Translating the Islamic Religious Expressions in Taha Hussein’s Novel ‘Al Ayaam’ by E. H. Paxton

  •  Ibrahem Bani Abdo    
  •  Banan Manzallawi    


Translating religious expressions from Arabic into English seems problematic where the cultural backgrounds must be known for the translator to choose the appropriate equivalence and to help bridging the cultural gap between two cultures. As a result, this paper investigates to what extent have Venuti’s strategies (domestication and foreignization) been successfully implemented in rendering the religious expressions in Taha Hussein’s The Days (الأيام alʾayām) by E. H. Paxton in the translating process. It also asserts the challenges involved in translating the Islamic religious expressions in this novel. Consequently, this paper has randomly chosen, discussed, and compared 10 Islamic expressions of Hussein’s novel with their English equivalents. In addition, two Arabic raters were consulted. Venuti’s (2004) domestication and foreignization method was used to analyse these examples. The study concludes that the translator uses the two methods in rendering the religious expressions. The foreignization strategy was used more than domestication. Six examples have been foreignized; whereas, four of them were domesticated. The study also reveals that the use of both strategies supplements and supports the translation accuracy. Finally, the different cultural backgrounds, religions, expressions, costumes, traditions have to be the ultimate concerns of the translators in translating the Arabic religious expressions into English language.

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