Translating Metaphor In Written Arabic: Issues In Critical Discourse Analysis
This research aims at examining the difficulties that Saudi EFL learners majoring in translation encounter when translating metaphor-laden discourse from English into Arabic. The researcher selected a random sample that comprised 60 undergraduate students who were enrolled in a translation course during the second semester 2014/2015. The researcher designed a translation test that consists of 20 statements which EFL learners were requested to translate from English into Arabic. Each statement contained a metaphoric expression. Sample metaphors were extracted from a variety of discourses. The researcher also conducted informal open-ended interviews with teachers of translation to garner additional information from the teachers’ points of view regarding these difficulties in creative translational writing. Findings revealed that participants encounter a variety of difficulties when translating culturally laden expressions, especially metaphors. These difficulties are generally produced by the learners’ being unfamiliar with these metaphoric expressions and consequently their crash to creatively gain their nearest equivalence in Arabic. Findings also showed that ambiguity of some metaphoric expressions can result in the obfuscation of understanding and hence rendering metaphors into Arabic. Another difficulty revealed was the lack of knowledge or use of translational writing techniques and strategies in reformulating metaphoric meanings from the source language to the target language. In this light of the findings, the study shows that empowering translation programs with more courses that address cultural differences, enrich cultural knowledge, and increase cultural awareness should be essential components of the programs that prepare translators.