A Pragmatic Exploration of the Temporal Discourse Marker Thumma in Parallel Corpora of Two Persian Translations of the Quran

Document Type : Original Article

Author

Assistant Professor of TEFL, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Literature and Languages, Arak University, Arak, Iran

Abstract

Simultaneous decoding and encoding of information substantiate the foundations of natural processing of language in translation. The present study analyzed two Persian translators’ pragmatic strategies in translating the Quranic temporal discourse marker thumma into Persian. The source text corpus consisted of 6 sections of the holy Quran and was selected randomly; and the target text corpus is comprised of two Persian translations of the same sections. Theoretical perspectives in discourse and translation studies were applied in approaching parallel corpora analysis in the study. The findings indicate that different types and combinations of Persian temporal discourse markers were applied in 53% of the cases by the translators. Moreover, in 47% of the instances, it was replaced with Persian elaborative, contrastive, and inferential discourse markers. This creative, flexible, and innovative discourse construction approach was substantiated on the basis of the recognition of differences between discourses, cultures, and languages. Consequently, this dynamic approach was employed in the construction of an appropriate discourse for the addressee. The bases, resources, and foundations of these dynamic and discourse sensitive translation strategies were discussed pragmatic awareness raising in explicit teaching of these elements, development of sensitivity to unsteady social contexts in language use, and utilizing the findings in lexicography, translation quality assessment, and syllabus design were suggested.    

Keywords

1. Introduction

The interactive and natural linguistic and metalinguistic processes of decoding and encoding of information in the translation are conducted based on conventions of target language culture, pragmatics, and discourse (Chesterman2016). Discursively speaking, different linguistic components such as coordinating conjunctions, adverbs, prepositional phrases, and filler words such as “moreover”, “consequently”, “in addition”, “therefore”, “and”, and “you know” are called discourse markers (DMs). DMs are viewed as the most recurrent, effective and multifaceted meta-comment and meta-communicative variables in the discourse construction process. Furthermore, DMs are inseparable components of human meta-discursive practices (Aijmer2002Hyland2005). Because, DMs are highly dependent on their context of use, are ambiguous, perform no syntactic functions in discourse, and possess no propositional meaning; as a result, their translation is a complex and complicated phenomenon (Furko2014).

      The present study tried to provide an exploration of two Iranian Persian translators’ pragmatic behaviors and strategies in the translation of the Quranic temporal discourse marker (TDM) thumma comparatively on the basis of Coherence and Translation Spotting theories in discourse analysis and translatology. As translators are pragmatically involved in complicated and creative processes of decoding and encoding information between two discourses for the purpose of providing the audience with a fluent and comprehensible discourse, natural language processing is a common procedure and it is generally activated in construction of discourse in translation. Moreover, as parallel corpora investigations are concerned with analyzing the construction of a coherent relationship between discourses, cultures, and languages, the results of these studies would verify the establishment and substantiation of new models and theories for conducting pragmatic investigations (Zufferey2017). 

     Consequently, this study addressed the following questions:        

1. To what extent were Persian TDMs employed in rendering thumma into Persian? 

2. To what extent did the translation of the Quranic TDM thumma go through adjustments, replacements, and adaptations in the process of construction of discourse? 

3. Which categorizes of Persian DMs are applied in rendering the Quranic TDM thumma into the Persian language?                                        

4. What are the theoretical justifications for these innovations, modifications, and adaptations in the process of rendering this Quranic TDM into the Persian language?

Various presuppositions and hypotheses such as modification, deletion, and replacement of DMs are expressed by researchers (Zuffery2017Furko2014). Hence, the present researcher assumes that in social contexts, using and processing of language necessitates adjustment, modification, and innovation on the basis of discourse structure and dynamic sociocultural forces activating pragmatic use of language in the translation process.

2. Review of the Related Literature

This review covers four lines of research in ideology, characteristics, elements, and strategies in the process of translation of the Quran. The first line of investigation perceives translation as an ideological endeavor. Mollanazar and Mohaqeq (2005) investigated the influence of translators' ideological assumptions on the Quran translations. They concluded that translation of the Qur’an is an ideological endeavor and believe that translators have applied their specific beliefs, attitudes, and philosophies in their translations. Moreover, Mosaffa et al (2008) investigated the influence of ideology in translations of Quranic texts with the assumption that it is certainly impossible to translate without relying on meta-linguistic forces. Because, it is mainly under the influence, pressure, and manipulation of ideology. In addition, all language features such as grammar, vocabulary, and phonology are controlled by ideology. They also discovered that translators’ impressions, implications, and inferences are governed and manipulated by ideological assumptions, hypotheses, and presuppositions.

