Color Idiomatic Expressions in the Translation of Naguib Mahfouz’s Novel “The Thief and the Dogs”: A Case Study

Jamal Azmi Salim, Mohammad Mehawesh


Colors play a vital role in people’s communication. They do not only express the colors themselves, but  are also endowed with cultural characteristics of each nation. In other words, colors in different languages and cultures may convey different associative meaning and people from different cultures react to colors in different ways.

The aim of this study is to investigate the translation of color idiomatic expressions from Arabic into English in Naguib Mahfouz’s novel “The Thief and the Dogs” and to what extent is color idiomatic expressions retained, wasted and distorted. Moreover, the study aims at exploring the different translation strategies applied in translating color idiomatic expressions in this novel and finding out the similarities and differences between their meaning in both languages.

The study mainly focuses on the most common colors: black, white, yellow, red, green and blue. For the purpose of the study, a number of Arabic idiomatic expressions along with their equivalents in English were gathered from the novel and were contrastively studied side-by-side with their translations.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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