Translating idiomatic expressions in literary prose : the case of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

Ahmed Abdallah Ba Sharahil, Fatma and Tan, Debbita Ai Lin and Naghmeh-Abbaspour, Bita (2022) Translating idiomatic expressions in literary prose : the case of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. e-BANGI: Jurnal Sains Sosial dan Kemanusiaan, 19 (2(SI)). pp. 238-251. ISSN 1823-884x


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Even though idioms constitute an essential part of language and are common in our daily communication, they are seen to possess uncommon linguistic characteristics and high degrees of linguistic and cultural specificities. Due to this, they pose various problems to native and non-native speakers of a language, as well as translators. The present study sought to identify the strategies adopted in translating these expressions found in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird and to examine if there is any loss of meaning post-rendition, referring to Tawfeeq Al-Asady’s Arabic rendition of the prize-winning novel. In meeting the study’s objectives, a sample of 80 idiomatic expressions were analyzed based on Baker’s (2018) taxonomy and Nababan et al.’s (2012) model. A comparative-descriptive approach was applied; first, comparing the SL idiom with its TL counterpart to identify the strategy used and to assess for any loss of meaning, and then calculating the frequency of the strategies adopted. The findings reveal that four primary strategies were employed: paraphrasing, total equivalence, literal translation, and partial equivalence. The kappa value for interrater reliability is highly favorable at .86, denoting almost perfect agreement between the raters who were invited to assess the study’s data for added validity. We are able to conclude that the idiomatic expressions were to a fair extent rendered effectively, with instances of loss of meaning observed. This study and its findings are of relevance to translators, educators, and scholars engaged in language and translation research.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Idiomatic expressions; Translation strategies; Meaning; Harper Lee; To Kill a Mockingbird
Journal:e-Bangi ; Jurnal Sains Sosial dan Kemanusiaan
ID Code:19886
Deposited By: ms aida -
Deposited On:20 Sep 2022 08:08
Last Modified:26 Sep 2022 08:24

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