Volume 69, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Previous research on color idioms has shown that they are often culture-specific, and translating them requires shifting between cognitive frames of reference. However, little research has been carried out on the translation process of such idioms. We investigated how Swedish color idioms were translated into Estonian by professional translators and novices, tracking the components of the translation process, such as time spent on the tasks, resources used, and the importance of context provided. Finally, we detected eight translation strategies used for idiom translation. The strategies used depended on the idiom’s transparency between the source and target language. The conventionality of the idiom seemed to have little impact on the difficulty experienced. Professionals and novices used different approaches to translation which once again confirms the importance of acquired skills and experience. Color idioms can turn out to be false friends. Focusing first and foremost on the idiomaticity of the target language helps. Professionals searched for the target language idiom and used various monolingual resources in the target language while novices searched mainly for source-language idioms and used no monolingual target language web dictionaries.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Abu-Ssaydeh, Abdul-Fattah
    2004 “Translation of English Idioms into Arabic.” InBabel50 (2): 114–131. 10.1075/babel.50.2.03abu
    https://doi.org/10.1075/babel.50.2.03abu [Google Scholar]
  2. Aidla, Mari, Signe Cousins, Maiu Elken, Madis Kanarbik, Kristiina Mullamaa, Tiina Mullamaa, Marina Pertsjonok, Mai Praizner, Virve Raag, and Juhan Tuldava
    2004Rootsi-eesti sõnaraamat / Svensk-estnisk ordbok: ~ 100 000 märksõna/uppslagsord [Swedish-Estonian Dictionary: ~ 100 000 keywords]. Tallinn: Valgus.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Angelone, Erik
    2010 “Uncertainty, Uncertainty Management and Metacognitive problem Solving in the Translation Task.” InTranslation and Cognition151: 17–40. 10.1075/ata.xv.03ang
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ata.xv.03ang [Google Scholar]
  4. Baker, Mona
    2005In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation. London; New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bazzanella, Carla, Irene Ronga, and Erling Strudsholm
    2016 “Color Words in Danish and Italian Idioms.” InColor Language and Color Categorization, edited byGeda Paulsen, Mari Uusküla, and Jonathan Brindle. 356–387. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Berlin, Brent, and Paul Kay
    1969Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution. Berkeley: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Carl, Michael, Srinivas Bangalore, and Moritz Schaeffer
    2016New Directions in Empirical Translation Process Research. Heidelberg: Springer International Publishing. 10.1007/978‑3‑319‑20358‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20358-4 [Google Scholar]
  8. Chatti, Sami
    2016 “Translating Color Metaphors: A Cognitive Perspective.” InNew Insights into Arabic Translation and Interpreting, edited byMustapha Taibi. 161–175. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781783095254‑009
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783095254-009 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cui, Yixiao, and Binghan Zheng
    2021 “Consultation Behaviour with Online Resources in English-Chinese Translation: An Eye-tracking, Screen-recording and Retrospective Study.” InPerspectives29 (5): 740–760. 10.1080/0907676X.2020.1760899
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2020.1760899 [Google Scholar]
  10. Dobrovol’skij, Dmitrij, and Elisabeth Piirainen
    2005 “Cognitive Theory of Metaphor and Idiom Analysis.” InJezikoslovlje6 (1): 7–35.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Englund Dimitrova, Birgitta
    2005Expertise and Explicitation in the Translation Process, 641. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/btl.64
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.64 [Google Scholar]
  12. Gheltofan, Daniela, and Loredana Pungă
    2018 “Color-based Phrases in Romanian, Russian and English.” InScientific Bulletin of the Politehnica University of Timişoara. Transactions on Modern Languages17 (1): 19–31.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Gibbs, Raymond Jr, Josephine M. Bogdanovich, Jeffrey R. Sykes, and Dale J. Barr
    1997 “Metaphor in Idiom Comprehension.” InJournal of Memory and Language37 (2): 141–154. 10.1006/jmla.1996.2506
    https://doi.org/10.1006/jmla.1996.2506 [Google Scholar]
  14. Gibbs, Raymond Jr.
    2006Embodiment and Cognitive Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Glucksberg, Sam
    2001Understanding Figurative Language: From Metaphor to Idioms. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195111095.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195111095.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  16. 2003 “The Psycholinguistics of Metaphor.” InTrends in Cognitive Sciences. 7 (2): 92–96. 10.1016/S1364‑6613(02)00040‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S1364-6613(02)00040-2 [Google Scholar]
  17. Hastürkoğlu, Gökçen
    2017 “A Cognitive Study on the Comparison of Basic Color Terms in Turkish and English Idioms.” Ph.D. diss., Hacettepe University.
