Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number2.  June 2022                                      Pp. 239- 252

Full Paper PDF


EFL Learners’ Syntactic Problems in Translation at AL-Baha University
from Arabic into English

Mohammed Ali Elsiddig Ibrahim
English Department
College of Science and Arts AL-Baha University, Saudi Arabia


Received: 2/11/2022                  Accepted:  4/6/2022                   Published:6/24/2022


This research aims to address the syntactic problems that Saudi students confront when translating. The significance of the study is to detect syntactic issues among Saudi Arabian undergraduate students. The question is addressed in the study: what are the syntactic problems that Saudi students confront when translating? The researcher used a descriptive analytical method. The sample of twenty undergraduate students, selected from the boys’ section, were males and in the second level, enrolled in the second semester of 2018, at the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in English in Beljurshi, Al Baha University, and this study used a validated test of written Arabic text as a tool to collect information about the research problem. The data was examined, and the students’ syntactic problems were detected and categorized as omission and addition in the study. The study finding reveals that omission received a score of 103 out of a total of 50.7, while additions received a score of 99 out of a total of 49 percent. There are 202 syntactic problems in total. Discussion indicates that grammar norms are not being followed by the students, a lack of familiarity with the two languages’ rules, interference between the two languages is the most common cause of errors, and students failed to notice there are some distinctions between English and Arabic. The study recommends pursuing research in additional areas connected to syntactic issues.
Keywords: Differences, interference, language, omission, problems, syntactic, translation

 Cite as:  Ibrahim, M. A. E.  (2022). EFL Learners’ Syntactic Problems in Translation at AL-Baha University from Arabic into English . Arab World English Journal, 13 (2) 239- 252.


Abdellatif, S. (2016). Problems of translating English cell phone jargon into Arabic. An-Najah National University, Palestine

Al-Khatib, A. (2008) Translation movement and its impact on Arab thought. Available at www

Al shehab, M. (2013). Investigating the Syntactic Difficulties which Encounter Translation Students at Irbid National, Arab World English Journal, 2(2), 129 -148

Anani, M. (2000). The art of translation ( 5th  ed.). Cairo. The Egyptian International Publishing Company. Longman.

Baker, M. (1998). Encyclopedia of Translation, Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, London and New York, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group

Bahr El-Din, A. (1998). A descriptive study of problems in translation from Arabic into Indonesian in Surabaya, (Published Doctoral dissertation). State Islamic University, Sunan Anbil

Catford, J. C. (1965). A Linguistic Theory of Translation. Oxford: University Press

Delisle, J. (Ed.). (1999). Translation Terminology (Vol. 1). Amesterdam: John Benjamins  Didaoui, D. (1992). The Science of Translation between Theory and Application, Dar Al Maaref.

Ezzedine,  M. (2005). The basics of translation from English to Arabic and vice versa: Cairo: Ibn Sina Library

Foster, M. (1958). Translation from/into Farsi and English. Available at

Greiss, S. (2000). Reflections on a Translator’s Life. Translation Journal, 4 (2), 204-206

Hikmah, H. (2020). Analysis of Students’ English Texts for Omission and Addition Errors, Eltics, English Language Journal, 5(1), 3-6

Harry, H. (2020). On Language and Translation, Athens Journal of Philology, 7(4), 235-256

Houbert, F. (1998). Translation as a Communication Process, Translation Journal, 22 (2), 18-20

Ishaq, I. (2017). Problems and difficulties encountered in translating Scientific, technical terms and texts from English into Arabic. Khartoum, Sudan:  Gezira and the White Nile

Jabak, O. (2018). Linguistic and cultural difficulties in Arabic-English translation of sentences among Saudi undergraduates, (Unpublished Master’s thesis). Universiti Putra Malaysia, Berilm

JP, V., &  Darbelenet, J. (1958). Style comparé du français et de l’anglais [Comparative Stylistics of French and English]. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company

Köksal, O. (2020). The Role of Translator in Intercultural Communication, International Journal of   Curriculum and Instruction, 12 (1), 338-339

Mostafa  , E. ( 2018). The Most Common Translation Problems Encounter the Saudi Students in   translating Selected,
(Published Doctoral dissertation). Saudi  Arabia, Tabuk

Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. Prentice Hall International (UK) Ltd.

Newmark, P. (1996). About Translation. Multilingual Matters, U.S.A.

Owens, R. (1996). The Translator’s Handbook. London: Aslib

Shaheen, M. (1998). Translation Theories and their Applications in Teaching Translation from    Arabic to English and Vice Versa. Amman: Library of Dar Al Thaqafa for Publishing and Distribution

Shuttleworth, M., & Cowie, M. (1997). Dictionary of Translation Studies. Manchester. London: Longman

Sykes, J.B. (1991).Translation and translating. London, Longman

Talal, M. (2015). Building a Semantic Arabic Translator, (Published Doctoral dissertation). Syrian Arab Republic

Taylor, C. (1990). Aspects of Language and Study of Translation. Udine: Universia  Triestet


Received: 2/11/2022 
Accepted: 4/6/2022  
Published: 6/24/2022  

Dr. Mohammed Ali Elsiddig Ibrahim is an Assistant Prof at the English Department, College of Science and Arts AL-Baha University, KSA. He holds a PhD in general Translation. His areas of interest include translation problems, translation difficulties, general translation, translation theory interpretation, and method of interpretation.