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Re: [BKARTS] Holy Qur'an

James Tapley writes:

It may seem like quibbling to a nonbeliever but the Holy Qur'an is and
never be translated. It has been transliterated into most languages,
but never,
ever translated. The Word is to a Believer. Best, James

James, I presume from the above that you belong to the Muslim faith, or that you at least know it very well. So perhaps you might take a moment to clarify what you've said just now - for the benefit of the non-Muslims here, myself included.

My perplexities:

/1/ "Translating" usually refers to taking utterances made in one
language and representing them with words of equivalent meaning (or
closest-possible meaning) in another language - what you do in a
foreign-language class, for instance, when asked "Translate the
following Arabic words and phrases into English ... " and similar
     I understand, from your statement, that Muslims believe that
nobody can ever successfully translate the Qur'an from Arabic into
(say) English or Chinese or whatever ... even though (I'd presume)
people can and do successfully translate other Arabic books into
English or Chinese or other languages, as they wish. Do I understand
you correctly?

/2/ "Transliterating" usually refers to taking utterances made in one
language and representing the spoken sounds of the utterances in
another alphabet (as closely as possible). For instance, if I see the
phrase (in Roman letters) "Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem" I would
describe this as "the opening phrase of the Qur'an, but transliterated
into the Roman alphabet."
       When you say that "[the Qur'an] has been transliterated into
most languages," do you mean simply this - that people have used the
letters of their own languages to spell out the sounds of the Qur'an's
words from beginning to end of the book?
     Or do you use the word "transliteration" as I have heard other
Muslims use it: to cover both this meaning of "transliteration" and
what non-Muslims would generally call "translation"?
     I ask because, when you walk into a bookstore and ask for "an
English translation of the Qur'an," you get a book that starts with "In
the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate ... " and I have heard
Muslims call this a transliteration (not translation) of the Qur'an. I
don't know how to make sense of a terminology-system that applies the
term "transliterating" to these two very different book-arts-related

/1/ using Roman letters to transcribe Arabic sounds

    /2/ and using English words to approximate (I won't offend you by
saying 'translate')
          Arabic words and their meanings

Doesn't it cause confusion, ever, to have to use the word
"transliterating" to describe both doing /1/ and doing /2/ ?

Yours for better letters, Kate Gladstone - Handwriting Repair kate@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx http://www.global2000.net/handwritingrepair 325 South Manning Boulevard Albany, New York 12208-1731 USA telephone 518/482-6763 AND REMEMBER ... you can order books through my site! (Amazon.com link - I get a 5% - 15% commission on each book sold)


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