Research Article

A Cognitive Approach to Metaphor Translation in Children’s Literary Discourse: The Case of Romeo and Juliet


  • Hasnaa CHAKIR The Research Laboratory in Literature, Language, Culture and Communication (RLLLCC), Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Morocco


Metaphor as a concept has traditionally been viewed as a literary device through which writers can hold readers’ interest. However, recent evidence suggests that metaphors can go well beyond their rhetorical function and can be examined from a cognitive standpoint. This study uses a cognitive approach to metaphor translation in children’s literary discourse, with a reference to Romeo and Juliet, and its translations into Arabic. Specifically, the study attempts to explore the ways in which metaphors are presented to the Arabic reader, taking into consideration the way English and Arabic cultures and languages conceptualize experiences and notions. The paper argues that the use of metaphors presents a challenge for Arab translators because the transfer from one language and culture to another one is hampered by linguistic and cultural differences; the difficulty of translating metaphor is also due to the differences that exist between children’s and adults’ understanding of metaphors. In this article, I describe an exploratory study that investigates the ways in which Moroccan elementary school children perceive metaphors. The results indicate that Moroccan elementary school children tend to misinterpret metaphors because they use different cultural references when attempting to interpret them. The findings also reveal hat comprehension of metaphors involves the transfer of knowledge from one conceptual domain to another, which depends largely on the cognitive development of the child.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

6 (12)





How to Cite

CHAKIR, H. (2023). A Cognitive Approach to Metaphor Translation in Children’s Literary Discourse: The Case of Romeo and Juliet. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 6(12), 01–05.



Arabic, English, culture, conceptual metaphor, translation strategies