AWEJ Volume.4 Number.4, 2013                                                                   Pp.265 -284

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Hit Two Birds with One Stone: Idioms and Culture in FL Translation Class


Ahlam Mohammad Alharbi
Taif University, Saudi Arabia

A foreign language (FL) translation class should be invested in teaching translation as well as pragmatic competence including culture. The current study has suggested a multilayered method of teaching idioms and culture in FL translation class to provide learners with the required background to communicate successfully. Idioms are one of the important aspects to achieve a successful communication in L2, because it is cultural-oriented, need different methods of translation, and enrich the pragmatic competence of L2 learners. This study has suggested a comparative method in FL translation class to achieve the previous aims. The comparison between the idiomatic expression of L1 (Arabic) and L2 (English) has revealed interesting subclasses of comparison based on cultures, which also indicate the different translation tactics in translating English idioms into Arabic. The subclasses are cultural-identical idioms, cultural-semi-identical idioms, cultural-equivalent idioms, and cultural-specific idioms.
KeywordsIdioms and culture in FL translation class, Cultural-identical idioms, Cultural-semi-identical idioms, Cultural equivalent idioms, Cultural-specific idioms.


Ahlam Alharbi holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Monash University, Australia. Currently, she is
an assistant professor at the Department of Foreign Languages at Taif University, Saudi Arabia.
Her primary research interests are semantics, pragmatics, forensic linguistics, and the
applications of critical discourse analysis within linguistic studies. Her other research interests
relate to the area of TEFL.