E ISSN: 2583-049X

International Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Research and Studies

Volume 2, Issue 1, 2022

The Challenges Inherent in the Translation of Proverbs, Semantic, Semiotic, and Sociocultural Challenges

Author(s): Dr. Bonaventure Balla


The word “proverb” is made up of the Greek prefix “pro” that means “forth”, “forward”, “before”, or “ahead” and the Latin nominal stem “verbum” referring to “speech’’, “spoken word’’, ‘‘word of mouth’’, and is conceived to suggest its semantic affiliation or close kinship with “oral” in “oral literature”. “Oral” itself derives from the Latin “os”, “oris” and means “mouth”. In the light of this cursory etymological breakdown, it can be inferred that the lexeme “proverb” designates “a word that is going forth, forward”, or just “running away” because its meaning is highly sophisticated and, accordingly, it exponentially and surreptitiously escapes. It follows that the proverb is a prestigious genre inherent in oral literature whose meaning is eminently complex because it can structurally subsume several other layers of meanings. It can thus be inferred that to successfully translate a proverb is equated with decrypting this escaping meaning. To reach such a goal, the translator or paremiologist must solve two major problems: the semantic indirection and the cultural code because each proverb usually abides by these two principles. The goal of our study is to analyze these principles to figure out how the translator or paremiologist can use them to decrypt the meaning of proverbs and translate them successfully.

Keywords: Proverb, Challenge, Semantic Indirection, Sociocultural Code, Semiotic, Hermeneutics, Cultural Universals, Paremiologist

Pages: 58-62

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