Translation of Cultural Specific Items: A Case Study of Gulistan of Saadi

Sarah Yousefi


Everyone can learn the culture of a country by reading the literature of that country. It is important for a translator what strategies to apply to transfer the true and exact meaning of a culture. In other words, as Dehbashi Sharif and Shakiba (2015) believe literary works are deeply and firmly fixed in the source culture so those who translate these texts probably encounter troubles in translating cultural specific items. When it comes to works of great authors and poets, like Rumi, Hafez, Saadi and etc, doing different researches and studies about translations of their works becomes more vital and necessary. The researcher of the present research attempted to find out how Edward Rehatsek has translated the cultural specific items in Gulistan of Saadi. In order to reach this goal, first, the researcher had to find all of the cultural specific items in Gulistan of Saadi, then, compared them with their English equivalents by using Newmark’s taxonomy of translation strategies for translating CSIs as a reference. Finally, the researcher found 102 cases of CSIs, and it was concluded that among other strategies such as Functional Equivalent, Through-translation, Synonymy, Descriptive Equivalent, Componential Analysis, Modulation, Cultural Equivalent and Naturalization which have been applied by Edward Rehatsek for translation of cultural specific items “Transference” strategy was the most frequently used strategy.


cultural specific items (CSIs), translation strategies, literary translation, literature

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