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News > Mastery over Semiotics Necessary for Translating the Quran


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Dr Ali Feyzollahi:

Mastery over Semiotics Necessary for Translating the Quran

It is agreed among many experts that the language of the Holy Quran is one of signs, a Tehran University professor said.

Speaking at a forum featuring Quran translations in Spanish and Hausa languages, Dr Ali Feyzollahi added that for understanding the Quran and conveying it in other languages (than Arabic) one should master the science of semiotics as well as linguistics.

Semiotics, which is closely related to linguistics, is the study of signs and sign processes (semiosis).

He said with the development of linguistics, Quran translations should be reassessed and new translations should be rendered using new words and new sciences.

Feyzollahi further talked about the Spanish language, saying it was originated from Latin and has 550 million speakers in 23 countries in Spain and South America.

He said Muslims lived in Spain for seven centuries during which time they transferred a great part of Islamic culture and civilization to Spain, adding that there are over 4000 Arabic words in Spanish.

“The first translation of the Quran into Spanish, rendered from Latin translation, dates back to the 12th century. There have been other renderings since then including those by Hose Greber Robles, Sayfeddin Rahal, Muhammad Assad and most recently Jafar Gonzales.”

According to Feyzollahi the Quran translations now available in Spain are mostly by Lebanese, as well as Moroccan, Turkish and Saudi translators.

He said although 80 percent of publications in Spain are managed by Jewish citizens, they publish the Quran because many people in the country are interested in buying it.

Asked about the best Spanish translation of the Quran, he said the one rendered by Muhammad Assad, who converted to Islam from Judaism, is the best.

“This rendering includes all Surahs of the Quran and contains a thematic index of the words of the Quran as well as annotations,” he said.

“As for the translation by Jafar Gonzales, I should say this translator’s work mostly has conversational style and he does not follow the style of the original Arabic.”

Criticizing the Muslim world for inattention to the science of Quran translation, the Tehran University scholar said while the Israeli regime has established a center for reviewing translations of the Quran, Muslims do not sufficiently work in this field and mostly regard previous translations as good enough.

He said translations that are available now should be reassessed and their flaws should be removed.

Feyzollahi urged that accurate and beautiful translations of the Word of God, rendered with reference to the science of translation, linguistics and semiotics should be presented to the world.

The forum was held on Monday, May 21, at Tehran University with the participation of Dr Feyzollahi, as well as Quran researcher Tijani Malem Lavali, head of the Tarjoman-e Vahy Institute Hojat-ol-Islam Naghdi, and Quran researcher and translator Masoumeh Yazdanpanah.


09:37 - 23/05/2012    /    Number : 583222    /    Show Count : 1017


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