AWEJ Volume.5 Number.4, 2014                                                              Pp. 288-296

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The Translation of Tense and Aspect from English into Arabic by Moroccan Undergraduates: Difficulties and Solutions


  Younes ZHIRI
 Faculty of Letters, Ibn Tofail University, Morocco

The English tense and aspect systems have always been a problematic issue in translation, especially when a language as discrepant as Arabic is involved. Novice translators, as it is the case with university students, face difficulties in finding equivalent translations for tense and aspect either in Arabic or in English. More specifically, Moroccan learners not only find difficulty in translating the English present perfect- in both its simple and progressive reflexes- into Arabic, but they also fail to choose the correct equivalent English tense for the Arabic perfect and imperfect aspects. Building on some studies conducted mainly by Arab researchers (such as Bouras, 1999; Al-Fallay, 1999; Sekhri, 2009; Reishaan and Ja’far ,2008; Kechoud, 2010; Mansour, 2011; and Abu Joudeh et al, 2013) who dealt with almost the same issue, this study describes some of the errors made by Moroccan undergraduate students in the area of tense-aspect translation. To achieve this, 63 Moroccan undergraduate university students were tested. The test was analysed carefully and the results we have achieved so far justified our claims. This study also tries to provide an explanation for the problem, as well as suggest some solutions.
Keywords:  Arabic, aspect, English, tense, translation


Younes ZHIRI is a teacher of English language at high school ZHIRI works in parallel as a
voluntary teacher at the faculty of letters and human sciences at Ibn Tofail university, Kenitra- Morocco. ZHIRI is a doctoral candidate (4th year) at the Language and Society laboratory at the
faculty of letters and human sciences- Ibn Tofail University.