     Another group of researchers analyzed the characteristics of translations of the Holy Quran from different perspectives. Ayatollahy (2006) studied the translation of the Holy Quran from a hermeneutic perspective and believes that it is indisputably necessary to consider the hermeneutic foundations as one of the characterizations of these translations. Afrouz and Mollanazar (2018) conducted a comparative analysis of the two English translations of the Holy Quran with the assumption of plagiarism or revision. Their results revealed that one of the translations was the original, and the other was merely a revision. 

     Manafi Anari (2003a) studied the characteristics of accuracy, naturalness, and clarity in the translation of religious texts. The results revealed that these are not the only features to be investigated. Furthermore, he concluded that correspondence to the source text content is of more importance. Alizadeh and Jahanjuyan (2015) conducted a syntactic analysis of English translations of the Quran and provided a classification of the problems. 

     Karimiet al (2018) analyzed the theories of the untranslatability of the Quran regarding discourse differences. The researchers concluded that various discourse attitudes originated from diverse sociological and contextual considerations. Considering equivalence as a controversial concept in the translation of Islamic texts, especially the word Allah, Manafi Anari (2003b) concluded that reproduction of proper equivalence for the word Allah is impossible. 

     The third group of studies focused on linguistic aspects and elements in the analysis of the translations. Najafi et al (2009) investigated the translation of cohesive tools in rendering the Holy Quran. The researchers concluded that as a result of the differences in cohesive devices between the source and target languages, a great amount of explicitation occurred in the translation process. Assuming that word order has a vital role in communicating meaning in the Holy Quran, Mansouri (2010) analyzed rendering word order in Persian and English translations and concluded that translators have mainly applied natural Persian and English word orders in their TL texts. Sharifabad and Yeganeh (2010) studied the English translation of recurrent semantic collocations in the Holy Quran. They discovered that new and novel meanings were created by translators based on context and word-by-word translation was not applied. Mansouri (2010) studied the Persian translation of passive voice in the Holy Quran. He examined fifty translations, and discovered that diverse forms of words and numerous tenses were applied. 

     The fourth group of investigations examined the former studies in terms of strategies used. Poshtdar (2008) investigated strategies applied in translating single words in the Quran. These strategies included supplying proper equivalents, providing short or long descriptions, replacing the word with a compound phrase, and using borrowed words as the final solution. Ghazizadeh et al (2015) analyzed various translation strategies of the Holy Quran for children. Their findings showed that translators employed the strategies offered by Chesterman (2016) at pragmatic levels. 

      Movahhedian and Yazdani (2020) investigated the translation of metaphors in an English translation of the Quran. This study revealed metaphors presented challenges for the translators and the translations were not entirely communicative regarding intended meanings. The most frequent strategy was the literal reproduction of the images. A study of translation of Persian DMs into English in political discourse is conducted by Mohammadi (2022). However, as this review indicated, no study is reported on the analysis of DMs in the translations of the Holy Quran in the Iranian context and this study tried to fill part of this gap.

3. Method

3.1 Research method 

This study investigated the translators’ pragmatic approaches in discourse construction in the process of translation of the Holy Quran. Since, the study benefited from parallel data derived from the natural processing of language in translation, research questions were included, and theoretical frameworks supported the research procedures, it is both descriptive and qualitative (SeligerShohamy 1989).

3.2. Theoretical perspectives 

Theoretically, this study is supported by Coherence Theory in discourse (Schiffrin2006) and Translation Spotting in translatology (CartoniZuferry2013). In Coherence Theory, it is approved that the accuracy of a statement, an idea, and a notion is governed by its relation to other ideas or images in the mind of the interlocutors. And these concepts should be expressed fluently, logically, and relevantly in discourse (Glanzberg2018). Furthermore, an examination of translators’ problem-solving strategies was conducted based on Translation Spotting Theory. In this theory, investigators study the pragmatic and practical performances of translators to discover their translation strategies and explore the universals of cultures and discourses in the world of translation (CartoniZuferry2013). 

3.3 Corpus and procedures 

The corpus is comprised of two parts in this comparative study: source text and target texts. The source text corpus was selected randomly and consisted of 6 sections of the Quran, accounting for 20% of the whole sections, and 22% of the entire words in the book (Table 1). There were 16906 words in the corpus and 2535 DMs were applied in the corpus, justifying 15% of the frequency of distribution. The target text corpus consisted of two translations of the Quran by Maleki (2017) and Safavi (2008). These translations were selected based on of purposive sampling. Both translators stated that their translations were based on Almizan, an interpretation of the Quran by Allameh Tabatabee. As a result, these translations were analyzed in this investigation. First, six juzez of the Quran were selected randomly, i.e., 1, 2, 14, 17, 28, and 29. Then, the researcher spotted 118 instances of this TDM in the source text. All instances were compared with the same sections in target texts. Next, these equivalents were analyzed and classified. After that, 54 extracts (29%) with various Persian equivalents of this TDM were given to the raters. Finally, the results were reported and discussed as well as different implications were suggested.

