Volume 63, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This study endeavors to explore the problems that Translation trainees’ mother culture poses when translating culture-specific idioms. The study used a translation task that comprises 20 culture-specific English idioms which incorporate lexical entities that can have negative connotations in the Arabic culture. The task was distributed to 40 randomly selected translation trainees, senior undergraduate translation students at the Department of Arabic and Translation, College of Languages, Sana’a University. Findings of the study show that the trainees’ mother culture had a considerable impact on the translation process. This impact exhibited itself in many forms, the most prominent of which is the tendency to offer a culturally-driven judgment of the content of the idiom instead of translating the idiom itself. The paper delineates the various forms of cultural interference as seen in the trainees’ renditions of the idioms in the study.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Adelnia, Amineh , and Hossein Dastjerdi
    2011 “Translation of Idioms: A Hard Task for the Translator”. Theory and Practice in Language Studies1 (7): 879–883. doi: 10.4304/tpls.1.7.879‑883
    https://doi.org/10.4304/tpls.1.7.879-883 [Google Scholar]
  2. Al-Shawi, Muna Ahmad , and Tengku Mahadi
    2012 “Translating Idioms from Arabic into English and Vice Versa”. AMARABAC, Journal of American Arabic Academy for Sciences and Technology3 (6): 139–147.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Baker, Mona
    1992In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation. London – New York: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780203327579
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203327579 [Google Scholar]
  4. Bassnett, Susan
    2002Translation Studies (3rd edition). London – New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bassnett, S. , and H. Trivedi
    1999 “Introduction: Of Colonies, Cannibals and Vernaculars”. InPost-colonial Translation, ed. by S. Bassnett and H. Trivedi , 1–18. London – New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). www.americancorpus.org/.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Farghal, M. , and M. Al-Masri
    2015 “Reader Responses in Quran Translations: The Case of Referential Gaps”. InPapers in Arabic/English Translation Studies 1. An Applied Perspective, ed. by M. Farghal et al. , 99–113. Irbid: Jordanian Translators’ Association (JTA).
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Gottlieb, H.
    1997 “You Got the Picture? On the Poly semiotics of Subtitling Wordplay”. InEssays on Punning and Translation, ed. by D. Delabastita , 207–232. Manchester: St Jerome Publishing in cooperation with Presses Université de Namur, Belgium.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Hatim, B.
    2015 “Foreword”. InPapers in Arabic/English Translation Studies 1. An Applied Perspective, ed. by M. Farghal et al. , 1–5. Irbid: Jordanian Translators’ Association (JTA).
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Jarvie, G.
    1993Grammar Guide: The Way English Language Work. Edinburgh: Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Larson, R
    . Meaning-Based Translation: A Guide to Cross Language Equivalence. New York: University Press of America.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Longman Idioms Dictionary
    1998 London: Longman.
  13. Moon, R.
    1998Fixed Expressions and Idioms in English: A Corpus Based Approach. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Newmark, Peter
    1988A Textbook of Translation. New York: Tice Hall Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Nida, Eugene
    1964 “Principles of Correspondence”. InThe Translation Studies Reader, ed. by L. Venuti , 126–140. London – New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Saeed, Aziz
    2012 “Difficulties Arab Translation Trainees Encounter when Translating High Frequency Idioms”. Babel58 (4): 181–204. doi: 10.1075/babel.58.2.04sae
    https://doi.org/10.1075/babel.58.2.04sae [Google Scholar]
  17. 2004 “L1 Culture Interference in L2 Learning”. In TESOL Arabia Conference Proceedings , 266–280. Dubai, UAE.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Straksiene, Margarita
    2009 “Analysis of Idiom Translation Strategies from English into Lithuanian”. Studies about Languages14: 13–19.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. The Free Online Dictionary. idioms.thefreedictionary.com
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error