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Analysis of translated metaphors in the literary texts

2Main part
Theoretical review on domestication and foreignization in translation
Metaphor theory
Analysis of metaphor translation strategies
1. Munday, J., 2008. Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and applications. New
York: Routledge.
2. Newmark, P., 1988. A Textbook of Translation. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice-Hall
3. Nida, E.A., 1964. Toward a Science of Translating. Leiden: E.J. Brill.
4. Catford, J.C., 1965. A Linguistic Theory of Translation. London: Oxford University

This essay will focus on the analysis of translated metaphors in a literary text. This is
an interesting field of study because the main purpose when translating a literary text is to
transfer the aesthetic form of the source text to the target text.
Metaphors play a significant role in the literature in which writers express their style and
create emotive effect. Moreover, translator has to take into consideration whether there is an
equivalent metaphor or whether metaphor is used in the same way in the target language.
I can say that English and Kazakh languages are metaphorically structured, it means that if
we want to describe something we tend to use other words or expressions in order to make it
comprehensible. For instance, the term light in the expression the light of my life. Here, the
use of the term light is metaphorical. The person described by this metaphor isn't really
providing physical light. He or she is just someone who brings happiness or joy. We use the term
light in every day life and understand it as a physical thing, for example the light of the sun, that
is non-metaphorical usage of this term. In other words, the term light can be moved from one
setting into another and consequently become metaphorical.
The aim of this essay is to investigate how metaphors can be translated from English into
Kazakh in a literary text. The ST for this study of the translation of metaphors is a literary text
entitled Treasure Island. The author of this novel is a Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson.
Regarding the TT which is entitled was translated by Kyrgyzbai Dauitov.
I have chosen to analyze first chapter . The source text is rich in metaphors. For this reason
it proved very interesting and illuminating to discover how many metaphors that we may be
unaware of that we use every day. In the text there are both metaphors, which is easy to spot, as
well as the ones that are more hard to find. The purpose of the translation to convey the same
content and values as in the ST, and this essay focuses on the analysis of the translated
metaphors which help to retain the content and values as clear in the TT as in the ST.
For the analysis of the translation of metaphors from English into Kazakh, two types of
translation strategy was chosen. They are domestication and foreignization. These strategies
were deeply studied by Venuti. I think his work is closer to the translation of metaphors and
therefore is considered the most relevant to my essay.
The importance of the essay lies in that fact that the study of metaphor in translation might
improve communication between the two very different cultures. Moreover, this essay will be
useful for those who are eager to learn or do similar research related with the translation of

Theoretical review on domestication and foreignization in translation.

The translation strategies which are going to be used in this essay are domestication and
foreignization. The aim of the translation is not only to give the equivalent meaning of the

source text in the target text, but also to take into consideration the values of both the target
language and the source language. These values may include linguistic values or cultural ones.
Some of the translators prefer changing the source language values in order to make them
readable for the target language audience. This can be called domestication. Other translators, on
the other hand, prefer keeping the values of the source language, in such way the translation
cannot be clearly understood by the target readers, because the translation will contain a lot of
new terms which can sometimes be called culture bound words. This is the foreignization.
The roots of these strategies are traced back by Venuti to Schleiermacher. In 1813, the
German philosopher Friedirch Schleiermacher proposed two translating methods. He considers
that there are only two methods in order to make perfect translation. By using the first method
the translator makes the target reader move toward the source text author. In the second case, the
translator makes the source text author move toward the target reader who stays at his original
place. He has not given specific terms for his translating methods. He has just given

Table 1 above shows a Schleiermachers translation methods

In 1995 American translation theorist Lawrence Venuti first introduced two terms in order
to describe these two methods. He introduced them in his book The Translators Invisibility as
domesticating and foreignizing translation. According to Venuti, the former refers to an
ethnocentric reduction of the foreign text to target-language cultural values, bring the author
back home, while the latter is an ethnodeviant pressure on those (cultural) values to register
the linguistic and cultural difference of the foreign text, sending the reader broad.(Venuti ).
According to the explanation of Venuti, the term foreignization translation is used to
describe the type of translation in which the target language text is produced by retaining
something of the foreignness of the original text. In such type of translation mostly literal
translation is used as it keeps the target language norms during the translation. People who
advocate the foreignization follow that first. Moreover, Venuti is one of those who are the

supporters of the foreignization. They can show us some benefits of this method. The first is that
it is necessary for the target language readers to be aware of foreign culture and this is the aim
of the target readers when they read translated text. The second is that translators should believe
readers has ability to understand differences in foreign culture. The third is transfering the
culture or cultural values of the source language into the target language will enrich each
others language expression ways and show the equality in cultural communication.
Regarding the domestication, it describes the kind of the translation in which the
foreignness of the source text is translated with the help of some changes. In his book The
Translators Invisibility Venuti used the term invisibility in order to describe the translators
situation and activity in contemporary Anglo-Saxon culture. He sees the domestication in this
culture. He argues Anglo-American translation theory has been dominated since the seventeenth
century mainly by the domesticated method, which intends the translated text to conform to the
norms of target-language usage. In other words, the domestication method means that the text
should be transferred from the source language to the target language in such way as if it had
been originally written in the target language. And the task of the translator is to erase the every
part of the foreignness and create a fluent, idiomatic text in order to produce text in which the
target reader accept the meaning of the source text without any strangeness.

