Influences of Metaphor Types, Context and Culture on Learners’ Interpretations

อิทธิพลของชนิดในการใช้คำอุปลักษณ์ บริบท และวัฒนธรรมที่ส่งผลต่อการตีความของผู้เรียน


  • Punjapol Boonma Program English Language and Teaching, Faculty of Language Institute Thammasat University, Thailand


Metaphor, Interpretation, Types of Metaphor, Context, Cultural Interferences



Though metaphors do not appear clearly in discourse structure, they are used to convey a speaker’s message. Additionally, interpreting a metaphor may depend on having an understanding of the culture in which the metaphor developed. Thus, this research aimed to investigate the metaphor types, context, and culture which influenced the metaphorical interpretations of Thai people learning English as a foreign language (Thai EFL learners). Translation tasks and think-aloud protocol were used to collect the data. Twenty Thai EFL learners individually took a translation task comprised of 9 metaphorical expressions. Furthermore, the investigation of types of metaphors, context, and cultural interferences was conducted through interviews while doing the translation tasks. The accuracy of metaphor interpretation and analyzed factors influencing the interpretation were analyzed using ANOVA. The results revealed the impacts of a culture where the metaphor developed, context, and types of metaphor on learners’ interpretation. Thai learners tended to interpret relational metaphors more correctly than attribution and double metaphors. In addition, they were more likely to interpret metaphors which were placed at the beginning and at the middle of the text than metaphors that were put at the end of texts. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that metaphor interpretation is crucial to learning English as it can help teachers change their class environments and motivate their students. Ignoring metaphors could result in poor performance on language tests.


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How to Cite

Boonma, P. (2022). Influences of Metaphor Types, Context and Culture on Learners’ Interpretations: อิทธิพลของชนิดในการใช้คำอุปลักษณ์ บริบท และวัฒนธรรมที่ส่งผลต่อการตีความของผู้เรียน. JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE, RELIGION AND CULTURE, 11(2), 30–53. Retrieved from