Using Expansion Strategies in Making Untranslatable Areas of Poetry Translatable: Sa’di’s Bustan as a Case in Point

Seyed Alireza Shirinzadeh, Tengku Sepora Tengku Mahadi


The purpose of this study was to explore poetry translatability and seek to see what the translators do to compensate those untranslatable areas of poetry. In doing so, the researchers chose a literary work, i.e., Bustan, by one of the well-known Iranian poets, that is, Sa’di (Wickens, 1990) and one of its translations, “The Bustan by Shaikh Muslihu-D-Din Sa’di Shirazi,” by Clarke (1985). They analyzed one hundred verses of his poetry, which were chosen randomly, to see what the translator did to overcome the untranslatable parts of that poetry, i.e., Sa’di’s Bustan. The study showed that the translator used expansion wherein he made some semantic and structural adjustments in his translation so as to make those untranslatable parts translatable and make the translation natural, intelligible and understandable in the receptor language. As a whole, in the selected corpus of the study, ninety two cases of expansion were identified.

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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