3.4 Scientific reliability            

To substantiate the reliability of the researcher’s findings, two raters participated in conducting this study. The first rater was a Quranic Sciences professor, and the second rater was a linguist and their areas of interest were analysis of the Quranic discourse. Totally, 54 out of 118 examples of the DM thumma, that is, 29% of the instances were given to the raters. And they evaluated the researcher’s identification, analysis, and recognition of the instances of the Persian equivalents offered by these Persian translators for this DM. The results revealed an ideal agreement between the researcher and the raters on the one hand and between the raters themselves on the other hand. So the results displayed an ideal inter-reliability in the study.

Table 1

Frequency of Selected Sections, Words, and Dms in the Corpus

Number 

Elements Analyzed 

Frequency 

Percentage  

1

Sections 

6

20%

2

Total words 

77,807

100%

3

Words in the corpus

16,906

22%

4

DMs in the corpus

25,35

15%

5

TDM thumma

188

5%

 

4. Results

The present research investigated translation of the Quranic temporal discourse marker (TDM) thumma into Persian by two translators. The questions targeted the extent of using Persian TDMs, adaptations, categories of Persian DMs applied in rendering, and theoretical justifications for the adjustments and modifications in translations. According to Table 1, in 118 cases out of 2535 instances, justifying 5% of distribution, this TDM is applied in the randomly selected Quranic corpus. The results revealed that in translation of this Quranic TDM into Persian, 63 instances of Persian TDMs, accounting for 53% of frequency, were used in translation (question 1).  And in 55 cases, comprising 47% frequency of distribution, this TDM experienced adaptation, replacement, and modification in the translation process (question 2). Furthermore, these Persian translators have employed four categories of temporal (TDMs), elaborative (EDMs), contrastive (CDMs), and inferential DMs (IDMs) in rendering this Quranic TDM into Persian (question 3). So this Quranic TDM is rendered creatively, dynamically, and in a multi-layered system to transfer the message properly and in an audience-oriented methodology (Table 2). 

Table 2                                                                                                                                         

Four Groups of Persian Dms Applied and Their Frequency of Distribution

Number 

DMs

Frequency  

Percentage 

1

TDMs

63

53%

 

2

EDMs

31

26%

Adaptation of  the    DM

3

CDMs

20

18%

47%

4

IDMs

4

3%

5

Total

118

100%

4.1.1 Persian TDMs                                                                                                                    

According to Table 3, different categories of Persian TDMs are applied in rendering this Quranic TDM by these Persian translators. The first rank with 63 instances, comprising 53% of the frequency of distribution, belongs to TDMs. Since these DMs focus on sequencing time among units of discourse in the construction of discourse in translation, it is natural. Moreover, as they have applied seven different types of Persian adverbs of time, the rendering of this Quranic TDM is also realized dynamically in the parallel corpora. They include after that, then, and finally, afterward, and again, then (extracts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6), and at the end (extract 7 in Table 3).

Table 3  

Persian TDMs for the Quranic TDM Thumma 

Translator

Equivalents 

Extracts  

Reference

1

 

کَیْفَ تَکْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَکُنْتُمْ أَمْوَاتًا فَأَحْیَاکُمْ ثُمَّ یُمِیتُکُمْ ثُمَّ یُحْیِیکُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَیْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

Al-Baqarah, 28

Maleki

After that, then, and finally

چطور خدا را قبول ندارید، در حالی که بی جان بودید و خدا به شما زندگی بخشید، بعد از آن شما را می‌میراند. آن وقت شما را به عالم برزخ می‌برد و دست آخر روز قیامت فقط به سوی او برگردانده می‌شوید.

 

Safavi

Afterwards, and again, then

چگونه ربوبیت  خدا را انکار می‌کنید، در حالی که شما مردگانی بودید که خدا به شما حیات بخشیده‌است. سپس شما را می‌میراند و بار دیگر زنده می‌کند. آنگاه به سوی او بازگردانده می‌شوید.

 

2

 

حَتَّى یَتَبَیَّنَ لَکُمُ الْخَیْطُ الْأَبْیَضُ مِنَ الْخَیْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّیَامَ إِلَى اللَّیْلِ

Al-Baqarah, 187

Maleki

After that

تا وقتی باریکه نور سحر از افق تاریک سربزند، یعنی تا اذان صبح می توانید بخورید و بنوشید. بعدش روزه را تا مغرب ادامه بدهید.

