this research aims at answering the questions about translation problems and strategies applied by translators when translating cultural concepts. in order to address this issue, qualitative and quantitative study were conducted on two groups of subjects at imam reza international university of mashhad. these two groups were assigned as beginner and advanced translation students (10 students). the research is qualitative but some data analyzed quantitatively. the methodology used is think-aloud protocols (taps). this method was used to know what is happening in the translators’ minds in the process of translation. the subjects were chosen voluntarily. the two groups, then, were asked to translate two different cultural texts with complexities resulting from cultural concepts. based on taps, they have to verbalize their thoughts while translating so that what is happening in their mind can be known. when they were verbalizing their thoughts, what they were saying was recorded and later on transcribed. direct observation of data was also gathered by researcher during translation process. the transcription of the translators verbalized thoughts was then analyzed in order to find their difficulties and the strategies they took. the method used was only introspective. there was no interview after the translation. the strategies used by the two groups were categorized and compared. results showed that while two groups were equally aware of the translation problems, their path to find adequate solution differed. key words: taps, translation problem, translation strategy, cultural concepts.