted and dubbed over with the interpreter’s voice. hiwar maftuh (open dialogue). any elocutionary features perceived to be similar to English elocution relied on what is known to be the accepted mode of delivery at CNN and the BBC. However. recourse to the original discourse was not feasible and analysis of data focused solely on the production of discourse in the target language in terms of what is natural and conventional elocution. The following features have been observed over a period of two years. The programs in the latter category included the following talk shows: al-ittijah al-mu’akis (opposite direction). namely al-hadath (the event). offered more reliable recordings. Without a close examination of the internal operations and work conditions in which simultaneous interpreting takes place. providing a better platform for gathering information. Technical and operational problems The technical management of simultaneous interpreting at these satellite stations has been inconsistent. the policy Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . scheduled live talk shows and current affairs programs. In contrast. due to Aljazeera’s muting of the voice of the source language speaker. For comparison of styles and modes of TSI delivery at Aljazeera to those employed by interpreters at LBC.

• Because of the time-delayed synchronicity15. the voice quality of the interpreters was not suitable for broadcasting. • Certain interpreters have employed a rhetorical simultaneous interpreting (RSI) approach to interpreting. only the Arabic rendition of the foreign speaker’s utterances is heard. 271 seems to have shifted to allow the speaker’s voice to be slightly audible with the interpreter’s overlapping voice dubbed over. This will be discussed later. such out of step performance sometimes produces comic relief effect. The English translation is always inaudible (except on rare occasions where there is cross talk due to technical fault or signal interference). • The interpreter is never on camera. Given that the speaker’s voice is audible. incorporating paralinguistic properties and theatrics into their performance. and public speaking skills from good to very poor. where more than one foreign speaker is present. • On occasion. two separate interpreters have assumed the alternate roles in a dramatization of the communication transaction. Unnatural nasal pronunciation has been a distinct feature of certain deliveries. Faulty parsing and word grouping have contributed to distortion of original Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . • While a two-way simultaneous interpreting is taking place. the interpreter is often getting ahead of the speaker. enunciation. Only the voice is heard. elocution. • Linguistic standards have varied in terms of grammatical correctness. • It seems that at times two interpreters perform in different language directions: One for Arabic-bound rendition (which is always audible) and one for English-bound rendition (which is always inaudible). Generally. with semiliterate renditions occasionally detected. Contrastive modes of delivery have been detected. sometimes with the original voices muted or slightly audible.

fluency. there seems to be confusion among the ranks of presenters regarding the interpretation of end of sentence word stresses and pauses normally recommended for English language broadcasting. syntax. idiom and so on. precision and accuracy of information content. regional accents were easily discernable despite the neutralizing nature of standard Arabic elocution. effective and efficient delivery. Generally. They seem to have adopted English language rules of elocution. comprehension. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . sequencing and thought patterns. • Information integrity: completeness. Moreover. line of argument. attitude. enunciation. lexis. recovery strategies. Most Aljazeera newsreaders (including interpreters and translators who are expected to do voiceovers)16 are BBC voice-trained. thus reflecting the educational levels of interpreters and presenters alike. presentation style and news-reading mechanics most-suited to English broadcasting. 272 discourse. • Performance: confidence. • Propositional integrity: original thesis. Aljazeera seems to have adopted the BBC recommendations set out in The BBC News Style Guide. Furthermore. Analysis and Discussion Analysis of simultaneous interpreting has to be carried out within a clearly demarcated framework that ensures the following aspects of simultaneous interpreting performance are examined and assessed. error-free grammar. recall. • Modes of delivery: rhetorical and expository. which warn against "singsong" and staccato sentences. • Linguistic integrity: sound. • Communicative integrity: elocution. articulation.

Validating content is not possible in current affairs and talk shows since the original speaker’s voice is either muted or hardly audible to make enough sense of Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . Information integrity has been examined in as much as it has been possible to compare recorded performances to original speeches and statement broadcast by English-only media companies such as CNN. The shift of mode from primary to operative or interpretive has been assessed in terms of constraint satisfaction or violation. correctness. Information integrity refers to the completeness of the information content of the text. 273 Assessment of these features has been rated in translation metrics as minor. While these features have been analyzed and assessed within the three-tier model. 1995). Information integrity Based on a previous definition (Darwish. the main focus of analysis for the purposes of this chapter has been the modes of delivery utilized to carry across the message in terms of deviation from the norm within the model rules. information integrity refers to the ability to retain the same information in terms of accuracy. completeness and original intentions (both informative and communicative). In interpreting. part of a larger scope of study. and critical defects are serious errors and discrepancies causing serious communication breakdown. Sky News and other local television and radio stations. BBC. linguistic integrity refers to the ability to render the text in a sound language in terms of grammar. Major defects are generalized errors causing major distortions. major and critical defects within the three-tier model of translation described earlier. Minor defects are localized self-contained errors. structure (both micro and macro levels). coherence and cohesion.

Boyd (1997) points out that “a Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . fluency. with word stress predictable and regular. lexical transfer. structure (both micro and macro levels) and coherence and cohesion by conforming to the lexical and syntactic norms and conventions of the target languages. articulation. that is intonation and vocal stresses. communicative integrity has been examined in as much as it has been possible to compare target rendition to source discourse and vis-à-vis known conventions. suprasegmental features. distortions and inaccuracies ranging from minor to major to critical. 274 the information content of source discourse. articulation and comprehension of source discourse. Again. Communicative integrity Communicative integrity refers to the ability to preserve the communicative intentions of the source discourse in terms of elocution. Analysis of the linguistic standards of delivery has revealed serious problems of basic grammar. The same applies to validating the communicative integrity of English source discourse. These have also been rated minor. standards and norms in both source and target languages. omissions. Linguistic integrity Linguistic integrity refers to the ability to render the text in a sound language in terms of grammar. Arabic is a stress-timed language. especially with primary stresses. enunciation. analysis has shown major discrepancies. Where it has been possible to compare target rendition to source discourse. Linguistic errors that compromise the meaning of the source text are of serious nature. major and critical. comprehension. Phrase and sentence rhythms are similar in Arabic and English. While intonation patterns in Arabic are similar to those of English in contour and meaning. of Aljazeera’s Arabic interpreters are noticeably non-Arabic. The analysis has revealed discrepancies and defects in elocution. and syntactic conventions.

