English Proverbs into Arabic through Machine Translation

Mohammad H. Al-khresheh, Shahab A. Almaaytah


Proverbs are sentences used by people to convey wisdom, truth or morals that have been handed down for generations. Translating them from one language into another through machine translation has been a matter of interest because of their importance in keeping the religious, cultural and historical aspects. The accuracy of machine translation systems has become one of the most important issues nowadays as the demand for online translation is increasing. Therefore, the current study aimed at investigating the linguistic obstacles that machine translation might face in carrying out the same translation from English proverbs into Arabic. It also attempted to confirm the importance of human intervention in solving the issue of accuracy. To achieve these objectives, a group of English proverbs were randomly selected, translated into Arabic by ‘Google translate’ and analysed qualitatively by the researchers. On the one hand, the findings revealed that ‘Google translate’ faced some linguistic obstacles in carrying out the same meaning of English proverbs into Arabic. Lexically, words that have multiple meanings present countless challenges and difficulties to online translation. On the other hand, the different linguistic structures between English and Arabic make the process of translation sometimes a bit challenging as both languages belong to unrelated families. Simply put, machine translation is expected to encounter various problems in providing meaningful logical translation. A detailed discussion is provided and recommendations for further research are given based on the analysis.


Arabic, English, Machine Translation, Proverbs

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.7n.5p.158


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