Translation and Arabicisation within Tertiary Education Courses: ‘Social Workʼ as a Case Study


  • Mohammad Ahmad Thawabteh Al-Quds University Jerusaslem Occupied Palestinian Territories
  • Khalid Hreish Al-Quds University Jerusaslem Occupied Palestinian Territories



Arabicisation, translation methods, Social Work, Arabic, English


Throughout history, the Arabic language has been buffeted by social and political upheavals, giving rise to the eclipse of the language. Nevertheless, the language has always enjoyed a decent revival for the sacrosanct and sublime status it has been accorded. The paper explores Arabicisation as one of the oldest and most frequent institutionalised methods to render foreign literatures and sciences into the Arabic language, with a view to giving renewed impetus to the language per se, encountering today’s colonisation and bridging the cul¬tural gap between Arab culture and other cultures. The nomenclature of many terminologies introduced to Arab culture is called upon by means of Arabicisation. The present paper examines this process vis-à-vis courses at tertiary education system in Palestine, as illustrated in two ʻSocial Workʼ courses at Al-Quds Open University. Taking our cue from Al-Najjar (1989), the paper shows that employing Arabicisation can be through (1) loanword in which traits of exoticism are observed in Arabic; (2) loanblend: a hybrid form of the translated item consisting of two parts, one belongs to the Source Language (SL) and another belongs to the Target Language (TL); (3) translation couplet in which the loanword falls short of the SL item, and is supplemented with equivalent in the TL; (4) derivation, i.e. the SL signifier is derived from TL already existent root; (5) calque or loan-translation whereby SL utterance hybridises with TL utterance paving the way for ostensible Arabic; and (6) semantic loan by semantic extension whereby an old Arabic term is assigned a new shade of meaning, never exist in the repertoire of Arabic.