Translation Difficulties Encounteted by Translation Students at University Level


  • Zainab Mohammed Al-Mufti Department of Translation, College of Languages, University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region -Iraq
  • Alya’ Mohammed Hussein Ahmed Al-Rubai’I Department of Translation, College of Languages, University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region -Iraq



This paper seeks to identify various difficulties that translation students face during the translation process. The data for this descriptive qualitative and quantitative study came from students’ verbalizing their translation loudly. The participants in the study were five fourth-year students from the Department of Translation, University of Duhok who voluntarily participated to translate two texts (literary and non-literary) from English into Kurdish. Any use of resources was permitted, and think-aloud protocols, as a research tool was used to collect the data. The experiment recordings, and verbal reports produced by the participants were used to analyze the data. According to the study's findings, translation students had several difficulties within the process, including translating words with no equivalents, comprehending the figurative language (simile), translating cultural-specific items, struggling with the style of the given text, putting ideas together, relating background knowledge to the text at hand, choosing the right equivalent, and confusing between the two Kurdish dialects (Sorani and Kurmanji). The findings recommend additional research to look at potential solutions to such difficulties. The study's findings led to conclusions that have ramifications for theory and practice. The summary of the major translation difficulties demonstrates the theoretical value of the study. It was also found out that the difficulty of translation is not always anticipated and is not always conceptually explicable.


Download data is not yet available.


Akalın, S. (2013). The role of content background knowledge on translation. Journal of Education Faculty, 15(1), 215-230.

Al Nakhal, A. M. M. (2017). Difficulties and problems that face English students of Al Quds Open University in cultural translation process from English to Arabic and vice versa and the solutions for the Same. IOSR Journal of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS), 22(6), 64-77.

Alrishan, A. M. (2018). Difficulties EFL translation students face in translating legal texts into Arabic. مجلة البحث العلمي في الاداب, 7(19), 1-25.

Baker, M. (1992). In other words—A coursebook on translation. Routledge, London and New York.

Benfoughal, A. (2010). Students' difficulties and strategies in translation: The case of third year students, Mentoury University Constantine [ Master’s Thesis, University of Constantine].

Daghoughi, S. & Hashemian, M. (2016). Analysis of culture-specific items and translation strategies applied in translating Jalal Al-Ahmad’s by the Pen. English Language Teaching, 9(4), 171-185.'s_by_the_Pen

Eftekhary, A. & Aminizadeh, S. (2012). Investigating the use of thinking aloud protocols in translation of literary texts. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(5), 1039-1047.

Elhajahmed. M. (2017). Lexical and textual translation problems encountered by Palestinian professional diploma students at the Islamic University of Gaza. IUG Journal of Humanities Research, 25(1), 1-13.

Ghazala, H. S. (1995). Translation as problems and solutions: A textbook for university students and trainee translators. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Konooz Al-Marifa.

Garipova, A. & Latypov, N. (2019). Think-aloud protocols, eye-tracking and key-logging in identification and addressing translation challenges. Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews,7(6), 98-101.

Hansen, G. (2010). Translation "Errors". In Y. Gambier, & L. V. Doorslaer (Eds.), Handbook of Translation Studies (pp. 385-388). John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Hassan, Kh. A. & Hassan, Sh. A. (2018). Linguistic obstacles in machine translation: English and Kurdish language. Journal of Garmian University,5(4), 403-414.

Hassani, H. & Medjedovic, D. (2016). Automatic Kurdish dialects identification. In David C. & Wyld et al. (Eds), Fifth international conference on natural language processing (pp.61-78).

Hassanpour, A. (2012). The indivisibility of the nation and its linguistic divisions. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, (217), 49-73.

Hertzum, M., Borlund, P., & Kristoffersen, K.B. (2015). What do thinking-aloud participants say? A comparison of moderated and unmoderated usability sessions. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 31(9), 557-570.

House, J. A model for translation quality assessment (2nd Ed). Tübingen: Narr.

Huong, N. T. T. (2020). Enhancing students’ problem identification in translation teaching in an English language program. VNU Journal of Foreign Studies, 35(6), 63-79.

Khorasani, S. R. & Yousefi, M. (2016) Uncertainty and uncertainty management in EFL translators. Journal of English language pedagogy and practice, 7(14), 120-145.

Kim, H. (2006). The influence of background information in translation: Quantity vs. quality or both? Meta, 51(2), 328–342.

Kussmaul, P. (1995). Training the translator. John Benjamins Pub.

Kussmaul, P. & Tirkkonen-Condit, S. (1995). Think-aloud protocol analysis in translation studies. TTR: traduction, terminologie, redaction, 8(1), 177-199.

Lörscher, W. (1991). Translation performance,translation process, and translation strategies. psycholinguistic investigation. Meta, 38(2), 353–355.

Nord, C. (2005). Text analysis in translation: theory methodology, and didactic application of a model for translation-oriented text analysis (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Pulungan, A. H., Siregar, M., & Husein, R. (2019). Cognitive processes on translation studies of English language learners. Britain International of Linguistics, Arts and Education (BIoLAE) Journal,1(2), 101-112.

Séguinot, C. (1989). Understanding why translators make mistakes. TTR, 2(2), 73–81.

Sharifudin, N. (2019). Students’ difficulties in translating an explanation text from English to Indonesian (the case of English Department Students of UNNES) [Under Graduates thesis].

Shih, C. Y. (2003). A cognitive approach to three trainee translators’ overnight revision processes. Translation Quarterly 28, 1-17.

Tirkkonen-Condit, S. (1989). Professional vs. non-professional translation: a think-aloud protocol study. In C. Séguinot (Ed.), The translation process (pp.73-85). Toronto: H.G. Publications.

Tirkkonen-Condit, S. (2005). The monitor model revisited: Evidence from process research. Meta: Translators' Journal, 50(2), 405-414.



How to Cite

Mohammed Al-Mufti , . Z. ., & Mohammed Hussein Ahmed Al-Rubai’I , A. . (2024). Translation Difficulties Encounteted by Translation Students at University Level. Academic Journal of Nawroz University, 13(1), 140–153.