AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies Volume, 1 Number1, February 2017                                   Pp. 3-17

Al-Muallaqat and their Emotive Meanings

Eyhab Abdulrazak Bader Eddin

English Department, Faculty of Languages and Translation
King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Said M. Shiyab

Director of Graduate Studies
Modern and Classical Language Studies
Kent State University, USA


Abstract PDF

The objective behind this paper is to examine the concept of ’emotiveness in Arberry’s translation of Al-Muallaqat, be it at the phonological, morphological, lexical and sematic levels.  To achieve this end, an in-depth analysis of phrases and sentences will be carried out to see whetherArberry has succeeded in rendering all kinds of emotive meanings expressed in the Al-Muallaqat.   Samples subjected to the analysis will be taken from the Odes of five bards, namely: Imru’ al-Qais, Tarafa, Zuhair, Antara, and Labid.  The reason behind focusing on these odes is that they have cultural overtones that are difficult to capture in translation.  These sentences and phrases will be discussed and analyzed in details, and their emotive meanings at all levels will be compared to those in the ST.  After the analysis is conducted, conclusions will be drawn as to why Arberry has not accounted for the loss of emotive meaning that has led to the distortion of the source text (ST).  This paper concludes with useful tips to overcome the mismatch inherent in emotive meaning-related problems.

Cite as:

Shiyab, M. S. Bader Eddin, E.A. (2017). Al-Muallaqat and their Emotive Meanings. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies, 1(1).


Said M. Shiyab is a Professor of Translation Studies and Graduate Studies Director of the
Department of Modern Language and Classical Language Studies at Kent State University. Prior
to joining Kent State University, Professor Shiyab was teaching at the University of Geneva,
Switzerland, where he taught graduate and undergraduate translation courses. He has also
taught at various institutions including the University of Southern Indiana, University of Evansville, King Saud University, Yarmouk University, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
University. Prof. Shiyab founded the Department of Translation Studies at the UAE University,
and served as its Chair between 2004 and 2012, in addition to serving as Acting Chair of the
French Language Program at the same institution. In 2007, he received the College Best
Performance Award for Excellence in Scholarship, recognizing his excellent scholarship.
Professor Shiyab is a member of various international organizations such as Babel’s editorial
board, a member and fellow in the Chartered Institute of Linguists, London, UK, and a member
of the Higher Council for Translation of the Arab League, among others. He is a Language
Consultant and Translation Test Assessor for Xerox Global Knowledge and Language
Services. His book publications include A Textbook of Translation: Theoretical and Practical
Implication, Globalization and Aspects of Translation, Translation and the Structure of
Argumentation, Flowers in the Desert (translated book), Business Letters across Languages,
and Translation: Concepts and Critical Issues, in addition to a number of articles published in
refereed academic journals.

Eyhab A. Bader Eddin is a lecturer in Translation and Linguistics at King Khalid University,
KSA. His PhD Thesis is titled ‘Semantic Problems in A. J. Arberry’s Translation of the
Suspended Odes (Al-Muallaqat). He has an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of
Reading, UK, and a BA and PGD in English Literature from Damascus University.