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Translation Shifts in English and Arabic
Translation is, in practical terms, an ongoing practice that never reaches completion or perfection, contrary to the popular saying "practice makes perfect". In fact, the more one practices translation, the more one realizes that translation is an open-ended learning process which always reveals new tricks of the trade, unlike probably many practical fields…
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The Golden Middle in translating from Arabic, e.g., into English
The paper argues for a golden middle in translating from Arabic, for example, into English. That is, faced with a text which is not in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), e.g., a text in Classical Arabic (CA), or in any of the colloquial varieties of the language, a translator should start by rendering into MSA - intralingually translating the colloquial or classical version into a modern standard one
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Stylistic Problems Confronting Arab Students in Arabic-English Translation
Translation, which procures increasing significance at present, has, from time immemorial, attracted the attention of scholars and men of letters. It has, no doubt, contributed a great deal in connecting various cultures of the world. This interplay has naturally led to the enrichment of human knowledge at large…
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Written and Electronic Resources for Self-Training Translators:
An eye-opening for translator trainees in Jordan

Some say translation is a gift while others assert it can be learnt by assiduous students. The idea of this paper is to open the eyes of the translator trainees to the fact that one can learn even master the craft of translating by skillfully using translation resources. The paper is based on personal experience with translation students at Jordan universities, public and private…
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Subordination and Coordination in English-Arabic Translation
Subordination and coordination are two syntactic features that are employed in writing in both English and Arabic. It is often argued, however, that the two languages differ in their preference for either syntactic relation. English, it is said, makes use of more subordination than coordination, while Arabic favors the use of coordination rather than subordination…
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Patterns of Thinking Across Languages
This article investigates how the rhetorical patterns of thought give rise to certain communicative as well as textual problems in the translation of Arabic texts. It attempts to disambiguate some of the rhetorical devices by making translators aware of the fact that cultures have different rhetorical devices, and each culture expresses these devices differently…
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As - Sayyab : A Censored Poet & Translator
The Iraqi poet Badr Shakir As-Sayyab , like many world geniuses, died untimely in 1964 after a long suffering with a chronic disease. His short life (1925/1926 – 1964 ), however, was meaningful from the literary perspective. As-Sayyab was able to revitalize the Arab poetry by revolting against the classical form and content of poetry…
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Misreading and Mistranslation
“There is no question that simply reading a text sets in motion an act of interpretation” (Reiβ, 2000: 106). As far as translation is concerned, a reading of a source text will effect an interpretive act, of whatever nature, and this interpretive act will be shaped in other letters, structure and expressive form. And since translation consists, at its most basic level, of ‘understanding and making others understand’, a misinterpretation / a misreading by the translator will distort the source message and cause, in some form or another, a communication breakdown between the source writer and the target reader …
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Why Arabic Is the Most Difficult Language for Localization
Arabic is widely considered one of the most difficult languages to deal with in a localization context. Generally commentators have focused on the technical difficulties of working with Arabic, but Yehia Yassin says that the technical aspects are just the beginning …
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Translation Problems Amongst Arab Translators
Translation problems amongst Arab translators may above all and more than anything else widen, enlarge, expand and enhance not only mankind knowledge but also awareness that can potentially trigger a wide range of factual points on this topic. There are a variety of points that are going to be spelled out as this study drags on such as clarification of the notion of translation, semantic obstacles, structure, word for word translation, the use of scientific expression, dealing with literary language, the difficulty of subtitling, and the problem of syntax and so on …
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The Translator's Dilemma — Implicatures and the role of the translator
Understanding utterances is not simply a matter of knowing the meanings of the words uttered and the way in which they are combined. It also involves drawing inferences on the basis of non-linguistic information and the assumption that the speaker has aimed to meet certain general standards of communication. In this article, we discuss the question of writer-reader, translator-reader problem of proper communication, and investigate the concept of faithfulness in translation and its manifestations in loyalty to the original text as well as loyalty to the target audience and the prospective readers of the translation. To reach an understanding of this dilemma and suggest solutions to it, an extract from Othello is examined along with its translation into Arabic …
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The Language and Translation of Arab Folktales
Oral literature is as old as man. Being the foundation of all literature, it had existed in the Arabic language many centuries before the advent of the Arabic language standard, whose exact time and protagonists are still beyond our ken. During later centuries of deterioration of Arab culture, up to the 19th century, this literature had been almost the only torch in the dark …
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The Arabic Language and Folk Literature A call for gathering and translating Arab folk tales
A long time ago, during my first days spent in Arab countries, I noticed—as did everyone from the Arabic translators' tribe—the great importance of knowing the colloquial language of the region (al-'arabiyya al-'aammiyya, or al-lugha ad-daarija …
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