Kinds of Metaphors

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a) Dead metaphors Dead metaphors, viz. metaphors where one is hardly conscious of the image, frequently relate to universal terms of space and time, the main part of the body, general ecological features and the main human activities: for English, word such as: ‘space’, ‘field’, ‘line’, ‘top’, ‘bottom’, ‘foot’, ‘mouth’, ‘arm’, ‘circle’, ‘drop’, ‘fall’, ‘rise’. They are particularly used graphically for concepts and for the language of science to clarify or define literal. Normally dead metaphors
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  a)   Dead metaphors Dead metaphors, viz. metaphors where one is hardly conscious of the image,frequently relate to universal terms of space and time, the main part of the body,general ecological features and the main human activities: for English, word such as: ‘space’, ‘field’, ‘line’, ‘top’, ‘bottom’, ‘foot’, ‘mouth’, ‘arm’, ‘circle’, ‘drop’, ‘fall’,‘rise’. They are particularly used graphically for concepts and for the language of  science to clarify or define literal. Normally dead metaphors are not difficult totranslate, but they often defy literal translation, and therefore offer choices. b)   Cliché metaphors Cliche metaphors as metaphors that have perhaps temporarily outlived theirusefulness, that are used as a substitute for clear thought, often emotively, but without corresponding to the facts of the matter. Taken the passage: ‘The County School will in effect become not a backwater but a break through in educational developmentwhich will set trends for the future. In this its traditions will help and it may well  become a jewel in the crown of the county’s education’. This is an extract from specious editorial, therefore a vocative text, and in translation (say for a privateclient), the series clichés have to be retained (mare stagnante, percee, donnera le ton, joyau de la couronne, traditions, not to mention the tell- tale en effect for ‘well’) in all their hideousness; if this were prt of political speech or any authoritative statement,the same translation procedures would be appropriate. c)   Stock or standard metaphors Stock or standard metaphors as an established metaphor which in an informal contextis an efficient and concise method of covering a physical and/or mental situation bothreferentially and pragmatically  –  a stock metaphor has a certain emotional warmth  –   and which is not deadened by overuse. (You may have noticed that I personallydislike stock metaphors, stock collocation and phaticisms, but I to admit that theykeep the word and society going  –    they ‘oil the wheels’ (mettre de I’huile dans lesrouages, schmieren den Karren , deie Dinge erliechtern). d)   Adapted metaphors In translation, an adapted stock metaphor should, where possible, be translated by an equivalent adapted metaphor, particularly in a text as ‘sacred’ as one by Reagan (if it  w ere translated literally, it might be comprehensible). Thus, ‘the ball is a little intheir court’ –    c’est peut - e:re a eux de jouer ; ‘sow division’ –  semer la division (whichis in fact normally and natural). In other cases, one has to reduce to sense: ‘get themin the door’ –    les introduire (faire le premier pas?); ‘outsell the pants off our competitors’ –  epuiser nos produits et nos concurrents (?). the special difficulty with these ‘sacred’ texts is that one knows they are not written by their author  so one istempted to translate more smartly than the srcinal. e)   Recent metaphors Bu recent metaphor, mean a metaphorical neologism, often ‘anonymously’ coined, which has spread rapidly in the SL. When this designated a recently current object orprocess, it is a metonym. Otherwise it may be a new metaphor designating one of a number of ‘prototypical’ qualities that continually ‘renew’ themselves in language,e.g. fashionable (‘in’, with it’, dans le vent); good (‘groovy’, sensass; fab); drunk (‘pissed”, cuit); without money (‘skkint’, sans le rond); stupid (‘spastic’, ‘spsmoid’);having sex (‘doing a line’); having an orgasm (‘making it’, ‘coming’); woman chaser (‘womaniser’); policeman (‘fuzz’, flic).   f)   Original metaphors Must now to consider srcinal metaphors, created or quoted by the SL writer. Inprinciple, in authoritative and expressive texts; these should be translated literallywhether they are universal, cultural or obscurely subjective. Newmark set this up as aprinciple, since srcinal metaphors (In the widest sense): (a) contain the core of an important writer’s message, his personality, his comment on life, and though they may have a more or a less cultural element, these have be transferred neat; (b) suchmetaphors are a source of enrichment for t he target language. Tieck and Schlegel’stranslation of Shakespeare’s great plays have given German many srcinal expressions, but many more metaphors could have been transferred. Taken Wilfred Owen’s ‘We wise who with a thought besmirch Blood over all our  soul (‘Insensibility’) and Gunter Bohnke’s translation: Wir weisen, die mit einem Gedanken Blutbesudeln unsere Seele, Whatever this means, the translator can onlyfollow the srcinal lexically since the metre will not quite let the grammar bereproduced  –  the metaphor is virtually a litarel rendering, and the readers of each  version are faced with virtually the same difficulties of interpretation. However, if ansrcinal cultural metaphor appears to you to be a little obscure and not veryimportant, you can sometimes replace it with a descriptive metaphor or reduce it to sense. Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford, a place in Lyonnesse’ could be Oxford, lost in themythology of a remote, vanished region’ (or even, ‘in Atlantis’).  
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