Chesterman’s Syntactic Strategies in Translating English Passive Voice Construction into Arabic

Rabab Ahmad Mizher


Contrastive analysis studies occupy a vital role in the course of translation studies. Similarities and differences between systems of languages facilitate the process of learning a foreign/second language along with translating from one language into another. Thus, this study seeks to shed light on strategies employed by EFL learners in translating English passive voice construction into Arabic. More specifically, it investigated these strategies against the syntactic strategies that are proposed by Andrew Chesterman in his book Memes of Translation. Participants from six Jordanian universities (Public and Private) who were studying general translation courses were administered to a translation test of five English sentences that contain both agentive and agentless passive constructions in which participants were asked to translate them into Arabic. The results reveal that participants use the following strategies when translating agentive passive sentences: maintaining passive, topicalization, periphrastic structure and activization. However, when translating agentless passive sentences, participants use the following strategies: maintaining passive, periphrastic structure, lexicalization and activization. These strategies correspond to Chesterman’s syntactic strategies: literal translation strategy, transposition, clause structure change and sentence structure change. 

Keywords: Chesterman, Memes of Translation, English-Arabic Translation Strategies, Syntactic Strategies, Passive Voice, Contrastive Analysis (CA) 

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