The problematics of technical translation into Arabic : the case of the Royal Air Force of Oman
This thesis examines the scope and intricacies of technical translation in Oman, in general, and its Royal Air Force (RAFO), in particular. The Study, which is the first of its kind in Oman, focuses on a specific category of Omani translators: technical translators currently working in RAFO with experience ranging from 3 to 10 years. To capture the reality of translation in Oman and to provide a corpus for this study, samples of translations rendered by the subject translators are examined and analysed. To achieve such objectives, six chapters make up the thesis: Chapter 1 sets both the motivations and the assumptions which underly the thesis. Chapter 2 selectively reviews some translation approaches within the sphere of translation studies. Chapter 3 is devoted to the study of technical translation and explores the scope of this type of translation. Chapter 4 examines the development of translation in the Arab world and focuses on the way it spread in the past and its current situation. Chapter 5 specifically takes the translation movement in RAFO as the case study. The chapter starts with a description of translation in Oman and RAFO and then moves to data collection, processing and analysis. Technical texts have been categorized, to our knowledge for the first time in the literature of technical translation, to three main groups according to the degree of their technicality: 1) Local Technical Texts (LTT), 2) Common Technical Texts (CTT), and 3) Highly Technical Texts (HTT). Chapter 6 concludes the thesis and provides some recommendations as well as suggestions for further research. The results of data analysis indicate that although technical translation plays a vital role in the development of the nation, there is still a lack of an overall strategy towards the organization of this profession at various levels. RAFO has endeavoured to introduce a programme that would produce qualified translators capable of dealing with texts of different degrees of technicality. Data analysis shows that the translators face little problems in handling texts from a linguistic point of view. However, the source of their problems is technical terminology for which there are neither specialists translators nor adequate Arabic dictionaries available. The fact that Oman still lacks a body and special dictionaries devoted to technico-scientific terms places obstacles for translating. It further hinders the standardization of terminology and causes confusion for translators as to which terms they may choose. It follows, therefore, that these and other results can be interpreted as reflecting support for the establishment of a body that would supervise and organize all translation activities in Oman such as a language academy. There is also a need for a nation-wide policy towards arabicisation, translation and dissemination of scientific and technical terms. A pan-Arab policy remains an ultimate goal.