The Translation of Euphemism in Political Discourse
Althawabeyeh, Mohannad Mohammad
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Euphemism is a word or a stretch of words by which the writer/speaker intends to generate an expression or utterance that if said bluntly would make the receiver feel unpleasant and embarrassed. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how political euphemism is dealt with in translation. It first provides an overview of political euphemism and explores how euphemism is used and how it is translated from English into Arabic. Through discussing and analyzing this noteworthy rhetorical device, this thesis examines the translation of political euphemism both in theoretical and practical terms. This is to help the translator recognize political euphemisms and convey them in a proper manner to the target language community. The thesis reviews some concepts and translation strategies and methods, such as the Gricean maxims, Nida's formal vs. dynamic translation, House's covert vs. overt translation, Newmark's communicative vs. semantic translation, skopos, Baker's pragmatics. The various approaches would help the translator appreciate the actual meaning of euphemistic expressions and render this appropriately in the target language. This thesis adopts a qualitative, descriptive and analytical model through analyzing the translation of eleven political euphemisms collected from different sources, including three speeches delivered by two US presidents and one Secretary of State, together with other online material, newspapers and magazine articles. Finally, translators tend to use literal translation to convey political euphemism, which works well as far as overall purpose is concerned. However, to provide a more explicit rendition of euphemism, translators should avail themselves of a variety of methods and strategies as outlined in this thesis.