French

Qur’an translation of the week #74: A French law professor and a native interpreter: a Qur’an translation from colonial-era France

Le Coran by Octave Pesle and Ahmed Tidjani, first published in Paris in 1936, was a product of the colonial era when France held sway over much of the Maghreb. One of the authors of this Qur’an translation, Tidjani (1875–1982), was an Algerian Muslim legal scholar who first worked as a qadi in Algiers and …

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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 #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 #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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Qur’an translation of the week #57: The Qur’an explained to French children: recitation and meaning

Le Coran expliqué aux enfants: Juz ‘Amma is an illustrated French translation and commentary of the Qur’an for children. In many countries, there is a growing market for such books. They may take different forms, ranging from a thematic summary or arrangement of Qur’anic verses to translations of complete suras, often accompanied by additional material. …

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Qur’an translation of the week #43: A French Salafi Qur’an translation based on Ibn Kathīr’s tafsīr

This week, we discuss a recent, all-out Salafi rendition of the Qur’an into French that claims to follow the only valid methodology for translating the Qur’an: condensing Ibn Kathir’s (d. 1373 CE) Qur’an commentary into one volume. Nabil Aliouane’s “Le Coran et la traduction du sens de ses versets” (Marrakesh: Éditions Tawbah, 2020) or “The …

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Qur’an translation of the week #26: Al-Montakhab

To mark the arrival of a certain president-elect (!), this week’s post concerns another “muntakhab” – a project to standardise Qur’an translation according to the scholarship of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University. “Al-Muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur’an” is better translated as ‘The Select Interpretation of the Qur’an’. This thread draws numerous points from Stefan Wild’s paper on “Muslim …

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Qur’an translation of the week #07: ‘Le Saint Coran‘ and its convoluted publication history

This book, which I purchased in a bookstore in Tunis, was published in Homs, Syria, in 2011 and claims to contain a French Qur’an translation produced by the Mauritanian scholar Mohamed El-Moktar Ould Bah (b. 1924) for the King Fahd Complex in Medina – evidence of the longstanding presence and importance of Mauritanian scholars in …

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