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Sophia looked at this scene and saw men who just didn't know how to connect. And she discovered she was pretty good at helping them. And they started to ask me for advice. And, slowly, it happened that someone just believed I was a coach and asked me if I could give him a coaching.

And then I got invited to this conference as a speaker. And I started to travel around. I developed my own seminar, which was called Seduction on the Dance Floor. In improv class, Sophia had noticed that Aktham was loosening up and becoming more confident. And she and Aktham had talked about his trouble applying this new workshop self to his real life. I mean, this shouldn't be just in the improv or in the theater. This should be something that I can get in life. I'm going to say that in a little bit of a mean way. Are you aware of your arrogance here?

Luisa Beck and I are in a cab with Aktham, heading downtown. His big fear, it turns out, is that the flirt coaching session will work, that he'll learn what's wrong with him and still not actually be able to act on it. Do you think there's any cultural difference between you and the girls you want to date that is getting in the way - do you think? I think - I do believe that I'm so much closer to the cultural thinking of relationships and openness and stuff like that here - more than what I used to have there.

I think that's surprising because I kind of went into this story thinking this was about cultural - trying to cross a cultural divide. You're saying that's not the problem. Aktham talks about cultural differences - like, the ones they talk about on German TV. And he says he doesn't have any of those. A really tiny cafe. This is Sophia's, like, neighborhood cafe. She always comes here. She takes Aktham there. Sophia says that she likes to keep her flirt sessions as close to real-life dates as possible.

Aktham tell her about, really, his only semi-romantic experience in Germany, that date with the German med student Stina ph. He pulls out his phone, starts scrolling through the texts. While you're looking for that, this is an interesting question for me because I think there could be some cultural difference. How about the whole sex stuff? Like, I mean, do you have some one-night stands here in Berlin?

At this point, Aktham has now found the texts, the text exchange that he has been trying to figure out himself for a whole year. He hands it over to Sophia so she can try to decode it for him. And as she stares at the phone, Aktham is watching her face. Laughter It's so charming and cute. Wow, she's, like, straightforward. She wants to cook together. Sophia turns to Aktham's texts and actually reads one of his texts out loud, which totally mortifies him.

Reading But I'm in for the game. Also, I'm ready for other plans. Tell me when and where and I'm going to be there. That was really cute. It's - look at your face. You look embarrassed, but it's really - it's charming. Aktham's arms are now crossed and he's saying, you can punch me.

Quran translations

But Sophia's leaning toward him. She's about to tell him something about this interaction that he totally missed. So from her messages she seems to be really interested or she she seemed to be really interested in sex with you. Like, that's obvious to me because - wait a second - oh, no, no, that's another message.

She's writing, we can cook together, which means you're already at the place, you know? And she seems to be interested in sex. And the change happens after you met the second time, after this date at the game. So my guess is that at this date you probably did nothing wrong, but maybe you just didn't do a move. You know what I mean? But truthfully, I would feel scared to suggest such a thing if she doesn't want to and if she sees that, oh, God, he's trying to get me to bed, and I'm just trying to be nice because - maybe because he's a refugee.

Or because he's a nice guy and I'm trying to know him. Or I'm trying - I'm just trying to be friends with him and he just thinks - this is one of the ideas that But there's - OK, I'm going to say it in a little bit of a mean way. I get the whole thing. I understand your feelings. But there's also one part in it that's really arrogant. And that's the part where you think that you have to think and decide for her. She's a grown-up person. When you tell her that you're interested in her, she is totally fine with saying, no, I'm not because she's grown-up too.

You're not a dating year-old kid. You're dating a grown-up or you're seeing a grown-up woman. And if she doesn't want something, she's capable of saying it. And you should give her that choice. Sometimes when you're in a foreign country, it is hard to know how to read other people's signals or how to respond to them without crossing a line. And for that reason, there are workshops now for refugees across Europe focusing on countering aggressive behavior, teaching that no means no and miniskirts are not an invitation.

