Arabic to English translation errors in sign boards on top of Shops: – the topic is about translation errors in sign boards on top of Shops.- the attached work has grammar mistakes and wrong sentences structure. – Correct the grammar mistakes and the sentences structure in the attached world file. – Relate and make the work relevant to translation errors in Sign boards on top of Shops. – Add 2 – 3 lines for each Headline. – include citations and references
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Language is one of the major methods that is used to communicate information among
individuals. It is a system of words that individuals use in search of a manner that allows
them to share information and ideas with others in order to get what they need.
However, it becomes hard for individuals from other countries to be able to
communicate with the inhabitants of the country more especially if both parts are not
conversant with the international language. This has then led to the development of
translations in the countries.
Definition of translation:
“Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means
of an equivalent language text.
The English language draws a terminological distinction (not all languages do)
between translating (a written text) and interpreting (oral or sign-language
communication between users of different languages); under this distinction, translation
can begin only after the appearance of writing within a language community.” The
(Oxford Companion to the English Language, Namit Bhatia, ed., 1992)
Importance of translation:
Translation is the process of changing the language that is written or spoken in
to another language. Translation, in a loose sense, may also be defined as a word
or phrase or text in another language that has a meaning equivalent to that of the
It is said that there are as many translations as there are languages in the world
which reminds us of the need and importance of the art of translation. The
importance of translation emerges the reason that it is one of the important
disciplines being very much useful in various spheres of human activities.
Besides, a large number of languages spoken or written all over the world, and,
as such, an individual would not like to be confined to one language or the native
language only, but preferably would be interested to learn different language for
a specific purpose. Moreover, there are times that necessitate sharing beliefs,
values, customs, practices and the social behavior of a particular nation. In such
circumstances, the art of translation becomes the very essence of the instances.
“Translation is one of the various branches of learning and it has become an
important discipline that encompasses separate bod y of knowledge being very
much in use for various human activities, just to name a few are: language,
business, education, law, religion, literature and legal requirements; while many
more may be explored. Translation deals with the matching of words,
grammatical structures and cultural contexts.” (Al-Kharabsheh, A., Al-Azzam,
B., & Obeidat, M. (2008)).
Importance of Translation in Arab World:
Arabic is spoken over 27 countries and it has had considerable influence on other
languages and cultures across the Mediterranean. Many words
in Spanish and Portuguese have an Arabic origin (it is considered that around
20% of Spanish and Portuguese vocabulary). Maltese, Catalan and the Sicilian
dialect have Arabic influences, too, as well as Bosnian. Arabic has also
influenced languages in the Middle East like Persian and Kurdish, Central Asia
(Kazakh) and South East Asia (Malay, Indonesian, Tagalog in the Philippines)
and in Africa (Tigrinya, Somali and Swahili in Eastern Africa, Hausa in Western
Africa. In the Indian subcontinent, Arabic has influenced Bengali, Hindi, Sindhi
and Punjabi. (Nida, E. (1964)).
Arabic spreads over almost 5000 miles (8000 km) from Nuakchott in Mauritania
to Muscat in Oman. This is practically the same distance travelling from Alaska
to Puerto Rico or from Lisbon in Portugal to Omsk in Russia and everybody
speaks in Arabic or an Arabic dialect. However, as with any language that is
spread over thousands of miles, Arabic is open to many varieties which
sometimes are not mutually easily intelligible both written and orally. Only
Classical Arabic is common to all Arabic speakers. If we consider all Arabic
dialects a single language, we can count as many as 420 million speakers
(between native and non-native but using Arab.
History of Translation:
The word translation comes from a Latin term which means to bring or carry
across. Another relevant term comes from the Ancient Greek word of
metaphasis which means to speak across and from this, the term metaphase
was born, which means a word-for-word translation. These terms have been at
the heart of theories relating to translation throughout history and have given
insight into when and where translation have been used throughout the ages.
It is argued that the knowledge and findings of Greek academics was developed
and understood so widely thanks to the translation work of Arabic scholars.
When the Greeks were conquered, their works were taken in by Arabic scholars
who translated them and created their own versions of the scientific,
entertainment and philosophical understandings. These Arabic versions were
later translated into Latin, during the middle Ages, mostly throughout Spain and
the resulting works provided the foundations of Renaissance academics.
Translators have often been hidden characters, unnamed people who have paved
the way for some of the greatest contributions to the dissemination of ideas,
knowledge and theories throughout the ages. In some cases, working as a
translator was incredibly dangerous and some even lost their lives becau se of
their work. This included famous translators such as William Tyndale, who was
executed in Holland in 1536 because he worked on translating the bible into
English. Other famous translators include:
The internet has revolutionized the ability to access, translate and understand
texts and documents from all over the world, whether they be contemporary or
historical pieces. Crucially, the need to understand the culture of the original
country and that of the target audience is further enhanced by modern t ools and
practices. Although some instant translation services are capable only of
metaphase translation (literal word-for-word translation), specialist firms,
platforms and translators are able to translate texts and spoken word into multiple
languages whilst observing the relevance and culture of the target receiver.
