Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Translation No.5 May, 2016                                Pp33-53

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Towards a Model for Analyzing and Assessing Translation of Qur’anic
Idiomatic Phrasal Verbs

Ali Yunis Aldahesh
The University of Sydney
Sydney, Australia



This paper focuses on developing a working model for analysing and assessing translation of Qur’anic Idiomatic Phrasal Verbs (QIPVs). It demonstrates that there are two categories of QIPVs: metaphorical and figurative. The former falls under the definition of ‘metaphor’ and fulfils its two purposes (referential and pragmatic) and three components (object, image, and sense). The latter category does not meet these criteria yet, IS still, semantically non-transparent. Drawing on the speech acts theory and the contrastive analysis approach; the model attends to these two categories from semantic and pragmatic perspectives. The author argues that adequacy of equivalents given to the QIPVs should be determined according to closeness to the intended meaning ascribed by the authoritative exegetical and lexicographical works (tertium comparationis). Semantically speaking, the closeness to denotative meaning should be considered since it reflects the informative level of meaning, and has to be given priority over the other levels of meaning, i.e. expressive and aesthetic. Pragmatically speaking, adequacy should be measured according to faithfulness to connotative meaning. Equivalents provided to QIPVs in a corpus of ten English translations of the Qur’an are closely scrutinised. The results reveal that the majority of equivalents demonstrate semantic deviation, overtranslation, undertranslation, and miscalculation of the intended conversational implicature.
Key Words: figurative Qur’anic phrasal verbs, Idiomaticity, metaphorical Qur’anic phrasal verbs, tertium comparationis, translating Qur’anic idiomatic phrasal verbs


Dr. Ali Yunis Aldahesh is a Lecturer in Arabic Language, Literature and Culture at the
University of Sydney. He holds a PhD in Translation and Linguistics, an MA in Translation and
Linguistics, and an MA in Semitic Studies. His areas of interest include Qur’an translation,
translation theory, contrastive linguistics, lexicography and pedagogy.