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Translating metaphors
2005 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The main aim of the paper is to investigate the concept of metaphor and focuse on metaphors that are culture-specific or, in other words, culturally bound. It discusses the possibility of metaphor translation into other languages and examines strategies for translating cultural metaphors. Another aim is to find out whether or not metaphors, when translated from English into Russian and Spanish, retain the same meaning. This search aims at giving an insight into the way the experience is conceptualized in the English, Russian and Spanish languages, which in turn determines potential inter-cultural communication problems. This study is carried out by looking at metaphors as they appear in three short stories, written in English, by O. Henry and their translations into the Russian and Spanish languages. The focus is on how the translators have dealt with the metaphors that appear in the original. The results demonstrate how metaphors in a source language are treated in translation into two target languages and which translation strategies are more typical of these languages. The most frequently used strategy was translation by an equivalent metaphor, i.e. keeping the same metaphorical image. This means that the majority of English metaphors from the short stories make sense in both Spanish and Russian. This also suggests that those people who speak these languages and share a common culture, perceive reality in more or less the same way. The second most popular method is word-for-word metaphor translation. We can see that the use of both the first and the second method is appropriate and in the majority of cases does not change the sense of the original. It can be concluded from the research that the translators of such seemingly different languages as Spanish and Russian mostly used the same translation strategies for the metaphors in O. Henry’s short stories. This can be explained by the fact that the metaphors were not of a very complicated nature and the differences between the cultures involved are not very big. The conclusion that can be drawn from this investigation is that metaphors can be rather difficult to define and identify as well as translate because there might not be a suitable equivalent metaphor in the target language. On the other hand, even when the translator is able to find a good equivalent metaphor in the target language, the imagery of the original expression or sometimes even the sense of it could be lost, and the text becomes less poetic and loses its advantages. In the translation of O. Henry’s short stories the translators have mostly kept the metaphorical image, which makes the translation very close to the original. The imagery was not always expressed and was sometimes rendered in a different way, but this has never changed the actual sense of the short stories. Thus, the translator has to be rather creative and at the same time translate the sense of the text in the right way. This is a rather difficult issue, especially with translation of cultural metaphors, but possible to resolve. Nyckelord: definition, linguistic metaphor, conceptual metaphor, orientational metaphor, strategies, translation, communication, culture.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. , 33 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53921Local ID: ENG D-15OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53921DiVA: diva2:1102481
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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