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Contextual Emphasis in the Holy Quran and its Translation into English

Alsharou, Shaman
Date
2016-11
Type
Thesis
Degree
Description
A Master of Arts thesis in Translation and Interpreting MATI (English/Arabic/English) by Shaman Alsharou entitled, "Contextual Emphasis in the Holy Quran and its Translation into English," submitted in November 2016. Thesis advisor is Dr. Basil A. Hatim. Soft and hard copy available.
Abstract
This thesis tackles the translation of emphasis in the Holy Quran. To achieve this aim, relevant translation theories are invoked, and the context of the Quranic text carefully examined. The use of emphatic devices (my chosen area of research) depends on the context of situation, including the 'state' of the text receiver (denial, indifference to or acceptance of the message). However, having no equivalent emphasizers in English to the ones found in the source text, or failing to spot the significance of these emphasizers, can lead to problems in the translation process. Loss of emphatic meaning is one of the more subtle challenges facing translators of the holy Quran. With the relation between emphasis and context in mind, this thesis will thus assess two major translations of the Quran by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall (1930) and by Arthur Arberry (1955). Selected dialogues from the surahs of Yusuf, Hud, Al Shuara and Taha are analyzed, and alternative translations proposed in an attempt to adequately compensate for any loss of meaning related to emphasis that may have occurred.
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