Zinan Ye
The School of Translation, Interpretation and Language Studies

1.Language is fundamentally metaphorical 3.Universality of conceptual metaphor 4. Cross-cultural aspect of metaphor and translation 5. Weighing the significance of metaphor 6.Examples

1.Language is fundamentally metaphorical

The traditional view 1. Metaphor is for most people a device of poetic imagination and the rhetorical flourish - a matter of extraordinary rather than ordinary language. 2. Metaphor is typically viewed characteristic of language alone, a matter of words rather than thought.

metaphor is a matter of thought. Far from being merely a matter of words. Some important scholars holding this view: George lakoff. Raymond Gibbs and Zoltan Kövecses. . Mark Johnson.A new cognitive view: 1. Metaphor is a tool so ordinary that everyone uses it everyday. etc. 2. Mark Turner.

in economic. political or many other types of texts. We can thoroughly discuss translation by way of discussing metaphor. legal. then Metaphor is everywhere. such as in everyday talks. It exists extensively in our language. . commercial.If we agree with the above theory. technical.

. let me try to convince you.No. that is impossible!!!!! You mean metaphors coming out of my mouth each time when I speak? I don’t believe it! OK.

People might say that they try to give their children an education so they will get a good start in life. Parents hope that their children won’t be burdened with financial worries or ill health and. Parents hope that their children will have a long life span and that they will go far in life. But they also know that their children. as all mortals. . if they face such difficulties. If their children act out. will reach the end of the road. that they will be able to overcome them. they hope that they are just going through a stage and that they will get over it.

that they will be able to overcome them. Parents hope that their children won’t be burdened with financial worries or ill health and. But they also know that their children. as all mortals. Parents hope that their children will have a long life span and that they will go far in life.People might say that they try to give their children an education so they will get a good start in life. . they hope that they are just going through a stage and that they will get over it. will reach the end of the road. if they face such difficulties. If their children act out.

we try to use a concrete concept for help. When something is hard to grasp. When an abstract concept needs to be expressed.“But I have never thought that they are metaphors. Metaphor is a handle. .” Metaphor has to be redefined. you need a handle.

He’s never let anyone get in his way. I’m where I want to be in life. 6. 7. They will reach the end of the road. LIFE IS A JOURNEY . 2. She’ll go places in life. 9. 4.They will have a good start in life. 5. 3. I’m at a crossroads in my life. They will have a long life span.我们可以看出,上面这段文字是描写人生的,显然作者借用了 一个“把手”,也就是人们非常熟悉的旅程(journey)概念。 1. 8. They will go far in life. She’s gone through a lot in life. 10. He is without any direction in life.

1. We try to understand target through source. source domain (源域) The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another. linguistic metaphor (or metaphorical expression) 3. conceptual metaphor (概念隐喻) 2. Source is easier to understand. Target is harder to understand. target domain (目标域) 4. .

We will follow you. We are linguistic metaphors. Conceptual metaphors. I am target domain I am source domain Conceptual metaphor and linguistic metaphor . I am your leader!!! We are down in language. you are under my control. Conceptual metaphor LIFE IS A JOURNEY. please give us orders. I am conceptual.“I” am up in mind. Linguistic metaphors.

End of the road. We can go on and on… LIFE IS A JOURNEY . At a crossroads……. Without direction.. Go far. A long life span.I AM A CONCEPTUAL METAPHOR: LIFE IS A JOURNEY We are linguistic metaphors: A good start.

here and gone. Now and then an author comes along who rewires a part of our brains. Many women actually abandon ship before they reach the pinnacle of their success. at forty a camel. we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it. Those made of sterner stuff last longer. We have the chance at any moment to walk outside our prejudices. at eighty nothing at all. not lie at the anchor. but we must sail. (The New York Times) 4. We have a mountain to climb in the House to achieve an override. To reach the port of heaven. 3. at fifty a serpent. at thirty a lion. at seventy an ape. At twenty man is a peacock. and not drift. Others are shooting stars. 2. Some of the talented young are swiftly defeated. (The Wall Street Journal) 5. (The New York Times) 6. at sixty a dog.1. (Oliver Wendell Holmes) 7. . and retreat into more ordinary lives.

