History of Translations: Arab World


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This presentation is prepared by our instructor Ms. Stephanie Anne Tulod

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History of Translations: Arab World

  1. 1. History of Translation in the Arab World
  2. 2. 2nd Century  The early translations used in Arabic are dated back to the time of the Syrians.  According to Addidaoui, Jarjas was one of the best Syrian translators. He translated Aristotle‟s book In The World.  The time of Prophet Mohamed is of importance for translation history.
  3. 3.  One of the most famous translators of the time is Zaid Ibnu Thabet.  Another era that knew significant changes in Arabic translation was related to the translation of the Koran.  Despite the proliferation of the Koran translations, this matter was and is still the point of many debates and conflicts in the Arab world.
  4. 4.  The core of the conflicts that existed and still exist in the translation of Koran is related to the reason behind translation itself, whether to use the translation as a way to teach the principles of Islam or to use it in praying and legislation was the difficult choice that faced translators.
  5. 5. 1st Abbasid period  Translation knew an enhancement with the Caliph Al-Mansour, who built the city of Baghdad. It was also developed in the time of the Caliph Al-Ma‟moun, who built „Bait Al Hikma‟, which was the greatest institute of translation at that time.
  6. 6. Al-Jahid  One of the greatest theorists in translation  “The translator should know the structure of the speech, habits of the people and their ways of understanding each other.”  Stressed the importance of revision after translation
  7. 7. Mona Baker  distinguished two famous methods in Arab translation: 1. Yohana Ibn Al-Batriq and Ibn Naima Al-Himsi - literal translation 2. Hunayn Ibn Ishaq Al-Jawahiri - sense-for-sense translation
  8. 8. Contemporary Time  The proliferation of studies in the domain helps in the development of translation and the birth of new theorists.  Translation in the Arab world also benefits from the use of computers, digital materials and the spread of databases of terminologies that offer translators a considerable amount of dictionaries.
  9. 9. Literary Translation  a genre of literary creativity in which a work written in one language is re-created in another  bridges the delicate emotional connections between cultures and languages and furthers the understanding of human beings across national borders
  10. 10. History of Literary Translation 1st-3rd century  The first important translation in the West was that of the Septuagint, a collection of Jewish Scriptures translated into early Koine Greek in Alexandria.  Latin was the lingua franca of the Western World.
  11. 11. 9th century  Alfred the Great, King of Wessex in England, was far ahead of his time in commisioning vernacula Anglo-Saxon translations of Bede‟s Ecclesiastical History and Boethius‟ Consolation of Philosophy.  The Christian Church frowned on even partial adaptations of St. Jerome‟s Vulgate, the standard Latin Bible.
  12. 12.  In Asia, the spread of Buddhism led to large-scale ongoing translation efforts spanning well over a thousand years.  The Arabs undertook large-scale efforts at translation. They made Arabic versions of its philosophical and scientific works.
  13. 13. 14th century  First fine translations into English were made by Geoffrey Chaucer  The first great English translation was the Wycliffe Bible which showed the weaknesses of an underdeveloped English prose.
  14. 14. 15th century  The great age of English prose translation began with Thomas Malory‟s Le Morte Darthur- an adaptation of Arthurian romances  The first great Tudor translations are the Tyndale New Testament (1525) which influenced the Authorized Version (1611), and Lord Berners‟ version of Jean Froissart‟s Chronicles (1523-25).
  15. 15. Renaissance  A new period in the history of translation had opened in Florence with the arrival of the Byzantine scholar Georgius Gemistus Pletho.  A translation of Plato‟s works undertaken by Marsilio Ficino. was
  16. 16.  Non-scholarly literature continued to rely on adaptation. France‟s Pleiade, England‟s Tudor poets, and the Elizabethan translators adapted themes by Horace, Ovid, Petrarch and modern poetic writers.
  17. 17. Elizabethan period  saw considerable progress beyond mere paraphrase toward an ideal of stylistic equivalence but there was no concern for verbal accuracy
  18. 18. 18th century  The watchword of translators was ease of reading. Whatever they did not understand in a text, or thought might bore readers, they omitted.
  19. 19. 19th century  brought new standards of accuracy and style  Edward Fitzgerald‟s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was considered to be the outstanding translation.
  20. 20. 20th century  a new pattern was set in 1871 by Benjamin Jowett who translated Plato into simple, straightforward language