€o°€ ¿¢m Ž{ ½oib° ŽyŠbuœ` [not .. Bush at his press conference with the interim Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi in Washington on 23 September 2004.[rising pitch ending in a pause] »`kÝÝÝ}œ` ƒ„•p ƒ„…m ~[pause] ´mt‚r¾_` [rising pitch with end pause] ”p jogv tˆ_ Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . al-i ra A Qq = al-Iraq) as in English. “It's tough work. I say that because there are 25 million Iraqis. we will not have done our duty to our children and our grandchildren. To illustrate the significance of these features to the overall integrity of the rendition. by far the vast majority of whom want to live in a free society. Zarqawi is.[stop]” Arabic simultaneous interpreting cuœ` ½Å{ [beat] ܨ`Š“_` [beat] £r•t‘ˆp [beat] t§ˆ‚ tu `ef ”x€ kg¯ª€m" ƒ„… Ž{ €k®x ½€ ¨`Š“_` Ñ_tl cu ½€ µr€m .... one assumption is that TSI interpreters have been given the same guidelines as the newsreaders. everybody knows that. you cannot drive us out of Iraq [beat] by your brutality. [beat] And we cannot allow [beat] the actions of a few to determine the fate [beat] of these good people [beat] as well as the fate of the security of the United States. But we must not allow [beat] the actions of a few [pause] . It's hard work. And so that's why I'm consistently telling the Iraqi citizens that we will not be intimidated. America's security will be much [beat] worse [beat] off [beat]. ’t…r©` k¢ a•ÝÝÝÝÝÝÝÝvoº_` [elongated voice] ayŠ“ˆ_` ¿•¸xm ›„Äx c_ [pause] . together with simultaneous interpreting as carried by Aljazeera.. Both Arabic newsreaders and interpreters at Aljazeera have exhibited the tendency to pound the last word of each sentence in an unnatural rising pitch (for example. In the absence of clear standard training for interpreters in the Arab world and for TSI interpreters in particular.cb§¤`oˆ•_m tx•t^}œm t§•t§pœ ci_m . let us now examine the following excerpt from statements by US President George W. That's why my message to Mr. it's the beginning of a [elongated voice] loooong struggle..audible] ¿•¸x ½€ ciˆv Œm . I believe that if we fail in Iraq. Transcript of original utterances “And I believe that if we wilt [beat] or leave.and I emphasize that. c\xm . 275 common failing of untrained newsreaders is to imagine that due stress and emphasis means banging out every fifth word of a story and ramming the point home by pounding the last word of each sentence” (159).

• The verb “wilt” was probably mistaken for “will” and was translated as such in the Arabic rendition. And we cannot submit to this small group [rising pitch with end pause] to change the future of those or these [elongated voice] milliiiiions of the Iraqi people. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . which follows the formal contours of the Arabic text. And I see that it is in the interest of Iraq that we begin this [elongated voice] looong battle against terrorism…and we [not audible].[beat] d_e w•‚m [beat] d_e ky«€ tx€m ½€ ciˆv Œm . And we cannot yield to what [rising pitch with end pause] az-Zarqawi is doing and that brutality and that cruelty. We will not be humiliated and subjugated by these [rising pitch] events. clearly shows a few major problems in the Arabic rendition relating to accuracy.[rising pitch ending in a pause] a•g_` †®‚ cu ›tˆªœ` ƒ„… †‡ˆ_ ш|x ½€ ½mkvŠv ••¯b®_tÒ Ž‚`Šª ½ob•u Þß . 276 [rising pitch £o|g_` ƒ„…m rising pitch with end pause] ab˜}o_` . The following is a summary. the American security will be in a worse situation. precision. informative and communicative intentions and completeness. but we must not allow such acts by the few [rising pitch with end pause]. And this is also America’s security.ending in a long pause] ½€ —Áv Œ ci_m ~ [beat] —“l †ˆªm [beat] Ít‚ †ˆª ”x€ ••“x Ét“bˆs c\x . but for our children and grandchildren and the citizens.[rising pitch with end pause] Š} ¿ˆ¯Áu Ž{ `o˜b“v cu Šb‘¬ Ži_ [rising pitch with end pause] a•b•g_` aÏ^_` ƒ„•_ ¿•¸x [elongated voice] ƒ„… m€ [trailing falling pitch]¶ŒÎ… †®g¯|u ". • “America’s security” became “American security”. • The addition of “it is in the interest of Iraq” changed the informative and communicative intentions of the utterance. Twenty five million Iraqis. the majority of whom want to live in a free society [rising pitch with end pause]. The intensifier “much” in “much worse off” was omitted. And I stress [beat] and I said that [beat]. “We all know that it is harsh work [beat] and hard work [beat].Ž‚`Š“_` —“˜_` cu cbÝÝÝÝÝÝÝv™ˆ_` Back translation “and I believe that if we get up [beat] and leave [beat] Iraq [beat]. it distorted the propositional integrity and rhetorical technique of the sentence.[pause]tyŠbu€ cu€ Ét•v€ `„…m . [pause]” This back translation.

Fast-pace of strings of words mimicking source discourse Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . Elongated words [long and million] 4. And this is also America’s security” is also a major distortion. Mimicking of source discourse beats. Zarqawi is. pauses and stops 2. 277 • The conflation of “…our children and our grandchildren. The Arabic rendition is said to be carried out in RSI mode. ‘you cannot drive us out of Iraq by your brutality’” from a direct quotative to an indirect quotative changed the evidential integrity of the sentence. High rising pitch with end pauses 5. And so that's why I'm consistently telling the Iraqi citizens” into “…our children and grandchildren and the citizens” produced a serious translation error. with the following distinctive contours: 1. or a form of hendiadys [two words with overlapping meanings to express a single notion] often used in Arabic. • Another significant mistranslation is the rendition of “fate” as “future”. Pitched up emphasis of words 3. • The modulation of the sentence “And we cannot allow the actions of a few to determine the fate of these good people as well as the fate of the security of the United States” into “And we cannot submit to this small group to change the future of those or these millions of the Iraqi people. This may be seen as a recovery technique with the “elliptical rather”. • Breaking down “brutality” into “brutality” and “cruelty” also changed the rhetorical technique. • Breaking down the sentence “And so that's why I'm consistently telling the Iraqi citizens that we will not be intimidated” into two and changing the rhetorical technique of the sentence “That's why my message to Mr.

