Thursday, November 8, 2007

Typos in Digital Copies of Yusuf Ali Translation

There are a number of copies of widely-known Quran translation of Abdullah Yusuf Ali on the web. Since most of the digital copies are using the text provided by USC-MSA (which is actually extracted by means of OCR), they all have the same typo for 23:22.

Today, I noticed a bug report for Zekr's Yusuf Ali translation, which mentioned the typo. I then checked the printed copy of the book on Google books and found the original text, which was different in 4 places.

The original Arabic text for Sura Al-Muminun, aya 22 is:
وَعَلَيْهَا وَعَلَى الْفُلْكِ تُحْمَلُونَ

the right English translation of Yusuf Ali is:
And on them, as well as in ships, ye ride.

while many websites have the meaningless translation:
An on them, as well as in slips, ye side.

I just tried a Google search and found that the buggy one is more commonly used than the right one. My first query resulted in 6 items, while the second one (buggy) resulted in 27. The copy on on Wikisource also had that problem, which is now fixed.

Special thanks to Benjamin Geer for pointing out these typos.

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