Translating Conceptual Qur’anic Metaphor: A Cogno-Translational Approach

Authors

  • Belqes Al-Sowaidi Taiz University, Taiz, Yemen; University of the Western Cape, Robert Sobukwe Rd, Bellville, Cape Town, 7535, South Africa
  • Tawffeek Mohammed University of the Western Cape, Robert Sobukwe Rd, Bellville, Cape Town, 7535, South Africa
  • Felix Banda University of the Western Cape, Robert Sobukwe Rd, Bellville, Cape Town, 7535, South Africa

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36941/ajis-2021-0014

Keywords:

Metaphor translation, Qur’an, cognitive translation hypothesis (CTH), cultural variation, conceptual metaphor theory (CMT)

Abstract

This study will investigate metaphor translation as a natural phenomenon. It will analyze some of the problems involving the translation of metaphorical expressions in two Qur’anic translations, namely, Yusuf Ali's The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation and Commentary and Laleh Mehree Bakhtiar's The Sublime Qur’an.  The analysis in this study employs both quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as a cognitive framework of metaphor, which helps conciliate the cultural specificity of metaphors and their transference into linguistically and culturally unrelated languages. The present analysis is based on Mandelblit’s Cognitive Translation Hypothesizes (CTH) (Mandelblit (1995), Maalej’s strategies of translating metaphor (Maalej, 2002, 2008) and Kövecses’s concept of Cultural Variation (Kövecses, 2002,2006). This kind of eclecticism provides a wide-ranging approach to be followed while analyzing the translation of Qur'anic metaphors. The approach used in this study does not only deal with the linguistic aspects of Qur'anic metaphors, but also pays attention to their conceptual and cultural aspects. Cross-cultural variation can affect the outcome of translating metaphorical expressions. Thus, the translator is obliged to adopt certain strategies to preserve the subtle nuances of the original Arabic text and its socio-cultural context, while at the same time ensuring that the translation is accessible to the target audience.  This study concludes that most of the conceptual metaphors under scrutiny have been literally translated into English, which is frequently inaccurate. English and Arabic often diverge in their conceptualization in general texts, but especially in sensitive texts like the Qur'an. Therefore, the conceptualizations of some Qur'anic metaphors are often lost in translation.

 

Received: 19 July 2020 / Accepted: 9 November 2020/ Published: 17 January 2021

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Published

2021-01-17

How to Cite

Al-Sowaidi, B. ., Mohammed, T. ., & Banda, F. . (2021). Translating Conceptual Qur’anic Metaphor: A Cogno-Translational Approach. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 10(1), 161. https://doi.org/10.36941/ajis-2021-0014

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Section

Research Articles