An Analysis of the Arabic-English Translation of Culture-Specific Items in Al Shehhi 'Uncle Sam & Myself'

Mohammed Zagood (1)
(1) Translation Studies, UAE University, Al Ain, UAE & Elmergib University , Libya


People speak different languages across the globe and belong to different cultures, but they still need to communicate. People of discrete cultures think differently and use various concepts and expressions across languages. Such differences appear in literature and are expressed through culture-specific items (CSIs). This study analyzes the CSIs in Al Shehhi’s أنا و العم سام /?na: wa l؟am sa:m/ (2016) and its English translation, ‘Uncle Sam & Myself’ (2017). The book was translated by Renaissance Translation and Businessmen Services. The analysis provides a comparison between the CSIs in the ST (Arabic) and their TT (English) translations. The analysis was theoretically tethered to Newmark’s (1988) classification of CSIs and the translation procedures he postulated. Throughout the analysis, it has been found that some CSIs are inaccurately translated due to the cultural differences between Arabic and English, the use of specific local Emirati expressions in the ST, and the misuse of some translation techniques, as represented in the overuse of invalid literal translations.

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Mohammed Zagood (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Mohammed Zagood, Translation Studies, UAE University, Al Ain, UAE & Elmergib University

Dr Zagood is an Assistant Professor of Contrastive Linguistics and Translation Studies at UAE University. He got his PhD from Durham University, UK, in 2012. He also holds two MAs: one in Translation and Interpreting Studies from the Academy of Graduate Studies, Libya, and one in Applied Linguistics from Northumbria University, UK. Since 2012, Dr Zagood has participated in several international conferences and published some book chapters, articles in various journals, and conference proceedings, in addition to publishing some translated works. Dr Zagood has taught in Libya, Oman, and UAE; and participated in the Fulbright visiting scholar programme in 2013. His research interests include Translation Theory and Methodology, Interpreting Theory and Methodology, Literary Translation, Translation and Interpreting Teaching, and Contrastive Linguistics.

Zagood, M. (2023). An Analysis of the Arabic-English Translation of Culture-Specific Items in Al Shehhi ’Uncle Sam & Myself’. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 23(2), 13–24.

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