Untangling and Re-spinning the Web: Translations of Metaphor in Tanizaki’s “Shisei”
Keywords:literary translation, translation strategies, translation of metaphor
This article evaluates strategies for translating metaphor from Japanese to English adopted by five translators of Japanese author Tanizaki Jun’ichiro’s short story “Shisei”. Metaphor is a key literary device, and its translation poses the challenges of switching between different cultural, conceptual and linguistic frames of reference. Therefore, the effect of the particular strategies adopted is central to how the literary work is received by the target readership. Research into metaphor translation strategies has only emerged recently, and focuses mainly on European languages. The much larger linguistic and cultural divide between Japanese and English may require a different mix of strategies to effectively convey the author’s style and imagery. This case study shows significant differences in strategies among translators and demonstrates the importance of interpretation in literary translation. Furthermore, in order to recreate similar effects, translators must decipher the intratextual network of metaphors and maintain these sub-texts in their translation.
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).