A Contrastive Analysis of Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions in Three English and Persian Novels for Translation Purposes

Mohammad Ahmadi


The significance of idioms and idiomatic expressions in English can be understood from their appearance in all types of discourse ranging from every day conversations to scientific texts. So, the present study deals with the translation of idioms and idiomatic expressions from English into Persian focusing on the procedures involved. Baker's model (1992) which groups possible procedures into four strategies was chosen as the theoretical framework of this research. This study is an attempt to investigate strategies used in translating and also to find out which strategy is mostly used. To do so, a total number of 90 idioms and idiomatic expressions were extracted from three English novels. This study was carried out through a comparative study of idioms and idiomatic expressions from English into Persian. The findings of the research indicated that four strategies were used in translating idioms and idiomatic expressions and their frequency of being used is different and also it was revealed that most of the data were translated by paraphrase.


Idioms, Idiomatic Expressions, Paraphrase, Translation.

Full Text:



Adili, S. (2010). Strategies Applied in Translating Quranic Idiomatic Expressions. M.A. Thesis in English Translation, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch, Iran.

Alexander, R. (1978). Fixed Expressions in English: A Linguistic, Psycholinguistic, Sociolinguistic and Didactics Study. Anglistik and Englischunterricht 6, 171-188.

Amirshahi, A. (2010). qalˀeye heyvānāt. Tehran: Amirkabir publications.

Baker, M. (1992). In Other Words: A Course Book on Translation. London: Routledge.

Bassnett, S. (2005). Translation Studies. London and New York: Routledge.

Bolinger, D. (1981). Aspects of Language. 3rd Ed. New York: Harcourt College Pubs.

Cacciari, C. (1993). The Place of Idioms in a Literal and Metaphorical World. Idioms: Processing, Structure and Interpretation. C. Cacciari and P. Tabossi (eds.), 27-52. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Daryabandari, N. (1994). Piremard va daryā. Tehran: Kharazmi publications.

Delfani, J. (2009). Strategies in Translating Idiomatic Expressions from English into Persian in Movie Subtitles. M.A.Thesis in English Translation, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Central Branch, Iran.

Didari, R. (1985). Sālāre magashā. Tehran: Afrashteh publications.

Fernando, C. (1996). Idioms and Idiomaticity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ghaffari, S. (2001). A dictionary of idioms. Tehran: Peykan publications.

Golding, W. (1954). Lord of the Flies. London: Faber & faber.

Hemingway, E. (1952). The Old Man and the Sea. U.K.: Penguin Books.

Larson, M. (1984). Meaning-based Translation: A Guide to Cross-language Equivalence. Lanham, New York & London: University Press of America.

Mirza Suzani, S. (2007). Sports Idiom and Duality of Meaning in Translation. Translation Studies. 7(25). pp. 49-64.

Newmark, P. (1981). Approaches to Translation. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. London: Prentice Hall International (UK) Ltd.

Nida, E. (1964). Toward a Science of Translating. Leiden: Brill, the Netherlands.

Nida, E. A., & Taber, C. R. (1969). The Theory and Practice of Translation. In

Bassnett, S. (1980). Translation Studies. London and New York: Methuen.

Orwell. G. (1945). Animal Farm. London: Longman Group.

Salehi, M. (2000). Strategies Applied in Translating Slang Words and Expressions in Farsi Subtitles of American Movies. M.A.Thesis in English Translation, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Central Branch.

Tasnim, M. (2001). The Relationship between the Knowledge of Idioms and Reading Comprehension. M.A.Thesis in English Translation, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Central Branch.

Toury, G. (1995). Descriptive Translation Studies-and Beyond. John Benjamins: Amsterdam.

Weinreich, U. (1969). Problems in the Analysis of Idioms. Substance and Structure of Language. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 23-81.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22046/LA.2017.22


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Mohammad Ahmadi

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.