Cultural Basis of Metaphors Translation: Case of Emotions in Persian and English

Fatemeh Safarnejad, Imran Ho-Abdullah, Norsimah Mat Awal


Metaphorical expressions often involve culturally-specific concepts, embodying associations related to a particular cultural community. Metaphor translation poses the problems of switching between different cultural references, as well as conceptual and linguistic perspectives. Dealing with metaphors in translation, thus, is not simply a matter of identifying the linguistic correspondences in two languages under study, but of identifying correspondences between their conceptual systems corresponding to their different cultural models. The main purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a study that investigated emotive metaphoric conceptualizations and their dominant patterns in Persian and English. The emotions under study are metaphorical expressions of happiness and sadness which have been compiled from a literary source text and its two corresponding target texts. The Metaphor Identification Procedures (MIP), proposed by the Pragglejazz group (2007), and Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) were adopted as the framework for analysis. Our findings revealed that there are many cultural similarities and differences between emotive metaphorical concepts in Persian and English.

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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)

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