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They even translated Greek plays and Iranian artists performed at many art festivals in Athens and Alexandria and other cultural centers. Translation at that time provided mutual benefits to both Persians and the conquering nations.

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The major event from the second half of this period was the revival of Persian art and culture. However, many translators who themselves were Aramaean, incorporated many Aramaic words into Persian texts. Nadim attributes the emergence of Huzwaresh to the end of this period. Huzwaresh is a term describing the use of Semitic word masks in Middle Persian texts, which was "a new development in language and translation fully-fledged in the later Sassanid era ibid. The great ideal of Persian Sassanian rulers like Ardashir I, the founder of Sassanid dynasty , was to revive the Persian identity and glory of the Achaemenid era, which were partially lost and marginalized during the Seleucids and Parthian reigns.

Like the Achaemenids, Persian Sassanians believed in Zoroastrianism, which regarded Ahura Mazda, the God of wisdom, as the origin of all learning. Therefore they considered all branches of knowledge to be sacred. These incentives along with a desire to remain active in the arena of international cultural exchange lead to another translation movement, known as the revival movement. The revival translation movement was part of the Sassanian attempt to extend the boundaries of their empire as far as the Achaemenid era, and at the same time introduce Iranian culture, art and ideology to the other nations and therefore revive Iranian cultural influence.

Such a movement began during the reign of Shapur I who ordered the lost information recovered from the translations of Greek and Indian sources to be incorporated in religious texts Karimi-Hakkak, Shaki quotes from Dinkard , by Madan, p. He [i. A major indication of translation activity in this period is the monumental inscriptions on the Cube of Zoroaster walls. The structure is a copy of a sister building at Pasargadae built by Darius I when he moved to Persepolis Frye, The building at Pasargadae is a few decades older.

However, the walls surrounding this edifice date to Sassanid times. The Sassanid-era walls surrounding the Cube of Zoroaster have four inscriptions dating to the 3rd century.


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These trilingual inscriptions of Shapur I are on the eastern Middle Persian text , western Parthian text and southern Greek text walls. A Middle Persian inscription of the high priest Kartir is below Shapur's on the eastern wall Boyce, The next Sassanian ruler was Yazdegerd I, who reigned in peace from to He allowed the Persian Christians freedom of worship and may even have contemplated becoming a Christian himself.

In this period of religious tolerance, during the reign of Yazdagerd I, Nestorian Christian communities flourished, and translations appeared for the use of converted Mazdeans. A Middle Persian translation of the Syriac Psalter is attributed to this period. Known as Pahlavi Psalter, the translation was a fragment, consisting of twelve pages written on both sides. It was discovered, with a mass of other documents, in eastern Turkistan present-day Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China by one of the four German expeditions to Central Asia.

In his brief preliminary presentation, Andreas dated the somewhat archaic writing of the Pahlavi Psalter to the first quarter of the 5th century , during the reign of Yazdgerd I. The movement reached its peak especially at the time of Khosro I when a large number of scholars and translators actively engaged in collecting, rewriting and translating the historical, scientific and religious records of their civilization and the neighboring countries. During Khosro's reign, many historical annals were compiled and translated, of which the sole survivor is the Karname-ye Ardashir-e Babakan Deeds of Ardashir , a mixture of history and romance that served as the basis of the Iranian national epic, the Shahnameh Book of Kings.

When Justinian I closed the schools of Athens in , seven of their professors fled to Persia and found refuge at Khosro's court in Under Khosro I, the University of Gundishapur, which had been founded in the 5th Century, became "the greatest intellectual center of the time", drawing students and teachers from every quarter of the ancient world. He had the works of Plato and Aristotle translated into Pahlavi and taught at Gundishapur University. Nestorian Christians were received there, and brought Syriac translations of Greek works in medicine and philosophy, which were then translated into Pahlavi Frye, Indian and Chinese scientific material in astronomy, mathematics and medicine were also translated into Pahlavi.

Traces of ancient Indian tales are preserved in Medieval Persian literature such as Sheereen and Farhad.


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  • The story is from Sassanian origin and closely resembles one of the ancient love stories of Kama Sutra. A renowned translator of that time was Borzuya, who was also a physician. He traveled to India and on his return brought back The Panchatantra, an Indian collection of stories, and several other works as souvenirs Blois, After being translated into Pahlavi by the order of Khosro I as Kalila wa Demna , it achieved great fame and was quickly translated from Pahlavi into Syriac and several times into Arabic, Persian, and other languages.

