Can AI Translate the Quran?

Talal Itani
3 min readDec 12, 2023

I have tried for years to use technology to translate the Quran, or, to assist me in translating the Quran. The results have been varied.

Technology is good at finding typos and correcting grammatical errors. Yet, as of today, according to my experiments and research, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is just incapable of translating the Quran.

AI did translate the Quran, yet AI generated translations are just ‘bad’ translations. The Quran is very profound, very intricate, very precise, very wise, nuanced, and symbolic, and, AI just failed to produce an acceptable translation.

Nevertheless, AI today is very capable and very useful.

I have developed a ‘hybrid’ approach, where, AI and myself are working together, collaborating, to produce an excellent Quran translation.

What Makes an excellent Quran Translation?

An excellent translation is:

  • Clear
  • Easy to read
  • Easy to grasp and understand
  • Precise
  • Accurate
  • It captures the meaning as viewed today
  • It maintains the tone of the original
  • It maintains the beauty of the original
  • It maintains, when possible, the poetic aspect of the original
  • Free of personal biases
  • Free of interpretations
  • Free of sectarian biases
  • Grammatically correct
  • In today’s English
  • Readable by children and adults
  • Readable by individuals with English as a second language
  • It appeals to Muslims and non-Muslims

My Background and Approach

Today, AI is too far from being able to produce such a translation. Yet, I have developed a hybrid approach, where, AI and myself are working together, collaborating, to translate the Quran.

I am a Quran scholar, and I have translated the Quran before, on my own, a translation that was published in 2012. And I am a software engineer with education and training in artificial intelligence. My background has enabled me.

It took me a full year of full-time work, working with computers, to produce this translation, which is now published at www.SureQuran.com

AI and myself collaborated. Each doing what he’s good at, while working together every step of the way.

What is AI good at? AI is good at finding an English word that corresponds to a given Arabic word. What am I good at? Decide if that English word is good enough. Once I have that English word, I ask AI to give me similar words, and I myself choose the best from the list. Then we repeat this process, together, until I settle on a the perfect word.

Regarding sentences: I give AI a sentence in Arabic, or a partial sentence, and I ask it to translate it ten different ways. I look at the different translations, and I choose the best. Then I give AI the sentence I selected, and I ask it to improve it, and to give me multiple choices. I look at the results, and I choose the best. And, we, together, repeat this process until I settle on the perfect sentence.

AI was also good at editing. I give it the translated text, and I ask it to compare it with the Arabic text, and to find translating problems. Then I ask it to compare my translation with other translations, and find discrepancies.

AI was also good at finding missing concepts or added concepts, by comparing my translation with the Arabic original, and comparing the translation with other translations.

The process is very repetitive, thus, I developed software tools to automate the processes.

AI was never alone; today, it can’t be trusted. Yet, we worked together, as a team, very effectively.

This method of translating can be used to translate the Quran into languages other than English.

This Quran translation was published October 2023 at www.SureQuran.com.

Please visit, read, and share your thoughts with me.

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Talal Itani

Quran Scholar & Software Engineer. My Quran translations can be read at www.SureQuran.com and www.ClearQuran.com