The Translation of Najdi Advice Proverbs into English: Alsudais’s A Selection of Najdi Arabic Proverbs (1993)
This article analyses the translation of advice proverbs in Muhammad Alsudais’s A Selection of Najdi Arabic Proverbs (1993) to identify, in the first place, the author’s strategies in rendering the various features of these highly stylized forms of Najd’s folk culture and ancestral wisdom. The analysis targets also the selected proverbs’ literary features to determine to which extent they are domesticated or foreignized in the target texts. The results show that two main strategies are followed by the translator to convey the meaning of his ethnographic material: literalness and paraphrase, with the effect of foreignizing most of their meaning. However, though literal translation strategy allows the transfer to the target language most of the images embedded in Najdi proverbs, paraphrase obliterates most of the markers that define their phonic identity. This result points not only to a poetic limitation in the literal and paraphrase uses of translation, but also to an aporia in the foreignization strategy advocated by Antoine Berman and Lawrence Venuti.