The translation of different types of technico-scientific compounds from English into Arabic
This study is an evaluative approach to investigate the scope, problems, and intricacies of translating technico-scientific compounds. The study incorporates a qualitative-quantitative approach in which a descriptive-empirical analysis is endorsed by quantitation. The study, which is the first of its kind, focuses on seven different types of compounds namely, endocentric compounds, compounds containing exocentric determinant unit, verbal compounds, compounds containing lexicalised bound morphemes, metaphoric compounds, rhyming compounds, and phrasal compounds. To capture the reality of translating these types, identify possible relevant difficulties, and provide an authentic data corpus for this study, the researcher devised a questionnaire test that included a set of compounds to be translated into Arabic. This test included forty six diversified English scientific compounds taken from four scientific fields that have been arabicized by JAAL (Jordan Academy of Arabic Language) and AALC (Academy of Arabic Language/ Cairo). These fields include Computer Science (CS), General Electricity T.V. and Radio (GETR), Civil and Architectural Engineering (CAG), and Air-conditioning, Cooling and Sanitary Ware (ACS). The population of the study includes postgraduate translation students in Jordan and the U.K., totalling 58 respondents on the M.A. translation programmes at The University of Salford, UMIST University, The University of Durham, and Yarmouk University (Jordan). The results of the data analysis indicated that the translation of the different types of compounds posed real difficulties and true challenges to translators as it is evident in the statistics which reveal that the overall difficulty for endocentric compound accounted for 85.67%, compounds containing exocentric determinant units 84.81%, verbal compounds 80.63%, compounds containing lexicalised bound morphemes 74.46%, metaphoric compounds 71.17%, rhyming compounds 88.26%, and phrasal compounds 89.64%, with a total overall difficulty of 82.09%. Hence, the respondents encountered four main areas of difficulties: conceptual (semantic), lexical, textual, and stylistic. The study exposed eleven strategies the respondents resorted to in order to overcome the translation difficulties. These cover caique translation, literal translation, idiomatic translation, omission, contraction, transposition, transliteration, expansion, explanation, Naht, and blank. In terms of type of equivalence, the respondents mainly employed four types, namely, formal, functional, ideational, and textual. The data analysis showed that formal equivalence was the most frequently utilized one by the student translators. Furthermore, literal translation, the respondents' poor linguistic competence, the respondents' poor contrastive translation competence, the varying degrees of opaqueness and specialization of compounds, lack of sufficient experience and practice in technical translation are factors found to have given rise to a wide spectrum of misinterpretations and mistranslations. Finally, the study is concluded by suggesting a compound-disambiguation scheme comprised of sequential, discrete, interdependent, and complementary processes; drawing some helpful guidelines for the translation of compounds from the point of view of Arabic and that of English; and drawing some recommendations and suggestions for future research.