Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Borrowing and translation - Fatwa becomes "ruling" for the BBC

Has anyone noticed how the BBC has stopped using "fatwa"? Fatwa was borrowed into English a couple of decades ago but immediately acquired a completely negative "meaning". ie something like a death sentence. The distortion was dangerous, as it turns out: the BBC has now had to revert to a translation: an Islamic cleric is about to deliver a fatwa/ruling which condemns suicide bombings. Guess which they've chosen to use - borrowing or translation?!

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