Congruities and incongruities in Arabic literary translation: A contrastive linguistic analysis of “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran

  • Narjes Ennasser University of Jordan
  • Rajai R. Al-Khanji University of Jordan


Three Arabic translations of Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet” are chosen among other available Arabic translations. Fifteen translated texts from the book were included for the analysis in this study. The three translations are by Basheer (1934), Abdelahad (1993), and Okasha (2008). The study investigates and analyzes different linguistic levels: discourse, stylistic, semantic, syntactic, and lexical among others as well as different choices made by the translators in rendering the same source text (ST) elements. The study found out that adopting different translation strategies by the translators led to different versions of the same ST. These strategies are based on the aesthetic ornamentation approach by As-Safi (2016). They include idiomaticity, stylistic considerations, cultural orientation, semantic/lexical accuracy, and syntactic accuracy.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Narjes Ennasser, University of Jordan

Narjes Ennasser is an Associate Professor at the University of Jordan. She received her education in France where she earned a Bachelor degree in French language and literature in 1981 from the University of Tours followed by a high diploma in translation (English-Arabic) from the University of Jordan in 1985 and a high diploma (French-English-Arabic) in 1987 from the ITI in Strasbourg, a master’s degree in 1988 and a PhD in French linguistics in 1991 from the University of Strasbourg II. She gives courses in syntax, writing, translation, lexicology and oral skills. Her research interests comprise teaching French as a foreign language, translation between French, English and Arabic, comparative linguistics and intercultural issues. She can be reached at:

Rajai R. Al-Khanji, University of Jordan

Rajai R. Al-Khanji was appointed at the English Department, the University of Jordan in 1983, where he teaches a wide variety of courses from introduction to linguistics to advanced courses for M.A and Ph. D students, focusing on translation, discourse analysis, psycholinguistics, interpretation, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, among others. As a researcher, he has written articles in English and Arabic in local, regional and international journals on various topics related to applied linguistics. He received the Distinguished Research Award in 2005 from the Ministry of Higher Education.

He can be reached at: