The Stylistic Amplification of Conceptual Metaphors in Translating Shakespeare into Arabic by Mohamed Enani
Keywords: adaptation, amplification, domestication, conceptual metaphor theory, compensation, literary translation, stylistics, translating Shakespeare into Arabic, Othello
Translating Shakespeare into Arabic is a century-old cultural project which is still a source of challenge for translators who adopt a source-text-oriented approach that attempts to simulate the original in content, form, and impact. Shakespeare’s texts are rife with metaphoric language which serves multiple functions on the cognitive, cultural, pragmatic as well as stylistic levels. This paper aims to analyze the translation of literary metaphors from a stylistic perspective in Mohamed Enani’s version of Othello. The analysis is conducted in the framework of conceptual metaphor theory which provides a microscopic description of how metaphors are influenced by the translation process. The findings of the analysis unveil the translation strategy adopted by Enani to reflect the stylistic function of metaphors while preserving their cognitive content and reveals that translating metaphors is influenced by the cognitive and professional background of the translator. Amplification emerges as a successful translation strategy which is used to extend metaphors creatively thus adding cognitive value to the Source Text content and compensating for a possible loss in the style of the Target Text. This paper concludes that, contrary to the prevalent assumptions, a source-text-oriented approach can deliver an accurate yet stylistically-functional translation if the translator is creative enough and willing to exert an additional cognitive effort similar to that exerted by the original writer. Enani’s translations of Shakespeare into Arabic are worth a life-long research project on the translation of style in literature.