Contrastive Rhetoric Between Arabic and English Languages Essay

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It is universally known that any writer is going to have difficulty when he tries to convey a thought in a new language. Sometimes it is difficult even between dialects in the same base language. The problems that occur to a person while writing in a second language due to language and cultural differences are termed contrastive rhetoric. Connor simply defines “contrastive rhetoric that maintains language and writing as cultural phenomena” (Connor 5). If two cultures vary greatly, then it would make sense that writers who try to cross that cultural and language barrier would have a more daunting task than normal. In the case of Arabic and English native speakers, there are numerous conventional differences in the two languages that make …show more content…
Asian languages, being of a tonal quality and the written alphabets having many more components are also hard to transfer. Connor said, “ESL teachers often comment that ESL students use patterns of language and stylistic conventions that they have learned in their native languages and cultures” (Conner 4). These patterns can add confusion to what they are trying to write. One of Connor’s students, who were Chinese, said that she could think of beautiful flowing phrases to use from her native language that did not translate well into English. Thus, when she wrote, she was not able to convey the feelings she wanted to deliver. The same instance happens when people who are native Arabic speakers try to write in English and express themselves clearly. The first problem that many non-native speakers have is that they think in their native language and this causes problems in conversion (Connor 3). The need is for the writer to think in the target language they are writing in, but it is a difficult skill to master (Connor). Another issue that Middle Eastern writers have is that instructors have thought, at least in the past, that there is an inherent superiority of Western languages over the Eastern (Connor). Arabic scholars have been “critical of previous contrastive rhetorical research of Arabic, which is “characterized by a general vagueness of thought which stems from overemphasis on the symbol at the expense of the

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