On the translatability of Qur’anic pun
This paper explores the translatability of Qur’anic pun. With reference to a phalanx of authoritative Qur’anic exegetes and three leading Qur’anic translations, and by drawing on ʿAtīq’s (1985) taxonomy of Arabic pun, and Delabastita’s (2004) model of pun translation, the study examines a four-fold classification of pun: (1) abstract pun, (2) immediate-meaning-oriented pun, (3) far-meaning-oriented pun, and (4) aided pun. Given the semantic indirectness and sophistication immanent in punning, it is argued that Qur’anic pun, as a rhetorical device, is quite thorny from a translational standpoint. The study reveals that three out of nine translation strategies have been used: the literal strategy, the manipulative strategy, and the situational strategy. The literal strategy capitalizes on the immediate meaning, and ‘auctions off’ or ‘pulverizes’ the punning meaning, which, subsequently, may result in incommensurate translation damage. The situational strategy involves adding, for the entire translation, a descriptive word or phrase between brackets, and the manipulative strategy advocates text-in-context perspective. The study wraps up with a proposal for the interpretive strategy, which hinges upon exegesis-driven paraphrasing. This particular translation strategy has a greater emancipatory potential.
Keywords: Qur’anic pun, translatability of pun, translation damage, manipulative translation strategy, interpretive translation strategy
Keywords: calembours coranique, traduisibilité du jeu de mots, dommages de traduction, stratégie de traduction manipulative, stratégie de traduction interprétative
Published online: 03 December 2019
al-Hajjaj, Hamid Hussein, and Mayyadah Nazar Ali
Al-Kharabsheh, Aladdin, and Ghaith Al-Jdayeh
Al Aqad, Mohammed, Kaur, Kulwindr, Bin Sapar, Ahmad, Kadhim, Kais, Salleh, Nor
ʿAtīq, Abdul Aziz
Azaryoun, Mina, and Zargham Ghabanchi
Chengzhi, Zhang, and Goh Sang Seong
Dastjerdi, Hossein Vahid, and Elaheh Jamshidian
Khalaf, I., and M. Yusoff
Khanfar, A. K.
Oettinger, Anthony G.
Partington, Alan Scott
Wu, Ying, and Qi Pan
Oxford Living Dictionaries
Collins English Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language