What's the best translation of the Qur'an?

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What's the best translation of the Qur'an?

Post #1

Post by Difflugia »

I don't read Arabic, but like to occasionally read from the Qur'an. I've noticed that English translations seem (to me, anyway) to vary more than English translations of the Bible do. That perception might also just be due to my lack of familiarity.

In anyone's opinion, which English translation comes closest to presenting the meaning found in the Arabic? Are there any that you know are bad?

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Re: What's the best translation of the Qur'an?

Post #2

Post by Abdelrahman »

[Replying to post 1 by Difflugia]

This is a difficult problem that has a simple solution. It's difficult because some degree of meaning is lost in translation no matter what. For example, Arabic is full of gender pronouns, and detailed conjunctions - like the word 'if' for example. In English, if only has one meaning. I can say "People won't gain weight if they exercise" and it would mean what it says but wouldn't hint as to whether people would actually do that. In arabic, there are many types of "if". I can say the same sentence that gets translated to the above english sentence but in arabic it means people wont gain weight if they exercise and THEY WILL DO IT. Meaning it carries the extra meaning that the people spoken of will actually lose weight. Another if can mean the same thing and that people WONT DO IT, but that they would lose weight if they tried. More meaning can be pulled from the sentence but when its literally translated you only get the word "if".

Translators do their best, but nothing comes close to the arabic. Even the way it sounds, in arabic it rhymes. Its a very powerful piece of literacy.

My advise to you is do what I do. I go to www.quran.com. And under english translations I select them all. I read all the translations for each verse on the screen. Maybe one translator misses something another noticed, or maybe one is using old english and another using the modern version. I combine all the translations together.

And please feel free to message me anytime. I can gladly help with any translation issues too. Arabic is my mother tongue!

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