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Perspectives: Studies in Translatology


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METAPHORS OF TRANSLATION
Tan Zaixi
a a

Hong Kong Baptist University , Hong Kong Published online: 05 Jan 2009.

To cite this article: Tan Zaixi (2006) METAPHORS OF TRANSLATION, Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, 14:1, 40-54, DOI: 10.1080/09076760608669016 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09076760608669016

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METAPHORS OF TRANSLATION Tan Zaixi, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong thtan@hkbu.edu.hk Abstract
The study described in the present article investigates Chinese and Western metaphors of translation that have appeared since antiquity and which illustrate the central role of metaphors in descriptions of translation. The article discusses more than 270 Chinese and English language metaphors from descriptive as well as diachronic and synchronic points of view. It analyses the issues metaphors give rise to, and offers in-depth analyses and discussions of how metaphors can provide us with insights on the ways in which we see translation.

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Key words: Chinese-English; metaphors of translation; history of translation; images of translation; Western metaphors; Chinese metaphors.

Introduction From the very beginning of discussions on the nature of translation, metaphors have been part of the vocabulary that translation scholars and translators used for describing translation work.1 Among the earliest metaphors of translation in the Western tradition were Ciceros pronouncement in De optimo genere oratorum (46 B.C.) that he translated as an eloquent orator and not as a literal interpreter (ut interpres), and Philos comparison of the translators of the Septuagint to prophets and priests of my mysteries in his De vita Mosis (20 B.C.). The earliest figurative uses of language on translation in the Chinese tradition included the famous fourth-century Buddhist translator Kumrajvas comparison of translating to feeding someone with masticated food (. My translation) and that a translation was a bottle of diluted wine, a view held by his contemporary, Dao-an (. My translation. Dao-an 382). Throughout the centuries different forms of metaphors have been used in translational discourse, in both China and the West. In this article, the term metaphors of translation is the term used for a broad semantic spectrum in which any form of comparison, be they metaphors or similes, are used to describe translation or aspects related to it. It comprises the act, the process or the product of translation, as well as the role of the author, the translator, the recipient, and so on. However, despite their widespread use in translational discourse, metaphors of translation have not attracted much attention as the object of specific and systematic study. Nevertheless, the very use of metaphors for translation or translation-related issues, illustrates that metaphors are created for some underlying reason and that they thus relate to fundamental issues about the nature of translation, its principles, and the approaches and methods adopted in the act of translation. In metaphors in which translation is compared to painting and drawing (e. g. Bruni 1424; Dryden 1685; Fu 1951), users clearly consider translation as an art where resemblance in spirit is much more important than resemblance in form. When the translator is compared to a prophet (Philo 20 B.C.), a morn0907-676X/06/01/040-15 $20.00 Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 2006 Tan Zaixi Vol. 14, No. 1, 2006

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ing star (Herder 1766-1767), or a bridge (Goethe 1824; Wang 1979) and so on, the users emphasise that translation primarily aims at or leads to the introduction of new ideas, new knowledge, or new patterns of thought and culture. In the same fashion, when the translator is compared to a slave or a servant (e.g. Pasquier 1576), or a lying matchmaker (e.g. Lu 1935; Mao 1934), or when some type of translation is compared to a beautiful but unfaithful woman (Mnage 1690 [?], cited in Tan 2004: 88), this implies that translations should be absolutely faithful to the source texts, that the translator is not trustworthy, and that no compromise is possible between the faithful and the beautiful. The purpose of the present study is to explore metaphors of translation in a systematic way. Employing comparative as well as diachronic and synchronic approaches, the study analyses Chinese and Western metaphors of translation, classifies them, and discusses their implications at various linguistic and sociocultural levels. At the end, I shall summarise the conclusions, especially in terms of their significance to the overall appreciation of the Chinese and Western traditions of translation, as well as our understanding and vision of the development of Translation Studies in the 21st century. The typology of metaphors of translation The term metaphors of translation, then, refers to figures of speech used about translation. They imply that translation, translators, etc, are compared to something else, be it an activity or a phenomenon. Since metaphors make use of analogy and images in describing translation, they often reveal much more about the activity than does plain, non-metaphorical language. In a narrow sense, one can only term statements which involve the use of images for comparison as metaphors of translation, such as the images as painting, drawing, etc. cited above. Here, I shall, however, use the term whenever the description or definition of translation comprises some kind of comparison, no matter whether there is any image involved or whether the comparison is explicit or implied. Thus, when it is said that translation is an art, this is a metaphor about the nature of translation although art is not an image in itself. But of course, it involves a presupposition, namely that translation is not an art form in the same way as painting, music, and drama. The distinction is difficult: according to dictionary definitions, art means the creation or expression of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power (The Oxford Dictionary of English); it refers to that ideological form of human society which includes literature, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, ballet, drama, film, folk art forms, etc.(Xiandai hanyu cidian [Modern Chinese Dictionary]). Therefore, provided literature is defined as an art form, and we equate literary translation with literary creation or re-creation, then the expression Translation is an art is not a metaphor about translation, but merely a statement about an indisputable fact. But if, conversely, one is mainly thinking of such visual or audio-visual arts as painting, sculpture, dancing and music when one uses the term art, then the statement Translation is an art can be treated as a metaphor of translation.

