An-Najah Blogs :: An-Najah Blogs :: en-us Wed, 26 Feb 2020 22:03:40 IST Wed, 26 Feb 2020 22:03:40 IST My initial encounter with the deceased professor Hans Vermeer ArticlesProfessor Hans Vermeer My initial encounter with the deceased professor Hans Vermeer My contact with the deceased Hans Vermeer began during the last conference at An-Najah National University which was held in 2009 At that very conference I made an acquaintance with the deceased and if my memory does not deceive me I would dare to say that Professor Vermeer made a short notice of my presence on account that it was our initial meeting or contact with a distinguished figure in Translation Philosophy However Vermeer\s impression of and about me gradually and drastically changed right after I had given my presentation on a topic which obviously appealed to him The title of my topic was \the family resemblance between translation and intercultural communication encounter\ As I was delivering my presentation I noted that the deceased was looking and listening to me with great admiration and enthusiasm at that point I felt then that I was doing just fine and my topic of discussion appealed greatly and profoundly to him Right after I had finished with my presentation Professor Vermeer rushed to the podium where I was standing and shook hand with me and gave me his personal card At that point I had realized that I must have impressed him with my presentation otherwise why should he bother with it I felt so enthusiastic and gratified by his courteous gesture of acknowledgement and recognition As you can see my acquaintance with this fine and highly reputable scholar started last year during the conference on the Role of Translation in Intercultural Dialogue then developed on scholarly basis and as a relation between a mentor and his advisor Now when I look back on what has transpired between us I feel so much indebted to this respectful scholar for his scholarship and intellect On a personally level I had known him to be kind generous in giving his students the advice they need at that same time he was so much interested in his students as much as his students were had been interested in him Humility was one his explicit and most visible feature or characteristic of his personality To do him and my self justice I am not fully acquainted with all his works on translation theory and therefore I shall not forgive myself for that However I shall dedicate my presentation for the up-coming conference on the contribution of his theory \ Skopos\ and its overall impact on translation theories And on count of his intellect and scholarship Vermeer deserves a word of gratitude for his instrumental contribution in this field I assume that most of Professor Vermeers published works are in German language and therefore I would not be embarrassed to say that I have had little exposure to his famous translation theory but it was abundantly clear that Hans Vermeer had been influenced by some scholars whom I have had so much admiration and been influenced by them too Hans Vermeer had been impressed and influenced by the prominent American linguist Noam Chomsky and the German philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein in adopting a universal vision- a vision which is grounded in Hellenistic philosophy and a vision whose ideas and ideologies are consistent with the assumptions which underscore the similarities of human species on a macro-level and minimize the overwhelming differences on a micro level Vermeer strongly believed that such micro-level differences seem to exert a lot of influence on our perception of seeing the same thing differently and thus it is responsible for the type and overwhelming disparities which might arise in our perception and interpretation of any communicated message in interpersonalintercultural communication What was Vermeers translation theory about? Hans Vermeer was not only a proponent of the post-structuralism approach an approach whose proponents made light of the role of the author of any a particular text and consider the translation to be more important than the original text Vermeer went a bit further to spell what his translation theory was about when he introduced \Skopos Theory\ a technical term which refers to the real aim and purpose of translation in his perception Vermeer believed that translation is a communicative act It is a social action which has its real intention and primary point and what is at stake to Vermeer was not the decoding of the linguistic code or the \signifier\ but rather the meaning which the signifier stands for And by virtue of that Vermeer had distanced himself from the prominent Linguistic Equivalence Approach and its perspectives To Vermeer the act of translation is \ an offer of information\ or a communication delegation\ where the recipient has to attend to as carefully and discreetly as possible Vermeer\s vision was that the author of the original text is not only irrelevant but of little importance to the outcome of translation transaction since the translator plays a major role in uncovering the intention of the text and thus the translator becomes autonomous and independent As one can see that Vermeer had a applied a paradigm change to the overall Theory of Translation when he introduced his theory of translation and by virtue of that he subscribed to the Functionalist Approach- an approach which entertains the value of the meaning of the message being communicated and its purpose rather than its linguistic form Just by examining Vermeers skopos theory of translation I feel induced to believe that he had applied some sort of paradigm change to the overall general theory of translation by distancing himself from both the linguistic equivalence and equivalence theory on the ground that Vermeer saw little value in adopting such a stance or subscribing to the views and perspectives of such theories Therefore Vermeer was both a proponent of both the post-structuralist and a functionalist so he found himself an optimal niche very much comforting and at the same time mitigating that heightened tension which has always existed between two European schools of thoughts: the deconstructionist and the hermeneutics He was able to buttress and substantiate his view on the ground that the striking differences which manifest themselves in the translation of a particular text seem to warrant his claim that it would be safer and more realistic to look at the process of translation as a information delegation with a primary point once one captures such primary point then translation is rendered fairly and squarely Vermeer believed that the structure and nature of the cognitive system of human species and all organisms would induce one to arrive at a distinct interpretation and there lies the big issue and the focus of the controversy which seem to trigger a great deal of debate over debate and interpretation over interpretation Consequently Vermeer was able to provide the proper warrant to justify the philosophy behind a theory which he founded- Skopos theory TV Conversational Violence as a Linguistic/ Communicative Resource ArticlesThis