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Wednesday 30 June ,2021

The National Archives First Translation Conference is considered an important step on the road to translation advancement

The National Archives First Translation Conference is considered an important step on the road to translation advancement 

The conference research papers and discussions were well received by all followers

The National Archives virtual conference entitled “Translation in the Digital Age between Modern Technologies and Challenges of Historical Text”, was launched on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 and continued for 3 consecutive days. The participants praised the conference sessions and discussions relating to various translation issues and challenges which will surely pave the way for further translation advancement and development in our current era where we keenly seek constructive and fruitful communication with the whole world.

The research papers discussed during the various conference sessions indicated that translation is a creative activity that requires certain conditions and a wide culture, and that the richness of translation activity in the UAE confirms and reflects the cultural diversity it enjoys.

Through their research papers, the participating Speakers demonstrated that translation bridges any gap between civilizations and cultures and is an intellectual window to the world thought and knowledge which grants the Emirati identity further communication with other nations and cultures. Interest in translation is considered an interest in a key culture tributary with the expansion of communication between various peoples of the world. Translation has become inevitable and integral in a world that has currently transformed into a small global village.

The research-papers were presented by Senior Professors and Specialists from major world universities. The first session of the second day of the conference was entitled: “Linguistic and cultural problems in translation and interpreting”, moderated by Dr. Abdullah Al-Omari, Senior translator at the National Archives,  in which Professor Michael Cooperson from the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, discussed “A (partly) corpus-based approach to matching linguistic registers"; He pointed out that most translations from Arabic use Standard English as the target language, and referred to his recent translation of Maqamat al-Hariri, in which he adopted a different approach in line with Hariri's interest in language diversity and its susceptibility to change.

In his research-paper “Translation Policy and Practice in the Digital Age: new modes and media for delivery and accessibility” Professor Dr. Mohamed Gamal, Translation Consultant in Sydney, tackled Modern translation in the Arab world as associated with development over the past two hundred years, while he has focused on the past twenty years, Since the United Nations for Arab Human Development published its report in 2002, which shed light on translation scene, stressing that audio-visual translation is a new reality in the translation field after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Professor Ivan Williams, of Buraimi University in the Sultanate of Oman, in his paper “Bargaining for Style and Meaning in the Translation of Qasr Al Hosn”, (from English to Spanish), spoke of his experience with this book issued by the UAE National Archives, indicating that the translator must take into account the differences in words, phrases, and sentences semantics and the ambiguity and contradiction issues in certain translation texts.

In her research-paper, “Korean/Arabic Translations between Present and Future”, Professor Nabila Yun Eun Kyeong discussed: Translation as one of the most important means of cultural and civilizational exchange between the world nations and people, and the most important communication bridge of various world languages and cultures. Therefore, translation process cannot in any way be proper and accurate without a deep understanding of the source language culture, to convey the message in a way that suits the target language reader's understanding.

Professor Rahilya Geybullayeva from Baku Slavic University, Azerbaijan in her research-paper entitled: “Semiosphere as a history of interpretations on an example of a term from the manuscripts” tackled the consonant as a meaningful semantic unit for the Middle East languages conveyors, which is why a word interpretations from its exact text vary and have multiple versions, and consonants have an elementary semiotic meaning provided familiarity with the alphabets’ history.

The second session entitled " The predicaments of translation: Old Texts and Manuscripts as a Model", which was moderated by Alfatih Mohammed Osman, Senior Translator, at the UAE National Archives, began with a research paper entitled " The Dilemma of Translating Songs: The Poetry of Tagore as a Model" by the Emirati Poet, Translator and Literary Historian, Dr. Shihab Ghanem, in which he tackled The translation of rhythmic poetry can convey the poem’s original meaning, and can also be a poetic language prose that conveys the original meaning. He talked about some of his personal experiences with Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore’s poems.

In his research-paper, “Navigating Residual Orality in Translation between Incompatible Discourse Traditions”, Professor Waleed Bleyhesh Al-Amri from Taibah University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, discussed word or expression technology and the realization of its wide-ranging communicative ramifications. Whereas Dr. Tarek Abdulla Fakhr-Eldeen, Chair of the Kuwaiti Translators Association in Kuwait, in his research-paper entitled " Translating three-dimensional Historical Texts” conveyed an academic and practical approach to the Arabic and English languages interrelated translation when dealing with Arabian Gulf region related historical texts.

Professor Yahya Abdel Tawab of the Theater Institute in Kuwait, in his research-paper entitled “Translating Old Historical Russian Manuscripts” pointed out that ancient Russian historical documents are of great importance and interest to Russia, as is the case in other advanced world countries. But its translation to other languages is a matter for the nations or interested parties of these other languages. In his paper “Ancient Arabic Literature between Investigation and Translation,” Assistant Professor, Ayman Bakr, from Gulf University for Sciences and Technology in Kuwait discussed the importance of preserving and translating the oral Arab literary heritage, stressing that both are complex and non-objective or neutral.

The third session of the second day of the conference, entitled "Translation between History and Identity", moderated by Sumaya Al-Hashimi, National Archives Senior Translator, reviewed a number of research-papers, including "Cultural Issues in Translating Portuguese Letters on the Gulf in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries" by Professor Dr. Adrian de Man, Chair of the Department of History and Tourism- UAE University-Alain, in which he recounted his experience in publishing selected letters on trade and financial matters to or from Portuguese officials in Hormuz, and he pointed out that the Portuguese language has developed in the past four and a half centuries given the cultural circumstances and changes of time and place.

In her paper “Arabic Idioms Travelling via Translations: A Comparative Study” Assistant Professor Raja Lahiani, Department of Literature and Languages, UAE University, Al Ain tackled idiomatic expressions as traditional parts of speech that are linguistically ambiguous and structurally established.

Professor Yahya Mohamed Mahmoud from the UAE University discussed, in his paper entitled “The Biased Translation of British Historical Manuscripts” - the translations that appeared at the end of the sixties of the last century in some Arab countries, and the most important of these translations were the translation of parliamentary papers submitted by the British government to the British Parliament on the Arab Gulf states. Professor Khaled Umran Al-Zawam, from Alicante University in Spain, reviewed Arabic linguistic expressions and structures between heritage and present time, and the problem of translating them into Spanish: their definition, sources and application models. As for Professor Al Arabi Al Hadrawi from the University of Mohammed V, in Morocco, he discussed “The peculiarity of teaching literary translation between textual terms and language pre-conditions”.

The fourth and last session of the second day of the conference, entitled: " Translation and Horizons of Expectations", moderated by Dr. Aisha Bilkhair, National Archives Research Advisor, began with a research-paper presented by Professor Dr. Forget Chaterera-Zambuko from Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, in which she discussed ways of “Bridging the geographical and language gaps to accessing archives through digital translation”. Then Dr. Atef Abbas Abdel Hamid Ahmed, Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence Consultant, discussed “the challenges of translating modern technology terminology: a case study in the field of computer science.”

Dr. Nabiha Maktabi and Ms. Faten Rushdi from the Louvre Museum - Abu Dhabi tackled “enriching trans-cultural Hybridity through translation”.

The final research papers presented on the second day of the conference on "Translation in the Digital Age between Modern Technologies and the Challenges of Historical Text" was entitled: "Translation and Dialogue of Civilizations in the New Millennium" by the Poet and Media Expert, Mahmoud Sharaf, Chair of Tanta International Poetry Festival.

The four sessions on the second day of the conference were well received and enriched with discussions that indicated the public's keen interest in and interaction with the conference's activities and research-papers.