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The Problem of Translating Terminology With Specific Reference to the Term “salāh” in Arabic and Hebrew

Submitted by on April 24, 2013 – 11:00 amNo Comment

The Problem of Translating Terminology With Specific Reference to the Term “salāh” in Arabic and Hebrew

Dr. Āmir al-Zanāti al-Jābiri*

The translation of terminology poses an important problem. Terms are embedded in the culture background of the original text. Therefore, the translator has to take into account not only the semiotic but also the social dimensions. By representing an idea about an existence, a conceptual or intellectual image may look similar in two languages. Yet a term varies from one culture to another. So, translation basically needs to deal with terminology as some kind of a mirror that reflects the understanding of a specific term in its original language, then conveying it, with all its related connotations, to the receiver in the target language.

Containing a lot of its own specific terms, the Qur’an represents a good source of translation problems with respect to terminology, particularly as great care and precision are required for conveying the original meanings of the sacred text. Hence, it has been selected for the research purpose to investigate how the translators dealt with the terminology issue. The investigation will be conducted on the four printed Hebrew translations of the meanings of the Qur’an, with specific reference to the term “salāh” due to its Islamic significance.

The investigation will deal with the following points: the meaning of the selected term; its significance; the procedures followed in translation; the issues raised by the translation processes regarding the source and target languages and regarding the translators; and the criteria of procedure selection. Then, the meanings of the term ” salāh ” in both languages will be presented and compared in order to identify their relationship with the term. This will help assess the procedures followed by the translators and assess how successfully the essence of the Islamic term is maintained in the target language.




(*) Assistant Professor of Hebrew at Ain Shams University and King Saud University.

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