Translation of English nonfiction titles into Arabic

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Bazzi, Hiba
Translation; titles; approaches; procedures
Journal Article
The study reported on here used a corpus approach to identify approaches to the translation of English nonfiction titles into Arabic. The quantitative analysis shows that the literal translation approach takes a first seat featuring 76% of the titles in the corpus. The other translation approaches include employment of related words (9%), paraphrase/explication (7%), transliteration alone (7%), and adaptation (1%). The qualitative analysis revealed that title translation can be a critical and challenging task bounded by linguistic and socio-cultural factors, as well as commercial interests and ethical considerations that the translator needs to consider. Accordingly, the researcher explored the adequacy of the Arabic renditions by examining the linguistic accuracy and the preservation of source title functions as well as the totality of meaning, with reference to the target culture. With regard to the translation of nonfiction titles in this study, the literal translation approach effectively produces linguistically intact target titles which, in most cases, are in line with the target culture. Nevertheless, translators may resort to other approaches when literal translation fails to achieve a comparable linguistic, cultural, and commercial effect in the target language.