A Comparative Study of the Translation of Image Metaphors of Color in the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi
By Anousheh Shabani,
Isfahan University, Iran
Become a member of TranslationDirectory.com at just 6 EUR/month (paid per year)
Metaphors are taken to be the most fundamental form of figurative language, carrying the assumption that terms literally connected with one object can be transferred to another object. A writer/speaker uses metaphor more often than not with the intentions of introducing a new object/concept, offering a more precise meaning, or simply presenting a more poetic effect to his text/speech. The main focus of this study is image metaphors of color in the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi. The study set out to determine how this particular figure of speech is rendered by reviewing two English translations of the work. The framework of the study was Newmark's (1988a) seven suggested procedures for translating metaphors. In addition to determining which of these procedures have been applied in the two translations, the study also aimed at discovering whether any new procedures might have been applied. The study also attempted to find out whether any exclusive patterns were observed in each translator's rendering of the discussed items. The study concluded that out of the seven procedures proposed by Newmark for translating metaphors, Warner & Warner applied five procedures and Davis applied all seven of the procedures in the translation of image metaphors of color. No new procedure was observed in their translations. The translators' choices of procedures for translating these specific items showed that Warner & Warner had a tendency towards the first procedure which resulted in a literal translation of the particular metaphor, whereas Davis had a tendency towards the other six procedures which all led to explicitation, simplification and the production of a reader-oriented text. Key terms: the Shahnameh, figurative language, metaphor, image metaphor of color, translation procedure 1. Introduction
Translation, as Catford (1965) defines it, is "an act of transference, in which a text from the source language is replaced by its equivalent in the target language" (p.20). Newmark's (1988b, p.5) more modern version of the term is "often, though not by any means always, rendering the meaning of a text into another language in the way that the author intended the text." Even the mere thought of inferring from these two definitions that the task of a translator and the whole translation process is a simple one seems a naiveté on the part of the inexperienced. Any given source text intended for translation, regardless of its text-type, is required to undergo a close reading in order to understand what it is about, and then an analysis from the point of view of the translator. The analysis stage consists of determining the intention of the text - which, according to Newmark (1988a), represents the SL writer's attitude to the subject matter – and also the style in which it is written. Being attentive to the selected lexicon, the syntax, figures of speech, neologisms, punctuations, names, and many more is a vital role the translator plays in the process of translation. In the case of poetry, apart from all the above features there is a surplus of sound effects such as rhyme, meter, assonance, alliteration, stress, onomatopoeia. The most common goal among translators is, and always should be, to create the same effect on the target reader as the original writer had intended for his readers. In Nida's own words, "the relationship between receptor and message should be substantially the same as that which existed between the original receptors and the message" (Nida, 1964a, p.159). Understanding and analyzing figurative language in a text, as mentioned above, is one of the difficult processes in translation. One of these figures of speech is metaphor which is considered by linguists as...
References: Black, M. (1962a). Models and Metaphors. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Catford, J.C. (1965). A Linguistic Theory of Translation. London: Oxford University Press.
Davis, D. (2007). Shahnameh, the Persian Book of Kings. New York: Penguin.
Lakoff, G. (1977). The contemporary theory of metaphor. In: A. Ortony (ed), Metaphor and Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 202-251.
Larson, M. (1984). Meaning-based Translation: A Guide to Cross-language Equivalence. Lanham and London: University Press of America.
Newmark, P. (1988a). Approaches to Translation. London and New York: Prentice Hall.
Newmark, P. (1988b). A Textbook of Translation. London and New York: Prentice Hall.
Nida, E.A. (1964a). Toward a Science of Translating. Leiden: E.J. Brill.
Richards, I.A. (1936). The Philosophy of Rhetoric. London: Oxford University Press.
Tajalli, G. (2005). Idioms and Metaphorical Expressions in Translation. Tehran: SAMT.
Venuti, L. (ed) (2000). The Translation Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge.
Warner, A.G. and Warner, E. (1925). The Shahnama of Firdausi. London: Keegan Paul.
Way, E.C. (1991). Knowledge Representation and Metaphor. The Netherlands: Kluwer.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document