News & Media

September 28, 2012
International Translation Day

On September 28, 2012, the feast day of St. Jerome, patron saint of translators, the Holy Spirit University celebrated International Translation Day with a conference, organized by the Department of Interpretation and Translation of the Faculty of Letters, entitled “Translation, Carrier of Intercultural Communication”.

Following the Lebanese National Anthem, Dr. Rania Salameh stated in her welcome speech that “Translation is a history of encounters between cultures coexisting together and within each other”. She added: “… It is an opportunity allowing cultural exchange as well as mutual acquaintance and enrichment between different cultures.”

In his speech, the Dean of the Faculty of Letters, Reverend Father, Professor Karam Rizk stated that: “Translation is a tough, fascinating and useful specialty”, and wondered, “Can we imagine the world without translation?” He added, “Such world embodies hostility, boycott, war, turmoil, chaos and anxiety, whereas the world of translation is a world of friendship, brotherhood, peace and love.” He praised the success of USEK translation graduates, especially those who bravely entered the labor market and established their own institutions. Rev. Fr. Rizk concluded by thanking the administrators of the Department of Interpretation and Translation, with special recognition to the head of this department Dr. Joseph Chreim.

The Head of the Arabic Language and Literature Department at the Holy Spirit University, Prof. Tanios Njeim, stated that given Lebanon’s strategic position as a crossroad between three continents, it has become the melting-pot of cultures, and Lebanese people consider themselves the pioneers of translation. He added, “Translation is a mean of cultural development and modernization.”

Dr. Oueijan, from Notre Dame University (NDU), talked about the defects of translation by stating, “In the Arab world, we focus on translating foreign languages into Arabic” and wondered, “Why don’t we transfer our literature to the West?”

Hoda Moukannes, Professor Lecturer at the Lebanese University, delivered an informative speech explaining about the translation of the Montreal Charter that took place in the frame of a cooperative project between the Lebanese University and McGill University.

Rosy Ghannage, Head of the English Language and Literature Department, talked about “the role of cultural awareness in teaching translation”.

In the end, the Head of the Interpretation and Translation Department at USEK Dr. Joseph Chreim tackled the matter of “the walls of languages and the doors of translation”, showing the problems faced by translators stating that “they should adopt cognitive vigilance and strategic translation”.

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