Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

The Unguarded Use of Stylistic Features and the Arabic Discourse Marker 'Wa' in Media Translation of News Reports

Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

The Unguarded Use of Stylistic Features and the Arabic Discourse Marker 'Wa' in Media Translation of News Reports

Article excerpt


This research paper is a process-oriented study that essentially focuses on the psychology (Mapping Theory) of the trainee translator by examining the use of some stylistic features and the interpretation of the Arabic discourse marker wa into English in news reports. The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which students of undergraduate translation courses at Princess Alia University College / Al-Balqaa' Applied University consult and are largely influenced by their SL native language (Arabic) in translating news reports into English (TL). The random sample of the study consists of (46) female students with similar linguistic, socio-cultural and educational backgrounds. Trainee students underwent a task of pre-test and post-test translation of a news report during the summer semester of the academic year 2013-2014. A three-step analytical model was applied in this study. The first step of the model involved segmenting the target text into paragraphs and sentences. The second step was the description of the functional relations that connect units of the target text at each level. The last step involved identifying the discourse markers at the boundaries of units. Obtained results revealed that students showed conspicuous bias towards Arabic (SL) in using some stylistic features and the discourse marker wa (and) as a safe strategy for linking sentences in English (TT), even though done improperly.

Keywords: translation as a process, DTS, psychology, stylistics, DMs, newsreports, Kammensjö's analytical model, Holmes' Mapping Theory

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1. Introduction

Translation as a process is concerned with the psychology of the translator, or more aptly, it is concerned with trying to find out what happens in the mind of a translator when he/she is engaged in a translation activity. It is the branch of translation studies that S. Holmes presents in his influential paper The Name and Nature of Translation Studies that serves as the founding statement of translation as an independent and distinct discipline. In his paper, he crucially puts forward a framework that delineates what translation studies cover. Areas of research are divided into pure and applied studies. The branch of pure research further branches off into theoretical and descriptive studies (DTS), which has three possible foci: product-oriented, function-oriented and process oriented. Being a mentally-induced process, translation involves shifting focus constantly between microanalysis and macroanalysis of source text (ST) and target text (TT), i.e. the mind continually compares between the sense of individual utterances and the overall sense of the text as a whole, either consciously or unconsciously, forming a mental representation called the "intertext". As such, the "intertext" is viewed as a composite that consists of intertextual relations where it is located. One such relation is cohesion, which is obtained from connecting segments in texts, whether among sentences, paragraphs or portions within the same sentence by means of the employment of connectives referred to as discourse markers (DMs).

Languages differ noticeably as to the frequency their linguistic systems tolerate using discourse markers to reflect textual logical relations created. The Arabic language structurally and intrinsically relies heavily on the explication of textual relations by resorting to using a battery of discourse markers referred to as adawaat-u l-rabt ... or ...uruuf al-9a...f-, i.e. connective particles (Tahineh, 2011, p. 226). The structure of English, comparatively, allows the employment of cohesive devices, but to a lesser extent than Arabic (Newmark, 1982, p. 178). The judgment launched by a discrete translator is not unheedful of the type of text being processed. Texts vary in the linguistic choices and stylistic features they offer even within the same register, such as journalism. …

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