Remapping and Unifying the English Terms of Translation Methods and their Arabic Equivalents

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Khalifah, Noura Farouq Burhan
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An-Najah National University
This study addresses the problem of terminology in five overlapping dichotomies of translation methods. These translation methods are Semantic versus Communicative, Documentary versus Instrumental, Covert versus Overt, Direct versus Indirect and Literal versus Free. This study investigates the extent to which the meanings of apparently distinct translation methods converge or diverge. It does so through following a conceptual comparative analytical method and a top down methodology, starting from the existing methods, their terms and definitions then analyzing them into their minimal components in order to differentiate between them. After clarifying the differences between the methods, it was clear that they are related to one or more of the following aspects: the author, the reader, the aim of the translation, the function of the translation, the context of the source text (ST) and the translation’s relevance to the audience. However, when it comes to the application of these methods, these aspects are often difficult to apply concretely to make one translation different from another. Moreover, the study examines the Arabic terms of the English methods by investigating their meanings and definitions to characterize their similarities and differences to English equivalents. A questionnaire was distributed to ten translators and translation students to probe the translators’ awareness of the Arabic translation methods. Most of the participants were not able to give correct definitions or even know what the terms meant. Thus at least half of these Arabic terms should be modified with different terms that are more explicating to their contents.