Research Article

The Translation of Polysemous Qur'anic Terms with Figurative Senses



Qur’anic terms are very important for understanding the meaning of the Qur’an. These terms are highly specific, i.e., bound to the place and time of the revelation of the text. Some of these terms are polysemous that have more than a sense. Understanding Qur’an-bound terms that are polysemous with figurative senses depends on understanding the context, and this can be particularly complex when translating cultural elements between two different cultures. This paper examines the translation of Qur’an-bound terms with figurative senses, which encounter problematic issues when translated into English. Twelve translations of six figurative terms of sūrat an-Nisā’ were chosen for this study to investigate the figurative components based on the adopted model of Dickins (2005) and how the translators and what method translators employ to render these terms. The comparative analysis shows that in the translation of polysemous Qur’an-bound terms, where figurative meaning is intended in context, translators who opted for the basic-sense failed to convey the ST sense in context. While those who opted for using explanation, the figurative sense managed to some extent to convey their senses. This signifies that the translators were aware of both the contextual meaning and figurative components – although they could not render a similar figurative image in TT.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

5 (9)





How to Cite

Aldhafeeri, A. (2022). The Translation of Polysemous Qur’anic Terms with Figurative Senses. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 5(9), 119–130.



Qur’an, Qur’an-bound terms, polysemy, figurative sense, figurative components, translation, culture