Literary Translation: A Cynosure of Hopeful Translators, Yet Too Hard to Master

 

First-year Translation MA student, Abeer Al Asmari, delivered a webinar titled: "Literary Translation: A Cynosure of Hopeful Translators, Yet Too Hard to Master" at a regular biweekly event organized by the Language Research Center (LRC) on September 30, 2020.

 

Abeer, while quoting John Keats, first defined Literary Translation. She said, "It is a genre of literary creativity in which a work written in one language is recreated in another." She emphasized literary creativity by labeling literary translation as a form of creative writing. Abeer moved on to talking about the significance of literary translation. Literary translation, she added, helps us have proper exposure to other cultures and a better understanding of other countries. She argued that a literary translator should be bi-cultural in addition to being bilingual.

 

She highlighted controversy over literary translation by specifying that there are boundaries between translating and re-writing literary texts that require demarcation in new standards. She thought that it is upsetting to find some translators exceeding the beauty hidden in the original texts. She, therefore, emphasized that the beauty of the original texts must be maintained by the translators so that it is not lost in the translated version. She added some more lucid points by quoting Pinker (1997), Newmark (1988), and Benjamin (1973). She also quoted Daniel Hahn, director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, by calling his statement even more convincing.

 

Abeer highlighted the challenges involved in this genre by explaining why translators stay away from this. The worst challenge, she added, lies in the phonological level, which includes rhyme, rhythm, meter, assonance, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and consonance. This level, she noted, makes translation an arduous task for the translators. Another challenge involved is in the stylistic level that includes metaphor, puns, and similes. Culture is also another challenge a translator may face, she added. She finally focused on potential solutions by explaining the ways to overcome those challenges.

 

Abeer concluded by quoting Umberto Eco and said, "Translation is the art of failure."

 

LRC Director, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, and Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin MCIL CL MITI, Abeer's instructor, sincerely thanked Abeer for her effective presentation, which allowed for a better understanding of literary translation through unique insights. They stressed the importance of throwing weight behind MA students who possess burning enthusiasm and pluck up the courage to follow suit. Abeer's fellow students provided her with unflagging support by their attendance. It is hoped that such webinars would create a window of opportunity for other students to stand on the stage and take up the torch lit by Abeer. It was undoubtedly a very informative webinar, garnering the active participation of both male and female faculty members and students alike.

 

The Master of Arts in Translation program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to providing student-centered professional development activities that are consistent with program learning outcomes and labor market developments.


