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Rhetorical loss in translating prepositional phrases of the Holy Qur’an

Hummadi, Ali Salman and Mat Said, Seriaznita and M. Hussein, Rafi and Sabti, Ahmed Abdulateef and Ali Hattab, Huda Abed (2020) Rhetorical loss in translating prepositional phrases of the Holy Qur’an. SAGE Open, 10 (1). ISSN 2158-2440


Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2158244020902094


Translators of the Holy Quran confront many quandaries in their attempt to transfer the Qur’anic verses from Arabic into English. One of these quandaries is how to rhetorically communicate the intended meanings (implicatures) of the prepositional phrases in the Holy Qur’an. The translation of Arabic prepositional phrases in the Holy Qur’an as a source text (ST) may lead, in some Qur’anic verses, to a rhetorical loss in communicating their implicature in the target text (TT). That implicature or implicitly communicated meaning other than the explicature is the one intended to be expressed and required to be faithfully translated. In rendering the preposition into the target language (TL), translators bring into home only the explicitly stated meaning unaware of the implicitly stated meaning created as a result of the application of this specific rhetorical device. This study investigates the problem of the rhetorical loss encountered in the translation of prepositional phrases of the Qur’anic verses and identifies the cause of this problem. It also attempts to suggest a mechanism that is, to some extent, helpful and insightful in coping with the difficulties of translating Arabic prepositional phrases in Qur’anic verses. This research adopts a descriptive qualitative content analysis of the Qur’anic verses and their English translations that are relevant to the focus of the research. The source of failure of the English translations of the verses in conveying the rhetorical meanings of prepositional phrases has been identified in terms of the Relevance Theory and the distinction between explicature and implicature of these phrases. The study concludes that meaning equivalence in translation requires translators to be aware of not only the explicitly stated meanings of prepositions but the implicitly communicated ones as well which are recoverable through referring to Arabic heritage resources and interpretation books dedicated to exploring the rhetorical purposes of prepositions alternation in Qur’anic verses. The results of the analysis and the new suggested mechanism have been verified by an Arabic language and Qur’anic sciences expert who is a proficient speaker of English as well.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:explicature, implicature, relevance theory, rhetorical loss
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions:Language Academy
ID Code:91018
Deposited By: Yanti Mohd Shah
Deposited On:31 May 2021 21:41
Last Modified:31 May 2021 21:41

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