Next Article in Journal
How to be Brief: Children’s and Adults’ Application of Grice’s Brevity Maxim in Production
Previous Article in Journal
Actions as a Basis for Online Embodied Concepts
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

English Adverbial and Determiner Negation: A Problematic Area for Arabic Translators

Department of English, Kuwait University, Jamal Abdul Nasser St, Kuwait City 13060, Kuwait
Languages 2019, 4(1), 17;
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
PDF [1490 KB, uploaded 28 March 2019]


Negation hardly comes up as an issue in English–Arabic translation studies. The general assumption is that the translation of English negation into Arabic poses no serious problems to the translator. While this is generally true when it comes to rendering negation marked by generic negative particles/affixes (John is not happy and John is unhappy, respectively) and even lexical and rhetorical implicit negation (John denied having cheated on the test and Can a person like John make such a mistake?), the present paper aims to show that the appropriate textualization into Arabic of English adverbial and determiner negation (e.g., by the adverbials too and hardly, and the determiners little and few) can be a problematic area for Arabic translators. The textual data (270 examples) is extracted from several published translations (belonging to literary, popular science/journalistic, and economic discourse), in an attempt to show what strategies translators follow when encountering such negation and how successful they are. While the findings provide solid evidence for the serious mishaps (about 42% of the renderings involve one kind of problem or another) that Arabic translators experience in this area, the critical discussion unravels several textual strategies that can capture the subtleties inherent in adverbial/determiner negation. It is hoped that the investigation of this subtle, neglected area in English–Arabic translation studies offers significant insights for both student and professional translators. View Full-Text
Keywords: adverbial negation; determiner negation; English; Arabic; translation adverbial negation; determiner negation; English; Arabic; translation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Farghal, M. English Adverbial and Determiner Negation: A Problematic Area for Arabic Translators. Languages 2019, 4, 17.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Languages EISSN 2226-471X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top