Metaphor in Mandela’s Long Walk To Freedom: A cross-cultural comparison

  • Amanda BB Nokele


The translatability of metaphors has been widely discussed within the discipline of translation studies. Van den Broeck (1981) suggests three strategies for translating metaphor. These were tested within the theoretical framework of descriptive translation studies (DTS) and the results reported in this article. Using examples from Long walk to freedom and its translations in isiXhosa and isiZulu, the study identifies similarities and differences in the way the translators dealt with the translation of metaphorical expressions. It further considers whether their translations were able to retain the power of the original metaphor. From the sample of metaphors studied, it has been established that it was possible to translate most as metaphors. However, it was not always possible to retain the vehicle of the metaphor, in part because of differences between the source and target languages and cultures. The study determined that the strategies used by the isiXhosa and isiZulu translators are to a large extent similar.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2011, 29(3): 327–341

Author Biography

Amanda BB Nokele
Department of Linguistics, University of South Africa, PO Box 392, Unisa 0003, Pretoria, South Africa

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614