In cognitive linguistics, the notion of conceptual metaphor refers to the understanding of one conceptual domain (i.e., target domain, which is abstract) in terms of another (i.e., source domain, which is concrete). For instance, in the case of the conceptual metaphor TIME IS MONEY (‘x is y’), TIME (x) is the target domain, whereas MONEY (y) is the source domain. This metaphor is reflected in contemporary English by a wide variety of expressions, such as You’re wasting my time (Lakoff & Johnson 1980: 8).
The present study examines news texts in English to investigate how the target domain ABSTRACT COMPLEX SYSTEMS (e.g., the government, a company, economic systems, etc.; Kövecses 2010: 155) is mapped onto various source domains, such as HUMAN BODY, PLANT, BUILDING, MACHINE, etc. It then analyzes corresponding translated texts in Korean to examine whether any changes occur in the mapping of conceptual metaphors. To this end, a parallel corpus was compiled using a small sample of articles from Newsweek magazine (26,613 words) and its published Korean translation (20,209 words). A comparison of the source texts (STs) in English and the corresponding target texts (TTs) in Korean shows that the most prevalent translation strategy turned out to be the “parallel mapping” technique. That is, STs and TTs share identical source domains, and metaphorical expressions of the STs are translated literally in the TTs.