The Impact of Online Social Media on Translation Pedagogy and Industry





Journal title


Hamza Ethelb
Abdulfattah Omar
Yasser Gomaa


Despite the impact of online social media language and applications on translation theory and practice, Arabic translation studies are so far largely based on what is referred to as Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) with little regard to colloquial and spoken forms of Arabic which represent the main bulk of online social media. As thus, this study argues for the importance of incorporating social media language and colloquial forms of Arabic into translation studies and addressing the sociocultural aspects (including, in particular, the dialectical and linguistic changes) that impact the translation accuracy and reliability. This study explores the role of linguistic variation as reflected on the use of intensifiers in Egyptian and Libyan Arabic Dialects on the translation accuracy and reliability. For the purposes of the study, a corpus is designed of 12, 723 Twitter Posts on the Egyptian and Turkish intervention in the Libyan Conflict. Four intensifiers were identified. Two of these colloquial intensifiers are from the Libyan Arabic dialect: halba and (uram) and two from Cairene Egyptian Arabic Dialect: awui and (gddan). Analysis shows that intensifiers are rendered differently among Libyan and Egyptian Arabic dialects. It can be quite a challenge to recognize the intended degree of the intensifier at hand: a case that requires translators to render it correctly and convey the intended message to the best. Results also indicate that the language of social media in Arabic exhibits unique linguistic features that have their implications to the accuracy and reliability of translation performance and thus need to be considered in translation education and training. Translation students and trainees thus should be equipped with the online social media competencies to cope up with the increasingly rapid changes of the digital age.



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