Egypt celebrates translators on the birthday of Rifaa Tahtawy

Ahram Online, Sunday 26 Aug 2012

Camillia Sobhy, head of the National Centre for Translation, announces 'Translator’s Day,' celebrating the efforts of professionals who bridge languages, cultures and civilisations

Rifaa Tahtawy
Rifaa Tahtawy Egyptian translation pioneer.

Egypt’s National Centre for Translation (NCT) has launched a new annual festivity, “Translator’s Day,” to mark the role of the translators in Egypt. The NCT said that the day would be set on 15 October.

Camillia Sobhy, head of the NCT, said that “Translator’s Day” aims to shed light on translators and their efforts, which she described as requiring as much creativity as writing the original text in many cases, acting as a bridge between culture and civilisations.

The date, 15 October, was chosen to coincide the birth date of Egyptian translation pioneer Rifaa Tahtawy (1801-1873), in recognition of his role in establishing the first school of translation (now the Faculty of Linguistics) and specialised translation departments for mathematics, physics and the human sciences.

Sobhy called on all institutions concerned with translation in Egypt — including universities, libraries and foreign cultural delegations — to participate in the day.

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