Semantic Adequacy in Translation: Strategies employed in the English renderings of Sa'di's wittical remarks of The Rose Garden (Golistan)

Document Type : Research Paper


English Department, Shahreza Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahreza, Iran


Translating literary works is a difficult task, especially when it comes to cultural elements. It gets more difficult when words have ambiguities and multiple layers of meaning. The present study sought to examine the adequacy of witticism in the English renderings of Sa'di's clever remarks in Golistan (The Rose Garden). To this purpose, the researchers selected three English translations of Golistan by different translators; namely, Rehatsek (1964), Gladwin (1806), and Ross (1890). A sample of 20 anecdotes containing wittical elements were randomly taken from Golistan and compared with their English translations. The collected data were then analyzed based on Delabastita's (1993) hierarchy of pun translation strategy model. The obtained results revealed that the three translations were at best similar in terms of the applied strategies, i.e. in all the translations, the most frequently used strategies were: Pun/Non-Pun translation strategy, Non-Pun/Pun strategy, and Pun/Related Rhetorical Translation strategy, respectively. Moreover, it was indicated that all the three translations used the strategies to the same extent, though slight differences were found among them in terms of the overall use of the strategies. Since adequacy in Delabastita’ framework (1993) is hierarchically defined, it can be concluded that higher level strategies lead to more adequate translations. Generally, it was observed that the three translations were the same in terms of semantic and humorous adequacy; i.e. they transferred the source text effect in translating wittical elements of the Golistan. The findings of the study would have implications for translation students as well as translators of literary works.


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Volume 7, Issue 27 - Serial Number 27
December 2019
Pages 147-160
  • Receive Date: 09 February 2019
  • Revise Date: 15 April 2019
  • Accept Date: 20 July 2019
  • First Publish Date: 01 December 2019