A translation project sponsored by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities is winding down after contributing 50 new titles to the store of knowledge translated from English, French and Italian into Arabic.
The “Knowledge Transfer Project” was launched in mid-2014 with the aim of transferring knowledge to the kingdom and to the Arab world through accurate and faithful translations that would provide reliable references for scholars, students and readers, and at the same time contribute to the development of the Arabic language and its terminology.
“We sought, through the project, to contribute to the exchange of knowledge experiences, especially among young Arab and European researchers, in the fields of social sciences and the arts, to promote intercultural dialogue through translation, said Elsy Nassif, the project’s executive director.
The Bahrain project is not the only initiative in the region seeking to advance the transfer and sharing of knowledge in Arabic. Other efforts in the Gulf include the Translation Grant Fund of the Sharjah Book Authority, the Abu Dhabi International Translation Conference, the Kalima Project of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, and Dar Rewayat, a publishing company specialized in publishing novels both in Arabic and in translation.
Elsewhere, the Iraqi Translation Project is working to increase the number of academic articles in Arabic available online. (See a related article, “An Online Movement Translates Academic Articles Into Arabic.”)
Raising Awareness of the Need for Translation
The 50 titles chosen for the Bahrain project were based on proposals of an Arab-European advisory committee, across five topics: rational thinking, social sciences, artistic creativity, discourse analysis and communication theories. The books were issued in 2,000 copies each and distributed in all Arab countries, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Although the first editions of many of these translations have run out, the project will not be renewed, especially in light of the financial pressures imposed by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the publishing process will end early next year. (See a related article, “Arab Publishers Take a Hit From the Covid-19 Crisis.”)