Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Translation No.4 May, 2015                                                                                                                               Pp.194-213

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 A Critical Study of Three English-Arabic InternetGlossaries

Asim Ismail Ilyas

AOU, Jordan


This paper tackles the degree of accuracy in producing three electronic glossaries that have been published on the Web sites. The glossaries are: A Finance Glossary (from English into Arabic), A Glossary of Arabic Grammar Terms (from Arabic into English), and A Glossary of United States History and Government (from English into Arabic), using a descriptive and analytical approach of the Web data. The paper aims at highlighting the inaccurate renderings of specialized terminology within three electronic glossaries, and suggesting some measures for tackling the problem. The shortcomings observed included a number of inaccurate equivalents, vague and literal rendering of some culture-specific notions, use of inappropriate TL collocations, and vague and literal renderings of a number of idiomatic expressions. It is evident that the authors of such glossaries have exerted serious efforts to prepare them, and have generously made them accessible freely, yet such inaccurate renderings of specialized jargon may have certain disadvantages and can be misleading to inexperienced translators and students of translation. The paper cites a number of examples from the three glossaries that are incorrect, inaccurate, and poor renderings as a case in point, specifying the error or weakness, and providing substitute renderings for them. It also suggests some solutions for the problem under consideration.
Key Words: glossary, translation, equivalent, financial terms, grammar terms, history terms.


Asim Ismail Ilyas got his Ph.D. in Linguistics and Translation from St. Andrews in 1981.
Currently, he teaches at the Arab Open University, Amman, Jordan. His research interests are in
the domains of Translation, Sociolinguistics, Semantics/Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, and