But for Aktham, the problem is different. He's being too protective. I'm really now surprised how I never think about it this way. It's a two-side story. It's accepting what's coming from the other side and interacting with it and We move to another spot because some kids sat nearby. Sophia doesn't like to talk about sex next to kids.

Also, she's got an exercise for Aktham. All I'm going to do now is sit beside you and create, like, a really intense sexual tension with the one goal that you try to bear it. Because as we already said or as I already said, tension can sometimes feel unbearable and uncomfortable and weird. So when you start to, like, just let it happen and be OK with it, it will be so much easier for you to actually have the sexual stuff and to flirt as well. And she starts putting her fingers through her hair and leaning back.

And she takes off her glasses and just looks at him. Yes, that's actually what I always do in my coachings. I put off the glasses when I do a bit of role play so there's a separation between role play and did you just - do you realize that you just looked away? And this is exactly what I mean. It's getting more complicated to keep the eye contact, right? Second try - again. And this time, he is holding her gaze. He's not looking away.

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So as I said, I tried to get rid of this class separation for all place. Try to stay with me because now you keep the eye contact. But I can see that you are leaning back inside. Do you feel that? Because you can have eye contact and actually look into each other's eyes. And you can also have eye contact but actually not being really there. Now you have it. Do you see it? Do you feel it? Well, I think for now, I'm going to put my glasses on laughter. For now, it was a good start. Sophia tells Aktham just try to follow your gut in these kind of situations.

Of course, in a new place with new rules, your gut could be wrong. So Aktham is trying to change at least how he comes across in these kinds of situations. Just recently, he went to a party. He told himself the whole time, don't cross your arms. Don't cross your arms. Raghd, the Syrian woman, has been coming to improv class less often. Her mom just joined the family from Syria. They've been busy trying to extend their visa. But Sophia told me that when Raghd did come to class a few weeks ago, she gave her first monologue in front of the group.

She gave it while Sophia was crouched between her legs, growling with rage, playing her anger translator. Aktham is now two months into his six-month deadline. He's not yet asked out anyone on a date. But he told us he has this particular fantasy where, one day, he'll be riding his bike, and a girl will pass on her bike. And it's a wrap on our first season. We are now hitting the field, booking flights, looking into some of the story ideas that you have sent us. Thank you for those.

Please keep them coming. If there's anywhere you think we should go next, reach us on Twitter at Roughly. Or send us an email - roughtranslation npr. If this is your first episode, welcome. We've got a lot more for you in the feed at npr. I want more of these global perspectives on familiar conversations. There is something that you can do. It only takes a minute. Write us a review or give us a rating on Apple Podcasts. We actually have a link on our Facebook page and Twitter to walk you through the steps.

It does make a huge difference to the show. I want to thank a few people who've made this podcast possible - Mike Oreskes, an early champion of the show, Neal Carruth, our humble and fearless shepherd, and my wife, the novelist Sana Krasikov. She helped conceive of this podcast idea and has made every episode better. I am incredibly lucky to work with this team.

The Refugee's Dating Coach : NPR

Thanks to the Improv Without Borders workshop for letting us record week after week. And we should add that Sophia says that, despite her rocky childhood, she has patched things up with her stepdad and has the best relationship with him now. Today's episode was fact-checked by Greta Pettinger and Mary Glendinning. They're part of the research archives and data strategy team. We are so lucky to have them on board. Mastering by Andy Huether. Check out his music either live or on his website. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary.

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Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. The Refugee's Dating Coach A Syrian refugee in Berlin hopes to find love but is stumped by German dating codes and is terrified of crossing the line between flirting and harassing. A professional 'flirt coach' steps in to be his guide. For photos of Sophia and Aktham: The Refugee's Dating Coach. September 25, 4: Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. So talk to me about dating. Have you tried to date in Germany, in Have I tried to date in Germany?

