This study investigates how and to what effect metaphors and similes from Tayeb
Salih‘s novel Mawsim al-Hiǧra ilā ash-Shamāl (1966) were translated into English –
a worthy topic, given the many linguistic and cultural differences between Arabic and
English, and the difficulty of translating figurative language.
The novel depicts aspects of the life and culture of the Sudanese people.
Initially banned in the Arab world, it was voted, in 2001, the most important Arabic
novel of the twentieth century. This brought Tayeb Salih (1929–2009) fame and
recognition, and translation into more than twenty languages. Season of Migration to
the North (1960), the English translation by Canadian-born orientalist Denys Johnson-
Davies (1922–2017), is the object of this particular study.
This qualitative study employs descriptive translation studies (DTS) as the
main theoretical framework, supplemented by insights gained from equivalence
theories, theories of culture, the functionalist approach and cognitive studies.
Following a textual approach, the study investigates the Arabic source text, the
English target text, applicable translation theories and secondary literature on
metaphors and similes as sources of information and/or data. It discusses the
aforementioned translation theories, definitions, components and types of metaphors
and similes in Arabic and English, as well as strategies and procedures of translating
metaphors and similes. The researcher identifies, describes and analyses a selection of
similes and metaphors in the Arabic source text, and how they were conveyed in the
English target text. The study concludes with a discussion of the effects of the
translation choices made and the strategies used.
Dissertation (MA (Applied Language Studies))--University of Pretoria, 2020.