A Comparative Analysis of the Techniques and Consistency of Translators in Rendering Qur’ānic Specific Cultural Items into English

Document Type : Original Research


1 Department of Translation Studies, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of English Language and Literature, Sistan and Baluchistan University, Zahedan, Iran


The translation of cultural items from the Qur’ān and Islam can be challenging. This study investigated the strategies used by male and female translators to translate Qur’ānic cultural items, as well as the consistency of these strategies. The researchers first identified Qur’ānic cultural items from the preface to Ali Quli Qara'i's English translation of the Qur’ān. They then searched the Qur’ān for these items and extracted the verses that contained them. The researchers found that the most common strategy used to translate Qur’ānic cultural items was to replace them with a more general word. The second most common strategy was to paraphrase the item using a related word. None of the translators used the strategies of cultural substitution or illustration. The researchers also found that the three translators used similar strategies that were similar to other. Ali Quli Qara'i was the most consistent translator, using a single strategy in 82% of the cases. Tahereh Saffarzadeh was the second most consistent translator, using a single strategy in 80% of the cases. Muhammad Ahmed and Samira Ahmed were the least consistent translators, using a single strategy in 62% of the cases. The findings of this study suggest that there are a limited number of effective strategies for translating Qur’ānic cultural items. Translators are advised to be aware of these strategies and could use them consistently in order to produce accurate and faithful translations.


Main Subjects

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