Translations into and from Arabic

It’s an amazing fact that:

“Although Arab culture, from Baghdad to Toledo, led the world in the art of translation in the 8th and 9th centuries, transmitting ancient Greek and Latin texts that helped fuel Europe’s renaissance, the UN estimates that the entire number of books translated into Arabic in the past 1,000 years is the same as that now rendered into Spanish in a single year.”

On the other hand:

“After the 1988 Nobel prize for literature was awarded to Naguib Mahfouz, the sole Arab recipient to date, Edward Said wrote that ‘of all the major literatures and languages, Arabic is by far the least known and the most grudgingly regarded by Europeans and Americans’.”

These are both quotes from an interesting article in today’s “Guardian” newspaper.
Another way of better understanding the Arab world is to visit it and I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Morocco, Egypt and Jordan.

One Comment

  • Nick

    One book that has been translated into Arabic is Hitler’s Mein Kampf. It has been widely distributed in the Arab-Muslim world since the 1930s.
    The Guardian reported in 2005 that a Turkish edition became a bestseller in Turkey, reportedly selling over 100,000 copies in two months. See Mein Kampf sales soar in Turkey.