Volume 9, No. 3 
July 2005

Alireza Yazdunpanuh


Front Page

Select one of the previous 32 issues.


Index 1997-2005

TJ Interactive: Translation Journal Blog

  Translator Profiles
From Tulip Grower to Translator: An Unlikely Profile
by Robert Croese

  The Profession
The Bottom Line
by Fire Ant & Worker Bee

  TJ Cartoon
Great Moments in Languages: One Man's Dove Is Another Man's Pigeon
by Ted Crump

  Translators Around the World
Intellectual Property and Copyright: The case of translators
by Lenita M. R. Esteves, Ph.D.

  Translation and Politics
On Censorship: A Conversation with Ilan Stavans
by Verónica Albin
Translation and Censorship in European Environments
by Antonia Keratsa

  Book Review
Legal Translation and the Dictionary by Marta Chromá
Reviewed by Michael Trittipo
Guaraní Dictionary
Reviewed by Robert Croese
Revelations of a Case Style in a Vehicular Accident Lawsuit
by Josef F. Buenker and Diane E. Teichman
Emotional and Psychological Effects on Interpreters in Public Services—A Critical Factor to Bear in Mind
by Carmen Valero-Garcés
La interpretación de congresos de medicina: formación y profesión
Lucía Ruiz Rosendo

  Literary Translation
Translation & Rainfall
by Alireza Yazdunpanuh
Übersetzen als Neuschreiben: die Macht des Übersetzers
Dr. Charlotte Frei

  Legal Translation
Traduzione giuridica e «Legal English»
Lorenzo Fiorito

  Translator Education
Parallelism between Language Learning and Translation
by Dr. Kulwindr Kaur a/p Gurdial Singh
On Teaching Forms of Address in Translation
by Agnieszka Szarkowska

  Translators' Tools
Translators’ Emporium
Using a Specialized Corpus to Improve Translation Quality
by Michael Wilkinson
Design and Development of Translator's Workbench for English to Indian Languages
by Akshi Kumar

  Caught in the Web
Web Surfing for Fun and Profit
by Cathy Flick, Ph.D.
Translators’ On-Line Resources
by Gabe Bokor
Translators’ Best Websites
by Gabe Bokor

Translators’ Events

Call for Papers and Editorial Policies
  Translation Journal

Literary Translation


Translation & Rainfall

by Alireza Yazdunpanuh

onsider an ocean, deep and blue. The sun shines bright. The water in the ocean evaporates up into the sky. Gradually, clouds are formed and winds take them away, far into another territory. Once the vapor is cold and dense, it falls down in the form of rain. Some of the droplets fall over the salty rocks. Some go deep into the earth. Some fall directly into the sea. Among those that flow on the ground, some-raindrops unite to form streams; streams unite to form rivers, and rivers finally join another ocean with different characteristics, but the same essence.

The first ocean is analogous to the whole knowledge of the source-text nation (or linguistic territory/language). The limited amount of water evaporated is the source text; the process of evaporation is the process of comprehension of the ST by the translator, the clouds are what the source text creates in the translator's mind; the geographical movement of the clouds is the shift from one linguistic territory into another (again, within the translator's mind); the rainfall is the process of putting abstract meaning into words of the target language.


  1. There is no "bad translation" if it is genuine. There can be, however, poor ones.
  2. There can never be machine-translators in the sense that there are, for example, machine chess players.
  3. There can be no definition of good translation unless the user and the total circumstance under which he/she is using the translated text are specified.
  4. Instead of arguing over priority of form over content, etc. translator training courses should focus on developing comprehension skills in the source language and writing/speaking skills in the target one. These courses should be much more flexible and include flexibility as an intrinsic part of the course material. I dare say, a single method cannot be specified as the "best" not only for a single literary genre, but even for a single literary work or even a single page of that work! Didn't you see that every snowflake has its own unique shape, all of them beautiful?