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Using the broader definition, the study in hand has included more than 200 books and articles in English and Chinese that contain metaphors. This has yielded 270 metaphors of translation; 156 are from English sources and 114 from the Chinese language, including some based on Chinese translations of metaphors that originated in the West. The English material also comprises statements from other Western languages such as French, German, and Latin. Therefore many of the Western metaphors included here are not only from second- rather than first-hand sources, but they are also translations. This adds a certain fuzziness to the picture. However, I contend that it does not make much difference whether they are found in the original or in translated sources as long as their legitimate status as metaphors is recognised. I therefore consider them valid as objects of study. Furthermore, it is an efficient and practicable way of research and, who, I wonder would be able to understand all examples in all the languages of origin? In the nature of things, the study is of course not exhaustive, for there must be metaphors in many of the more than the 6,000 languages existing at present (Ethnologue) - although nobody would be capable of collecting them all. The metaphors under discussion were found in so many sources that I am convinced that they provide us with of representative picture of Chinese and Western metaphors of translation and can serve as a solid basis for the following analyses and discussions. Unlike logic, metaphors take on dynamic forms that are not rigidly structured. As Robinson puts it, [i]f the basic logical tool is structure, the basic rhetorical tool is the trope If structures are stable, tropes are volatile. If logic prefers predictability, rhetoric prefers mutability (Robinson 1991: 134). Such a rule not only applies to tropes or metaphors in general, but it is also true of metaphors of translation in particular. In theory, the creation and use of metaphors of translation are thus governed by the dynamic nature of human thoughts and ideas, and since there is no end to the dynamic development in human thoughts and ideas, neither will there be an end to the dynamic development in metaphors of translation. However, in actual translation practice and scholarship, development is more finite. Despite the infinite and constant development in human thoughts and ideas, the use and creation of metaphors of translation follows regular patterns that can be traced in the appreciation of the concept behind a particular metaphor of translation. A quick overview of all the metaphors involved reveals that the number of themes that have inspired them or which form their core is not infinite. Among those that constantly recur are themes such as authority of the original, inviolability of the author, significance of the receptor or receptor language, and approaches to translation: free or literal? domestication or foreignisation? and so on. What is more, all these themes have been approached from a limited number of perspectives. To put it specifically, such themes have all been dealt with in a relatively small number of images of translation. The below table presents the metaphors in 10 categories. I provide an insight of their content by citing two examples in each category in both English and Chinese in it (except category 10 where no Chinese examples have been found in our investigation):

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Tan. Metaphors of Translation. Category (1) Painting, sculpture, etc. Number Total: 45; Chi: 21; Eng: 24 Examples

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(, 1951:10) ( , 1921: 379) Translation is a kind of drawing after the life (Dryden 1685: 23) Translation is precisely what the copying of a given model is to a beginner in the art of painting. (Gottsched 1743: 57) (, 1969: 747) [ ] (,1984: 31) [Willard Trask (1900-1980) says] I realized that the translator and the actor had to have the same kind of talent. What they both do is to take something of somebody elses and put it over as if it were their owntranslation involves: something like being on stage. (Qtd. in Venuti 1995: 7) he [i.e., the translator] had to translate only what appealed to himNo actor would normally be expected to attempt a role that is in opposition to his character, physical appearance, or age. (Nossack 1965: 229) (,1979: 268) (: 1935: 297-298) He [the translator] shall be the morning star of a new day in our literature . Herder 1768: 207. That is how we should look upon every translator: he is a man who tries to be a mediator in this general spiritual commerce and who has chosen it as his calling to advance the interchange. (Goethe 1824: 25)

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(2) Music, theatre performance, etc.

