Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Adventures in co-translation: guest blog for ArabLit

Arablit, 14th August 2012

So what have been the pros and cons of this style of working? I’ll start off by giving some of Yousef’s responses to that question. “Firstly, there is the fact that each of us knows some of one of the languages and is a native speaker of the other,” he says. “With me as a native speaker of Arabic, I know what small things mean – not just literal meaning, but cultural meanings of names, places and so on. And then with you as a native speaker of English we can very finely tune things to be as close as possible to the meaning of the original but with a nice style. We can discuss a word or phrase and find the best choice”.
Another benefit, according to Yousef, is that the process is “less boring that working on one’s own. It makes translation an interactive process between two minds, it’s part of communicating with another human being as well as with the text, and because it is more stimulating it allows you to work longer”.

The full post is here.

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