Factors Influencing The Translator's Choice Of Foreignisation And .

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ISBN 978-93-86878-07-69th International Conference on Languages, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (LHESS-17)Dubai (UAE) Dec. 21-22, 2017Factors Influencing the Translator’s Choice of Foreignisationand Domestication in Translation into Arabic of Neologismsand Idioms in the Harry Potter SeriesAlshaymaa Yahya AlharbiSchool of Modern Languages, College of Arts, Humanities and Law University of LeicesterAbstract: This study investigates the translation of three novels from the well-known children’s fantasy fictionseries about Harry Potter, written by the English writer J.K. Rowling, into Arabic. The main aims are todetermine the translation strategies used to deal with idioms and neologisms, the use of domestication orforeignisation, and the factors that have influenced the translator’s choice. The study uses an adapted model ofanalysis together with idioms and neologisms typologies. The findings show that paraphrase was the mainstrategy used to render idioms while transliteration was the most common way of dealing with neologisms. Inaddition, the study shows that the translators tended to combine domestication and foreignisation in general,with idioms being mostly domesticated and neologisms foreignised. The discussion suggests that the source textgenre as well as the influence of foreign literature are the major factors influencing the translator’s choice. Twomain impacts of the translator’s choice on Arab readers have been identified, namely enhancement of Arabchildren’s knowledge of foreign culture and values, and shaping their identity in terms of becoming a globalcitizen.Keywords: translation, children’s literature, idioms, neologisms, Harry Potter, fantasy, domestication,foreignisation, factors influencing translators, cultural understanding.1. IntroductionThis study focuses on the translation of the world famous Harry Potter series in the context of children’sliterature in translation from English into Arabic. The book series has sold millions of copies around the world,been made into a movie and been translated into seventy-three languages (Time, 2013). The success andpopularity of the series are among the factors that brought about an interest in the translation of this book as afocus for the present work.Even though each book about Harry Potter is a multilevel novel that comprises elements of a school story,an adventure story, a thriller, a mystery and a romance, the predominant genre of the novel is fantasy (Fry, 2005:1). Recently, linguistic features of the fantasy genre have been placed at the centre of academic study (Rehling,2011: 71). According to Sedia (2005: 1) the fantasy genre is abundant in neologisms which are used to expressthe imaginative mood of the story. According to Epstein (2012: 102) neologisms can be challenging for childrento recognise and comprehend, which implies that extra care is needed with their translation for a young audience,and Baker (1992: 71-75) highlights the complexity of idioms that have two meanings (literal and figurative) aswell as their culture-specific use. For these reasons, this article will look at the challenge of translating idiomsand neologisms in literature for children.1.1.Related ResearchSeveral studies have investigated translation of Harry Potter into Arabic. Mussche and Willems (2010)analyse 'culture-specific items' which are mainly placed in the categories of food and names, although education,family and the use of dialect and slang are also discussed briefly (Mussche and Willems, 2010: 491). Thehttps://doi.org/10.15242/HEAIG.H1217908205

authors analyse extracts from the first three novels in the series and conclude that the strategy of omissionpredominated in the translation of culture-specific items, which suggests that the translator applied a degree ofcultural filtering. The writers also point out that a combination of omission and simplification has resulted in atext that does not endanger the cultural and ideological norms governing the target text culture.Dukmak (2012) investigates a similar area of cultural aspects and norms. She analyses the first, fourth andsixth novel in the series, extending the work done by Mussche and Willems (2010) by not only looking atcultural references and names, but also investigating wordplay and the translation strategies used by eachtranslator. Dukmak’s study shows that there is no coordination among the three translators as they use differenttranslation strategies, varying from abridgement through adequacy to acceptability. Her main finding is that thetranslation strategies used for children’s stories focus on the preservation of the names of food items andcustoms of the foreign text and occasional explicitation. The amount of poor quality translation is relativelysmall.Al-Daragi (2016), he most recent study, examinest the relationship between the entertaining and didacticfunctions in three chapters in each novel in the Harry Potter series, focusing specifically on the amount ofdeletion and omission as an indicator of the degree to which the source text has been altered to fulfill a didacticfunction in the Arabic World. The results suggest that the translations of the first four novels in the series showfeatures of didacticism by demonstrating a lack of professionalism in the amount of deletion and simplificationused. By contrast, the translation of the last three novels in the series shows hardly any signs of deletion which,the author argues, indicates that a more professional translator rendered these novels and the entertainingfunction of the story has been preserved.As shown above, all work done so far on the topic of translating Harry Potter into Arabic focuses on thestrategies used in the translation, and deals with culture-specific terms, while overlooking the extent to whichforeignisation and domestication strategies are applied. The current research has been undertaken to fill in thisresearch gap.1.2.Theoretical BackgroundThis section outlines basic terminology and theories in the field of translation that the current study draws on.To begin with, the genre of children’s literature can be best defined by comparing its distinctive features toliterature catering for adult readers. McDowell (1973: 51) outlines features specific to children’s literature:'Children’s books are generally shorter: they tend to favour an active rather than a passive treatment, withdialogue and incident rather than description and introspection: child protagonists are the rule: conventions aremuch used: the story develops within a clear-cut moral schematism which much adult fiction ignores'. Thisdefinition suggests that the translator’s job is not only to render the plot of the story for children, but also toensure that the translation includes features of a text for children.Another definition relevant to this study is that of an idiom. Ayto (2006: 518) defines it as 'aninstitutionalised multiword construction, the meaning of which cannot be fully deduced from the meaning of itsconstituent words, and which may be regarded as a self-contained lexical item'. This definition indicates that themain features which separate idioms from other expressions is their meaning and functioning as one lexical item.This broad understanding of idioms is supported by further discussion of semantic opacity, compositional fixityand syntactic function.The definition of an idiom can be enriched with a detailed typology, as presented by both Fernando (1996)and Moon (1998). Both typologies offer insight into the meaning of an idiom and the degree to which the idiomwith its individual components is figurative. This information is relevant to the discussion of the extent to whichthe original meaning of an idiom has been reflected in the target text, and thus whether it was domesticated orforeignised. So the following new typology has been developed for this study drawing on Fernando’s (1996) andMoon’s (1998) 17908206

