AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 7, Number 4. October 2023 Pp. 39 -47

The Effect of Using Dictionaries in Translation Exams on the Target Text

Department of English Language and Translation
King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


 This research addresses the debate on whether translation students should use dictionaries in exams, a crucial topic in translation studies. It’s controversial because it affects translation quality; some believe dictionaries improve accuracy, while others argue they disrupt coherence. The central question is how dictionary use impacts translation quality for undergraduates. The study involved forty-eight Saudi female undergraduates translating English to Arabic. Half used dictionaries, and half didn’t. Results from error analysis revealed that dictionary users had fewer errors in meaning transfer and mechanics, highlighting their potential to improve accuracy. This research proposes a hybrid solution: allowing dictionaries in the first half of exams and banning them in the second. This approach strikes a balance between accuracy and coherence concerns. It’s a practical recommendation for educators and examiners, potentially enhancing translation education and practice.

Cite as:

Alfayez, H. M.  (2023). The Effect of Using Dictionaries in Translation Exams on the Target Tex. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 7 (4): 39 -47.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol7no4.3


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Dr. Hassna M. Alfayez is an assistant professor at the Department of English Language and Translation at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics. She has over 20 years of TESOL teaching experience and more than 10 years of translation experience between English and Arabic.
ORCiD ID: https://orcid.org/0000000252637690