Structuring Emphasis In Arabic And English: The Case Of Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s And Muhammed Asad’s Translations Of The Holy Quran

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Prof. Qasim Abbas Dhayef Al-Tufayl and Mohammed Ahmed Karam


Emphasis is of a high significance in Quranic Arabic. It is a pervasive linguistic phenomenon in the Holy Quran. Thus, this paper is an investigation into the structuring of emphasis in the Holy Quran with special reference to two of its English versions, namely Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s (1989) and Muhammed Asad’s (1984) translations. However, taking into consideration that Arabic has many devices and ways of emphasis that have no equivalents in English, this paper attempts at identifying some emphasized structures in the Holy Quran, scrutinizing their equivalents in Ali’s and Asad’s translations, and seeing if the extracts of the two translations are characterized by emphatic meaning as in the original ones. The Analysis of the data demonstrates that Asad’s translation is highly accurate in rendering the emphatic meaning of the original text, while Ali’s translation is characterized by immense emphatic loss, especially when translating sentences with emphatic particles.

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