The book that most changed my thinking about the nature of language and language users (e.g. humans) is the classic Metaphors We Live By.
“The now-classic Metaphors We Live By changed our understanding of metaphor and its role in language and the mind. Metaphor, the authors explain, is a fundamental mechanism of mind, one that allows us to use what we know about our physical and social experience to provide understanding of countless other subjects. Because such metaphors structure our most basic understandings of our experience, they are “metaphors we live by”metaphors that can shape our perceptions and actions without our ever noticing them. In this updated edition of Lakoff and Johnson’s influential book, the authors supply an afterword surveying how their theory of metaphor has developed within the cognitive sciences to become central to the contemporary understanding of how we think and how we express our thoughts in language.”
We learn by metaphor. We understand new ideas and concepts via metaphor.
A recent study cited by Science Daily (the study references the work of Lakoff and Johnson, as well) proves that the use of metaphor does indeed spark more regions of the brain than language devoid of metaphor:
“New brain imaging research reveals that a region of the brain important for sensing texture through touch, the parietal operculum, is also activated when someone listens to a sentence with a textural metaphor. The same region is not activated when a similar sentence expressing the meaning of the metaphor is heard.”
What does this mean for you as a translator marketing your services? Because our brains crave metaphor, fully engaging your prospective client is well within reach. Make a true connection – metaphors are the route to establishing your success in the hearts and minds of your audiences.