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Hana Eid Said Zaytoon

Difficulties in Translating Symbolic Aspects into
Arabic of the First Four Chapters in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Novel
The Scarlet Letter
Submitted by
Hana Eid Said Zaytoon
Supervised by
Dr. Nafez Shammas
Prof. Abdullah Shunnaq
Amman, Jordan
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Master of Arts in English Language and Translation
My mother and my father (who has recently passed away, may God
bless his soul) for their endless love and support
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
I take this opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation to
my supervisor, Professor Abdullah Shunnaq for his patience, advice, and
support. I would like also to thank Dr. Nafez Shammas, for serving as
Committee Chairman.
Special thanks go to Dr. Nihal Ameira, Head of the English
Department, University of Petra, for her help.
I would also like to thank the current director of the Language
Center at the University of Jordan, Prof. Mohammad Al-Qudah and the
ex-directors, Dr. Suha Najeh and Dr. Fatima Olimat, for their
encouragement, patience and support throughout my study.
Lastly, I thank my parents, brothers, sisters and friends for their
constant encouragement.
The present study aims at examining and translating the first four
chapters of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter into Arabic,
to highlight difficulties encountered during the process of translation. It
also aims at evaluating the following areas: appropriateness of translating
symbolic aspects in the novel, and to what extent translators succeed in
reproducing the sense and tone of the original, with special reference to
the adequacy of translation; whether the translation is literal or nonliteral;
and whether the connotative and denotative meanings intended by
the author are reflected. The study analyzes major stylistic features that
might be problematic by comparing five Arabic translations and how they
were dealt with. Excerpts involving symbolic expressions quoted from
the novel, followed by discussion and explanation, are the basis of the
analysis. The study also analyzes major problems encountered by the
researcher during the process of translating linguistic and cultural
expressions from English into Arabic in the first four chapters of the
novel. Examples are selected from the novel to shed light on the
importance of understanding the meaning that underlies and goes beyond
the lexical meaning in the symbolic aspects in the novel. In the
conclusion, the researcher states the difficulties that reside in translating
the symbolic aspects and in striving to achieve the equivalent effect as the
original due to cultural, linguistic, and stylistics gaps. She concludes that
the translator's knowledge, creativity, understanding and skills play an
important role in producing an appropriate translation, reflecting both the
spirit and sense of the original.