Metaphor in Hafez's Sonnets from the Perspective of Its Arabic Translations by al-Shvarabi and Shebli

  • Adnan Tahmasebi
  • Atiyeh Yousefi
  • Mohammad Reza Torki
  • Farzaneh Farahzad


The viewpoint about metaphor has completely changed from the past to the present especially after the theory of metaphor by George Laykoff and Mark Johnson enters into the field of cognitive linguistics. Based on this approach, metaphors reflect the conceptual system of the human mind that is influenced by its culture and experiences in the form of language. In this regard, it should be noted that one of the problems of translating poetry and specially Hafez's poem is linguistic and cultural concepts. In this article, we examine the methods used by the two Arab translators, Ibrahim al-Shvarabi and Omar Shebli, in translating the metaphors of the Hafez Divan, and show the impact of the methods employed in the translation of metaphors on the representation of cultural identity. For this purpose, we highlighted Hafez ghazals’ metaphors (50 ghazals of Divan of Hafez based on Qazvini version) according to classic comments, then explaining the method of translating each metaphor using Newmark's theory. The results show that Arabic-language translators, in spite of attempting to provide faithful translations and not deleting the phrases of Hafez's sonnets, have not succeeded in translating metaphors that depend on the cultural concepts of this poet.

Author Biographies

Adnan Tahmasebi
Associate Professor, Department of Arabic Language and Literature, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran;
Atiyeh Yousefi
MA in Arabic Translation Studies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran;
Mohammad Reza Torki
Associate Professor, Department of Persian Literature, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran;
Farzaneh Farahzad
Professor of Translation Studies at Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran;
How to Cite
Tahmasebi, A., Yousefi, A., Torki, M. R., & Farahzad, F. (2018). Metaphor in Hafez’s Sonnets from the Perspective of Its Arabic Translations by al-Shvarabi and Shebli. Translation Studies Quarterly, 15(60). Retrieved from
Scientific Articles