Total: 33; Chi: 19; Eng: 4

(3) Bridge, pioneer, matchmaker, midwife, etc.

Total: 29; Chi: 16; Eng: 13

44 (4) Slaves, fetters, etc.

2006. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. Volume 14: 1 Total 23; Chi: 6; Eng: 17 [ ] (Ladborough, 1938-1939: 92; , 2004: 92) (, 1923: 329; 334) The translator is a slave; he wracks his brain to follow the footprints of the author he is translating, devotes his life to it, and employs every graceful turn of phrase with currency among his peers, in order to conform as closely as possible to the meaning of the other. (Pasquier 1576: 112) slaves we are, and labour on another mans plantation; we dress the vineyard, but the wine is the owners: if the soil be sometimes barren, then we are sure of being scourged; if it be fruitful, and our care succeeds, we are not thanked; for the proud reader will only say, the poor drudge has done his duty (Dryden 1697: 175) , , 1999: 169) [ ] (, 1935: 300) Traduttore traditore. / The translator is a traitor/betrayer. (Italian saying.) it seems to me that translating from one tongue into another is like viewing Flemish tapestries from the wrong side, for although you see the pictures, they are covered with threads and obscure them so that the smoothness and the gloss of the fabric are lost. (Cervantes 1615: 149) ( , 1951: 552) [ 18 ] ( 2004: 86) If a translator finds himself compelled to omit something, he may be excused if he offers something else in its place, as if he were a merchant who, having promised to deliver a specified weight of some commodity, has failed to do so and must make amends by the gift of an unexpected bonus. (Savory 1968: 85) [For Toscanella,] the poet who acted against this precept would be a thief who displays the stolen property in public place so that anybody can spot it at a glance. (Toscanella, Orazio 1575, cited. in Rener 1989: 309)

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(5) Betrayal, reincarnation, etc.

Total: 33; Chi: 14; Eng: 19

(6) Merchants, beggars, etc.

Total: 13; Chi: 2; Eng: 11

Tan. Metaphors of Translation. (7) Wine, milk, food, etc. Total: 19; Chi: 18; Eng: 1

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(8) Animals, fruits, vases, etc.

Total 31; Chi: 16; Eng: 15

(9) Competition, games, etc.

Total: 16; Chi: 1; Eng: 15

( 1984: 32) (, 1984: 28) (: 1954: 24) poesie is of so subtle a spirit, that in pouring out of one language into another, it will all evaporate; and if a new spirit be not added in the transfusion, there will remain nothing but a caput mortuum. (Denham 1656: 156) [] (, , 1999: 169) (, 1933: 295-296) The live dog better than the dead lion. (FitzGerald 1878: 250) He [Croce] blames translators for pretending to effect the remoulding of one expression into another, like a liquid poured from a vase of one shape into a vase of another. Further, in his view, the translator puts the original back in the crucible and mingling it with the personal impressions of the so-called translators. (Kelly 1979: 216) (: 1934, , 1984: 350) , , , , , ,, (: 2000: 2) I would not have our paraphrase to be a mere interpretation, but an effort to vie with and rival our original in the expression of the same thoughts. (Quintilian 96[?]: 20) [Translation is] a game [of chess] with complete informationa game in which every succeeding move is influenced by the knowledge of previous decisions (Lev 1967: 1172)

46 (10) Figures of speech, and other categories

2006. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. Volume 14: 1 Total: 28; Chi: 2; Eng: 26 A word is nothing but a metaphor for an object orfor another word , [and that translation is] a form of adaptation, making the new metaphor fit the original metaphor. (Rabassa 1992: 1-2). Robinson (1991) uses six master tropes to describe translation, comparing it to Metonymy, Synecdoche, Metaphor, Irony, Hyperbole and Metalepsis (Robinson 1991: 133-193). Translation is a mode. To comprehend it as mode one must go back to the original, for that contains the law governing the translation: its translatability. (Walter Benjamin 1923: 72) Evidently in this respect translating resembles teaching. (Savory 1968: 35)

