A Comparative Analysis of the Translation of the Inappropriate Pause Sign in Four English Versions of the Holy Qur’ān

Document Type : Original Research


Department of English Language, Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran


In reciting the verses of the Holy Qur’ān, making pauses at appropriate places is one of the important issues of Tajwid, neglecting which can potentially distort the meanings of the verses and reverse their intended purpose. The present study seeks to analyze how translators have dealt with the concept of inappropriate pause by investigating four English translations of the Holy Qur’ān through answering the following questions: Has the concept of inappropriate or impermissible pause been observed in the English translations of the Holy Qur’ān? Is it possible to express the concept of inappropriate pause using English punctuation? If yes, is it possible to achieve a standard to convey the concept of inappropriate pause? If not, how can this gap be filled? Through a comparative analysis of all 68 cases of inappropriate pause in the Holy Qur’ān and their corresponding translations into English, it seems that English lacks equivalent punctuation to convey the concept of inappropriate pause. Based on the obtained results, it can be concluded that colon is the most appropriate punctuation in English to convey the concept of inappropriate pause. However, the findings of this research show that the translators used commas in 43.7% of the verses with impermissible pauses. The authors presented a “standards table” by examining the function of English punctuation marks, and by observing the approach taken by the translators when facing an inappropriate pause, a “descriptive table” was also presented to illustrate these observations. Then, considering the relationship between these two tables, the closest English punctuation mark for conveying the concept of inappropriate pause was introduced.


Main Subjects

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Volume 1, Issue 2 - Serial Number 2
April 2023
Pages 141-155
  • Receive Date: 10 June 2023
  • Revise Date: 16 July 2023
  • Accept Date: 20 August 2023
  • First Publish Date: 20 August 2023