Intentionality in translation : (with a special reference to Arabic/English translation)
This work springs from the subjective need for limiting the translation bias. It has been noticed that a considerable amount of translation is allowed to be published and read mainly due to the importance of its readability in the target language and often overlooking the goal(s) of the source text. This seems to derive from two common presumptions: (1) That a text goal is the result of an irretrievable and indescribable intentionality and (2) That target text readability and the preservation of the source text goal are two incompatible goals of translation. And this is in turn the result of the long lived dichotomy of translation studies into literal and free or text-based and reader oriented approaches. This work attempts to show that both (I) and (2) are misconceptions. Given a reasonable characterisation, intentionality is retrievable from the text itself and revealing of the text goal, the preservation of which does not exclude the readability of the TT and vice versa. Based on pragmatic insights drawn mainly from the Gricean Maxims and Cooperative Principle, Speech Act theory and the Text Linguistic model, this work proceeds to argue the case by analysing three Arabic texts and their twenty-two translations (each text is translated seven to eight times by different translators). These are of three most common types of prose: the expository, the argumentative and the instructive types. The analysis revolves around the identification of the text goal in the SL and its preservation in the TL. During this process a number of models and theories that constitute a controversial view of intentionality are outlined and discussed with a view to breaking the polarity they form and finding a medium path that is apt for charting more plausibly the context, the text and the process of translation. It is hoped that the implications of such work will help improve the quality of translation, provide a more explicit and plausible contribution to the account for the process and to further the effort towards standardising the theory.