‘Farm’ Animal Metaphors in Malay and Arabic Figurative Expressions: Implications for Language Learning

Sabariah MD Rashid, Pabiyah Hajimaming, Nurul Nadia Muhammad


Animals are commonly used in figurative expressions, such as proverbs and idioms. Their features, characteristics, and/or behaviours are employed as metaphors to convey certain meanings. This study sought to examine animal metaphors of Malay and Arabic figurative expressions.  Data examined comprised Malay figurative expressions such as simpulan bahasa (two-word idioms) and peribahasa (proverbs), as well as Arabic figurative expressions such as istiarah (proverbs) containing ‘farm’ animals, such as cow, donkey, horse and goat. The analysis focused on the description of animal images used in the expressions and their connotations. Findings of the study revealed some similarities and differences, in terms of the images and connotations used in the expressions of the two languages, which may be attributed to cultural differences. The differences reflected in the Malay and Arabic figurative expressions may contribute to the difficulty in grasping the meanings of the expressions amongst learners of these languages.Thus, it is essential that learners of each language be exposed to the elements related to the cultural differences of the two languages to help them understand the expressions better and become effective language learners.



Animal metaphors, Images, Connotations, Language learning

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.7p.33


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