Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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The fight metaphors discussed in this article are linguistic expressions of physical conflict, a revolutionary legacy that still lingers in contemporary Chinese political discourse. This article takes a critical cognitive-linguistic approach to fight metaphors in translation, analysing a dataset comprising the Chinese governmental and Communist Party of China’s congressional reports and their official English-language translations from 2004 to 2020. The discussion highlights conceptual metaphor’s representational role and its ideological potential in discourse, and operationalises the English-based metaphor identification procedure (Steen et al. 2010) for Mandarin texts. Drawing on corpus-based evidence, the article argues that fight metaphors in the source texts (STs) legitimise and consolidate Beijing’s dominance of domestic power by generating positive representations and reproducing patriotic ideology. The translations of those metaphors transform Beijing’s image, assertive in the STs, into a non-aggressive one for the international readership. The target texts (TTs) also reproduce favourable representations from the STs to justify China’s unique political system and to satisfy a pragmatic need – that of constructing positive images for the Chinese authority and China internationally.


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