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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; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4010017
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract

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

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