Examining Nida's Translation Theory in Rendering Arabic Proverbs into English: A Comparative Analysis Study

Jaber Nashi M Alshammari


Proverbs exist in every language to express particular messages. However, when a proverb is translated, certain issues emerge due to its particular cultural and linguistic connotations which are different from one language to another. Nevertheless, such issues can be resolved by proper selection of translation methods. This study evaluated the accuracy of Nida's (1964) translation theory in dealing with Arabic proverbs. For this purpose, Nida's theory is employed as a framework of this study. In addition, the 20 Arabic proverbs were selected randomly from different resources as the study data. In order to conduct this research, the paper used a comparative analysis approach. First, the study transliterated the data into English. Next, formal and dynamic equivalence strategies were applied to render the research data. Then, the translations are analyzed and compared the in terms accuracy. The results show that although Nida's theory is useful to some extent, Arabic proverbs lost some of their cultural and religious values in the target language. In addition, the study shows that formal translation focused more on linguistic transfer while the dynamic strategy promoted communication. Finally, the paper concludes that using the dynamic translation strategy is more appropriate that the formal method in transferring the function and meaning of Arabic proverbs in English.  


translation, Nida's translation theory, translation methods, proverb translation

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research