Abu Bakr Salem's Saudi-Hadhrami Songs in Translation


This exploratory and descriptive study attempts to investigate Abu Bakr Salem’s songs and poems to see how demanding the process of translating such poetic texts is. Three of the most authentic songs of the Saudi-Hadhrami famous singer have been translated and discussed to achieve the study goals which are refreshing translation studies with this regard as well as checking whether these Arabic songs are translatable. The translator was given much freedom to render this kind of challenging text which is loaded with cultural elements and prosodic features in the light of Low’s (2005) Pentathlon Approach. The translator has done his best to manifest the aesthetic elements as far as possible. The findings are that folkloric Saudi-Hadhrami songs are untranslatable and the translation process is too complicated. Therefore, translators are not recommended to translate songs because a loss of meaning or form becomes something unavoidable. The intricacies lie mainly in manifold dimensions including cultural, colloquial, and prosodic aspects. In addition, the extra dimension of the music is beyond the translator's control.


Adel Salem Bahameed


culture, poem, prosodic features, song translation, translation problem