AWEJ Volume.5 Number.3, 2014                                                                        Pp.65-76

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Significance of Colors in the Noble Quran and the Ethics of Translating Them into English: An Empirical Study on Some Verses


Muna A. Al-Shawi
Department of English language, College of Art
Al-Mustanseirya University


The Noble Quran has highly sophisticated and rhetorical language in treating the topics, issues and ideas of all aspects of human life and life after death. The use of colors in the Quran are of two types; either color is explicitly mentioned as (white, black, red and green) or implicitly refer to the color and could be inferred through verses while remembering words (day and night, darken, the light and the fire). The colors in the noble Quran carry symbolic connotations, aesthetic or moral objectives and the use of colors in the Quran have critical connotations. Most known colors are mentioned in verses (Ayat) , as the colors have  multi-faceted roles in both sensual or moral purposes.  They have many implications that affect the audience’s cognitive reception. This research, however, aims to clarify the significance and uses of colors in the Quran in terms of their diversity, origin, source, and their ability to influence the human cognitions, which is usually called the drama of color. It will also describe how translator renders these verses which include the colors from Arabic into English. Therefore, Domestication and Foreignization strategies of translation have been applied to the extracted verses to investigate whether Arabic-English translators tend to domesticate these verses or foreignize them. The results show that the translator employs nearly equally both the Domestication and Forienazation strategy to translate the ST into TT. They also reveal that the translation of the Holy Quran could not be accurate, expressive and deep as required because of the eloquent language used in it.
Keywords: color, Quran, Domestication, Foreignisation, verses (Ayat), Source Text (ST), and Target Text (TT)