Cultural Bridges and Gaps: Textual Analysis of Jokha Alharthi’s Sayyidat al-qamar's Arabic-to-English Translation


Muhammad Abdal Sultani
Dr.Aftab Akram


The overarching context of the research is the transformation and societal shifts in Oman, as depicted in the original novel. Marilyn Booth, renowned for her translation quality, is the translator responsible for rendering Sayyidat al-qamar (2010) into Celestial Bodies (2018), which earned the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. This recognition highlights the translator's competence and the significance of the translation under analysis. The primary objective is to examine the translation process and its effectiveness in preserving the cultural and emotional nuances of the original Arabic text within the English version. The study adopts a qualitative research approach, focusing on the textual analysis of the first part of the Arabic novel, Sayyidat al-qamar (2010), and its corresponding English translation. The analysis primarily concentrates on key facets, such as cultural references, linguistic subtleties, religious allusions, cultural expectations, clarity, accessibility, and the application of Skopos Theory. These elements collectively contribute to understanding how the translation process navigates the intricate task of retaining the source text's essence while ensuring its suitability for English-speaking audiences. This research strives to provide insights into the intricate process of translating a work of literature from one language and cultural context to another. In this case, it illuminates the successful transition of an Arabic narrative into English, offering a textual analysis in the art of cultural and emotional translation while aligning with Skopos Theory's purpose-driven principles. The research indicates that being skilled in translating from English to Arabic does not necessarily mean you will be equally proficient in translating from Arabic to English. This is because the two languages are quite different. To ensure accurate and suitable translations, it is essential to focus on the translator's expertise in both English and Arabic and make sure they are familiar with the unique aspects of each language. The study concludes by suggesting ways to improve teaching and offering ideas for future research in this area.


How to Cite
Muhammad Abdal Sultani, & Dr.Aftab Akram. (2023). Cultural Bridges and Gaps: Textual Analysis of Jokha Alharthi’s Sayyidat al-qamar’s Arabic-to-English Translation. Harf-O-Sukhan, 7(3), 307-315. Retrieved from