Semantic Adjustments in the Renditions of Short Stories:

Option or Compulsion?


  • Sara Zandian 📧 Ph.D. in Translation Studies, Instructor at English Department, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran



While translating, translators may resort to adjustments to preserve the meaning of the source text (ST) intact and to produce natural and comprehensible renditions in the target text (TT). Drawing on Nida and Taber’s (2003) framework, this descriptive study aims to examine the adjustments to meaning in the translations of three short stories, including The Duchess and the Jeweller, The Closed Shop, and The Bet. The results of content analysis of the STs and TTs suggested that most of the semantic adjustments concerned reduction, as opposed to the common assumption on the preponderance of expansion over reduction. Meanwhile, reduction of formula and descriptive substitute served as the most frequently applied reduction and expansion techniques by the translator. Regarding the central principle of producing the closest natural equivalent, the translator’s preferred option of reduction techniques, seems justifiable as it has paved the way to render a dynamic equivalence in the translation.


Semantic Adjustment, Expansion, Reduction, Dynamic equivalence


Chekov, A. P. (1921). The Bet and other stories (C. Garnett, Trans.). (Original work published 1889).

Eqlidi, E. (2008). One thousand and one nights: Paryaneha 1, 2. Nashr-e Markaz.

Federici, A. (2022). The ethics of writing at high rates for fashion papers: Virginia Woolf’s short stories for Harper’s Bazaar. MediAzioni, 33: A80–A97.–4382/15462, ISSN 1974–4382

Janis, M. (2021) “The Bet” against Nihilism: The intellectual journey in Chekhov’s short fiction. Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, 23 (4), 477–502.

Jones, F. R. (2020). Literary Translation. In Baker M. & Saldanha G. (Eds.), Routledge encyclopedia of translation studies (3rd ed.) (pp. 294–299). Routledge.

Manafi Anari, S. (2009). A study of Islamic texts in English translation (II). SAMT.

Masboogh, S. M., & Delshad, S. (2015). The criticism and analysis of the structural adjustments in Tasuji’s and Eqlidi’s translation of “One Thousand and One Nights”. Language and Translation Studies (LTS), 48 (3), 55–81. DOI: 10.22067/lts. v48i3.54764

Maugham, W. S. (1956). The closed shop. William Heinemann.

Mokhtari, M. A. (2003). Seven short stories. Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman Publications.

Nida, E. A. (1991). Theories of translation. TTR: Traduction, Terminologie, Rédaction, 4(1), 19–32.

Nida, E. A. & Taber, C.R. (2003). The theory and practice of translation. E. J. Brill.

Sudana, I. G. P., & Yadnya, I. B. P. (2021). Semantic adjustments in the translation of English memorandum. The International Journal of Social Sciences World (TIJOSSW), 3(1), 270–279.

Tasuji, A. (2011). The thousand and one nights. Esharat-e-Talayi.

Woolf, V. (1938). The Duchess and the Jeweller. In Dick, S. (Ed.), The complete shorter fiction of Virginia Woolf (pp. 248–253). Harcourt.

Zandian, S. (2022). Examining idiomaticity of short stories in translation: Creativity or fidelity? Translation Studies Quarterly, 19 (76), 59–74.

Yari, A., & Zandian, S. (2022). Adjustments in the Quran translation based on Nida and Taber’s model (A case study of three translations of Az Zariyat surah). Applied Research on English Language, 11(1), 1–20. DOI: 10.22108/are.2021.130075.1766




How to Cite

Zandian, S. (2023). Semantic Adjustments in the Renditions of Short Stories: : Option or Compulsion?. Iranian Journal of Translation Studies, 21(83). Retrieved from



Academic Research Paper