Translation at the Crossroad of Rhetorical Trope: Translating Metaphor in the Light of Relevance Theory

Samuel Babatunde Moruwawon, PhD, associate professor
Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria, West Africa
email: babatunde.moruwawon@eksu.edu.ng


This present study discusses the translation of metaphor as a stylistic element in the light of Relevance theory. The data of the study consists of three assorted metaphors that have been used in French and their English translations. These texts have been taken from some published (Achebe “Things Fall Apart” (1958)) and unpublished literary material. The study focuses on the identification and analysis, from the perspective of Relevance theory, of the metaphorical expressions used in the texts and explains the translation procedures resorted to by the translators in dealing with such expression. The study also adopts the operational framework of metaphor translation procedures based on the Source Text and Target Text approach developed by Vinay and Darbelnet (1995) and Showqi (2014). Although no single theory of translation is able to analyse the phenomenon of metaphor in translation, the article relies on Relevance theory in order to develop a view on the translatability of metaphors in literary texts. The metaphors analysed in this study reveal the thinking pattern of people in the society. It equally provides a step in the right direction to understanding the phenomenon of metaphor translation in the light of relevance theory. We do not propose that our theory is the only answer to all the challenges of translation. Despite the usefulness of the theory, the translator’s competence and knowledge are equally necessary to faithfully render metaphorical expressions from one language into another.

Keywords: Relevance theory, metaphor, translation, faithfulness, context


How to cite:
Moruwawon, B. S. “Translation at the Crossroad of Rhetorical Trope: Translating Metaphor in the Light of Relevance Theory.” Journal of Comparative Studies 10 (39), 62–74.