Arabic texts on AF website

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madashell's picture
madashell
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Feb 11 2009 01:51
Arabic texts on AF website

An Arabic anarchist texts section has been put up on the AF website. It's a bit sparse at the moment, with just the AF's Gaza statement and Bakunin's Ethics: Morality of the State, but hopefully more will be available soon.

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Ed
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Feb 11 2009 17:44

That's looks like a good project guys.. especially with increased militancy in countries like Egypt and Iraq.

Do you have someone translating stuff? And are you only translating anarchist stuff? We had a guy in touch with us (libcom) who was translating Bolsheviks and workers' control (and other stuff) into Farsi. if you're looking at stuff to translate, it might be an idea to look at other traditions' criticisms of unions, nationalism and Leninism..

nastyned
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Feb 11 2009 18:53
Ed wrote:
if you're looking at stuff to translate, it might be an idea to look at other traditions' criticisms of unions, nationalism and Leninism..

Have you discovered council communism by any chance Ed?

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madashell
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Feb 12 2009 08:42
Ed wrote:
That's looks like a good project guys.. especially with increased militancy in countries like Egypt and Iraq.

Do you have someone translating stuff? And are you only translating anarchist stuff? We had a guy in touch with us (libcom) who was translating Bolsheviks and workers' control (and other stuff) into Farsi. if you're looking at stuff to translate, it might be an idea to look at other traditions' criticisms of unions, nationalism and Leninism..

We have a contact in the region who sent us the translations.

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Feb 12 2009 10:40

Madashell, I would recommend having them checked. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with them (I had a look at the first one and it seemed OK, but my Arabic is rusty and my reading was never as good as my speaking), but in the past we have received translations from abroad (definitely in Persian and Korean maybe in other languages) and later found out that they were very badly done, and didn't express what we were saying and in one case expressed exactly the opposite. Of course, if it is not possible, it is not possible, but if it were me I would like it done.

Devrim

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madashell
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Feb 12 2009 12:00

Obviously if there's any really serious errors, they need to be corrected, but even a poor translation is usually better than no translation at all.

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Devrim
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Feb 12 2009 14:21
madashell wrote:
Obviously if there's any really serious errors, they need to be corrected,

The problem is if you don't know if there are serious errors.

Quote:
but even a poor translation is usually better than no translation at all.

It depends how bad it is. What if it has you supporting HAMAS?

As I said, with this from my quick look, and my rusty Arabic, is seems OK.
In general though I think it is useful to check if possible.

There are two types of errors in translation. One is where the translate is translating a text into a foreign language. This usually results in grammatical errors etc. This is generally better than nothing at all.

The second is when the translator is translating a text into his own language from another language. Mistakes occur here when the misunderstood the meaning of the text. This can be more problematic.

There is no reason to think that these particular texts are bad. However, trying to have things checked is not a bad operating principle.

Devrim

posi
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Feb 12 2009 15:02

Isn't Khawaga fluent in Arabic? PM maybe?

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Feb 13 2009 00:40
nastyned wrote:
Ed wrote:
if you're looking at stuff to translate, it might be an idea to look at other traditions' criticisms of unions, nationalism and Leninism..

Have you discovered council communism by any chance Ed?

Nah, not recently anyway (to be honest, I was more thinking of Solidarity when I wrote that post).

If I'm being dead straight, its just because I haven't read that much anarchist stuff that was particularly relevant to events at the moment. In terms of decent stuff on unions and national liberation, I'd say that non-Leninist Marxists have been far more useful to me in recent years than anarchists have.. for instance, though I have a lot of anarchist-communist and syndicalist elements in my ideas, I'd say autonomism and the French 'ultra-left' have been more influential on my view of unions than the arguments between Malatesta and syndicalism.. and I'd say were more relevant today than anything Bakunin wrote (not that I think there's anything wrong with reading Bakunin, at all).

I guess I just thought that in the Arab countries (and I suppose the rest of the world) that discussions on nationalism, unions and the trad left (all of which have some degree of strength) would be more relevant than old 'anarchist classics', if you see what I mean..

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Feb 13 2009 22:12
Quote:
Isn't Khawaga fluent in Arabic? PM maybe?

Nah, I wish. The courses I've done in Arabic were conversational so I can speak to people, but my reading comprehension is almost none. I always had friends around that were happy to translate texts for me when needed.

nastyned
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Feb 14 2009 14:31
Ed wrote:
I guess I just thought that in the Arab countries (and I suppose the rest of the world) that discussions on nationalism, unions and the trad left (all of which have some degree of strength) would be more relevant than old 'anarchist classics', if you see what I mean..

Dunno really, depends what's available already. I'd much rather give people new to politics 'anarchist classics' than anything from Solidarity or the ultra-left. I think those sorts of things are of more use to people who are already hardened politicos.

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little_brother
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Feb 15 2009 18:08

Well, since this is a translation from English to Arabic by an anarchist whose own (main)language is Arabic, who presumably liked the content which is clear about not supporting Hamas, it doesn't really seem to need checking for political purity by someone with rusty Arabic. Bit patronising really. At least an assumption about the translator who may be on these forums... (you may like to know we weren't the only ones to receive the Bakunin piece).

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Feb 15 2009 18:53
Quote:
Well, since this is a translation from English to Arabic by an anarchist whose own (main)language is Arabic, who presumably liked the content which is clear about not supporting Hamas, it doesn't really seem to need checking for political purity by someone with rusty Arabic. Bit patronising really.

It's not really a patronizing comment at all (I don't think Devrim meant it that way), coz it very hard to translate something into Arabic. I've got friends who are fluent in both languages and they sometimes have a hard time finding the right words in Arabic. It never hurts to double-check any text that's translated.

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Feb 15 2009 18:59

No, I certainly didn't mean to be patronising. I just stated that we have had problems with these things before, and I think that it is always good to check them.
I have seen lots of bad translations in my time in all walks of life. People misunderstand things. It is always worth checking.

Devrim