Metaphor theory
What is a metaphor? Metaphor is one of the figures of speech which make the language
more colorful. It is a way of describing something by equating it with something else. It is a
comparison between two different things that have an important characteristic in common. There
are a lot of various definitions for the metaphors as well as it has been studied by different
scholars from all over the world.
It requires greater ability on the part of the reader to perceive the hidden association, the
insight into the person and things that are applied. Peter Newmark defines metaphor as a
figurative expression and it is a single or extended text in the form of a collocation or sentence
and so on. (Newmark). We are going to discuss the metaphor in the text which includes an idiom,
a sentence, a proverb and so on.
It is not always possible to assume correctly, especially when writer and reader come from
the different cultural backgrounds and there is a gap between the writers rang of knowledge and
experience and readers. For instance, in the metaphor Money is a lens in a camera, it is not
clear what is common thing between money and a lens in a camera? Our knowledge of
photography tells us that a lens in a camera can reflect and record images of persons or things
sharply and objectively. This leads us to the thought that money can also cause people to reveal

their true feelings or characters. But the question is that just in translation, how we convey the
meaning of the SL to the TL correctly ?
Generally speaking, as we have discussed above, the translator has two main strategies of
translating the metaphors: Domestication and foreignization. The former refers to the translation
method in which a clear and idiomatic way is used in order to shorten the strangeness of the
original text for the target language readers, while the latter method refers to the translation
method in which the flavor of the original text or the foreignness is retained because of the
keeping originality.
Besides that, culture plays an important role in the translation of metaphor in two languages.
Readers may have different understandings to the use metaphor in different cultures. Therefore,
translators should realize the differences of two languages and select the best words to translate
the original text into the target text, and make readers understand the meaning of metaphor in the
original text vividly and correctly.
In this section I analyze interesting cases of metaphors in the ST and the translation of
these metaphors in the TT on the basis of the foreignization and domestication strategies
adopted when translating source text. For that purpose, We are going to have some examples to
show what methods are domestication what are foreignization.
Example 1. The old sea dog at the Admiral Benbow
Example 2 . I take up my pen
Example 3. go back to the time
Example 4. breaking out in that old sea song
Example 5. blow through his nose like a fog horn
Example 6. keep my weather eye open
Example 7. a real old salt
Example 8. My father never plucked up the heart
Example 9. battle of looks
Example 10. held his peace
In the first example, the word sea dog is a metaphor. The root of this word lies in the
history. The sea dogs were pirates during the time of Elithabeth I of England. Perhaps public are
not so familiar with the original meaning of this metaphor. Today, it refers to the very
experienced sailor. By translating it literally, the translator cannot convey the real meaning of the
metaphor. It was translated into Kazakh as . I think it is the right translation.
Here, the translator adopts domestication. Because , he did not translate it as a kind of sea
mammal as it is the literal translation of this metaphor. if he translated it in such way, it would
not be understandable for Kazakh readers. In order to avoid the misunderstanding the translator
had just translated the meaning of the metaphor.
The next example is I take up my pen. It is so common expression in our daily life that
one usually does not know that it is metaphoric. On the other hand, it can just reflect someones
action who is taking the pen into his hands. The meaning of this metaphor is to begin writing

something. Literal translation of it can transfer the meaning of the metaphor. Because, there is a
similar expression to it in Kazakh language as . And this is the translation
which is given in the . I can say that the type of method which is used here is
the foreignization. However, there is no foreignness in as it also gives the
same meaning as in the English language.
The third example follows as go back to the time In linguistic theory, there is a group of
metaphors which is called conduit metaphors. This example 3 belongs to this kind of
metaphor. As we know the time is not visible physical thing and we cannot touch it. It means we
cannot go back to the invisible thing. English speaker can use it when he wants to remind
something in the past. But, Kazakh readers do not understand the literal translation of this
metaphor. Therefore, the translator has translated its real meaning as
. In my opinion, the translator could give a good translation
by using the domestication method.
I think the example 4 shows an interesting metaphor. breaking out in that old sea song
The English verb break out has a lot meaning. Mostly this verb is used to describe the action in
which something is started to happen. By the way, how a person can break out in abstract thing.
The picture which is portrayed by this metaphor was successfully produced in the translation.
This metaphor means that the person started to sing loudly. It was translated as
. This translation can portray the same picture as in the
source text. Moreover, there is a word as sea song. I consider it as a metaphor which means the
song of sailors. The literal translation of the sea song will not be effective as in the source text.
Thus, translator transferred the meaning of this metaphor by translating it as . By
the way, the word should be replaced by other words such as , . Despite
of this fact, we should take into consideration that it was translated during the Kazakh language
establishment. At that time we did not have such common equivalent for . Here, we can
appreciate the translators ability to use the domestication method during the translation of
metaphors that are difficult to understand.
In the example 5. blow through his nose like a fog horn the usage of this combination
is metaphorically, it means to breathe deeply, releasing some sounds as warning signals to ships
in foggy weather and the person is compared with the mechanical instrument that gives this
signal. In the translation the sense of the source text is
retained, that is the source text readers and the target readers can take the same effect, sense. In
my point of view, the method which was adopted by translator is domestication, because he
could find out right equivalent metaphor for the source text metaphor.
Another example of the domestication which I am going to explain is keep my weather
eye open Generally, the metaphor weather eye means the vision of a person trained to

