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Coping with Neologisms in English / Arabic Translation

Hameed, Sinan Gailan
A Master of Arts Thesis in Translation Submitted to the College of Arts and Sciences by Sinan Gailan Hameed Entitled, "Coping with Neologisms in English / Arabic Translation" April 2009. Available are both Hard and Soft Copies of the Thesis.
This thesis explores the strategies Arab translators use when dealing with English new terms (neologisms) that do not readily have apparent equivalents in Arabic. The techniques or strategies, which will be identified in the process of this investigation, may be considered as basic parameters or elements to bear in mind when designing training programs and delivering the actual training of future Arab translators. Neologisms are vital to the development of any language since they are important mechanisms for generating new lexemes that cater for terminological evolution. Neologisms ensure that languages develop in a lively and effective ways in order to cope with the needs of different language communities. This is all part of linguistic creativity manifested by the morphology of a language. Neologisms, thus, form an interesting field of research in translation for the challenges they create in the process of transfer from one language to another. In English/Arabic translation, neologisms and procedures or strategies to render them are sadly neglected. The literature on neology is sparse, and there is not a clear and practical set of strategies for the translator to use when dealing with neologisms. In the present study, two research tools are employed to increase the validity of the conclusions reached and thus enhance the credibility of the findings. The first tool of investigation is the survey study where a set of English neologisms in their contextual occurrences along with a set of term creation strategies determined a priori is presented to a group of professional translators. The subjects (translators) are asked to read the neologisms and to select the strategy that they would most probably choose if they were to translate them into Arabic. To enhance the sample representativity and data credibility a second tool of investigation is included. Journal articles from well known magazines are examined along with their translations. They are selected to cover different areas of interest such as political, economic, scientific, technical, and social areas. The findings are carefully analyzed and the results regarding which strategies are thought to be most appropriate have yielded valuable insights into how, in their translations into Arabic, professional translators actually handle neologisms to best effect. It is concluded that, contrary to common belief, some of the strategies employed to render English neologisms, like Derivation and Metaphor, are used more often than strategies like Arabicization and Omission.
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