What Is Idiom?

What is idiom? According to Oxford Dictionary idiom can be defined as “group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words”. In another word, the meaning of idioms cannot be figured out from its shown words. Each language has its own idioms that used in every day speeches and conversations. Al-Shawi & Mahadi describe idioms as “idiomatic expressions are colorful, dramatic, lively, closer to the way people really feel and near to the local culture”.
Although idioms give color to conversations, they consider a serious problem to students in translation. Translation defined as “the process of translating words or text from one language into another” (en.oxforddictionaries.com, n.d). Many Saudi students encounter difficulty while translating idioms from Arabic into English language. These difficulties occur because of different reasons.
The aim of this study is to identify the difficulties that faced by students and to know the reasons for these problems. Also, this study provides strategies that may help students in translating idioms from Arabic into English.Statement of the ProblemMany Saudi junior level students at Yanbu University College face problem in translating idioms from Arabic into English language. These problems occur because of various reasons.

The differences between source language and target language, the lack of knowledge of the TL, the absence of equivalents of the idiom in the TL, and the lack of knowledge of translation strategies. This problem affects students’ efficiency in translation. Purpose of the StudyThe purpose of this study is to identify the difficulties that faced by Saudi students in translating idiom from Arabic into English language, to find the reasons behind these difficulties and to suggest some strategies that may help students to avoid these problems in translating.
Research QuestionThis research answers the following questions: What are the difficulties faced by Saudi junior level students in translating idioms from Arabic into English? Why are students making these kinds of problems? MethodologyThe participants of this study will be Applied Linguistics junior year students from Yanbu University College.
Participants will be given a translation test that includes ten Arabic idioms and they will be asked to translate them into English language. Then researcher will take the responses and analyze them individually. Then the research will present the responses in a table. Literature ReviewThis chapter presents a definition of the key concepts.
Also, the chapter presents the previous studies.Definition of Key ConceptsIdiom. An expression with a meaning that you cannot guess from the meaning of the separate words. Translation. The process of translating words or text from one language into anotherPrevious Studies The first study was conducted by Alrishan and Samdi (2015), about the difficulties that face EFL Jordanian University students in translating English idioms into Arabic language.
The research was a qualitative research. The researchers used a translation test to collect the data. The participants of the study were 90 M.A translation students at Yarmouk University and the University of Jordan. The participants had given a translation test that included 16 idioms from different semantic categories. They were asked to translate them into Arabic language.
The results showed that the students have a problem in translating idioms from English into the Arabic language where students could not find the correct equivalent in Arabic, also students were unfamiliar with translating idioms. Second study was written by Al Mubarak (2017). It was about the barriers that faced by students while translating idiom from Arabic into English language.
The participants of the study were 40 B.A students in Al Imam Al Mahdi University in Sudan. The participants’ first language is Arabic and they are an advanced level in English language. The study was qualitative and quantitative research. The tools that used in the study were a translation test that included 12 Arabic proverbs and an interview.
The findings showed that most students faced trouble in translating idioms and that based on some reasons, such as the differences between Arabic and English system and students do not know how to use literal translation approach. Third study was done by Mezmar (2010), about the problems of idioms in translation. This study was conducted at Mentouri University, Constantine. The participants of the study were 21 first year Master degree students at Mentouri University.
The participants’ mother tongue language is Arabic and they are an advanced level in English. This study was quantitative study and the tool that used in the study was a test included twelve idioms in English and ten in Arabic language. The researcher chose the idioms depending on the four categories of idioms, transparent, semi-transparent, opaque and semi-opaque. The participants of the study were asked to translate the idioms into Arabic and English language.
The results showed that the students did well in translating transparent and semi-transparent idioms. However, they faced trouble in translating opaque and semi-opaque idioms.The differences between this study and the studies above. Fist, all the studies above have been done outside Saudi Arabia, in Jourdan, Sudan, and Constantine.
However, this study conducted in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. Secondly, two of the previous studies involved participants from Master degree where this study involved participants from Bachelor degree. The participants of the studies above were an advanced level in English, but in this study, they were in an intermediate level. The similarities between this study and the previous studies that all of them investigated the problem faced by students in translating idiom, either in Arabic, English or both.
Also, the tool used to collect data was a translation test and the participants were asked to translate them.
References

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Al Mubarak, A. A. (2017). The Challenges of Translating Idioms from Arabic into English a Closer look at Al Imam AL Mahdi University–Sudan. International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies, 5(1), 53-64.
Retrieved from http://www.journals.aiac.org.au/index.php/IJCLTS/article/view/3167/2625Alrishan, A., ; Smadi, O. (2015).
Difficulties EFL Jordanian University Students Encounter in Translating English Idioms into Arabic. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(10), 124-133. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1081685.pdf Al-Shawi, M. A. ; Mahdi, T.S. (2012).
Strategies for translating idioms from Arabic into English and vice versa.Journal of American Arabic Academy for Sciences and Technology, 3(6), 139-147. Retrieved from HYPERLINK “LING324_Assignment_3-172.docx” http://www.amarabacmagazin.com/fileadmin/images/pdfs/AMARABAC_3-6_139-147.pdf Idiom. (n.d).
In Oxford Dictionary. Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/ definition/idiom Translating. (n.d). In Oxford Dictionary.
Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries .com/definition/translation Meryem, M. (2010). Problem of Idioms in Translation. Case Study: First Year Master. Retrieved from https://goo.gl/PyRcDp

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