A Comparative Study of Culture-Bound Terms in Translation: Sa`di's Golestān or Rose Garden in Persian and English


  • Ahmad Moinzadeh


This research investigates the problems which translators are faced with while translating culture-bound terms (CBTs). These terms refer to the concepts, traditions and materials available in one culture, hence in the language thereof, but non-existent in the other culture and the language thereof. The purpose of this study is to identify the strategies opted for by different translators faced with these terms. The researchers identified CBTs in the original (Persian) text – which was the second chapter of Sa`di’s Golestān or Rose Garden and their English renderings in five different translations done by English translators. Then the translation procedures used by each translator were determined. Lastly, according to different sense components of the cultural items, the strategies more capable of rendering the underlying concepts of the CBTs were identified. The researchers resorted to authentic references and dictionaries to identify the cultural and implicit meanings of the CBTs in the original language. The findings of the current study were as follows: (a) None of the English translators of Sa`di’s Golestān can be said to have been thoroughly successful in rendering all the underlying concepts of the CBTs; (b) Regarding the nature of the text under study, it seems that among various translation procedures, the two which make a couplet, including ‘transference’ and another procedure such as ‘descriptive equivalent’ or ‘footnote’ would have a higher potential for conveying both the local color of the source text and much of the underlying meaning of the culture-bound terms.



How to Cite

Moinzadeh, A. (2007). A Comparative Study of Culture-Bound Terms in Translation: Sa`di’s Golestān or Rose Garden in Persian and English. Iranian Journal of Translation Studies, 5(18). Retrieved from https://journal.translationstudies.ir/ts/article/view/119



Academic Research Paper