The Occurrence of Voices in Translation

Mohamed Abdou Moindjie


Voice is a grammatical aspect, which is divided into active and passive. However, it occurs in languages and in translation with different surface structures. The present paper is a descriptive study that attempts to describe the behaviour of active & passive voices in translating from Arabic into English and French to compare differences and similarities and to establish the effects of this linguistic factor on the modeling of translation. The analysis is done on some existing literary translations from Arabic into English and French and data reflective to the problems and occurrences of voices are collected throughout the texts under study. Then, the data are identified, categorized, and analyzed in the source texts and target texts.  The results indicate that passive occurrences are more in the English text than in the French and Arabic texts and that there are a lot of similarities between Arabic and French as far as voice is concerned. The conclusion is reached that the active and passive voices are determined by these factors: language peculiarity in terms of structural constraints, tendency, and translator’s latitude in terms of norms, which the translator must pay attention to for a better functionality in translation.

Keywords: Active voice, Passive voice, Language peculiarity, Translation, Comparativeness, Translation modeling

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