Understanding how these elements apply to the simultaneous interpreting situation enables us to understand the significance of interpreting vis-à-vis the rhetorical discourse and the situationality of the interpreter in the rhetorical situation. events. “We will not be humiliated and subjugated by these [rising pitch] events. influence and persuade one another. And we cannot yield to what [rising pitch with end pause] az-Zarqawi is doing and that brutality and that cruelty. the rhetorical situation is extended to include the interpreter as a mediator. 278 The following is a typical example of high rising pitch. introduced into the situation. can so constrain human decision or action as to bring about the significant modification of the exigence”. Bitzer (1968) defines the rhetorical situation as a complex of sociocultural features that include elements such as “persons. and relations presenting an actual or potential exigence. objects. In live simultaneous interpreting.” events ¿•¸x ½€ ciˆv Œm .£o|g_` ƒ„…m ab˜}o_` ƒ„…m ~´mt‚r¾_` ”p jogv tˆ_ cruelty brutality Az-Zarkawi Figure 24 .A Typical Example of RSI Rendition Interpreting and the rhetorical situation Interpreting-mediated communication is a response to a rhetorical situation. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . A rhetorical situation must exist as a necessary condition of rhetorical discourse whereby interlocutors engage in rhetorical exchanges to inform.»`kÝÝÝ}œ` ƒ„•p ¿•¸xm ›„Äx c_ . which can be completely or partially removed if discourse.

perhaps because the languages studied do not exhibit stark elocutionary differences as those that exist between say Arabic and English. The question here is whether it is the function of the simultaneous interpreter to recreate the verbal rhetorical effects of rhetorical discourse or to provide a coded-switching interface between two distinct systems of communication that are temporarily coupled in a translation domain within the communication environment. It is epistemic because it carries knowledge about a specific topic that the interlocutors intend to exchange and rhetorical because it seeks to reproduce the rhetoric of the interlocutors that seek to persuade and influence.Translation (Interpreting) Interface in Bilingual Communication17 Modes of Operation The literature on Telecast Simultaneous Interpreting (TSI) rarely discusses the modes of delivery in terms of elocution and their effect on mediated communication. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . 279 The nature of this mediation is both epistemic and rhetorical. Figure 25 .

prosody. cohesion. while fluency of delivery. are here termed: expository simultaneous interpreting (ESI) and rhetorical simultaneous interpreting (RSI). Russo (2005) describes a mode of delivery in simultaneous film interpreting where “sufficient emotional involvement”. segmentation of input and rate of input and output have been treated as part of cognitive management and elicitation of meaning. delivered properly. the native accent is not an issue. consistency. Since Arabic TSI interpreters use Standard Arabic (SA). Similarly. consistency. While regional features are sometimes detected in the timbre. completeness and correctness are critical factors in elocution so far as defects and poor performance are concerned. Moreover. which are not documented or described in the reviewed literature. high register. These modes. and vocabulary of interpreters. an analysis of the modes of operation by the various interpreters across Arabic satellite television stations has revealed two major modes of simultaneous interpreting that have nothing to do with a clearly defined interpreting policy on the part of these stations. and rhetorical as the persuasive effect of informative discourse realized by means additional to the informative content of discourse. This Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . speed. pitch. and where regional variations are detected they are accepted as native variations. Expository simultaneous interpreting The ESI mode carries the informative and communicative intentions of the speaker’s utterances without the verbal paralinguistic features such as quality of voice. 280 Pöchhacker (1995) discusses TSI in terms of accent and voice. completeness and correctness. SA has the tendency to remove or level regional accents. they are not a defining element of style of delivery. In the present study. cohesion. fluency of delivery. fillers. interjections. or vocalizations. The distinction is drawn from the definition of exposition as informative discourse. and the interpreters being “to a certain extent part of the same communicative context” are features of delivery.

Rhetorical techniques are “those elements that bind together the items of information in a piece of discourse” (Trimble. space order.. false starts. Consider the previous example rendered into Arabic this time with the speech fillers.[stop] Umm…[beat] I really respect everybody's opinion and [pause] umm…but that was sort of – umm… a tough decision. tu Étªox The speech fillers were not transferred into Arabic. Is that a joke? [laughing] huhhh! [angrily. d_e ½ty ci_m m ¿ÝbˆÁ_` ¶`rà jŠ¯}€ Étg} tx€ ! Œ axtu€ †ip !Œ tx€ ·a}¾u ƒ„… †… . and other rhetorical and illocutionary theatrics. causality and result. interjections. speech patterns. emphasis. Expository simultaneous interpreting focuses primarily on the content and propositions of the speaker’s utterances or discourse and seeks to convey these qualities by alignment of linguistic patterns. [emphatically and punctuated] I [beat] honestly [beat] don't. Consider the following example of an English utterance rendered in Arabic. 281 mode of delivery takes into account the communication medium used to deliver the message and the visual and auditory presence of the speaker. Only the rhetorical techniques—orders and logical patterns—were aligned. with a rising pitch] I don't. the RSI mode attempts to re-enact the speaker’s utterances with full verbal (and sometimes nonverbal) paralinguistic features including auditive information such as intonation. and verbal paralinguistic features. It does not focus on the speaker’s actions or body language. stops. vocalizations. fillers. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . pitch. Rhetorical simultaneous interpreting In contrast. volume. RSI is usually employed in missionary stage-bound performances. 1985:52). tone of voice.. Orders include time order.t®“l ÉÉ̀r`Š‚ .

. Controversially. It has also been used in the courtroom in certain countries and by interpreters who chose this form of delivery. it ceases to be RSI proper. àààà tu Étªox d_e ½ty RSI has been used successfully in religious settings by evangelists and other preachers for maximum illocutionary effect. which include tone of voice dynamics. and tone of voice. overemphasis of these features in TSI is a serious distracting factor. tx€ [angrily. with a rising pitch] ! ”••Ý… [laughing] ·a}¾u ƒ„… †… Œ [beat] axtu€ †ip [beat] tx€ [emphatically and punctuated] !Œ ci_m .[stop] Umm…[beat] I really respect everybody's opinion and [pause] umm…but that was sort of – umm… a tough decision. [emphatically and punctuated] I [beat] honestly [beat] don't.. àààà [pause] m ¿bˆÁ_` ¶`rà jŠ¯}€ Étg} tx€ [beat] . Gonzalez et al (1991).. It is important to note that the term “rhetorical” in reference to this mode of delivery refers to the performative features of rhetorical artistry in a speech act. The interpreter’s role within the communication process The interpreter’s role within the communication process can be viewed within the following rhetorical communication model of interpreting. Consequently.. not only words but also paralinguistic elements such as pauses. In most situations RSI is scripted and rehearsed. as defined by McCroskey (1978) since no interpreting is produced but with Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts .t®“l É̀r`Š‚ . confirm that “the interpreter has an obligation to convey every aspect of the witness’s testimony. interaction with an audience. and kinaesthetic gestures. ààààà ! [beat] . for the reasons expounded in this chapter. false starts. The model assumes that all interpreting is rhetorical communication... 282 Is that a joke? [laughing] huhhh! [angrily. The importance of these paralinguistic or non-verbal elements cannot be overemphasized” (480). since an essential element of simultaneous interpreting is arguably the extemporaneity of delivery. with a rising pitch] I don't. pacing.. However.

it seeks to stimulate a source-selected meaning in the mind of the target language reader by converting source language code into target language code to evoke more or less the same meaning and the same effect. Following McCroskey’s (1978) definition of rhetorical communication as goal directed. This blueprint is often conditioned by a number of variables. 283 the intention of communicating the message of the original in another language. and by striving to reconstruct the source language textual reality in the target language by desperately working to an ideal hypothetical model or blueprint. translation-mediated communication is always rhetorical irrespective of the type of communication in the source language text. As Carey (1988) Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . Within this process. however circumvented. since translation is always motivated and goal-directed. the distinction between information and knowledge is a critical one. Figure 26—Duality and Centrality of the Simultaneous Interpreter’s Role This figure illustrates the cyclic process of converting information into knowledge as part of the extended rhetorical situation created by the transmutative interpreting process in which the interpreter plays a dual role of receiver and transmitter of the source discourse as target discourse for a target language audience.