This is Aktham Abulhusn. He's a Syrian refugee living in Berlin. It happened once last year. I met a nice girl. It's always difficult to find a room here in Berlin. This one was in a flat with four German guys. They have some sort of team. Their common hobby is sword fighting. The rent was cheap. Though it was always very chaste. Even kissing on the cheek, that was for Not the mouth, the cheek. On that mass assault More than a thousand men People had ideas about refugees.

Five schoolgirls complained that they had been groped by a group of There were a couple of friends of her as well. We watched the game. We had few drinks. Just a safe, culturally appropriate hug. He was sure of that. Except they never did. He'd write her texts. And she just didn't respond. A few weeks later, he texted again. What did I do wrong? Was it that stupid text about the swimming? Was it that hug, that last goodbye hug?

Did he just do it wrong? Why am I single? She's a journalist based in Berlin. We reported this story together. Is that a metal poster? WOA - what is that? Aktham is a major heavy metal fan. Have you ever heard of Wacken? You never heard of Wacken? They were so much focusing on who was broadcasting them to the world. So Syrians from the diaspora started sending them Inside pens and watches. Not only in the watch, like, we had - like, the car keys The thing on the car keys - beep, beep. We had one as well with a camera. And among these revolutionary circles, Aktham got a nickname.

Techno comes from technology. The guy would secretly film rallies and then set up proxy servers to upload the photos. I wouldn't be alive now. Of course, but - yeah. And so during this time, Aktham says he made a decision about his love life. I just refused to have any real relationship. Most of the times, they kept both.

Both revolutionary and his family. They didn't release the family. So staying single - back then, it seemed the right thing to do. It was so horrible seeing their families getting this torture. You mean the torture of separation? The torture of separation. So what do you say? I say that I - I'm trying to. Tell a childhood story It's awkward, especially awkward because this group is half Europeans, half refugees. There are these cultural differences that everyone is trying to feel out. Sophia Lierenfeld is the workshop teacher.

And I wasn't sure how I would be able to deal with it. She's tall with long hair, black eyeglasses. I like to look sexy. She loves wearing low-cut tops and dresses. But on the first day of class Was that on purpose? Some people are yelling it out. Others kind of whisper it. And Aktham - Aktham loves improv. In a workshop about theater, you just can go wild. She's been in the country for two years but doesn't have any German friends her age. She imagines a future where she's a strong person, not weak, not shy. Someone they can take advantage of.


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Or that she she knows nothing about about this place. Are you crazy or what? Sophia tells Raghd, your turn to try it. Raghd looks at her with these big eyes. Sophia says, "yes, yes. She can even answer in grommelo, the nonsense language. She tells Raghd to repeat after her. Sophia tells Raghd, "when I push you again, that's your cue.

I kind of coincidentally became a flirt coach. Or I think in English, you would more say dating coach. Let me show you around. We're in Sophia's apartment. On her bookshelf are manuals on flirting. The perfect seducteror ph. We traveled a lot. Her parents were traveling musicians.

I got to know all those different cultures. She grew up the kind of kid who traveled places and studied other people. And the connections between people. But her stepdad was pretty abusive. And then she was I started to dress more beautifully, and Started loving her body. Men were hitting on me on the street. And then she met a guy. Let's call him Max. And I madly fell in love with him. Also, we had like He said he did something called pickup? As a result, even Qur'anic verses which seem perfectly clear to native Arab speakers accustomed to modern vocabulary and usage may not represent the original meaning of the verse.

The original meaning of a Qur'anic passage will also be dependent on the historical circumstances of the prophet Muhammad 's life and early community in which it originated. Investigating that context usually requires a detailed knowledge of hadith and sirah , which are themselves vast and complex texts.

