Volume 6, Issue 3
  • ISSN 2352-1805
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1813
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The Chinese novel (红高粱家族, 2008) was written by the Nobel-winning Chinese writer Mò Yán (莫言). Its Arabic translation (الذرة الرفيعة الحمراء, Hamrā) was published in 2013. By comparing the Chinese source text with the Arabic target text, this paper aims to present an assessment of the Arabic translation based on an awareness of translation theory and, in particular, translation quality assessment or what is widely known as register analysis (House 1997) in order to propose additional solutions for the translation of Chinese literature into Arabic. The paper also surveys the field of translation studies specifically in regard to scholarship concerning translation between Chinese and Arabic, and it attempts to add additional literature for Chinese-Arabic translators or translator trainees. Relying on textual analysis that relates to a wider socio-cultural framework, the paper concludes that the original translation of the novel is not successful, as it lacks an awareness of register characterization which plays an important part in the translation-oriented analysis of literary texts. This results in the misrepresentation of Chinese cultural experience as well as an absence of evaluative meanings at an interpersonal level. For this reason, this study offers alternative translation techniques into Arabic that foreground the author’s style without modifying the cultural elements. This approach will be illustrated through a number of examples representative of many examples translated and assessed by the authors. We suggest that an awareness of register variables results in a more appropriate communication of the Chinese cultural context, and is therefore more likely to be viewed positively by the Arab audience, piquing its curiosity in regard to the cultural specificities found in this foreign culture.


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