“My Book in Different Languages” ..  Session about literary translation

24 May, 2021


The Qatari Forum for Authors organized a session on literary translation entitled: “My Book in Different Languages” to discuss the concern of international literary forums with translation as an opportunity to exchange cultures and knowledge, and to introduce the civilizational and cultural heritage of humanity and what has achieved at all levels, as part of the activities of Doha Capital of Culture in the Islamic World 2021.

The session, which was held to celebrate the International Day for Cultural Diversity, was hosted by writer Jamal Fayez and researcher Samira Obeid, where it dealt with the writers’ works translated into other languages, the role of translation in introducing the world to the Qatari literary product, also the conditions and controls that must be met in translation work, and the difference between translating poetic texts and stories.

The participants in the session emphasized that the creativity of Qatari writers is appreciated by academic institutions, researchers and specialists in the field of literary translation, praising the efforts of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Publishing House in the field of translation.

The writer Jamal Fayez, whose works have been translated into several languages, including English, French, German, Hindi, Turkish and Russian, explained that the Ministry of Culture and Sports has translated many stories of a book from Qatar into international languages ​, noting that translation is very important as it is an opportunity to exchange knowledge and cultures, as well as being a window to the other, and without it, humanity would not have been able to reach the achievements it has reached in all fields.

He stressed that translation is an opportunity to spread Qatari culture and taste what others have of literary texts and rapprochement with the other, expressing his hope that Qatar will take the lead in the field of translation globally, and that the opportunity will be given to teaching literature in different languages ​​in an effort to enhance human values.

He pointed out that, during the last two decades, the State of Qatar has become strongly present in the global scene in various fields such as sports and media, and has hosted international conferences, so it has become natural that there is, in return, academic and literary interest to learn about the Qatari culture, its customs and traditions, and its legacy and civilizational history and a cultural product.

On the criteria to be achieved in the translator, Fayez explained the necessity for translator to be fully aware of the language, whether the language of the text or the language into which it is translated, and experience working to serve the translated text, indicating that the Arab world suffers from a lack of translation of texts Arabic to other languages, so the Arabic text was long overdue in this global field.

For her part, writer Samira Obeid, whose works have been translated into German, French, Hindi, and Persian, presented some of her translated works, such as “Bracelets of Violet”, “Melody with Amputated Fingers” and “point of view from mud”, indicating that the translation of literary works needs certain criteria for expression about the text in an ideal way, and with the feelings and emotions it contains that the author of the original text senses.

Obaid said that being in the world of translation with multiple cultures is a great achievement, and it will be beneficial to the Qatari creator when he has a presence in literary forums globally, stressing that there are criteria that must be taken into account when translating, which is the need for translation to be credible and to be characterized by cohesion linguistic, especially in the field of poetry, as it is the most difficult type of literature to translate.