The Far East Meets the Middle East in Riyadh: Saudi and Chinese Delegations Convene to Establish Chinese Language Programs in the Kingdom

 

Several weeks ago, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense, met with a delegation of high-level government officials of the People's Republic of China on a diplomatic mission. The parties agreed to increasing the level of economic and social collaboration between the two nations.

 

In support of these cooperative efforts, His Royal Highness committed to teaching the Chinese language in primary schools, secondary schools, and universities in the Kingdom. The People's Republic of China agreed to help facilitate Chinese language learning through its own Ministry of Education.

 

The Confucius Institute is a Chinese Ministry of Education outreach initiative that is used to promote Chinese language learning and cultural exchange on an international basis. The Institute sends Chinese language teacher/representatives to schools and universities around the world. Many of the Chinese teachers sent abroad are college graduates who are trained as Chinese language instructors for non-native speakers. The cost of the program is shared by the Chinese government and the international host. Schools around the Kingdom will be hosting the Chinese teachers.

 

King Khalid University has already taken substantial steps to implement this new program. The Faculty of Languages & Translation is spearheading the effort on behalf of the university. Faculty of Languages & Translation Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi is leading the initiative for King Khalid University.

 

On April 26, 2019, a Chinese delegation flew to Riyadh to meet with several prominent Saudi universities including: King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University, Tabuk University, Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University, Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, and of course King Khalid University. Dean Al-Melhi met with the Chinese delegates, Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) Deputy Director-General, Yu Yunfeng, and Beijing Language and Culture University Vice President, Zhang Baojun. The purpose of the meeting was to begin the planning process for programs at the respective universities.

 

Deputy Director-General Yunfeng said (by way of an interpreter) "I am pleased to be a part of this new venture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I am so glad that our two nations have joined in cooperation for our mutual benefit." Vice President Baojun said (also through an interpreter) "We are looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship between our two countries. All of us have so much we can teach and learn from one another."

 

After much discussion between and among the attendees, the Saudi representatives of the various institutions arranged for follow-up actions that will allow the initiatives to proceed quickly and in an orderly fashion. Great progress was made with the Chinese delegation on establishing preliminary logistics requirements and resource allocation at King Khalid University.

 

Dean Al-Melhi noted "This was more than your basic 'meet & greet'. The Chinese language initiative is an ambitious project with an aggressive schedule. Bringing this program to fruition will require a high level of cooperation and hard work among all stakeholders. We have already negotiated certain plans, and the project is moving forward. This is such a large undertaking, and it requires that an entirely new department be created under the Faculty of Languages & Translation. We will stay focused and on point; ultimately we will succeed."

 

The Faculty of Languages & Translation is committed to the Chinese language initiative and to improving the university's existing language programs. Language learning is an important component of the national socio-economic development plans, and an essential part of Vision 2030. King Khalid University is dedicated to achieving regional, national and international goals while encouraging good citizenship and social cohesion.