B. …there is the New York of the commuter—the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. entered the blood circulation. recycle bin (computer) 11. Software. bear market. (Here is New York. by Kate Chopin) . close. by E. and eventually invaded the brain. White) 14. by E. rounter. When the storm of grief had spent itself she went away to her room alone. On any person who desires such queer prizes. escaped from the primary tumor of the lungs. bull market. blocked the tumor cell’s invasion and killed the tumor cells 10. Soft landing. White) 13. (The Story of an Hour. back-to-back loan. (economic) 12. New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy. noise. 9. bridge.8. (Here is New York. windows. mailbox. B. face value. open. hard landing.

and such reasoning would never capture the full inferential capacity of complex metaphorical thought. But almost no one ever does this. . we probably can do some very minimal and unsophisticated nonmetaphorical reasoning. These colors are similar. If we consciously make enormous effort to separate out metaphorical from nonmetaphorical thought.Can we think without metaphor? Can we think about subjective experience and judgment without metaphor? Hardly. Barry and I are close. These colors are close.

3. Even some image metaphors can be universal. 2. Image-schema based metaphor vs. Image schema-based metaphors are universal. image metaphor 意象图式隐喻和意象隐喻 embodied experience (体验) Image-schema based metaphor . Metaphors are quite common and unnoticeable.Universality or the cross-cultural aspect of conceptual metaphor 1.

图式和体验有关,即人在生活中与物质世界互动后在大脑中形成的意象图式, 这些图式是我们用概念隐喻感知抽象世界所需的媒介。这些最基本的图式是源 于生命中最早期的经历,如婴儿第一次站起来走路时的愉快,后来摔倒在地的 痛哭,这类上下体位的变化不知不觉地和孩子的心情连了起来,正是这类经历 慢慢孕育了happy is up. sad is down这个概念隐喻。这种图式虽然也是意象,但 是它们的特点是粗线条,没有具体内容,比如路径图式(path schema)、力图 式(force schema)、接触图式(contact schema)这些图式都没有具体的内容, 像路径给人的感觉是经过行走,人可以从一点到另外一点,这个感觉就构成了 一条线形的移动路径,其基本成分就是两点一线,非常粗线条,没有更为丰富 的内容,难怪有些认知语言学家把这类意象图式成为skeletal image schema,好 像仅仅是个架子。 根据这样的定义,那些以上下、内外、容器等为图式基础的 概念隐喻就都是意象图式隐喻,而被这类概念隐喻诱发的隐喻为数可观,比如 人们一般并不认为下面的句子里含有隐喻: .

) anger is fire (He is smoldering with fire. (based on the up-down schema) He went crazy.) .) anger is a hot fluid in a container (I could not contain my rage.     I am out of trouble. (based on the in-out schema) I am in love. (based on the motion schema) You are driving me crazy. (based on the in-out schema) That was a low trick.) love is a journey (Our love is at a crossroads. (based on the force schema) Metaphors based on common things     a theory is a building (That is a foundation for this theory.

cognitive metaphors are not culture-specific.Image metaphors (one shot metaphor) My wife’s waist is an hourglass the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night The degree of universality: Metaphors based on image schema--------------highly universal Metaphors based on common things------------universal depending on the “thing” Metaphors based on strong images---------------universal depending on the “image” In short. They are cross-cultural. They are . or universal to a great extent.

* Experiential basis of metaphor (经验基础) * Bodily motivation 身体经验的引发或诱导 or Embodied mind Conceptual metaphors are grounded in or motivated by human experience (sometimes physical experience). .

(I am on top of the situation. SAD IS DOWN.) HAPPY IS UP.) TIME IS A MOVING OBJECT. (feeling up or down.(The new semester is approaching.CONTROL IS UP.) Embodied nature of metaphors .

