Close this search box.

Metaphor in the Qur’an and Attempts to Translate It

Dr. Sara Ben Larbi,

Department of Language Science, Faculty of Arts, Letters and Languages, Lorraine University, Metz, France

Questions about the translation of the Qur’an are troubling for philologists, islamologists, jurists, linguists, translators, etc., because the translation of the Qur’anic discourse places translators in various difficulties as it concerns three divergent linguistic systems: Arabic, French and English. The study is applied to an excerpt of a religious text, the Koran, in a double linguistic and translation dimension. However, the article is declined in two ways: firstly, the analysis examines one hundred metaphors translated first, from Arabic into French by the translators Albert Kasimirski and Jacques Berque, then, from Arabic into English by the translators Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Muhammed Marmaduke Pickthall. Secondly, the reflection is devoted to the translators’ strategies. The result shows that the translation of the metaphor depends on four criteria: understanding, meaning of the message, syntax, interpretation and culture. The translation of the metaphor constitutes, to others, an opening to the world, a criticism and a fight against arrogant, narrow and preconceived thinking.

Keywords: Literal Translation, Interpretative Translation, Semantico-Cultural Transfer, Intraductibility, Translation Strategy

The above abstract is a part of the article which was accepted at The Eighth International Conference on Languages, Linguistics, Translation and Literature (WWW.LLLD.IR), 14-15 February 2023, Ahwaz.