Enani's Contribution to the Cultural Approach to Translation

Document Type : Original Article


Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.


As early as the nineties of the last century the cultural oriented approach has been established by many Professors in the Egyptian Universities. The main contribution was done by Mohamed Enani, a professor of English Literature and Translation Studies at the Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University. He was a prolific translator, theorist and dramatist. Enani’s encyclopedic knowledge, his proficiency in both Arabic and English, and his expertise in both Arabic and English literatures enabled him to attain an integrated approach to translation. Thus, he focused on the linguistic as well as the historical, sociological and cultural aspects of a text. Thanks to Enani’s books on translation theory and practice and his translations, his influence has extended to most universities in Egypt and hence the influence of his cultural oriented approach. Tracing the far-reaching influence of Enani’s contribution to the cultural approach of translation studies in Egypt and the Arab world is beyond the scope of a single paper. The contention of this paper is that just as Khalil Mutran’s “language was established as the Arabic equivalent of Shakespeare’s English” in the last century, Enani’s translations of Shakespeare have set an alternative model to suit the taste of the Arab contemporary audience. This paper focuses on an analysis of Enani’s two translations of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in the light of Andre Lefevere’s theory of rewriting in an attempt to underscore his approach to translating culture and establishing an integrated approach to translating Shakespeare.