Towards a New Model for Implied Metaphor Translation: English Translations of Al Muallaqat

Aiman Sanad Al-Garrallah


This two-part paper argues that metaphor in both English and Arabic is defined and classified in almost the same way with some slight, but far from insignificant, differences. Those differences along with the linguistic nature of implied metaphor can be attributed to the failure in translating that type of metaphor from Arabic into English as shown particularly in Jones’, Johnson’s, and Arberry’s translations of Al Muallaqat.  The fourteen examples of implied metaphor, chosen from “Muallaqa of Imru Al-Qais,” are translated by employing two main strategies based on the linguistic component of implied metaphor – none of which (this study argues) succeeds in translating implied metaphor into implied metaphor. In criticizing some, if not all, prominent models suggested by eminent figures, this study argues that theorists since the 1980s have not been involved in proposing new procedures that settle down such a problem in lieu of being preoccupied with iterating almost what Newmark (1988) suggests. Accordingly, this paper suggests a new cross-linguistic classification of metaphor – a classification that might better belittle the discrepancies of other classifications. More importantly, this study proposes a new model for translating implied metaphor into implied metaphor.

Keywords: Metaphor, Istiʕarah, Implied Metaphor, Vehicle-oriented Metaphor, Tenor-oriented Metaphor, Pre-Islamic Poetry, Al Muallaqat, Super-ordinate Metaphor,  Subordinate Metaphor

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