Communication Across Cultures
Translation Theory and Contrastive Text Linguistics
By Basil Hatim
Subjects: Linguistics and Lexicography
While the literature on either contrastive linguistics or discourse analysis has grown immensely in the last 20 years, very little of it has ventured into fusing the two perspectives. Bearing in mind that doing discourse analysis without a contrastive base is as incomplete as doing contrastive analysis without a discourse base, the specific aim of this book is to argue that translation can add depth and breadth to both contrastive linguistics as well as to discourse analysis. Authentic data from both spoken and written English is used throughout to add clarity to theoretical insights gained from the study of discourse processing.
Each aspect of the model proposed for the analysis of texts is related separately to a problem of language processing and in domains as varied as translation, interpretation, language teaching, etc. The global objectives pursued in this volume are the training of future linguists, and the sensitization of users of language in general to the realities of discourse.
Contrastive linguistic decisions - the need for textual competence; foundation disciplines; the myth of the single register; argumentation across cultures; argumentation in Arabic rhetoric; the paragraph as a unit of structure; background information in expository texts; at the interface between structure and texture - themes and rhemes; cataphora; degree of texture explicitness; emotiveless in texts; translating direct and indirect speech and the dynamics of news reporting; the pragmatics of politeness; cultures in contact; the discourse of the alienated; the translation of irony - a discourse perspective; the other texts liason interpreting.
"This book is a useful addition to the material currently available on Arabic/English contrastive linguistics and translation . . . It is full of interesting insights into the way modern Standard Arabic actually works, and the theoretical proposals and translation problems presented are typically intriguing and challenging, and presented in such a way as to stimulate further thought." (British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (2000), 27(1), 91-111)
"Communication across Cultures is an excellent application of contrastive textology to translation across two distant languages, worlds, cultures, ideologies, environments, and religions. Hatim's exposition is compelling and effective . . . The paperback edition is cheap enough to make this valuable book accessible to the wide number of people who ought to read it. The book will certainly inspire further research, particularly in relation to exploring Arabic approaches to the study of texts." (The Translator, 1999)
" . . . A fine book full of textual ideas and suggestions for further reflections." (IRAL, Vol. XXXVI/2, May 1998) ". . . A challenging book which . . . Will interest linguists, post-structuralists and translators of sophisticated texts in any language." (The Linguist, Vol. 36, No. 4, 1997)
"Introduces translation studies as an integral part of contrastive linguistics and discourse analysis, whose insights will both broaden and deepen research endeavours in these two areas. . . . This thought-provoking book counts as an indispensable reference in the contrastive linguistics rhetoric of English and Arabic from a translational perspective. It may be strongly recommended for advanced seminars on the interface between contrastive linguistics, discourse analysis, and translation studies." (Communication Across Cultures Language, Culture & Curriculum, Vol. 13:2, 2000)
Basil Hatim is Professor in the Department of Arabic Studies at the American University of Sharjah. He has lectured widely in translation theory at universities throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East, and published extensively on the applications of text linguistics to translation theory and practice