Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Proceedings of  KUST, Iraq Conference  2022                            Pp. 89-99

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Word Equivalence: An Investigation of Fiction Translation from English to Kurdish
Between 2003 and 2021

Karzan Aziz Mahmood
English Department
Komar University of Science and Technology, Sulaimaniyah, Iraq
Corresponding Author:

Eman Saleem Ahmed
English Department
Komar University of Science and Technology, Sulaimaniyah, Iraq


Recived:2/19/2022                    Accepted: 6/3/2022                      Published: 7/1/2022

The current study investigates word equivalence in selecting twenty works of fiction that have been translated from English into Kurdish by twenty different translators from 2003 to 2021. The year 2003 is historic for the Kurdistan region. The Kurdish language was marginalized under Saddam Hussein’s regime. Since 2003, the Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan have established several institutions and associations ranging from Kurdish book publishing houses, printing houses, and research centres, including tens of independent writers and translators with their intellectual individual and group projects. These developments have ultimately progressed the Kurdish vernacular language. By employing Newmark’s (1988) paradigm of translation procedures, the paper shows how Kurdish translators translate words. Newmark introduced sixteen translation procedures ranging from transference, naturalization, cultural equivalent, functional equivalent couplet and notes. By examining and verifying used facts and examples derived from the selected texts, this research discovers that the process of translating from English to Kurdish faces the barrier of word-level non-equivalence. Therefore, the paper also identifies the techniques of through translation, transference and couplet as most commonly employed in the studied corpus, with functional and cultural equivalence strategies used less frequently in translation by Kurdish fiction translators. Thus, the research examines Kurdish word equivalence barriers and the significance of translation studies.
Keywords: equivalence, fiction, Kurdish, literary translation, Newmark, words, translation English- Kurdish

Cite as:  Mahmood , K. A., & Ahmed, E. A.  (2021). Word Equivalence: An Investigation of Fiction Translation from English to Kurdish Between 2003 and 2021.  Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Proceedings of  KUST, Iraq Conference 2022 (1) 89-99.


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Received: 2/19/2022 
Accepted: 6/3/2022 
Published: 7/1/2022 

Karzan Aziz Mahmood obtained BA in English literature and language from Sulaimani University (2011 – Iraq), MA in English literature from Swansea University (2014 – the UK), and is currently a PhD student of literature and translation from Jaume I University (2019 – Spain). He has been teaching English literature and translation at Komar University of Science and Technology since 2016. Also, he is the director of the Centre of Intensive English Program at Komar University. His research interests include Romantic Sublime, Intertextuality, Appropriation, Literary Theory and Criticism, Marxism, and Postmodern Studies.

 Eman Saleem Ahmed is an Iraqi citizen living in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. She completed her BA in English language and literature from Komar University of Science and Technology in Iraq (2021-2022).  She is currently a legal translator at the Kurdistan Center for International Law.