Al-Kharabsheh, A., Al-Azzam, B., & Obeidat, M. (2008).
Types of Translation:
The world of translation is a vast and varied one. There are different translation
techniques, diverse theories about translation and eight different translation
1. Technical translation
The term technical translation can be understood in two ways:
In its broadest sense, it is about translating user manuals, instructions leaflets,
internal notes, medical translation, financial reports, minutes of proceedings,
administrative terms in general, and so forth. These documents share the
distinction of being for a specific and limited target audience and usually have a
In its most limited sense, technical translation refers to technical documentation
such as engineering, IT, electronics, mechanics, and industrial texts in
general. Technical translation requires a knowledge of the specialized terminology
used in the sector originating the text. Al-Athwary, A. A. H. (2012).
2. Scientific translation
As a sub-group of technical translation, as its name indicates, scientific translation deals
with documents in the domain of science: articles, theses, papers, congress booklets,
presentations, study reports etc. Al-Athwary, A. A. H. (2012).
3. Financial translation
Financial or economic translation, of course, deals with documentation relating to the
likes of financial, banking, and stock exchange activity. This includes company annual
reports, financial statements, financial contracts, financing packages, and so forth. AlAthwary, A. A. H. (2012).
4. Legal translation
Legal translation covers a wide range of very different documents. These may include
legal documents such as summons and warrants; administrative texts such as
registration certificates; corporate statutes and remittance drafts, technical documents
such as expert opinions and texts for judicial purposes; and a number of other texts in
addition to reports and minutes of court proceedings. Al-Athwary, A. A. H. (2012).
5. Judicial translation
Judicial translations, not to be confused with legal or certified translation, refers to the
task of translation undertaken in a court setting. Judicial translators specialize in
translating documents such as letters rotatory, minutes of proceedings, judgments,
expert opinions, deposition, minutes of interrogation sessions etc. Al-Athwary, A. A.
6. Juridical translation
Juridical translation refers to legally-binding documentation. For example, this could
be the translation of documents such as laws; regulations and decrees; general sales and
purchase conditions; legally binding contracts such as labor; license and commercial
contracts; partnership agreements, accords; protocols and conventions; internal
regulations; insurance policies; and bail assurance, among others. The juridical
translator must have a solid legal background in addition to their linguistic training. AlAthwary, A. A. H. (2012).
7. Certified translation
A certified translator may use their signature to authenticate official translations. These
are usually documents which require legal validation and are thus referred to as
certified. Certified translators often work in courtrooms as juridical translators, or act
in the capacity of a legal expert, as well as providing translations of civil status
documentation, marital agreements, divorce settlements, deceases, and wills, for
example. Al-Athwary, A. A. H. (2012).
8. Literary translation
This is probably the hardest of all the different kinds of translation, as obviously, the
translator must first try to render the semantic content of the original text (as should be
the case for the translation of any kind of text), and then in addition deal with a number
of other difficulties, such as:
Polysomic word play specific to literary texts, as behind a word or a phrase, there
lie a number of connotations which the writer has tried to transmit or hint at subtly
and which the translator must attempt to render;
The authors own particular literary style; the translator must try to transmit the
unique way in which the writer has couched their ideas;
Rhythm, meter and the innate balance of the phrase; this is particularly important
in poetry but equally present in prose, where the translator must work out the best
way to resolve the delicate task of rendering the music inherent to the text
assonance, alliteration and asyndeton.
Problems of Translation:
Translators usually have to deal with six different problematic areas in their work,
whether they are translating technical documents or a sworn statement. These include:
lexical-semantic problems; grammar; syntax; rhetoric; and pragmatic and cultural
problems. Not to mention administrative issues, computer-related problems and stress:
Lexical-semantic problems can be resolved by consulting dictionaries,
glossaries, terminology banks and experts. These problems include terminology
alternatives, neologisms, semantic gaps, contextual synonyms and antonyms
(these affect polysomic units: synonyms and antonyms are only aimed at an
acceptance which depends on the context to determine which meaning is
correct), semantic contiguity (a consistency procedure which works by
identifying semantic features common to two or more terms) and lexical
Grammatical problems include, for example, questions of temporality,
aspectuality (the appearance indicates how the process is represented or the state
expressed by the verb from the point of view of its development, as opposed to
time itself), pronouns, and whether to make explicit the subject pronoun or not.
Syntactical problems may originate in syntactic parallels, the direction of the
passive voice, the focus (the point of view from which a story is organized), or
even rhetorical figures of speech, such as a hyperbaton (the inversion of the
natural order of speech) or an anaphora (repetition of a word or segment at the
beginning of a line or a phrase).
Rhetorical problems are related to the identification and recreation of figures of
thought (comparison, metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, oxymoron, paradox,
etc.) and diction.
Pragmatic problems: an example of a marketing translation
Pragmatic problems arise with the difference in the formal and informal modes
of address using you, as well as idiomatic phrases, sayings, irony, humor and
sarcasm. These difficulties can also include other challenges; for example, in
the translation of a marketing text from English into French, specifically with
the translation of the personal pronoun you. The translator must decide
whether the formal or the informal you is more appropriate, a decision which
is not always clear.
