Museum of The Future
Museum of The Future Ahmed Aldaie/Unsplash

The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC) collaborated with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London to host a cultural retreat titled "Translation: Literature and Technology."

The event was held as part of ALC's participation in the London Book Fair 2024 which witnessed over 30 experts and academics from various fields of translation.

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the ALC, said that this retreat was inspired by the UAE government's administrative excellence, which is being transferred to the field of culture, turning the cultural retreats organized by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre into an important tradition of hosting in major world capitals to great success.

"The Centre recognizes the important role translation plays in shedding light on cultures and the particular traits of various peoples," Tamim was quoted as saying by WAM. "We also acknowledge literature's role as a bridge that combines thought, culture, knowledge, science and human experiences into a blend of creative writing methods."

Keeping this goal in mind, the chairman arranged this year's Cultural Retreat as part of ALC's initiatives for the London Book Fair, partnering with the University of London.

He explained that this session serves as a prime platform to encourage insightful cultural dialogue on translation, a significant tool for connecting people worldwide. Tamim further said that ALC's focus at the retreat is on literary translation, highlighting its role in conveying intellectual heritage in an engaging and aesthetically pleasing manner.

The retreat covered various sub-topics related to the Arabic language and the publishing industry through three sessions.

The first session addressed the hurdles in literary translation, the second delved into the challenges of translating content into Arabic, and the third session explored publishing Arabic translations - including discussions on translation and artificial intelligence.

During this session, participants urged Arab translation institutions to embrace artificial intelligence as a solution to the obstacles in automatic translation into Arabic. They emphasized the need for a better understanding of the interplay between human translation and machine translation.

Earlier this year, Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education of the UAE, highlighted the importance of artificial intelligence in the education sector as he participated in the 54th World Economic Forum in Switzerland.