The Noble Quran: A Critical Evaluation of Al-Hilali and Khan’s Translation
22 Dec, 2014
The Noble Quran: A Critical Evaluation of Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Muhsin Khan’s Translation
By – Zaidan Ali Jassem
Department of English Language and Translation, Qassim University, Buraidah, KSA
This paper aims to critically evaluate Al-Hilali and Khan’s translation of the Holy Quran on several levels of linguistic and non-linguistic analysis. Although the study covers the whole work, the data consists of 261 instances which markedly diverge from normal English usage. The results indicate that the translation is replete with errors grammatically, lexically, stylistically, and discoursally. The errors are due to language transfer, overgeneralizations, ignorance of rule restrictions, and language/faith loyalty. The main conclusion is that while the translators tried very hard to present a factually accurate and linguistically faithful translation into English, the end product was too literal and so of no good practical value. The English is not only weak and awkward but also repels the reader from the text, thus discouraging him to carry on the joy of reading and learning.