The Reading of Post-Colonial Otherness in J. Wright’s Translation of A. Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad

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Mohammad Asad, Tareq
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An Najah National University
This study investigates the cultural and socio-political impact of translation strategies employed in Jonathan Wright’s translation of Ahmad Saadawi’s novel Frankenstein in Baghdad in light of the post-colonial translation theory. It explores how these strategies are used to translate the ST and how the final translation was influenced by the TT cultural background. The purpose of this study is to highlight the role of this translation in the creation of otherness in the ST. The significance of this study is that it shows how translation functions as a socio-political tool of manipulation that underscores or stresses the image of racial otherness in the TT. This study, hence, points out how the final product of translation can reinforce stereotypical cultures in the target text. The study uses Jean-Paul Vinay and Jean Darbelnet’s (1995) model to classify and analyze the collected data based on the procedures which the translator opts for to render the source text from Arabic to English. This model contains thirteen procedures, all of which are used to translate the source text. The study also uses Venuti’s strategies, namely, foreignization and domestication, to achieve a coherent and fruitful understanding of Wright’s translation via the employment of a post-colonial theoretical framework. In doing so, the researcher classifies the procedures under the aforementioned strategies and analyzes the impact of each strategy on the target reader’s reception of the source text and the source culture. Following a thorough analysis of all the collected examples, the study concludes that the translator, Jonathan Wright, tends to use domestication as a strategy to translate the source text, which results in a fluent and natural narrative that mostly corresponds to the original culture in the target language. In respect to foreignization strategy, the study shows that the translator uses the procedure of literal translation when it is only readable to the target reader. In addition to literal translation, the translator employs borrowing and calque as other foreignization procedures, albeit in fewer instances. The findings of the study demonstrate that the hegemony of the target language and culture is emphasized in the final product of translation. Thus, the target culture becomes a superior force and form of expression that dominates the essence of the translation. The source culture of Saadawi’s text is pushed to the margins of social and political representation. This, indeed, creates a fixed imagination of otherness within the process of translation as a remnant waiting to be defined and domesticated.
foreignization , calque , socio-political