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VOLUME 27 / JUNE 2023

VOL - 27 / 2023 - JUNE

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Translating COVID-19 Expressions from English to Yoruba: Lexical Expansion and its Communicative Competencies


The paper examined and interrogated the communicative competencies and appropriateness of translations of selected COVID-19 expressions from English to Yoruba in news broadcast and media usages in the Yoruba-speaking region in Nigeria. Thirty concepts were sampled from news bulletins presented by the news presenters across six major Yoruba-speaking states of Nigeria while only sixteen of the samples were extracted and analysed. This paper is motivated by linguistic analysis of the communicative capacity of the translated COVID-19 Expressions in Yoruba media and how they are able to bring forth the needed information and create necessary awareness in such an emergency situation. The analysis revealed translation strategies like copious translation, interpretation, creation of new words, borrowing, localizing and inventing new words. The paper established that through translation strategies, new concepts or registered COVID-19 Expressions in English can be captured by the lexis and structures of Yoruba language and also, increase words in the lexicon of the language. The communicative competencies of these translated expressions are capable of educating and enhancing easy and better understanding of what the virus entails as well as the danger and the preventive measures to contain the virus. The translated expressions are therefore used to inform and create awareness about the virus among the indigenous Yoruba people who cannot speak English.


Yoruba, English, Translation, COVID-19 Expressions, Lexical Expansion, Communicative Competencies


Francis Yede, Dayo Akanmu

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