    Kalila wa Demna provided the basis for numerous works in the Persian literature of the Islamic era. The Sassanian imperial library functioned as a place where accounts of Iranian history and literature were both transcribed and preserved. At the same time it was a place where qualified hired translators, bookbinders and others worked to preserve, purchase, copy, write and translate books.

    The revival movement in the Sassanian era was a cultural and scientific one aimed at acquiring knowledge, restoring Iranian cultural values, guaranteeing the empire's preservation and approaching proactively towards world affairs. The most important role of translation in this period was the survival of Iranian culture and preservation of Persian literature and identity. This, indeed, was similar to what had happened in earlier times in Europe.

    We know that the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek was the first major translation attempt in Western culture. Its significance was far-reaching but largely neglected. Rajak contends that "a fundamental determinant of cultural identity was the primary use of the eastern Mediterranean lingua franca, Greek, as spoken and written language, not only in everyday usage, but also for religious purposes. It is not an exaggeration to say that none of these social maneuvers would have been possible without the Greek Bible. Translation was from the second century BC onwards a distinct and important branch of literary activity for the Jewish Diaspora.

    It is evident that the Greek Bible sustained Jews who spoke Greek and made the survival of the first Jewish Diaspora possible. This translation-and-survival situation was exactly the same as what happened to the Iranian cultural identity after the Arab invasion. Many Pahlavi and non-Pahlavi texts including religious, literary and scientific books were translated into Arabic, the lingua franca of the Islamic World and the language of the conquering Muslims.

    Later on these translations were re-translated into Modern Persian, which helped to rank it as the second most important language of the Islamic World and to maintain Iranian culture and identity.


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    • The Muslim takeover in the 7th century transformed every aspect of life in the former Sassanid Empire. It was the first time in history when lands as far as North Africa, Mesopotamia, Persia and parts of India were annexed to Arabia politically, administratively, and most important culturally under the banner of Islam. Moreover, trade with the Romans, the Indians and the Chinese increased.

      The use of scrolls made of tanned leather or untanned parchment, which had long been used by Persians and Hebrews, gave a sudden rise to the book industry, despite suffering major setbacks. Many Muslims believed there was no knowledge except what originated in and conformed to the Koran and Islamic law Sharia.

      This was the reason for burning and destruction of the famous library and museum of Alexandria and the imperial library at Ctesiphon.

      In addition, the forceful use of Arabic as the official language of the Muslim Caliphate resolved Iranian scholars and intellectuals that all pre-Islamic knowledge and cultural identities were in danger of annihilation and they had to be survived. These events lead to huge and concerted efforts made by the emergence of a dynamic and patriotic translation movement for almost three hundred years up to the turn of the 11th century.

      This translation movement, which had cultural survival as its major concern, started in Damascus in Umayyad times and flourished in Abbasid Baghdad Pre-Abbasid translations from Pahlavi included major religious literary and historical texts. The source books that were used two centuries later by Ferdowsi in compiling Shahnameh Book of Kings were translated around this time. Karimi-Hakkak praises Ibn-al-Muqaffa Ruzbeh for being "the best-known Iranian translator of this period. He was accused of being a Zandaqa [heretic] and was executed about Popular Manichean and other religious texts were also translated.

      Ruzbeh is also responsible for the translation into Arabic of accounts of the sixth century reformist prophet Mazdak, and those of his followers. Such texts, later translated from Arabic back into New Persian, formed the basis for much of our information about pre-Islamic Iranian culture, particularly its textual tradition. Among the extant Persian texts, the eleventh century Siasat-Nameh Book on Statecraft , and the twelfth century Fars-Nameh Book about Fars , give a clear impression of being renditions of earlier works in Persian or Arabic.

      Qazvini mentions Bahram Mardanshah a 9th-century Zoroastrian priest of the town of Shapur in Fars, refering to several Arabic and Persian sources, as a translator of the Khotaynamak from Pahlavi into Arabic. He states p. To judge from the quotations given by Hamza, Biruni, and the compiler of the Mojmal , Bahram's translation differed greatly from Ibn-al-Muqaffa's lost Arabic version and from Ferdowsi's Shahnameh. For example, in Bahram's book, Kayomarth was the first man, not the first king. This suggests that Bahram's translation was based on the texts of the Khotaynamak , which, in some passages, closely followed the Avesta and must therefore have been compiled by Zoroastrian priests rather than court historians.

