Tackling Difficulties in Translating Culture-bound Metaphor in Nizar Qabbani’s Poetry: A Comparative Study

  • Loubna Haddi Hassan II University, Morocco
Keywords: translation, metaphor, Arabic poetry, Nizar Qabbani


Arabic poetry has long taken precedence over other literary forms. It is the oldest form of literature known in the Arabic language, dating back to year 400 A.D. In the context of translation, poetry poses a few daunting hurdles in attempting to reach equally metaphorical meanings in the target language. This article seeks to illustrate the cultural problems witnessed in translating culture-bound metaphor. For this purpose, poetry by prominent Arab poet Nizar Qabbani is the main reference and the selected case study in the article for the poet’s place and contribution in Arabic poetry. The theoretical framework adopts two translation models— Newmark’s Semantic Translation and Den Broeck’s literal, paraphrase and substitution. In addition to illustrating difficulties emanating from translating culture-bound metaphor, the article will present a comparative analysis of two translations of one poetic text, thereby hopefully serving as a valuable contribution to the area of cultural metaphor translation by providing a range of translation possibilities starting from Dynamic Equivalence or idiomatic translation and continuing through literal and semantic translations. In doing so, the article has tackled strategies in the field of cultural metaphor translation, which will hopefully lead to further research.


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How to Cite
Haddi, L. (2019). Tackling Difficulties in Translating Culture-bound Metaphor in Nizar Qabbani’s Poetry: A Comparative Study. Ethical Lingua: Journal of Language Teaching and Literature, 6(2), 59-71. https://doi.org/10.30605/25409190.v6.59-71
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