 

Safavi 

Then…and  

تا وقتی که سر رشته سپید صبح دم از رشته سیاه شب برای شما آشکار شود. از آن پس    خوردن و آشامیدن را ترک کنید و روزه را تا شب به پایان ببرید.

 

3

 

ثُمَّ لْیَقْضُوا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْیُوفُوا نُذُورَهُمْ وَلْیَطَّوَّفُوا بِالْبَیْتِ الْعَتِیقِ

Al-Hajj, 29

Maleki

Then 

بعد با تراشیدن سر یا کوتاه کردن مو و ناخن از احرام خارج بشوند و بقیه اعمال حج شان را به جا بیاورند تا این که دست آخر دور خانه تاریخی کعبه طواف کنند.

 

Safavi 

Then 

اکنون که شوکت  و کثرت پیروانش را می‌بیند و به خشم می‌آید، باید ریسمانی به آسمان کشد. سپس خود را بدان حلق‌آویز کند. آن گاه بنگرد که آیا این کار خشم او را از بین می‌برد.

 

4

 

قُلْ إِنَّ الْمَوْتَ الَّذِی تَفِرُّونَ مِنْهُ فَإِنَّهُ مُلَاقِیکُمْ  ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَى عَالِمِ الْغَیْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَیُنَبِّئُکُمْ بِمَا کُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

Al-Jomeh, 9

Maleki

Then 

بگو مرگی که از آن فرار می‌کنید به هر حال سراغتان می آید. آن وقت شما را به سوی دانای پنهان و پیدا برمی‌گردانند و او از تک‌تک کارهایتان باخبرتان می‌کند.

 

Safavi 

And afterwards 

مرگی که از آن می‌گریزید، قطعاً به دیدار شما خواهد آمد و سپس به سوی آن دانای نهان و آشکار بازگردانده می‌شوید.

 

5

 

ثُمَّ عَبَسَ وَبَسَرَ

Al-Modaser, 22

Maleki

Then 

بعد اخم کرد و چهره در هم کشید.

 

Safavi 

Then 

آنگاه اخم کرد و بر چهره‌اش ناخرسندی نمود.

 

6

 

ثُمَّ کَانَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقَ فَسَوَّى

Al-Ghiamah, 38

Maleki

Afterwards 

سپس به لخته خونی تبدیل شد، آن وقت خدا خلقتش را کامل کرد.

 

Safavi 

Afterwards 

سپس به صورت خون بسته در آمد، آنگاه خدا او را به اندازه آفرید و کامل و  موزونش    ساخت.

 

7

 

ثُمَّ یُعِیدُکُمْ فِیهَا وَیُخْرِجُکُمْ إِخْرَاجًا 

Al-Nooh, 18

Maleki

And at the end

و در آخر به درون زمین برتان می‌گرداند و در قیامت به طرز عجیبی بیرون‌تان می‌آورد.

 

 

4.1.2 Persian EDMs  

Moreover, in rendering the Quranic TDM thumma, these translators have appealed to 10 different types and combinations of Persian EDMs in the process of discourse construction in Persian translations (Table 4). They take the second rank in the parallel corpora, accounting for 26% of the frequency of distribution, and demonstrate the creative approach to the translation of this Quranic TDM into Persian (Table 4). They include moreover (extract 1), and…also (extract 2), and (extracts 3 and 5), sure…and (extract 3), essentially (extract 4), again also (extracts 4 and 6), in addition….again also (extract 6), furthermore and moreover…also (extract 7). 

Table 4                                                                                                                                                                           

Persian EDMs for the Quranic EDM thumma 

Translator

Equivalent 

Extracts  

Reference

1

 

هُوَ الَّذِی خَلَقَ لَکُمْ مَا فِی الْأَرْضِ جَمِیعًا ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَسَوَّاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ وَهُوَ بِکُلِّ شَیْءٍ عَلِیمٌ

Al-Baqarah, 29

Safavi 

Moreover 

آنکه همه آنچه را در زمین است برای شما آفرید، وانگهی به آفرینش آسمان پرداخت، آن‌ها را برای شما به صورت هفت‌آسمان سامان داد و به هر چیزی داناست.

