AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 4, Number4. October   2020                                Pp.58 -71

The Stylistic Amplification of Conceptual Metaphors in Translating Shakespeare into Arabic by Mohamed Enani

English Language and Literature Department
College of Arts and Applied Sciences
Dhofar University, Salalah, Sultanate of Oman


Translating Shakespeare into Arabic is a century-old cultural project which is still a source of challenge for translators who adopt a source-text-oriented approach that attempts to simulate the original in content, form and impact. Shakespeare’s texts are rife with metaphoric language which serves multiple functions on the cognitive, cultural, pragmatic as well as stylistic levels. This paper aims to analyse the translation of literary metaphors from a stylistic perspective in Mohamed Enani’s version of Othello. The analysis is conducted in the framework of conceptual metaphor theory which provides a microscopic description of how metaphors are influenced by the translation process. The findings of the analysis unveil the translation strategy adopted by Enani to reflect the stylistic function of metaphors while preserving their cognitive content and reveals that translating metaphors is influenced by the cognitive and professional background of the translator. Amplification emerges as a successful translation strategy which is used to extend metaphors creatively thus adding cognitive value to the Source Text content and compensating for a possible loss in the style of the Target Text. This paper concludes that, contrary to the prevalent assumptions, a source-text-oriented approach can deliver an accurate yet stylistically-functional translation if the translator is creative enough and willing to exert an additional cognitive effort similar to that exerted by the original writer. Enani’s translations of Shakespeare into Arabic are worth a life-long research project on the translation of style in literature.

Cite as:

Omar, L. I. (2020). The Stylistic Amplification of Conceptual Metaphors in Translating Shakespeare into Arabic by Mohamed Enani. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 4 (4) 58 -71 .


Abdo, I. B., & Abu-Hammad, I. (2019). Stylistic issues in translating metaphors of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. Merit Research Journal of Education and Review, 7(3), 019-025.

Almanna, A. (2016). The Routledge course in translation annotation: Arabic-English-Arabic. London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Alsaai, H. J. (1997). A critical assessment of the translations of Shakespeare into Arabic (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). The University of London, London.

Al-Shetawi, M. F. (1989). Shakespeare in Arabic: An overview. New Comparison: A Journal of Comparative and General Literary Studies, 8, 114-126.

Al-Shetawi, M. F. (2013). Arabic adaptations of Shakespeare and postcolonial theory. Critical Survey, Special Issue: Creating Shakespeare, 25(3), 4-28.

Al-Thebyan, Q. A., Al-Shalabi, N. T., Salameh, F. A., Al-Omari K. M. (2011). A critique of Jabra’s Arabic translation of Shakespeare’s the Tempest. Canadian Social Science, 7(6). 64-74. DOI: 10.3968/j.css.1923669720110706.022

Baker, M., & Saldanha, G. (eds.). (2009). Routledge encyclopaedia of translation studies (2nd ed.). London and New York: Routledge.

Classe, O. (Ed.). (2000). Encyclopaedia of literary translation into English Vol. 1. London; Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers.

Ead, H. A. (2019). Globalization in higher education in Egypt in a historical context. Research in Globalization, 1, 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resglo.2019.100003

Enani, M. (2004). Fann al-tarjama [the Art of Translation] (7th ed.). Cairo: The Egyptian International Publishing Company Longman.

Enani, M. (2006, April 13). On translating Shakespeare into Arabic. Al-Ahram Weekly Online. Retrieved from https://www.masress.com/en/ahramweekly/13707

Enani, M. (2016). On translating Shakespeare’s Sonnets into Arabic. Critical Survey, 28(3), 119-132. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3167/cs.2016.280308

Enani, M. (2020). On translating style into Arabic and into English: A stylistic approach to translation. Cairo: The Anglo-Egyptian Bookshop.

Ennaji, M. (2005). Multilingualism, cultural identity, and education in Morocco. New York: Springer.

Fawzi, M. & Yasir, A. (2017). Shakespeare’s Arab journey: A few considerations on the reception of Shakespeare in the Arab world. In M. Burada, O. Tatu and R. Sinu (eds.) 13th Conference on British and American Studies: Language Identity and Diversity in a Globalized World (pp. 339-356). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Ghazoul, F. J.  (1998). The Arabization of Othello. Comparative Literature, 50(1), 1-31.

Hanna, S. F. (2006). Towards a sociology of drama translation: A Bourdieusian perspective on translations of Shakespeare’s great tragedies in Egypt (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Manchester, Manchester.

Hanna, S. F. (2007). Decommercialising Shakespeare: Mutran’s translation of “Othello”. Critical Survey, 19(3), 27-54.

Hanna, S. F. (2009). Othello in the Egyptian vernacular: Negotiating the ‘doxic’ in drama translation and identity formation. The Translator, Special Issue Nation and Translation in the Middle East, 15(1), 157-178. https://doi.org/10.1080/13556509.2009.10799275

Hawkes, T. (1972). Metaphor. Methuen: Terence Hawkes.

Kanaan, F. (1998). Shakespeare on the Arab Page and Stage (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). The University of Manchester, Manchester.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1999). Philosophy in the flesh. New York: Basic Books.

Lakoff, G., & Turner, M. (1989). More than cool reason: A field guide to poetic metaphors. Chicago: University of Chicago University.

Litvin, M. (2011). Hamlet’s Arab journey: Shakespeare’s prince and Nasser’s ghost. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Omar, L. (2012). A cognitive approach to the translation of creative metaphor in Othello & Macbeth from English into Arabic (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Durham University, Durham.

Palumbo, G. (2009). Key terms in translation studies. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Selim, S. (2019). Popular fiction, translation and the Nahda in Egypt. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Shakespeare, W. (1993). CUtail [Othello] (7th ed.). (K. Mutran, Trans.). Cairo: Dar al-Macārif.

Shakespeare, W. (2005a). The tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice (M. Enani, Trans.). Cairo: The General Egyptian Book Organization.

Shakespeare, W. (2005b). Romeo and Juliet. D. Bevington (Ed.), The necessary Shakespeare (2nd ed., pp. 187-191). New York: Pearson/Longman.

Shakespeare, W. (2016). The new Oxford Shakespeare: The complete works, (2nd ed.), G. Taylor, J. Jowett, T. Bourus and G. Egan (Eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Somekh, S. (1991). Genre and language in modern Arabic literature. Studies in Arabic language and literature, 1, xii-141. Wiesbaden.

Tounsi, M. M. A. (1989). Shakespeare in Arabic: a study of the translation, reception, and influence of Shakespeare’s drama in the Arab world (Published dissertation). University of Northern Colorado, USA.

Twaij, M. B. (1973). Shakespeare in the Arab world, (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Illinois: North Western University.

Wright, C. (2016). Literary translation. London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Younis, I. (2017). Shakespeare images between loss and compensation in Arabic translation: A skopos perspective. Latvia: Noor Publishing.

Zaki, A. A. (1978). Shakespeare in Arabic (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Indiana University, Indiana.


Dr Lamis Ismail Omar is Assistant Professor of Translation and EFL at Dhofar University,
Oman. She holds a doctorate in Translation Studies from Durham University, the UK. She taught
translation, conference interpreting, EFL and literary criticism at Damascus University, and she
also has long professional experience in English/Arabic translation and conference interpreting.
Her research interests include translation and conference interpreting, the conceptual theory of
metaphor, Shakespeare’s metaphors as well as teaching English as a Foreign Language.