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South-South Translations Program
Friday 3 October 2008
A pervasive structural feature of globalisation is that information tends to flow predominantly in one direction - from the rich “core” countries to the "periphery" of poorer countries in the East and South. Although South-South or East-East exchange of knowledge may often be of far greater social and intellectual value, due to cultural, historical, economic, or linguistic commonalities, economic and infrastructural factors often impede such exchange. Next Page Foundation’s South-South Translations initiative seeks to counterweigh this trend by supporting publishing into Arabic that makes available quality works from countries that share historical, cultural or linguistic ties with Arabic speaking countries such as Turkey, Iran and India.
This initiative provided quality publishers from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Palestine with grants to support publishing and translation into Arabic of books originally created in the above mentioned regions and countries, with the aim of sharing knowledge, information and ideas that will ultimately prompt public dialogue and discussion. The project also intended to support cross-border cooperation between publishers in Arabic to ensure better distribution and ensure wider access to the supported books. To facilitate publishers’ choice, the Next Page Foundation is providing lists of titles recommended for translation from Turkey, Iran and India.
The tender was open for invited publishers from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Palestine. The tender is now closed.
17 titles with 6 publishers from 5 countries were short-listed for the grant scheme as detailed in the table below. 3 titles were cancelled due to poor translation quality, copyright problems or other reasons. While the program was aiming at supporting translations directly from the original, the lack of translation capacity in the Arab world forced publishers to often make use of English as a bridge language. All translations into Arabic were subject to an independent quality evaluation comissioned by Next Page prior to being published.