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Revisiting Domestication and Foreignisation Methods: Translating the Quran by the Hybrid Approach

Authors: Aladdin Al-Tarawneh


The Quran, as it is the sacred book of Islam and considered the literal word of God (Allah) in Arabic, is highly translated into many languages; however, the foreignising or the literal approach excessively stains the quality and discredits the final product in the eyes of its receptors. Such an approach fails to capture the intended meaning of the Quran and to communicate it in any language. Therefore, this study is conducted to propose a different approach that seeks involving other ones according to a hybrid model. Indeed, this study challenges the binary adherence that is highly used in Translation Studies (TS) in general and in the translation of the Quran in particular. Drawing on the genuine fact that the Quran can be communicated in any language in terms of meaning, and the translation is not sacred; this paper approaches the translation of the Quran by blending different methods like domestication or foreignisation in a systematic way, avoiding the binary choice made by many translators. To reach this aim, the paper has a conceptual part that seeks to elucidate and clarify the main methods employed in TS, and criticise and modify them to propose the new hybrid approach (the hybrid model) for translating the Quran – that is, the deductive method. To support and validate the outcome of the previous part, a comparative model is employed in order to highlight the differences between the suggested translation and other widely used ones – that is, the inductive method. By applying this methodology, the paper proves that there is a deficiency of communicating the original meaning of the Quran in light of the foreignising approach. In conclusion, the paper suggests producing a Quran translation has to take into account the adoption of many techniques to express the meaning of the Quran as understood in the original, and to offer this understanding in English in the most native-like manner to serve the intended target readers.

Keywords: Quran translation, hybrid approach, domestication, foreignisation, hybrid model.

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