A Master of Arts Thesis in Translation by Sumaya Adam Eisa Entitled, "Discourse Analysis of Argumentation from an English/Arabic Translation Perspective," June 2008. Available are both Hard and Soft Copies of the Thesis.
This thesis explores whether Arab translators translate argumentative discourse adequately. The study examines the degree of awareness among translators of the genre conventions embedded in the argumentative English source texts. As a persuasive genre, counter-argumentation contains certain conventions used by the media to persuade an ever more sophisticated readership. Untrained practitioners are probably unaware of the determinant semiotics. As a result, most translated editorials and opinion columns often tend to lose their persuasive vigour. For its framework for analysis, the study draws on rhetoric genre studies, critical discourse analysis and discussions of the translation of editorials/opinion columns from some serious western press publications, namely the Economist, Financial Times, Project Syndicate website and other sites, together with their translations in Majalat Al Majala, Al Khaleej newspaper, and Project Syndicate translations respectively . The study reveals that Arab translators often literally replace or transfer the equivalent meaning of argumentative texts from the English into Arabic. They seem to concentrate mostly on aesthetic, rhetorical , semantic and eloquent aspects of the target language writing rather than the underlying notions of argumentation of the source language. These textual and intertextual practices are closely related to the other existing practices in mass media. The study thus, aims to uncover gaps in the translation of argumentation genre. In doing so, it seeks to add to the contrastive linguistic research that is moving beyond the text and into the context of the production and publication industry. Therefore, the study calls for specialized media translation to revolutionize , not only the translation of persuasive genres but writing tradition as a whole. Arab commentators, translators, writers, and publishers therefore need to be genre aware for their messages to get through.