Arab World English Journal
AWEJ VVolume. 3 Number. 1 March 2012                                                                                     pp.42- 49

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Translation and the Characteristics of Literary Text

Abdul Wahid Mohammed Muslat, PhD
Translation and World Literature,
Iraqi writer’s Union
Baghdad, Iraq

The present paper discusses the universal characteristics of a literary text and how important it is for a translator to be well-aware of. Otherwise, he will not get access to a good translation without such knowledge. Thus the paper discusses the characteristics first and the process of translating a literary text, next. In the first part, five characteristics are almost briefly discussed, vis; the special language, the expressive function, the suggestive power, the form and the timelessness as well as the placelessness. By the special language is meant the literary one whether it is prose or verse. Being as such it has an expressive function mostly related to aesthetic scope. Added is the suggestive power which inspires readers with imaginary images. Besides the form plays a distinctive role in communication with others, for aesthetic, the difference between prose and verse. Lastly a treatment of time less ness as well as placelessness is made. In the second part, the paper highlights the process of translating necessary for this type of text. Some examples are given to show how the meaning of certain dictions may change with. Those examples are taken from Hamlet and Chaucer

Keywords: Dream-like state, expressive function, suggestive power, aesthetic elements, intra-lingual, translation.


Emeritus Professor Abdul Wahid Mohammed Muslat (Ph.D ) has served in the University of Baghdad , at the College of Languages and other College for forty one years . He was an ex Head of the Dept. of English of the College of Languages during the years 2004 – 2007 , then an ex-Dean of the same college during the years 2007 – 2009 . His specialty is Linguistics and Translation.

He is the author and the translator of more than 25 books. Presently he is the head of the Translation and World Literature at the Iraqi writer’s Union