Humor and language errors in Arabic-english informative discourse

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4 Citations (Scopus)


In everyday life, there are often errors in foreign language translation, either in spelling or vocabulary or in pragmatic terms. Frequently, these errors are unintentionally amusing. This research discusses humor caused by language errors. The corpus of this study is an informative discourse in Arabic and English found in notices in various Arab countries. The data obtained come from several sites. The samples analyzed in this article are memes that contain information about the name of a food at a buffet, the name of the country where a washing machine was manufactured, signs that prohibit parking, signposts, street names, shop names, chicken sales promotions, and salon names. The data are analyzed using theories of linguistics, translation, and humor. From the results of the study it is found that many bilingual informative discourses contain errors in spelling and vocabulary which, in a pragmatic sense, not only cause confusion for readers but also create humor that makes people laugh. The errors listed above are caused not only by the trusted translation tool but also by the informative discourse maker not reviewing the results of the translation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-68
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Society, Culture and Language
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Arabic
  • Discourse analysis
  • English
  • Language
  • Translation


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