Quran Quran and Metonymy: Literal, Semantic and Metonymic Translation (Analysis of English Translation of a Quranic Verse)

Quran Translation and Types of Translation


  • Shair Ali Khan Department of Translation & Interpretation Faculty of Arabic International Islamic University Islamabad




Key words: Metonymy; Literal Translation; Semantic Translation; Metonymic Translation




Metonymy is a rhetorical device widely used in the literary works of all the times. At the time when Quran was revealed the Arab were on the top of such idiomatic and rhetorical style of speech. Metonymy is the way to a hidden meaning or a far meaning from the apparent one. Translating metonymy creates problems while finding out the intended, desired and hidden meaning. These problems turn critical during translating the ‘Word of Heaven’. I have selected two consecutive metonymic phrases of Verse No. 43 of Chapter: The Women which is as under:  

-???? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ?????????? ???? ??????????? ??????????

 A total number of 32 Quran translators are randomly selected to find out the literal, semantic and metonymic translations of these two metonymic phrases. We can easily observe the various kinds of translation, sentence style, and shifts that create complexity for those readers who depend on translation. The paper quoted the stances of the Exegetes of Quran regarding these two adjacent metonymic sentences, determining the meaning mentioned by the majority of Exegetes and analyzde the English words used for rendering their meanings to find out which translation can be suggested for the source language general public to gain the real intended meaning as elaborated by the majority of Quran Exegetes.

Key words: Metonymy; Literal Translation; Semantic Translation; Metonymic Translation