A Critique of the English Translation of Haft Peykar Based on Antoine Berman’s Model


  • Leila Niknasab 📧 Faculty Member, Department of English Translation, Faculty of Humanities and Art, Hazrat-e Masoumeh University, Qom


The present article aimed at examining the English translation of Haft Peykar translated in English as Haft Paykar: A Medieval Persian Romance, by Julie Scott Meisami (2015). Based on Berman’s model and within the framework of a descriptive-comparative methodology, several samples were assessed. The researcher attempted to find the merits and demerits of the given English translation of Nizami’s Haft Peykar based on the critical model of Antoine Berman, and to show the frequency of the‘deforming tendencies’in the English translation.  Primarily, English translation of the original poetry – the story of seven beauties- was compared and analyzed then the merits and demerits of the translation were identified precisely. The analysis of the data revealed that almost all types of deforming tendencies, although with different frequencies, were observed in the translation of the poetry. The highest frequency goes for the qualitative destruction, and the lowest one for ‘the effacement of the superimposition of languages’. In cases where no deforming tendencies are observed, upon Berman’s idea, the translated text enjoys the merits of a faithful translation and the translation of those parts following the deforming tendencies is inadequate. Overall, it appears that Berman offers a model which is too strict to keep the form and content of the source text in the English translation of Haft Peykar.

      Keywords: Berman’s model, deforming tendencies, merits, demerits, Haft Peykar


Berman’s deforming tendencies, Demerits, Haft Peykar, Merits, Qualitative impoverishment, Quantitative impoverishment


Apte, M. (2004). Translating Poetry: Interface with Emily Dickinson’s Poems. Translation Today, 1 (1). 119–134.

Azar, A.E., & Najafi, M. (2015). An Investigation of Nezami's Works Translated in the West (France, England, and Germany). European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences, 4(2), 260–272.

Berman, A. (2012). The translation studies reader (3th edition). Lawrence Venuti (Ed). London: Routledge.

Cross, C. (2010). The Haft Paykar: Love, color, and the universe. Retrieved from http://www. Scribd.com

Cudden, J.A. (1976). The Penguin dictionary of literary terms and literary theory.

England: Penguin Reference.

Deedari, R. & M. Mansouri. (2004). Understanding poetry. Tehran: Rahnema.

Farsian, M. & Esmaeili, N. (2017). Scrutinizing the Latest translation of the Novel "Alien" according to the Text Distortion System of Antoine Berman. Critical Language & Literary Studies, 14 (18). 151–169.

Hamidian, S. (Ed.). Haft Peykar: Nizami Ganjavim, E. (2007). (6th edition). Tehran: Ghatreh.

Hewson, L. (2011). An approach to translation criticism: Emma and Madame Bovary in translation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

http://www. iranicaonline.org/articles/haft-peykar

Jafari, Z. & Karimnia, A. (2015). A Survey of Poetry Translation According to Antoine Berman's (1985) Text Deformation System: A Case Study of English Translation of Book II of Mathnavi Manavi. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research, 2(2), 54–65.

Lefevere, A. (1975). Translating poetry: Seven strategies and a blueprint. Assen: Van Gorcum.

Ma’azallahi, P. & Saeedi, M. (2013). A textbook of literary translation. Rafsanjan: Rafsanjan University Press.

Meisami, J. S. (Tr.). (2105). Nizami Ganjavi, E. The Haft Paykar: A medieval Persian romance. London: Hackett.

Mousavi Razavi, M.S. & Tahmasbi Boveiri, S. (2019). A Meta-analytical Critique of Antoine Berman’s Relation Hypothesis. Translation Studies, 17 (65), 21–36.

Niazi, Sh. & et al., (2020). A Study of the Efficiency of Berman's Model in The Assessment of Qur'an Translation; A Case Study of Rationalization Tendency. Journal of Zaban Pazhuhi, 12 (36), 111–138.

Razmjoo, Sh. (2021). A Study of English Translations of a Hafez's Ghazal based on Accurate Understanding of the Poem. She’r Pazhuhi Journal. 13(2), 85–120.

Shobeiri, L. & et al., (2019). Analytical Study of "Distorting Trends" Theory of Antoine Berman in Charles Defremery’s French Translation of Golestan Saadi. Recherches en Langue et Traduction françaises, 2(1), 1–24.

Vamenani, Z. & Sadeghi, A. (2018). An Examination of Berman’s Negative Deformation Tendencies on Persian Translation of Tess of the d’Urbervilles Novel. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 7(5), 135–143.



2023-01-23 — Updated on 2023-02-17


How to Cite

Niknasab, L. (2023). A Critique of the English Translation of Haft Peykar Based on Antoine Berman’s Model. Iranian Journal of Translation Studies, 20(80). Retrieved from https://journal.translationstudies.ir/ts/article/view/1025 (Original work published January 23, 2023)



Academic Research Paper