Translation Assessment of Temporal Succession of Events in Narrative Discourse from Arabic into English

Mehdi Falih Al-Ghazalli


The present paper aims at investigating the lexical and grammatical means by which events in written texts are temporally sequenced in standard Arabic and Standard English. Temporal succession refers to the chronological order of events which is signalled typically by conjunctions, tense, aspect, synonyms, antonyms, time adverbials and prepositions. The researcher built his study on two hypotheses: firstly, both languages tend to use the same lexico-grammatical devices to achieve the succession concerned. Secondly, translating Arabic temporal connectives, found in narrative texts, into English seems to pose rendition difficulties which can be attributed to grammatical and discoursal differences between the two languages. The results of the contrastive analysis conducted by the researcher have proved that the two languages partially employ the same lexico-grammatical connectives to maintain the temporal sequence of actions and events. However, unlike English, Arabic employs some coordinators as time connectives. As for the translation assessment, it has been found out that in Arabic literary texts, time connectives have not been accurately translated. This has been particularly in evidence as far as Arabic coordinators (as time connectives) are concerned.

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