A Comparative Study of Shift Strategies in English Translations of the Nahj al-balagha: A Case Study of Sayings 1-30

Document Type : Original Research


1 Department of English Language, Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran

2 Department of English Language, Baqir Al-Olum University, Qom, Iran


The present study investigated the translation shifts and most frequent types of translation shifts according to Catford’s model in the translation of Sayings 1-30 in the Nahj al-balagha from Arabic into English. The researcher selected the first thirty sayings of the Nahj al-balagha for the analysis. Throughout the analysis, each shift strategy was traced and manually counted to determine the most frequent type of translation shift. The findings revealed that unit shifts were the most frequent type of shift (59.70%), followed by structure shifts (23.30%), then level shifts (10.70%), intra-system shift (4.50%), and finally class shifts (1.50%). Both translators used unit shift and structure shift with the highest frequencies in their translations. The results also indicated that, unlike Sayyid Ali Reza, Sayyid Muhammad Askari Ja’fari went beyond the surface structure and translated words into phrases and explained them in some cases, thus providing an understandable translation. Sayyid Muhammad Askari Ja’fari used unit shifts more frequently than Sayyid Ali Reza. Sayyid Muhammad Askari Ja’fari most of the time used unit shift to convey the message to the target language reader in a comprehensible way. The translator who used unit shift was successful in conveying the message of the source language text to the reader of the target language. Using unit shift made the target language's readers understand the material better.


Main Subjects

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