 

2

 

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِیثَاقَکُمْ لَا تَسْفِکُونَ دِمَاءَکُمْ وَلَا تُخْرِجُونَ أَنْفُسَکُمْ مِنْ دِیَارِکُمْ ثُمَّ أَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ

Al-Baqarah, 84

Maleki

And….also 

یادتان باشد که از شما بنی اسرائیل تعهد گرفتیم خون هم را نریزید و همدیگر را از سرزمین خودتان بیرون نکنید و شما هم بر این تعهد گرفتن اعتراف کردید

 

3

 

ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّکَ لِلَّذِینَ هَاجَرُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا فُتِنُوا ثُمَّ جَاهَدُوا وَ صَبَرُوا إِنَّ رَبَّکَ مِنْ بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَحِیمٌ

AL-Nahl, 110

Maleki

And 

اما برخی از افراد که بعد از تحمل آن همه رنج و شکنجه مهاجرت کردند و در راه خدا جنگیدند و صبوری ورزیدند خدا آنان را از این به بعد حتما آمرزیده و مهربان رفتار خواهد کرد.

 

Safavi 

Sure , and 

آری کسانی را که پس از شکنجه شدن به دست مشرکان و جاری‌کردن سخنی کفرآمیز بر زبان در راه خدا هجرت نمودند و سپس جهاد کردند و شکیبایی ورزیدند، قطعاً پروردگار تو پس از این مراحل آنان را می‌آمرزد و بر آنان رحمت می‌آورد.

 

4

 

ثُمَّ ارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ کَرَّتَیْنِ یَنْقَلِبْ إِلَیْکَ الْبَصَرُ خَاسِئًا وَهُوَ حَسِیرٌ

Al-Molk, 4

Maleki

Essentially 

اصلاً چندباره نگاه کن آنقدر که خستگی و واماندگی در چشم‌هایت موج بزند

 

Safavi 

Afterwards again 

سپس باز هم  چشم به آن‌ها برگردان و بارها به دقت در آن‌ها بنگر سرانجام دیده از فرو مانده به سوی تو باز می‌گردد. در حالی که خسته است و هیچ خلل و نقص آن را در آفرینش ندیده است.

 

5

 

ثُمَّ إِنِّی أَعْلَنتُ لَهُمْ وَأَسْرَرْتُ لَهُمْ إِسْرَارًا

Al-Nooh,9

Maleki

And 

و حقایق را در جمع‌های عمومی و خصوصی با آن‌ها در میان گذاشتم.

 

Safavi

And 

و  فراتر از اینکه پیام خود را هم آشکارا و هم در نهان به آنان ابلاغ نمودم.

 

6

 

ثُمَّ یَطْمَعُ أَنْ أَزِیدَ

Al-Modaser, 15

Maleki

In addition… again 

تازه طمع دارد که باز هم بدهم.

 

Safavi

Again 

باز هم طمع دارد که بر مال و جاه و فرزندانش بیافزاییم.

 

7

 

ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَیْنَا بَیَانَهُ 

Al-Ghiamah, 19

Maleki

Furthermore 

در ضمن توضیح دادنش هم با ماست.

 

Safavi

Moreover….also

وانگهی بیان آن نیز بر عهده ماست.

 

 

4.1. 3 Persian CDMs                                                                                                                      

Also in 18% of the instances, the third rank in the parallel corpora, the translators have employed CDMs. According to Table 5, they consist of 7 different types and combinations of Persian CDMs such as but, however (extracts 1, 2, 4, and 5), despite, whereas (extract 3), nevertheless (extract 5), but still (extract 6), and notwithstanding (extract 7).

Table 5                                                                                                                                                                              

 Persian CDMs Equivalents for the Quranic CDM Thumma 

Translator

Equivalent 

Extracts  

Reference

1

 

ثُمَّ تَوَلَّیْتُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَلِکَ فَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَیْکُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَکُنْتُمْ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِینَ

Al-Baqarah, 64

Maleki

But 

اما شما بعد از دیدن آن همه معجزه تعهدات‌تان را زیر پا گذاشتید و اگر لطف و بزرگواری خدا در حق‌تان نبود سرمایه عمرتان را  می‌باختید.

 

2

 

ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُکُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَلِکَ فَهِیَ کَالْحِجَارَةِ 

Al-Baqarah, 74

Maleki

However 

ولی به جای این‌که عبرت بگیرید، دل‌های‌تان مثل سنگ شد. 

 

Safavi

But 

 اما چیزی نگذشت که پس از این ماجرا دل‌های شما سخت گردید. 

 

3

 

 وَلَقَدْ کَانَ فَرِیقٌ مِنْهُمْ یَسْمَعُونَ کَلَامَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ یُحَرِّفُونَهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا عَقَلُوهُ وَهُمْ یَعْلَمُونَ

Al-Baqarah, 75

Maleki

In spite of 

با وجود این، آیا شما مسلمانان انتظار دارید چنین مردمی به حقانیت شما اعتراف کنند، با آنکه عده‌ای از آن‌ها سخنان خدا را می‌شنیدند و بعد از فهمیدنش تغییر می‌دادند. در حالی که زشتی کارشان را می‌دانستند.

