Assessing the Quality of Persian Translation of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four Based on House’s Model: Overt-Covert Translation Distinction

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Foreign Languages, Khorasgan (Isfahan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran


This study aimed to assess the quality of Persian translation of Orwell's (1949) Nineteen Eighty-Four by Balooch (2004) based on House's (1997) model of translation quality assessment. To do so, 23 pages (about 10 percent) of the source text were randomly selected. The profile of the source text register was produced and the genre was realized. The source text profile was compared to the translation text profile. The result of this comparison was dimensional mismatches and overt errors. The dimensional mismatches were categorized based on different dimensions of register including field, tenor, and mode. The overt errors which were based on denotative mismatches and target system errors were categorized into omissions, additions, substitutions, and breaches of the target language system. Then, the frequencies of occurrences of subcategories of overt errors along with their percentages were calculated. The overt errors and dimensional errors were analyzed carefully. The dimensional mismatches as well as a large number of major overt errors such as omissions and substitutions indicated that the translation was not in accordance with the House's view stating that literary works needed to be translated overtly. In other words, mismatches on different levels of register showed that the cultural filter was applied in translation and the second-level functional equivalence required for overt translation was not reached. As a result, the Persian translation of Nineteen Eighty-Four did not fulfill the criteria to be an overt translation. Instead, this translation tended to be a covert one.


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