article is a cross-cultural study of \conversational violence\ on certain TV stations primarily \ the Opposite Direction \on Al-Jazeera TV station by drawing on the concept of conversational violence as explained by Luginbuhl 2007 and Frank 1992 Conversational violence on certain TV shows has become a battlefield for politicians or the elites to spell out and promote their individual agendas regardless of the consequences which might result from staging such events transgressing all normal and agreed upon conventions in institutional talk This paper is meant to explore the strategies and resources which participants on such heated TV shows primarily \the Opposite Direction\ employ to achieve their agenda or promote their own perspective It appears that the employment of certain communication strategies and resources such as interruption and the intonational contour of the participants have grave consequences on the viewing public in terms of instilling a culture of violence through language in the minds of the viewing public and ushering in an era of legalizing a new type of argumentation which does not adhere primarily to the conventions and regulations of institutional talk where participants including the host have to abide by And by virtue of that they dismiss the notion of having a real and responsible debate whose primary focus is both to educate the public and to spell out the pros and cons of any perspective rather than to smear each other\s reputation and leave the viewing public very confused misinformed and frustrated This paper underscores the employment of conversational violence as a linguisticcommunicative resource which manifests itself in the behavioral action of participants on certain TV shows by citing excerpts from televised shows to point out how politicians or elite participants on such TV shows employ conversational violence to advance their agenda and gain some publicity Key Words: Political debate communicative resources argumentation conversational analysisThe Difficulties Which Undergraduate English Language Students Encounter in Their Interpretation of English Formulaic Expression to Arabic ArticlesAbstract This paper investigates the difficulties that undergraduate and graduate students of English Language encounter in their understanding and interpretation of English formulaic expressions to Arabic Since the majority of formulaic expressions in English or any language potentially contain more than one interpretation it has been assumed that these expressions constitute a major problem for non-native speakers of English Language particularly for those who do not have adequate pragmatic competence in the target culture The difficulties that nonnative speakers experience in their interpretation of formulaic expression seems to confirm Dell Hymes 1971 1974 notion of the importance of acquiring communicative competence in the target culture Such competence enables the non-native speakers to learn the rules of language use in a variety of social context The interpretation task which is being used in this study consists of three English formulaic expressions randomly selected to measure both under and graduate students pragmatic competence in interpreting these formulaic expressions The results of this study are based on the written interpretation and solicitation of responses from 83 undergraduates of English Language and 13 graduate students of Applied Linguistics and Translation The disparity in their performance on the interpretation task which was administered to both groups unequivocally ascertain the belief that adequate and continued exposure to the target culture is highly essential for the acquisition of literacy and the avoidance of misinterpretation of these expressions Graduate students have done overwhelming well in comparison with undergraduate whose performance on the same task was mediocre The performance of graduate students is obviously due to their continued training in translating materials from and into the target culture This study emphasizes the importance of providing students of English Language adequate training and courses in pragmatics and translation so that they could acquire some adequate pragmatic competence in the target language And based on the nature and type of their written responses it is self-evident that inadequate exposure to the target culture is the main cause for undergraduates mediocre performance on the interpretationTHE PRAGMATIC FuNcTIONS OF THE RECITATION OF QUR' ANIC VERSES BY MUSLIMS IN THEIR ORAL GENRE: THE CASE OF INSHA' ALLAH, 'GOD'S WILLIl'IlG' , ArticlesIn this study I set out to investigate the motivations and reasons which induce Muslims to invoke the recitation of Quranic verses in their ordinary discourse Based on the analysis of the data complied Muslims seem inclined to recite Quranic verses for a host of pragmatic functions These pragmatic functions range from mitigating ones commitment for carrying out a future action or failing to honor ones commitment to avoiding the effects and adverse consequences of ones actions on others In addition the recitation appears to function as a confirmation of the participants religious cultural and linguistic identities Furthermore the findings of this study underlie the multifaceted functions that Muslims attach to and associate with use of Quranic verses Muslims can exonerate themselves from the responsibilities of rejecting directives or turning down offers or avoiding staking the self-image of their recipient particularly when their actions are face-threatening or have undesirable consequences on their recipients Moreover the findings of this study reveal that Muslims are inclined to use Quranic verses as a rhetorical strategy of indirect persuasion to lend credibility to the claims they wish their prospective audiences to act upon them Keywords: Pragmatic functions communicative practices; Quranic verses as rhetorical strategies of persuasion Indirectness iJ1 the o~ genre of Muslims discourse patterns The Ethnography of Communication of Arabic -Speaking Individuals Articles There is no denying that part of the cultural war that is taking place these days can be attributed to the misconceptions that people from diverse cultures have formulated about one another There is also no denying that such misconceptions are due to linguistic and cultural differences In this paper I attempt to point out some of the linguistic and cultural constraints that have been responsible for the breakdown of intercross-cultural communication with the Arab world Research on Arabic-speech patterns indicate that Arabic speaking individuals have a tendency to use certain rhetorical devices such as exaggeration repetition and assertion which render their speech patterns indirect and implicit: While the findings of the studies that I have drawn on are sound and convincing from an anthropological and cultural standpoint of view there are some important inadequacies about the methodologies which these studies have used to define the causes of indirectness in a particular culture see Hall 1959 19761982; Patai 1973; Levine 1985; Cohen 1987; Dodd 1992