Problematising Translation of Cultural Metaphors in the Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish


  • Randa Kullab Universiti Malaya
  • Looi Wai Ling Universiti Malaya
  • Emily Lau Kui-Ling Universiti Malaya


Metaphors illuminate the cognitive processes of human minds. They have been treated as a translational dilemma for decades, as their translatability along with the procedures utilised to translate them have been problematic for researchers. This present study problematises the translation of cultural metaphors in Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry by applying the Conceptual Metaphor Theory as the chief framework and links it to postcolonial theory to provide some evidence of cognitive differences between the source metaphor and the target metaphor. This paper gives an account of how the meanings of Mahmoud Darwish’s cultural metaphors are lost in translation due to the host culture, that is, the coloniser culture. Findings reveal that the cultural and historical values of some metaphors have been eliminated. The trajectory of this elimination lies in the disparity between coloniser and colonised cultures. This paper advocates the retaining of the source language cultures and values as a form of resistance to the colonial impact that has overshadowed the culture of the colonised.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Randa Kullab, Looi Wai Ling, & Emily Lau Kui-Ling. (2021). Problematising Translation of Cultural Metaphors in the Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 15(2), 96–110. Retrieved from