We are the privileged students of ARIC 402/513 – Translating Revolution, a Spring 2011 course taught by Samia Mehrez, professor of Modern Arabic Literature at the Arab and Islamic Civilizations Department in the American University in Cairo, and Director of the Center for Translation Studies. The purpose of this blog is to share some of the translations we produce in this class and document some of the challenges and questions we meet throughout. Course description can be found below.
We welcome – in fact, encourage – contributions from our readers. Please send content (chants, slogans, jokes, songs, poetry, signs, photos, cartoons, videos, articles, interviews, etc) that is recognizably associated with the ongoing Egyptian Uprising that you feel should be translated, to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that all original work published on this blog is the property of its author. To reproduce, copy or otherwise circulate this material, please ask permission by leaving a comment on the relevant post along with your e-mail address. We will get back to you.
Here is the course description:
The Egyptian Revolution of January 25 2011 has produced an unprecedented proliferation of political and cultural documents and materials whether written, oral, or visual that together historicize in a remarkable way the momentous events that have unfolded since the first day. Given their range, different linguistic registers and referential worlds, these documents and materials present a great challenge to any translator.
In this course we will try to archive, read, and selectively translate materials ranging from chants, slogans, jokes, poems, but also eyewitness reports, media coverage, interviews, diaries as well as presidential and cabinet speeches and declarations, not to mention military communiqués and revolutionary ones. Hence this course will expose students to various kinds of special texts and the different translation issues and problems that they raise.
To complement the practical work in this course, students will read a selection of texts in translation theory and practice that will inform their own translations of selected texts. Readings will focus on various questions in translation including issues of language variation, literary devices and compensation, as well as creative transformation (adaptation, re-writing, etc). Students will also explore problems of genre, issues of terminology and special language, the problem of target readership and purposes as well as the translator’s role in society as an agent of social change. Taught in English and Arabic.