Date: 10/1/2020

Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique

  Mubarak Saeed Al-Qahtani, class of 2021 graduate, has wanted to own a business since his freshman year in the Bachelor of Arts in English program, and that dream has become a reality. Al-Qahtani has brought an Al-Qassim touch to the Asir region with several drive-through coffee shops.   "College and coffee are a perfect match, and Kyan Cafe is no exception," said Al-Qahtani. While sitting in the King Khalid University parking lot before an exam, Al-Qahtani began to notice several rearview mirror air fresheners with the Kyan Cafe logo on it written English and the rest is history. He immediately began to research the brand and asked a few of his instructors in the Bachelor of Arts in English program what they thought about him becoming an entrepreneur. After receiving words of encouragement, he immediately formulated his idea, which revolved around quality, speed and convenience. Al-Qahtani credited much of his success in the operational side of the business to being able to use the language skills he picked up in the Bachelor of Arts in English program, which improved his ability to understand when to speak or write, who to deliver the message to, and what to say and how to say it. "I can honestly say that graduating with a degree in English has helped to use Foodics, which is the point of sales system we use. My dream is to launch new innovative ideas in cooperation with international companies and become a franchisor. I encourage all of the students from our program to contact some of the startup accelerators we have in Saudi Arabia to pitch their business ideas and obtain funding. There are some in Riyadh, Jeddah, and we have one in Asir," he said   The Bachelor of Arts in English program is dedicating to fulfilling its role in developing entrepreneurial leaders with the language competence necessary to take advantage of the new economic realities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by inculcating creativity and innovation in the learning process. Date: 6/28/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  Dr. Eyhab Abdulrazak Bader Eddin, Assistant Professor of Translation, has written a chapter for a book entitled "Research Into Translation and Training in Arab Academic Institutions". The book will be published by Routledge on July 30, 2021. Dr. Bader Eddin's chapter is entitled "Insights into Translators Training: Issues and Methods of Assessment". As explained in the book description, the book "addresses translators' status, roles, and structures. It also provides Arab perspectives on translation and translation training, written by scholars representing academic institutions across the Arab world. Themes in this collection include training terminologists on managing, promoting and marketing terms; corpora and translation teaching in the Arab world; use of translation technologies; translators training and translators' methodologies and assessment of translators' competence; research on translator training; and the status quo of undergraduate translation programs in a sample of five Arab universities. A valuable resource for students, professionals and scholars of Arabic translation and interpreting." Date: 6/8/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin has undertaken a fresh initiative for bringing "Annotated Translation" to light. Annotated Translation is a fascinating yet complex subject that has increasingly come to prominence and gained currency for being adopted as a major assessment method for Translation students in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Although a firm dividing line could be drawn between 'annotated translation' and 'translation commentary', they both have been used interchangeably in his session open to the public during the Spring 2021 semester. Dr. Bader Eddin delivered a 2-hour-long session — titled "Annotated Translation: Showing students the ropes — on the fundamentals of the subject", drawing attendees' attention to the seminal book, which was the first of its kind, fully devoted in a book-size work to this subject. Viz. Sewell's 2002 (Translation Commentary: The Art revisited). The session tackled such points as definition, How should an annotated translation look like? What should it include and exclude, desirable and undesirable features, marking criteria for translation commentary, steps to initiate a translation annotation project, and some illustrative practical examples. Some tangible examples have been offered to link theory to practice, as a rarely distinguished feature in translation. The session was followed by some assignments to ensure the attendees had grasped the content of the session.   To view all webinars, please click here. Date: 5/6/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation Date: 5/6/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  In a continuous series of sessions aimed at advancing and deepening understanding of graduate students, Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin started to offer an advanced free intensive course on the Parts of Speech. Students at the graduate or doctoral level who are in the process of writing their thesis, dissertations, or research papers face unique challenges. These papers indicate whether or not they understood the concepts clearly. For this reason, Dr. Bader Eddin held a 3-part webinar series on the 8 parts of speech open to the public during the 2020-2021 academic year. The webinar, tailored to graduate students, attracted hundreds of attendees from different parts of the world. High on the target list came graduate students and English teachers for the purpose of addressing any problems related to parts of speech and to fill any gap in their linguistic knowledge so as to clamber up the rung of their mental ladder aplomb.   "While it may seem that having a detailed understanding of the parts of speech is not needed, it is imperative that graduates of the Faculty of Languages and Translation present their papers in the right manner with proper sentence structure," said Dr. Bader Eddin. He then explained that Dean, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, and Vice Dean of Postgraduate Studies, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, were highly supportive of his 3-part webinar series, which was launched to engage the community, alumni, and currently enrolled students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.   The topics discussed included, but were not limited to the following: Language components Detailed Overview of the parts of speech Grammatical hierarchy Sentence types according to A) structure and B) communicative function Syntactic theory Language universals Semantic classes Typology of parts of speech systems Language components Overview of parts of speech Grammatical hierarchy Sentence types according to A) structure and B) communicative function Nouns as a part of speech Noun types and characteristics Noun plural formation Noun plurals Noun gender Noun Case Noun genitive and -of phrase Meanings of genitive and –of phrase   These sessions were followed by assignments handed out to ensure the attendees' thorough understanding of the topics covered. Questions were always welcomed to clear away any fog of misunderstanding during the course of the sessions. It is worth mentioning that we have come to know that new sessions are to be held soon in a bid to complete the series.   To view all webinars, please click here. Date: 5/6/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  Supervised by Dr. Fahad Otaif, Assistant Professor of Critical Discourse Analysis and Translation, a team of postgraduate female students from the Faculty of Languages and Translation (FLT) participated in the "WikiDowen" project during the Spring 2021 semester. The WikiDowen Project, under the administration of the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah), aims to enrich and increase the Arabic content on Wikipedia; although Arabic is the fourth most popular language in the world, the Arabic content on Wikipedia still ranks 25th in terms of volume.   Dr. Otaif praised the postgraduate students who worked hard, saying that: "the students were really motivated to take part in this initiative, they worked hard to translate more scientific content. The initiative resulted in 50 articles translated from English into Arabic. The translated topics ranged from medical topics, to psychology, Artificial Intelligence as well as engineering. The translated articles were compiled in a digital booklet to document the scientific outcomes of the initiative".   Dr. Otaif added, "the WikiDowen's Project manager, Dr. Zuhair Al-Shehri, and his deputy Ms. Reem Al-Mutairi also played a vital role in helping the new Wikipedians (translators) to post and edit their translations on the Arabic Wikipedia; this cooperation lasted for two months and was really fruitful for both parties."   Vice Dean for Postgraduate Studies, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, added, "we are excited to be a part of this national volunteer initiative for the second year in a row; it provides our FLT students the opportunity to participate in a field experience activity that is aligned with the learning outcomes we target in our language and translation programs."   Dr. Otaif added, "such initiatives and projects will grant our students valuable experience and help them in mastering the translation profession through which they will improve their professional background and job readiness; I do thank our Dean Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi and the vice dean for postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Language and Translation for their endless support in this initiative and will continue to encourage similar initiatives at the FLT in the near future en shaa' Allah." Date: 5/4/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation