A Short Academical Study About Quran's Localization

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A MAN CHOOSES, A SLAVE OBEYS
<a href="/en/translator/testament" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1333527">TeSTaMeNT</a>
Joined: 31.03.2017
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بِسْــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِالرَّحْمَنِ اارَّحِيم

The sentence you saw above is the first verse of Quran. ‘’ In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful’’. We today, will talk about the Quran’s Translations and its history.

In 11th century Quran was first translated into Persian by Selman-i Farisi. Muhammed (May peace be upon him) sent a letter to Byzantine Emperor and Ethiopian Emperor including verses of Quran. In His lifetime Quran wasn’t translated to any languages including Greek, Latin and Ethiopian. However until 20th century 102 translations of Quran were known.

However, Quran’s translations were always a matter of debate. Quran is a book that has been written to mankind no matter the age or place. Quran is the words of Allah. Thus it makes it very difficult to translate it into modern languages like Turkish.

On the other hand, Quran has very specific Islamic terms that makes it almost impossible to translate.

I want you to pay attention here ‘’almost impossible’’. I chose these words because it is not impossible. Quran cannot be interpreted 100% to any other languages excluding the dialects of Arabic, including Turkish and Persian. Its not only Quran, but also the other sacred books like the Bible and old Testament. Quran’s translations are to express the
Quran’s main idea and the sermon of Allah. Rest assured that translators always should bear this in mind the audience they shall face. Not to mention that even in sacred texts the author always shows his/her background.

So, as we already mentioned the difficulties translator shall face when translating the Quran. Let’s talk about the solution Clergy found and still practices. The Hermeneutics…
The hermeneutics are to interpret the idea Allah wants to say. It may seem as a blasphemous, but It is practised and still written. Some Muslim intellectuals considered the Hermeneutics as a disbelief but If its me to comment I don’t find them disbelief because authors of Hermeneutics just want to help people, nothing more.

As long as they don’t associate themselves with Allah or do they say that they are the people to be worshipped.

Still it is debated and forbidden in some cults…

Deniz Selçuk, Ankara

Super Member
<a href="/en/translator/bluebird" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1483017">BlueBird</a>
Joined: 27.12.2020

Hi. Could you please be more specific about the purpose of the topic? Is this a call for opinions or just some essay/report/etc written in a university/...? Looks more like the latter.

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<a href="/en/translator/esraa" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1255660">esraa.</a>
Joined: 10.08.2015

Çok güzel yazmışsın Deniz. Kesinlikle haklı olduğunu düşünüyorum. Çevirmen çeviriye kendinden izler bırakır.
Kuran'da Nisa Suresi 34. Ayete dikkat çekmek istiyorum: ''Sâliha kadınlar Allah’a itaatkârdırlar. Allah’ın korumasına uygun olarak, kimsenin görmediği durumlarda da kendilerini korurlar. (Evlilik hukukuna) baş kaldırmasından endişe ettiğiniz kadınlara öğüt verin, onları yataklarda yalnız bırakın ve onları dövün.''
Burada Arapça 'darabe' kelimesi kullanılmış ve bu kelimenin bir sürü anlamı var, belki sen benden çok araştırmışsındır. Birisi çıkıp o kelimeyi 'dövün' olarak çevirdiği için Kuran'ın çoğu insan tarafından yanlış anlaşıldığını düşünüyorum. Bu kelimenin 'ayrılmak' anlamı da var. Belki de Allah 'ayrılın' dedi orada.

A MAN CHOOSES, A SLAVE OBEYS
<a href="/en/translator/testament" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1333527">TeSTaMeNT</a>
Joined: 31.03.2017

Hello. This is a short academical research I've done in university. I've written this in my first year. It is called annual article. Can't be more specific cause I'm not allowed to change even a word. Just wanted to share this here. May contain mistakes that are expected to be forgiven. Thank you!

A MAN CHOOSES, A SLAVE OBEYS
<a href="/en/translator/testament" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1333527">TeSTaMeNT</a>
Joined: 31.03.2017

Kuran'ın Türkçe belki 50 farklı çevirisi var, dünya üzerinde en çok değişen çevirilerden biri belki de. Çünkü bazı çevriler arasında nüansdan öte derin farklar söz konusu. Eğer bir ktiap çevirildiği zaman aşırı değişken ise o kitabı ana dilinden okumaktan başka çare yoktur. Kuran'ı tam anlamıyla anlamak için Arap kültürünü ve Arapça'yı çok iyi derecede bilmek gerekir. Türkçe zaten oturmuş bir dildir, maalesef Arapça için aynısı geçerli değil Mısır Arapçası ile Fas Arapçası arasında belli başlı ciddi farklar var. Bir dil bu kadar akışkan olursa, çevirileri de özellikle zor olur.

Super Member
<a href="/en/translator/bluebird" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1483017">BlueBird</a>
Joined: 27.12.2020
Thank you for the clarification and thanks for sharing the study. For those unfamiliar with the context, some minor issues might worth mentioning about the text itself. 

Quote:

In 11th century Quran was first translated into Persian by Selman-i Farisi.

Might be a typo. I'm not aware of the calender used, but Salman The Persian (in Persian سلمان ِ فارسی), a companion of Muhammad(PBUH), died 32 AH/652 or 653 AD. Couldn't have done it in the 11th centrury. The translation was partial and some say was approved by the prophet himself. 

The name Selman-i (in Turkish?) might have come from here (Salmani, in Persian سلمانی, is the Persian colloquial term for a barber)

Quote:

Salman is also remembered as the barber of Muhammad, inspiring plates in Turkish barber shops with the verse:

Every morning our shop opens with the basmala-,
Hazret-i Salman-i Pak is our pir and our master.[16]

Another point

Quote:

 Quran cannot be interpreted 100% to any other languages excluding the dialects of Arabic, including Turkish and Persian.

Persian , an Indo-European language, is a totally different language from Arabic, a Semitic language. Alphabets almost the same (Persian has four more characters) but the terms, syntax, grammar, etc are completely different.

 

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<a href="/en/translator/esraa" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1255660">esraa.</a>
Joined: 10.08.2015

Zaten Arapların da Kuran'ı ne kadar anladığı tartışma konusu değil mi? Kuran'ı gerçekten anlasalardı bugün bu kafada olmazlardı.

Super Member
<a href="/en/translator/bluebird" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1483017">BlueBird</a>
Joined: 27.12.2020
On the issue of translatability itself, a general view can be found here (confirming the 'spectrum of meaning' view in #3)

Quote:

The translation of the Qurʻan into modern languages has always been a difficult issue in Islamic theology. Because Muslims revere the Qurʻan as miraculous and inimitable (iʻjaz al-Qurʻan), they argue that the Qurʻanic text should not be isolated from its true form to another language or written form, at least not without keeping the Arabic text with it. Furthermore, an Arabic word, like a Hebrew or Aramaic word, may have a range of meanings depending on the context – a feature present in all [[Semitic languages], when compared to English, Latin, and Romance languages – making an accurate translation even more difficult.[1]

some more academic views can be found here,  here , and here (excerpts from the third one)

Quote:

The article demonstrates that for both Muslim intellectuals and Qur’ān translators there exist three types of untranslatability when it comes to translating the Qur’an. These are linguistic, cultural and theological untranslatability. It also demonstrates that while both the Muslim intellectuals and translators of the Qur’ān agree upon the fact that the Qur’ān-specific linguistic and cultural aspects are untranslatable, they vary in the ways they prioritise them, and, on the part of the translators, the ways in which they deal with them

The issue of untranslatability (i.e. transferring 100%) of cultural and liguistic aspects of most complex texts is a known issue not limited to the sacred books. Some even say that high level poems are not translatable. 

A significant  translation theory, i.e. funcitonal(dynamic) equivalence [Bible translation] was actually developed by the distinguished linguist Eugine Nida during his years as the 'Executive Secretary for Translations' of the American Bible Society working on translating Bible into different languages

A MAN CHOOSES, A SLAVE OBEYS
<a href="/en/translator/testament" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1333527">TeSTaMeNT</a>
Joined: 31.03.2017

I thank you from the bottom of my soul for clarifications and making it crystal clear, dear friend. We linguistics do know where Persian's place. We all know Persian is much more different than Arabic. But as the alphabets may seem same to the readers, we were told to include Persian.

Thank you again for paying attention : )

Super Member
<a href="/en/translator/bluebird" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1483017">BlueBird</a>
Joined: 27.12.2020

You are most welcome. Thank you for sharing ideas and provoking thoughts.