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The Function of Cultural Reference within the Hermeneutic Circle

The Case of Arabic-English Translation

Author/Editor: Thawabteh, Mohammad Ahmad

Year of publication: 2008

Place of Publication & Publisher: Applied Semiotics / Sémiotique appliquée, Toronto: University of Toronto (Online)

Publisher URL: http://french.chass.utoronto.ca/as-sa/index.html

ISBN/ISSN: 1204-6140

Publication blurb:

The present paper examines the functions of Arabic cultural references within the scope of the hermeneutic circle of the translator. These functions are investigated through a corpus consisting in a translation of The Square Moon: Supernatural Tales by Ghada As-Samman. An English translation of As-Samman’s work is analysed in terms of Steiner’s four-move model, revealing a continuum in which each complements the others in the reconstruction of translated meaning. The moves are finally evaluated vis-à -vis equivalence theory and translation strategies. The analysis shows that realising the functions of Arabic cultural references in translation depends on the translator’s hermeneutic circle.

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