Semantic Loss in Two English Translations of Surah Ya-Sin by Two Translators (Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Arthur John Arberry)

 Sehrish Aslam

The aim of the present study is to examine the semantic Loss and its causes in two English translations of Surah Ya-Sin by two translators: Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Arthur John Arberry. Semantic loss focuses on over-translation, under-translation or mistranslation of a source text and can result in partial or complete loss of meaning in the target text. Semantic loss is inevitable while translating from a source language due to the lack of equivalence of some cultural words in the target language. Baker’s typology of equivalence (1992) was adopted to identify causes of losses in the two English translations: Equivalence at word level, above word level, Textual, Grammatical and Pragmatic Equivalence. This research is qualitative in nature and is based on Hermeneutics, an interpretative framework of translation studies. The English translations of Surah Ya-Sin were selected from Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s work “The Holy Qur’an: Text and Translation” (1938) and Arthur John Arberry’s “The Koran Interpreted” (1968). Two language experts were consulted for the present study to understand the meanings of the source text. Moreover Tafsir by Ibn Khathir (2000) was used as a reference book. The analysis of the data revealed frequent partial loss of meaning in Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation and complete loss of meaning in Arthur John Arberry’s translation. Linguistic deviation from the source text was identified as one of the major causes of such losses

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