An Analysis of the Persian Translation of the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Based on Juliane House’s (1997) Quality Assessment Model of Translation

Sheida Ronagh Zadeh  -  Department of English Language, Zand Institute of Higher Education, Shiraz, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Azadeh Nemati*  -  (Scopus ID 57197699590) Department of English Language, Azad University of Shiraz, Shiraz, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Mohammad Bavali  -  (Scopus ID 57210645300) Department of English Language, Azad University of Shiraz, Shiraz, Iran, Islamic Republic of

(*) Corresponding Author

As quality is one of the most important aspects of translation studies, the researchers aim at analyzing the quality of the Persian translation of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which is one of the best-selling novels in the world based on House’s (1997) model of translation quality assessment. As it was time-consuming to apply this model to the whole book, twenty sections out of forty-five sections of the English version were selected randomly. In this qualitative-descriptive research, both source text and target text were compared in tables regarding quality. The study revealed that the translator had translated the text overtly, confirming House’s idea, who noted that literary texts should be translated overtly. However, the cultural filter was applied to some parts of the text that were not acceptable in the target culture. Therefore, covert translation was acceptable in some parts. According to the analysis based on House’s model, the Persian translation was almost of good quality. The register, as well as the related sub-branches, was observed well in most parts of the target text. The text, in respect of textual means, was also cohesive and coherent; however, the lexical choice in some parts needed improvement. The researchers also found out that some part of the source text information was not transferred to the target text without any particular reasons. Thus, it was illustrated that although House’s translation quality assessment model is the best translation quality assessment model among other models, it needs improvement. House’s model was not able to analyze the text in respect of information transfer. Therefore, this could be a weak point in House’s model. In short, the translated text was not of high quality as it needs improvement in respect of information transfer and lexical choice.

Keywords : mode; participants; medium; tenor; register; field; translation quality assessment; cultural filter

  1. Al-Qinai, J. (2000). Translation Quality Assessment. Strategies, Parametres and Procedures. Meta Translators’ Journal, 45(3), 497–519.
  2. Bandia, P. F. (1993). Translation as Culture Transfer: Evidence from African Creative Writing. Traduction, Terminologie, Re?Daction, 6(2).
  3. Bittner, H. (2011). The Quality of Translation in Subtitling. Trans-Kom, 4(1).
  4. Carroll, J. B. (1966). An Experiment in Evaluating the Quality of Translations. Mechanical Translation and Computational Linguistics, 9(3–4), 67–75.
  5. Gehrmann, C. (2011). Translation Quality Assessment. A Model in Practice. Retrieved from
  6. Ghafouripour, S., Branch, P., Eslamieh, R., & Branch, P. (2018). A Translation Quality Assessment of Two English Translations of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam based on Juliane House’s Model (1997). International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies, 06(02), 217–226.
  7. House, J. (1997). Translation quality assessment: A model revisited. Retrieved from
  8. House, J. (2001). "Translation Quality Assessment: Linguistic Description versus Social Evaluation. Meta: Journal Des Traducteurs, 46.
  9. House, J. (2015). Translation Quality Assessment: Past and Present (1st Edition). Retrieved from
  10. Kargarzadeh, F., & Paziresh, A. (2017). Assessing the Quality of Persian Translation of Kite Runner based on House’s (2014) Functional Pragmatic Model. International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies, 5(1), 117–126.
  11. Munday, J. (2016). Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications (4th edition). Retrieved from
  12. Nida, E. (2003). Toward a Science of Translating: With Special Reference to Principles and Procedures Involved in Bible Translating (Second Edition). Retrieved from
  13. Petersen, M. (2017). Translation and Quality Management: some implications for the theory, practice and teaching of translation. HERMES - Journal of Language and Communication in Business, 9, 201.
  14. Reiss, K. (1971). Die bedeutung von texttyp und textfunktion. Linguistica Antverpiensia, 5(1).
  15. Rodrigues, S. V. (2002). Translation Quality: a Housian Analysis. Meta, 41(2), 223–227.
  16. Rothery, J. (1996). Making changes: Developing an educational linguistics. Literacy in Society, 86–123.
  17. Thi Thuy, P. (2013). House’s functional-pragmatic model of translation assessment and implications for evaluating English-Vietnamese translation quality. VNU Journal of Foreign Studies, 29(1), 56–64. Retrieved from
  18. Vallès, D. (2014). Applying Juliane House’s Translation Quality Assessment Model (1997) on a Humorous Text: A Case Study of “The Simpsons.” New Readings, 14, 42.
  19. Vandepitte, S. (2017). Translation product quality: A conceptual analysis.
  20. Williams, M. (2001). The Application of Argumentation Theory to Translation Quality Assessment. Meta, 46, 326–344.
  21. Woodhouselee, A. F. T. (2013). Essay on the principles of translation (Kindle edi). Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks.

Vision: Journal of Language and Foreign Language Learning is indexed by


Vision: Journal of Language and Foreign Language Learning

To improve the quality of the journal, since 25 July 2020, this journal officially had made cooperation with ELITE Association Indonesia (The Association of Teachers of English Linguistics, Literature & Education). See The MoU Manuscript.

Creative Commons License

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

View My Stats