The Problem of Translating the Prepositions at, in and on into Arabic: An Applied Linguistic Approach

Sadeq Ali Saad Al Yaari, Nassr Almaflehi


Background: Prepositions pose major problems when translated from English into Arabic. The accurate mappings between English-Arabic prepositions are sometimes very difficult to determine by Arab learners.

Aims: This study is designed to identify the difficulties of translating the English prepositions at, in and on, which Saudi EFL students may face when translating them into Arabic. The purpose was to determine which type of the two sexes (males or females) can translate these three prepositions better.

Methods: Fifty (50) Saudi EFL students (25 males, 25 females) were asked to translate twenty (20) sentences and phrases on English prepositions at, in, and on into Arabic.

Conclusions: Findings revealed that Saudi EFL students face problems related to use and usage when transferring simple prepositions from English into Arabic. Significant differences related to the performances of both males and females where females scored higher marks than those scored by the males. These findings suggest that acquired skills and abilities involved in translation appear to be more strongly activated in the English-Arabic tasks in women as compared to men.

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Copyright (c) 2013 Sadeq Ali Saad Al Yaari, Nassr Almaflehi

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