Translating Nouzha Fassi Fihri's La Baroudeuse: a case study in post-colonial translation

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Love El Harim, Jean Laurie

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My initial translation of the novel, La Baroudeuse, into English raised several questions for which this project seeks to provide answers through an analytical case study. Chapter One describes the translation experience. It includes an analysis of the effects of the novel's post-colonial elements on the translation process, states the questions that arose, and presents information gathered from the author, other translations of similar genre, discussions with the translators of these works, and readers. Chapter Two offers a translator's analytical definition and description of the process of translating a post-colonial novel by a Muslim Arab women into English. Chapter Three analyzes the quantity and quality of variation between the initial and final versions of "The Fighter"—my translation of La Baroudeuse–to determine how and to what extent various elements influenced the translator's decisions. Chapter Four presents the complete, final version of "The Fighter." This case study and analysis of the process of translating this genre of literature into English leads to the conclusion that multiple factors can shape a translator's perception of audience and influence translation decisions. The original text sets the first parameters, if the translator aims to re-create the original as faithfully as possible. To elicit from the receiving audience a response similar to that of the original audience, the translator may consider the effect of the original text on the original audiences and situate the original and the proposed translation within the context of relevant literary traditions and critical paradigms. Reading other translations and works of other literary traditions and discussion with other individuals such as the author, other translators and readers may also influence the translator's decisions. These experiences can affect the translator's awareness of her own expectations and those of her anticipated audience, broaden the range of possible translation choices, and lead to modifications in the manuscript.