Publication details [#5485]

Ghazala, Hasan. 2003. Idiomaticity between evasion and invasion in translation: stylistic, aesthetic and connotative considerations. Babel 49 (3) : 203–228.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Journal DOI


One of the most complicated issues in translation is idioms. Although there are thousands of them and they occur in all types of texts and contexts, their translation from English into Arabic has only received cursory attention. This paper is an attempt to fill the gap to some extent in the translation of idioms (English-Arabic). It studies the main problems of translating idiomaticity and the extent to which it is retained or distorted and why. Two major translation procedures, evasion and invasion, are suggested. They are alleged to be a framework through which translators can translate idiomaticity, in their desperate endeavour to transfer it into the TL to achieve the maximum possible degree of equivalent sense, aestheticity, connotations and effects. Therefore, two main evasion procedures are suggested: (1) dissuasion from idiomaticity (due to (i) the translator’s incompetence, (ii) zero language equivalence, or (iii) avoidance of taboos); and (2) preference of insensible sense. Also, three invasion procedures are proposed: (1) equivalent idiomaticity; (2) enforced idiomaticity; and (3) abortive idiomaticity. It is claimed that the latter group of procedures, especially (2) is creative and does justice to both texts, the SL and the TL in translation. The article concludes with a summary of translation procedures of idiomaticity, and criteria for tracing its equivalence in the TL.
Source : Abstract in journal