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The Applicability of Systemic Functional Linguistics to English-to-Arabic Translation of Fiction: Assessment and Training Purposes, with Particular Reference to Seven Renditions of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea

Althumali, Sami Jameel M. (2016) The Applicability of Systemic Functional Linguistics to English-to-Arabic Translation of Fiction: Assessment and Training Purposes, with Particular Reference to Seven Renditions of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) has garnered increasing interest and research attention and become particularly significant in many studies of translation. The present study is located within the framework of descriptive and applied Translation Studies. The thesis reports a study investigating the applicability of SFL to translating English prose fiction into Arabic. What makes this study so important is that it addresses several interrelated issues serving two vital purposes in Translation Studies: assessing translations and training translators. The two purposes are kept in balance in a well-constructed, three-phase research model, establishing the joint effect of testing the viability of SFL in English-to-Arabic translation of fiction. In the area of assessment, two SFL-based models are applied and developed. Firstly, Kim's metafunction shift analysis is applied to a 48-clause sample from seven Arabic translations of Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. The results of this rigorous metafunctional match analysis show that Process and Circumstance top the 10-catgory list of optional shifts. The seven translations are ordered based on this matching analysis. Using the same sample, another in-depth study is carried out on three translations (those having the highest, the lowest and medial number of metafunction shifts) to examine the validity of a newly created multi-level schema of optional explicitation located beyond the scope of metafunction shift analysis model. The results demonstrate that the order of the three translations is maintained. This schema suffices to adequately describe the lexicogrammatical nature of the explicitatives (at the micro-level) and to show how this can facilitate identifying their effect on the texture of the target text (at the macro-level). Secondly, in implementing House's well-established model for translation quality assessment, three interdependent developmental processes are introduced to facilitate its application, develop its tools and gauge its efficiency. A source text Profile Template, a Match Tracer and a statistical comparative table (which can together be potentially exploited in other genres or adapted for other language pairs) are applied to the same three translations using a longer excerpt. The results show that the order of the three translations remains the same. In summary, the results of the three studies lend further support to the general premise that the SFL framework can be applied reliably in assessing Arabic translations of English fiction. The applicability of SFL is also tested empirically in the area of training. A three-month training experiment involving a sample of two groups (control and experimental) of final-year Arab university students majoring in English (40 participants each) is designed and carried out to compare the progress of performance between the two groups with and without the presence of an SFL-based translator training course. The data are gathered through initial and final exams involving assessing short Arabic translated extracts of English fiction and translating a longer extract into Arabic. The results indicate that the four sub-competences constituting the scoring rubric of the control group show an increase/decrease of 10%, -0.75%, 0.0% and 9.5% respectively, whereas in the experimental group they show a massive increase of 47.5%, 21.25%, 34.5% and 49.5% respectively. Likewise, the total rate of performance of the control group in the final exam increases slightly by 7.1%, while in the experimental group it increases greatly by 43.1%. Further, the overall percentage change between the total rate of performance of the initial and final exams for the control group is +76.3%, while for the experimental group it is + 218.8%. The pool of data is also used to explore the nature of the relationship between the two skills of assessing short Arabic translated extracts of English fiction and translating English fiction. The results demonstrate that the correlation coefficients of the two elements of relationships regarding the relevant sub-competences of the experimental group increase significantly between the initial and final exams (0.721 and 0.636), while they increase insignificantly in the control group (0.164 and 0.016). These results confirm a strong positive relationship between the two skills if the SFL-based translator training factor is strongly present. The results of this large-scale study yield the conclusion that SFL is highly effective in assessing professional English-to-Arabic translations of fiction and in training prospective translators in an academic institution.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), Social Semiotics, Translation Studies (TS), Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS), Applied Translation Studies (ATS), Translation Quality Assessment (TQA), English-to-Arabic Translation, Translator Training
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > University of Leeds Research Centres and Institutes > Centre for Translation Studies (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mr Sami Jameel M. Althumali
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 11:28
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 13:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13979

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