Translating Egypt’s Revolution: The Language of Tahrir

This unique interdisciplinary collective project is the culmination of research and translation work conducted by American University in Cairo students of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds who continue to witness Egypt’s ongoing revolution. This historic event has produced an unprecedented proliferation of political and cultural documents and materials, whether written, oral, or visual. Given their range, different linguistic registers, and referential worlds, these documents present a great challenge to any translator.

The contributors to this volume have selectively translated chants, banners, jokes, poems, and interviews, as well as presidential speeches and military communiques. Their practical translation work is informed by the cultural turn in translation studies and the nuanced role of the translator as negotiator between texts and cultures. The chapters focus on the relationship between translation and semiotics, issues of fidelity and equivalence, creative transformation and rewriting, and the issue of target readership. This mature collective project is in many ways a reenactment of the new infectious revolutionary spirit in Egypt today.

About the Author

Samia Mehrez is professor of Arabic literature in the Department of Arab and Islamic Civilization and director of the Center for Translation Studies at the American University in Cairo.She is the author of Egypt’s Culture Wars:Politics and Practice (AUC Press pbk edition, 2010), The Literary Atlas of Cairo (AUC Press, 2010), and The Literary Life of Cairo (AUC Press, 2011).

Ibrahem Abdel Ghany

Founder of Araby.org

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