Translating Colloquial Egyptian Arabic Poetry Into English—Challenges of the Register and Metaphors: A Contrastive Study

Bacem Abdullah Essam, Esra’ a Mustafa

Abstract


This study tackles the challenges of translating poem composed in colloquial Egyptian Arabic (CEA) into English. It applies Halliday’s concept of register on a CEA poem and its translation to determine the different varieties used in the original and how far they are maintained in the translation. It pays a special attention to the use of metaphors and its relation to the register, highlighting the translation challenge of rendering culture-specific and register-specific metaphors into English. It is evident that both the register and the metaphors carry an essential weight of both the semantic and effective meaning, which is lost to a great extent in the translation. The paper applies a case study on at Al- Gakhs panoramic poem “The Call”: a longitudinal section of the recent three years in the Egyptian society and a précis of the events of the Egyptian revolutionary path.
The results reveal that there is a significant correlation between the register and used metaphors. While the register is almost completely lost in the translation; some of the related metaphors are successfully and faithfully rendered into English. This compensates somehow for the lost effective meaning of the register. Notwithstanding, metaphors which are highly related to the registration of colloquial Arabic varieties lose their effective meaning in the translation too. Keeping the tenor and the field is proved not to be enough to communicate the effectiveness and the original semantic meaning.


Keywords


Metaphors; Register; Colloquial poems; Arabic varieties; Al-Gakh

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References


Al-Gakh. (2014). The Call” Web. Retrieved July 12 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXaSVBveJZc

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/5623

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