Using Address Terms in showing Politeness with Reference to Their Translation from Arabic into English

Author: Hamza Ethelb

Keywords: Politeness, Terms of Address, Translation, Face, Relational, Absolute


This paper aims to investigate the translation of address terms between Arabic and English. Those terms belong to different systems in both languages. Certain characteristics of an address term in one culture tend to be lost when translated into another. Therefore, politeness theory will be used in order to find out whether the politeness intended by using an address term is transferred into the target language or not. For this study, a number of address terms are selected from a novel, Madiq Alley. Those terms are delivered to a number of subjects in a questionnaire. The analysis points out the use of such systems and how each system applies different politeness strategies to show respect and deference. The findings indicate that some patterns of face-work are lost in the translation process and that the relational terms of address are more challenging to translate than the absolute ones.