Challenges of Quran Translation in Greek
Publish Date: 12/20/2014 Code: 37301

Challenges of Quran Translation in Greek

TEHRAN (IQNA) – There are challenges and opportunities in translating the Quran into Greek.



Challenges of Quran Translation in Greek


 This is according to Hekmatollah Molla-Salehi and Sofia A. Koutlaki who presented a paper titled “Qur’anic Translation in Greek: Challenges and Opportunities” at the first International Conference on Translation of the Quran earlier this week.

“The Greek-speaking world has had a close, yet uneasy relationship with Islam,” Ms Koutlaki said in her speech. “On the one hand, Greece and Cyprus lie at the eastern borders of Europe, very close to the Middle East, to which it is also culturally akin. On the other hand,  Greece  has  experienced  Islam  for  centuries  in  the  guise  of  the  Ottoman conquerors.  These geographical and historical factors have given rise to ambivalent attitudes towards Islam among Greeks.”

She said the paper aims to highlight the challenges and the opportunities that the Greek language provides for a successful Quranic translation.

“The challenges stem from Greek readers generally negative attitudes towards Islam, but can be met  successfully  in  two  ways: firstly,  by  avoiding  lexical  choices  that  bear negative connotations, and secondly, by  making use of the opportunities that the status  of  the  Greek  language  has  enjoyed  throughout  history  as  vehicle  of philosophical  thought  in  its  classical  form  and  as  a  biblical  language  in  its Koine/Hellenistic  form.”

The paper concludes that the fact that an averagely educated Greek can access a significant  number  of  lexical  items  from  earlier  forms  of  the  language  means a Greek Quran translation can utilize rich vocabulary stores in attempting to convey the greatness of the inimitable  original.

The first International Conference on Quran Translation was held in Tehran on December 14-17.

It was jointly organized by Allameh Tabatabaei University and the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO).

Quran translators from 10 countries, including Russia, France, Pakistan, Spain, China, and the Republic of Azerbaijan took part at the international conference.

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