Mechanisms of using “Western” languages in modern Arabic narrative texts
Lale Behzadi (Göttingen / Beirut) [BIO]
Modern Arabic literature shows the phenomenon of including foreign vocabulary, mostly English or French, often without any translation. The reason for introducing non-Arabic words or phrases for a long time was considered to be a lack of Arabic equivalences, especially looking at technical terms (computer, Internet) as a result of the technological progress or as an illustration for themes and topics linked to the West-East-relationship. This paper focuses on the literary or text immanent impetus for taking in phrases and words in a language other than the main text.
Very often, it seems that these expressions transport a code, a reduction or a special meaning that cannot be transmitted except when using “Western” symbols, signs and words. Foreign languages no longer work as a surrogate; rather they depict a cultural transfer that takes place in more than one direction. This cultural, textual and language connected border crossing will be discussed, especially with respect to its impact on textual structures and reception patterns.