Strategies Employed in Translation of Idioms in English Subtitles of Two Persian Television Series

Document Type : Original Article


Islamic Azad University, South Tehran Branch


Translation of idioms seems to be complicated for most translators since the meaning of idioms is difficult and sometimes impossible to be deduced from the meaning of their individual components. Considering the difficulties of translation of idioms and also the specific constraints of subtitling such as space and time limits, this research studied the strategies employed in translation of idioms in English subtitles of two Persian television series: Madâr-e Sefr Daraje ‘Zero Point Orbit’ and Shab-e-Dahom ‘The Tenth Night’ both directed by Hassan Fathi. A total of 50 idioms from each of these films were analyzed based on the strategies suggested by Baker (1992) for translating idioms. The frequency and percentage of strategies applied were calculated and the results indicated that the strategy of paraphrase was the most frequently used strategy in translation of idioms by 72% of the total occurrence. 8% of idioms were omitted totally, and the strategy of using an idiom of similar meaning and form was not employed at all. Therefore, it can be suggested that the idiomaticity of the SL was avoided by translators as they paraphrased or omitted SL idioms instead of using equivalent idioms in the TL.13% of idioms were translated by using an idiom of similar meaning with dissimilar form. 5% of idioms were translated by using false form of target language idioms and 2% of idioms were translated in false way.