TABLE I: New Typology of Idioms Drawing on Fernando’s (1996) and Moon’s (1998) typologies.Fernando’s typology (1996)Pure idiomsSemi-pure idiomsLiteral idioms------------------------Moon’s typology (1998)Opaque idiomsSemi-transparent idiomsTransparent idioms-------------------Adopted TypologyFigurative idiomsSemi-figurative idioms----------------------Variants of an existing idiomAs Table 1 shows, the new typology makes some adjustments which are necessary for the purpose of thepresent study. Because the Harry Potter series belongs to the fantasy genre and is primarily aimed at children, itis highly likely that the writer uses idioms from the English language in a changed form in order to entertain aswell as to build the magical world and mood of the story. For that reason, an additional type has been included inthe new typology, namely variants of an existing idiom. Also, the category of literal idiom has been removedsince the primary focus of this study is on idioms which have a degree of figurative meaning.The second area of focus is neologisms as a distinctive feature of the fantasy genre. Newmark (1988: 140)describes neologisms as 'newly coined lexical units or existing lexical units that acquire a new sense'.Thetypology of neologisms used in the current work is based on the existing typologies developed by Newmark(1988) and Yule (2010). The former is a very detailed typology of which only certain types has been identifiedin my analysis and thus included in the new typology, while the latter is related to the process of neologismformation which also informs the present work.TABLE II: New Typology of Neologisms Based on Newmark’s (1988) and Yule’s (2010) TypologiesNewmark’s (1988) neologisms typologyYule’s (2010) neologisms typologyThe new typologyNew coinagesDerived rowingMultiple processNew coinagesDerived words-----------------BorrowingsMultiple processAs Table 2 shows, three types of neologisms are mentioned by both scholars, two of which have beenincluded in the new typology: new coinages and borrowings. An additional strategy is borrowed fromNewmark’s typology, namely derived words, and one additional type of neologisms is borrowed from Yule,namely multiple process.Another two key terms in the current work are domestication and foreignisation. These terms wereintroduced by Venuti (1995: 20) who based his consideration of the two strategies on the work of the nineteenthcentury scholar, Schleiermacher. Venuti (1995: 21) defines domestication as 'an ethnocentric reduction of theforeign text to [Anglo-American] target-language cultural values' which relates to Schleiermacher’s idea ofmoving the author towards the reader (1813: 49). In other words, a domestication strategy entails the translatorbecoming invisible to the reader in order to produce a text that is natural and devoid of any degree of featuresforeign to the target text audience. By contrast, foreignisation was presented by Venuti (1998: 242) as thestrategy that 'entails choosing a foreign text and developing a translation method along lines which are excludedby dominant cultural values in the target language'. Venuti links the concept of foreignisation toSchleiermacher’s notion of moving the reader to the author of the text. Through foreignisation, the readership ispresented with the foreign elements of the source text.Finally, a number of factors have been identified to have had an influence on the translator in the Arab worldwhich include: influence of foreign literature, censorship, didacticism, source text genre and the publisher. Theseaspects have been chosen for a closer discussion with regards to the translator’s choice of domestication andforeignisation as well as the general choices made by the translator when rendering the source text.1.3.Purpose of the StudyThis research aims to contribute to the field of translation studies by addressing the general issue of howaccessible the source text culture is in the target text translation. In particular, it focuses on the strategies that thehttps://doi.org/10.15242/HEAIG.H1217908207

