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Culture and law: The cultural impact on islamic legal statements and its implications for translation

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Certain linguistic and cultural problems often emerge in legal translation due to a particular clash between two different legal systems and legal cultures. Islamic legal culture, as any other legal culture, is replete with terms and statements, which are deemed an important part of legal Arabic and therefore Islamic jurisprudence. In other words, such Islamic cultural legal terms and statements can never be legally interpreted unless the translator is fully acquainted with Islamic Law and Islamic legal culture. The present paper argues that Islamic legal culture has considerable impact on Islamic statements such that these statements may acquire a legal meaning which may not be comprehended by the target reader, particularly if he/she is not acquainted with Islamic Law and its legal culture. Consequently, the translator should play a substantial role in clarifying the cultural impact on these statements to the target reader so that he/she may comprehend the intended legal meaning.


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Received: 2016-12-12
Accepted: 2017-3-24
Published Online: 2017-12-12
Published in Print: 2017-12-20

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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