Translating the Language of the Syrian Revolution (2011/12)
While the Arab revolutions have obviously triggered extensive social and political changes, the far-reaching consequences of the cultural and discursive changes have yet to be adequately considered. For activists, researchers and journalists, the revolution was primarily a revolution in language; a break with the linguistic oppression and the rigidity of the old regimes. This break was accompanied by the emergence of new languages, which made it possible to inform, tell and translate the ongoing events and transformations. This language of the revolution was carried out into the world by competing voices from Syria (by local and foreign researchers, activists, and journalists). The core of this project is to find the various translations of the language of the Syrian revolution (2011 -2012) from Arabic to English to study and analyze. In addition, the discursive and non-discursive dimensions of the revolution are to be seen as another act of translation, including the language of the banners, slogans, graffiti, songs and their representation in English.
This research aims, in addition to contextualizing the language of the revolution, to demonstrate how this language was translated into English through three levels of translation. The first explores the context of translations from Arabic into English and examines three English books written about Syria. The second level sees translation as an act of importation into the dominant discourse and is exemplified with three books representing the revolutionary language. The third, and last, level looks at translation from the margin to the center, represented by activist translations from Arabic into English. The research tries to study how translations of the language of the Syrian revolution are reshaped after leaving their originating discourse and entering the English one.