Volume 57, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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The present study investigates Jordanian students’ ability to translate English binomials into Arabic and explores the strategies used when translating them into Arabic. It also investigates the usefulness of English–Arabic dictionaries. For this purpose, a 25-item translation test was developed and distributed to two groups; an advanced group including 30 MA students, and an intermediate group comprising 50 undergraduate students studying English at Jordanian universities.The study revealed that the subjects’ general performance on the translation test was unsatisfactory. The percentage of correct answers on all items for all subjects was approximately 44%. This means that more than half of the test items in the translation test were erroneously rendered. The subjects used different strategies to translate English binomials into Arabic. The most frequently used strategy was contextualized guessing, followed by avoidance, literal translation, incomplete translation and least used, semantic approximation.Finally, with regard to the incorporation of English binomials along with their equivalents in Arabic in the English Arabic dictionaries, it was found that they were the highest in Al-Mawrid Dictionary 72%, followed by Atlas Dictionary 60%, and finally Oxford Wordpower 52%. Some binomials were included in one dictionary, others were included in only two dictionaries. Five binominals, or 20% of binomials under investigation, namely for and against, ifs and buts, heart and hand, here and now and nuts and bolts were missing in all of the dictionaries. This indicates the need to compile specialized English–Arabic dictionaries to address multi-word units such as collocations, idioms, and binomials, or at least to upgrade or enrich the currently used ones.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): binominals; Multi-word units; translation strategies English–Arabic
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