Translation of metaphorical idioms
A case study of two English versions of Hongloumeng
Idioms are one of the most problematic areas of translation. The difficulties in translating them largely come from their semantic opacity due to “the metaphorical use of the words they encompass” (Saeed 2017, 489). This study investigates the strategies used in the translation of metaphorical idioms, specifically idioms with stock metaphors, which have greater metaphorical force and more salient images than dead metaphors. The translation strategies were surveyed in the two English translations of the classic Chinese novel, Hongloumeng (Dream of the red chamber). The results show that the choice of strategies is influenced by the relationship between the source language and the target language, the source text’s status, and the translators’ specific approaches. The images in translated metaphorical idioms received special attention in terms of their removal, retention, and replacement. An analysis of the functions of strategies is also presented. The varied combinations of these strategies further attest to the difficulty in translating metaphorical idioms. Moreover, they also have a role in translators’ style and the effect of the target text.
Keywords: metaphorical idioms, translation strategies, images, Hongloumeng
Keywords: idiomes métaphoriques, stratégies de traduction, images, Hongloumeng
Published online: 16 July 2021
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