      Due to these significant efforts hopefully major aspects of Iranian culture and Persian literature survived the Arab invasion. An impressive way to survive Persian language was the adoption of the Arabic alphabet Aramaic in origin with minor changes in the characters to accommodate Persian sounds.

      The script was changed but the phonetics remained the same. Therefore, Pre-Islamic Persian literature thrived on a new orthography in Modern Persian texts and was eternalized by the likes of Daqiqi, Ferdowsi, Gorgani and Nezami. Kraemer points out that Abu-Mansur Daqiqi , a contemporary of Ferdowsi and poet at the court of the Samanids, supported the nationalistic tendencies in Persian literature and attempted to create an epic history of Iran which began with the history of Zarathushtra and Gashtasb.

      A large number of couplets by him were included in the epic Shahname by the Persian epic poet Ferdowsi. He started his composition of the Shahnameh in A. D and completed it on 8 March The Shahnameh is an epic poem of over 50, couplets, written in early Modern Persian. It is based mainly on a prose work of the same name compiled in Ferdowsi's earlier life in his native Tus.

      This prose Shahnameh was in turn and for the most part the translation of a Pahlavi Middle Persian work, known as the Khotaynamak Book of Kings , a late Sassanid compilation of the history of the kings and heroes of Persia from mythical times down to the reign of Khosro II The Khotaynamak contained historical information on the later Sassanid period, but it does not appear to have drawn on any historical sources for the earlier Sassanid period, i. Ferdowsi added material continuing the story to the overthrow of the Sassanids by the Arabs in the middle of the 7th century.

      Many other Pahlavi sources were used in composing the epic, prominent being the Karname-ye Ardashir-e Babakan , which was originally written during the late Sassanid era, and gave accounts of how Ardashir I came to power which, because of its historical proximity, is thought to be highly accurate.

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      Besides, the text is written in the late Middle Persian, which was the immediate ancestor of Modern Persian. Hence, a great portion of the historical chronicles given in Shahnameh are based on this epic and there are in fact various phrases and words which can be matched between these two sources Safa, The effects of Ferdowsi's love for Iran must be considered not only in the transmission of the culture, mores, customs, and literature of ancient Iran to Islamic Persia but also in the spread of Persian as the national language.

      In this way the struggle for the preservation of Iranian identity while Persia was in danger of being Arabized in the name of the Islamic community finally bore fruit through Ferdowsi's efforts. In this way Persia is deeply indebted to Ferdowsi, both as regards its historical continuity and its national and cultural identity. Fakhruddin As'ad Gorgani 11th century versified the story of Vis and Ramin. The story dates from pre-Islamic Persia.

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      Gorgani claimed a Sassanid origin for it, however it is now being regarded as a Parthian dynastic origin, probably the 1st century AD. The story of Vis and Ramin also had an immense influence on Nezami. Although Nezami takes the bases for most of his plots from Ferdowsi, but the basis for his rhetoric comes from Gorgani.

      This is especially noticeable in Khosro and Shirin , which is of the same meter and imitates some scenes from Vis and Ramin Davis, Karimi-Hakkak maintains that "under courtly patronage, works originating in Greek and Latin, Syriac and Aramaic, even Chinese and Sanskrit, began to appear in Persian, often through previous translations in Arabic.

      In all these activities, the approach to translation was essentially utilitarian and pragmatic in nature. Translators thought it necessary, important or useful to translate certain works, and they did so efficiently and without much pretension. Eventually they made their way into Europe, revived such sciences, and marked the end of the Middle Ages by the formation of one of the most important secular ideological movements in Europe, i.

      Unfortunately, many scholars in the West attribute translation attempts in the 7 th to 11th centuries solely to Arab translators. This can be seen in many textbooks and it has even found its way through many encyclopedias like the following:. Having conquered the Greek world, they made Arabic versions of its philosophical and scientific works.

      Such Latin translations of Greek and original Arab works of scholarship and science helped advance the development of European Scholasticism. Cohen, "Translation", Encyclopedia Americana , , vol. As said earlier, it is clear that non-Arab Muslims, who were mostly Iranian Persians, Jews and Assyrians, carried out most of these translations. We know that before the advent of Islam in Arabia very few people could read and write.

      Although over the ensuing years many Muslims learned the basics of literacy, the probability of acquiring translation knowledge, requiring the ability to read and write fluently in two languages, by the then Arabs seems very unlikely, especially when we consider the fact that most of the fundamental rules of the syntax and semantics of the Arabic language were laid down and formulated by Persian linguists and translators. By the 10th century Arabic had turned into lingua franca of the Islamic world and many scholars including Persians and other non-Arabs had to compose their works in Arabic or translate previous works in that language.

