Translation challenges of similes and metaphors: a case study of treasure island translated as kisiwa chenye hazina
Akundabweni, Beatrice U
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Treasure Island is an adventure novel narrating the story of pirates’ treasure maps in retrospect to the buried treasure on a fictional Treasure Island (T.I). So far, only one translation into Kiswahili (i.e. TT) exists which appears grossly deficient in the richness of the figurative language that is evidently present in the ST despite the popularity of its youthful readership. At face value, it is not certain as to the extent of the TT deficiency. Thus, this report presents the results of a case study on challenges which may have been encountered by the translators of the Kisiwa Chenye Hazina when translating figurative words such as similes and metaphors from the source text. The study analyzed the figurative language translation adequacy and or balance between the ST and the TT. Inadequacy and or imbalance are operationally defined in terms of an encounter of any likely misinformation, omissions in the target text among others. The analytical approach was based on the Framework of the Iceberg Theory. The study had three objectives which were: 1) To investigate a possible consequence of the abridgement; 2) To determine if there was any deletion or addition of similes and metaphors and their likely effects on the power of the figurative language; and 3) Based on seven variable criterion, assess possible difficulties related to translating similes and metaphors into Kisiwa Chenye Hazina from Treasure Island. With regard to objective 1, we conclude that character omission appears to be a single most culprit that caused abridgment problem. With respect to objective 2, we have demonstrated that there are indeed deletions of similes and metaphors to a substantive degree that can be traced back to the omission of the characters who had stated them in the ST. Regarding objective 3, it is apparent that Johnson must have faced several difficulties in handling similes and metaphors present in the ST. We conclusively refer to the said hole created by omitting the characters and consequently the loss in the associated language (particularly similes and metaphors as the most likely affected) attributed to the unmentioned characters by the assigned names in TT as a Tact of Adjustment Tendered Entirely on Narrotology Narrowing’ (TOA-TENNA) as a poor strategy by the TT author. We recommend that the TTs like Kisiwa Chenye Hazina which were translated under the same pre-independence period as was be further re-examined occurrences with a view to determine their didactic efficacy in terms of the following: 1) The extent to the original names of the ST characters are preserved in the TT; 2) The extent to which either the figurative speech or utterances or the roles they played are translated with as close equivalence as is possible; 3) Detection of likely deletions and or additions. The above recommendations are particularly made in view of the fact that a number of English novels used for educational purposes as set books in schools have not been subjected to above assessment. The novels include: Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s progress (1678) translated in 1927 into Safari ya Msafiri (1927); Hadithi za Esopo (1889) which are adaptations of Aesop’s Fables; Alice in Wonderland (1865) into Elisi katika nchi ya Ajabu (1940); Rider Haggard’s King Solomon Mines (1885) into Mashimo ya Mfalme Suleimani (1929); Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) translated as Robinson Kruso (1929); Kipling’s Mowgli stories (1894) translated as Hadithi za Maugli (1929); and the George Orwell’s Animal Farm translated by Kawegere as Shamba la Wanyama. Further more, such an exercise will not be futile but could also have invaluable contribution to capacity building of the English-swahili translation discipline.