Date: 4-27-2019

Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation

  The Faculty of Languages and Translation, King Khalid University, had a great loss this year when one of its teaching staff passed away, leaving behind a vacuum among us.   Dr. Adel Bahameed was an Associate Professor of Translation at the Department of English, Faculty of Languages and Translation, King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia, from 2018 to 2022. He previously worked for Hadhramout University, Yemen, for twelve years. His areas of interest included Cross-Cultural Translation, Assessment of Translation, Interpreting, and Technicalities of Translation.   He was born in 1971 in Hadhramaut, Yemen. He was a husband and a father of two daughters and a son. He graduated from the University of Aden, Yemen, in 1995 with a B.A. in English Language and received his M.A. in English Language and Translation from Yarmouk University, Jordan, in 2002. His Ph.D. in English Language and Translation was obtained from Universiti Sains in Malaysia in 2007. He held various teaching and research positions in Yemen, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. Dr. Bahameed was fluent in Arabic and English and had a working knowledge of Malay. He died in his hometown in Hadhramout in April 2022.   Research Work   Dr. Bahameed published several research articles in renowned journals covering various themes related to translation. He actively attended several conferences and seminars and presented quite a good number of research papers related to his specialization. His latest article was published in January 2020 and entitled Saudi MA Translators: An Evaluation Issue. He also wrote two books: Think-Aloud Protocols: Translating Proverbs in 2009 and Translation One: A textbook for Translation Students in 2014. In addition, he supervised M.A. dissertations as an external examiner.   We are going to miss him, and we are sure that our college will always wish that he could be there among us, sharing his creative thoughts and ideas. His contribution to the faculty, colleagues, and students will always be appreciated. Our prayers will always be with him and his family. Date: 5/23/2022 Source: Aziz Salafi
  On 17 May 2022, the Translation Unit invited Mr. Ahmad Assiri, a Ph.D. candidate in Translation Studies at Macquarie University, to deliver a special translation webinar available to all King Khalid University students. The webinar, entitled "Translation in a Clear & Correct Arabic Language", stressed key aspects of the Arabic Language that translators/interpreters should consider in order to produce a clear Arabic translation/interpretation when conveying English texts to Arabic, including stylistic, grammatic, orthographic aspects. The webinar also highlighted a number of issues that help translators post-edit their work.   "It was a pleasure speaking to KKU’s students during this amazing webinar organized by the Translation Unit. The number of attendees, as well as their interactive engagement with the content, reflects an outstanding understanding of the key concepts presented," said Mr. Ahmad Assiri.   Of noteworthy mention, attendance at the webinar was high, with nearly 100 participants actively participating in practical training exercises related to the aspects discussed throughout the session. Thank you to everyone who participated live. If you were unable to attend, you can view a recording of the webinar here: https://youtu.be/AVOH20MhNdA Date: 5/20/2022 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  The English Department recently hosted an exciting Public Speaking Competition. The audience of over 100 attendees were treated to a magnificent display of talent by the participants. Because of the high standard of all the competitors' presentations, it was extremely difficult for the judges to choose outright winners.   The Dean will be hosting a small prize-giving event for these fantastic competitors in the near future. The Mountain Top Magazine's student journalists will publish a more comprehensive article, and provide related video links about this historic, world-class event, in the next issue. Date: 4/6/2022 Source: Azad Hayat
  On 22 March 2022, Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Translation, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, and Translation Unit Director, Dr. Eisa Asiri, interviewed with Al Ekhbariya, an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel based in Riyadh. Dean Al-Melhi began his interview by introducing how the Faculty of Languages and Translation (FLT) was established, the academic roles of the FLT, our recently achieved full accreditation status in the Bachelor of Arts in English program, and the community roles of the FLT, including partnerships with several government & private institutions. He then pivoted to recent developments on the horizon, mentioning the new era of the Chinese language in Saudi Arabia and how the FLT responded to the call by establishing the Department of Modern Languages.   Dr. Eisa Asiri was interviewed shortly after, echoing Dean Al-Melhi’s main points. He mentioned the newly established Translation Unit (TU) at the university level and how TU aims to allow FLT students and students in all colleges to take the absolute full advantage of the several short-term and long-term programs. He highlighted that by translating research outputs and materials from Arabic into other languages, the local community of Asir is served, creating a spirit of community partnership and preparing qualified personnel to meet the needs of the region.   To view footage of the interview, please visit https://flt.page.link/Al-Ekhbariya. Date: 4/1/2022 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  On Monday, March 28, 2022, the accreditation team celebrated news of the Bachelor of Arts in English Program, one of the leading programs at King Khalid University, being awarded full accreditation for the first time by the Education and Training Evaluation Commission, represented by the National Center for Academic Accreditation and Evaluation (NCAAA) for 7 years beginning in the first quarter of 2022.   The new accomplishment cements BAEP's position as a prestigious language and translation program offering an excellent quality of education centered on preparing students to be future leaders in the fields of English language studies and translation and contributing to the overall development and economic growth of the Kingdom.   "We are grateful to the entire senior leadership team of King Khalid University at the level of the president, vice president, vice rectors, and deanships. Without their support, this achievement would not be possible. We would also like to thank all internal quality consultants, whose dedication to the program and enthusiasm for its success made this possible. Finally, we thank all faculty members and staff who worked together to accomplish this feat. We strive to uphold the highest standards in teaching, learning, research, student support, curricula, learning resources and community service. This is an accomplishment for all of us," said Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Translation.   "I want to express my tremendous gratitude to the quality team for their tireless efforts. Working day and night, their efforts have helped us continuously improve our quality assurance system. It was not an easy task for all of us, and now it is time to celebrate," said Vice Dean for Quality and Development, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa. He then congratulated all faculty and staff and mentioned that BAEP is aligned with Vision 2030 and the Aseer Strategic Plan in that we aim to graduate students who can contribute positively to the national economy and development being witnessed on all levels all across the Kingdom, especially the Asir region.   Date: 3/30/2022 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation