Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) organized a translation workshop in cooperation with Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s Institute of Translation and Interpretation, under the title “The Art of Mediation in Media Translation.”

Led by TII’s assistant professor, Dr. Ashraf Abdel Fattah, the workshop was held last week at the DCMF’s headquarters and focused on translating and interpreting news reports.

Professionals from various organizations in Qatar participated in the four-day workshop, in which they were taught the principles of translating international news reports for a local audience, and actively engage with the text to spot any bias or even fake news.

“Information must be selected carefully and presented accordingly to its receiver, because sometimes the source might be guided ideologically by its editor,” says Dr. Abdel Fattah about the main goal of this workshop. “This is why news must be carefully examined.”

In an interview with Dr. Abdel Fattah, he insists that this type of workshop can be useful for many professionals working in fields other than journalism and media. “Every organization must release statements, and these usually are reported by media agencies who might quote them incorrectly, resulting in skewed representations of organizations’ intentions.” As such, he urges local organizations to write and edit their own public statements and press releases, eliminating any possible misquotations.

The participants also learned throughout the sessions of the common mistakes a translator might make, especially when it comes to news. One of the main mistakes, Dr. Abdel Fattah mentions, is translating news word for word without looking at the text as a whole. Translators, or as he refers to them, Transeditors, “must be aware of the intention in the source text. Not every detail needs to be translated to convey the meaning of the text, and it really depends on the receiver; therefore, details must be selected to fit the receiver’s culture and values.” The only time a text must be translated verbatim is when the source text is by a high official such as presidents and political leaders.

Dr. Abdel Fattah spoke of the challenges translators usually face in their line of work, mainly the limited sources and lack of information. “This is why as journalists who translate the news must rely on international news agencies such as Reuters and the Associated Press to acquire reports that are truly reflects the truth without any bias.”

By the end of the final session, participants were awarded certificates of completion. Dr. Abdel Fattah praised the wonderful interaction and engagement from the participants. He says that he found positive engagement “even from those who don’t necessarily work in a media related field. They showed interest in subjects that were new to them.”

The Translation and Interpretation Institute holds workshops and training courses on related topics such as “Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling,” “Translating Sports,” and “Translating news and Views” held throughout the academic year.

By : Asmaa Abdulla Al Buainain / DCMF