Compare official Aqdas with other translations, online

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Posted by Jonah Winters ( on March 04, 2002 at 21:11:56:

In Reply to: Re: Shoghi Effendi and Arabic posted by Jonah Winters on March 04, 2002 at 20:54:54:

I forgot -- at I've posted the official translation of the Aqdas, which is 1/3 by Shoghi Effendi and 2/3 by a later committee of translators imitating Shoghi Effendi's techniques, alongside two other translations, Anton Haddad's 1901 translation and Earl Elder's 1960 translation. While this won't tell you anything about the Arabic directly, you will be able to see the variety of opinions about its translation.

Keep in mind that neither Anton Haddad nor Earl Elder were translating with the intent of giving an official interpretation, as Shoghi Effendi was, and hence would be the most literal. Elder's is probably the most literal, because he was a Christian missionary who translated with the agenda of casting a bad light on the Baha'i writings, and this can sometimes be done by giving an ultra-literal translation. This can give a text a stilted and funny grammar and make it sound silly. Think, for example, how children on a playground will taunt immigrant children who can't speak English well — the grammar used in the taunts is often a satirical play on the immigrant speaker's own stilted English, a phenomenon which operates under some of the same principles that also apply to ultra-literalist translations of text. I'm sorry I can't think of a better example at the moment...


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