Code Switching as a Linguistic Phenomenon among Palestinian English Arabic Bilinguals with Reference to Translation

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Sameer Al-Issa / Supervisor
Dr. Ruqayyah Herzallah / Co-Supervisor
Dr. Omar Abu Humos / External Examiner
Dr. Sufyan Abuarrah / Internal Examiner
Dr. Sameer Al-Issa / Supervisor
Dr. Ruqayyah Herzallah / Co-Supervisor
Iyad Ahmad Hamdan Mkahal
Code-switching is a phenomenon by which speakers use more than one language in the same utterance or conversation and it is common in ESL contexts. Researchers have identified many communicative functions and motives which explain why speakers code-switch. In Palestine, and though English is a foreign language, the researcher noticed that some Palestinian students code-switch in their daily interactions and found it worthy of investigation. Therefore, in the current study, the functions and motives of Palestinian student’s code-switching in their conversations were investigated, and the relation between their code-switching and translation was examined. The research had both qualitative and quantitative dimensions. The qualitative research was conducted on 15 instructors from different faculties at AN-Najah National University. Those instructors were asked about their code-switching practices. Their answers were qualitatively analyzed. The quantitative research was conducted on 100 university students. They filled a questionnaire that inquired about the functions and motives of their code-switching. Moreover, the students were asked to answer the translation section of the questionnaire. student’s responses to code-switching motives and their translations were analyzed and represented by using statistical pack for science (SPSS). The results showed that Palestinian students do have functions and motives behind there code- switching. The three major ones were:- compensating for the lack of vocabulary, expressing feelings and habitual use. Other important ones were:- discussing western societies, responding to an English utterance and showing Knowledge of technology. Regarding the translation, the researcher noticed that such code - switching motives pose themselves as challenges to translator. Moreover, students translation results indicated that transliteration is the student’s common method of translation. The study also reveled that students lack the necessary skills to translate English words in to Arabic, and that indicates weakness in their competence.
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