Paratextual Visibility: A Case of Footnotes Used by the Iranian Fiction Translators

  • Ameneh Yari University of Isfahan
  • Zahra Amirian University of Isfahan
  • Mohammad Amiryousefi University of Isfahan
Keywords: Visibility, Paratexts, Footnotes, Fiction translators


In the past few years, scholars have redirected the research path to a new and promising avenue wherein translator’s visibility is explored from paratexts rather than from the translations, highlighting the pivotal role and the position of translators as key agents in translation process. This article investigated the paratextual visibility of Iranian fiction translators by the examination of their footnotes to unveil the traces of translators’ self-expressions and reveal their rationales for choosing a particular translation technique. The analysis comprises footnotes of 300 English to Persian translated fictions. Data analysis resulted in a categorization of footnotes: transliteration, explanatory + transliteration, explanatory, translational, referential. A small number of footnotes were concerned with translation issue mainly revolving around mere equivalents between languages. Overall, it was found that although footnotes could be counted a precious place for translators to highlight their presence, Iranian fiction translators were less inclined to talk about their translation process and its challenges.

Author Biographies

Ameneh Yari, University of Isfahan

Ph.D. Candidate in Translation Studies, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Isfahan, Iran;

Zahra Amirian, University of Isfahan

Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Isfahan, Iran;

Mohammad Amiryousefi, University of Isfahan

Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Isfahan, Iran;


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How to Cite
Yari, A., Amirian, Z., & Amiryousefi, M. (2019). Paratextual Visibility: A Case of Footnotes Used by the Iranian Fiction Translators. Translation Studies Quarterly, 17(65), 37-53. Retrieved from
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