Analysis of Political Language and Translation: A Case Study of Obama's Two Political Speeches (in Cairo 2009 and in Jerusalem 2013)

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Omar Sudqi Mahmoud Abdel-Hadi

This thesis aims at investigating difficulties, that encounter second year MA students enroled in Applied Linguistics and Translation program at An-Najah National University for the second semester of the academic year 2013/2014, in translating political language and mainly political speeches . It also sheds light on the characteristics of political discourse, which complicate the translation task. To achieve these two goals, the researcher raises the following six questions: 1- In what way the discourse of politics is different from any other discourse types? 2- To what extent does translating political expressions loaded with political rhetoric vary from one translator to another? 3- Why and how translating political texts is not a straightforward process? 4- Which translation strategies and methods are used in translating political text type, and why? 5- How should the source text be read by the translator and the target text by the Reader? 6- What is the level of language, which stands as an outstanding dilemma in translation? The findings of the study show that translating political texts poses real translation problems for second year MA translator students. These difficulties are due to political rhetoric, unfamiliarity with the political language and foreign culture as well as not paying attention to achieve pragmatically an identical target text as the source text. Hence, students show many translation mistakes because of using improper target language equivalents and resorting to improper translation strategies such as the literal translation strategy or manipulating the ST, which twist the real intended meaning. The findings of the thesis also indicate that only 27% of the students' translations is adequate, which means that these translation problems are serious and worth a lot of investigations. The translation failure that the students have, distort the intended meaning and certainly leads to miscommunication. Consequently, the thesis recommends more studies to be executed about political rhetoric and pragmatics to reach more satisfactory conclusions in the translation of political discourse. 

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