Ideological aspects of the translation of business annual reports in Oman (English-Arabic)

  • Khalfan Al-Obaidani

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The socioeconomic context in the renaissance era in Oman has resulted in the development of new forms of discursive prastises and thus, in the introduction of new genres. One of these new genres is the business annual report, which in Oman exists in English and Arabic. This thesis examines the role of translation in the production of annual reports. This research makes a contribution to the field of Translation Studies by examining institutional translation in order to gain insights into translation agents, processes, practises and underlying policies with reference to national business institutions in their sociopolitical and historical and institutional contexts
    .Business reports are still largely under-researched as a genre in Translation Studies. The thesis starts with an overview of relevant aspects of Translation Studies to arrive at a theoretical framework which informs the analysis. The empirical analysis is based on sixty seven reports produced by different Oman-based companies which vary in size and organisational patterns. Annual reports are characterised as a genre in terms of function and structure at the macro-level as well as the micro-level. They have an informative and a persuasive function, as they are produced by different companies in their attempt to promote and fulfil their respective business interests and objectives.The thesis presents the sociocultural and political contexts of the production of the English and Arabic versions of the annual reports, focusing on the underlying functions and principles of institutions and agents. The next chapter illustrates the textual profiles of the English and the Arabic versions, identifying typical translation strategies. The discussion here operates within the framework of product-oriented Descriptive Translation Studies (Lambert and van Gorp 1985). It is argued that the two language versions reflect aspects of ideology, political affiliation and power relations at both the macro and micro- structural levels. These ideological aspects can be seen in particular in the addition, omission and change of specific expressions which refer to religious or interpersonal aspects. These strategies signal the aim to appeal to wider Arab readers and to fulfil the agendas of different agents (government, companies, chairpersons, directors, etc.).
    The description of the texts is followed by an account of these aspects in terms of sociopolitical and institutional conditions in the production of the translations. For this explanation, reference is made to sociological approaches to translation, mainly building on the work of Bourdieu (1991). This thesis emphasises that the translation of annual reports is a collective effort which takes place in a particular institutional context. Consequently, the translation strategies are regulated by the objectives of the institution within which translators and other agents operate.
    The translations are prepared in order to meet the expectations and needs of the intended Arabic language addressees; in addition, the generic features of the reports reveal a progression of transmission and development over the course of time in the spheres of business and economy in Oman. This thesis demonstrates that business companies too can be seen as institutions which contribute significantly to disseminating business terms and concepts and promoting investment opportunities domestically and internationally through translation work.
    Date of Award27 May 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorChristina G Schaeffner (Supervisor)


    • business annual reports
    • translation strategies
    • ideology
    • translation institutions
    • sociological approaches
    • Oman‟s business and economic developments

    Cite this