Research Article

Semantic Problems of the Usage of Archaic Morphological Features: Surat Al-Humza (Traducer) as a Model


  • Entesar Alsir Abu-ALgasim Mohamed Assistant Professor of English, Science and Arts College for Girls-Al Majardha, King Khalid University, AbhaSaudi Arabia


This study presents a comparative analysis of the translation of the holy Qur'anic verses by Pickthall and Yusuf Ali from one hand, and the translation of Sahih International from the other. By tracing the first translation style, it had been found that they tend to use archaism or old words to a large extent as they trying to make their translation sound like 'scripture' to an English- speaking audience, and this results in loss of meaning pose semantic difficulty in translating the Holy verses. Abdalati M. Ali in his paper (Lexical and Semantic Problems in Translating Quran) proves that Pickthall and Yusuf Ali tend to use archaism in their translation, as he puts that ‘'the translations of Pickthall and Ali appear to be written in an archaic form of English''. In contrast to the first style the Sahih International translation aims to provide a literal rendering of the Arabic of the Qur’an into “plain” English. It has become popular as a more contemporary translation, but focuses more on providing a literal meaning of the Arabic than on providing smooth English. This makes it a useful resource for students who are seeking to learn the literal meaning of the Arabic of the Qur’an. Being a text at the highest degree of eloquence, the Qur’ān, as a whole, poses a serious challenge for translators and linguists alike. The challenging areas within the Qur'anic text are indeed too numerous to count. This paper investigates one of the major problematic areas when translating the Qur’ān, namely, archaic words. This linguistic feature is intrinsic to the Qur'anic text and, in turn, has an impact on its translation leading to ambiguity. In this regards the rendition of qur'anic verses is considered as a difficult mission, this is due to Quran is written in a highly symbolic and classical form of the Arabic language, therefore, rendering it requires a deep knowledge and grasping of its meanings in addition to that translators should be able to reflect those meanings into the target language. Based on the mentioned facts usage of archaic and old words will constitute obstacle because it increases the complexities of target text, thus, it will distort the implicit meaning, and confuse target readers. Analytical descriptive method of data collection has been followed which comprises tools, samples, procedures.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

4 (2)





How to Cite

Mohamed , E. A. A.-A. . (2021). Semantic Problems of the Usage of Archaic Morphological Features: Surat Al-Humza (Traducer) as a Model. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 4(2), 138–145.



Semantic loss, translation, Archaism, Surat Al-Humza, Pickthall, Yusuf Ali, the Qur’an