Abu Dhabi, UAE; May 3, 2014: Abu Dhabi Third Translation Conference launched yesterday in Abu Dhabi under the theme of “Identity and Cultural Communication”. The conference brings together leading international translation experts and specialists, and emphasises the role of translation in building bridges among the cultures and peoples of the world.
The four-day translation conference, organised by the Kalima Translation Project, an initiative of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), is held in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and sheds light on the current reality of translation from and to Arabic, seeking to find ways to elevate the translation movement in light of its current challenges.
“The UAE has witnessed major developments in the field of cultural work, and Abu Dhabi in particular embarked on a number of international cultural projects in line with a comprehensive strategy which encourages UAE youth to contribute to the process of portraying Arab culture alongside the other contemporary cultures of the world,” said H.E. Juma Abdullah Al Qubaisi, ADIBF Director and Executive Director of the National Library division –TCA Abu Dhabi, at the opening ceremony.
“Our main objective is to achieve the required quality and style of translation as a valuable goal, a higher value and a declared strategy contributing to the advancement of cultural exchange, tolerance, and dialogue,” added Al Qubaisi, emphasising the importance of providing cultural points of contact, bridging cultural gaps, and promoting cultural convergence between the ‘self’ and the ‘other’.
Highlighting the role of the Kalima project in consolidating interaction and communication between Arab and other world cultures, Dr. Ahmad Al Saqqaf, Manager of Kalima, pointed out that the project is moving forward with full confidence, highlighting the Arab world’s unremitting efforts to advance the translation movement and motivate the region’s youth to engage more with this highly specialised area. The project has so far published more than eight-hundred books of science and literature, translated from 13 different languages.
“The rapid, consecutive changes of today’s means of communication requires us to be ready and able to assimilate andleverage modernity in its wider sense without having to relinquish our national identity and cultural uniqueness, so we can continue to growregardless of the voices of cultural anti-development and the calls for self-confinement,” added Al Saqqaf.
Ali Al Shaali, Rapporteur of the Advisory Committee, explained that four parallel workshops will be held over two days and run by highly competent translation professionals and academics including Saeed Al Shayyab and Mohamed Asfour (English), EzzeddineEnaya (Italian), and ZainabBenyaya (Spanish). The workshops’ area of focus will be literary translation from English, French, and German to Arabic and educating translators on how to deal with the challenges associated with translation.“We will tackle theseproblematic issues by working on selected short stories and poems to extract and instill specific skills and techniques related to rendering the text into the target language”, added Al Shaali.
Twenty young Arab translators aged 28–45 are participating in the workshops. They are all literature, translation, and language graduates with at least 5 years of experience in translation. The English workshops will also be audited by forty Emirati students, in a step towards creating UAE national expertise in this field.
The translation conferenceconcludes Monday with a mission to encourage institutions to create primary models for translating scientific and technological texts, publishspecialised dictionaries,developuniversity translation curricula, and establishprofessional translation institutes.