Metadiscourse Features in two English Translations of the Holy Quran: A Comparative, Corpus-based Inquiry

Mehrdad Vasheghani Farahani and Hossein Vahid Dastjerdi


The main objective of this study was to make a corpus-based comparison between two English translations of the Holy Quran in terms of metadiscourse features application and distribution. For this purpose, two English translations of the Holy Quran by Itani (2012) and Yousef Ali (1992) were selected as the corpus of the study. For the theoretical framework, the model of metadiscourse features proposed by Hyland (2005) was utilized. In order to check the distribution of metadiscourse features, Sketch Engine corpus software was used. The quantitative analysis of the data revealed that interactive metadiscourse features were higher in frequency than the interactional ones. Also, it was observed that within the interactive metadiscourse features, transitions were the most frequent type as compared with hedges which were the most frequent among the interactional ones. Finally, while in Yousef Ali’s translation, interactive metadiscourse features were the main trend, in Itani’s translation, the interactional metadiscourse features were the dominant attribute. The findings of this study have useful implications for researchers in translation as well as contrastive and corpus-based studies.

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Since its founding in 1956, Lebende Sprachen [Living Languages] has been the leading German journal for foreign languages in research and practice. It contains articles and reviews on language in general and also covers topics on specific languages and cultures, living languages and the life of language.