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of General
Translation Of General Texts First Lecture
Level 2

It would be observed that Newman, like Nida and Taber also stresses the importance of
understanding the intention of the original text author before translation it into a target
language. Since the comprehension of the intention of the original text author is crucial for
producing an accurate text in a target language, we subscribe, therefore, to the definitions
here above among many others.
Translation can be defined as: a process of translating the meaning from one
language SL to another language TL by keeping the style and the meaning of
the SL.(1)

As a subject, translation is generally used to refer to all processes and methods

used to convey the meaning of the source language into the target language. That is,
the use of:
1. Words which already have an equivalent in Arabic language (speak ‫(يتكلم‬
2. New words for which no ready-made equivalent in Arabic language (satellite ‫)قمر صناعي‬
3. Foreign words written in Arabic letters (aspirin ‫(أسبرين‬
4. Foreign words change to suit Arabic pronunciation, spelling and grammar
(democracy ‫(ديمقراطية‬
(Ghazala 2008)

Nature of translation:
 Translation is the interpretation of a source text meaning and the
production of an equivalent in another language.
 Translation is the process that deals with meaning across language
barriers. Throughout its long history, translation has been enjoyed the
kind of recognition and respect that other profession enjoyed.
 Translation have constantly complain that translation is underestimated
as a profession.
(Baker 1992,p,2)
In its nature, translation is a science, an art, and a skill. It is a science in the sense that it
necessitates complete knowledge of the structure of the tow language concerned. It is an
art since it requires artistic talent to reconstruct the original text. It also a skill because it
entails the ability to smooth over any difficulty in the process of translation.

Translation Of General Texts
Level 2

Differences between Translation and Interpretation Source Language

The professions of translation and interpretation are notably Text to be translated

different but the two overlap in some areas. A translator interprets

the written words and the result of his/her interpretation is usually in
Discover the meaning
written form. He/she has time to deliberate, conduct research, proof-
read, revise, consult colleagues and submit his/her written translation
to client. A interpreter on the other hand, interprets the spoken words
and mostly does not have the extra time nor a second chance to revise
the result of the interpretation. Many translation though, will have
done some interpreting but this probably have been secondary to
Reexpress the
written translation. meaning

The Importance of Translation

The importance of translation can be brought to a sharp focus if we
consider the fact that effective communication among different Translation
cultures can only be achieved through translation. It is by way of
translation that people from different cultural back ground are Receptor Language
introduced to various languages and ways of thought. Further, to train
translators and interpreters, it is very necessary to understand the relationship between
language and culture because ''translation takes place in the context of the relations
between two cultures, two worlds of thought and perception''. Newmark opines that there
is a cultural value in translation. Culture is also heavily indebted to translation for its
intellectual development, and it is though translation that the complexities of language of
specific texts are clearly demonstrated.
In addition to that, good writing and bad writing are easily exposed in the process of
translation. Translation is an important source of diffusion of every kind of knowledge; it
facilitates the understanding of development of every aspect of culture in other civilization;
And thus enriches people's knowledge and understanding of their own culture.

Techniques and Strategies for English-Arabic Translation

Translation technique can broadly be divided into two types:

Direct Translation Techniques, and Indirect Translation Technique (oblique).

Translation Of General Texts
Level 2

Direct Translation Techniques are used when theoretical and structural elements of the
source language can be transposed into the target language. These method are used when
there is an accurate structure philological equivalence between the source language and
the target language. It also possible when the two language are from the same family and
close to each other.
Second, oblique/Indirect Translation Techniques (transposition, modulation,
equivalence and adaptation) there comes a time when direct translation technique would
not work because of the huge difference between ST and TL when it hard to find a
corresponding expression in the target language as a result the produce text would have
either a different meaning, no meaning or a foreign structure.

1) Direct Translation Techniques

Borrowing Calque Literal Translation

Borrowing Borrowing is the taken of words directly from one language into another
without translation. Many English words are ''loaned'' into other language, for example
software (‫ )سوفت وير‬in the field of technology and funk (‫ )فانك‬in culture. English also borrow
numerous words from other language; like abattoir and resume, which were loaded from
French, hamburger and kindergarten borrowed from German; and musk and sugar, which
loaned from Sanskrit. Examples of borrowing from English into Arabic include Radio ‫راديو‬
Television ‫ تلفاز‬computer ‫ كمبيوتر‬Brandy ‫ براندي‬Bank ‫ بنك‬etc.
"Loaned words are often printed in italics to indicate that they are foreign."

Calque A calque or loan translation is a phrase borrow from another language

and translated literally word-for-word. It is often seen in specialized
fields such as quality assurance (assurance qualite taken from English). Example of calque
that have been absorbed into English include standpoint and beer garden from German
standpunkt and Biergarten. Some calque can become widely accepted in the target
language ( such as standpoint and beer garden). The meaning of other calque can be rather
in comprehensible for most people, especially when they have to do with specific vocation
or subject such as science and law. For example solution de compromise is Spanish legal
term taken from the English compromise solution although Spanish attorney comprehend
it, the meaning is not readily understood by the layman. A fruitless calque can be
exceedingly unnatural, and can cause unwanted humor, and is often interpreted as
signifying lack of expertise of the translator in target language.
Translation Of General Texts
Level 2

Literal Translation This is word-for-word translation. It can be used in some

language and not in others depending on the sentence structure. Sometimes it works and
sometime it does not , because of differences in sentence structure of various language.
Moreover, the fact that one sentence can be translated literally across languages does not
necessarily mean that all sentence can be translated literally.

