Strategies of Translating Political Metaphors Conceptually (English-Arabic)

Majid Mohammed Ali Mabkhut Musaad


Metaphors represent one of the major problems a translator may encounter. A number of studies have been carried out on metaphor translation in literary texts; however, in political discourse studies are scarce and still limited. Therefore, the main objective of the present study is to explore the strategies employed by the translator in translating metaphors from English into Arabic in political discourse, namely in the USA president Joseph R. Biden’s inaugural address using the framework of Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT). The corpus consists of 72 English metaphors extracted from Biden’s inaugural address and their translations in the Arabic counterpart which is analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The results of the study show that out of five strategies of metaphor translation adopted from Alshunnag (2016), three strategies are used. These strategies are 1) corresponding the target texts (TT) metaphor to source text (ST) metaphor, 2) rendering the ST Metaphors into a non-metaphorical expression in TT and 3) The translation of a ST non-metaphorical expression into a TT metaphorical expression. The findings of the analysis further reveal that corresponding the TT metaphor to ST metaphor, including rendering literally, explication and elaboration is the most dominant strategy of metaphor translation and applied to 53 metaphors (73.61%), whereas the translation of a ST non-metaphorical expression into a TT metaphorical expression comes in the second rank with 14 metaphors (19.44%), and rendering the ST Metaphors into a non-metaphorical expression in TT which applied to 5 metaphors (6.94%) is the least strategy. The study concludes with some recommendations for further research studies in metaphor translation.


Metaphors represent one of the major problems a translator may encounter. A number of studies have been carried out on metaphor translation in literary texts; however, in political discourse studies are scarce and still limited. Therefore, the main object

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