  18. House, Juliane
    1997Translation Quality Assessment: A Model Revisited. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Hvelplund, Kristian Tangsgaard
    2017 “Translators’ Use of Digital Resources During Translation.” InHERMES – Journal of Language and Communication in Business561: 71–87. 10.7146/hjlcb.v0i56.97205
    https://doi.org/10.7146/hjlcb.v0i56.97205 [Google Scholar]
  20. Jakobson, Roman
    (1995) 2000 “On Linguistics Aspects of Translation.” InThe Translation Studies Reader, edited byLawrence Venuti, 113–118. London and New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Kalda, Anu, and Mari Uusküla
    2019 “The Role of Context in Translating Color Metaphors: An Experiment on English into Estonian Translation.” Open Linguistics5 (1): 690–705. 10.1515/opli‑2019‑0038
    https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2019-0038 [Google Scholar]
  22. Kiraly, Donald C.
    1995Pathways to Translation: Pedagogy and Process, no.3. Kent: Kent State University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Kövecses, Zoltán, Péter Szabó
    1996 “Idioms: A View from Cognitive Semantics.” Applied Linguistics17 (3): 326–355. 10.1093/applin/17.3.326
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/17.3.326 [Google Scholar]
  24. Kövecses, Zoltán
    2010Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Kolahdouz, Mandala
    2015 “A Cognitive Approach to Translating Color Metaphors in English and Turkish Proverbs.” National Conference on New Horizons in Translation Studies and Discourse. Tabriz. Iran, 5 October 2015.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Kovačević, Sonja Filipović
    2019 “Metonymy-based Color Metaphors Expressing Mind and Body States: Evidence from English and Serbian.” InGodisnjak Filozofskog fakulteta u Novom Sadu [The annual review of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Novi Sad] 44 (1): 75–92.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Lakoff, George, and Mark Johnson
    1980Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Lindqvist, Yvonne
    2002 “Översättning som social praktik. Toni Morrison och Harlequinserien. Passion på svenska” [Translation as a social practice. Toni Morrison and the Harlequin series Passion in Swedish]. Ph.D. diss., Stockholm Studies in Scandinavian Philology. New Series 26. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Luthman, Hans
    2017Svenska idiom: 5,900 vardagsuttryck [Swedish Idioms: 5,900 Everyday Expressions]. Lund: Folkuniversitetets förlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Mandelblit, Nili
    1995 “The Cognitive View of Metaphor and its Implications for Translation Theory.” InTranslation and Meaning31: 483–495.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Nord, Christiane
    2010 “Functionalist Approaches.” InHandbook of Translation Studies 1edited byYves Gambier and Luc van Doorslaer, 120–128. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/hts.1.fun1
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hts.1.fun1 [Google Scholar]
  32. Orrego-Carmona, David, Łukasz Dutka, and Agnieszka Szarkowska
    2018 “Using Translation Process Research to Explore the Creation of Subtitles: An Eye-tracking Study Comparing Professional and Trainee Subtitlers.” JoSTrans: The Journal of Specialised Translation301: 150–180.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Philip, Gill
    2011Coloring Meaning: Collocation and Connotation in Figurative Language. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/scl.43
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.43 [Google Scholar]
  34. Rotaru, Marina-Cristiana
    2019 “Translating Economic Color Idioms as a Way of Developing Cross-Cultural Economic Discourse.” InProfessional Communication and Translation Studies121: 95–104.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Sandford, Jodi L.
    2011 “Warm, Cool, Light, Dark, or Afterimage.” InNew Directions in Color Studies, edited byCarole P. Biggam, Carol A. Hough, Christian J. Kay and David R. Simmonds, 205–218. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/z.167.24san
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.167.24san [Google Scholar]
  36. Schäffner, Christina
    2004 “Metaphor and Translation: Some Implications of a Cognitive Approach.” InJournal of Pragmatics36 (7): 1253–1269. 10.1016/j.pragma.2003.10.012
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2003.10.012 [Google Scholar]
  37. Shuttleworth, Mark
    2014 “Translation Studies and Metaphor Studies: Possible Paths of Interaction Between Two Well-established Disciplines” InTradurre Figure/ Translating Figurative Language, edited byDonna Rose Miller and Enrico Monti, 53–65. Bologna: AMSActa.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Steinvall, Anders
    2002 English Color Terms in Context. Doctoral thesis. Umeå University.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Toury, Gideon
    (1995) 2012Descriptive Translation Studies – and Beyond. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/btl.100
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.100 [Google Scholar]
  40. Trulsson, Anders
    2007 Svartsjuka och Vita Lögner: En Undersökning om Betydelsen av Svart och Vitt [Jealousy and white lies: A study on the meaning of black and white]. BA diss., Uppsala University.
  41. Van Doorslaer, Triin
    2015 “Hoiakud tõlkimise kohta ehk kuidas defineeritakse tõlkimist” [Attitudes towards translation, or how translation is defined]. InKeel ja Kirjandus41. 238–245. 10.54013/kk689a2
    https://doi.org/10.54013/kk689a2 [Google Scholar]
  42. Vermeer, Hans J.
    (1989) 2000 “Skopos and Commission in Translational Action,” translated byAndrew Chesterman. InThe Translation Studies Reader, edited byLawrence Venuti, 221–232. London and New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Vinay, Jean-Paul, and Jean Darbelnet
    1995Comparative Stylistics of French and English: A Methodology for Translation, vol.111. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/btl.11
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.11 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error