Cultural Elements in the English Translations of the Iranian ‘Resistance’ Literature: A Textual, Paratextual, and Semiotic Analysis

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of English Translation Studies, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Persian literature and foreign languages, Islamic Azad University, South Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran


The present corpus-based study addressed the strategies applied in translating the cultural elements (CEs) of the Iranian ‘resistance’ literature into English. The corpus comprised Chess with the Doomsday Machine, Eternal Fragrance, and Fortune Told in Blood translated by Sprachman, Omidvar, and Ghanoonparvar, re- spectively. The Persian books and their English translations were analyzed on three separate levels: On the textual level, CEs were identified and compared with their English equivalents. The findings indicated that the most frequently used strategy is retention. Regarding the first book, Sprachman’s approach, as an Eng- lish native translator, has been SL-oriented. On the semiotic level, the book cover, and on the paratextual level, Sprachman’s preface, where he has introduced the characters of the story and has provided explana- tions on the Iran-Iraq War, have been intended to attract the TL readership. On the other hand, Omidvar and Ghanoonparvar, as Iranian translators, have had a TL orientation. On the paratextual level, Omidvar has provided information about neither the Iran-Iraq War nor the characters. Ghanoonparvar has given some information about the Iran-Iraq War and the story characters. On the semiotic level, Eternal Fragrance has striking differences with the source in Persian while Fortune Told in Blood is similar to its Persian coun- terpart.