Publication details [#353]

Gasmi, Ahmed. 1998. Modifications, expansion et réduction dans la traduction des verbes de parole en français et en arabe [Modifications, expansion and reduction in translating speech verbs in French and Arabic]. Babel 44 (4) : 304–315.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
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Source language
Target language
Journal DOI


This paper attempts to show the syntactic flexibility of French as opposed to the rigidity of Arabic when translating reported speech. It is based on translations from classical and modern Arabic and from a French novel. The main idea developed here is that one often seems obliged to modify reported speech when translating from Arabic by using the rich combinations of the French syntax and the choices offered by its semantic variation; while translating from French reduces the flexibility and the richness of the language to a unique sentence construction using the verb qâla in initial position. In modern Arabic the use of additional verbs tends to convey the full information that is only partially rendered by qâla. The translator seems to transfer the elements of the situation where the verbal interactions occur so as to compensate for loss and for the syntactic and semantic rigidities that are a legacy of the classical language.
Source : Based on abstract in journal