Translating Emirati literature: exploring culture-specific items in Mohammed Al Murr’s Dubai Tales

Moza Al Tenaijy, Mohammed Al-Batineh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigates the translation of Emirati culture-specific items (CSIs) into English, a rarely discussed topic in Arabic translation studies. It focuses on a collection of short stories, Dubai Tales, authored by renowned Emirati author Mohammed Al Murr and translated into English by Peter Clark. The short stories vividly portray Emirati daily life, relationships and cultural values, making it an ideal set of data for a case study of translation strategies. With the emergence of the United Arab Emirates as a global multicultural hub, the demand for effective translations of Emirati literature, including CSIs, is growing. Translating effectively will not only ensure linguistic accessibility but also facilitate better worldwide communication of the unique cultural nuances woven into Emirati narratives. The study conducts quantitative and qualitative analyses of Clark’s English translation by drawing on Newmark’s (1988) cultural categories and Davies’s (2003) framework for translation strategies. The analysis revealed that Clark used globalisation, a domestication strategy, to translate most CSIs into English as well as preservation, a foreignisation strategy, to infuse exotic texture. This strategy reflected a careful balancing act aimed at reaching a wide audience while maintaining cultural elements. This study thus offers invaluable insights highlighting the dynamic relationship between culture and language in literary translations, with a special focus on the Emirati context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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