Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Vol.6. No.3 September  2015                                        Pp. 293– 308

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An Investigation of Idiom Comprehension and Translation by Translation Students at KSU

Dania Adel Salamah
Department of English Language and Translation
College of Languages and Translation
King Saud University




The study attempted to investigate the problems and difficulties related to idiom comprehension and translation with female English Translation students. In general, EFL learners experience difficulties in understanding the meaning of idiomatic expressions; however, the problem is magnified when learners are required not only to understand the meanings of these expressions, but also to render their meanings in another language. The objective of this study was to investigate whether or not female English Translation students at the College of Languages and Translation, King Saud University faced any difficulties in understanding and translating English idiomatic expressions. The study also aimed to classify the translation strategies the subjects used, as well as, the types of errors they made. The researcher followed a qualitative descriptive design model. The study population was composed of female English Translation students. The sample was made up of two groups of female English Translation students in their fourth and fifth years of study. The findings of the study demonstrated that the subjects generally did not face difficulties in understanding English idiomatic expressions, but they generally did face difficulties in translating these expressions into Arabic. The findings also helped identify eleven error categories and seven translation strategy categories.
Key Words: idiomatic expressions, idiom comprehension, idioms, idiom translation, translation errors, translation strategies

Cite as:  Salamah, D. A. (2015). An Investigation of Idiom Comprehension and Translation by Translation Students at KSU.
Arab World English Journal, 8 (3). DOI:


Dania Salamah is a lecturer at the Department of English Language and Translation, College of
Languages and Translation (COLT), King Saud University. She received her BA in English
Translation from COLT in 2003 and her MA in Applied Linguistics from the College of Arts,
King Saud University in 2012. Dania started working at COLT in 2004 as a TA, and then as a
lecturer in 2012.