Translation of Signboards from Arabic to English:
Arabic shop signs have several characteristics that make them translationally
motivating and pedagogically appealing. First, they represent authentic material rather
than texts prepared for the purposes of translating. This is organically related to the
view that language use is a cultural act.
Second, Arabic shop signs not only represent authentic materials, but also commonly
encountered ones by anyone living in or visiting an Arab country or simultaneously
both. Thus the ability to read and understand these signs has considerable practical
value. Baker, M. (1992)
Third, each shop sign, however brief, represents a whole text in itself in consideration
of its social and cultural contexts, not undervaluing the importance of non-linguistic
elements such as pictures which have their own bearing on meaning.
Finally, the shop sign material in question also has the advantage of being so varied that, in
theory, it could be possible to compile a monolingual or even bilingual corpus that can
stimulate many empirical translation studies down this path of thinking. Baker, M. (1992)
1- ????? ????????? ? ?????????
markaz Al- Muhtarifun Liltasweer wal-Muntaj (The Professional Shoot Studio
2- ?????????? ?????? ??????????
Al- Mukhtabarat Al- Tebbya Al-Takhasusya (Consulting Medical LABs
3- ?????? ????????? ????????
Bashair Lil Itsialat Al- Dowaliya (Bashair International Calling Phone)
One of the most significant problems in translation process is the plurality of meanings
of the words. Knowledge of the differences between denotative and connotative
meanings of each word, will help the translators to find out how to translate the texts
correctly. All languages have their own compositions and specificities, to be translators
are able to translate the texts without errors, they must have knowledge of the
differences in specificity of each language. Finally, a competent translator is not only
bilingual, but bicultural. (As-sayyad, S., M., (1995)).
Condition Ethics of Translation:
Translators also experience ethical dilemmas that are more related to their personal
views. For instance, would a translator translate the instructions for an automatic rifle
if he knows the target readers are teenagers in Sudan? Would he translate a pamphlet
containing neo-Nazi ideology? What about if he is pro-choice, would he interpret for a
pro-life group? To translate or not to translate, that is the question. There are several
opinions regarding this issue depending on whom you ask. Some professionals think
that it is essential to separate your personal convictions from your professional life, but
to what extent is this possible? One of the requirements to achieve a good translation is
to be faithful and accurate to the source text and this means there is no place for
subjectivity. (Baydan, E. B., 2008).
This begs the question whether a translator is able to provide a quality product if it
involves betraying himself or herself? As I mentioned before, it probably will depend
on the individual translator. It will also depend to some extent on the individuals
personal circumstances. For example, a junior translator is less likely to be picky about
what he is asked to translate, especially if this is his only source of income. To some
degree this situation resembles the concept of a fair juror at a trial. Like jurors,
translators and interpreters at times must make difficult ethical choices. In most cases,
these choices positively affect their professionalism as they ensure dedication to a
quality product. Hiring a translator through an agency will likely guarantee some
security when it comes to ensuring your project is completed however, if there are
any concerns this should be talked through with a project manager before the launch of
the project. (Baydan, E. B., 2008).
It was evident from all the collected material that failures in translations committed by
non-Arabs are due to many reasons: lack of knowledge of appropriate English words,
failure to achieve the English equivalence of cultural and religious Arabic terms,
unfamiliarity with some English terms and names, unfamiliarity with proper sentence
structures, and not distinguishing single from plural words. This assignment indicated
a deeper issue of translation for the general Arab natives as many students made
mistakes similar to the earlier observed errors on signs such as mixing singular/plural
nouns, verbs and nouns mix-ups, inappropriate use of words, using Arabicized words,
and making many spelling mistakes. The errors made in the word choice part of the
quiz reflected some cultural and religious influences including the first language
interference on Arab native’s tendency of picking inappropriate English vocabulary in
1. Abdel-Fattah, H., & Zughoul, M. (2003). Translational collocational strategies
of Arab learners English. Babel, 49(1), 57-77.
Newmark, P. (1981). Approaches to translation. Oxford: Oxford University
3. Nida, E. (1964). Toward a science of translating. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
4. Al-Athwary, A. A. H. (2012). Exploring the Structure and Functions of Sanaas
Linguistic Landscape. Journal of Social Studies, 34, 9- 45
5. Al-Kharabsheh, A., Al-Azzam, B., & Obeidat, M. (2008). Lost in Translation:
shop signs in Jordan. Meta: Translators’ Journal, 53 (3), 717-727.
12. As-sayyad, S., M., (1995). “The problem of English Translation Equivalence of
the fair names of Allah in the Glorious Quran”: A Contextual Study.” MA
thesis, Faculty of Education, Ain Shams University.
13. Baydan, E. B. (2008). Visibility of Translation through Conflicting Ideologies:
The Islamic Retranslations of 100 Essential Readings. Diss. Bogaziçi U.
14. The Oxford Companion to the English Language, Namit Bhatia, ed., 1992, pp.
15. Baker, M. (1992): In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation, London and
New York, Routledge
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