冷遇。 . you feel the warmth.AFFECTION IS WARMTH. Universal experience: This warmth has no cultural difference. Experience:When someone hugs you. Shared conceptual metaphor:AFFECTION IS WARMTH English linguistic metaphor: warmly welcome. Chinese translation: Literal translation is fine: 热烈欢迎. cold reception Chinese comprehension: Easy to understand.

Chinese translation: Literal translation is fine: 我们不得不分道扬镳。 More linguistic realizations of LOVE IS A JOURNEY: We can’t turn back now. . Chinese comprehension: Easy to understand.LOVE IS A JOURNEY Experience:We all have the experience of taking a trip. We are just spinning our wheels. The relationship is a dead-end street. Universal experience: This experience is not culture-bound. It has been a long and bumpy road. Shared conceptual metaphor: LOVE IS A JOURNEY. English linguistic metaphor: We have to go our separate ways. The relationship is not going anywhere.

LOVE IS AN ECONOMIC EXCHANGE Experience: We all have experiences of trading in market with money. Chinese translation: Literal translation is fine:爱至如此,无法偿还。 . Shared conceptual metaphor:LOVE IS AN ECONOMIC EXCHANGE. Universal experience: This experience has no cultural difference. English linguistic metaphor :The love is such I can no way repay。 Chinese comprehension: Easy to understand.

The cross-cultural aspect of conceptual metaphor and translation .

他又丈二和尚摸不着头脑了。 Q: Do we need to achieve an equivalent at the cognitive level? A: The answer is “no”. 1. we don’t translate cognitive metaphor as a system. or cognitive equivalence is not our goal. We like Professor Smith. unless the cognitively meaningful language element is intended by the writer.Translation is a process of finding an equivalent at different levels. . In other words. Translation: This means we don’t need to translate all the metaphorical expressions motivated by conceptual metaphors. 2.

the less need to retain in translation. Cognitive metaphor gives us a better perspective when we do picking and choosing. the more need to retain in translation. . because a metaphor created by a particular writer is often not accepted into the language system and it is more foregrounded in the system. more unique. we pick and choose in translation. the more individually created.    Image schema motivated---------system-based Common experience motivated----system-based? Strong image mapping -----.In other words.writer created The more system-based a metaphor is .

(留点时间打乒乓。) These metaphors are based on things or concepts that are very familiar to us. To retain them or not should not become a big issue. (我没有时间可给你。) That flat tire cost me an hour. The cultural barrier is minimal. (你在浪费我的时间。) This gadget will save you hours.. but these metaphors are not very valuable.TIME IS MONEY You’re wasting my time. (. we use numerous metaphors of this type..让我损失了一小时。) Put aside some time for Ping Pong. (将为你节省几个小时。) I don’t have time to give you. Everyday. There is no way to give much attention to this type of metaphor in translation. The “direct” translation is highly possible. .

He could barely contain his rage. as the ANGER IS A CONTAINER concept is universal. even though it is possible to do that. To retain the metaphoric image (ANGER IS A CONTAINER) is not necessary. are they interchangeable in translation? We often paraphrase in translation. so can we paraphrase 1 by using 2? After all. the two sentences say the same thing: He is very angry.ANGER IS A CONTAINER   His pent-up anger welled up inside him. . In some contexts.

then totally eliminating the image is quite acceptable: he is extremely angry. But in an informative text in which the focus is not on details of the emotion. He could barely contain his rage. if this is in a literary text in which the writer is vividly describing a person’s anger. then to retain the image may become necessary. for example.  His pent-up anger welled up inside him. but just the general fact. But if we take other factors into account. .

even though you do lose “flavor”. both in English and Chinese. hence no cultural barrier to overcome.MOUNTAIN AS A HANDLE  We have a mountain to climb in the House to achieve an override. as “mountain” and “pass” are specific examples of a barrier. so change it. which is probably already in our system. Climbing mountains is a common human experience. 如要在众院推翻法案,仍有一座山要爬。 若要在众院推翻法案,仍有一个难关要过。 若要在众院推翻法案,仍相当困难。 But these two specific-level metaphors are from the more abstract generic-level metaphor: BARRIERS ARE DIFFICULTIES. replace it. . or totally eliminate it is quite acceptable: 非常难 in some informative texts. But it is also not very valuable either.

