Article in:Babel: Online-First Articles
On translating Emily Brontë’s style in Wuthering Heights into Arabic
Translating Emily Brontë’s (1818–1848) Wuthering Heights (1847) into Arabic is a complex and multifaceted task. This paper explores the challenges involved in this task by discussing distinctive features of Brontë’s style and their counterparts in Mamdouh Haqqi’s Arabic translation of the novel. Stylistic features under focus include lexis, figurative language, and structure. As for Brontë’s lexis, it intricately knits elements like characters, setting, and themes. To take their readers to the unpredictable world of Wuthering Heights, translators try to find Arabic equivalents suggesting the associations and connotations of the Source Text (ST) style. Among the obstacles translators need to overcome are lexical gaps, as some lexicalized thoughts and experiences in English have no lexicalized equivalents in Arabic. Resorting to paraphrases may result in sacrificing the compactness of the source text (ST) and losing some shades of meaning. Further complications result from dealing with figurative language. Conveying Brontë’s imagery, personifications, and references to abstract notions in terms of material objects requires thoughtful consideration. Furthermore, the structure of Brontë’s language significantly expresses characters’ attitudes and other subtle traits. Less vivacious translations are expected when the function of expressions in the ST eludes translators’ attention. Throughout the discussion, suggestions are made to provide readers of the text in Arabic with better access to the ST. At the same time, the researcher acclaims Haqqi’s translation which reflects a considerable effort to make a landmark of English/world literature accessible to Arab readers.
Keywords: style, Victorian fiction, Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights , Mamdouh Haqqi
Keywords: style, traduction, fiction Victorienne, Emily Brontë, les Hauts de Hurlevent , Mamdouh Haqqi
Published online: 16 July 2021
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