Surface Translation Errors in Literary and Scientific Texts: A Case Study


  • Fakhir Omar Mohammed Faculty of Humanities, University of Zakho, Duhok, Kurdistan Region -Iraq.
  • Heevi Khaled Jamel College of Languages, University of Duhok, Duhok, Kurdistan Region -Iraq.



Bahdini Kurdish (BK), Literary texts, Scientific texts, Surface translation errors


This study aims at investigating the most frequently occurred surface translation errors made by Bahdini EFL university students in literary and scientific texts. This is conducted via applying the error analysis technique, which is considered a vital part of EFL research. By using a quantitative and qualitative method, the researchers limited their literature review and data analysis to only the translation errors that are related to the surface structure of sentences by Dulay et al. (1982), excluding other types of translation errors (i.e., linguistic, comparative, and communicative). The data have been extracted from literary and scientific texts that have been translated by 50 EFL juniors and seniors from the English Department, University of Zakho. The researchers implemented a process of coding for finding out translation errors, and tabulated their frequencies and percentages on Excel bar charts. The results show that out of the total of 307 surface translation errors, misformation in scientific texts recorded the highest percentage. In contrast, misordering had the lowest percentage in literary texts. Further, addition and omission manifested variability in percentages. This study will be valuable for teachers to design better syllabi for teaching translation, and for learners to develop their linguistic skills when learning a second language.

Author Biographies

Fakhir Omar Mohammed, Faculty of Humanities, University of Zakho, Duhok, Kurdistan Region -Iraq.

Faculty of Humanities, University of Zakho, Duhok, Kurdistan Region -Iraq.

Heevi Khaled Jamel, College of Languages, University of Duhok, Duhok, Kurdistan Region -Iraq.

College of Languages, University of Duhok, Duhok, Kurdistan Region -Iraq.


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How to Cite

Mohammed, F. ., & Jamel, H. . (2021). Surface Translation Errors in Literary and Scientific Texts: A Case Study. Humanities Journal of University of Zakho, 9(3), 680–688.



Humanities Journal of University of Zakho