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It goes without saying that there may be other ways of categorisation of the metaphors, such as according to the principles or the criteria of translation; or according to the inter-relationships between author, translator, and recipient. They might have been compared to others from the same epoch in the Chinese and Western translation traditions. We may even study metaphors of translation from an ideological or gender-related perspective, for example, by using such metaphors as depict that translation is a beautiful but unfaithful woman. But in this article, at least, I shall use only the above general approach, hoping that this particular model of typology and discussion may serve as useful leads to other models in the future. The culturality of metaphors of translation There are three noteworthy features about my sample: all metaphors relate to the culturality of these metaphors, specifically, the cultural contexts in which they were created and used. First, most of the metaphors deal with literary translation, and in this field again, with poetry translation. This is the case all through history. 240, 90% of all the metaphors identified, concern literature. The reasons are obvious: like literature, the translation of literature requires more innovative and original thinking on the part of the translator than does translation of non-literary texts. Since literary translators must be good at using figurative language in their translation, they must have a similar urge and ability to use figurative language when they talk about translation. Furthermore literary translation has always had a dominant position in the history of translation, that of the West in particular. Of course, translations of religious works have also played a role in the history of Western civilisation, especially when national languages began to emerge during the Renaissance. But the dominant status of literary translation has not really been seriously challenged since Livius Andronicus Latin translation of Homers Odyssey in about 250 B.C. Even today when the importance of translation of scientific, technological and other practical text types far surpasses translation of literature, the basic positions which most scholars take in Translation Studies does not seem to have shifted entirely away from literary translation, in the sense that many of the best examples for discussing translation problems have primarily come from literary translation. In the Chinese translation history, Buddhist writings held sway over a relatively long period of time, but today this is history. Especially over the last two

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centuries or so, secular literature has surpassed any other types of texts in importance of translation. It may be precisely because of the long phase of predominance of Buddhist translation in China (from around the second century to the end of the Tang Dynasty in the 10th century) that the number of metaphors of translation from the Chinese tradition of translation scholarship of this period is very small indeed. Second, the largest single category, 78 metaphors (30% of the total) centre around images of art forms such as painting, sculpture, music and theatrical performance. Numbering 56 (22% of the total), the next group of metaphors refers to translations as slaves, and transformation or reincarnation that depict either the invisible status or the dominating role of the translator. They are followed by metaphors built on imageries such as bridge or other intermediaries such as a matchmaker; the 29 examples add up to 11% of the total. These three categories comprise 160 items and make up 63% of all examples. This simple statistics gives an approximation of an idea of what translators and translation scholars are most concerned about in their profession, what they would have wanted the undertaking of translation to be like, what their role and responsibility should be, what gains and losses they will sustain, and what kinds of delight and difficulties they had while translating. And third, many metaphors, especially better-known ones, were not only phrased by eminent literary translators or critics, but were also often produced in periods in which literature and literary translation flourished. The famous images of the translator as a painter, an actor, and servant were first created in the Renaissance, one of the important periods of translation in the West. Likewise, in China, the fascinating metaphors which compare the translator to a matchmaker, and the task of translation to a marriage, were found during the first half of the 20th century, a golden age of literary translation in vernacular Chinese as represented by the great author and translator Lu Xun. These metaphors of translation enshrine the wisdom and the aesthetics of those who first phrased them. But this is not all. What we see in this variety of figurative descriptions of translation, is the multiplicity of the nature and technique of translation. Underlying this complexity is the broader frame of sociocultural ideology which created the metaphors. In other words, the metaphors created in a specific translational system are often conditioned by its socio-cultural ideology. This implies that the images used in metaphors tend to vary with socio-cultural and ideological systems. For example, the few famous Chinese metaphors created and used in the Golden Age of Buddhist translation (i.e., Eastern HanTang Dynasties [AD 25-907]) are undoubtedly a true reflection of the food first culture among the Chinese. They are based on the ancient Chinese philosophical dictum that food is the very first necessity for all men, metaphors which included Kumrajvas [translation is] just like feeding someone with masticated food; Dao-ans [a translation is but] diluted wine and the fifth century monk-translator Daolangs [a translation is but] milk diluted with water (). In his commenting on his contemporary dAblancourt (1606-1664), the 17th century French critic Gilles Mnage (1613-1692) remarked that dAblancourts translations reminded him of a beautiful woman he had loved - she was very beautiful but not faithful. Thus the beautiful but unfaithful or les belles infidles

