The Translatability of Utterances Containing Implicatures ‎from Arabic into English

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Ekrema‏ ‏Shehab

This paper basically aims at investigating some major problems encountered in the translation of Arabic utterances containing implicatures (henceforth Arabic implicatures) into English, where what is meant goes well beyond what is said. The data of the study consists of 9 Arabic implicatures identified by the researcher as comprising difficulties to translators. These implicatures have been drawn from Mahfouz’s (1947) novel Ziqaq Al-Midaq. Fifteen M.A. students of translation at An-Najah National University served as the subjects in this study. They were asked to provide their own translations of these Arabic implicatures in the light of their original contexts. The study also uses Trevor Le Gassick’s renditions in his (1975) translation of Mahfouz’s novel. For the purpose of this study, the researcher devised a framework of analysis based on Grice’s (1975) theory of conversational implicature. The framework features Tautology, Irony, and Metaphor as strategies giving rise to conversational implicature. The present paper argues that, when translating Arabic implicatures into English, emphasis should be placed on conveying the pragmatic import by the employment of various strategies ranging from those capturing the form and/or function to those capturing the communicative sense independently.

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