Qur’an translation of the week

Qur’an translation of the week #71: Al-mathani and the gigantic Qur’aan: Strategies of translating Arabic terminology in Amir Zaidan’s At-tafsiir

At the time it was first published in 2000, Amir Zaidan’s At-tafsiir, an annotated translation of the Qur’an into German, stood apart from all other German translations due to its deliberate and extensive use of Arabic terminology. It contained phrases such as ‘In it are clear ayat, [including] maqamu-Ibrahim’ (‘In ihm sind deutliche Ayat, [davon] …

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Qur’an translation of the week #70: The Qur’an in Uyghur

The history of Qur’an interpretation in Eastern Turkic areas has its roots in the medieval era while Qur’an translations, in the modern sense of independent books containing the translated text of the Qur’an, have appeared only recently. The few twentieth-century Qur’an translations that have been published in the area were more like tafsīrs than translations. …

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Qur’an translation of the week #69: ‘Der Heilige Qur’an’ – a new revised German translation of the Qur’an

Recently, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat has published a new revised German translation of the Qur’an. In this post, I will take a close look at this new edition and discuss some of the things that have been changed. The Ahmadiyya Movement has been translating the Qur’an into different languages for more than 100 years, with …

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Qur’an translation of the week #68: Islamicising a non-Muslim’s Qur’an translation: From Paris to Beirut (and back?)

Today’s post discusses a Lebanese publisher’s attempt to bridge the divide between non-Muslim and Muslim French Qur’an translations by editing and repackaging the Qur’an translation by Denise Masson (1902–1994) for a Muslim audience. That such a divide exists is true of most European book markets. On one side of the divide, we find mainstream publishers …

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Qur’an translation of the week #67: Abdulqadir as-Sufi, the Shādhiliyah-Darqāwiyyah brotherhood, and the path towards the first translation of the Qur’an into Belarusian

Belarusian, which is spoken by around seven million people in Belarus and beyond, is probably the last official, state language in Europe into which the Qur’an has been translated. Belarus has a small Muslim population (of around 30,000, or 0.3 percent of the total population), consisting of an indigenous Tatar community, a newly arrived immigrant …

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Qur’an translation of the week #66: De Koran: Een weergave de betekenis van de Arabische tekst in het Nederlands by Fred Leemhuis

Is the translation of the Qur’an by a non-Muslim justifiable? And what authority do non-Muslims have to translate the Qur’an? These are the kind of debates that arose in the Netherlands following the publication of the first edition of Fred Leemhuis’s Dutch translation of the Qur’an in 1989. Leemhuis chose the word ‘weergave’ (‘rendering’/‘representation’) for …

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Qur’an translation of the week #65: Coranului cel Sfânt în limba română: The first Muslim translation of the Qur’an into Romanian

Romanian is the state language of both Romania (where the Muslim population numbers around 70,000, or 0.3 percent of population) and Moldova (which has a small Muslim community, not exceeding 10,000 people). Most Romanian Muslims reside in the counties of Constanța and Tulcea and are of Crimean Tatar descent, rooted in the Tatar migrations of …

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Qur’an translation of the week #64: Polemics and da’wa between Egypt, France and Libya: Zeinab Abdelaziz’s Le Qur’an: Traduction du sens de ses Versets

What factors determine the success of a Qur’an translations, or lack thereof? Why are some translations widely sold in bookstores, distributed in mosques, used in university courses, or ubiquitous on the internet, while others are hardly known and out of print? Zeinab Abdelaziz’s Le Qur’an: Traduction du sens de ses Versets probably belongs to the …

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Qur’an translation of the week #63: Word for word translations in English

This week’s post concerns the phenomenon of “word for word” translations in English, with a look at some examples along with the translators’ introductions. Interlinear verbatim translations have a long history, and work more naturally in languages with shared vocabulary and structure with Arabic. A three-volume work first published in 1995 by the Islamic Book …

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Qur’an translation of the week #62: The quest for a Western European language of Islam: Mohammed Chiadmi’s Le noble Coran: Nouvelle traduction française du sens de ses versets

How does one translate the Qur’an into a language that has developed in a predominantly Christian context, and whose religious vocabulary has been shaped by that context? This is a question that all translators of the Qur’an into Western European languages grapple with. This is even more the case when Muslim translators are addressing a …

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