Translating “Language-Beyond” of the Quranic Text

Ferhat Mameri, Salah Basamalah

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


It is a well-known fact that the dominating approach of any act of translation had always been valuating the content, the meaning, at the expense of the form. Starting from this principle, the successful translation had to go beyond the words by adapting the source text, through the use of equivalence, to abide by the needs and the expectations of the receiver of the target text. Such translating strategy always considered the form, Language, as a simple container, a means of transportation to convey the meaning, “message”, from one language into another. By exploring some Quranic verses and confronting three translations of proper names as stated in the Quran, this article will shed light on the importance of the form in Quranic language. It is also an attempt to demonstrate that the act of translating Quranic Arabic, often presented as a pure language, has to introduce the scope of a new language, sometimes Hebrew, sometimes ancient Egyptian. By doing so, we assume that when it comes to Quran, the translating act is not condemned to be situated within the source language-culture environment nor within the target language-culture environment. It is rather a coming potential space that uses a new language, a “language-beyond”, a language in-between. In this way, attempting at all costs to separate the form from the content can result in doing considerable harm to the message. Because in this particular case, Quranic Arabic, form and content are closely linked, they are even indissociable.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecond Language Learning and Teaching
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameSecond Language Learning and Teaching
ISSN (Electronic)2193-7648


  • Ethnocentrism
  • Indigenization
  • Language-beyond
  • Literalism
  • Otherness
  • Superlativeness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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