By contrast. known facts or things used as the basis for inferences or reckoning. the interpreter assumes a detached role acting as a conduit of source discourse to target language. understanding and identification. the information is converted into knowledge as perceived by the translator. information and knowledge are generally regarded as identical and synonymous. the simultaneous interpreter runs the risk of mimesis. This role enables the interpreter to remain neutral in as far as the paralinguistic and extra-linguistic properties of rendition are concerned. in simple terms. in principle. the simultaneous interpreter plays two different roles in the cross-cultural communication process. These roles are fundamentally different. Assuming a Rhetorical Simultaneous mode of delivery tends to lead to a high Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . When the text is submitted to translation. Knowledge is active information that involves recognition. information becomes knowledge when the receiver makes meaning of it. In line with this distinction. “It is assumed that reality consists of data or bits of information and this information is. for a receiver to know everything or at least to have access to all knowledge” (195). recordable and storable. it is also possible. in the RSI mode. It also enables the viewer to feel comfortable with a clearly demarcated division of roles within the communication process. Within the two modes of operation described above. In other words. information can be defined as inactive knowledge comprising data. Carey contends that “information” about the world does not exist without conceptual systems that create and define the world. In the ESI mode. Simultaneous interpreting is characterized by rapidity. In recreating the paralinguistic properties of source discourse. the text is reframed into another text in another language. Therefore. role shift and becoming the fourth dyad. 284 confirms. At this point. in principle. the interpreter assumes an engaged imitative role that transforms the triadic cross-cultural communication process into a tetradic communication process.

regional dialectal contours and extra linguistic features become more pronounced in Arabic. overlapping mode of delivery. Such dissonance occurs when these features are out of synchronization with one another in terms of voice qualities and rhetorical and illocutionary aspects. To remain empathetic without becoming sympathetic is of paramount importance ethically and operationally to ensure the interpreter does not become a passive yet influential dyad in a tetradic communication transaction. Conclusion and Recommendations Telecast simultaneous interpreting is certainly an important phenomenon that must be analysed in order to understand its implications for the Arabic satellite stations’ credibility and relevance and for the interpreting profession in general. To maintain cognitive empathy with the subject-matter and broadcasting event is Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . RSI is bound to cause verbal dissonance between the source speaker’s and the interpreter’s paralinguistic features. fast-paced. It is important for the simultaneous interpreter to remain professionally detached from the interpreting setting. An essential feature of interpreting is the ability to guard against becoming emotive towards the dyads in the communication. Moreover. 285 involvement style. which is an active. Given the emotive involvement of the interpreter in RSI. This observation is crucial in simultaneous interpreting for television broadcasters who aim to appeal to the full spectrum of Arab society spread over two continents. In live broadcasts. Regional dialectical idiosyncrasies and personal traits may distract viewers and undermine the credibility of content in a region where traditional national and tribal rivalries have weakened and divided the region along superimposed political borders. verbal dissonance may distract from or distort the speaker’s message and lower the quality of delivery. The high involvement imitative style tends to shift the role of the interpreter in this direction and leads to elocutionary errors and errors of meaning. when the source speaker’s voice is audible.

un-muting the original voice of the speaker in this communication medium also adds to the authenticity and realism of the source discourse and to the richness of the viewers’ experience. 286 equally important. feelings and actions. For these reasons. and (2) it is superfluous and distracting in a visual medium where all participants in the broadcasting event can see and hear the speaker. Such behavioural mirroring is not acceptable as a mode of delivery for two main reasons: (1) it runs the risk of transiting the interpreter from empathy to sympathy. Certainly. Despite their initial state of unreadiness and apparent teething problems. It is not the role of the simultaneous interpreter to mimic the speaker and theatrically reproduce the utterances of the speaker in the target language. An interpreter is not an actor who is seeking to win an Oscar or Amy award for his or her performance. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . especially in a culture that has a long history of subtitling experience. The current study has yielded useful information that will contribute to our understanding of telecast simultaneous interpreting at Arabic satellite television in particular and broadcasting at large. the Expository Simultaneous Interpreting mode of delivery is recommended. are basically and essentially the same. It is only reasonable to think that we are all human beings and our expressions of emotions. New modes of delivery seem to have emerged over that period of study that will certainly undergo refinement and enhancement. these stations have made major inroads into professional telecast simultaneous interpreting within a very short developmental timeframe. Arabic satellite television stations have been quickly pressed into service to provide live world-class telecast simultaneous interpreting (TSI). hearing the original voice obviates the need for artificial and faulty mimicry of the paralinguistic features of voice. Further research into these modes of delivery and other aspects of TSI at these stations is bound to reveal new data and should consolidate these initial findings. Finally. while may have slightly different contours. Furthermore.

5 Proposed by the author to the Conference on Arab Cooperation in Terminology. Tunis. with “ta” being the pronoun “you” — a fundamental norm that has been violated in interpreting renditions. A copy of the resolution obtained from the Syrian Ambassador to Australia. Other TSI settings may vary. my translation. is for applicants to have “a voice suitable for broadcasting”. 15 The audio and video signals of a television program are transmitted simultaneously on separate high frequency radio waves and at different speeds causing a “lip sync” problem in television broadcasts. Arabic usually uses the compound word tawil (long) + al-qama (stature). 10 Most recently. 14 Due to the highly protective nature of operations at this network. Chapter 6 Mediating Live Broadcasts . The same time delay synchronizers allow the TSI interpreters to listen to the audio stream. This is usually fixed by using audio-video synchronizers. 2 Standard Arabic is a highly inflectional language. basic inflections indicating the person of the speaker have been violated by interpreters. 17 Adapted from Darwish (1998). With digital television systems and geosynchronous satellite transmissions. including the BBC. 3 Many interpreting courses focus primarily on the students’ foreign language to the neglect of their “native” language needs. “qul-tu” means “I [have] said”. the video is delayed and the audio is received first. audio-video resynchronization is achieved by delaying the audio signal to match the associated video signal. At LBC. 8 To express the notion of tall. For example. 1988. Aljazeera has introduced sign language interpreted news broadcasts using a claimed "Universal Arabic Sign Language". 16 A condition of hiring translators and interpreters at these outfits. 6 Reported in Darwish. the inflection of the suffix “t” in the verb “qul-t” indicates whether it refers to the first or second person. 287 Notes 1 Original text in Arabic. In some instances. 1986 and adopted as a recommendation. 11 These guests may act as dyad 1 or dyad 2 during interaction in a variety of combinations 12 This is not a full inventory of TSI settings. 7 Attributed to Prophet Muhammad. my translation. but rather a conditioned reflex caused by dictionary-based second language acquisition. 9 Relay interpreting is used when more than one interpreter is required to complete the bilingual communication transaction. with “tu” being the pronoun “I” and “qulta” means “you [have] said”. In this case. 13 Original text in Arabic. Additional information for the purposes of this study has been obtained through informal lines of communication with staff members and colleagues. 4 It might be argued that this is not a comprehension problem as such. access has not been feasible. newsreaders occasionally perform simultaneous interpreting.