 

Safavi

Whereas 

اینک، مومنان آیا به این دلبستگی بودید که یهودیان حق ناپذیر سخن شما را باور کنند. در حالی که گروهی از آنان کلام خدا را می‌شنیدند و پس از آن که آن را به خرد دریافته‌اند تحریف می‌کردند و خود می‌دانستند.

 

4

 

وَلَقَدْ جَاءَکُمْ مُوسَى بِالْبَیِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ اتَّخَذْتُمُ الْعِجْلَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَنْتُمْ ظَالِمُونَ

Al-Baqarah, 92

Maleki

However

در حقیقت موسی برای‌تان معجزه‌های روشنی آورد. ولی شما در نبود او مشغول گوساله پرستی شدید واقعاً که بد کاری کردید.

 

Safavi

However

به راستی موسی برای شما آن معجزات روشن را آورد. ولی شما در غیاب او آن گوساله را به پرستش بر گرفتید، در حالی که ستمگار بودید.

 

5

 

ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّکَ لِلَّذِینَ عَمِلُوا السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَلِکَ وَأَصْلَحُوا... 

AL-Nahl, 119

Maleki

But

اما با این همه کسانی که از سر ندانم کاری خطایی کرده اند و بعد از آن توبه کرده و به سراغ جبران گذشته رفته‌اند... 

 

Safavi

Nevertheless 

با این حال پروردگار تو کسانی را که از روی نادانی مرتکب گناه شده سپس بعد از آن توبه نموده و کار شایسته کرده‌اند... 

 

6

 

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِینَ نُهُوا عَنِ النَّجْوَى ثُمَّ یَعُودُونَ لِمَا نُهُوا عَنْهُ وَیَتَنَاجَوْنَ بِالْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ

Al-Mojadeleh, 8

Safavi

But still 

به کسانی نگریسته‌ای که از نجوا کردن نهی شده‌اند. ولی هنوز از این کار باز نایستاده‌اند و پیوسته به  آنچه از آن نهی شده‌اند باز می‌گردند.

 

7

 

ثُمَّ إِنِّی دَعَوْتُهُمْ جِهَارًا

Al-Nooh,8

Maleki

Notwithstanding again

با وجود این باز هم با صدای بلند به سویت دعوت‌شان کردم.

 

 

4.1.4 Persian IDMs                                                                                                                 

And according to Table 2, the lowest frequency of distribution belongs to IDMs, 3% of distribution. Four different types of IDMs have been used in the process of translation. These IDMs include well (extract 1), consequently (extract 2), owing to (extract 3), and on the condition that (extract 4 in Table 6). They reveal a cause-and-effect relationship between units of discourse. 

Table 6                                                                                                                                                                                       

Persian IDMs Equivalents for the Quranic IDM Thumma 

Translator

Equivalent 

Extracts  

Reference

1

 

ثَمَّ نُتْبعُهُمُ الْآخِرِینَ

Al-Morsalat, 17

Maleki

Well 

خب آیندگان را هم به دنبال‌شان می‌فرستیم.

 

2

 

وَمَن فِی الْأَرْضِ جَمِیعًا ثُمَّ یُنجِیهِ

Al-Maarej, 14

Maleki

Consequently

و نیز هرکه را روی زمین است با این کار نجاتش بدهد.

 

3

 

وَمَا بِکُمْ مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ إِذَا مَسَّکُمُ الضُّرُّ فَإِلَیْهِ تَجْأَرُونَ

AL-Nahl, 53

Maleki

Owing to 

هر نعمتی که در اختیار شماست از طرف خداست، تا مشکلات سراغتان می‌آید روبه خدا نعره می‌کشید.

 

4

 

“ وَمَنْ عَاقَبَ بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبَ بِهِ ثُمَّ بُغِیَ عَلَیْهِ ...

Al-Hajj, 60

 

on the condition that

و هرکس مانند عقوبتی که بر او رفته است، عقوبت کند، به شرط اینکه به ناروا عقوبت شده باشد. خدا به او رخصت مقابله به مثل می دهد...

