Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 130

Full Length Research Paper

Strategies used in the translation of allusions in Hafiz Shirazi's poetry

Naeimeh Bahrami
Faculty of Foreign Languages, Alborz University, Iran
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 December 2011
  •  Published: 30 January 2012



A translator who examines a text with a view to translate it will have a number of concerns. Among them, allusions are likely to become puzzles when they cross a cultural divide. Translating allusions can be a demanding task due to the fact that they simultaneously activate two texts and have specific meanings in the culture and language in which they arise but not _ necessarily in others. However, the use of allusions by an author shows an expectation that the reader is familiar with the references made, otherwise the effect is lost. Taking this into account, the present study focuses on personal proper noun and key phrase allusions in the poems of the- famous Persian poet Hafiz and their translations by Clark (1891) to investigate how translation- strategies would provide the translators, in particular the novice ones, with useful insights concerning intertextual references in general and allusions in particular in order that the translators might find it no more challenging a task. In order to achieve the above mentioned purpose, the personal proper noun and key-phrase allusions in Hafiz's Divan and their equivalents in the English translation by Clark (1891) were first identified. Then, Leppihalme's (1997) proposed strategies for the translation of allusions were analyzed. The analysis revealed that the most common strategy for the translation of personal proper nouns was that of 'retention without any guidance' and for key-phrase allusions was that 'literal translation with minimum change'. This is indicative of the translator's wish to be as faithful as possible to the source texts to demonstrate that the allusive language of the original texts and connotations conveyed by them were largely ignored by the translator of Hafiz's Divan.


Key words: Intertextuality, allusion, proper noun allusion, key phrase allusion, translation strategies