DAQEEQ (Dubai) –– Like this time last year, the UAE said good bye to 2019 as the Year of Tolerance, but never to efforts to continue building bridges of understanding with the rest of the world.
Aware of the unquestionable importance of translation, the UAE has been building a reputation as a hub for Arabic translation in the region (Gulf News, 2017), partly to enhance the status of Arabic and also to keep communication with other nations ongoing and growing.
In the book, The Routledge Companion to Translation Studies, edited by Jeremy Munday (2014), one of the contributing researchers, David Katan, quoted a consensus by scientists that translation is "an act of communication". One of the concepts discussed in this context is the "cultural filter," which looks at translators as "mediators" who are supposed to capture "cognitive and socio-cultural differences" and apply them when translating, to convey with accuracy into the target language the meanings in the source language, avoid misunderstandings and fill the gaps between languages and cultures.
In his paper, "Translation as intercultural mediation: setting the scene," published in Perspectives Journal, (Volume 28, No 6), Anthony J. Liddicoat examines the concept of intercultural mediation as it applies to the work of translators, particularly "what it means for a translator to mediate between languages and cultures and the ways that mediation has been used in translation studies". He says:
"A translator is involved in communicating meanings that have been constructed in one language – with its accompanying cultural contexts for readers who share the language and participate in some way in that culture – to an audience that does not share that language and culture". In other words, translation is seen as a "form of mediational work involving a positioning of the translator between two interlocutors who are speakers of different languages and acting to achieve communication".
Any good translated book remains an addition and one step towards more understanding among nations.
Projects like Sheikh Zayed Book Award Translation Fund, contribute significantly to such an endeavor.
According to the project's literature, its aim is "to contribute to increasing the number of Arabic books that are translated, published and distributed abroad. Funding is available for translation of all literary and children’s titles that have won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award".
Also initiated by UAE, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation has organized a series of translation workshops training a number of aspiring translators and publishing several works that were well received at book fairs, including major international exhibitions. In this series of specialized training, each participant will translate a book from English to Arabic.
"The workshop trains a generation of certified translators and, ultimately, enriches Arab libraries with quality additions, according to the foundation in a press release.
"The campaign additionally ties our cultures to the cultural activities taking place around the world and aids us remain familiar with international new launches and industry news."