translators use when dealing with neologisms and idioms, and the way the nature of these two linguistic featuresinfluences the translation approaches of domestication and foreignisation. Moreover, since domestication hasbeen identified as a common approach in the translation of children’s literature (Puurtinen, 1995: 23), this studyinvestigates whether this is the case in translation into Arabic by looking at how and when foreignisation ordomestication are applied. It identifies whether or not the translators follow the same approach, and determineswhich of the two approaches is predominant. This will allow discussion of the factors influencing the translator’schoice of these approaches and possible effects this choice may have on Arab child readers.2. Research MethodsA comparison of the source texts and the target texts has been chosen as the research method for the currentstudy since it facilitates exploration of problematic areas of translation such as idioms and neologisms (Williamsand Chesterman, 2014: 6). The data collection involved the following steps: looking at the pages of the originalnovels, identifying the idioms and neologisms, and categorising them according to their typology. A review ofthe existing models of idiom and neologism translation strategies was undertaken with the aim of creating a newcomprehensive model, suitable for the purposes of this study. The third stage of the methodology was dataanalysis, during which idioms and neologisms were juxtaposed with their translations, with particular referenceto their typology. The data analysis also included examining the predominance of foreignisation anddomestication, by identifying the translation strategies related to them. Finally, the factors that influence thetranslator’s choice of these approaches were investigated, including the context and genre, the publisher’s impact,didacticism, censorship and foreign influence.The data of this study consist of three books from Harry Potter series. The main reason for the selection ofthe Harry Potter series is that it is well-known for the abundance of neologisms and idioms it contains, and theseare the focus of this study. The books chosen for the current study include: the second novel in the series, HarryPotter and the Chamber of Secrets, which was translated by Raja’ Abdullah (2003); the fifth novel, Harry Potterand the Order of the Phoenix, translated by the team of translators of Nahdet Misr Publisher under thesupervision of Dalia Mohammed (2007); and the seventh novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,translated by Sahar Jabr (2008).2.1.Model of AnalysisSince this study focuses on idioms and neologisms, different models were applied in the analytical parts. Foridioms, Baker’s (1992) framework of translation strategies provides a comprehensive outline of several broadcategories used by professional translators, as well as strategies specific to translation of idioms. Similarly,Epstein (2012) looks at the translation of idioms but in the context of children’s literature and outlines thetranslation strategies used to deal with them. In order to analyse idioms, these frameworks have been combinedin order to create a new model of analysis that suits the needs of this research. The new model of analysisincludes a new typology of idioms based on Fernando (1996) and Moon (1998), enriched with a new category ofvariants of an existing idiom.In addition, since neologisms are the second aspect investigated in this study, the work of Baker, Newmarkand Epstein is considered. Baker (1992) looks at general strategies used by professional translators whileNewmark (1988) presents an extensive discussion of neologism translation strategies, and offers a detailedcategorisation of them. More specifically, Epstein (2012) ponders on strategies of neologism translation inchildren’s literature, and provides a more general overview. The three models complement each other, and weredrawn on to establish the new model used in my analysis. The new model includes a newly created typology ofneologisms drawing on the existing typologies of Newmark (1988) and Yule (2010).3. Findings and DiscussionRegarding the use of strategies to render idioms and neologisms two strategies have been found to bepredominant. In the case of idioms, the findings of the current work suggest that paraphrase was the mainhttps://doi.org/10.15242/HEAIG.H1217908208

