The CLCS Global Arab and Arab American forum is interested in works of the Arab diaspora, including the cultural production of Arab American and global Arab writers. The category “Global Arab” allows for a broad conceptualization of diasporic and multilingual work situated within the various national, ethnic, religious, and cultural contexts of the Arab world and the Middle East. The designation “Arab American” is linked to the category “Global Arab” yet deserves special attention as a distinct subfield within American literature that engages with the discourses of race and ethnicity in the United States as well as with the history of Arab and Middle Eastern migrations to the Americas.

ARABIC TRANSLATION CONTEST – American Association of Teachers of Arabic (AATA) _ submissions deadline August 31, 2022

ARABIC TRANSLATION CONTEST American Association of Teachers of Arabic (AATA)

One First-place Award, $600

One Second-place Award, $400

The need for capable translators to produce accurate, fluent, and when appropriate, artistic English renditions of Arabic literary and non literary texts is widely acknowledged. Addressing this need, the American Association of Teachers of Arabic (AATA) has sought an effective, concrete means to encourage and recognize superior ability in the written translation of Arabic into English. To this end, AATA will award two biennial prizes for outstanding achievements by two students of Arabic in translating into English significant works or portion of a work composed in Arabic.


Two awards, a first prize of $600 and a second prize of $400 will be offered pending decision of the judges in each of the two categories. Honorable Mentions will be awarded to deserving but not prize-worthy entries.

  1. Literary Arabic: such as poetry, oratory, belles letters and adab-works: prose fiction (including

maqaamaat), drama, folklore, etc.

  1. Non literary Arabic: such as history, biography and autobiography, religious, theological, sectarian, religious-legal, and related works, political or governmental writings, scientific and technical studies, philosophy, philology, grammar, linguistic, and literary criticism, etc.

Obviously, the foregoing enumeration of genres neither purports to be exhaustive nor precludes the submission of entries in genres other than those mentioned. In addition, since the history of Arabic letters yielded certain genres and works (or portions of works) that are not easy to classify as “literary” or “non literary” the entrant will determine and specify under which category (A or B) his/her entry is to be judged and, in the “Prefatory Essay”(see below), will explain and justify that determination if necessary.

Applicants are discouraged from submitting translations of texts that have already been translated into English or any other major language. If, however, the candidate submits a text which has been previously translated, he or she must explain convincingly the need for a new translation and provide a copy of the appropriate portion of the earlier translation.


Only individuals who are currently participating as students in a program of Arabic instruction at any level, or who have been so participating at some time during the two years prior to the current academic year, are eligible to compete for this prize. Entries must be accompanied by a note attesting to the student’s participation signed by his/her instructor or another responsible person within the Arabic program.


  1. Each entry should consist of the following items. Incomplete entries will not be considered.
  2. Attestation of eligibility (see above).
  3. Short résumé—especially of training in Arabic.
  4. Prefatory essay: In this essay (which should be relatively short, though no limitation of length is

prescribed), the entrant should:

  1. Discuss the work or passage selected for translation, its author (if known), and its genre

(justifying his/her categorization of it, if necessary, as described above)

  1. Explain the significance of translating the selected text into English; if the selection has been

translated into one or more Western languages, the entrant should indicate why his/her

translation is desirable.

  1. Describe the selected text itself—sketching very briefly its language and style, giving precise

details as to the original source (full publication data or manuscript or archival provenance, if

appropriate), and specifying variant versions, if such are encountered.

  1. Preserve your anonymity by not mentioning identifying information, such as one’s name and

university in the essay.

The importance of this essay cannot be overemphasized. In it, the entrant must establish the challenging nature of the work being translated and justify the choice of the selection. The judges bestow considerable weight to the arguments set forth in this essay.

  1. A copy of the selected text or, if a copy is impossible to obtain or make, precise bibliographic

information (the copy can be returned to the entrant if he/she so desires)

  1. Translation: The translation should be, above all, accurate, fluent, and idiomatic.
  2. Length: There is no prescription as to length. A length of 10-15 double-spaced, typewritten

pages of translation is suggested only as an average. However, individual entrants should feel

free to submit longer or shorter translations as the difficulty, complexity, continuity, or other

circumstances of their selected text might dictate. If the entrant deems it desirable to comment on the length of the selected text, he/she may do so in the Prefatory Essay.

  1. Style: Clarity and aptness of style are essential. The opinion of the judges regarding

correctness and style of the English translation shall be considered final. Where the

subject matter and vocabulary of the Arabic original are of a technical, professional, or

disciplinary nature, they may require a corresponding style and terminology in English.

Concern to reproduce stylistic elements of the original will be considered favorably as long as

no serious damage is done either to the Arabic meaning or to the English grammar and usage.

  1. Format: The format of the translation is to be determined by the entrant’s own preferences

and the formal and generic demands of the selected text, with these stipulations:

  1. Pagination: The page numbers (and/or paragraphs and/or line numbers) of the original are to be indicated at appropriate points on the translation.
  2. Transliteration: A recognized system of transliterating Arabic names and terms should be adopted and used consistently in the body of the translation and the Notes.

iii. Cruxes: Dubious, ambiguous, alternative, or literal renderings should be included in

the Notes (see following section).

  1. Notes: The entrant should provide in a separate section whatever notes he/she regards necessary, dealing, for instance, with the following points:
  2. Cruxes of translation (see above)
  3. Translation of variant readings (where such occur)
  4. Explanation or justification of possibly disputable renderings (at the entrant’s own


  1. Biographical, historical, cultural, philological, linguistic, or other relevant information, deemed useful to a proper understanding of the translation,

The number, extent, and scope of the Notes provided are left entirely to the entrant’s



Winning entries will be announced at the annual meeting of AATA when awards will be presented (a winning entrant need not be present to receive his/her award).


A committee of judges will be appointed from among qualified instructors of Arabic as a foreign language. This committee, in particular cases, will solicit additional evaluations of translations from individuals specifically qualified in the areas in question, and these evaluations will be given full consideration by the committee in its final decision.


All entries must be submitted no later than August 31, 2022 to be eligible for consideration.


Address all entries to:


American Association of Teachers of Arabic (AATA)

3416 Primm Lane Birmingham, Alabama 35216 USA

Phone: 205-822-6800 Fax: 205-823-2760 Email:

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