Among the many miracles and blessings or Allaah is the “…differences of your languages and colours. Verily in this are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge’ (30:22). Indeed, the differences in human languages is yet another proof of the existence ami power of the Creator. It was Allaah Himselfwho honoured Aadam by teaching him “…the names of all things…” (2:31).
and honoured Adam’s progeny and “taught him eloquent speech’ (55:4). Therefore, with all of the different languages on the face of the Earth, it becomes necessary to translate important texts and books written in one language into other languages so that a greater segment of mankind may benefit from them.
The Arabic word lor translation is ‘tarjanmli‘. This word also has the connotation of ‘interpretation’; hence Ibn Abbaas was called the ‘Tarjmmiitn al-Oui’min,’ meaning “The Interpreter ofthe Qur’aan.’ However, it is the first meaning of the word ‘tarjamati that we are interested in in this chapter.
The Types ofTranslation
There are two ways of translating a text: a literal, verbatim translation, and a translation by meaning.
1-Verbatim translation: What is meant by this is the word-for-word translation of a text, such that each word of the first language is translated into its equivalent in the other language. In such translations, the word order remains almost the same.
2- Translation by meaning: In this case, the intent or meaning of a text is translated into a different language.
Those who speak more than one language realise that verbatim translation is not successful in imparting understanding of a text. This is because the grammar and syntax of every language is different, and each has its specific procedure and methodology of speech. In addition, not every word has an equivalent in another language.