This introduces an additional element of uncertainty which cannot be eliminated by any linguistic rules of translation. The first translation of the Qur'an was performed by Salman the Persian , who translated Surah al-Fatihah into the Persian language during the early 7th century. However, during Muhammad's lifetime, no passage from the Qur'an was ever translated into these languages nor any other. The second known translation was into Greek and was used by Nicetas Byzantius , a scholar from Constantinople , in his 'Refutation of Quran' written between and However, we know nothing about who and for what purpose had made this translation.

It is however very probable that it was a complete translation.

The first fully attested complete translations of the Quran were done between the 10th and 12th centuries in Persian language. Later in the 11th century, one of the students of Abu Mansur Abdullah al-Ansari wrote a complete tafsir of the Quran in Persian.

The manuscripts of all three books have survived and have been published several times. In , translations in languages were known. Robertus Ketenensis produced the first Latin translation of the Qur'an in According to modern scholars [ citation needed ] , the translation tended to "exaggerate harmless text to give it a nasty or licentious sting" and preferred improbable and unpleasant meanings over likely and decent ones. Ketenensis' work was republished in in three editions by Theodore Bibliander at Basel along with Cluni corpus and other Christian propaganda.

All editions contained a preface by Martin Luther.

Many later European "translations" of the Qur'an merely translated Ketenensis' Latin version into their own language, as opposed to translating the Qur'an directly from Arabic. As a result, early European translations of the Qur'an were erroneous and distorted. In the early thirteenth century, Mark of Toledo made another, more literal, translation into Latin, which survives in a number of manuscripts.


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  5. In the fifteenth century, Juan of Segovia produced another translation in collaboration with the Mudejar writer, Isa of Segovia. Only the prologue survives. In the early seventeenth century, another translated was made, attributed to Cyril Lucaris. Despite the refutatio's anti-Islamic tendency Marracci's translation is accurate and suitably commented; besides, by quoting many Islamic sources he certainly broadens his time's horizon considerably. Marracci's translation too became the source of other European translations one in France by Savory, and one in German by Nerreter.

    These later translations were quite inauthentic, and one even claimed to be published in Mecca in AH. There were lost translations in Catalan , one of them by Francesc Pons Saclota in , the other appeared in Perpignan in The Italian translation was used to derive the first German translation Salomon Schweigger in in Nuremberg , which in turn was used to derive the first Dutch translation in The Du Ryer translation also fathered many re-translations, most notably an English version by Alexander Ross in Ross' version was used to derive several others: This was followed two centuries later in Paris by the translation by Kasimirski who was an interpreter for the French Persian legation.

    This work of Muhammad Hamidullah continues to be reprinted and published in Paris and Lebanon as it is regarded as the most linguistically accurate of all translation although critics may complain there is some loss of the spirit of the Arabic original. There are four complete translations of the Qur'an in modern Spanish that are commonly available. The earliest known translation of the Qur'an in any European language was the Latin works by Robert of Ketton at the behest of the Abbot of Cluny in c.

    As Latin was the language of the church it never sought to question what would now be regarded as blatant inaccuracies in this translation which remained the only one until when the first English language translation was done by Alexander Ross, chaplain to King Charles I, who translated from a French work L'Alcoran de Mahomet by du Ryer. In , George Sale produced the first translation of the Qur'an direct from Arabic into English but reflecting his missionary stance.

    Since then, there have been English translations by the clergyman John Medows Rodwell in , and Edward Henry Palmer in , both showing in their works a number of mistakes of mistranslation and misinterpretation, which brings into question their primary aim. The Qur'an by Dr. He was the first Muslim to present a translation of the Qur'an into English along with the original Arabic text.

    Among the contemporary Muslim scholars Dr. Mirza Abul Fazl was a pioneer who took interest in the study of the chronological order of the Qur'an and drew the attention of Muslim scholars to its importance. With the increasing population of English-speaking Muslims around the start of the 20th century, three Muslim translations of the Qur'an into English made their first appearance. The first was Muhammad Ali 's translation, which is composed from an Ahmadiyya perspective, with some small parts being rejected as unorthodox interpretation by vast majority of Muslims.

