SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Practical Translation English into Persian

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 1

This module aims to enhance and structure students' practical skills in translation from English into Persian, as well as provide them with an intellectual perspective on the activity of translation. The emphasis is mainly on advanced translation skills from English into Persian. Students study a variety of texts including literary, fictional, journalistic and biographical prose.


Students must have advanced level of language proficiency in both Persian and English.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate developed skills in translating between English and Persian, ensuring that the end product is cohesive, effective, and appropriate to the nature of the source text.
  2. Assess and analyse the nature and features of varieties of source texts, and demonstrate these skills through commentary on their translation choices and strategy.
  3. Assess, discuss and critique translated texts in English and Persian, pointing out the difficulties and issues that face translators of these texts in terms of specific issues and overall translation strategy.
  4. Students will develop intellectual perspectives on the activity of translation and expand topic-based vocabulary.
  5. By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate ability in handling texts, including literary, academic, political, journalistic and biographical texts with confidence.


This module will be taught over 10 weeks with a 2 x 1 hour lectures in total.  There will be 18 hours of practical classes and workshops over the teaching term bringing the total contact hours for this module to 20.

Scope and syllabus

There is no set syllabus for this module. Texts will cover a core range of genres and text styles. It will include on-going discussion of the process and techniques of translation, from English into Persian, close examination of the nature and features of different genres and varieties of texts, and exploration of the relevant translation strategies to adopt with them, both in class and during independent study. The module involves intensive practical translation, the application of translation theory to texts, and critique and assessment of pre-existing translations.

 The order and levels of the text types studied will be flexible and tailored to the needs of the students.

Method of assessment

One two-hour written examination taken in May/June (70%); a translation and commentary of 2,000 words to be submitted on Day 5, week 1, term 3 (30%).

Suggested reading

Translation studies
  • Baker, Mona 1992, In Other Words: a coursebook on translation, London, Routledge
  • Eco, Umberto, 2003, Mouse or Rat? Translation as Negotiation, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
  • Ghanoonparvar, M.R. 2001, Translating the Garden, University of Texas Press
  • Hatim, B. & Mason, I. 1997, The Translator as Communicator, New York: Routledge
  • Lefevere, André. 1992. Translating Literature: Practice and Theory in a Comparative Literature Context. New York: Modern Language Association of America.
  • Lefevere, André. 1992a. Translation, Rewriting and the Manipulation of Literary Fame. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Motarjem: Iranian Journal of Translation
  • Riazi, A.M. & Assar, F. (2001) ‘A Text Analysis of Persian Newspaper Editorials’, Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities of Shiraz University, Vols. 31&32
  • Toury, Gideon (ed.) 1987, Translation Across Cultures, New Delhi: Bahri
  • Venuti, Lawrence 1992, (ed.) Rethinking Translation, London and New York: Routledge
  • Venuti, Lawrence, 1995, The Translator’s Invisibility, London and New York: Routledge
  • Venuti, Lawrence, 2000, (ed.) The Translation Studies Reader, London and New York: Routledge
  • Yarmohammadi, L. 1995 (ed.), ‘The Discoursal and Textual Structure of Khayam’s Poetry in FiitzGerald’s English Versification’ in Fifteen articles in contrastive linguistics and the structure of Persian: Grammar, text and Discourse, Tehran:Rahnama Publications 
Specialised dictionaries
  • Aliqoli Amini, Farhang-e Avam, [Esfahan?, no date.]
  • Dastan-ha-ye Amsal, 2nd edition, Esfahan 1333.
  • Hooshang Amuzegar, A Dictionary of Common Persian and English Verbs (with Persian synonyms & examples), Payam Publishers, 1988
  • A & M Aryanpur, The Unabridged English - Persian Dictionary 5 Vols.
  • Turner (Colin), A thematic dictionary of modern Persian 2003
  • Jamalzade, Farhang-e Loghat-e Ammiyane, Tehran 1341
  • Mahshid Moshiri, Dictionnaire des Mots Européens en Persan, Alborz Publications, Tehran 1993
  • Riza Anzabi-Nezhad and Mansur Tharwat, Farhang-e Mo’asir, Tehran 1366.
  • Michael Hillmann, Persian Fiction Reader, Dunwoody Press, Maryland 1995
  • Michael Craig Hillmann with Ramin Sarraf. Persian Newspaper Reader
  • Hasan Kamshad, Modern Persian Prose Reader, Cambridge 1968
  • Windfuhr & Bostanbakhsh, Modern Persian - Intermediate Level, University of Michigan


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules