The Impact of Arabic-English Code-Switching on English Translating Skills and Everyday Communication: Saudi Translators’ Perspectives

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Saudi Digital Library
Due to its prevalence among Saudi bilingual communities, code-switching (CS) has been a crucial phenomenon that requires investigation. This study aims to explore the usage of CS in translators’ everyday communications and its influence on their Arab-English translation skills (TS). Moreover, this study examines translators' perceptions concerning using Arabic-English CS and TS. This study conducted a mixed methods design based on Poplack’s (1980) model, Matrix Language Frame and the inhibitory control models. The qualitative technique used the elicited production task approach to collect the data. The content analysis technique and simple frequency were employed to analyse the qualitative data. Furthermore, 52 translators participated in the quantitative study by completing a developed survey. Independent sample t-test and comparison of means were employed to analyse the collected quantitative results. This study's findings reveal that the difference in gender and levels of TS do not influence the results. Furthermore, the qualitative result showed that the higher the translation skill level, the less they use CS in everyday communication. However, the variance in the level of TS does not affect the use of CS in complicated topics. Furthermore, this study found that translators have a positive perception of CS. Moreover, translators believe that the factors that drive the use of CS are the comfort of using the native language and filling stopgaps. Additionally, it was found that translators have a neutral stance about the impact of CS on linguistic proficiency. Finally, translators believe that CS has a positive impact on TS. This study was the first to investigate the translators’ use of CS in everyday conversations. Also, this study was the first study to investigate the impact of CS on TS from translators’ perspectives. The contribution’s implications are expected to benefit linguistics and sociolinguistics scholars, academics and translating practitioners.
Arabic-English code-switching, Saudi translators, bilingual translators, everyday communication, translation skills