AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number3.  August  2021                               Pp.82-100

Translating Animal Idioms from English into Arabic: An Application of Nida’s Strategies for Translating Idioms

Department of English Language and Literature
College of Languages and translation, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU)  Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Osama Abdulrhman Al Qahtani

Department of English Language and Literature
College of Languages and translation, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Many animal-related idioms are found in Arabic and English languages. However, since there are some differences between Arab and western cultures in history, tradition, geographical environment and mode of thinking, animal idioms can create a cultural gap, which hinders mutual understanding between both cultures. The cultural gap is noticed when translating animal idioms from English into Arabic. Therefore, this research investigates problems encountering translators in the translation of animal idioms from English into Arabic. It also presents strategies that can be applied in the rendition of animal idioms from the source language into the target language. The study discusses problems and strategies of translating animal idioms based on Eugene Nida’s strategies for translating idioms (1964). To conduct the study, the researcher developed an empirical survey adopting a mixed approach of qualitative and quantitative methods, to gain a detailed understanding of the translational problems and strategies followed by Saudi translators in the transference of animal idioms from English into Arabic. Findings of the study indicate that most translator respondents opted for the strategy of translating an idiom into a non-idiom even when a corresponding idiom is found in Arabic.

Cite as:

Al-Qahtani, F. D., & Al Qahtani, O. A. (2021). Translating Animal Idioms from English into Arabic: An Application of Nida’s Strategies for Translating Idioms. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (3) 82-100.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no3.7


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Filwah Al-Qahtani is a professional translator and she currently works as head of technical committee’s department. She holds a bachelor’s degree in translation from King Saud university and a master’s degree in translation from Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic university. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0164-8047

Osama Al Qahtani is an Assistant professor of Translation Studies. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Arabic/English Translation and Interpreting from the United Kingdom. He also holds a PhD degree from the United Kingdom in Translation Studies. His research interests are mainly in the field of translation studies. He published several papers in different journals. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5154-0419