When translators go barking up the wrong tree : A study of metaphor translation strategies in a dog breed book

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)

Abstract: The translation of metaphors can cause problems for a translator since what is typical for a metaphor is that the intended meaning does not match its literal meaning, which can lead to misunderstandings. Apart from this, language differences and cultural differences can also cause problems. This essay deals with the translation of metaphors in a dog breed book from English to Swedish. The aim of the essay is to investigate which translation strategies that are used when translating metaphors and whether lexicalized and non-lexicalized source language metaphors require different translation strategies.  The source language metaphors were found by using the Metaphor Identification Procedure which in this study means determining the lexical units in the source text, deciding the meaning of each unit and then comparing with dictionaries to see whether the lexical unit has a more basic or contemporary meaning and if the meaning in this particular context can be understood based on the more basic or contemporary meaning. If so, the lexical unit was determined to be metaphorically used in this context. The source language metaphors were then classified according to whether they are lexicalized or non-lexicalized, based on Dickins (2005) classification. The study finds that the most common way of translating a source language metaphor is by paraphrasing it into a non-metaphorical expression followed by using the same or a similar target language metaphor. No clear indications of lexicalized and non-lexicalized metaphors requiring different translation strategies were found. 

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