Untranslatability in Arabic: The Impact of the Cultural Load
This paper has the twofold aim of studying the translatability of Arabic texts by means of a machine from a
cultural perspective. Considering Arabic as a source language culture, the idea of the translatability of Arabic texts is
manifested in this paper in two ways. In the first perspective the concept is viewed with reference to the absence of lexical
equivalents in the target language. In the second one, the concept of reference is considered as part of the source language
but expressed in a way specific to the source culture. The paper, and in view of the presence of some culturally-bound items
in Arabic, is fuelled by the following question: What impact does culture have on machine translation from and to Arabic?
Keywords - machine/automated translation - textual translatability - cultural untranslatability - culturally-bound items