Exploring Strategies of Translating Metaphor from English into Arabic with Reference to Scientific Texts

Abdulhameed A. Ashuja’a, Sumaiah M. Almatari, Ali S. Alward


Metaphors play an important role in conveying meaning not only in literary texts but also in scientific genres. Although there have been many translation studies on metaphor in literary texts, studies on metaphor translation in scientific settings seem to have been overlooked and received less attention. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the strategies used in translating scientific metaphors from English to Arabic by Yemeni senior translation students in three universities. This was achieved by using a translation test consisting of (33) metaphors selected from various sources based on Lakoff and Johnsen’s (1980; 2003) classification of metaphor. The test was given to a sample of 91 students who were randomly selected. 72 participants completed the test. Data were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Results showed that eight strategies, adapted from Alshunnag (2016), were used. The highly frequent strategy was the literal strategy and the least frequent was the explication strategy. The use of literal strategy indicated the difficulty of finding a metaphorical expression of a different type for the English metaphors in Arabic which might be due to the limited time available for translation and lack of knowledge of the metaphorical structure in both the source and target languages. It was recommended, therefore, that more comparative studies should be done to help improve translation training offered to students who should also be provided with training sessions which are more conducive to learning.


Metaphor, Strategies, Scientific Text, Scientific Metaphors, Translation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijclts.v.7n.3p.26


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