Style in Literary Translation: A Practical Perspective

Ali Almanna, Mohammed Farghal


This paper explores a stylistic approach to translating literary texts from Arabic into English and vice versa. It is held that in order to be in a position to render literary texts effectively and accurately, one needs to: (1) analyze and describe varieties of language, (2) identify and discern all important aesthetic aspects of text in order to interpret and appreciate texts properly, (3) activate processes and experiences of reading along with one’s intuitive responses to the text, and (4) activate all aspects of knowledge stored in one’s mind on language, text-typological demands, generic conventions, sociological roles of participants in the real world and in text, cultural environment and so on. Through the analysis of authentic data, it argues that by adopting a comprehensive stylistic approach, translators, as special text readers, can easily derive a better understanding and appreciation of texts, in particular literary texts. The data analysis demonstrates that literary translators, in addition to possessing other types of competences, need to develop first an analytical and evaluating competence that enables them to analyze and appreciate stylistic features, and second transferring/translating competence that enables them to prioritize the competing elements with a minimum loss.



Style, translation, stylistic features, cognitive stylistics, linguistic stylistics, literary stylistics.

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