Translation of Personification and Suspension of Disbelief

Mitra Shahabi, Maria Teresa Roberto


This study calls the translators´ attention to animal personification in texts where in some cases the image of the animal is not only different from or contradictory to those in the target language but also different from or contradictory to those in the source text. The proposed translation strategies in this study are based on the specificity of the situations. The translator must reflect on three factors: a) the features of the animal in the source text, b) the image of that animal in the source language, and also c) its image in the target language. However, in this study, we conclude that the burden is put on the readers, rather than on the author or translators. They make use of the reader´s willing suspension of disbelief which helps them in encountering breakdown in established conventions and norms, to “suspend” their disbelief about odd or eccentric entities and concepts.

Keywords: Shared Assumption, Translation Cognitive Approach, Cognitive Equivalence, Disbelief Suspension

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