Workshop: Atef Alshaer translating Syrian poet Fouad Mohammad Fouad
Arabic translator Atef Alshaer leads a workshop focusing on the work of Syrian poet Fouad Mohammad Fouad. This workshop will look at completing the translation of Fouad Mohammad Fouad's poem Aleppo Diary which was begun at a previous poetry translation workshop. You can read the compleated section of Aleppo Diary here.
Our workshops are open to anyone who can contribute a translation of a poem by a living African, Asian or Latin American poet who has an established reputation in their own language.
The workshops begin with a language expert introducing us to the original poem, reading it aloud and explaining its cultural context. Next we look at the literal translation of the poem they’ve produced for us; this usually sounds very awkward in English since the idea is for it to be as close as possible to the original text. Our aim in the workshops is to transform this into a new poem in English.
Arriving at the translated poem involves deploying all the resources of English to find words and phrases that are true to the original yet which also convey its special qualities as a poem.
We put all three versions of the poem up on our website so you can see how our translations have emerged. Many of the final versions are produced collectively; others have been finished by an individual member of the group. Your comments are very welcome: translation is always a provisional and contingent activity!