Probing Translation Loss in the Urdu Translation of Alchemist


Ayesha Shaukat , Ali Hussain Bin Sadiq


“The Alchemist”, Paulo Coelho's bestselling allegorical novel, has captivated readers worldwide with its timeless themes of personal journeys and pursuing dreams. However, translating its rich symbolism and evocative language across cultures poses unique challenges. This study investigates the translation loss present in the Urdu translation of "The Alchemist," utilizing a qualitative approach to shed light on the complexities of literary translation. The core objective shines a light on specific instances where meaning evaporates in the transition from English to Urdu. The aim is to dissect these losses, uncovering how cultural and linguistic barriers can reshape, obscure, or even mute the original text's essence. It also seeks to assess the overall effectiveness of the translation, gauging its success in bridging the cultural chasm and delivering Coelho's profound message to a new audience. This involves scrutinizing how different strategies – from literal to adaptive – navigate the treacherous terrain of meaning transfer. In the paradigm of qualitative research, descriptive method is used to analyse the evidences of translation loss. The data is selected following purposive sampling technique. The findings reveal various instances of translation loss in the Urdu version, including cultural mistranslations, stylistic deviations, and loss of symbolic depth. However, the translation also exhibits commendable efforts to adapt the story to a culturally specific audience. Furthermore, this research aspires to pave the path for future journeys among languages. By identifying avenues where loss can be minimized and highlighting translation methodologies that enhance cross-cultural understanding, it is anticipated to illuminate the path for future literary voyages, ensuring that stories like "The Alchemist" continue to enchant readers despite the borders that separate them.


How to Cite
Ayesha Shaukat , Ali Hussain Bin Sadiq. (2024). Probing Translation Loss in the Urdu Translation of Alchemist. Harf-O-Sukhan, 8(1), 300-306. Retrieved from