2) Indirect (oblique) Translation Techniques

Oblique Translation Techniques are used when the structural or theoretical elements of
the source language cannot be directly translated without changing meaning or
disorganized the syntactical elements of the target language.
Indirect Translation Techniques include:
Equivalence or Reformulation Transposition Modulation

Adaptation Compensation
Equivalence or Reformulation
Searching the Arabic language for the most similar and apposite phrases that is
analogous in English language. It often applies to translation of idioms, proverbs and
figures of speech. An example of searching equivalence in English-Arabic translation is:

ST Literal Translation Equivalence

Birds of feather flock together. ً ‫الطيور ذات جناح واحد تطير معا‬ ‫إن الطيور على أشكالها تقع‬
Tell me whom you go with and ‫قل لي من تذهب معه وسأقول لك من أنت‬ ‫إن القرين بالمقارن يقتدي‬
I will tell you who you are.
Once would observe that the process of reformulation is through creative but not always
easy as translator would have to express an idea in a completely different manner

In this process, parts of speech change their sequence when they are translated. For
example: white house ‫ البيت األبيض‬/ Faculty of Education-saber ‫كلية التربية صبر‬
It is in a sense a change in word class because of the fact that grammatical structures
are often different in diverse languages. This technique requires that the translation
knows that it is possible to replace a word category in the target language without
altering the meaning of the source language. For example, the English ''Hand written''
(n+participle) becomes in Arabic ''‫( "مكتوب باليد‬passive participle+prep+accusative noun)
Translation Of General Texts
Level 2

This technique consist in using a phrase that is dissimilar in the source and target
language to express the same idea. "It's okay" literally means (‫ )هذا جيد‬and it can be
translated as (‫ (ال بأس‬which is better than the (‫)هذا جيد‬. It changes the semantics and shifts
viewpoint of the source language.
Though the process of modulation, the translator generates a change in the judgment
of the message without altering meaning and without generating a sense of inelegance
in the reader of the target language text. Look to the following example:
SL Literal translation Modulation
Safe Journey ‫رحلة أمينة‬ ‫رحلة سعيدة‬
Happy New Year ‫سنة جديدة مسرورة‬ ‫عيد مبارك‬

This technique applies when something specific to one language culture is expressed
in a totally different way that is appropriate to another language culture. It is a shift in
cultural environment. It is used when the limit to translation has been reached i.e. when
a simple translation would not work or it would produce confusion in the target
language culture. Titles of books, movie, and characters often fit into this category.
Should we translate Barbecue in English as ‫ مأدبة‬in Arabic?

Compensation can be used when something cannot be translated, and the meaning
that is lost is expressed elsewhere in the translated text. According to Peter Fawcett, it is
''making good in one part of the text something that could not be translated in another''
Example that we can give here are pronouns between English and Arabic. English does
not have plural for such pronoun of congregation as 'you' and as such 'you' would
translate into Arabic as:
A second person male ‫أنت‬
These lost meanings are normally A second person female ‫أنت‬
compensated For congregation of male ‫أنتم‬
For congregation of female ‫أنتن‬

Translation Of General Texts Second Lecture
Level 2

Paraphrasing and Rephrasing

Paraphrasing and translation have previously been treated as unconnected natural
language process task. Whereas, translation represent the preservation of meaning when
an idea is rendering in the words of a different language, paraphrasing on the other hand, is
the preservation of meaning when an idea is expressed using different words in the same
language. In this case, the two are intimately related. Paraphrases are alternative ways of
expressing the same content. They have application to a wide range of natural language
processing tasks, including question answering, summarizing and in the form of statement.
Rephrasing is to express an idea or question in an alternative way, especially for the
purpose of clarification. In addition, it means the receiving of the new next text with the
help of different phrases maybe changing the meaning. For example:
Statement Paraphrase Rephrase
I like peanut butter. I like food. Peanut butter is something
I like.
They went to the theater and They went out. They saw a movie when they
watched a movie. went to the theater.
My laptop functionally has been Something is wrong The functionality of my laptop
suspicious lately. with my laptop. has been suspicious lately.
This strategy means giving a short explanation to the SL culture terms to be clear to the
TL readers. Ghazala states that paraphrasing is relatively interchangeable with explanation.
And he also adds that it is a kind of short explanation resorted to when there is no other
way to illustrate the unclear cultural term in translation. For example:
1. The Arabic ‫ الطواف‬attwaf (going around Akaaba, running between Safa and Marwa
in pilgrimage).
2. Ham (‫(شرائح فخذ الخنزير‬ 3. Tilbury (‫(عربة خفيفة كشوفة‬
These terms cannot be translated into Arabic by one equivalent word only, because they
will be vague. For instance, 2 will be naturally misunderstood as 'slices' of any kind of meat,
except perhaps pork's meat. It might be serious translation to discover that it is a reference
to a slice of pork's meat which is prohibited in Islam.
The first term cannot be rendered into English by one equivalent word only, because it
will be unclear, so when a short explanation follows the word attwaf it becomes clear to the
target reader. Also, the same the same thing with the second example when the term is
followed by a short explanation, it becomes clear to Arabic for the third
example it does not have any kind of clear, specific equivalent in Arabic. Therefore, it
require paraphrasing so that the Arabic readership can understand.
Translation Of General Texts
Level 2

Translation of Proverbs

"Distance equals disaffection"

‫البعد جفاء‬
"Tougher than a stone"
‫أقسى من الحجر‬

"Like father like son"

‫الولد سر أبيه‬
"No smoke without fire"
‫ال دخان من دون نار‬
"Let bygones be bygones"
‫عفا هللا عما مضى‬
"Charity begins at home"
‫األقربون أولى بالمعروف‬

"Actions speak louder than words"

‫األفعال أبلغ من األقوال‬
"The carpenter's door is loose"
‫باب النجار مخلع‬