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Metaphors We Translate By: How Korean Translators Understand Translation Metaphorically

Kim Youngshin 1

1안양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to explore metaphors employed by Korean translators to discuss translation, by drawing on their interviews with the media. In order to talk about this topic, the present study fruitfully utilizes the theoretical building blocks of conceptual metaphors proposed by Lakoff & Johnson (1980). According to them, metaphors are mental mechanisms which allow us to use what we know about our physical and social experience to provide understanding of other subjects. The analysis of the data reveals 6 frequently emerging metaphors used by professional translators to talk about translation. They are TRANSLATION IS MOVING SOMETHING, TRANSLATION IS FILTERING SOMETHING, TRANSLATION IS WEIGHING SOMETHING, TRANSLATION IS BUILDING RELATIONS, TRANSLATION IS CRAFTSMANSHIP, TRANSLATORS ARE VEILED ENTITIES. Illustrating multi-faceted aspects of what we call translation, these metaphors help us better understand the inherent nature of translation. This study takes a step further to argue that these metaphors not only govern and constitute the activities of translators but also have social implications. Thus, metaphors are social and political as well as linguistic.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.