. 她的道路上布满了看不见的岩石和狮子。 (literally with rocks and lions) 2. The context needs to be considered. (IMAGE metaphor) 1. “Rock” and “lions” are metaphoric.ROCKS AND LIONS AS A HANDLE  Her way was strewn with invisible rocks and lions. 她的道路上布满了看不见的障碍和危险。 (with obstacles and dangers) Moving from “rocks and lions” to “things/things ” to “obstacle/danger” is moving from specific to generic. “Way” is metaphoric (LIFE IS A JOURNEY). 她的道路上布满了看不见的障碍物和危险物。 (with things that block her and things that are dangerous) 3. The translator needs to weigh the value of the metaphors to keep or discard them.

but it’s been downhill ever since. sad is down. even though it is not required to do so in most cases. bad is down. Conscious is up. We hit a peak last year. Happy is up. he is down. . fall asleep (醒来,睡去等) More is up. I am soaring with happiness. I am feeling up (or down). such as “up and down”. unconscious is down. which are not culture-bound. wake up. My salary goes up. (顶峰下坡) Since these metaphors are based on human spatial orientations.ORIENTATION AS A HANDLE Conceive of the target by means of some basic human spatial orientations. to keep the original orientation is not totally impossible. less is down. (工资上去) Good is up. the number of students goes down. Those orientations are very basic and shared by different cultures.

. When other factors are taken into account together with this cognitive factor. the translator is more accurate in translation.The cognitive perspective gives us a very powerful tool to look at metaphoric expressions in translation so that we know the value of a metaphor in a given text.

(很瘦、骨瘦如柴、瘦得像根树枝儿) . and can be more significant. Most of those are metaphors intentionally created. “Direct” translation is encouraged whenever it is possible to keep the image. IMAGE METAPHOR My wife’s waist is an hourglass.But there are metaphors relying on images with rich details (strong image) . Supermodel is just a twig.

As to whether the translator needs to be that accurate (skopos).HARDSHIP IS SHARED RESPONSIBILITY Has she had her share of human tribulations and trials enough that now they would entitle her to long overdue dignified liberty?  她是否已经承受了足够的艰辛和磨难,而应该获得早该给 她的自由与尊严? 人类的艰辛与磨难,她该承受的那份是否已经足够,是否 应该还她早该给她的自由与尊严? The cognitive perspective gives us a mental picture. which helps the translator with their comprehension and makes the translation more accurate. that is another question. .

(From the New York Times)  尽管深陷困境,沙米尔还是从晨间的头条新闻中找到了一 则令人鼓舞的消息 尽管乌云围绕着他. Yitzhak Shamir plucked the thread of a silver lining out of the morning headlines. 找到一线希望? This is from news.CLOUD AND SUNSHINE AS A HANDLE With clouds all around him. the translator may have more pressure to retain them. . In a literary text. even though retaining them is not impossible. so no need to retain metaphors. The cognitive perspective again provides a way to understand better the value of a metaphor.

so they are more valuable.LITERARY METAPHORS I would rather be a bright leaf on the stream of a dying civilization than a fertile seed dropped in the soil of a new era. as they could contribute to the writer’s style.  我情愿自由欢快地生活在衰败的文明中,也不愿生长在一 个能让你有所收获但却少有个人意志的新时代。 我情愿做漂浮在衰老文明溪流上的一片光鲜的叶子,也不 愿是掉落在新时代土壤里的一粒能繁育的种子。 我宁愿做一片光鲜的树叶,漂在垂死文明的溪流中,而不 愿做一粒待发的种子,呆在新纪元的沃土里。 Strong images are individually created. .

but it loses the force. 太不给力。 Metaphors created by authors may be more valuable than system -based metaphors. Paraphrase them in translation is generally not recommended.STRONG IMAGE IN LITERATURE  Soon we’ll be sliding down the razorblade of life . unless retaining them is not acceptable in the target language. “Life is hard” is a correct interpretation of the sentence. .