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became a label for fluent and loose translations in France. No doubt, this beautiful but unfaithful woman image mirrors a male chauvinist ideology in translation scholarship rather than a truth that is universal and perennial. The recurrent metaphorical comparisons of the basic role or status of the translator in the Western mind have been such images as the prophet, the morning star, and the slave, whereas the traditional Chinese figures have been the she ren ( = tongue-man), the xiang xu zhi guan ( = government officer who knows the languages of the neighbouring barbarians), you zhe ( = inducer), mei po ( = matchmaker), and so on. Clearly, these images all carry their own subtle meanings, some positive and others negative. On the positive side, the Western images reflect the spirit of a pioneer, an explorer, and an introducer of new things, while the Chinese figures imply spirit of carrying on, of performing something worthwhile, and of rendering service to other people. However, on the negative side, some Western images such as being a betrayer must unmistakably carry an overtone of abuse against the author, the source text as well as the source and target-language culture, while the Chinese images of the inducer, and the matchmaker, must necessarily imply some kind of deception. The relevance of the socio-cultural frame is evidenced by the use of Western translational discourse of figures such as painting, etc. since painting and the like played an important role in the Renaissance period. In a similar fashion, the slave image has been associated more with Western than with Chinese metaphors of translation. From the prisoners of war of the Roman army in antiquity to the negro slaves of European colonial powers, the image of the slave and master-slave or master-servant relationship were familiar social and cultural phenomena, so much so that these metaphors of translation were well established as early as John Dryden in the late 17th century. On the other hand, notably the negative connotations of the matchmaker metaphor, are closely related to Chinese translational culture and discourse. Although the Chinese scholar Qian Zhongshu (1979: 268), holds that the matchmaker image in Western discourse is not devoid of equally negative connotations, it is more often a figure with neutral connotations. The Western image had more of the mediator (Goethe 1824: 25) and not the Chinese term mei po (; literally: matchmaking lady) which is decidedly pejorative, in mind. In the 1930s and 1940s in China, the image of the mei po frequently appeared in translational metaphors because many translators were widely criticised for not presenting the original faithfully, and for deceiving to readers like an lying matchmaker. As hinted this also related to the image of marriage. Critics likened translation to an act of engagement or marriage because some translators tried to manipulate the translation market. As Lu Xun sharply remarked, these translators treated translation as if it were an act of engagement, in which they would scare other wooers away by setting an engagement ring on the finger of a lady, meaning to say that they were the only lawful man for this lady to marry (Lu Xun 1935: 298). These translators also treated translation as if it were a marriage, in the sense that once they have translated a certain work others should never, ever dare a thought of re-translating it, or else they would be considered seducing another mans wife (1935: 298). The metaphors used by Lu Xun and his contemporaries mirrored translation in times past when a

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feudalistic ideology of matrimony was the order of the day. It is noted that classes 9 and 10, namely As competition and playing games and As metaphors themselves and as other images, contain many Western examples and few Chinese ones. It is not that metaphors of translation centring on competition are strangers to the Chinese as the idea that the translator must compete with the original has often been used in Chinese discourse. Thus Xu Yuanchongs demands that the translator should surpass his author in making the text beautiful in the three respects, of sense, sound, and form (Xu 2000: 6) can represent such a competition theory. Furthermore, it is obvious that some metaphors are found in some languages and not in others, so it is not surprising that the image of translation as a game (a game of chess for instance), a familiar image in Western metaphors of translation, should be lacking in Chinese analogies on translation. However, many of the metaphorical images presented in Class 10 deserve an in-depth analysis at the socio-cultural and ideological levels. Take for example two of the metaphors used by Walter Benjamin, one on translation as a mode and the other on the source and target text relationship as a tangent touching a circle relationship. In Benjamins view, [t]ranslation is a mode. To comprehend it as mode one must go back to the original, for that contains the law governing the translation: its translatability (Benjamin 1923: 72), and:
[j]ust as a tangent touches a circle lightly and at but one point, with this touch rather than with the point setting the law according to which it is to continue on its straight path to infinity, a translation touches the original lightly and only at the infinity small point of the sense, thereupon pursuing its own course according to the laws of fidelity in the freedom of linguistic flux (Benjamin 1923: 81).

