A Polygenetic Investigation of Explicitation in English and Persian Translations of the Holy Qur’an

  • Amin Karimnia
  • Razieh Gharekhani


This research looked at the new notion of polygenesis in the translation of sacred scriptures. ‎Polygenesis is an extension of the descriptive translation studies and relies heavily on the ‎explicitation as a translation universal, and assumes that genetically different translations of a holy ‎text can create similar readings. In this study, four translations (2 English and 2 Persian) of the ‎Surah Al-Qiyamah (as a Surah needing explicitation in translation) of the Holy Qur’an were ‎considered, within a qualitative descriptive and critical paradigm. Two purposes were proposed to ‎guide the study: first, to find instances of explicitation in each of the translations descriptively and ‎qualitatively, and second to evaluate the coherence of the current notion of polygenesis. Results ‎showed that, except for one verse, there was no other verse to show similar strategies used by ‎more than two translations. The critical purpose revealed that polygenesis suffered from statistical ‎ambiguities and there were many issues to be considered for it to be validated. Future studies can ‎address these aspects of ambiguity in polygenesis.‎