Toward Translator's Agency: A Bourdieusian Insight on Translating the Glorious Qur'an into English


  • Mehrnaz Poostforoush
  • Hussein Mollanazar


Translators use different strategies in dealing with translation issues, but all of them are aware that no ‎translation of the Qur'an into any language can be a substitute for it. While avoiding to decide about ‎the quality of these translations, this study aimed to investigate some Quranic verses translated into ‎English with focus on the influence of each of the selected translators' habitus, using the theoretical ‎framework mainly derived from Pierre Bourdieu’s cultural theory applied to translation. To this end, ‎the researcher, selected some verses of the Qur'an with four different English translations of them ‎that were done by professional translators namely, Sale (1734), Arberry (1955), Shakir (1985) and Yusuf ‎Ali (1998) who had different ideological backgrounds. The first one belongs to polemical Christian, the ‎second one belongs to a Christian, the third one is a Shia Muslim, and the last one is a Sunni Muslim. ‎Describing the translator's agency, the researchers made a comparison between four translations in ‎order to identify the patterns of choice each translator opts and to link these patterns to each ‎translator's personal ideological background.



How to Cite

Poostforoush, M., & Mollanazar, H. (2010). Toward Translator’s Agency: A Bourdieusian Insight on Translating the Glorious Qur’an into English. Iranian Journal of Translation Studies, 13(49). Retrieved from



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