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Arabic translation across cultures

Author/Editor: Homeidi, Mohieddin A.

Year of publication: 2004

Place of Publication & Publisher: Babel, Amsterdam: John Benjamins

Publisher URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/jbp/bab

ISBN/ISSN: 0521-9744

Publication blurb:

This paper deals mainly with some of the difficulties the translator might encounter when translating some culturally bound pieces of information. These would include the translation of some idioms, and some culturally bound concepts. The paper starts with definitions of translation, language and culture followed by an extensive analysis of the examples provided. All the examples are drawn from Arabic and English. The examples include the translation of some idioms which violate truth conditions, which are easily recognizable, and some others which may be translated either literally or idiomatically with obviously different results. Then the analysis moves to the translation of some culturally bound expressions from both Arabic and English. Here, we find examples that cannot be translated into the other language simply for lack of cultural equivalents. The skill and the intervention of the translator are most needed in this respect because above all translation is an act of communication.

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