 

 

5. Discussion

The investigation of Persian parallel corpora indicated that in the translation of the Quranic TDM thumma, the translators have appealed to four groups of TDMs, EDMs, CDMs, and IDMs. Further examination and assessment of the findings in the above four areas revealed that in the translation of this Quranic DM, several Persian TDMs, EDMs, CDMs, and IDMs were employed. What are the rationales, justifications, and motivations behind this innovative and creative system? (question 4). The investigator's assumption in the introduction was that communication in social contexts necessitates change, replacement, and creation on the basis of flexibility originating from the natural processing of language based on different places, times, and different groups of people. Then translators are supposed to approach the process of rendering DMs based on the provisions of differences in structure, semantics, and pragmatics between languages, cultures, and discourses. Consequently, they would trigger adjustments and variations to offer the audience a text that is rhetorically fluent, understandable, coherent, and acceptable. The analysis of strategies applied by these Persian translators demonstrates that this assumption is confirmed. Since, translators are generally involved in two concurrent activities of decoding and encoding of information in the source and target languages within the flexible social context of language use innovatively, creatively, and dynamically (Frisson2009).

5.1.1 Persian TDMs                                                                                                                             

The first part of the findings reported instances of this TDM translation in which no adaptation is displayed in construction of discourse in translation. According to Table 2 and as stated in part 4.1.1, the first rank with 63 instances, explaining 53% of distribution, belonged to the application of Persian TDMs in the translation process. How can it be justified? In terms of TDMs’ nature, this result is natural and expectable. Because in all instances, a viewpoint is approved, a discourse unit’s meaning is completed, and a discourse relation of a sequence is substantiated through applying these Persian TDMs (extracts 1-7, Table 3). Appealing to these strategies in discourse construction in encoding information does not necessitate any substitution, adaptation, or modification of TDMs in translation. As a result, in more than 50% of the cases, TDMs were maintained and preserved in the production of discourse in the Persian language. Researchers such as Crible et al (2019), Dupont and Zufferey (2017), Mohammadi (2021), Zufferey and Jigox (2015) reported keeping DMs unaffected and unchanged in translation. Their justifications behind keeping DMs unchanged in translation was based on the following variables:    

a. the special purpose of the writer/speaker,                                                                

b. the role of text type,            

c. special meaning in discourse,           

d. special characteristics of the context.                                   

And these variables can justify establishing an equivalent temporal relation in Persian discourse. However, as seven different types of Persian TDMs are employed in rendering this Quranic TDM, it is structurally, semantically, and pragmatically realized dynamic and innovative in the constructing discourse in the parallel corpora.

5.1.2. Application of Other Categories of DMs                                    

The second part of the findings revealed that in 47% of the cases, instances of the Quranic TDM thumma experienced adaptation, adjustment, and modification in the encoding of information in discourse production in translation. It was replaced with EDMs (26%), CDMs (18%), and IDMs (3%) in the parallel corpora. Therefore, encoding these discourse monitoring components does not depend on a word by word or a literal basis in rendering. Essentially, 47% is a remarkable index of variation and manipulation of relations in discourse construction process. The value and significance of this finding rests upon the fact that it displays a creative approach to the construction of dynamic and complex relations between units of discourse. These strategies are sensitive to the context, make the discourse smooth and fluent, and substantiate a comprehensive and comprehensible discourse for the audience. Now, what is the explanation for this phenomenon? And how can it be justified? Well, there are different lines of justifications set forth by other investigators. 

      The first line of reasoning focused on rejecting the idea of one-to-one correspondence or symmetric equivalence for DMs in the target language. Crible et al. (2019) analysis of parallel corpora in four languages revealed that whenever the DM and possessed a pragmatic function based on context, translators applied a different DM in the process of rendering. Also, Furko’s (2014) analysis of parallel corpora proved that due to linguistic and meta-linguistic differences, it is impossible to substitute an identical DM in the target language. Moreover, Jiang and Tao’s (2017) analysis of Chinese and Russian parallel corpora resulted in the following four types of manipulations of DMs in translation: normalization, explicitation, simplification, and implicitation. Furthermore, Dupont and Zuffery’s (2016) explanation for modifying DMs in translation focuses on translation purpose, trends, and function. These Iranian translators have expressed similar directions in their approach toward translation in their introductions, i.e., their translations are based on Almizan Interpretation by Allameh Tabatabaee. Therefore, Dupont and Zufferey’s (2016) justification can be substantiated. In addition, Aijmer’s (2002) analysis of the DM really in his parallel corpora resulted in its substitution with contrastive and elaborative DMs. This researcher believes that the variety in pragmatic functions of DMs reinforces their modification in the construction of discourse.  

      A further line of justification behind the substitution and adaptation of DMs in communication in translation concentrated on the disambiguation of DMs' functions in discourse (Travis2006). Considering the natural processing of language, Egg (2010) believes that in decoding information, as an audience, the translator maintains several meanings of words, expressions, and sentences in his or her mind. During monitoring discourse, he or she analyzes, evaluates and explores various pragmatic behaviors of words and phrases in discourse, focuses on the most relevant ones, and finally selects the most suitable function in constructing relations in discourse. Applying these comprehension strategies would result in simplification of the complex or ambiguous discourse relations.

