Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume.7 Number.3 September, 2016                                      Pp.317-335

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Explicitation Techniques in English-Arabic Translation: A Linguistic Corpus-based Study 

Mohamed Mohamed Mostafa El-Nashar
College of Language and Communication
Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport

This paper investigates explicitation techniques employed while translating from English into Arabic. Though extensive research has been done on explicitation in literary texts, investigating the same phenomenon with regard to translating official, institutional documents was only scant.  As a result, the question that still lingers is whether translators can use explicitation as readily in official documents as they do in literary texts, or they become too wary. For this reason, the researcher has chosen for discussion an official document; namely, the translation of the English-language “Policies and Procedures Manual for Support Staff” (Office of Human Resources, the American University in Cairo, April 2012) (21,937 words) into Arabic.  Invoking  Klaudy & Karoly’s (2003) framework, the researcher has devised an eclectic 10-tool explicitation framework as the research method to be used.  One of the aims of this paper is to give corroborating evidence of explicitation as a required technique used in the different language systems of English and Arabic.  Another goal of this paper is to draw a clearer demarcation line between what the researcher calls ‘positive (i.e. necessary) explicitation’ and ‘negative (i.e. redundant) explicitation. It has been shown that ‘Explicative Paraphrase’ is the most frequently used explicitation shift, followed by ‘Conjunction’ and ‘Reference’. Other shifts came in descending order.  The paper has proved that explicitation does not necessarily lead to longer translations.  It is recommended that future research could apply this proposed framework to translated texts other than official documents, i.e. literary works.
Key words: Conjunction, English-Arabic translation, Explicitation Hypothesis, reference, translation universals

Cite as: El-Nashar, M. M.M. (2016) Explicitation Techniques in English-Arabic Translation: A Linguistic Corpus-based Study.
Arab World English Journal, 7 (3).


Mohamed M. El-Nashar, Vice-dean for Postgraduate Studies, College of Language and
Communication, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT). I
was awarded my Ph.D. in Linguistics and Translation in 2001. My research papers focus on
discourse analysis, media bias, media manipulation, pragmatics and translation. I have done a lot
of freelance translation in various fields.