An Investigation of Pun Translatability in English Translations of Sa’di’s Ghazals Based on Delabastita’s Proposed Model

Fahime Koochacki


The rich cultural connotations behind puns and the distinctive features of the puns’ form, sound and meanings pose great challenges to the translator. Furthermore, given puns’ non-negligible effects in Persian literary texts, it has been the aim of the present study to analyze and measure how puns in Sa’di’s Ghazals have actually been treated in two available English versions. For the purpose of carrying out a meaningful analysis of translated puns, Delabastita’s (1996) proposed model was considered as the main theoretical framework of the study. The data were compiled from a corpus comprising 92 ghazals along with their two target versions. Following an exact contrastive analysis of data based on Delabastita’s classification and considering the results from the two selected statistical systems of traditional and SPSS in the study, it concluded that the two Iranian translators have applied eight different strategies included in Delabastita’s (1996) model. These strategies arranged in descending order based on their total frequencies were Pun>RRD (Related Rhetorical Device); Pun>Non-Punning expressions (both senses); Non-Punning expressions> Pun; Pun>Non-Punning expressions (one sense); Zero>Pun; ST Pun=TT Pun; Pun>Zero and Pun>Pun. Finally, the applicability and feasibility of Delabastita’s (1996) model to English translation of puns created in Sa’di’s Ghazals were proved.

Keywords: language-play, pun, ambiguity, homonymy, homophony, homography, paronymy, translation strategy

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