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Volume :12 Issue : 48 1994      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Issue of Terminology in Modern Literary Criticism Methodologies (in Arabic)

Auther : Abdel-Qader Al-Qott

Since modern Arabic criticism started to adopt some of the new western methods, especially the structural and stylistic ones and their subcomponents, Arab critics have been confronted with a long list of foreign terms which they have had either to translate, Arabicise or formulate new words or phrases for.

At times critics succeeded in their attempts, at others they failed or came up with translations that were different from one critic to the other and one Arab country to the other.

This article reviews such attempts and the pitfalls that they include and the discrepancies they show. It also endeavours to lay the foundation for general guidelines to be followed in translating, Arabicising or formulating a new term.

It is noticeable that our critics exaggerate the concept of any term and thus they introduce too many frequent English and French words, and strain themselves trying to come up with an Arabic equivalent.

The proposed Arabic term should not be a word that has long been associated with meanings or connotations which are difficult to get away from in its new usage. Examples of this are the Arabic terms for deviation, code.... etc

Sometimes the English or the French term has more than one meaning and the translator often concentrates, on the first one, and therefore the translation never conveys the terminological meaning of the word (e.g.the term: approach).

Foreign languages have their own rule of derivation, which the Arabic critic must not - unless absolutely necessary - impose on Arabic, nor should he impose syntactic rules of another language which contradict the general rhythm of Arabic.

Some foreign terms are composed of more than one word. In translating such terms, they should be translated in whole, rather than neglect any of their components or be completely left in their original foreign form.

The excessive use of terminology in a critical article makes the critic lose his authentic style and instead offers the reader an artificial style which sometimes reaches a state of complexity that can only be understood by specialists.

The article calls for periodic seminars in which new terminology is discussed and agreed upon. Thus, the general rules of Arabic can be preserved, without too much rigidity, and thus the gap between the critic and the general reader may not be widened.

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