If you would like to host a translation challenge in 2022, let us know!

The Arabic Translation Challenge

Last year, our #ArabicTranslationChallenge ran for six weeks, with six different challenges, curated by Kevin Blankinship. We had participants from all over the world, who translated not only into many Englishes (in the spirit of Michael Cooperson’s versions of al-Ḥarīrī in Impostures) , but into Welsh, French, Gaelic, and more. All are welcome, and this is a challenge, not a contest.

Last year, we ran them weekly (which was a little exhausting). This year, reader-translators have a whole month to join in. Send your translation to our email (info@arablit.org), on Twitter using #arabictranslationchallenge, or in a comment below the particular challenge.

This Year’s Challenges

February: to be hosted by Adam Talib


Last year’s challenges:

Arabic Translation Challenge: ‘An Angel Appears’
“The beginning, we choose. / But the end chooses us. / And there is no road but the road.”

Arabic Translation Challenge: ‘You’ve Aged Like a Cat!’
“I saw everyone getting lovelier, day by day, / and you, becoming less so! / Like a cat that fetches a high price in its youth, / and which, when it ages, goes for cheap.”

Arabic Translation Challenge: ‘Do Not Scold Me!’
“Cure me rather with the cause of my ill…”

Arabic Translation Challenge: ‘Like a Lion with Spots’
“Abu Nuwas’s answer to The Tiger King.”

Arabic Translation Challenge: If You See His Fangs Bared …
إذا رَأيْتَ نُيُوبَ اللّيْثِ بارِزَةً   *   فَلا تَظُنّنّ أنّ اللّيْثَ يَبْتَسِمُ

Arabic Translation Challenge: The Crime of al-Ma’arri’s Father
هذا جَنَاهُ أبي عليَّ      وَمَا جَنَيتُ عَلَى أَحَدِ

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