Assessing and Translating Conditional Sentences in Arabic Legal Texts into English


Conditional sentences play an important role in Arabic and English grammar. They sometimes pose some difficulty in understanding the meaning of the sentences in both languages. The legal language in both Arabic and English is considered to be a challenging process for ordinary people. Only those who are concerned with this language such as judges and lawyers can understand it easily. The legal language, especially contracts, includes strict instructions and provisions that must be abided by the parties involved. However, this language can include conditional sentences that explain the occurrence of probabilities and expected events, which might happen in the execution of the instructions and provisions of the articles and sections on contracts. This study aims at assessing the translations of the if-particle in Arabic legal texts, specifically in contracts, which are translated into English and the conditional particles that are specifically used in the Arabic legal texts and their translations. To achieve the abovementioned aims, the study hypothesizes that only the first and second types of if - conditional is used in the legal texts of Arabic and English. It is also hypothesized that conditional sentences in Arabic are realized by particles like "اذا" to express a high degree of certainty and "ان to express uncertainty; whereas, conditional sentences in English are realized syntactically to express both certainty and uncertainty. To test the validity of the abovementioned hypotheses, conditional sentences and their translations have been selected from the Book 'The Reliable Guide to Legal Translation' written by Adel Azzam Saqf Al-Hait that contains different legal texts, especially contracts. Those translations will be subject to translation assessment by the researcher to check the types of conditional sentences used in Arabic legal texts and their counterparts in English. In case the translator fails to render the if-conditional sentences, the researcher will give his suggested translations.