Raising Awareness on the Turkish Learners of English about the Arbitrary Nature of Figurative Expressions

Authors

  • Abdulkadir Çakir Mevlana (Rumi) University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.26417/ejms.v1i2.p248-252

Keywords:

figurative expressions, connotations, equivalent

Abstract

In this paper, we have tried to remark the significance of the arbitrary nature of figurative expressions for the Turkish learners of English comparing English metaphors, similes, idioms, proverbs, sayings and collocations with their closest Turkish equivalents. If figurative expressions are interpreted literally or translated word for word, they sound nonsense. From the view point affective communication, inaccuracy or inappropriateness of the informative connotations of our words are irrelevant. Therefore, we may refer to the moon as “a beautiful lady”, “a grandfather”, “a tray”, or “silver ship” or anything as long as the words arise the desired feeling. For that reason, literary works are difficult to translate from one language to another because regarding only the informative connotations will often falsify the affective connotations. Figurative expressions are based on some supplementary complements in the primary meaning and often they are arbitrary and conventional. Therefore, they are usually specific to a particular culture and language. For example, “an owl” is considered to be exceptionally clever in the Western culture but its most important connotation in the Turkish culture is its bringing bad luck. The traits assigned to animals and entities differ from culture to culture. Thus, to comprehend such figurative expressions and translate them properly is impossible without knowing their closest equivalents in the relevant languages. We can see the arbitrary nature of figurative expressions clearly examining some metaphors, similes, idioms, proverbs, sayings and collocations and their equivalents in the target language. We are of the opinion that this activity will enable us to raise awareness on the Turkish learners of English particularly on the prospective teachers of English and so that they will have the chance of becoming component speakers and writers.

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Published

2016-04-30

How to Cite

Çakir, A. (2016). Raising Awareness on the Turkish Learners of English about the Arbitrary Nature of Figurative Expressions. European Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 1(2), 248–252. https://doi.org/10.26417/ejms.v1i2.p248-252