Recommended translations for books originally written in Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Urdu

TextCategoryRecommendedAvoid translations byNotes
RumiPersian Poetry

Jawid Mojaddedi, Alan Williams
Muhammad Isa Waley, Kabir Helminski, E.H. Whinfield, R.A Nicholson, Refik Algan, William Chettick, Franklin Lewis, Annemarie Schimmel
Coleman Barks, Brad Gooch, John Moyne, Andrew Harvey, Deepak Chopra, Nadir Khalili, Maryam Mafi
Idris Shah, Maryam Mortaz
Avoid any translations by Coleman Barks. His work is almost entire original poetry roughly based on Nicholson's translations of Rumi.
For best rhyming poetry, read Jawid Mojaddedi, for another good modern translation read Alan Williams.
HafezPersian Poetry

Dick Davis
Daniel Ladinsky, Mario Petrucci, Robert Bly, Gertrude BellDick Davis currently has the only translation worth reading of Hafez. R.A. Nicholson's translation was the first English translation is great for a literal study of Rumi's Masnavi.
Ferdowsi ('Shahnameh')Persian Poetry

Dick Davis
-Dick Davis has by far the best translation for lovers of this master Persian Epic.
AttarPersian Poetry

Dick Davis
Sholeh WolpehDick Davis again has completed the only translation worth reading.
SaadiPersian Poetry

Thackston M. Wheeler
-The best translation available but in desperate need of an updated version.
Omar KhayyamPersian Poetry

Juan Cole
Edward FitzGeraldEdward FitzGerald's translation is incorrect, and loosely interpreted poetry that is attributed to Khayyam.

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