The transfer of modal content in translation
The present thesis seeks to examine the grammatico-pragmatic problem of translating modality from English into Arabic (two formally and genetically different languages) and vice versa, with the aim of suggesting tentative ways that would tackle such a problem for the Arab translator who finds himself/herself in a situation where only specific choices of TL modal expressions would make the translation acceptable. Translating is regarded, here, as an overall operation performed on two languages - an operation based on a systematic comparison of two linguistic systems and the functions they each perform at a higher level. It is taken to mean a code-switching operation, which implies that a sequence of symbols from one language is substituted for a sequence of symbols in another. This code-switching always operates as a chain with an intervening time occupied by a segment of interpretation during which the intended content is transferred into the target language by the translator. In this study, use is made of concepts and terminology provided by linguistics and translation theory, both of which deal with language as a communicative activity. The research conducted here deals with translation between Arabic and English, with special focus on modality as a linguistic as well as a cultural strategy of communication. Therefore, modality can be constructed in the TL only through overall translation by interpretation where equivalence becomes the translator's memory rather than his/her dictionary. Here, the overall process of translating the modal content thrives best by freeing itself from surface constraints, i.e. constraints imposed by the surface structure of the source text.