Why Translation is Vital for the Future of Arabic Nations

Translation has played a major role in the dissemination of information around the world since time immemorial. In order to trade goods, spread knowledge, and encourage understanding between people who don’t speak the same the language, translation has always been key.

Removing the language barriers is essential for supporting growth, advancing learning and inspiring development of individuals, communities and nations.

Translation of works based in fields such as, science, art, humanities, and maths can encourage young people to explore the natural world, strive for further knowledge, advance their own education, and improve technology, or understanding.

A perfect example of the previous (and ongoing) need for translation is highlighted by the Arabic translators of the past, who translated many works of the ancient Greek philosophers, which would otherwise, have been lost throughout the Middle Ages.

The following points highlight why translation will be vital for Arab nations in the coming years:


1. Language and Education

Educating future generations is an essential component in ensuring that both a nation, and its people, are able to stay up-to-date with other nations.

Education can drive enthusiasm, encourage curiosity and offer motivation for excellence.

In order to educate, it is often necessary to translate works from other languages, cultures, and dogmas. This ensures understanding, advances knowledge, shares ideas, and inspires advanced intellectual thinking.

An example of translation helping to advance learning comes in the form of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.

This is a foundation that was inaugurated on 4 October 2015 which embodies the vision of Sheikh Mohammed to improve the Arab world through humanitarian, developmental and community work.

The project aims to help in combating poverty and disease, spreading knowledge, empowering communities, and entrepreneurship and innovation for the future.

It includes the online portal Madrasa, which aims to change the reality of education in the Arab world, and bridge the “educational gap between the Arab world and the developed world”.

The translation challenge, linked to Madrasa, is the largest scientific translation project of its kind and was launched in September 2017. It aims to translate and Arabize educational content for Arab students.

Hundreds of Arab volunteers, translators, and teachers, have translated scientific works from around the globe in order to improve opportunities for industry in the region and to build “a better future for mankind”.

Education is vital for the advancement of a society, and translation can assist this process through the distribution of knowledge and information.


2. Translation and Improved Technology

Technology extends human capabilities. The use of books (rather than scrolls or stone tablets) made it easier to retrieve, read, and cross-reference texts, the internet has created super-fast communication links, and manufacturing processes have increased production speeds and outputs.

However, many of these factors have been dependent upon a symbiotic mixture of people, knowledge, and cultures in order to reach their potential. Translation, and dissemination of knowledge and skills, has been necessary to encourage a merging of information which is then readily available for all to access and improve upon previous technologies.

Bridging the language barrier, in order to advance technologies, is a key component when considering the advancement of Arabic nations.

This has already been recognized by some Arab states with the UAE leading the way through initiatives such as, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, founded in 2007, which aims to “empower future generations through knowledge”.

The foundation funds research and nurtures ideas and innovation through education, entrepreneurship, research and development, alongside translation and publishing of works from around the globe with regard to technologies, science and math, all of which are intricately linked to furthering potential for excellence in the coming Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an area where the UAE are already planning ahead.

Events such as, the 3rd Middle East Internet of Things 2019, saw speakers from around the globe come together to discuss how this “transformative cycle will sweep across all industries and change the fundaments on how to operate a profitable business”.

Translation is, once again, key to accessing the pool of information available from experts, and specialists. Breaking through the language barrier means an increased understanding, improved knowledge, and advanced nations.

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