In this lesson , students are going to unveil some of the grammatical problems into the translation proccess , moving from English into Arabic language .

Focus will be put on the translation of  two main verbs : TO BE   and TO DO . 

Problems are followed by solutions to guide students achieving a good translation .

Literature and civilisation

The students are to read the following:

-origins of  ME (Middle English)

-ME Sound system

-ME Grammar,

-ME Lexicon.

- The use and Status of French and Latin

Jeremy Smith-Sound Change and the History of English (Oxford Linguistics) (2007)
[Jeremy_Smith,_Simon_Horobin] An Introduction to Midlle English (BookFi)

aims of the course : help students how to write a critical essay.

sub aims : thesis statement

                  citing techniques

                  summary / paraphrase

PostcolonialismPostcolonialism ► Emerged in the 1990’sEmerged in the 1990’s ► Undermines universalist claimsUndermines universalist claims ► Universal claims disregard differenceUniversal claims disregard difference RegionalRegional NationalNational CulturalCultural SocialSocial ► White Eurocentric norms should not be privilegedWhite Eurocentric norms should not be privileged

Lesson Four

Bound Free Translation

This type of translation is derived from the context in a direct way , though it may go out of it in some way , in the form of exaggeration , expressivity, and effective , rhetorical or formal language . it is a free translation .

Here are the examples

He got nothing at the end رجع بخفي حنين / عاد خالي الوفاض

 She was sad deep down  تفطر قلبها من الحزن

You look quite cool تبدو رابط الجأش

Come down to earth كفاك تيها

My  friend got to the top very soon امتطى صديقي صهوة المجد في أسرع من البرق 

Are you lying to me ? اتفتري على الله  كذبا ؟   


Common among these translations is their expressive , effective, rhetorical and very formal Arabic , by means of using:

-         Expressive from Holy Quran

-         A Prophetic Tradition

-         Popular religious expressions

-         Proverbs

-         Collocations 


Although these translations have gone far from the context, they have not gone too far from it , or outside it. This means that this type of translation is not LOOSE , or without limitations, but is BOUND to context in some way. For these reasons , this method is acceptable , especially when justified by the type of the text , or language which allow for exaggeration or expressivity  of some kind. It is very close to creative translation .

Loose Free Translation

This free translation method goes far from the direct linguistic context to INFERENCES. It is based on the translators conclusions about what the speaker /writer wants to say . In other words , it is the translation of intentions  .In this  sense , it is a version of pragmatic translation. Therefore , it does not relate directly to the original context , but is concluded from it . Examples :

-         Thank you mr Wilson. Next please. تفضل بالنصراف السيد ويلسون..عندنا غيرك

-         It is half past twelve Sir . انتهت الحصة سيدي /حان الوقت/ علينا بالانصراف   سيدي

-         Thank you , thank you ladies and gentlemen .  هدوء أيها السادة و السيدات  

-         I am frightened .    ابق معنا 

-         You are bigmouth…..اصمت قليلا

-         No bacon with my super, please .  أنا مسلم.

-         Books are very expensive today. لقد عزف الناس عن القراءة اليوم

-         Have you classic records ?  سحقا للموسيقى الحديثة   / فن هذه الأيام منحط .

All these translations are base on the original . They are indirect, pragmatic translations, rendering the meaning intended by the speakers beyond what they say.

In example 01 , instead of asking Mr Wilson to leave , he goes for “ Thank you” which is understood as “ will you leave, the interview is over”.

-         The speaker also uses the idiom , ‘ bigmouth’ to express his dissatisfaction with a person who yells as talking , or talks excessively, noisily and boastfully .

-         ‘No bacon’  indicates that the speaker is Muslim because pork  is forbidden meat in Islam , but not in Christianity. That is why the translation jumps to  religion .

These are loose translations that have in a sense deserted their direct , linguistic context. They are more personal conclusions by the translator than direct translations restricted in some way to context . This method of free translation allows such freedom for the translator to go far and translate the intentions and implications beyond the direct context of texts.


The Unit of Translation

A unit of translation is a word , or a group of words that can give either a small or a large part of the meaning of the sentence  .Therefore , it is a unit ( a part) of the meaning which can be taken and understood independently . It marks a stop we  take at translating to write down a meaningful part of a sentence that it is not dependent . This means that it can be one word like:  thus, therefore, yet , actually, clearly …etc. for example :

Collocations like : pass a law سن قانونا   , brain drain هجرة الأدمغة  , 

and an idiom like : tall order مهمة شاقة  , a sitting duck لقمة سائغة  / فريسة سهلة   ,

a clause  «  she did not come to work yesterday because she was sick  لم تأت الى العمل أمس، لأنها كانت مريضة   ‘ 2 clauses  = 2 units ) .

A sentence for instance can be considered as a unit of translation , example :

 the man who paid me a visit last week  when I was away, was an old friend of mine .

كان الرحل الذي قام بزيارتي  حين كنت مسافرا ، صديقا قديما لي .

In Arabic, we start the sentence with this verb  ( i.e كان)  , which means that we have to read the whole English sentence before strating translating.



01-                       Grammatical problems .