A Semantic review of Qur’ānic Near-Synonyms, English and French Translations

Mimouna Zitouni (1) , Bahia ZEMNI (2) , Abdul-Qader Khaleel Abdul-Ghafour (3)
(1) Translation Department; College of Languages Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University , Saudi Arabia
(2) Translation Department/College of Languages/ Princess Nourah bint AbdulrahmanUniversity. , Saudi Arabia
(3) Department of Translation; Queen Arwa University , Yemen


This study examines the nuances among the chosen near-synonyms and the extent to which the translators considered such nuances in the selected translations of the Qur’an. It seeks to identify the meanings of two sets of near-synonyms in their Qur’anic contexts based on the Qur’ānic exegeses. It also highlights the differences in meaning that exist among these near-synonyms and the extent to which the semantic differences among those near-synonyms are preserved in translation. This study is grounded on the RC-S approach by Murphy as a theoretical framework for data analysis. The obtained results show that there are some differences in meaning among the chosen near-synonyms and that some of such nuances are not preserved in the English and French translations. Thus, the study recommends that the differences in meaning among the near-synonyms should be identified before translating the Qur’ānic texts, and subsequently, the identified differences should be reflected in the translation.

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Mimouna Zitouni
baalzemni@pnu.edu.sa (Primary Contact)
Abdul-Qader Khaleel Abdul-Ghafour
Author Biographies

Mimouna Zitouni, Translation Department; College of Languages Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University

Mimouna Zitouni is an associate professor of translation studies and linguistics at the college of languages, PNU. She took part in several international conferences and published widely on the subject of language use and translation studies.

Bahia ZEMNI , Translation Department/College of Languages/ Princess Nourah bint AbdulrahmanUniversity.

Bahia Zemni received her Ph.D. in linguistics from Sorbonne-Nouvelle III University. Since 2012 she is a professor at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, where she has headed the languages faculty Research Center. At present, she runs a research unit in the translation department, contributes to the research project: Translation from Arabic to French and vice versa in contextual dictionaries: mechanisms and strategies, and heads the project: « Artificial intelligence and audiovisual Translation ». Bahia has published several translations in collaboration with Louvre Museum and publishing houses: Skira in France and Alsaqui in Lebanon. She participated in several national and international conferences, published widely in well-established journals on the subject of Linguistics and Translation, and co-edited a Special Issue of Kervan-International Journal of Afro-Asiatic studies 2022 entitled Pratiques langagières en arabe: variables culturelles et défis de la traduction.

Abdul-Qader Khaleel Abdul-Ghafour, Department of Translation; Queen Arwa University

Abdul-Qader Abdul-Ghafour obtained his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the Sustainability of Language Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in 2019. He currently works as an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Queen Arwa University. He also works as a freelance translator, editor, and writing consultant. He has published many papers in WoS and Scopus journals and has also co-authored a book chapter in Springer. His research interests include Translation, Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, and TEFL/TESL.

Zitouni, M., ZEMNI , B., & Abdul-Ghafour, A.-Q. K. (2023). A Semantic review of Qur’ānic Near-Synonyms, English and French Translations. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 23(1), 82–91. https://doi.org/10.36923/jicc.v23i1.106

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