Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Translation No.5 May, 2016                      Pp.21-32

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 Investigating Domestication and Foreignization Strategies in Translating Sinbad of the Arabian Nights 

  Safa Elnaili
Department of Modern Languages and Classics
College of Arts & Sciences
The University of Alabama

Over the centuries translators have faced, and continue to face, linguistic and cultural challenges between different languages and cultures. Such challenges have put forth many translation theories and strategies to minimize these linguistic/cultural differences. The most debated translation strategies are Domestication and Foreignization. Recent studies have argued that in order to achieve equivalence and a successful translation, both strategies should work together. These studies have concluded that Domestication and Foriegnization complement each other. However, no study so far has discussed how both strategies can complement each other in a translated text especially from a linguistic perspective. This research examines the use of these two strategies in four English translations of one of the world`s most famous cultural collections, The Arabian Nights. The study specifically investigates the use of Domestication and Foreignization in the tale of Sinbad and how the translators achieve cultural equivalence through these two methods and to what extent. The study concludes that translating a cultural text successfully is achieved when both strategies are used in parallel. Cultural equivalence is better accomplished when a translator domesticates the form and foreignizes the content in order to have a balanced outcome.
Keywords: domestication, equivalence, foreignization, the Arabian Nights.


Safa Elnaili holds a PhD in Linguistics from the Interdepartmental Linguistics Program in
Louisiana State University. She holds two M.A. degrees, one in Applied Linguistics from the
English Department at Benghazi University and the second in Linguistics from the
Interdepartmental Linguistics Program at Louisiana State University. She was also a member of
the teaching staff in the English Department at University of Benghazi and several Academic