The Effects of Translators’ Stylistic Choices on Translating Literary Dialectal Dialogue: Saudi and Egyptian Novels as a Case Study

  • Eman Al Mutairi

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis examines the effects of translators’ stylistic choices on the function of literary dialectal dialogue (LDD) in the English translations of contemporary Saudi and Egyptian novels. The research aims to identify the procedures carried out by translators to deal with this issue. It also explores whether different translators have a particular style or preferred procedures when translating LDD. The first stage of the study involves an analysis of random selections of LDD that have been extracted from a number of Saudi and Egyptian novels. By using quantitative and qualitative descriptive analysis, this stage focuses on mapping the procedures that have been chosen to translate LDD in Arabic diglossic novels. The analysis first examines the construction and function of LDD in its source context and then studies the extent to which these procedures have managed to reconstruct the socio-cultural and socio-ideological function of LDD in the selected novels. This macro analysis is followed by an in-depth study of the work of two translators, Anthony Calderbank and Marilyn Booth. The micro analysis investigates the link between their translation procedures in dealing with LDD and how these procedures may have been used to reflect the translators’ own style and voice in the target texts (TTs). From a comparative quantitative and qualitative descriptive textual analysis (Toury, 1995) of the chosen novels, as well as from interviews with the two translators, the analysis of the translator’s style is carried out with two areas of focus: first, it explores the extent to which these translation procedures have been influenced by target language constraints, the idea of the translation’s implied readers, the translators’ perception of their role, and the source text authors and publishing houses; and second, it considers the extent to which the translators’ stylistic choices influence the characters’ speech in the TTs. This study finds evidence to suggest that due to the change in language communities, LDD has changed in the translation to become literary informal dialogue (LID). Translators’ preferred patterns, which emerge from the quantitative and qualitative descriptive textual analysis, show that there are regularities in the behaviour of the translators (Toury, 1995). Based on the textual regularities, the translational norms can be considered a hypothetical explanation for the whole group’s behaviour. However, the study also finds that differences in borrowing and paratextual procedures can be attributed to the translators’ individual stylistic choices.
Date of Award31 Dec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorSiobhan Brownlie (Supervisor) & Zahia Smail Salhi (Supervisor)


  • Literary Translation, Dialect, Arabic Dialects, Translating Dialect, Translatorâ??s style

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