Assessing the Translation Quality of Quranic collocations: For better or for worse

Hassan Badr Hassan Karim Menacere

This paper argues that in view of the proliferation of English translations of the Quran, a systematic and objective quality assessment framework of translation should be put in place to ensure that a translation meets the required quality standards and address the flaws. However, this is easier said than done because to formulate one uniform and standardised translation quality assessment framework that can be used to assess all types of translation across languages, is unachievable. This paper examines a sample of Quranic collocations focusing on five selected English translations of the Quran to assess the degree of faithfulness and accuracy and to find out whether the final product is coherent, consistent, error-free, easier to read and understand. The findings suggest that the translation of the Quran in English is still a work in progress, and it needs to be periodically evaluated and updated to reflect feedback provided from different perspectives and regions of the world. Most English translations of the Quran show inconsistency in form and in content. Findings are polarised between those who advocate as close a rendering of the Quranic text as possible and those who believe in a ‘natural style’ in the target text. It would seem that incremental improvements to the existing translations of the Quran is essential and is a collective effort to provide clarity, naturalness, and accuracy. Findings indicated that there is some dissatisfaction from many receptors regarding the quality of English translations of the Quran deemed to be useful but flawed in transmitting the accurate meaning of collocations.

DOI: 10.32996/ijllt.2019.2.2.16 
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