An English translation of the Quran that is as close as possible to the Arabic sacred text
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 Post subject: The Quran cannot be translated
PostPosted: 12 May 2009, 19:20 
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The Quran cannot be translated, only its meaning maybe. You should say that your translation is a translation of the meaning!

The Quran of course cannot be perfectly translated, but that's no excuse for not trying our best to arrive at a faithful translation to the extent that we can. What we're trying to do here is to adhere closely to the meaning of the Arabic words as they were understood in the Seventh Century and find 21st Century English words that convey that meaning. This is a linguistic task and therefore it can be done.

A word or phrase in the Quran may lend itself to multiple meanings, all supported by Arabic grammar. Take for instance, 87:1,

It can be translated in three slightly different ways:
  1. Sanctify the name of your highest Lord!
  2. Sanctify the highest name of your Lord!
  3. Sanctify the name of your Lord: "The Highest"!
How can all of this be translated in one sentence? Impossible! So, what we do is stick to the words and try to transmit the style to English. One way to do that is to translate the above verse as:
(78:1) Sanctify the name of your Lord the Highest

And leave it at that.

You may also want to read the following topics and announcements. They will help you understand better our approach.

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

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