Metaphors are used in order to make it easier to understand a phenomenon by making it more concrete. This does not apply to these metaphors of Benjamins. For they do not make things less abstract and more comprehensible, at least not from a Chinese point of view. But it is not uncommon in Western philosophy that complex metaphors and similes are used to describe abstract or complex phenomena. This also holds good of the comparisons of translation by Douglas Robinson (1991) to metonymy, synecdoche, metaphor, irony, hyperbole, and metalepsis. In a sense, this is exactly what often distinguishes Western modes of thought from the Chinese mode, and this is also where there is a division in contemporary Chinese opinion on the study of translation. Traditionalists in modern China would like to adhere to the traditional, practice-oriented approaches to translation, and to dismiss the introduction of modern foreign (mainly Western) theories and ideas (including abstract types of Western metaphors of translation) as too abstract, and too incomprehensible and indigestible to Chinese culture. On the other hand, there is an even stronger force, composed of translation scholars who are open to developments in Translation Studies on the world arena and who take the more or less universalist view that translation theories and ideas developed in other cultures, should and could be used for the advancement of Chinese approaches to translation. Implications for Translation Studies in the 21st century By means of the great variety of intriguing and illuminating Chinese and

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Western metaphors of translation, we can perceive the true features of translation: its nature, its laws, its methods, etc. from a number of perspectives. Especially in the realm of literary translation, in the pre-Translation Studies age, where the very life and success of a translation depended on imagery, the use of figurative language would be a great deal more effective than plain language for the description of translation, how it could be done, and the critical criteria, and so on. But what kind of nature and principle about translation can we actually see in this colourful sea of metaphors of translation? What are the insights we obtain and what are the implications for Translation Studies in the 21st century? Let us start with the nature of translation. The question is: What is translation? In accordance with views that are often cited even today - translation is the replacement of textual material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL) (Catford 1965: 20); it is the transfer of meaning from one set of language signs to another (Lawendowski 1978: 267); it consists in reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent of the source-language message, first in terms meaning and secondly in terms of style (Nida and Taber 1969: 12); it is the production of a functional target text maintaining a relationship with a given source text that is specified according to the intended or demanded function of the target text (translation skopos) (Nord 1991: 28); and so on and so forth. The key words are equivalent, entire messages, the transfer of meaning, the closest natural equivalent, and translation skopos. Modern as they may sound, these terms and definitions can all be found in various earlier metaphors of translation. A diachronic search into both the denotations and connotations of these translational metaphors shows that, insofar as literary translation is concerned, it does not matter whether one uses the metaphors of painting and sculpturing or musical-instrument playing and stage acting: the fundamental purpose would always be that it is essential that a translation should reproduce in the target text a likeness in spirit, rather than a likeness in form to the source text. In short, the basic idea of the metaphors is that, in the art of translation, the artist-translator aims to replace [SL] textual material with equivalent [TL] textual material (Catford 1965), or to produce a functional target text maintaining a relationship with a given source text that is specified according to the intended or required function of the target text (Nord 1991). These metaphors can also tell about other basic issues about translation. We find that many of these metaphors of translation, which have come down the centuries have in fact contained apt answers to many of the questions that have been asked about the principles, methods, and techniques, and the processes and procedures of translation. In a metaphor by Croce which Kelly cites, translators pretend to effect the remoulding of one expression into another, like a liquid poured from a vase of one shape into a vase of another, and what they try to do is to put the original back in the crucible and mingling it with the personal impressions of the socalled translators (cited in Kelly 1979: 216). This metaphor vividly makes the point that no matter how hard the translator tries to faithfully reproduce the original in translation, he cannot completely avoid mingling the original with

