Sunday, July 10, 2016

Qur'an translations

SYRIAC (AND ARMENIAN) WATCH: Quran in Armenian translation in high demand in Lebanon (Daily Sabah).
Turkish publisher says an Armenian translation of the Quran has drawn attention in Lebanon where a sizeable Armenian community lives. The publisher plans to deliver 1,000 books in the coming days to the country.

Murat Rumevleklioğlu, who runs BM-AR, said the translation, in the eastern and western dialects of Armenian, was based on two separate Turkish translations of the book. He said they donated 1,400 Qurans in Armenian to Aram Ateşyan, the acting patriarch of the Armenian Orthodox Church in Istanbul. "We want to deliver it for free so that Armenians can learn about Islam and appreciate that Ateşyan consented to deliver it to his community interested in learning about Islam," he said.
Historically, translation of the Qur'an into other languages has been discouraged, since the understanding has been that the original Arabic text is the text inspired by God and any translation is only an imperfect interpretation. So Muslims were expected to learn Arabic and read the Qur'an in the original. But this translation project, which goes far beyond Armenian (see at the link above), seems to be aimed at non-Muslims to spark interest in Islam.
Rumevleklioğlu said word of mouth helped their campaign deliver the Qurans in Armenian to spread to other countries and this led to increased interest from Lebanon. He said they are now working on Hebrew and Syriac translations. "There isn't any comprehensive translation of the Quran in these languages. We are now meticulously working on providing good translations," he said.

There area already translations of the Qur'an into Hebrew, but as far as I know, it has not been translated before into any form of Aramaic. There is, of course, Christoph Luxenberg's theory that the Qur'an was substantially translated from Aramaic (Syriac), but this is controversial. And, in any case, it is another matter.

Background on the possible connections of the Qur'an with Aramaic is here and links.