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  • 1 Shaikhbahai University Faculty of Foreign Languages Iran
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A translator who examines a text with a view to translating it will have a number of concerns. Among them, allusions are likely to play a subsidiary but not negligible role. Translating allusions can be a demanding task due to the fact that allusions have specific meanings in the culture and language in which they arise but not necessarily in others. Taking this into account, the present study set out to investigate allusive references, namely personal proper-name allusions (PPN) in the first Book of Rumi’s (1207–1273) Mathnawi , and its two translations by Redhouse (1881) and Nicholson (1940) to find out how translation strategies can help translators to elicit meanings associated with the proper-name allusions in question. In order to achieve the above-mentioned purpose, the personal proper names in Mathnawi and their equivalents in the two English translations were first identified and statistically analysed. Then, Leppihalme’s (1997) proposed strategies for translating proper-name allusions were applied to the personal proper names in question to see which specific strategies were preferred by each of the translators. The analysis revealed that the overwhelmingly most common strategy for the translation of personal proper names was that of ‘ retention without any guidance ’. This is indicative of the translators’ wish to be as faithful as possible to the source texts — something that both translators tried to achieve, but to varying extents, as described in the prefaces to their translations. The analysis also showed that when other strategies were employed, a relative loss of allusive connotations was inevitable.

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