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The Dangers of Translation

A few people have directed me to this post on Language Log which illustrates some potential dangers of translation:

An appellate court has upheld 20 year prison sentences for Ahmad Ghaws Zalmai, who translated the Qur’an into Dari, one of the two major languages of Afghanistan, and Mushtaq Ahmad, a cleric who endorsed Zalmai’s translation. It appears that no errors have been found in Zalmai’s translation: the objection of Muslim clerics is that the Dari translation does not appear alongside the original Arabic text. The prosecutor had asked for the death penalty. Although the court did not impose the death penalty, Chief Judge Abdul Salam Azizadah agreed that it might be appropriate.

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