Translators’ Voices in the Paratext: A Comparative Analysis of Three Prefaces to the English Translations of Iqbal’s Shikwah and Jawab-e-Shikwah

Nasir Mehmood & Hazrat Umar


This study analyses three translation prefaces to English Translations of Iqbal’s Shikwah and Jawab-e-Shikwah. The study focuses on what information has been given by the translators regarding their translational strategies. Moreover, the study explains as to how far these prefaces are helpful to the readers in understanding the translational norms. In the context of Pakistan, research in the area of Translation Studies has been conventionally focused on the analysis of texts, including the source text(s) (ST) and the target text(s) (TT). However, little attention has been paid to the analysis of the prefaces. Given the paucity of research in this area, and keeping in view the significance of prefaces in making translators visible to the readers in terms of translational norms and strategies in translation, the present research is an attempt to bridge up this gap. In order to analyse these prefaces, Toury (1995) model of translational norms has been used. The study has shown that these prefaces function as paratexts which provides useful information to the reader regarding the choices and strategies used by the translators in their translations. Moreover, it also helps in comprehending the translators’ awareness of the norms of translation. The study concludes with the understanding that translation prefaces foreground the translators’ strategies used in the translations and they help the readers understand the translational norms. Therefore, they should be given due consideration in the analysis of any future research in the field of translation studies.

Keywords: para-text, translators’ voices, prefaces, translation, Iqbal’s Shikwah and Jawab-e-Shikwah


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