Keywords : Texts

Problems of Translating Tawriya (pun) in Some Glorious Qur'anic Texts into English

Ziyad A. Mahmood

College Of Basic Education Research Journal, 2014, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 1063-1080

This paper sheds light on an Arabic rhetorical phenomenon called
At-Tawriya (pun) which is predominantly manifested in some literary and religious texts. It occurs when a speaker uses an expression with two meanings one of which is the surface, obvious, straightforward meaning called المورّى به Almuwarra bihi which comes first to the addressee's mind, though it is not intended by the speaker; the other is the deep underlying one called المورّى عنه Almuwarra canhu, and although it is intended by the addresser, it does not cross the addressee's mind. At-Tawriya makes the addressee think that the surface straightforward meaning is the intended meaning since it first evokes in his/her mind and consequently s/he misunderstands the deep underlying meaning which is the one intended by the speaker. The study aims at (1) exploring the nature and causes behind using At-Tawriya. (2) pointing out some problems a translator may face when rendering Qur'anic verses (ayahs) including such a phenomenon into English. The study hypothesizes that unawareness on the part of the translators of the punning nature of some Qur'anic texts may lead them to misunderstanding of the underlying intended meaning and therefore producing literal and inaccurate renderings. The study comes out with the conclusion that At-Tawriya is not as clear cut as other rhetorical devices to be easily recognized by translators for its intended meaning is always covered by the unintended one. Hence, it is considered a problematic area for translators especially when the surface unintended meaning is supported by a contextual evidence.