Translating Our Way Into Sobriety

Fourteen years ago I took a college course “Introduction To Translation 101.” A guide to the basic foundation of translating text from Arabic into English (and vice versa). Our professor told us that translation is a craft, which even if you master it, will never achieve the exact meaning that the original author was trying to say.

Now, in the Egyptian SA translation committee, my professor’s words remind me what a tremendous weight on our shoulders it is. Much to my relief we are working as a team, which helps us discuss, argue, and disagree until we reach a solution and come up with the best translation possible.

Currently we are finalizing the translation of the Arabic White Book. The choice of words will be a cornerstone in the recovery of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of SA newcomers.

Translating metaphors and idioms are the most difficult things we encounter during our weekly meeting. Sometimes it takes us the whole hour to discuss a couple of them.

I feel very grateful to be in this committee, for it raises my awareness of the meaning and power of our literature.

Ahmed R., Egypt

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