The metaphors in Song of Songs and adolescents : a reception-theoretical investigation and proposed translation
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The purpose of this study was to translate the metaphors of Song of Songs for teenagers according to translation-theoretical and reception-theoretical principles. The two prerequisites proposed for a successful translation are the retention of the original image and a knowledge of the reader. Chapter 2 deals with the importance of translation society and three frameworks, namely the nature of translation, situational analysis and principles and criteria for translation. The first framework describes the essential characteristics of translation, namely ambiguity, multifaceted nature, translatability, equivalence quality, meaning, and the distinction between translation as process and product. The second framework represents the eight sociolinguistic factors within the translation situation of which the text type is the most important. The text type which is determined by the dominant language function, determines the translation type which ought to be used. Three universal text types are identified, namely informative, vocative and expressive. The third framework represents the principles and norms of translation. Two translation types emerge as the most suitable, namely semantic (adequate, modified-literal, organic-communicative, overt) for expressive texts, and communicative (acceptable, idiomatic, dynamic-equivalent, covert) for informative and vocative texts. Chapter three deals with metaphors and their translation. Five aspects of metaphor are recognised: 1 Any definition of metaphor should avoid oversimplification and mention the characteristics of suggestiveness, ambiguity, and elusiveness. 2 Three functional theories of metaphors are identified: substitution, affective and incremental. 3 The ultimate goal of metaphor is the culmination of these mentioned functions. 4 Metaphor consists of three elements: object (tenor), image (vehicle) and meaning. 5 Five types of metaphors are distinguished: dead, cliché, standard, neologism and original. The translation of metaphors is complicated by their language and culture specificity, and their interwovenness into unique literary traditions. The most important error made in metaphor translation is the omission of the original image. Opponents of the literal transfer of the image usually fail to recognise that languages, metaphors and text types differ. It is concluded that dead metaphors are to be paraphrased or replaced with a cultural equivalent; original metaphors are to be translated literally, particularly if it occurs in an aesthetic text, and standard metaphors are to be translated by means of any one of seven suggested equivalents. Chapter four deals with the merits of a reception-theoretical approach to the translation of Biblical metaphors. There is a growing tendency to a literary approach to the Bible despite the controversy of the notion. Notwithstanding the Bible is viewed as the Word of God which contains various examples of literary genres. The hazards of a literary approach lie in contemporary literary theories 1 contradictions, esoteric terms, erroneous application of concepts to antique Hebrew literature, and the temptation to relegate the referential function of the Bible to fiction. Five advantages to this approach are that it contributes to exegesis, translation, personal Bible study, the prevention of misconceptions, and an appreciation of the aesthetics of Scripture. It is also concluded that reception theory must be distinguished from reader-response criticism, and has two main streams (Rezeptioniisthetik and Wurkungsiisthetik) and concentrates on the role of the reader and his interaction with the text. Rezeptioniisthetik produces the concept of "horizon of expectation" which represents the reader 1 s socio-cultural and literary-intellectual framework and influences his interaction with the text. Wirkungsiisthetic produces the concepts "Leerstellen (gaps)" and "implied reader". These concepts signify an informed reader who "co-operates" optimally with the text in order to ensure successful "reception". This study distinguishes two readers, namely the translator as informed reader (which implies a knowledge of the text and being Spirit-filled), and teenagers as the target readers with a unique collective horizon of expectations. Teenagers are generally unwilling to read yet possess the potential cognitive ability to comprehend complicated metaphors. Although they are not informed readers they respond favourably when confronted with a challenging literary work and differ from adults in metaphoric comprehensibility in terms of elaborateness of word meanings only. Chapter 5 contains a background study of Song of Songs, a translation of its metaphors and an evaluation of six consulted Bible translations. The main streams of interpretation are: drama/cult-mythological, allegorical/typological, and love poetry/songs. The metaphors reveal definite internal connections that reflect a unity. Most of the metaphors occur in the seven praise songs, originate from nature and architecture, are riddled with hapax legomena and can be regarded as original. There are twelve double entendres which justify both a literal and figurative interpretation and are to be translated literally. The only metaphors that are not original, namely yônâtî (my dove) - standard, and )ahotî kâlla(h) (my darling bride) -dead. The two main principles and criteria applied in the personal translation are the retention of the image, and the use of comprehensible terms. The contextual approach to interpretation is followed to resolve issues with problematic Hebrew terms. All unknown plant, animal, spice and place names are replaced with descriptions to ensure resonance. An evaluation of the Bible translations (OV, NV, RSV, JB, TEV and NIV) indicates that the NIV (of the English translations) and the NV (of the Afrikaans translations) are the most successful translations of metaphors for teenagers.
- Humanities