    This was followed in by the English convert to Islam Marmaduke Pickthall 's translation, which is literal and therefore regarded as the most accurate. This translation has gone through over 30 printings by several different publishing houses, and is one of the most popular amongst English-speaking Muslims, alongside the Pickthall and Saudi-sponsored Hilali-Khan translations. With few new English translations over the — period, these three Muslim translations were to flourish and cement reputations that were to ensure their survival into the 21st century, finding favour among readers often in newly revised updated editions.

    Dawood 's unorthodox translation in were to be the only major works to appear in the post-war period. Arberry's The Koran Interpreted remains the scholarly standard for English translations, and is widely used by academics. It is in simple, easy-to-understand modern-day English. Explanations are given in brackets to avoid ambiguity, provide better understanding and references to similar verses elsewhere. Syed Abdul Latif's translation published in , regarded highly by some he was a professor of English at Osmania University , Hyderabad , was nevertheless short-lived due to criticism of his foregoing accuracy for the price of fluency.

    The Message of the Qur'an: Presented in Perspective was published by Dr. He translated the Qur'an into English and arranged it according to chronological order. In he came under the influence of Dr. Mirza Abul Fazl Allahabadi, and took a deep interest in the study of the Qur'an and was aware of the significance of the chronological order of the passages contained in it.

    Professor Ahmed Ali 's Al-Qur'an: Fazlur Rahman Malik of the University of Chicago writes, "It brings out the original rhythms of the Qur'anic language and the cadences. It also departs from traditional translations in that it gives more refined and differentiated shades of important concepts". According to Francis Edward Peters of New York University, "Ahmed Ali's work is clear, direct, and elegant — a combination of stylistic virtues almost never found in translations of the Qur'an. His is the best I have read".

    At the cusp of the s, the oil crisis , the Iranian Revolution , the Nation of Islam and a new wave of cold-war generated Muslim immigrants to Europe and North America brought Islam squarely into the public limelight for the first time in Western Europe and North America. This resulted in a wave of translations as Western publishers tried to capitalize on the new demand for English translations of the Qur'an.

    Oxford University Press and Penguin Books were all to release editions at this time, as did indeed the Saudi Government, which came out with its own re-tooled version of the original Yusuf Ali translation. Canadian Muslim Professor T. Irving 's 'modern English' translation was a major Muslim effort during that time. He made the controversial claim that the last two verses of chapter nine in the Quran were not canonical, telling his followers to reject them. Khalifa's research received little attention in the West. In , Martin Gardner mentioned it in Scientific American.

    The arrival of the s ushered in the phenomenon of an extensive English-speaking Muslim population well-settled in Western Europe and North America. As a result, several major Muslim translations emerged to meet the ensuing demand. One of them was published in , and it is by the first woman to translate the Quran into English, Amatul Rahman Omar, together with her husband, Abdul Mannan Omar [16]. In appeared an English translation under the title: In the Saudi government financed a new translation "the Hilali-Khan Qur'an " which was distributed free worldwide by the Saudi government as it was in line with their particular interpretation.

    This was the third translation of the Qur'an into English by a woman, after Amatul Rahman Omar, [21] and Aisha Bewley — and the first bilingual translation of the Qur'an. In a new translation of the Qur'an by Muhammad Abdel-Haleem was also published, with revised editions being published in [25] and It has been published in 2 volumes at first and later, in a single volume. It is the first single-handed English translation of the Qur'aan done by an authentic Sunni Islaamic scholar who is also one of the greatest scholars living today, if not the greatest.

    He also translated the Qur'aan in simple Urdu, making him a translator of the Qur'aan in dual languages. Translation and Commentary with Parallel Arabic Text. This translation is considered as the most easy to understand due to simple and modern English. The pocket size version of this translation with only English text is widely distributed as part of dawah work. Contemplations on the Qur'an. A Thematic English Translation , after three years of collaboration with a team of scholars, editors, and proof-readers.