A Critique of Miscellaneous English Translations of Selections from Iqbal’s Urdu and Persian Poetry

    Nasir Mehmood

    Abstract

    This article investigates miscellaneous English translations of Selections from Iqbal’s Urdu and Persian poetry. These translations have been done by both foreign as well as indigenous translators. The textual data consists of English translations of Iqbal’s selected verses from his different Urdu and Persian poems. Moreover, it also includes Iqbal’s self-translation of his poetry. After a critical evaluation of these translations, it is revealed that the translators have used a variety of strategies to transfer the content of source text into target text. These include, rendering the selected verses and leaving out the others, making prose translation rather poetic translation, with no pattern of rhythm and rhyme scheme, or going for poetic translation and preserving proper rhythm and rhyme and, sometimes, the translator has decided to translate in free verse. The same goes for meaning which has been occasionally lost in some of these translations. Finally, the study ends with an understanding that the translators’ knowledge of the source text and target text as well as their skill in poetry translation results into different products. 

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