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Muhammad Asad   
But nay, they speak as the people of olden times did speak
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab   
But they ˹just˺ say what their predecessors said.
Safi Kaskas   
However, they are content to say what their ancestors said.

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Source Arabic and Literal tools
Arabic   
‏بَلْ قَالُوا۟ مِثْلَ مَا قَالَ ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ ‎
Transliteration (2021)   
bal qālū mith'la mā qāla l-awalūn
Word for Word
Dr. Shehnaz Shaikh, Ms. Kauser Katri, and more
  
Nay, they say (the) like (of) what said the former (people).

Generally Accepted Translations of the Meaning
Muhammad Asad   
But nay, they speak as the people of olden times did speak
M. M. Pickthall   
Nay, but they say the like of that which said the men of old
Yusuf Ali (Saudi Rev. 1985)   
On the contrary they say things similar to what the ancients said
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab   
But they ˹just˺ say what their predecessors said.
Safi Kaskas   
However, they are content to say what their ancestors said.
Wahiduddin Khan   
But they say the same as the ancients said
Shakir   
Nay, they say the like of what the ancients said
Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar   
Nay! They said the like of what the ancient ones said.
T.B.Irving   
Instead they say the same thing as the first men said;
Abdul Hye   
But they say just like what their forefathers said.
The Study Quran   
Nay, but they say the like of that which was said by those of old
Dr. Kamal Omar   
Nay, they uttered the like of what said the earlier (misled) people
M. Farook Malik   
On the contrary they just say what their forefathers said before them
Talal A. Itani (new translation)   
But they say the like of what the ancients said
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali   
No indeed, (but) they said the like of what the earliest (people) said
Muhammad Sarwar   
They say exactly the same thing as the people who lived before
Muhammad Taqi Usmani   
But they say as the earlier people had said
Shabbir Ahmed   
Nay, they say what the people of the olden times used to say
Dr. Munir Munshey   
But in fact, their remarks are identical to those of their forerunners _ (the unbelievers of earlier times)
Syed Vickar Ahamed   
To the opposite (effect), they say things similar to what the olden (people) said
Umm Muhammad (Sahih International)   
Rather, they say like what the former peoples said
[The Monotheist Group] (2011 Edition)   
No, they have said the same as what the people of old had said
Abdel Haleem   
But, like others before them
Abdul Majid Daryabadi   
Aye! they say the like of that which said the ancients
Ahmed Ali   
And talk as did the people of old
Aisha Bewley   
However, they say the same as previous peoples said.
Ali Ünal   
(Instead of using their reason), they only speak as the former (disbelieving) peoples spoke
Ali Quli Qara'i   
Rather they say just like what the ancients said
Hamid S. Aziz   
Nay, but they say the like of that which those of yore did say
Ali Bakhtiari Nejad   
No, but they say same as what the earlier ones said
A.L. Bilal Muhammad et al (2018)   
Instead, they say things similar to what the people in the past said
Musharraf Hussain   
On the contrary, the Makkans say the same as their ancestors.
Maududi   
Nay, but they say the like of what their predecessors of yore had said
[The Monotheist Group] (2013 Edition)   
No,they have said the same as what the people of old had said
Mohammad Shafi   
But they say the like of what the earlier peoples said

Controversial or status undetermined works
Ahmed Raza Khan (Barelvi)   
Nay, but they said what the former used to say.
Rashad Khalifa   
They said what their ancestors said.
Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah   
No, but they said what the ancients said before them
Maulana Muhammad Ali   
Nay, they say the like of what the ancients said
Muhammad Ahmed & Samira   
But they said similar/equal (to) what the first/beginners said
Bijan Moeinian   
Their response (to the Lord’s invitation) is the same as their forefathers’ saying
Faridul Haque   
On the contrary, they said the same as what the former people used to say
Sher Ali   
But they say things similar to what the former people said
Dr. Mohammad Tahir-ul-Qadri   
But these people (too) utter similar words that the former (disbelievers) used to utter
Amatul Rahman Omar   
But (rather than trying to understand) they repeated what the former people had said
Muhsin Khan & Muhammad al-Hilali   
Nay, but they say the like of what the men of old said

Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works
Arthur John Arberry   
Nay, but they said the like of what the ancients said
George Sale   
But the unbelieving Meccans say as their predecessors said
Edward Henry Palmer   
Nay, but they said like that which those of yore did say
John Medows Rodwell   
But they say, as said those of old:
N J Dawood (2014)   
Indeed they say what the ancients said before them

New, Partial, or In Progress Translations
Linda “iLHam” Barto   
In contradiction, they say things similar to what the people of old said.
Irving & Mohamed Hegab   
Instead they say the same thing as the first men said;
Sayyid Qutb   
But they say like the people of old times used to say.
Ahmed Hulusi   
But they said what those before them said.
Sayyed Abbas Sadr-Ameli   
Nay, but they say the like of what the ancients said
Al-muntakhab fi tafsir al-Qur‘an al-Karim   
No. they express their thoughts in words identical with those uttered by their ancestors
Mir Aneesuddin   
And He it is Who gives life and causes death and the alternation of the night and the day is due to Him. Will you not then understand?

Obsolete and/or older editions
Yusuf Ali (Orig. 1938)   
On the contrary they say things similar to what the ancients said
OLD Literal Word for Word   
Nay, they say (the) like (of) what said the former (people)
OLD Transliteration   
Bal qaloo mithla ma qala al-awwaloona