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aus: „Ol’ Man River” (Jerome Kern + Oscar Hammerstein II)
Ol‘ Man River,
Poetry is not for everyone – but songs are. Y ou can find metaphors in the lyrics of almost every song because metaphors are the most powerful and thrilling pictures a language provides. This is why metaphors are used in very many other contexts, as we will see a little later. But first of all ...
Metapher und „simile”
... we have to sort out the difference between metaphor and simile. Similes – pronounced: [‘simili] – and metaphors are both figures of speech which compare two things. But:
A simile uses “as” or “like”, whereas a metaphor doesn’t. Therefore, a metaphor is a condensed simile. Simile: “A is like B”, Metaphor: “A is B.”
Wo Sie Metaphern einsetzen können
The direct emotional appeal of pictures to our heart is the reason why so many metaphors can be found in poems, song lyrics, speeches, ads – and in everyday language.
If you have to write or make a speech, try to find one convincing metaphor to sum up your message. Take a look at famous speakers and see how they create a powerful picture by using, developing and exploring metaphors that have endured, e.g.
- Ich bin ein Berliner” (J. F. Kennedy)
- “That‘s one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.” (Neil Armstrong)
- “I have a dream.” (Martin Luther King)
In adverts, you try to get your message across in as few words as possible and at the same time create alasting impression . A metaphor is the perfect means to accomplish these two things. Get your inspiration from slogans like:
- The sunshine breakfast. (Kelloggs)
- Put a tiger in your tank. (Esso)
- There’s a smile in every Hershey Bar. (Hershey)
Not surprisingly, metaphors are also a vivid part of everyday language. Take a look at these – and try to think of others you know:
- She wasn’t able to break the ice.
- This is the root of the problem.
- They had a rocky start but now they are of one mind.
- Our investigation threw some light on the issue of the missing money.
Exercise: Kennen Sie diese Metaphern?
Please complete the following metaphorical expressions.
1. He worked his fingers to the ________________.
2. When she saw the murderer she was __________ with fear.
3. His words were _______ to my ears.
4. My ideas on how to improve our filing system are beginning to bear _______.
5. She didn‘t want to get caught in the _________ of her co-workers dispute.
Now, can you also translate the sentences? Please use German metaphors if possible!
Dead metaphors (have you noticed that this is a metaphor itself?) are metaphors which have lost their figurative quality so native speakers don’t recognise them as metaphors any longer. Some examples are: chair leg – Stuhlbein, family tree – Stammbaum, arm/branch of a river – Flussarm, skyscraper – Wolkenkratzer.
So erweitern Sie Ihren Metaphern-Wortschatz: Die besten Tipps
- Begin looking for metaphors in your English conversations. Jot down every metaphor you spot and use it yourself as soon as possible.
- Ask for the meaning of metaphorical expressions you don’t understand and note these as well.
- Write down impressive metaphors from ads, songs, speeches etc. to add them to your word pool.
- If you see or hear a nice metaphor, take a moment to consider carefully why you like it and what picture it evokes.
- Don’t be shy about using a metaphor when it comes to your mind! It adds colour (BE)/color (AE) and vividness to your speech, making it more memorable and effective.
|be of one mind||ein Herz und eine Seele sein|
|be shy to do s.th.||sich scheuen, etwas zu tun|
|figure of speech||Redefigur, rhetorische Figur|
|jot down||(schnell) notieren|
|no surprise||kein Wunder|
|simile||Vergleich (rhetorische Figur)|
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