Translating metaphors into Afrikaans in a source language-oriented translation of the Hebrew Bible

Van Der Merwe, Christo H. J. ; Hendriks, Elisabet (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2006)


How should metaphors be treated in a source language-oriented translation of the Bible with the following translation brief? Create a source language-oriented translation of the Bible in idiomatic Afrikaans which can be read aloud and used in church services, but which is also suitable for catechism, Bible study and private use. This paper aims to make a contribution towards addressing this question. Assuming that Gutt's (2000) notion of a 'direct1 or stimulus-based translation' embodies the skopos of this translation, our central hypothesis is that a basic insight into the cognitive mechanism of metaphors and their cultural embeddedness provides the key towards the development of a justifiable strategy for interpreting and translating metaphors in the above-mentioned type of translation. In this paper, we do not purport to provide a guide for the analysis and translation of all metaphors; we use merely one type of metaphor to illustrate (i) the cognitive processes typically involved when metaphorical language is used and (ii) some of the implications of these complex processes for the interpretation and translation of an ancient text like the Hebrew Bible.

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