The Impact and Translatability of Modality on Legal Contracts Between Arabic and English Languages: Hints on Teaching Them


  • Asst. Lecturer: AHMED FALIH RABEEA Department of Translation, College of Arts, University of Basra



Translatability, modality, legal contracts, obligations, duties and permission


This paper aims at studying the impact and translatability of modality in legal contracts and agreements from English into Arabic, and vice versa. It is an attempt to examine how modal verbs used in legalese can affect and be translated between the study two languages, Arabic and English. Randomly twenty legal texts covering the commonly used modal verbs in contracts and agreements were selected and translated into Arabic. The modality used in such contracts and agreements had different meanings and scopes where directly or indirectly brought about its impact on the contexts and extent of translatability. As a result of such attempt, it has become definitely clear that modal verbs play a significant role in shaping the degree of relationship between those concerned in a certain legal text. Also, it is necessary to pinpoint that modal auxiliary verbs used in daily conversation and writing are not as same as the ones used in legal domain. In daily English language, the function of shall is to make a reference to futurity, while may make a reference to permissions. This study came up with results disclosing that the use of modality has a wide range of impact on the content of legal texts within a certain contract or agreement. Legal modality is an indication to rights and duties, hence there shall be a good mastery of the function of modality, to know its impact and translatability between the study languages


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How to Cite

RABEEA, Asst. Lecturer: AHMED FALIH. 2022. “The Impact and Translatability of Modality on Legal Contracts Between Arabic and English Languages: Hints on Teaching Them”. Thi Qar Arts Journal 2 (37). Huminites.



English language studies