      Hoek et al. (2017) analyzed multilingual corpora in debates in the European parliament. They discovered that whenever DMs expressed complex and unpredictable relations in discourse, explicitation was applied in the translation of DMs and resulted in the replacement and modification of DMs in translation. Spoorren’s (1997) investigation of parallel corpora resulted in the adaptation of DMs originated from the simplification of DMs complex pragmatic functions. He justified it based on applying Grice’s (1975) cooperative principles in text construction. 

      Another line of justification is related to the complex and complicated task of simultaneous decoding and encoding of information in the translation process. This task is carried out within the context of the natural processing of language productively, innovatively, and creatively in society. And translators are mentally, linguistically, and reflectively engaged in an innovative discourse production resulting in the enrichment of text in discourse in different areas of structure, semantics, and pragmatics to substantiate the perception, understanding, construction, and manipulation of a conventional discourse (Frisson2009). This enrichment gives rise to incompatibility, mismatch, and divergence in encoding information in creating relations in discourse. This manipulation of discoursal relations is supported by a theoretic perspective in pragmatics, i.e., underspecification (Egg and Redeker2008Frisson and Pickering2001Mohammadi2021Spooren1997). Moreover, the idea of metadiscourse introduced by Hyland (2005) provides other justifications for this enrichment. Metadiscourse deals with interlocutors' various hypotheses, directions, and assumptions in the comprehension and production of discourse. These assumptions and hypotheses generate different innovations, creations, and manipulations in discourse.

6. Conclusion, Research, and Pedagogical Implications

This explorative study examined the rendering one of the most recurrent, constructive, complicated, and superficially simple Quranic TDM, i.e., thumma, in two Persian translations. Translators’ challenge and dilemma in their pragmatic attempts towards translation is the adaptation of their procedures, strategies, and approaches in selecting equivalents to a variety of linguistic and meta-linguistic components and elements in target cultures, languages, discourses, and social environments (Zufferey and Gygax2015). This parallel corpora analysis resulted in creativity, innovation, manipulation, and flexibility in selection of equivalents for this Quranic TDM. These Persian translators have employed four categories of temporal, elaborative, contrastive, and inferential DMs in rendering this Quranic TDM into Persian. Therefore, the translators have encoded this TDM within a metacommunication (Frank-Job2006), metalanguage (Bialystok1986), and metacomment (Aijmer2002) triangular framework establishing a metadiscourse-oriented perspective in translation (Hyland2005). 

      Within this framework, the communication dynamics between interlocutors are established, interlocutors’ linguistic awareness is developed, and interlocutors’ creative interpretation, analysis, production, and use of discourse in social contexts are activated. In the context of metadiscourse, the role of interlocutors’ cultural, social, and political assumptions, attitudes, and orientations in communication are analyzed. From a practical, functional, and pragmatic perspective, the educational, scientific, and research implications of these meta-discursive studies are that they establish the cognitive, social, functional, and interactional foundations of human communication (Haselow2019). Moreover, they introduce the dynamic, conventional, communicative, and textual indexes of creative discourse construction procedures in professional environments such as translation (Fraser20062013). And finally, they make researchers aware of the systematic, ongoing, and everlasting development of interlocutors’ pragmatic behaviors in the interpretation, production, distribution, and utilization of discourse in social situations (CriblePascal2020Fraser2015). 

      Accordingly, the following educational, research, and scientific implications are suggested. From an educational perspective, Helerman & Vergen (2009) conclude that authorities assume that EFL learners would naturally acquire the metadiscursive functions of DMs in the process of communication. Therefore, explicit teaching is not considered necessary. But, in practice, it is impossible. And as a result, pragmatic monitoring functions of DMs are overlooked in classroom practices, material development, and assessment processes. Furthermore, researchers have approved that pragmatically meticulous application of DMs depends on the development of sensitivity to unsteady social contexts in terms of people, places, and times. So, as DMs are the most critical, practical, and essential metadiscourse elements in human communication, these research findings need to be considered in curriculum development, syllabus design, methodology, and evaluation in translation studies (DagandCuenca2019). Moreover, since the investigation of parallel corpora has started recently and is not utilized in lexicography, consequently, application of these findings in this area, would result in development of comprehensive and state-of-the-art dictionaries. This research suffers from limited parallel corpora, we need to establish multilingual research teams in the future to include more comprehensive parallel corpora, and come up with more inclusive results and justifications.

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Volume 7, Issue 3
2022
Pages 1-22
  • Receive Date: 03 May 2022
  • Revise Date: 27 June 2022
  • Accept Date: 09 July 2022
  • First Publish Date: 09 July 2022