observe changes in the weather in the English culture. But does it give the same meaning if it is
translated literally? In this case, translator just transferred according to the meaning. He
translated it as . The reason for that is in Kazakh culture the alertness, the
vision to observe changes is not associated with the weather. Hence, it can be considered as a
suitable translation.
There are some metaphors which are synonym to each other. The example for this can serve
my next example a real old salt This metaphor can be the synonym to the metaphor sea
dog, as it also refers to the sailor. However, there is no exact metaphor which is connected with
the sailor in Kazakh culture as in English culture. Therefore , I advocate the translators choice to
translate it with the help domestication method. It will not contain any strangeness by this way.
In the following example there is source text verb phrases as plucked up the heart which
is metaphorical. The heart is not only thought of as an organ but also something that contains
certain qualities, such as bravery, love and the perception of what is right or wrong. It is an usual
verb phrase for English readers, it means to summon up courage. However, it does not produce
such effect on Kazakh readers when it is translated literally. In order to make it available for the
target readers, translation is produced with the help of domestication. As a result, the translation
follows as .
The last examples show translators skill to transfer the meaning of the metaphors which
describe the persons state and actions. For example, the word combinations battle of looks
and held his peace portray the peoples action. The usage of the battle is metaphorical. In
English language the battle of looks is used to describe the situation in which two people
are staring at each other. But, in Kazakh language it does not work in such way. It was translated
as . Regarding the second example person cannot held
abstract thing such as peace. Held his peace means to be calm, to be quiet. Its literal translation
will not be used by Kazakh readers or even it is not comprehensible for them. It was translated
as - . As we noticed the translator could make the target readers see
original meaning, characteristics and imagination. In other words, the translator has used the
different images in the target language to take the place of the images in the source text.
The examples which were analyzed above, show how metaphorical unit in English can
present a rather difficult challenge for Kazakh translators, who , on the one hand, have to find an
idiomatic translation, and, on the other hand, may have to alter the target text structure to make
the phrase idiomatic in Kazakh.
My essay set out to investigate how metaphors in Treasure Island can be handled in a
Kazakh translation. The starting point was that the English and Kazakh language cultures are
different, therefore there might be differences in how we tend to use metaphors. Metaphors are

not necessarily something that is used solely in fiction or poetry as an artistic tool but a necessary
device in human communication.
On studying the method of metaphor translation, we come to the conclusion that the
changeable methods should be employed instead of using the fixed and contingent ones. The
way in which a metaphor or can be depended on many factors. It is not only a question of
whether a metaphor is available in the target language .Other factors include the significance of
the specific lexical items which constitute the metaphors. Different elements such as the
contextual factors of the source language text, the consideration of referential accuracy, the
reader's acceptability and the pragmatic economy can decide the way whether to use foreignizing
or domesticating strategy.
This essay was based on theories of domestication and foreignization translation strategies.
There are some obstacles in the translation of metaphor, but the method of the translation of
metaphor is reasonable within the common theory of translation. Domestication translation and
foreignization translation have a relationship of dialectical unity and the use of them depends on
the need of translation practice.
The conclusions that can be drawn from the analysis of the ST and the TT cannot be said to
be universal as the data used in the essay only comes from one source. Nevertheless, there are
some indications that point in a certain direction. In most cases, the English metaphors can be
translated literally into Kazakh by retaining the same meaning. This shows that English and
Kazakh languages have similar metaphoric structure. Consequently, literal translation of
metaphors in the form of nouns or noun phrases, as well as metaphors in the form of verbs or
verb phrases is often possible. In these cases, the method which were adopted by translator either
domestication or foreignization. If we take into account that the source text metaphors are
transferred in the same form, we can call the method, which was adopted, as foreignization. If
we state that there is not any foreignness in the target text, it is considered as domestication. The
reason for that is sometimes the target language might also have similar metaphor, which does
not led to any certain strangeness. On the other hand, in some cases literal translation is not
possible. The problem is that they would be surprised by the choice of word because it is
unidiomatic. The quality of the translation would diminish. In such instances, domestication is
required to make the metaphor feel comfortable in that particular context. In order to make the
metaphor available for the target readers, translator should find suitable equivalent metaphors or
just transfer the meaning of the original metaphor.
This essay has contributed to the field of English to Kazakh translation by highlighting the
issue of metaphors. Under those two translation strategies, the English metaphor translation
would be more felicitous and promote communication between English and Kazakh cultures.