Politeness TheoryIntroductionPoliteness refers to a courteous manner that respects accepted social usage. While there are some common characteristics between languages, and it is known that, any abstract thought or idea can be expressed in any language. Translation and back translation from one language to another always tends to alter the original meaning. In other cases, the original message waters down due to the difficulty in expressing abstract ideas from one language to another. The problem is more profound when we consider unrelated or distantly related languages like English and Arabic (Beeston 1970). In the translation of information from one language to another, there is always a probability that the original meaning may not be conveyed accurately, as it was intended (Bell 1991).
This is evident when back translation produces different results from the initial information that had been translated. This expresses the difficulty we encounter when studying politeness between different languages. The results from the analysis of information that we do cannot be remarkably accurate, but will be subject to a few inaccuracies and errors. Nevertheless, we are able to get a fabulous deal of understanding about the politeness of any language through the translation of information to other desired terms.
An important thing to note is that while one is doing translation, it is reasonable to employ the service of a native speaker of a language in order to achieve perfect translation. In order to understand fully the rules of a language in terms of politeness, one needs to study and understand the language of the people in question, examine their day-to-day interaction and their responses to various issues (Watts 2003). This would include asking questions or administering questionnaires that will involve some perceived rude questions.
The responses given from different people will help to understand the perceived and the actual level of politeness in a language. However, it is worth noting that in many cases, language and culture are so much intertwined that it is nearly unachievable to distinguish either. Literature ReviewThe difficulties that arise when translating or back translating from English to Arabic are immense. The source of these differences may be as result of a number of factors including the environmental background, social livelihood, religion and geographical location.
Arabic language is widely spoken almost throughout the entire Middle East, through the northern part of Africa, and by the majority of Muslims in the world. By having more than eighty six million speakers, the language boasts of being among the six top most used dialect. In contrast, English is the major language spoken globally with the majority of the speakers in Europe and the Americas. The social and cultural variabilities between these regions of the world are so vast, that the differences will manifest themselves in the way people communicate with each other. Consequently, it is extremely difficult to express abstract ideas from Arabic into English as precisely as they are.
When translation is done, the exact meaning of a statement may be lost or might be altered. This is the reason why it is a little bit difficult to get the exact intended meaning especially when we use electronic translators, and there make us not to ever understand the intended meaning of a phrase. When using a human translator who understands both the languages well, there is a tendency that the interpreter will translate the message itself rather than the statement word for word.
By doing this, we are able to listen and understand how messages are conveyed in that culture.