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Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press

A Study on Translation of Metaphors in Nineteen Eighty-four from the Perspective of Relevance Theory

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DOI: 10.25236/ieesasm.2020.187


Dan Wang, Wenyao Li

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Dan Wang


Nineteen Eighty-four is a representative work of the English writer George Orwell, which is famous for the use of metaphors. Former scholars mainly emphasized on the analysis of metaphorical connotation from the perspective of literature, but seldom studied the translation of metaphors from the perspective of Relevance Theory. According to the theory, two factors influence the relevance, namely, processing effort and contextual effects. In the translation of metaphors, translators should follow the principle of the optimal relevance to choose appropriate translation strategies. The thesis analyzes three Chinese translation versions of Nineteen Eighty-four based on Relevance Theory, and discusses four kinds of metaphors in the work, including the light metaphor, container metaphor, weather metaphor and river metaphor. The study shows that the three translators are inclined to adopt free translation to obtain the optimal relevance when dealing with translation of metaphors in Nineteen Eighty-four.


Nineteen Eighty-four, E-C translation of metaphor, Relevance Theory, the optimal relevance