Volume 57, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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Modals are a source of difficulty in translation due to the subtle and complex nature of the meanings they convey, as well as the diversity of formal means by which modal meaning is coded from one language to another. The present study sheds light on difficulties associated with the translation of modal expressions by exploring errors in the translations of a group of native Arabic-speaking translator trainees, and identifies difficulties they experienced in transferring modal meaning from an English source text (ST) to an Arabic target text (TT). Shortcomings in the skills and training of the participants are discussed in the light of these findings, and suggestions are given as to how these may be remedied.<p>The results of the study show that while the students generally exhibit a sound knowledge of the dictionary meanings of the modal expressions in the ST, the precise sense of a given modal was often misconstrued and in many cases the modal meaning was missing entirely from the translations. These problems suggest that the participants tended to process the meanings of the ST at the word and sentence level while neglecting broader macro-level meanings conveyed in the text (e.g. cohesion, text type, relationship between author and audience).<p>The study reveals that in addition to the need for students to develop greater awareness of the nature of modality and its expression in both English and Arabic, greater emphasis is needed in the training of the students on the improvement of topdown text processing skills.<p>


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