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his personal impressions: a hundred per cent faithfulness or fidelity is nothing but an ideal that can never be realised in any translation, be it literary or nonliterary. In a somewhat different way, Water Benjamin defines the ideal kind of translation as real translation. For him, [a] real translation is transparent; it does not cover the original, does not block its light, but allows the pure language, as though reinforced by its own medium, to shine upon the original all the more fully (Benjamin 1923: 79-80). Ji Lev used an almost archetypal metaphor when he compared the process of translation to a game of chess. According to Lev, translation resembles a game of chess in the sense that every succeeding move is influenced by the knowledge of previous decisions and by the situation which resulted from them (1967: 1172). Therefore, in order to win a game of translation, the translator must calculate and make his moves carefully, in the same fashion as a chess player deliberates over his moves in a game of chess. Other types of imagery such as those of slave, servant, betrayer, etc. pertain not only the nature and process of translation, but also to various methods translation. Instead of simply stating that the concrete strategies are e.g. word-forword translation, literal translation, adaptation, and so on, the use of these images and metaphors would tell more about why specific translations are done in specific ways. Thus we would know that it is because the translator is by nature but a slave or a servant that he must be translating word for word; and that likewise it is because he is often a betrayer or a transformer that he may not merely translate, but has to adapt or rewrite the whole story in his target text. It seems as if we may cautiously also assume that specific translations are law- or rule-governed activities, provided the terms laws and rules are not taken too rigidly. They, as well as the principles and methods, of translation are all relative. For example, we may take the twelve following (and contradictory) rules proposed by Theodore Savory to be laws or general principles of translation, namely: (i) A translation must give the words of the original. (ii) A translation must give the ideas of the original. (iii) A translation should read like an original work. (iv) A translation should read like translation. (v) A translation should reflect the style of the original. (vi) A translation should possess the style of the translation. (vii) A translation should read as a contemporary of the original. (viii) A translation should read as a contemporary of the translation. (ix) A translation may add or omit from the original. (x) A translation may never add or omit from the original. (xi) A translation of verse should be in prose. (xii) A translation of verse should be in verse. (Savory 1968: 54). None of these laws and principles of translation can be taken in the absolute. In other words, when we say A translation must give the words of the original, we do not say this to the complete exclusion of giving the ideas of the original and vice versa; or when we say A translation should read like an original work, we do not really say this to the complete exclusion of A translation should read like translation and vice versa, and so on. When we, in a similar manner, use metaphors of translation to describe the nature and the methods of translation, our position is also relative. In other words, the use of one particular image for the description of translation does not necessarily mean the complete exclusion of another image for the same purpose. Just as the purposes of translation vary,

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so do the principles of translation, and so do the ways, including the metaphorical ways, in which the processes and products of translation as well as the roles of the author, translator, recipient, are described. Conclusion Metaphors of translation can serve as both historical and current evidence of self-projection in translational cultures and the culture of Translation Studies. They function as important windows on how we view translation, especially literary translation. They make us aware that translation is a multi-faceted activity. This multi-facetness of translation is due to the complex tangle of e.g. translator subjectivity, and recipient (e.g. target readers, commissioners) that are components of an act of translation. Different translational purposes and functions, different translators and recipients, will all lead to different interpretations and understanding of translation, including different products. The multiplicity of metaphors of translation that have emerged and been used since the ancient times reflects such varied interpretations and understandings. These windows of translational metaphors provide us with views of what is regarded as scientific about translation by modern translation theory. They convey the information that translation is the transfer of entire messages from the source text to the target text, intent on achieving equivalence in the transfer, a process which requires innovation on the part of the translator. The features of transfer, equivalence, and innovation are all relative. The criteria will necessarily vary with the person (translator and recipients), the purpose (for whom and why the translation is done), the text type (novel, poetry, etc.), the time (viewed synchronically or diachronically), the place (geographical, ethnic, and socio-cultural), and so on. All seen from the windows of translational metaphors. They are not merely windows but important carriers of meaning, carriers of socio-cultural values about translation. In the discipline of Translation Studies, the systematic study of translational metaphors is meaningful not only to a better understanding of translation, but also for the expansion and development of Translation Studies as a discipline. Although metaphors of translation do not take up a particularly large proportion in the theoretical discourse on translation, they are nonetheless significant because, as a form of discourse on translation, they are uniquely powerful in terms of vividness and of the cultural values they express and which are not present in non-metaphors. Therefore, in the 21st century, which is supposedly more an age of scientific than an age of metaphorical language for academic fields of research, metaphors of translation constitute important objects of study. Continued research into them may help renew and sharpen our vision of both translation as an age-old human activity and of Translation Studies as a vigorously developing discipline.
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