January 10, 2020

Translation of Idioms

Translation is generally the transfer of written or spoken source language texts to equivalent written or spoken target language texts, Translation of idioms brings us a step further in considering the question of context and usage, since its connected by tradition. Oxford Advanced Dictionary of idioms defines idiom as: “an expression whose meaning isn’t predictable from the usual meanings of its constituents and literal elements, it thus has a social interaction or attitude”.  Oxford advanced Dictionary of idioms. (1999), p. 33).

One of the difficulties that a translator may encounter is the recognition that the part he faces is the language of the text. that there are thousands of different idioms all over the world, however, English idioms are the most common and famous ones. There is a vast number of English idioms which people use variously in their lives. However, here are some examples of the most famous and used idiom based on linguistic studies.

  1. “ A bitter pill” = a situation or information that is unpleasant but must be accepted.
  2. “A dime a dozen”. =. Common, inexpensive and easy to get or available anywhere.
  3. “Actions speak louder than words”. = anything that is very people’s intentions can be judged better by what they do than by what they say.

Murphy, (2009) states that translating idiom isn’t an easy task at all, this is due to the fact that the translator should be aware of the expressions in both languages. Grammar in both languages should be followed and the general grammatical rules must be perfectly applied.

Therefore, the researcher thinks that both the language concepts and vocabulary in addition to grammar should be carefully done to translate idioms appropriately.

On the other hand, Al khaldy (2009) believes that using translated idioms support the conversing dialogues with better descriptions and comments on social interaction and gatherings. Thus, translating idioms should follow certain standards and rules in order for them to be perfectly done.

While Al Hamadany (2009) thinks that translating idioms isn’t a good idea at all, as it may change the meaning and the function of the idiom in its native and original language.