The Most Common Translation Problems Encounter the Saudi Students in Translating Selected Arabic Literary Items and their Point of Views behind these Problems

Issam Mostafa Taamneh


The current study aimed to investigate the most common translation problems that encountered the Saudi students in translating some of the literary items from Arabic into English. In addition, the study tried to investigate the most difficult terms that the students faced while translating them. Moreover, it aimed to explore the participants’ point of views behind such translation problems. To achieve the purpose of the study, a translation test, which involved 20 items and expressions, was prepared in advance. Furthermore, an interview was made to the participants to ask them about their point of views concerning the reasons behind encountering such translation problems. The sample of the study consisted of 15 male fourth year English-majored university students, who were chosen purposefully, at the University College of Taymaa in the first semester of the academic year 2017/2018 in Saudi Arabia. The design of the study was a qualitative as well as quantitative method. The data that were obtained from the participants’ answers in the translation test as well as the participants’ point of views in the interview were analyzed using the appropriate statistical analyses. The findings of the study showed that the students’ achievement in translating the items of the terms of address was the best compared with their results in the other two groups (lexical and cultural). Moreover, the analysis of the students’ interviews indicated that the lack of practice and lack of translation courses are a main reason in facing such these problems. Based on the findings, the researcher presented some recommendations and suggestions to develop students’ translation competence such as increasing the number of the translation courses that are presented to the students in their studying to have more practice in the process of translation. Moreover, more concentration should be given to the lexical, cultural, and terms of address problems in translation. Besides, students must be trained on how to use the bilingual dictionaries in the process of translation to get the intended meaning while rendering from Arabic into English and vice versa.


Translation, Cultural Differences, Style, Source Language (SL), Target Language (TL)

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