Thematic Analysis of the English Translation of Abyat-e-Bahoo

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Muhammad Ramzan


The present study investigates the thematic analysis of translation in the Punjabi Sufi poetic text of Hadrat Sultan Bahu. The English translation Sultan Bahu is carried out by Prof. Syed Ahmad Saeed Hamadai, who is an indigenous bilingual translator. Target text (TT) is evaluated to see the correspondence of themes with the Source Text (ST) in the process of translation. The data analysis consists on seven selected abyat from the ST but in this paper only one is presented for the keen interest of readers and to justify the paper length. This is a verse to prose translation. The present research is guided by two theories from the domain of translation studies. Principles of correspondence by E. A. Nida and Text- Typology by Katharina Reiss and these have been selected to find out the equivalence, a core concept in the translation studies. The analysis focuses on the challenges of linguistic and cultural difference in the faithful correspondence of the ST themes. This research also carried out an interview of the translator about the translation of the present text. This analysis contemplates on the intra and extra textual aspects in the smooth transfer of the ST meanings. Language fluency and comprehension to communicate and carry out the ST intensity and passion of an operative text have also been considered. Culture and linguistic differences and their influence in the translation to correspond faithfully to the original text intended message. Deletion of the ST words, phrases or a part of the verse in the process of translation effect the sublimity of theme. Generalization and casual or low intensity words play an important role in decreasing consistency and passion of the Sufi thoughts. This study also highlights the valuable tools which are applied by the translator to maintain the sense and spirit of the original. It is obvious after the data analysis that there is no ambiguity on the part of the translator in the understanding of the original text, but the cultural and linguistic difference of the TL are challenging in the faithful communication of the original themes. Explanatory notes for the ST terminologies and metaphors in achieving similar correspondence have also been lacking. Proofreading and presentation of the Target Text needs to be reader friendly.

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