Why Raja Alem is Publishing ‘Sarab’ in Translation Before She Publishes in Arabic

"Arabic is my center. I am very sensitive to the words, and up until now I cannot find the right words to capture this story, this wound. I feel I need to rewrite this book in some new Arabic, after taking a distance."

How Do You Translate Insha’allah? Foreignizing vs. Exoticizing the Text

The other day, I was rather ham-handedly interviewing Dr. Samia Mehrez when she started to talk about an interesting dilemma: How do you translate إنشالله? I would say, by informal survey, that most literary translators (and reporters, who seem to delight in the phrase), present it in transliterated Arabic: insha'allah. After all, English-language readers "know" … Continue reading How Do You Translate Insha’allah? Foreignizing vs. Exoticizing the Text

Judge for Foreign Fiction Prize: English-Language Readers Becoming More Open to Translation

Daniel Hahn---literary translator, judge for The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2010 and chairman of the Translators Association--- spoke with The National on the topic of "foreign fiction," which he says is becoming more and more popular in the English-speaking world. He enthused about non-literary translations like Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, which helps bring translation out … Continue reading Judge for Foreign Fiction Prize: English-Language Readers Becoming More Open to Translation

Ahdaf Soueif on ‘Truer’ Translation

The award-winning author Ahdaf Soueif was the last to appear at this year's series of talks by translators at the American University in Cairo. And Soueif, unlike her predecessors in the series---Denys Johnson-Davies, Humphrey Davies, Jonathan Wright---seemed to studiously avoid discussing translation. In the past, Soueif has been a vocal critic of much Arabic-English translation. … Continue reading Ahdaf Soueif on ‘Truer’ Translation