288 Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew In this chapter: Aims Overview Summary Research Findings Implications Conclusion Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew .

this thesis has examined the process of translation-mediation framing of news within the phenomenon of Arabic satellite television. 289 Aims In the preceding chapters. I present a brief summary of the study. The focus of the study has been Aljazeera television. Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . In this concluding chapter. The research aim of this thesis was to explore the nature of the translation-mediated reframing process of news in Arabic television. the implications of the findings for future research and the conclusions.

This gives the impression to the viewers that the news report is natively prepared and any frames (or reframes) are most likely accepted as such. The result is discrepancy and dissonance and in more ways than one. translation mediation substantially influences the overall news report at a lower level of construction. Furthermore. different syntactical structures. such as English and Arabic. including the language anomalies they contain. not only do editorial policy and ideology play a crucial part in the direction and outcome of translation. The task becomes more complex when the subject matter and the rhetorical techniques are so intertwined and the message is overloaded with cultural references that are alien to the culture of the target audience. incremental loss of vital information. translating between two linguistically and culturally divergent languages. Translation-mediated news is illusory in the sense that while the overall news report or broadcast for that matter is packaged without translation mediation. Texts and discourses of this nature present tension between preserving the style and intentions of the original and producing a natural sounding translation. By analysing this phenomenon at Aljazeera within the framework of a unique three-tier translation model. As we have already seen in the previous chapters. but also the Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . 290 Overview It has been argued throughout this thesis that translation mediation causes a message already framed in one language to be reframed in another and that in news making such mediation plays a critical role in reconstructing realties at different levels of multimodality in satellite television. incongruent lexical fields. dissonant rhetorical techniques and dissimilar metaphorical representations—all contribute to the complexity of transfer. is not always a straightforward task. I have found sufficient evidence to establish causality between translation and the way the message is ultimately framed in the target language.1 In news making.

with an effective role in raising the awareness and reconstructing memory. Nor am I in a position to define the local. Muslims appeared to lack a different platform allowing an opportunity to read events with their own eyes—not through European or American eyes—and to express their yearnings with audacity and a loud voice. While these so-called Arab eyes are arguably not so Arab after all. regional and international factors in giving birth to the Channel. Qatar closed Israel’s Trade Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . Most recently. sums up the general view among both the skeptics and the believers of Aljazeera in the Arab world and elsewhere. The changes in editorial policy Aljazeera has recently gone through must also be seen in light of Qatar’s own shift of political stance towards the Arab-Israeli conflict. 2006:128). Aljazeera: from zero to pharaoh “When the history of the Arabs at the end of the twentieth century and beginning of the following century is written. Aljazeera must be recorded as a prominent landmark in the maps of the Arabs and in particular. influence and interplay with politics. or if you wish. He continues: “I am not in a position which allows me to determine what the relative influence of coincidence and actual planning were in the launching of Aljazeera Channel. this passage. But I can say without hesitation that its emergence constitutes a response to a pressing historic demand where Arabs. deputy chief editor and columnist at the leading Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram. and highlights Aljazeera’s importance not only to the Arabs but also as a significant manifestation of media power. 291 translation strategy chosen for translating news artefacts is even more critical as translation patterns and techniques become more habitual and customary. in Aljazeera’s tenth anniversary publication The Aljazeera Decade 1996-2006. which is clearly a poor translation from Arabic. as Fahmy and others have claimed. at the same time focusing on the principal causes of the Ummah (Muslim community)” (Aljazeera.” writes Fahmy Howeidy. as an influential element in the collective conscience. in an article titled Setting the News Agenda in the Arab World. as a repercussion of the Israeli offensive on the Palestinians in Gaza.

but also various Sunni forces that have an interest in opposing Saudi Arabia and Egypt. a political and military axis has formed. the battle for Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . Qatar has also been establishing strong ties with Syria and Iran and has been accused of supporting Hezbollah and Hamas in what pro-Israel commentators call the Iran-Syria-Qatar-Hezbollah Axis. At a later stage. and Yemen. this axis expanded to include Hamas. Syria and Iran have been striving to add Turkey to their ranks. The West and particularly the United States have resorted to two means of communication with the Arab people: (1) direct communication in Arabic through radio networks such as the BBC and Voice of America. and satellite television networks such as the failed BBC Arabic channel and the American channel Al-Hurra. According to Carmon. As Seib (2008) observes. It was during the 2006 Lebanon war that a distinct Iran-Syria-Qatar- Hizbullah axis first emerged to oppose the Saudi-Egyptian camp. the fluctuation of its editorial policy runs in tandem with the about-face change of the Qatari government’s political position. and (2) indirect and more influential communication behind the façade of Arab media networks through funding. or through buying and even bribing writers who have embraced the American view (45). and have met with some cooperation on the part of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 292 Office in Doha and expelled its staff from Qatar. Lately. which began broadcasting in February 2004 using the official frequency of the pre-invasion Iraqi satellite television. and advertising. Lebanon.2 While Aljazeera strives to portray itself as a neutral and objective news and current affairs television network. Yehoshua. there has been a fundamental shift in how the Western media have handled the Arab situation. which has in recent years received increasing support from Iran. and Migron (2009) from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI): “as part of Iran's bid for regional hegemony. comprising not only Iran and the Shi'a in Iraq. Savyon. Yassin (2006) contends that in the aftermath of the occupation of Iraq in 2003. secret buyouts. as well the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

characterized by a clear pro Arab stance towards the events in the region. Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . During this phase which ends in 2003. and in the reporting of the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 and the latest Israeli military operations in Gaza Strip in 2008. and probably later in other languages. providing a new paradigm of new media’s influence. Characteristically however. With the realization that Aljazeera has become a force to be reckoned with in the media. this research has set out to examine the role of translation in its quest to be a neutral and objective media network. freedom and human rights were promoted within a crude western model of television news reporting. “terrorists” and ‘insurgents” were used to describe the resistance in Iraq and Palestine. through broadcasting in Arabic and English. Phase 3: Coverage post the Bush plot to bomb Aljazeera. These transformations can be loosely summarized into the following three overlapping phases. 293 the hearts and minds in the Middle East is not only being fought on the streets of Baghdad but also on the news casts and talk shows of Aljazeera and other news media. Phase 1: Idealistic journalism that followed a utopian and somewhat naïve model of journalism that sought to provide neutral and objective reporting of news and current affairs. values and concepts of democracy.3 As a new phenomenon in the Arab world. a common feature of these phases is the role translation plays in framing and reframing the news to produce news stories and create new constructs of reported realities as demonstrated in this research. Expressions such as “war on terrorism”. Aljazeera is claimed to affect global politics and culture and help foster unprecedented cohesion in the worldwide Muslim community. Aljazeera has undergone major transformations since its inception. Seen as a symbol of a new media-centric world. This was more prominent during the US invasion of Iraq. Phase 2: Indeterminacy and oscillation (2003 -2006) where editorial policy teetered between neutrality and adoption of a pro-Arab stance towards the events in the region.

