1st Edition

The Arabic-English Translator as Photographer
A Linguistic Account

ISBN 9781138068285
Published December 13, 2018 by Routledge
158 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

By choosing to use different linguistic approaches as a theoretical basis of their study of translation as a process of picture-taking, The Arabic-English Translator as Photographer: A Linguistic Account offers readers an original view of the translator’s work.

In addition to laying emphasis on the importance of giving full consideration to the mental image(s) conjured up in the mind of the translators, the book provides an accessible introduction to structural semiotics, interpretive semiotics, functional grammar, semantics and cognitive linguistics for students and researchers who are new to the field. The book can be used as a basis for (post)graduate students, especially students of MA and PhD in Translation Studies as well as students in modern languages schools.

The book focuses on a specific pair of languages, English and Arabic, and presents the relationships generated by texts’ translation, including adverts and other types of texts, between these two languages.

Table of Contents



Note on Transliteration

List of abbreviations

Chapter 1: Setting the scene: introductory matters

Who is the book for?

Why is it different?

Structure of the book

Hypotheses & research questions

Significance of the book

Theoretical background

Key technical terms

Warming up exercises

Further reading

Chapter 2: Signs & syntagmatic and paradigmatic axes


Signified versus signifier

Syntagms and paradigms

Commutation test

Key technical terms


Further reading

Chapter 3: Sign's functions & intertextuality

Peirce’s interpretive semiotics

Iconic function

Indexical function

Symbolic function


Key technical terms


Further reading

Chapter 4: Transitivity system


Material processes

Mental processes

Verbal processes

Behavioural processes

Relational processes

Existential Processes


Key technical terms


Further reading

Chapter 5: Semantic roles and energy transfer

Arguments & types of semantic roles

Verb-specific semantic roles

Grammatical relations and semantic roles

Energy transfer & mental contact

Key technical terms


Further reading


Chapter 6: Imaging systems I: The configurational system


State of boundedness

State of dividedness

Degree of extension

Pattern of distribution


Scene partitioning

Key technical terms


Further reading

Chapter 7: Imaging systems II: attention, perspective & force dynamics

Distribution of attention

Force dynamics

Deployment of perspective





Key technical terms


Further reading



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Ali Almanna has a PhD in Translation Studies from Durham University (UK) and MA in Linguistics and Translation from Westminster University (UK). Currently, he is the head of English department, Al-Zahra College for Women where he teaches Linguistics and Translation. His recent publications include The Routledge Course in Translation Annotation, Semantics for Translation Students and The Nuts and Bolts of Arabic-English Translation.

Khaled Al-Shehari is Assistant Professor at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. He holds an MSc (1998) and a PhD (2001) in Translation Studies from the University of Manchester, UK. He has published articles in The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, Translation Studies in the New Millennium, and edited collections.


"It is a useful book with clear definitions, practical examples, and insightful summary questions. It will be most welcome for those willing to ground their intuitions on translation on more solid linguistic foundations."

Qing Cao, Durham University, UK

"A masterful book that offers a rich, profound and distinctive study on translation. Invaluable and very practical for students, instructors and researchers who regularly deal with the translation of various kinds of texts between Arabic and English. Through relating linguistics to translation, the authors are shedding light on the multidimensional and interdisciplinary aspect of translation and on the fundamental dynamics that underlie the constant evolution of translation studies."

Andree Affeich, Lebanese American University, Lebanon

"The approach employed in The Arabic-English Translator as Photographer is novel and the application of the adopted theoretical concepts to explain the process of translation, as opposed to the traditional text-linguistic, discourse analysis or stylistic concepts, is challenging. The examples and explanations are quite appropriate and make life easier for the reader, be they learners, instructors or translators."

Raymond Chakhachiro, Western Sydney University, Australia

"The Arabic-English Translator as Photographer is ground breaking and presents innovation in the field of translation as it introduces a detailed description of the processes involved in creating the mental image translators conjure in their minds in the process of translating. The book serves as a thorough yet accessible introduction to structural and interpretive semiotics, functional and cognitive grammar, semantics and cognitive linguistics. Hence, it is a great resource for both students and researchers new to the field and scholars from neighbouring disciplines."

Ruba Khamam, University of Leeds, UK