Translation of Economic Metaphors

Topics: Economics, Metaphor, Economy Pages: 9 (2821 words) Published: March 8, 2014
The Translation of Economic Metaphors

The paper aims at presenting the main types of the most commonly used English economic metaphors, focussing on the translation strategies that could be used for rendering them into Russian. Introduction.

The problem of translation acquires a tremendous importance not only in fiction, but also in non-fictional texts, especially those are related to newly developed or upcoming areas of human activity, such as the domain of Economics. When dealing with the specialised language of the field of Economics, one may often be at a loss regarding the translation of certain terms or structures from English into Russian. Such a task proves to be even more difficult but still demanding in the case of the so-called “economic metaphors”, which require the translator`s utmost attention and skills in order to adequately decode, and then render the infrotmation into the TT.

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.. Defined as the transference of some quality from one object to another, or, in psycholinguistic terms, “from one conceptual sphere or cognitive domain to another”, metaphors seem to be in all cases “departures from a norm”, the result of the use of words with deviant typicality conditions. Although seen as the typical rhetorical devices, Peter Newmark states that “metaphors help the reader to gain a more accurate insight, both physical and emotional and may be added to the technical terminology of a semantic field and therefore contribute to greater accuracy in the use of language”. In keeping with the same theory, Lakoff sees metaphor not as a figure of speech, but as a mode of thought defined by a systematic mapping. So, economic metaphors are used in many West-European financial columns, financial data, market analyses etc. and basically serve the purpose of jiggering up a series of passionless statistics, or ruthless mergers: En – “Ray got rid of the Board and took over the reins/ the roost/ the head/ the controls

Rus – “ Рэй избавился от Совета директоров и принял бразды правления“
Obviously, in the Russian variant the metaphorical terms were slightly “cooled down”, preserving more of their function of enlivening the usually plain specialized language rather than their form, which appears as too informal to be suitable in the context. One reason for this tendency towards strictness and sobriety in translating metaphorical economic terms in the English economic lexicon into Russian may well be the inequality of development of such a specialized language in the two cases: while English disposes of a soundly established vocabulary in the field, Russian has just engaged on the path to integrating its economy, and therefore its specialized vocabulary, into the European and global economic system. Thus, it would certainly be useful to analyse the structure and various types of economic metaphors, and try to establish strategies for their accurate translation into Russian. Classification of metaphors in the language of Economics.

Lexical researches has shown that English, as international language of business and economic activities, comprises a big range of specific metaphoric terms that considered to be integral part of this particular field at present stage. The language of Economics contains a large range of metaphoric terms, which can be classified according to different criteria. According to the classification of metaphors advanced by Ullmann, the language of Economics is well-represented in all the categories established by the researcher. anthropomorphic metaphors - transfer of meaning from the human body and its parts to inanimate objects, e.g. Samurai market (the foreign market in Japan), Yankee market (the foreign market in the U.S.), Matador market (the foreign market in...
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