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Translating Arabic Discourse of Commitment into English: Ideology in Political Speeches

Qaddoumi, Rizq Fareed
A Master of Arts Thesis in Translation and Interpreting (English / Arabic / English) by Rizq Fareed Qaddoumi Entitled, "Translating Arabic Discourse of Commitment into English: Ideology in Political Speeches," December 2008. Available are both Hard and Soft Copies of the Thesis.
In this thesis, the issue of ideology in translating what may be called 'the discourse of commitment' in political speeches is discussed and analyzed. It is generally assumed that, especially in dealing with sacred and sensitive texts, people usually adhere to the letter and spirit of the source text in order to preserve the subtle nuances of the text message. Regrettably, this is not always the case, and ideology seems to be always involved to serve a range of purposes often extraneous to the original's intentionality. In this thesis, this 'fidelity vs. intervention' assumption is examined carefully. To pursue this aim, a sample of texts has been drawn from the collection of speeches delivered during the 2006 war by Hezbullah's leader Hassan Nasrullah, together with translations in whole or in part taken from different Western media sources, including MEMRI (a monitoring website), The Guardian, Haaretz and The Washington Post. The English translations of Nasrullah's texts will be analyzed to determine the degree of translator involvement on ideological grounds. It is concluded that, although literal translation is the predominant strategy, there are significant departures from source text intentionality, with Western media translations of Nasrullah's speeches constantly veering towards conforming to the requirements of a Western ideology and mindset.
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