Extraordinary Vocabulary of the Qur'an and Related Translation Problems

Sherine Abd El-Gelil Emara

Abstract


This paper examines ten English translations of the so-called 'Gharib Al-Qur'an' (extraordinary vocabulary of the Qur'an) with the aim of pinpointing how this vocabulary is rendered into English by different translators of the Qur'an, and identifying the main problems involved in translating it. The selections include the translations of Sale (1734), Rodwell (1861), Palmer (1880), Pickthall (1930), Y. Ali (1934), Arberry (1957), Shakir (1983), Al-Hilali and Khan (1985), Ghali (1996), and Khalifa (2003). The study confirms that words belonging to the class of Gharib Al-Qur'an do constitute a problem in translation for those who fail to get the precise meaning of these words as identified in Qur'anic exegeses and, consequently, mistranslate them. Hopefully, this would unveil the brilliant subtleties of the vocabulary of the Glorious Qur'an, and thereby guide future translators through the right procedures so that they can avoid errors in their attempts to translate this divine text.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v5i1.3309

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