Translating The Untranslatable


Translating The Untranslatable

Translations of the Qur’an are regarded as interpretations in languages other than Arabic. Eventhough translating the Qur’an has been a difficult concept, both theologically and linguistically, The Qur’an has been translated into most languages. In Islam, The Qur’an is a revelation specifically in Arabic, and so it should only be recited in the Arabic language. Translations into other languages are the work of humans and so no longer possess the uniquely sacred character of the Arabic original. Since these translations subtly change the meaning, they are often called “interpretations.” For instance, Pickthall called his translation The Meaning of the Glorious Koran rather than simply The Koran.

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