Foreign metaphors and Arabic translation
An empirical study in journalistic translation practice
This paper attempts to bridge translation studies on metaphor with perspectives from cognitive and critical discourse studies. It provides a new contribution to the study of the interplay between language and politics by investigating the ideological motivations behind choices made by Arab journalists/translators in translating metaphors in reports of world events, in the Middle East in particular. The analytic approach adopted for the purpose of this study draws inspiration from cognitive linguistics, critical discourse studies, and descriptive translation studies. Through a comparative study of a corpus of news representations in Western and Middle Eastern sources, the study scrutinizes the role of metaphor in our perception of reality and interpretation of a news event. Based on an examination of the processing of metaphor in professional translations, the study concludes that metaphors can be classified into two main types in terms of media translation: the cultural type and the ideological type and that each of these is approached differently by translators. The generalized findings concerning these two types of translational patterns are supported by input from Arabic-speaking university-level students of translation studies, in the form of parallel translations by the students and notes on their subsequent classroom discussion.
Keywords: cognitive linguistics, critical discourse studies, journalistic translation, metaphor, political discourse, pragmatics, translation studies
Published online: 15 May 2014
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