An Investigation into the Use of Category Shifts in the Persian Translation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

Document Type: Original Article


Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics, English Department, Islamic Azad University, Marvdasht Branch, Iran


The present study aimed at finding Catford‟s category shifts applied in the Persian translation of Charles Dickens‟ novel Great Expectations to determine the most frequently used category shift and to check whether there is a significant difference between category shifts in the translation. To this end, 200 simple declarative sentences from the first 20 chapters of the novel (10 sentences from each chapter) and their Per- sian translations by Fateme Amini were chosen. Then, types of category shift according to Catford‟s shift model were found and the frequency and percentage of each category was calculated. Finally, a chi-square test for the goodness of fit was administered to investigate the possibility of the existence of significant dif- ference between the applied category shifts in the translation. The results revealed that while all Catford‟s category shifts (i.e. structure, unit, intra-system, and class shift) were applied in translation, structure shift was the most frequent observed shift (102 cases out of 211 total cases, i.e., 48.34 percent) in the translation. Also, the difference between the used category shifts in the translation was not statistically significant.


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