If you read this blog, you know I’m always interested in metaphors for translation. Well, there’s an entire book on the subject now, Thinking Through Translation with Metaphors, edited by James St. André.
As Ben Van Wyke points out in his contribution, which is about metaphors relating to bodies and clothes, translation and metaphor have always been tightly linked:
“The word for translation in English, as well as in many other European languages, comes from the Latin translation, which is a translation of the Greek metaphora, the word from which English derives “metaphor.” In ancient Greek, metaphora was used in the sense that we employ the word “metaphor” today, as well as for translation from one language into another. Thurs, related in this way, translation and metaphor both imply the notion of carrying over or transferring meaning from one word or phrase to another.” (18)
In this anthology, Celia Martín de León talks about the metaphor of footsteps, while Sergey Tyulenev discusses translation as a form of smuggling, and Yotam Benshalom focuses on performance, among other metaphors analyzed.
The book also includes a helpful bibliography of works that discuss metaphors for translation.
This is a light, enjoyable read that might give readers new ways of understanding old metaphors as well as offer entirely new metaphors for thinking about translation.
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