Linguistics Hour: The Art & Science of Translation

 

On Wednesday, the English Club held its 4th lecture of the Spring semester. The guest speaker was Faculty of Languages and Translation Asst. Professor Dawood Mahdi. Dr. Mahdi is also the Head of the Academic Guidance and Counseling Unit. The subject of the well-attended event was the art and science of translation.

 

First, Dr. Mahdi explained many of the misconceptions about the disciplines of translation and interpreting languages. He noted that many people believe that translation is merely converting individual words from one language to another. 'Languages have diverse structures and conventions. Interchanging literal meanings of words between languages is not a method for effective communication' said Dr. Mahdi. He further noted that languages are rich in idioms, metaphors, and figures of speech. In these cases, literal translations simply do not work. Similarly, in many languages, individual words have multiple meanings. Therefore, rudimentary translation will often be in error.

 

Dr. Mahdi also reviewed some less common misconceptions about translation and interpreting. Some people believe that any bi-lingual person can translate/interpret the two languages. Dr. Mahdi explained that translation is a specialized discipline that requires advanced training and practice. He also explained that there are sub-specialties even for those who are skilled general translators. For example, translating in the fields of law, medicine, engineering, etc. require specialized knowledge of those fields. Another misconception is that translating and interpreting are the same. Dr. Mahdi noted that interpreting requires the language specialist to work in real time, which is extremely difficult even for those fluent in the languages. Finally, he noted that some people erroneously believe that translators do not need dictionaries or other reference material. 'Reference materials are the tools of the trade for professional translators' said Dr. Mahdi.

 

Later in the program, Dr. Mahdi told the students that which is required to be a successful translator/interpreter. 'First and foremost one needs to be fully committed to the target languages' he said. Translation also requires intensive training and many hours of consistently practicing the craft. Dr. Mahdi also stressed that translators must be scrupulously committed to accuracy and approach the profession with honesty and integrity.

 

In response to a question by a Level 1 student, Dr. Mahdi discussed the FLT general course progression. He explained that our BA program focuses on the major skills in the first 4 levels, then moves to three fields; namely, Linguistics & Applied Linguistics, Literature and Translation.

 

The attendees thanked Dr. Mahdi for his enlightening and informative presentation.


Date: 2/26/2019

Source: Dr. Charles Forman

  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