عنوان مقاله [English]
Golestan by the great Persian poet, Saadi Shirazi, is a work of high importance due to its universally cultural acceptance as well as the predominance of culture-free elements in it, which are based on human and universal logic. Having a high degree of global acceptance also covers the cultural and indigenous dimensions of the work and could be the reason for its expansion and prevalence over the world. In this article, for better understanding this feature, three famous and old translations of Golestan were selected as the texts to be studied; two English translations by James Ross and Edward Rehatsek, and a third in French by Charles Defrémery. The research method is based on examining the translators’ mental schema, the way they understood the content, and the degrees of their acceptance or resistance to it.
In this article, to understand the extent of Golestan’s universality, using Mohamed Farghal’s cultural model which was modified by combining it with Antoine Berman's theory on the morphology of text distortion in translation, three translations of Golestan are compared to examine the degree to which each translator perceived the Golestan culturally. For that purpose, examples of translations are presented and explained to clarify the four-dimensional mechanism of this model. Then, the seventh chapter of Golestan, which is in the field of "The effect of education", is fully examined and the effect of culture and literary language on the quality of these translations is measured.
According to the results of the study, out of the approximate number of 800 sentences in the seventh chapter of Golestan, the number of sentences that have been translated in the form of the culture-bound schema is not very noticeable. In other words, although translators, Ross (3%), Defrémery (2.5%), and Rehatsek (2%), have shown somehow adherence to their own culture reflected in their translations, and also there have been 2 up to 10 percent of literary and lingual inconsistency, these rates are negligible compared to the rate of other schemas (i.e. culture-sensitive and culture-free); Ross (93%), Defrémery (95%) and Rehatsek (91.75%). (→table 1)
Table 1. Ranking of translations based on the degree of
cultural-literary proximity to the source text
Percentage of cultural accordance (sum of culture-free and culture-sensitive)
Percentage of linguistic-literary accordance (consistent)
Name of translator
The small contribution of culture-bound schema and inconsistency, based on analyzed examples in the first part of the article, did not profoundly affect the understanding of meaning, and transmission of the concepts. Therefore, it can be said that from a cultural point of view, the contribution of culture-free schema in the first place, and that of culture-sensitive in the next, are the highest. On the other hand, from a literary and linguistic point of view, the contribution of consistent cases is significantly higher than the inconsistent ones, often without any serious effect on the meaning transmission. Thus, Saadi's Golestan contains a high level of human ideas common between ethnic groups - beyond the indigenous, cultural and linguistic elements - which have made it an ever-lasting popular work in the Persian language and the focus of the world's attention.