strategy used in all three books which accounted for two hundred and one cases. The use of paraphrase seemedan effective strategy to present English idioms, which could be hard to understand for children in the Arab worlddue to cultural differences. Similarly, one strategy was predominant when translating neologisms in all threebooks, namely transliteration, which was applied in one hundred and ten cases. Because neologisms relate to themagical setting of the story, this suggests that the translators aimed at presenting this feature of the source text toArab children. An interesting finding is that there has been extensive use of deletion in the second bookcompared to the other two books, which shows a clear difference between the translators’ use of this strategy.As for the predominance of domestication and foreignisation, the main outcome of the current study is thatthe translators combined these two approaches by following domestication in the case of idioms andforeignisation when dealing with neologisms. This supports previous research done on the use of domesticationand foreignization in children’s literature which has found that domestication and foreignisation can complementeach other rather than be seen as two separate approaches (Wu, 2010; Coles, 2011).The main factors influencing the translators’ choice are the influence of foreign literature and the source textgenre. As for the influence of foreign literature, lack of consistency between translators as well as the amount ofomission of source text elements have been found to lessen as the series progress. However, there was anoticeable discrepancy in the competence of translation between the second, and the fifth and seventh bookssince the second book used a great amount deletion which resulted in incomplete representation of the sourcetext, which was not present in the other two books analysed. In addition, the source text genre seems to have hadan influence on the translators’ choice since all translators aimed at including features of the fantasy genre acrossthe series, especially by including in the target text neologisms that portray the magical setting of the story.Other factors identified in the analysis include didacticism, censorship and the publisher’s impact, but theseaspects seemed less prominent. Firstly, didacticism and its traditional side was found to play some role in thetranslation of the second book which was domesticated to a great extent, but was less visible in the fifth andseventh book which tended to teach readers foreign elements as well. Also, more emphasis has been placed onthe entertainment elements than on didacticism. Secondly, very little censorship was identified in terms ofdealing with idioms and neologisms which could be attributed to the source text having few instances of tabooexpressions that are considered inappropriate for children. Finally, the preference for foreignisation withneologisms could be due to the publisher’s aim of attracting child readers by depicting fantasy well.In terms of the effects that the translator’s choice has on Arab readers, two main elements have beenidentified, namely children’s knowledge and identity. Preference for domestication of idioms suggests that thetranslators aim at preserving children’s Arabic identity by reducing the number of source text culture-specificitems in the translation. However, children’s knowledge could still be extended by being exposed to foreignelements regarding English words and presenting a British boarding school environment.4. AcknowledgementsI would like to thank my supervisor Prof. Malmkjær for her support and the School of Modern Languages atThe University of Leicester.5. References[1] A. Al-Daragi, “Tensions between didacticism, entertainment and transliteral practices: deletion and omission in theArabic translations of Harry Potter, ” PhD thesis, University of London, 2016.[2] C. Fernando, “Idioms and idiomaticity. ” Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.[3] E. Mussche, and K. Willems, (2010). Fred or Farid, Bacon or Baydun (egg)? Proper names and cultural-specific itemsin the Arabic translation of Harry Potter. Meta, 55(3), pp. 474-498.[4] E. Sedia, “Making neologisms work in speculative literature: reflection’s edge. ” 2005, April 206. Available /mnwsl es.html.https://doi.org/10.15242/HEAIG.H1217908209

[5] F. Schleiermacher, (1813). “On the different methods of translation, ”In The translation studies reader, L. Venuti, Ed.2004 New York: Routledge, pp. 43-63.[6] G. Wu, (2010). Translating differences – a hybrid model for translation training. The international journal fortranslation and interpreting research, 2(1), pp. 1-14.[7] G. Yule, “The study of language. ” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2010[8] J. Ayto, “Idioms, ” In Encyclopaedia of language and linguistic, K. Brown ,Ed. Elsevier, 2006, pp. 518- 521.[9] J. Epstein, “Translating expressive language in children’s literature: problems and solutions. ” Oxford: Peter Lang,2012.[10] L. Venuti, “The Translator’s invisibility: a history of translation. ” London and New York: Routledge. 1995.[11] L. Venuti, “The scandals of translation: towards an ethics of differences. ” London and New York: Routledge. 1998[12] M. Baker, “ In other words: A coursebook on translation. ” London and New York: Routledge. 1992.[13] M. McDowell, (1973) .Fiction for children and adults: some essential differences. Children’s literature in education.4 (1), pp. 50-63. Available at: 3[14] P. Newmark, “A textbook of translation. ” New York: Tice Hall Press.1988.[15] P, Rehling, (2011). Harry Potter, wuxia and the transcultural flow of fantasy texts in Taiwan. Inter-Asia culturalstudies, 13(1), pp. 69-87.[16] R. Moon, “Fixed expressions and idioms in English a corpus- based approach. ” Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1998.[17] S. Fry, “Living with Harry Potter.” BBC Radio 4, July 2016, 2005[18] Time Staff (2013). “ Because it’s his birthday: Harry Potter, by the numbers. ” 2013, April 2015. Available e-its-his-birthday-harry-potter-by-the-numbers[19] T. Puurtinen, “Linguistic acceptability in translated children’s literature. ” Joensuu: University of Joensuu. 1995[20] W. Dukmak, “The Treatment of cultural items in the translation of children’s literature: the case of Harry Potter inArabic. ” Ph.D. thesis, University of Leeds, 2012.[21] J. Williams, and A. Chesterman, “The map: a beginner’s guide to doing research in translation studies. ” Abingdon:Routledge. 2014.https://doi.org/10.15242/HEAIG.H1217908210

analysis together with idioms and neologisms typologies. The findings show that paraphrase was the main strategy used to render idioms while transliteration was the most common way of dealing with neologisms. In addition, the study shows that the translators tended to combine domestication and foreignisation in general,

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