      Karimi-Hakkak names many Persian scholars, who bore Arabic names, like the historian Tabari and physician and philosopher Avicenna, and some of the greatest Islamic theologians, Mohammad Tusi , Mohammad al-Ghazali , and Zamakhshari and the philosopher Fakhr al-Din Razi who wrote mostly in Arabic. In the late 11th or early 12th century, Persian Zoroastrians fleeing from Muslem persecution to India called the Parsis or Persians in diaspora began translating Avestan or Middle Persian texts into Sanskrit and Gujarati.

      Some Middle Persian texts were also transcribed into the Avestan alphabet. This latter process, being a form of interpretation, was known as Pazand. Pazand's principal use was for writing the commentaries or translations of the Avesta, the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism Boyce, A very important book on comparative theology, written by Mardan-Farrukh , one of the Parsis forefathers in the 9th century, was Shikand-gumanic Vichar. The book was then translated into Sanskrit in , for the benefit of the Parsis Boyce, These efforts, to some extent, helped preserve the Zoroasterian heritage from being destroyed by Muslem conquerors.

      The approach in the 10th century continued through the 11th to 14th centuries despite the economic fall during the Turkic, Mongol and Tamerlane invasions.

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      Karimi-Hakkak finds a trend in this period: "before Mongol invasions, Persian was the language of literature and Arabic was the language of science. After Mongol invasions, Persian became the language of science. This made Persian the second most important language in the Islamic World, a position that has been retained so far. Nasir al-Din Tusi d. In each case, he added his own comments to his translations. He also wrote Persian treatises on arithmetics based on Indian works unknown to us.

      By the thirteenth century, Persian was becoming well established in India as the language of religious, literary and legal learning and communication. A number of important translations were made from Sanskrit and other Indian languages into Persian, like Abdol Aziz Nuri-Dehlavi's fourteenth century translation of an astronomical work by Varahra Mehera Persian became the court language of the Mongols and the Turks and Persian cultural influences remained in present-day Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and even parts of India.

      During the socio-economic unrest in , a large number of Iranian scholars emigrated from Khorasan and Transoxiana to Anatolia, seeking refuge in Ottoman lands. They obtained positions as advisers or physicians to the Ottoman sultans or as judges, translators or teachers at madrasas. These people contributed a great deal to the transference of knowledge to the Ottoman and European lands.

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      Economic and cultural decline continued from 15th to 17th centuries, although some translation works were carried out mostly from Indian sources. These were actually done by emigrant translators into the Indian courts. The most significant effort is represented by the translations of Lilavati , on arithmetic, by Fa'ezi and Bijaganita , on algebra, by Ata-Allah Rashidi , both Sanskrit works by Bhaskara 12th century. In medicine too a remarkable amount of literature in Persian was produced.

      Abd-al-Sattar Lahuri, was a famous author and translator in the reigns of Akbar and Jahangir. He was a pupil of the Jesuit missionary at the Mughal court, Father Jerome Xavier , and collaborated in the latter's Merat al-qods , or a life of Christ. The work's preface gives a date of completion in , and the translation may have been done some time between to Camps Despite these efforts translation activity in the ensuing years was in decline due to several reasons.

      Among other factors Karimi-Hakkak considers "the supremacy of Shiism in Iran in the sixteenth century to be a major source of shift for the emphasis in translation from science back to religious texts, particularly those of the prophetic tradition and the sayings of the Imams, collectively known as Hadith. Hence these years are regarded as the "Dark Ages" in the Iranian translation history. In the 19th century, Persian, which had once become the official language of India in the 16th century, suffered major setbacks in India and Transoxiana.

      Enthusiastic and adaptable. This task was an emergency task on the structure and execution of Norwegian road building projects, which I completed with an extremely tight deadline of less than two days. I have previously worked with similar tasks in the field of construction. Nissan Norway. I have translated much of Nissan Norges new marketing and online content for their new electric vehicles and innovative solutions, adhering to strict deadlines and extensive guidelines and client preferences as usual.

      Diamond Resorts International. Content for their marketing material for hotels and resorts. Legal contracts on privacy, disclaimers and user terms. As always when working with legal content, there is a need for excellent accuracy to ensure the meaning is conveyed perfectly. Translating for HP it is very important to follow the project instructions closely and use international, universal HP-terms. The online content for MSN needs to be written in a specific informal journalistic style. This is another area of translation I am very comfortable with.

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