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Grammatical issues in translation The grammatical level: 1. Morphology: words and their formation by affixation, inflection, derivation and compounding.

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Presentation on theme: "Grammatical issues in translation The grammatical level: 1. Morphology: words and their formation by affixation, inflection, derivation and compounding."— Presentation transcript:

1 Grammatical issues in translation The grammatical level: 1. Morphology: words and their formation by affixation, inflection, derivation and compounding 2. Syntax: the arrangement of words into phrases and sentence.

2 It is the grammatical level where translation loss is generally obvious given the grammatical differences between languages. However, the question is not whether there is translation loss (there always is), but what it consists in and whether it matters

3 1.1 Words (lexis) It is vital to remember that meanings are not found exclusively in the words listed individually in the dictionary. Any text shows that the combination of words creates meanings that they do not have in isolation and even meanings that are not wholly predictable from the senses of the words combined.

4 In translation lexical loss is very common. It arises from the fact that exact synonymy between ST words and TL words is relatively rare. Example, The word may be considered an exact synonymy of English 'meat'. For many Arabs, and fish almost certainly will not. لحم however, chicken may not count as لحم

5 Another source of lexical translation loss is that words often acquire associative overtones over and above their denotative meaning. Example, أحمل الزمن المحترق في عيني ' I carry this scorched era in my eyes.' Rather than I carry this burnt era in my eyes'. 'scorched era' sounds much more acceptable because the phrase echoes the military phrase 'scorched earth'.

6 1.2 Grammatical arrangement Lexical issues are a particular category of grammatical issue. So it is not surprising that some lexical issues are discussed under the heading of grammatical arrangement morphological patterns affecting individual words- affixation, inflection, derivation and compounding syntactic patterns: words are linked to form more or less complex phrases and sentences

7 For example, the accusative suffix is a recognized means of forming adverbs in Arabic, while English adds 'ly' to form adverbs.

8 Arabic adverbs English translations كثيرا Much, often في الأونة الأخيرة recently persistently علي نحو ملح He wept bitterly بكي بكاء مرا Her eyes twinkled happily. و كانت عيناها تبتسمان فرحتين American-backed organization منظمة مدعومة أمريكيا

9 Compounding Compounding differs from one language to another. In English is capable of relatively long compounds, while in Arabic compounds are formed in two ways: 1. by the use of genitive structure: غرفة نوم bedroom' 2. by noun adjective pairs 'The Middle East' الشرق الأوسط

10 However, both of these structures can yield complications when combined with other elements. Example: ستائر غرفة النوم الجديدة In the absence of case-ending markers in the text it is unclear whether the phrase means 'the new curtains of the bedroom' or 'the curtains of the new bedroom'

11 Verb tenses: The system of tenses in Arabic is quite different from English;. In some contexts, it might mean 'will buy' can mean 'buys' and 'is buying' يشتري In some contexts it can be translated as 'bought' or 'was buying (e.g. in certain subordinate clauses, or in a story where a general past tense setting has already been established for a particular part of the text).

12 In English tenses relate fairly consistently to natural time. Arabic operates with a system that combines tense and aspect. For example, the perfect can indicate completion of the action as well as occurrence in the past ( as in he bought). The imperfect may indicate non-completion of the action regardless of whether it occurs in the past or present (For example, in contexts where translates as is /was buying. يشتري

13 The actual time significance of the imperfect in particular is very often context- dependent. To sum up, translators should give priority to the exact meaning of word in a particular context and to constructing idiomatic TL sentences, even where this entails translation loss.

14 Morphological repetition: The most important forms of morphological repetition which are of most importance for translation are: Pattern repetition, root repetition and suffix repetition. 1. Pattern repetition It involves the repetition of the same pattern (( مفعلة, فعل,, مفعول, فاعل, فعل in two or more words in close proximity,

15 2. Root repetition It involves repetition of the same root in two or more words in close proximity. They provide textual cohesion as well as stylistic and other purposes e.g البيت القديم الكبير 'The big old house'

16 Here the فعيل pattern does not have any particular significance. However, when Pattern repetition is combined with some kind of semantic relationship, they give additional emphasis

17 There are three relevant types of semantic relationship: a. semantically related words b. synonyms or near- synonyms c. antonyms

18 Semantically related words are words whose meanings fall within the same general semantic field, which are clearly distinct in meaning "thoughts and dreams' e.g. أفكار and أحلام

19 دهشة and صدمة 'amazement and shock. These can be translated fairly literally without any problems. The translation of synonyms or near- synonyms with pattern repetition involves the same techniques as used with repetition of synonyms generally, i.e. merging, grammatical transposition, semantic distancing and maintenance.

20 a. Merging: كان لا بد له من التأدب و التعلم 'so he had no alternative left to him but education‘ b. grammatical transposition: التنظير والتحليل ' systematic analysis' c. semantic distancing: و الهلع خوفا عليها من الفزع 'for fear of alarming and upsetting her'

21 d. maintenance: 'The transformational role of the military: evaluation and analysis' دور العسكر التغيري : تقويم و تحليل The ST structure has been maintained through the use of the fairly standard English translations of تقويم 'evaluation' 'analysis' تحليل

22 Pattern repetition with antonyms is also fairly common. Consider the following: (See examples in the book page 102 صعودا وهبوطاً ) ' the changing fortunes'. Pattern repetition may also occur with a combination of synonyms and antonyms. (See examples in the book page 102 ) ' العسر و اليسر.


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