Nominalization in Arabic translations of patient information leaflets


  • Hala Sharkas United Arab Emirates University



Patient information leaflets, nominalization, formality, Arabic translation


Patient information leaflets (PILs) inserted in medicine packages constitute a genre written by experts for an audience of laymen, but studies of PILs in Arabic report low readability. According to the lay friendliness framework developed by Jensen (2013) for translated PILs, nominalization is one of the linguistic factors that contribute to PILs’ low readability. Although nominalization has been extensively studied in scientific texts including medical papers, no studies examine its use and effect on lay friendliness in PILs translated into Arabic. This study analyzes a parallel corpus of English PILs and their Arabic translations to examine the frequency and forms of nominalization introduced into the Arabic translations. Considering Givon’s (1993) definition of nominalization, all instances of finite verb phrases in the Source Texts (ST) that are fully or partially nominalized in the Target Texts (TT) were examined. Examples are discussed in terms of the level and function of nominalization in the target language.