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An analysis of the role of micro and macro levels in rendering some standard Arabic proverbs into English

Othman, Othman Ahmed Omran (2013) An analysis of the role of micro and macro levels in rendering some standard Arabic proverbs into English. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This thesis was inspired by my MA Dissertation back in (2007). This dissertation dealt with 'situationality'. After a couple of years, there was a need to explore other aspects of translation. This study investigates the role of micro and macro levels in the translation of a sample of Modern Standard Arabic proverbs into English. These proverbs may not be understood if a translation focuses on the micro level, i.e. the surface features of the proverbs such as semantics, syntax and style, without taking into account the macro level, i.e. the socio-cultural context for the proverbs. Therefore, the solution suggested in this study is to translate their micro levels as well as their macro surroundings in order to convey their meaning to speakers of English. This study had two main aims: to assess students’ ability to translate the selected proverbs and to convey the meanings of these proverbs to native English speakers. To achieve these aims, twenty Modern Standard Arabic proverbs were selected on the grounds that they deal with various subjects and are widely used in Arab culture. A randomly chosen sample of fourth-year students from the Department of English at Benghazi University were asked to translate these proverbs into English and their translations were then analysed at micro and macro levels. At the micro level, three main types of errors were identified: semantic, syntactic and stylistic. The study found that most of the students in the sample faced difficulties when asked to translate proverbs from their mother tongue into English. The use of error analysis provided possible solutions and suggestions for assessing the students’ requirements and needs in a particular training situation in terms of the real text being translated. During this analysis, deficiencies in translation skills were identified and evaluated, and appropriate translations by native English speakers were provided to show alternative translations of these proverbs. At the macro level, a number of problems relating to student translations of the context of the proverbs were identified. The study recommends that translation of this feature is necessary in order to convey their meaning to English native speakers. The study shows that when the situation and context for a proverb are not provided, it becomes meaningless and difficult to comprehend.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-437-6
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.589246
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2013 10:53
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4873

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