Studies dealing with the translation of children's literature from English into Arabic
are almost non-existent in both the West and the Arab world. This is despite the fact
that most Arabic children's stories are mainly translations from foreign languages in
which English as a source language has pride of place. Such a situation may be
attributed to the fact that children's literature in the Arab world is regarded as
subsidiary to adult literature and, thus, is not sufficiently discussed in literary,
linguistic and/or translation studies.
The thesis presents textual analyses of translations of children's literature from English
into Arabic. To facilitate analyses, a framework will be developed, making use of a
number of insights, including some recent text-linguistic approaches and the literary
polysystem theory. An attempt is made to establish a connection between the various
components of a children's story, including illustrations, and the textual choices of the
translator. A number of stories translated from English into Arabic will be analysed
both at the macro- and micro- levels of the text. Most of the stories used in this
research are aimed at children between the age group of 4-8 years old.
A range of issues will be discussed in the thesis. These include the influence of Arabic
diglossia on translated children's literature (register); the way writers in Arabic and
English construct their messages according to their intended audience and the
influence of that on the target language reader (pragmatics); and the continuous
interaction between the textual material and illustrations in both the source and target
language texts (text-type, genre, discourse and illustrations).