Research Article

An Investigation of the Translation of English Culture-Bound Expressions into Arabic



The present study investigates the effective strategies that can be employed in translating English culture-bound expressions into Arabic. The study mainly explores the translation and idiomacity of some colour-related expressions of comparison (i.e. similes), collocations and binomials. The paper examines whether it is possible to observe any consistency in the strategies used for the translation of these colour-related idiomatic expressions. This is attempted under the notions of foreignization and domestication proposed by Venuti (1995), the framework of Berlin/Key studies on colours (1969), and the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which are all concerned with the interrelationships between language, culture, and translation. The researcher is the instrument of this study. In translating the culturally-bound expressions, the researcher uses two techniques to solve the cultural gap between the source and target languages. The paper reaches the conclusion that no translation strategy should be discarded. Venuti claims that the translator's invisibility is a direct fallout of domesticating translation. However, domestication is very successful in translating many of the idioms incorporated in the corpus data by providing an equivalent idiom in the target language (TL). Foreignising translation, on the other hand, is not always favoured as a form of cultural innovation if it is taken to extremes, as is the case with colour-related idioms deeply bound to culture as it negatively affects the semantic content of the source language.

Article information


International Journal of English Language Studies

Volume (Issue)

4 (2)





How to Cite

Metwally, A. (2022). An Investigation of the Translation of English Culture-Bound Expressions into Arabic. International Journal of English Language Studies, 4(2), 13–21.



Keywords: Colour-related, idioms of comparison, collocations, binomials, foreignization, domestication, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Berlin/Key studies on colours