Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Importance of Contrastive Studies of Languages to Translators


Whilst it is (rather too) obvious that one typically translates texts, and not languages, any act of translation is part of contrastive linguistics. Translation theory is enriched by contrastive linguistics, which is a dynamic Jjdiscipline, continuously having to deal with the changing language and changing use of language. (Anderman and Margret, 1996, p.58) "Contrastive Analysis has had much to offer to translation theory, the description of a particular language, language typology and the study of language universals." (James C.. 1980. p. iv)

"Texts can be seen as the result of motivated choice: producers of the texts have their own communicative aims and select lexical items and grammatical arrangement to serve those aims. Naturally, in translating, there are potentially two sets of motivations: those of the producer of the source text and those of the translator."(Hatim B., 1993, p.4)

A translator should be aware of the. differences and similarities between Arabic and English as they are derived from two different language families. Arabic belongs to the Semitic languages, while English is an Indo-Germanic one.

There are many problems that may encounter translators and hinder the process of translation, some of which are lexical, syntactic, stylistic, cultural, social, and religious arising from the differences between the cultures and societies and even the religions of the two languages. "Translation fails - or untranslatability occurs - when it is impossible functionally relevant features of the situation into the contextual meaning of the TL text. Broadly speaking, the cases where this happens fail into two categories. Those where the difficulty is linguistic, and those where it is cultural." (Catford, 1965, p.94)