AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number 2. May   2021                                Pp. 2-17
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no2.1

Full Paper PDF

Lexical Asymmetry as a Translation Problem Arising in the Holy Quran  

Emad Ahmed Al-Tamari
English Department, Faculty of Languages and Translation, King Khalid University, Abha,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Eyhab Abdulrazak Bader Eddin
English Department, Faculty of Languages and Translation, King Khalid University, Abha,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Corresponding Author: linguisteyhab@hotmail.com

Received:  4/12/2021              Accepted: 5/11/2021              Published:5/24/2021 

Abstract:
Coupled with copious evidence and cogent illustrations, this article charts an important development in the field of translating the Holy Quran. It breaks new ground in a new type of problems inherent in the translation of the Quran. It is designed to catch translators’ alert senses to look beyond the traditional approach to translation, i.e. looking for the superficial equivalent. It critically discusses the long-standing proclivity for the deeply-held belief in the existence of absolute synonyms in the Quran. Although the examples given are not very exhaustive due to space constraints, the author’s unbridled reason pushes him to how far semantic propinquity exists in the Quran, developing a plethora of new checklists which will definitely act as a springboard to lay groundwork to any translator. The paper draws a conclusion that the seemingly verb and noun synonyms in the Quran are not so, resulting in a lexical asymmetry in translation. This paper zooms in on a new type of sense relationships, which involve a pair of words with similar meaning, but are made up of the same root morphologically. The paper takes three very popular and mesmerizing translations of the Quran as a point of reference. This paper shatters the fervent belief that one word can be a full equivalent to seemingly synonymous words in the Quran. This is a strong call on translators to start looking at new issues in the translation of the Quran from different standpoints, an arresting fact we need to grasp.
Keywords: Quran translation, lexical asymmetry, synonyms, translation problem

Cite as:  Al-Tamari, E. A., & Bader Eddin, E. A. (2021). Lexical Asymmetry as a Translation Problem Arising in the Holy Quran.
Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary

References

Abdel Haleem, M. (2008). The Qur’an: A new translation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Al Fairouzabadi, M. (2008). Al qamous Al muheet [The Comprehensive Dictionary]. Cairo: Dar Al hadeeth.

Al Farra’, A. (1955). Ma’ani Al Quran {Meanings of the Quran]. Cairo: Dar Al kutub Al Masriya lil ta’leef wa Attarjama.

Al Ghirnati, A. (1985). Malak Atta’weel El Qate’ bi zawi Al Ilhad wa Atta’teel [The sharp Complete Exegesis Confronting the Atheists]. Beirut: Dar Annahda Al Arabiya lil tiba’a wa annashr.

Al-Alusi, S. (1847). Rouh Al-ma’ani fi tafsir Al-Quran Al-atheem [Spirit of meaning in the exegesis of the holy Quran]. Beirut: Dar Ihiaa Atturath Al-Arabi.

Al-Askari, A. (2015). Al Furouq Al lughawiyah [The Linguistic Differences]. Beirut: Dar El Kutub El Ilmiyah.

Ali, A. Y. (1992). The Meaning of the Holy Quran. Maryland: Amana Corporation.

Al-Jahiz, A. (2010). Al Bayan wa Al Tabieen [Clarification and elucidation]. Cairo: Maktabat Ibn Sinaa.

Al-Sayouti, J. (1907). Ham’ul Hawame’ [Tears of the Tearful]. Cairo: Matba’at Assa’adah.

Al-Shawkani, M. (1929). Fathul Qadeer [Conquest of the Almighty]. Cairo: Matba’at Mustapha Al baby Al Halabi wa Awladuh.

Al-Thalibi, A. (2001). Fiqh Al-lugha wa Sirr al-Arabiya [Arabic philology and Secret of Arabic]. Beirut: Al Maktaba Al-Asriya.

Bassnett, S. (1996). Translation Studies. London: Routledge

Bloomfield, L. (1933). Language. Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Bryson, B. (1990). The Mother Tongue – English And How It Got That Way. London: William Morrow Paperbacks Not in line with IJAES

Chomsky, N. (1972). Language and Mind. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Cruse, D. A. (1995). Lexical Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.

Crystal, D. (2010). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

France, P. (2000). The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. M. (2007). An Introduction to Language. Boston, MA: Thomson Wadsworth.

Hervey, S., & Higgins, I. (1992). Thinking Translation: A course in Translation Method: French to English. London: Routledge.

Ibn Yaeesh, A. (2001). Sharh El Mufassal [El-Mufassal Explained]. Beirut: Dar El Kutub Al Ilmiya.

Jasper, D. (ed.). (1993). Translating Religious Texts: Translation, Transgression and Interpretation. University of Glasgow: St. Martin’s Press.

Khan, M. M., & Al Helali, M. (1994). Interpretation of the Meanings of the Noble Quran. Riyadh: Dar-us-Salam. Not in line with IJAES

Lyons, J. (1977). Semantics, Vol. 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Not in line with IJAES

Lyons, J. (1981). Language and Linguistics: An Introduction. New York: Cambridge University Press

Nicholson, R. (2008). A Literary History of the Arabs. In T. F. Unwin.,

  1. Ogden, & I. Richards. (1923). The Meaning of Meaning (pp. 660-750). Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Pickthall, M. M. (1999). The Meaning of the Glorious Koran. New York: New American Library

Samirraei, F. (2000). Ma’ani Annahwu [Meaning of Grammar]. Amman: Dar El Fikr lil tiba’a wa nasher wa al tawzee.

Samirraei, F. (2006). Balaghat Al Kalima fi Attabeer Al Qurani [Rhetoric of Words in Quranic expression]. Cairo: Sharikat Al Atek li sinaet El kitab wa tawzee wa Al nasher.

Sapir, E. (1921). Language: An Introduction to the Study of Speech. New York: Harcourt, Brace and company.

Wilkins, D. A. (1972). Linguistics in Language Teaching. London: Edward Arnold. Name is not in line with IJAES

Zipf, G. K. (1965). The Psycho-Biology of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on tumblr
Tumblr
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Share on stumbleupon
StumbleUpon
Share on digg
Digg
Received: 4/12/2021  
Accepted: 5/11/2021    
Published: 5/24/2021 
http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no2.1
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on reddit
Share on email

Dr. Emad Ahmed Al-Tamari is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the Faculty of Languages and Translation at King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia. He earned his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Kansas, USA. His major is Syntax. Other areas of interest include syntax-semantics interface and second language acquisition. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0121-2166

 

Eyhab A. Bader Eddin, BA, MA, PhD, CL, MCIL, MITI is an Assistant Professor of Translation at King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia. He has an extensive teaching experience in such countries as Syria, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Dr Bader Eddin has been teaching exclusively on the MA programme for the recent 4 years. With a PhD titled ‘Semantic Problems in A. J. Arberry’s Translation of the Suspended Odes (Mu’allaqat), Dr Bader Eddin is passionately interested in Classical Arabic and how it can be functionally translated into English. He has published extensively in the fields of linguistics and translation in such refereed journals as Translation Journal, the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, etc. Dr Bader Eddin’s research interests include, but are not limited to, theory of translation, translation competence, literary translation, stylistics, translation training, systemic linguistics, discourse analysis and the salient features of the Gracious Quran in translation. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0096-6334