Dissertation > Literature > Literary Theory > Literary Creation > Literary Translation

On Translating Metaphors in Camel Xiangzi into English

Author LiRongPing
Tutor GuFeiRong
School Nanjing Agricultural College
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords conceptual metaphor C/E translation Camel Xiangzi "human"metaphor "heart" metaphor
CLC I046
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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The study of metaphor has a long history in the East and the West. In traditional study, metaphor was always confined as a language phenomenon and viewed as a rhetorical device. On the contrary, Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) considers metaphor not only as a language phenomenon, but also a universal way of cognition and thinking, which is a cognitive activity that helps people to understand and experience one thing in terms of another. Metaphor pervasively exists in our daily life, in languages, in thought as well as in behavior. The conceptual system in our thought and activities is metaphorical in nature. The development of CMT provides a new angle and theoretical foundation for us to understand metaphor. Meanwhile, it also inspires people to reexamine and explore metaphor translation from the perspective of cognitive linguistics.Through a comparative study of Chinese and English conceptual metaphors, we have summarized that there are identical conceptual metaphors, similar conceptual metaphors and culture-specific conceptual metaphors between Chinese and English.Camel Xiangzi is regarded as one of the greatest contemporary Chinese novels, in which a number of metaphors add much beauty to the novel, and Shi Xiaojing has translated metaphors in an appropriate way. The present author has chosen two metaphor systems of "human" and "heart" in Camel Xiangzi, and has made analysis of their translation from the perspective of CMT, according to which we have pointed out that identical mapping in translating metaphors provides convenience for metaphor translation, so the maximal equivalence can be achieved; while similar mapping in translating metaphors and culture-specific mapping in translating metaphors could not project the same cognitive mode, and part of meaning would be deviated or lost in translation. However, in metaphor translation, the cognitive mode of the source text metaphors should be retained as much as possible to make sure that the target language readers get nearly the same reaction as the source language readers do.Through descriptive study of metaphor translation in Camel Xiangzi by Shi Xiaojing, we have found that the translator has employed the first translation method as much as possible. However, because there are many similar and culture-specific metaphors between English and Chinese, the translator has properly adopted the other two methods so as to maintain the cognitive model of metaphors and avoid deviation or loss of meaning, which is worth our attention.

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