The Translation of polysemous Bound Terms in the Qur’an: an Analytical study of Twelve Translations of Surat an-Nisa’
Ahoud Aldhafeeri Abstract Qur’anic terms are very important for understanding the meaning of the Qur’an. These terms are highly specific, i.e. bound to the place and time of the revelation of the text. Some of these terms are polysemous that have more than a sense. Understanding Qur’an-bound terms that are polysemous (including autohyponymous terms) depends on understanding the context, and this can be particularly complex when translating cultural elements between two different cultures. This study examines the translation of Qur’an-bound terms which give rise to problems when translated into English. Twelve translations of surat an-Nisa’ are chosen to investigate the semantic and cultural challenges for the translator and to assess which translation procedures were chosen to translate the polysemous terms based on the model of Dickins (2012). The comparative analysis polysemous QBTs translation shows that some translators consider the context by conveying proper meaning, while others inappropriately translate the QBT with a primary sense when a secondary one is intended in context. Regarding the translation procedures employed, the results show that the most frequently used procedures are culture-neutral and basic-sense literal translation equally. As a result, the Qur’anic terms rendered into English language by basic sense are synonymy oriented, while neutral words/phrases and explanation are culture-neutral procdures.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jisc.v10n1a3