Rhetoric translation-Hyperbole and Pun

4. Hyperbole

Sometimes people will exaggerate the truth consciously and objectively, with the aim of emphasizing or stress the point of the thing. This kind of comparison emphasizes more on subjective feelings, not objective facts. Exaggeration has the function of strengthening the vitality and appeal

We were tired to death on reaching the peak.


I would give the whole world to see you.


I have told you forty times that if you touched it I would skin you.


In English, usually we use the numbers expressing the times, but not the actually times. Here the word “forty” does not mean “40”, which stress the frequency of caution. So we should not rigidly adhere to the source text and translate the words flexibility to conveying the actual meaning.

Brown’s two daughters are different in their personalities in a thousand and one ways.


For she was beautiful- her beauty made the bright world dim.

因为她太漂亮了—她的美是明亮的时间黯然失色。(The word “dim” emphasis and tell the readers that how beauty she is)

It is a crime to stay inside on such a sunny day.


When I heard the news, each hair on my head seemed to be standing on end.

5. Pun

Simply speaking, pun is a kind of word game. The feature is that we apply homonyms and polysemes to the sentences. By taking advantage of this feature, it can express two different meaning, letting it be humorous, vital and interesting. For example:

Seven days without water makes one week. (weak)


This is a homophonic pun, which will let readers entail the actual meaning by their common sense (seven days for a week) what the author would like to convey. Obviously the author makes full us of the same pronunciation of the two words—week and weak.

We should all hang together, or we shall hang separately.


It is extracted from the speech of American Civil War from Benjamin Franklin, inspiring those soldiers. In this sentence, there are two meaning for “Hang”, one is uniting and the other is gibbeting.


Words translated by CCJK


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