Landscape in Literary Translation: A Comparative Study

AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 4, Number3. August  2020                                   Pp. 17-33
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol4no3.2

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            Landscape in Literary Translation: A Comparative Study 

Raja Lahiani
 Department of Languages and Literatures
College of Humanities and Social Science, UAE University
UAE

 

Abstract:
Translating concepts of setting can be challenging when their cultural, historical, and geographic contexts are remote from the translator’s experience. Landscape is an essential factor that reveals a great deal of the culture of pre-Islamic Arabia, which is distant in place, historical framework, and literary tradition from its translators. This article examines the importance of a translator’s awareness of the communicative function of source text references to landscape to adopt appropriate translation strategies. The article presents a case study of a verse line alongside a corpus of nineteen English and French translations. The source text, the Mu‘allaqa of Imru’ al-Qays, names three mountains in Arabia, and space and distance are core themes in the verse line. Comparison is both synchronic and diachronic: at the same time that every translation is compared to the source text, it is also compared to other translations. Prose translations are also examined separately from verse translations, with cross-references in both directions. The translators who adopted source-text-oriented strategies missed communicative clues regarding the setting. However, those who endorsed target-text oriented strategies produced effective and adequate translation.
KeyWords: Imru’ al-Qays, landscape, literary translation, Mu‘allaqat, pre-Islamic poetry, poetry translation, spatial setting, storm scene, translation quality assessment

Cite as:  Lahiani, R. (2020). Landscape in Literary Translation: A Comparative Study. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 4 (3) 17-33.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol4no3.2

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