that is the rendition of discourse from one language into another at the text level. they more often do not correspond within the context of communication. 294 Summary Recent attempts to describe and explain the phenomenon of transnational Arabic satellite television and more specifically Aljazeera have been largely concerned with the political ramifications and impact of increased freedoms on the Arab viewers. It explored the social semiotics of Arabic television and projected socio-cultural impacts of translation-mediated news in Arabic satellite television on the Arab viewers. This has implications for both the translators reproducing text from foreign language sources Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . This research examined the causative relationship between translation and news making at Arabic satellite television. and translation as a broader process of interpretation of social behaviour that is driven by linguistic and cultural forms of another medium resulting in new social signs generated from source meaning reproduced as target meaning. with Aljazeera as the main focus of the study. While research has tackled the problem of language in general. this condition creates new linguistic expressions that bear little relation to the meanings intended in the source language. the translation process is bound to be affected by a host of internal and external factors. This is a multi-layered research problem of how translation operates at two different yet interwoven levels: translation proper. As we have seen in the previous chapter. bound to be different in many respects. While words and expressions may find their matches across languages. no study has so far addressed the role of translation in framing and reframing already constructed realities and the effects of translation-mediated reporting of news. Throughout the preceding chapters it has been emphasized that translation plays a critical role in framing news and current affairs programs broadcast by Aljazeera. It has been argued and demonstrated that without a structured approach to translation.

To understand how other researchers and commentators viewed Aljazeera. within any given program there is considerable variation between translators and interpreters in their style of delivery and competence. Naturally. As discussed in the preceding chapters. Instead. This chapter consisted of two major sections: one section dealing with the literature specific to Aljazeera and another covering translation theories. A shift in the editorial policy soon became more pronounced as Aljazeera abandoned its adoption of the terms “terrorism” and “war on terror”. Aljazeera has since then increasingly adopted quotatives to qualify the use of such terms. total neutrality and objectivity is a myth. This is so because in this instance quotatives distance the news reporter from the political and socio-cultural context of the news report or event and give the impression of indifference (or sitting on the fence) to the ills and woes. methods and models relating to Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . it was received with disbelief. However. serious concerns and sentiments of the majority of the Arab viewers. aspirations. its Arab audiences. and the use or rather overuse of quotatives may alienate the very people Aljazeera is trying to win over— namely. The immediate editorial reaction was anti-American. Chapter 2 presented a critical review of the literature that had been produced about Aljazeera and Arabic satellite television in the last ten years. However. When news in January 2006 about a leaked British government memorandum that US President George W Bush wanted to bomb Aljazeera reached Aljazeera. the use of these quotatives gives the impression of neutrality and objectivity. infelicities and distortions will result that are bound to change the character and logical patterns of the target language. 295 and those seeking to implement a specific editorial policy. without a clear method of translation that considers the role of reframing. in order to tease out the main arguments that appeared in the current debate of this largely translation-mediated social and cultural phenomenon in the Arab world.

including the research model employed in the analysis of the data. Chapter 5 presented a discussion of salient features of translation- mediated reframing of Arabic news broadcasts transmitted by Aljazeera and other Arabic satellite television channels. It aimed to identify the Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . This chapter also described the methods used for data collection. Chapter 4 examined the impact of translation on news making and argued that by submitting news to translation it undergoes a reframing process that entails a reconstruction of a constructed reality already subjected to professional. Employing a qualitative-interpretive method of analysis within a three-tier model of translation analysis. giving significance to the current research. this chapter lay the grounds for the analysis of examples from the corpus of data collected from Aljazeera over the period of research and enabled a structured approach to examining the role of translation in reframing already framed realities. 296 mediated news reporting. In examining the current theories and models of translation that have relevance to the present research. this chapter aimed to gain insight into these theories and models and to identify relevant arguments and shortcomings with respect to the impact of translation on news making of television. institutional and contextual influences. This chapter paved the way in the subsequent chapters for a discussion of the specific aspects of news translation at Aljazeera. The aim of this chapter was thus to review the landmark publications that have examined Aljazeera to identify the main arguments and the gaps in the literature in relation to the centrality of translation in of news reporting in Arabic television. Chapter 3 outlined the conceptual framework and methodology employed in addressing the research questions and described the theoretical framework in which the research was grounded. As discussed in this chapter. a major gap in the literature was identified vis-à-vis the role of translation in news reporting. sampling and analysis.

297 relationship between the linguistic and epistemic realities of news discourse in the translation-mediated process of reframing. However. which creates discourse that contributes to sociocultural change. Languages normally compensate for epistemic-linguistic dissonance within the same language environment by elevating the linguistic form to a metaphor or by adjusting existing metaphors through metaphoric shifts. Apart from the immediate distortion of source-language epistemic realities. In translating news sources. skewed epistemic frames. It is also a deep-rooted translation tradition that seems to be further entrenched in the psyche of most translators and translation-reliant thinkers and intellectuals across the Arab world. This chapter took a different approach to the discussion of framing and reframing in that it focuses on cognitive dissonance as a psychological state of contradictory cognition of the same reality expressed in two different languages. framing and reframing through linguistic- epistemic dissonance is an ongoing process that has implications beyond the immediate message of the original to the fundamental thinking Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . irreconciled linguistic-epistemic dissonance seems to be more prevalent in Arabic than in the other direction. by changing the social and cultural perspective. epistemic-linguistic dissonance that occurs in translation between divergent languages is usually the result of culturally incongruent. which is not always necessarily positive. focusing on the dissonance that this kind of mediation causes between the epistemic and linguistic knowledge as embodied in the discourse of news broadcast. skewed epistemic frames contribute to psychological and social change. and create communication breakdown due to loss of shared experiences and to the way they frame reality. This is largely due to incompetence and short deadlines that force journalists- cum-translators to adhere to the surface structures of source text and operate at the primary level of rendition. Furthermore.

