Translation with Shift in Genre:The Case of Translating Nizar Qabbani’s Poetry into Rap Sor

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Yasmeen Radi Mohamad Mohamad

This study tackles the issue of translating the content and form of Nizar Qabbani’s Arabic poetry into modern English rap songs. It examines how the content of formal poetry; metaphors, meanings, culture, intertextuality and names are adapted to fit the common youth rap culture themes and contents. The study sheds light on the texture and structure of rap songs to detect the differences between the two genres in the context of coherence. It furthermore highlights some linguistic and sociolinguistic issues in translating into rapping concerning language variety and code-switching. The study also describes how the musical features of rap songs impact the translation of formal poetry from Arabic into English. The analysis reveals that rendering the Arabic poems into English rap songs can be achieved with a high level of success yet with a great degree of adaptation to the target genre’s conventions. Since the translation involved a shift in genre, the best translation methods were “instrumental translation” and “adaptation”. “Literal translation” would result in formal poetry rather than songs. Rappers can record their own versions of rap songs from Arabic poetry, with preservation of the foreign spirit in the songs and at the same time subscription to the Hip Hop Nation Community