English-Arabic Translator Education Through Systemic Functional Linguistics: Analysis of Cohesive Devices in Investopedia Business Texts

Reem Fahad Alshalan, Hesham Suleiman Alyousef


In translation courses, students are asked to practice translation skills by translating a source text (ST) in a specific field. While teachers usually select texts based on topic and language accuracy, some such texts do not provide rich textual features that help students practice and improve their translation skills. This study aimed to analyze the cohesive features in business texts collected from “Investopedia” to investigate their suitability for use as STs to practice translation skills in the field of finance and administration. It was framed by Halliday’s (1978) systemic functional linguistics (SFL) approach to language and Halliday and Hassan’s (1976) cohesion analysis scheme. The findings demonstrated that the most prominent type used was lexical cohesion, followed by reference and conjunctions. Ellipses and substitution were rarely used. The findings indicated that the intensive use of lexical cohesion and the various subcategories used in these texts can help enrich the background knowledge of financial terminology and provide a communicative understanding of the ST while practicing various elements of textual features. The study provided a demonstration of the significance of SFL in providing coherent and cohesive STs that facilitate the needs of translation instructors and students in the field of finance and administration. Other SFL tools can be employed to provide a better understanding of these texts.


Source Text (ST), Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), Cohesion Analysis, Textual Cohesive Devices, Lexical Cohesion, Substitution And Ellipsis, Reference, Conjunction

Full Text:



Al-Qinai, J. (2000). Translation quality assessment. Strategies, parametres and procedures. Meta: Journal des traducteurs/Meta: Translators' Journal, 45(3), 497-519. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7202/001878ar

Allen, S., & Knight, J. (2009). A method for collaboratively developing and validating a rubric. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 3(2), 1-17. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2009.030210

Alyousef, H. S. (2020). An SF-MDA of the textual and the logical cohesive devices in a postgraduate accounting course. SAGE Open. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244020947129

Alyousef, H. S., & Alnasser, S. M. (2015a). A study of cohesion in international postgraduate business students’ multimodal written texts: An SF-MDA of a key topic in finance. The Buckingham Journal of Language and Linguistics, 8, 56–78. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/bjll.v1i0.1047

Alyousef, H. S., & Alnasser, S. M. (2015b). A study of cohesion in international postgraduate students’ multimodal management accounting texts. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ), 6(3), 30–46. doi:https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol6no3.2

Behbahani, H. K., Jabbari, A. A., & Farahani, A. H. D. (2018). Effectiveness of explicit instruction of cohesive devices on Iranian EFL learners' writing development. International Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Scientific Research (IJAMSR), 1(4), 1-10. doi:https://doi.org/10.31426/ijamsr.2018.1.4.211

Bystrova-McIntyre, T. (2012). Cohesion in translation: A corpus study of human-translated, machine-translated, and non-translated texts (Russian into English). (Unpublished Ph.D.). Kent State University, Kent, U.S. Retrieved from http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=kent1353451112 UMI Dissertation Publishing database.

De Beaugrande, R. A. (1999). Language, discourse, and cognition: Retrospects and prospects. Paper presented at the Conference of the International Association of Cognitive Linguistics, Stockholm.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1978). Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. London: Edward Arnold.

Halliday, M. A. K. (2014). Introduction to Functional Grammar. Revised by Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen (4th ed.). London/New York: Taylor & Francis.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Hasan, R. (1976). Cohesion in English. London: Longman.

Jun, X. (2018). A study on semantic coherence in discourse translation from the perspective of thematic progression patterns. Journal of Literature and Art Studies, 8(6), 892-896. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.17265/2159-5836/2018.06.007

Khany, R. (2014). Translation students’ knowledge of lexical cohesion patterns and their performance in the translation of English texts. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 98, 925-931. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.501

Kostopoulou, G. (2007). The role of coherence in text approaching and comprehension: Applications in translation didactics. Meta: Journal des traducteurs/Meta: Translators' Journal, 52(1), 146-155. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7202/014729ar

Lotfipour-Saedi, K. (1997). Lexical cohesion and translation equivalence. Meta: Journal des traducteurs/Meta: Translators' Journal, 42(1), 185-192. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7202/004014ar

Mackey, A., & Gass, S. M. (2016). Stimulated recall methodology in applied linguistics and L2 research. New York: Routledge.

Manan, N. A. A., & Raslee, N. N. (2018). Explicit discourse marker instruction to improve coherence and cohesion in academic writing. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 8(1), 465-483. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.6007/IJARBSS/v8-i1/3820

Martin, J. R. (2001). Cohesion and texture. In D. Schiffrin, D. Tannen, & H. E. Hamilton (Eds.), Handbook of Discourse Analysis (pp. 35-53). Oxford: Blackwell.

Martin, J. R. (2016). Meaning matters: A short history of systemic functional linguistics. WORD, 62(1), 35-58. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00437956.2016.1141939

Schiller, A. (2006). Website translation: Issues of cohesion. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 5th International AELFE Conference.

Schiller, A. (2008). Aspects of cohesion in web site translation: A translator's perspective. (Ph.D.). Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.

Shore, S. (2001). Teaching translation. In E. Steiner & C. Yallop (Eds.), Exploring translation and multilingual text production: Beyond content (pp. 249 - 276). Berlin/ New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Wang, Y., & Guo, M. (2014). A short analysis of discourse coherence. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 5(2), 460-465. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.4304/jltr.5.2.460-465

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.9n.6p.32


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.