298 patterns of those who adopt such dissonant forms. talk shows and newscasts that seek to effect regional change through international interaction with officials. analysts and commentators. The role of interpreter-mediated. political observers. These modes of delivery reframe the original message and produce variances and infelicities. Soon enough. Aljazeera has been contributing to linguistic-epistemic dissonance in the Arabic language through adherence to primary level of rendition and literal translation strategies. The employment of the multimodal three-tier model within a social semiotics. Translation mediation reframes the original message. that seem to vary in salience of specific functional qualities that reframe the original message. Research Findings The fundamental finding of the research was to establish a causative- correlative relationship between translation mediation and news making. enabled the critical analysis of news items broadcast by Aljazeera over the research period. in a fledgling industry that is growing at an amazing pace. Since going to air in 1996. which are for the most part unintended by the producers of such mediated programs. real-time. Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . cross-cultural and multilingual communication becomes crucial in live debates. This was formulated into the following research hypothesis. expository and Rhetorical. The research sought to answer the following questions. Chapter 6 examined the emerging styles of delivery of simultaneous interpreting in Arabic satellite television and highlights aspects of two distinct modes of operation. interpretative framework. house style modes of delivery are beginning to evolve through a refining development process.

Implications This research has explored the phenomenon of Arabic satellite television through translation mediation. It has revealed serious problems with the way programs are packaged and with the way news and current affairs are reported. The conceptual framework and research model developed and employed in the analysis of news broadcasts provide an organizational schema for the implications of this research. To answer the primary research questions: “How does the translation mediation reframe news in Arabic television?” and “How does the multimodality of television affect translation-mediated reframing of news?”. with special attention to Aljazeera as the case study. 299 Question Narrative Q1 How does translation reframe the news? Q2 How does the multimodality of television affect translation- mediated reframing of news? The research questions were addressed by conducting a critical review of the literature that had been published about Arabic satellite television. and by a critical discourse analysis of sample data from Aljazeera broadcasts. the research has defined modes of operation in simultaneous television interpreting and translation. Research analysis The analysis was aided and guided by a three-tier model of translation. The present research has implications for both Aljazeera and news media in general. which provided the operational framework for analysing new broadcasts and gauge the extent of framing in terms of interference and intervention. Examining the role of translation mediation within this conceptual framework has implications for news broadcasting that relies Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . examples of news broadcasts were analysed within the three-tier model presented in this thesis. Most importantly.

Aljazeera. While the findings of this research highlight major problems with reframing already framed constructed realities at Aljazeera. such as LBC. they also pave the way for further research into other areas of translation-mediated television and other audiovisual multimodalities. 300 primarily on foreign sources for news making and packaging. The fact that the other channels did not have the same impact as Aljazeera has a great deal to do with the nature of its broadcasting. it is said to have caused a shockwave across the Arab world. Aljazeera brought something new to the region in terms of its daring and uncensored reporting of events close to home for many Arabs. MBC and ART. since it provides a universal translation analysis method that can be applied to other translation-mediated situations in other languages. Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . With the airing of the Bin Laden tapes in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Conclusion The aim of this thesis was to examine the relationship between translation and news reporting and the social semiotics of packaged news. Its audacious news and current affairs programs have hit a raw nerve in the Arab viewers. was not the first satellite television channel to beam controversial programs to the Arabs nor was it unique in its style of presentation. With its coverage of the first second Gulf war and the Palestinian Intifada. had been in operation and flooding the airwaves with culturally and socially more controversial programs and sometimes programs deemed religiously and morally offensive. however. When Aljazeera began broadcasting in 1996. Other television channels. which shows the degree of sensitivity and relevance news and current affairs are to the Arabs in a volatile and largely politically oppressed region. Aljazeera has captivated the Arab audiences and captured the attention and interest of observers both in the Arab world and in the west.

interactivity with its audience. 301 There is no doubt that contemporary Arabic satellite is playing a critical role in introducing language practices that violate convention. norms and logic. Beyond the news Certainly. These practices are becoming established and further entrenched not only in the media but also in the wider community of Arabic speakers. encompassing all aspects of human intellectual activity in the Arab world. On this point. While it has been argued that these fundamental changes are restricted to journalistic writing there is strong anecdotal evidence and well as empirical data to support the view that the influence is widespread. The old Arabic saying “like a (public) bath without water” epitomizes the commotion that is displayed on this program. so much so that these new forms of expression are used reflexively and ironically intuitively. the influence of Aljazeera has not been restricted to news reporting or to controversial broadcasting of the Bin Laden tapes in the aftermath of the September 11. 2001 attacks. while interactivity is a mode of soliciting feedback or adding excitement and realism to current affairs and talk show programs in western media. other programs such The Opposite Direction (al-itijah al-mua’kis) seem to act as a good “physical” workout since it takes issues to their ultimate finalities. and has allowed. the nature of interactivity on Aljazeera seems to be largely deeply divisive and polarizing with Aljazeera playing a synthesizing function of consensus building. it has also managed to frame these social. cultural and political issues in such a way as to make them appeal to a wider range of viewers. Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . for the first time outside entertainment. While its vox populi program minbar al-jazeera (Aljazeera Forum) leaves the viewers feeling frustrated because of the abrupt nature of interactivity and perhaps because of the patronizing role the program facilitator usually assumes in the transactional framework that creates a state of reactance.

Unlike other Arabic networks that have modelled themselves on Aljazeera or that have benefited from the climate of freedom and increased latitude Aljazeera has created. Over the past three years. probably part of the globalization process of news media as illustrated in the following figure. by adopting a similar style of graphic representation and treatment of news. However. In the past four years and during the period of this research. Aljazeera is constantly trying to improve its performance and professional standards. but also in terms of producing live debates and live broadcasts that involve foreign personalities that do not speak Arabic. Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . Today there is hardly any difference in terms of the packaging of news and current affairs programs on Aljazeera and CNN. But an undeniably unique characteristic of Aljazeera is that it is a learning organization. in doing so Aljazeera has been gradually transformed into an Arabic version of CNN. is one of critical importance not only in terms of the translated content from foreign sources. CNN in the meantime has been gradually emulating FOX News. Aljazeera has adopted presentation formats and delivery styles that smack of a deliberate policy to tone down Aljazeera’s programs and rationalize its style of reporting. Aljazeera has taken great strides towards consolidating its leading position despite the uneven and sometimes harsh and heavy-handed criticisms that have been levelled at it. or simply jumped on the bandwagon to attract viewers. Ironically however. 302 The role of translation. The ten year itch One may like or hate Aljazeera. as the present study has established.

