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Dialogue of Scriptures

The Tatar Tefsir in the Context of Biblical and Qur’anic Interpretations


Joanna Kulwicka-Kaminska

This book focuses on Muslim–Christian cultural relations across a number of centuries. As for the methodology, the book represents an intersection of religious studies, linguistics and translations studies. The bases of research are a Tatar tefsir and 19th- and 20th-century printed translations of the Qur’an into Polish. In the period of the Reformation, the Tatar adherents of Sunni Islam conducted the dialogue with Christianity. They translated the Qur’an into Polish already in the second half of the 16th century. They used the Arabic alphabet to record the translation and conferred the form of a tefsir to it. Who were the Tatar translators? Did they break the ban on the translation of the Holy Book of Islam? What sources did they use? How did they translate the Muslim religious terminology? Why is their translation of the Qur’an not familiar to researchers? These are only a few questions which are explored in this work.

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3 The translation of Islamic religious terminology into the Polish language in printed translations of the Qur’an


3The translation of Islamic religious terminology into the Polish language in printed translations of the Qur’an

3.1 Methods of translation

An overview of lexical and phraseological components of selected semantic fields indicates that in the Biblical and Qur’anic practice of translation, one may perceive primarily the use of native translational equivalents. And a distinctive feature of Qur’anic translations is their language, which abounded in metaphors. Thus, one of the mechanisms of denomination is the metaphor677. Polish equivalents may also expand their meanings under the influence of the religion of Islam678.

In names used in reference to pagan gods, one may identify both the replacement of foreign terms with native names of similar connotations (e.g. in translations of the Bible and the Qur’an: bałwan, bóg, bóstwo, bożek, bożyszcze), as well as the use of metonymy (e.g. in the translations of the Bible and the Qur’an: obraz, posąg, wizerunek; in Bible translations: obraz, rycina, wyżyny), periphrases (e.g. in Qur’anic translations: *fałszywe przez was wystawione bożyszcze, bóstwa zmyślone/zmyślone bóstwa, bogi zmyślone, *niedołężni opiekunowie, *przedmioty czci etc.; in Bible translations: ryty bałwan/bałwan ryty, ryty obraz/obraz ryty, plugawy bałwan), inventing neosemantisms (in translations of the Bible and the Qur’an: fałsz, pan, równy; in Qur’anic translations: inny, obrońca, opiekun, orędownik, partner, pomocnik; in Bible translations: marność, próżność, nikczemność, nikczemny, plugastwo, obrzydłość), and the use of neologisms...

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