The Impact and Translatability of Modality on Legal Contracts Between Arabic and English Languages: Hints on Teaching Them
Keywords: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
2. Bhatia, V.K. (2010). Drafting Legislative Provisions: Challenges and Opportunities. The Loophole, December Issue, 5-15.
3. BIEL, L. (2014): “The textual fit of translated EU law: A corpus-based study of deontic modality”. The Translator 20 (3), pp. 332-355.
4. Chesterman, A. (1998). Contrastive functional analysis. Amsterdam& Philadelphia: Benjamins.
5. Coates, J. (1983). The Semantics of the Modal Auxiliaries. Lindon: Croom Helm.
6. Curto, J. C. (2018). The Use of the Modal Verb Shall in Legal Texts. Retrieved on Oct. 12, 2021 from: https://www.google.com/search?q=why+modals+in+legal+language&h.
7. Konig, E. & Volker. G. (2009). Understanding English -German contrasts. Berlin: Schmidt Erich Verlag.
8. Mohammed, A., Alawi, N. and Fakhouri, M. (2010). Translating contracts between English and Arabic: Towards a more pragmatic outcome. Jordan Journal of Modern Languages and Literature Vol. 2 No.1. Retrieved on 20/09/ 2021 from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274068711.
9. Orts, M. Á. (2015). Power and complexity in legal genres: Unveiling Insurance Policies and Arbitration Rules. International Journal of Semiotics and Law, 28(3), 485–505. doi:10.1007/s11196-015-9429-6.
10. Smejkalová, T. (2009). Translating Contracts. Bachelor’s Diploma Thesis. Masaryk University.
11. Tiersma, P. M. (1999). Legal Language, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
12. Vethamani, M. E., Abd Manaf, U. K. & Akbari, O. (2008). ESL Learners Use of English Modals in Narrative Compositions: Syntactic and Semantic Accuracy. TEFLIN Journal, Volume 19, Number 2. Retrieved from: https://www.google.com/search.
13. Sarcevic, S. (2000). New Approach to Legal Translation. The Hague: Kluwer Law International.
14. Wang, J., Chen, X. (2014). Misuse of Shall in the English Translation of China’s Legal Text. World Journal of English Language. Vol. 4, No. 1. doi:10.5430/wjel.v4n1p25.
15. Wiersema, N. (2004). Globalization and Translation: A discussion of the effect of globalization on today's translation. Translation Journal. Vol.8, No.1.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Asst. Lecturer: AHMED FALIH RABEEA
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Permit others to distribute and copy the manuscript, to create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from the manuscript (such as a translation), to include in a collective work, to text or data mine the article, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, and do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honor or reputation. Further details found at Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)