30 Books by Young Translators to Hit the Stands

ABU DHABI — From this autumn, 30 new books from 30 young translators will be available in Abu Dhabi.


Silvia Radan

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Published: Sun 16 Aug 2009, 12:26 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:22 AM

A new project by Kalima, the translation initiative of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the translations involve practically training fresh graduates from across the Arab world in their chosen career.

Dr Ali bin Tamim, manager of Kalima, explained how it all started and how it works. “Most of the time, young translators, who just graduated, are not confident enough to do any translation work. This happens for many reasons. First of all, when they put the names out there, it is like getting undressed in public, so they are afraid of judgement and criticism. Also, there are many obstacles and risks. In order to translate a book, you first need copyright agreement, then you have to convince a publisher to accept it, but he might say ‘Oh, this is not something Arab readers like’,” explained Dr Tamim.

Deciding to help young translators, he started this training project four months ago. He also enrolled the help of three well established translators, who are working closely with the graduates, showing them the ropes and pointing out mistakes.

“The aim of this project is to create a new translation movement in the Middle East. We want to offer Arabic publishers more options, to widen the horizon of possibilities for translated books,” said Dr Tamim.

So far, Kalima is working with 30 experienced translators, who can each translate about 10 books per year. From 100 books translated annually from different languages into Arabic, Dr Tamim would like to see double the number of titles published each year.

“The 30 books translated by the graduates are all from English into Arabic and concern literary subjects, especially folk tales,” mentioned Dr Tamim.

The titles will be available in two months at the National Library here and in the book shops across the city.


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