【NIV】  They have deeply corrupted themselves.【KJV】  They have sinned deeply.LOW IS BAD They have sunk deep into corruption. 【Douay-Rheims Bible】  People have deeply corrupted themselves as they once did at Gibeah. as in the days of Gibeah. as in the days of Gabaa. 【GOD'S WORD 】 【和合本】以法莲深深的败坏,如在基比亚的日子一样。 【吕振中】以法莲深深败坏、像在基比亚的日子一样; 【思高本】他们穷凶已到了极点,就如在基贝亚的时日一样 【现代本】这些人罪恶滔天,就像他们从前在基比亚时一样 . as in the days of Gibeah.

【和合本】以法莲深深的败坏,如在基比亚的日子一样 【吕振中】以法莲深深败坏、像在基比亚的日子一样; 【思高本】他们穷凶已到了极点,就如在基贝亚的时日一样 【现代本】这些人罪恶滔天,就像他们从前在基比亚时一样 Generic metaphoric concept is: LOW IS BAD Specific concept is: CORRUPTION IS LOW-LYING MATERIAL 腐败沉沦到了极点 深深地陷入腐败之中 .

or influences EXAMPLE: the movie explored the tension between public duty and personal loyalty. arguments.IMAGE-SCHEMA BASED METAPHOR Brzezinski…discusses the inevitable contradictions and tensions that enmesh a democratic society that is also a global hegemon.  ROOT ANALOGY: CONFLICTING PURPOSE IS OPPOSITE DIRECTION LITERAL MEANING: force which stretches a rope. string apart METAPHORICAL MEANING: differences between forces. cable. which makes comprehension easier. . The cognitive perspective again provides a mental picture.

I want to go left. Brzezinski…discusses the inevitable contradictions and tensions that enmesh a democratic society that is also a global hegemon. as I am being pulled in two opposite directions. I am a global hegemon. I need to go right.Tensions created here I am the USA. I am experiencing TENSIONS. . CONFLICTING PURPOSE IS OPPOSITE DIRECTION I am a democratic society.

. 旨在将中国引导到国际接受的行为标准上来。 ROOT ANALOGY: ACTIVITY/PROCESS IS MOVEMENT (FORWARD) LITERAL MEANING: cause someone to move forward (picture) METAPHORICAL MEANING: cause somebody to change behavior. A cognitive perspective helps the translator in choosing the better word.MOVEMENT AS A HANDLE broader policies intended to move China toward internationally accepted standards of conduct. or opinion EXAMPLE: now we have a new boss things are beginning to move faster.

I am being moved. I am being guided. I am China. Move China Guide China .I am China.

一首诗意义丰富,恰在于言简意赅、抑扬顿挫。 (Paraphrasing: A poem is meaningful. . concise and musical ) ROOT ANALOGY: A POEM IS A CONTAINER.CONTAINER AS A HANDLE A poem compresses much in a small space and adds music. thus heightening its meaning. LITERAL MEANING: Substance is compressed in a container (an image) METAPHORICAL MEANING: A meaningful (poem) EXAMPLE: compressed work schedules Improved translation: 一首诗集丰富内容于方寸,再配上韵律,便意蕴 非凡。 The Cognitive consideration creates a mental image that helps the translator in translation.

A novelist has to write a book about what I described.I am a poem. but I did it in a few lines. A lot of things are compressed in my small space. A poem compresses much in a small space. . I am a container.

A Course in Cognitive Metaphor and Translation Contents (Chinese) .Conclusion The perspective of cognitive metaphor is a very useful tool for translators. Contents (English) 高级英汉翻译理论与实践 . Cognitive metaphor theory (CMT) has not only theoretical implications. but also practical ones too.

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