Its operational environment is stable and its processes are repeatable. and Level 5: Optimizing. unbridled and uncontrolled. Level 4: Quantitatively managed. Consequently. it seems externally that it has reached level 2 of capability maturity. This transformation may also be understood within an organizational capability maturity model that defines five levels of capability maturity: Level 1: Initial. As alluded to in the literature review. for some observers. When Aljazeera began broadcasting it came across as a genie out of a bottle or a bull in a China shop. Level 2: Repeatable. As Aljazeera has settled in its role and processes. This would be an interesting and productive area to explore in future research to establish whether Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . routine sets in and energy is dissipated into other areas of organizational management. Level 3: Defined. 303 Figure 27— Globalization Process of News Media (source: developed for this research by the author) The transformation may also be seen as a response to the mounting criticisms against Aljazeera by the US administration and other western governments as well as Arab regimes. Aljazeera is now becoming more like Fox.

it is by transforming Aljazeera into a CNN Arabica. Finally. I have observed in chapter 1 that Aljazeera has become etched into the consciousness of the Arabs and has become an integral feature of their daily life. especially among the young generations. This is so because Aljazeera is largely seen to have failed in becoming the Fourth Estate that keeps governments and politicians in check. that Aljazeera will cease to be Aljazeera and Arab viewers will start once more looking for an alternative. no matter how difficult this might prove to be. Aljazeera celebrated its tenth anniversary with Hollywood-style glamorous self-indulging accolades. observations of changes that have taken place at Aljazeera suggest that it has come full circle. 304 there is a correlation between Aljazeera’s outward transition and internal management processes. By the end of this research. one could easily deduce that Aljazeera has become little more than background noise. or “Al- Foxeera” as Danny Schechter (2007) puts it. the twenty-sixth American President Theodore Roosevelt is said to have remarked: “He may be a son of a bitch – but he's our son of a bitch”. Nonetheless. Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . Whether this marks the beginning of a new phase for Aljazeera settled in the larger landscape of Middle Eastern politics or indicates running out of steam and entering a cycle of rehash is quite interesting to watch in the coming years. Describing the former dictator of Nicaragua Anastasio Somoza. In November 2006. Arab viewers can easily discern biases and old-style reporting through modern-looking and gadget-enhanced particoloured presentations of contemporary Arabic television. Many Arabs today may echo the same sentiment about Aljazeera: “Aljazeera may be a son of a bitch—but it is our son of a bitch!” However.

To this end. and becomes a voice that expresses these concerns seemingly without fear or favour. and as they say in Arabic. You are afraid! You are afraid! You are afraid for your morsel of bread (livelihood). In this special episode about the role of western media in covering the Gaza conflict Al-Qasim asserts: You. For the purposes of our discussion of the role of translation mediation. Faisal Al- Qasim. […] You can’t tell the truth. This euphoric feeling of superiority. such influence and power over its increasing popular base of viewers will enable Aljazeera to further establish translation-mediated language as unquestionable norms and standards of expression irrespective of the anomalies and aberrations that such mediation creates in the Arabic language. translation quality is a central issue in the translation profession and one of the most controversial topics in translation studies today. You cannot confront the Israelis or the Israeli or Zionist lobby in the West. 305 A sense of superiority: outshining the master In the aftermath of its coverage of the Israeli aggression on Gaza. is giving Aljazeera greater influence over its viewers as it addresses their deepest concerns. western journalists. are nothing but a parcel of cowards. In as late as 18 March 2009. From one aspect. As previously argued4. translation quality is a direct Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . which is also being expressed on other programs and by other hosts and guests. British journalist and author of Al-Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel that is Changing the West. Aljazeera seems to have developed a quick sense of superiority in journalism that exceeds coming of age. host of The Opposite Direction (al-ittjah al-muaakis) taunts and scolds his guest Hugh Miles. the problematic of translation mediation of news reports is fundamentally connected to translator competence and translation quality on the one hand and to the ideological views of the news editors on the other. Now Aljazeera is challenging the western media and questioning the objectivity and professional and moral ethics of western journalists. scratches the scab of their wounds. or soothes their fevered brow.

objective-driven. result-focused process that yields a product meeting a set of specifications that are implicit or explicit. In news organisations such as Aljazeera. where mediated language is intrinsic to its news products and central to the concepts of objectivity and bias. Chapter 7 Summary and Conclusions: The Taming of the Shrew . The breaking up of once stable social orders and patterns of thought frequently evoke a widespread sense of social incoherence. one thing has to be reaffirmed at the conclusion of this chapter. which cannot be separated from the principal actor in the process. There is sufficient evidence in this research that translation mediation of news is playing a critical role in the dramatic changes to the social and language patterns that transnational satellite television. particularly Aljazeera. Finally. translator competence is always called into question whenever the quality of the translation product is questioned. is introducing to Arab society. If they have no critical awareness of the way translation operates in mediated reporting and the interplay of language. chances are that reframing will undermine objectivity of reporting. namely the translator. critical translation mediation awareness should not be limited to the translator/editor. 306 result of the translation process. fragmentation. It should rather encompass a broader editorial policy that takes into account the effects of mediation on the framing of news. The investigation of translation mediation in news making has yielded results that have significance to the future studies of this phenomenon in the news and probably beyond. Despite the ongoing debate about the objectivity and bias of the media. Journalists genuinely seek to tell the truth the way they see it. chaos and disorder” (viii). This approach is predicated on the notion that translation is not a haphazard activity. translation and discourse. as Best and Kellner (1991) put it. from a semiotic viewpoint. Subsequently. It is rather a rational. “dramatic changes in society and culture are often experienced as an intense crisis for those attached to established ways of life and modes of thought.

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153 Explicatory techniques. 150. 149. 148 Supplemental techniques. 159 explicatory. 151 F substitutive calque translation. 149. 157 reductive and expansive techniques. 156 E Privative (negational) translation. 151 O obversive translation. 159 Index . 151. 147. 158 Disjunctive translation. 156 compensatory. 169 S Substitution. 143 form extrication. 157 loan translation. 153. 148 P primary modulatory. 151 mirror-image. 151 substitutive translation. 151 Implicative translation. 149. 153 L Transplantive translation. 156. 150. 150 I Supplantive translation. 156 substitutive techniques. 154 interventional techniques. 148 supplantive translation. 155 explicatory techniques. 157 referential integrity. 151 interpretive appositives. 149 Equative translation. 156 Intrinsic constraints. 155. 153 Definitional translation. 153 metonymy. 151 identitive translation. 157 culture. 389 Index A M appositive translation. 148 communicative intentions. 159 transplantive translation. 147. 158 Descriptive translation. 148 T intervention. 154 interpretive modulatory. 150 transposition. 156 D operative. 159 R Explicative translation. 149 supplemental. 156 Modulatory substitution. 156 Intersectional translation. 157 Extrinsic constraints. 154 supplemental techniques. 147 C modulatory. 144. 157 Translation. 157. 147. 157 operative appositives. 159 compensatory techniques. 147. 157. 153. 143 explicative translation. 170 translation technique. 150. 157 modulatory techniques. 148. 158. 157 translation techniques.