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Translating Dialects and Languages of Minorities

Challenges and Solutions

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Edited By Federico Federici

This book offers a range of analyses of the multiplicity of opinions and ideologies attached to rendering, in familiar or unfamiliar voices, languages known as non-standard varieties. The contributions include theoretical reflections, case studies and comparative studies that draw from the full spectrum of translation strategies adopted in rendering non-standard varieties and reflect the endless possibilities of language variation.
The strength of the volume lies in the wide range of languages discussed, from Arabic to Turkish and from Italian to Catalan, as well as in its variety of complementary and contrastive methodologies. The contributions reveal the importance of exploring further issues in translating local voices. Discussing dialects and marginal voices in translation, the contributors encourage and challenge the reader to reflect on what is standard and non-standard, acceptable and unacceptable, thereby overturning accepted principles and challenging familiar practices.

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ANISSA DAOUDI - 10 Translating e-Arabic: Challenges and issues 187

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ANISSA DAOUDI 10 Translating e-Arabic: Challenges and issues Introduction In 1991 Bassnett observed that: ‘No two languages are ever suf ficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which dif ferent societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with dif ferent labels attached’ (1991: 13). Her argument is further reinforced by quoting Sapir–Whorf (ibid.: 14): ‘no language can exist unless it is steeped in the context of cultures; and no culture can exist which does not have as its center, the structure of natural language’. The natural language includes its spontaneous uses, such as imagery and figurative expressions that represent the cultural aspects of every language. This can be illustrated by examples of two images that mean the same thing, but have a dif ferent cultural background. For example, the Arabic idiomatic expression [to cool/freeze my chest] expresses feelings of happi- ness and satisfaction, as the feeling of coolness is much appreciated in the hot climates that predominate in many of the Arab-speaking countries. The equivalent expression in English is ‘to warm my heart’, in which warmth has positive connotations due to the coldness of the British weather. Thus, idiomatic and figurative conventions dif fer across cultures, and the straight- forward images in one culture are not self-evident in another. In other words, a metaphorical concept in one culture does not necessarily call up the same conventional scenes in another (Daoudi 2007). Similarly ‘apparently straightforward spatial relationships may not correspond...

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