An Emic-Etic Perspective to Translating Culture-Specific Expressions and Emotiveness in Ghassan Kanafani’s Novella "All That’s Left to You"

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هيلان, ديما ناصر عبد اللطيف
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An-Najah National University
This study examines the problems manifested in translating culture-specific expressions and emotiveness from Arabic into English in Ghassan Kanafani’s novella All That’s Left to You. In this concern, an Emic-etic approach is adopted as a theoretical framework by which the researcher detects the pitfalls and problems that arise in translating these expressions. This would be achieved through examining the translator’s role as a “cultural insider” in both the Source Language Culture (SLC) and the Target Language Culture (TLC) where the translator is supposed to be an insider first in the source text (ST) to capture the “emics” and any other associations that belong to the provided cultural expression. The same is applied to the emotive expressions and the connections linked to them. After the translator captures the required knowledge of cultural elements in the ST, s/he is supposed to transfer this knowledge to the target text (TT) in a way that is faithful to the ST and is comprehended by the readers of the TT. In addition, the translation is also expected to have the closest effect that the ST expression has on its readers and at the same time stirs up the emotions it does for the ST readers. Therefore, the mission of the researcher is to test the validity of the Emic-etic approach by examining the translation strategies adopted in each selected excerpt and accordingly examining the resulting problems. The results show that there were various cultural losses within the translated culture–specific expressions such as; explicit, implicit, modified and complete losses. Those losses were due to the adoption of a number of translation strategies; literal translation, amplification, adaptation, and omission respectively. Other problems were detected in the translation of emotive expressions that are due to the cultural context they belong to in the ST and the difference of religious, social and political backgrounds they are generated in. No doubts that the adopted translation strategies also led to a number of cultural losses and the emotions linked to these cultural elements. Such problems and cultural losses show that the translator must adopt the role of a cultural insider in both STC and TTC in order to capture the ‘emics’ and thus come up with a fine translation with the least possible cultural losses in the TT.