Arabic Literature in the American College Textbook

Dr. Yousif Elhindi
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The popularity of world literature courses at American universities has boosted the number of non-European literature textbooks used at these schools. Many of these, however, are riddled with factual cultural misinformation and linguistic translation flaws. These shortcomings often result from the unfamiliarity with these cultures, bias against non-Western cultures, or the arduousness of translating literary texts.

The purpose of this presentation is twofold. First, it attempts to touch upon some of the linguistic phenomena that make translating literary texts a formidable task. Some of the translation “barriers” addressed include rhetorical structures, cultural contexts, and figurative language. Second, the presentation illustrates these theoretical issues by giving examples from English translations of a variety of Arabic literary texts. Some of the “weaknesses” of the English versions, which will be addressed, include unfamiliarity with the a) Arabic culture, b) thematic structure of Arabic poetry, and c) patterns of Arabic figurative expressions.

Keywords: Translation, Rhetoric, Literature, Linguistics
Stream: Language, Linguistics
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Yousif Elhindi

Associate Professor of Linguistics, Department of English, East Tennessee State University

I was born and raised in Sudan. I taught at Gezira University, Sudan; King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia, Oklahoma State University; and East Tennessee state University, USA. I teach linguistics and world literature courses. My academic interests include discourse analysis, cognitive grammar, and literature and translation.I like to read, travel, and watch sports. I am married with four children, two sons and two daughters. We all live in Johnson City, located in the beautiful region of East Tennessee, USA.

Ref: H06P0242