The Translatability/Untranslatability of Poetics: Eliot's "Ash Wednesday" and its two Persian translations


  • Mohammad Piri Ardakani
  • Anita Lashkarian
  • Mahmoud Sadeghzadeh



Objective: The importance of allusions in literary texts has been considered significant and has become the issue of research in language and translation studies. A literary text is usually tightly knit to the culture that produces it. Certainly, translators will encounter some problems in translating literary texts due to the fact that allusions have particular connotations and implications in the source language (SL). Hence, allusions are potential problems in the translation process. Undoubtedly, a number of studies have focused on translating allusions from English into other languages such as Finnish and Arabic. But very few studies have been reported on the translation of allusions in fiction from English into Persian. However, both   literary and translation studies have acknowledged the significance of reader's cultural familiarity in comprehending allusions within the source texts as well as in the target language. Methodology: The present study aimed to focus on the allusions in the Persian translation of James Joyce's Dubliners by Safarian (1993), since Joyce has consistently used allusions in the fifteen short stories in his collection Dubliners. Results: The main objective of the study was to study the allusions in the ST and then trace its translation in the TT in order to determine whether allusions from the ST had been successfully transferred from English into Persian. Moreover, the study also attempted to determine the translator's choice of strategies in conveying the meaning in the target language, and aimed to assess the quality of the translation by identifying the strategies necessary for determining the function and implicit meaning of the ST allusions and their transference into the corresponding TL words and phrases. The translation was examined on the basis of the theory proposed by Leppihalme (1997). Conclusion: The most significant contribution of this study was to offer a new model for translators within which they could overcome their difficulties particularly in the translation of allusions, and also to make the prospective translators alert in their choice of strategies for a finer translation