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This study aims to identify the similarities and differences between English and Arabic color-based metaphorical expressions, to identify translation students’ difficulties and their translation strategies. A corpus of English and Arabic color-based metaphorical expressions was collected and compared. It was found that English and Arabic color-based metaphorical expressions fall into 5 categories: (i) those that are identical in form and meaning in both languages; (ii) those that are the same in meaning but differ in form, (iii) those that are identical in form but different in meaning; (iv) those that exist in English but have no equivalents in Arabic; and (v) those that exist in Arabic but have no equivalents in English. Students’ responses to a color-metaphor test showed that the students translated fewer than 25% correctly and left many items blank. Color-based metaphorical expressions similar in both languages were easy to translate such as black list, red line, green light, whereas opaque ones were difficult. Literal translation was the most common translation strategy. Implications for translation pedagogy are given.
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English color metaphors, Arabic color metaphors, translation students, metaphor translation difficulties, metaphor translation strategies, metaphor meaning transfer