Translating Political Texts with and without the Defined Skopos: The Case of Iranian Translators

Document Type: Original Article


1 Freelance Researcher, Department of Language Studies, TESOL Asustralia, Australia

2 College of Arts, Law and Education, University of Tasmania, Australia


The aim of the present study was to investigate the importance of skopos in the translation of political texts from English into Persian. To do this, 30 Iranian translators were conveniently selected and equally divided into the in-house and freelance translators. They were asked to translate a translation test encompassing 10 short political texts that were extracted from English news websites. The point was that the in-house translators were provided with the skopos and were informed of the intended audiences, whereas the freelancers were not given the skopos and were not aware of the intended readers. Davies' (2003) taxonomy was applied as a valuable criterionto discover translation strategies used by each group of the participants. Finally, the success of each group of the professional translators was determined according to Vermeer's (1989/2000) skopos theoretical model. The findings indicated that from Davies' translation strategies, the in-house translators employed the target text (TT) oriented strategies that led to very functional and the TT-oriented translations as well as their success in fulfilling the defined skopos. By contrast, the freelance translators applied the source text (ST) oriented strategies and made the translations that were oriented towards the ST. This resulted in their failure to accomplish the translation skopos. The independent samples t test was also applied to find out the difference between the in-house and freelance translators. According to the results, there was a significant difference between their performance and employment of translation strategies.   


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