Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Vol.6. No.4 December  2015                                           Pp.26-38

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Homonymy and its Effect on Students of Translation at Jordanian Universities


Reem Ibrahim Rabadi
School of Applied Humanities and Languages
German Jordanian University
Amman, Jordan



This study explains the ambiguity of Arabic homonyms and its negative effects on the performance of undergraduate Translation students in three Jordanian universities. In addition, it aims to show the benefits of the annex given to the students that includes meaning of each tested word. The questions of the study are: Does the phenomenon of homonymy negatively affect the translation of Jordanian undergraduate students studying Translation? Does the annex that students were provided with affect their translation positively? A pre-test and a post-test were used as achievement tests to answer these questions to measure the performance of 36 fourth year Translation students at three Jordanian universities. They were asked to translate (30) sentences from Arabic to English. A group of (18) students were asked to retranslate the same sentences using a prepared annex, whereas, the other group did not use the annex to retranslate these sentences.  The (t-test) was used to test the statistical significance of the differences between the two groups. Results indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between the averages of both the experimental and control group in the pre–test. Whereas, there were statistically significant differences between the averages of both groups in the post–test in favor of the experimental group who used the annex, in comparison with the control group who did not use the annex. The lack of courses that increase their knowledge in Arabic language relating to vocabulary and structure was the reason behind these negative results.
Key words: Homonymy, lexical semantics, semantics, translation, types of homonyms


Dr Reem Rabadi has a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Nottingham University with a focus on
lexical studies, contrastive linguistic studies, and corpus linguistics. She is currently the ViceDean and Head of Department of the School of Applied Humanities and Languages at the
German Jordanian University. She has extensive teaching experience in different fields of
Applied Linguistics.