The Retranslation of the Quran into English: A Study of the Common Motivations behind 71 Retranslations

Authors

  • Ayman HADJ-YASIN Irbid National University (Jordan)

Keywords:

motivations of retranslation, paratextual materials, Quran Translation, retranslation

Abstract

The Qur’an has been translated and re-translated into English several times. A large number of studies have explored these translations from different points of view. However, exploring the motivations or justifications of retranslating this text into English has not received sufficient attention. This study aims to shed light on the most common motivations behind the retranslation of 71 Quran Translations in English by examining the paratextual materials of them, and provide specific interpretations of the statistical differences between these motivations in light of the conditions in which those translations were produced and received. The study showed that the most prominent motivations behind the re-translation of the Qur’an in English are respectively: bringing translation semantically closer to the Quran, raising the level of understanding the Quran in the target language, simplifying its language, providing a new reading of the text in the target language, and highlighting some of its content and stylistic features. These justifications or motivations have shaped the production, reproduction and reception of these retranslations in this language and should, it is argued, be understood in light of specific linguistic, historical and geopolitical transformations in the last two centuries, especially in the West. The study is divided into an overview, a literature review, data and methodology of the study, results of the study, a discussion of these results, and a conclusion. 

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Published

2024-07-05