Equivalence in Translating Idioms from English into Amharic


  • Yetwale Mequanint Belie* Department of Linguistics, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Mulugeta Tarekegne Tsegaye * Department of Linguistics, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
* Corresponding author: yetwale2007@gmail.com




Idiomatic expressions are figurative expressions whose meaning cannot be easily deduced from the individual component parts and whose structures are fixed. This feature makes translating these expressions difficult. Thus, this study investigated the linguistic and socio-cultural related challenges that translators face in translating idiomatic expressions and strategies used by translators to reduce the challenges. The study has used a Bible translated from English (New World Translation of the Holy Scripture) into Amharic (məs‟ɨhaf k‟iddus addis aləm tɨrgum) as a source of data. Idiomatic expressions from the four Gospels of the Bible written by the four Apostles were collected and qualitatively analyzed in light of Mona Bakers (2011) model. The data is presented in five lines; the Source Text (ST), the Target Text (TT) autographically and phonemically in two different lines, the glossing and the literal translation of the TT into the ST. Finally, an analysis is made and identified challenges which essentially focus on linguistic, sociolinguistic and cultural differences between the source language (SL) and the target language (TL). The translators used three basic strategies to minimize these challenges including translating an idiomatic expression into an idiom of similar domain and meaning, translating an idiom by an idiom of similar meaning but different domain and translating an idiom by a non-idiom, that is, by translating the sense.


Source language, Target language, Equivalence, Metaphor, Metonym


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How to Cite

Mequanint Belie, Y., & Tarekegne Tsegaye, M. . (2022). Equivalence in Translating Idioms from English into Amharic. Abyssinia Journal of Business and Social Sciences, 7(1), 28–38. https://doi.org/10.20372/ajbs.2022.7.1.529




Original Research Articles