Arabic Translators Clubhouse 2021: Twelve Discussions I Enjoyed with Arabic Translators and Interpreters

For translators, social media continues to become a source of ongoing inspiration and a resource for sharing knowledge. As the case with any social media platform, Clubhouse was an important outlet for language practitioners, translators, and interpreters.  As soon as the platform offered the Club feature, many of us were swamped by invitations to join clubs organized by language lovers, entrepreneurs, marketing gurus, musicians, and translators who also wanted to leave their print in this new platform! With all that beautiful noise, Arabic Translators CH was the best community work I’ve ever engaged in throughout 2021 to collaborate with language experts, professional translators, and avid students who were eager to learn more about exciting careers in translation.

I started Arabic Translators CH early March 2021, hoping to bring Arabic translators and interpreters in discussions that spark ideas and encourage more work towards maintaining quality in translation and interpretation. To that end, outstanding speakers joined and dedicated an hour each month, sometimes, every week, to support these discussions.  On the first session, I was lucky to host Maha El-Metwally, an impressive interpretation expert who shared her expertise in international conference interpreting, training background, and advice in interpretation.

Right away, I was joined by an amazing co-host. A colleague who helped me keep this platform alive. Maysaa Abed, an Arabic translator and subtitler, and a shy speaker like me 😀 With Maysa’s great passion for work and volunteerism, we continued the club’s presence throughout the year as we tried to overcome our public speaking nightmares lol March and April were extremely busy with planning and ideas. Ramadan was a quiet break, but the club resumed in May, and guests generously accepted our invitations to talk about what really matters for translators, whether beginners setting up their freelance business, or professionals with robust training plans to continue growing their skills. Some of the remarkable sessions we hosted are:

–          “Trainings for Interpreters” with Maha El-Metwally

–          “Quality Assurance in Translation” with Dr. Manal al-Mahfouz, translator and founder of Shaghaf (passion) platform for translators in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Wael Doukmak, currently the Head of Arabic Language Division, American Translators Association, and Mr. Ibrahim Alkhaldi, a certified ATA translator, and interpreter.

–          “Happy Workspaces: Arranging your Workstation,” with Maysa Abed and medical translator Sawsan Alkhoudair.

–          “Educating Clients about Translation – Explaining Quality” (Part 1) with Mr. Ibrahim Alkhaldi and Dr. Wael Doukmak.

–          “Educating Clients about Translation- Using Digital Media Campaigns” (Part 2) with Mr. Ibrahim Alkhaldi and Dr. Wael Doukmak.

While Ramadan is traditionally known as a quiet time for us in the region, Maysa and I continued to plan for the second half of the year! We were lucky to host experts in CAT tools, veteran translators with excellent academic and business background that inspired both professionals and students alike, and authors who shared their passion for literature and how they explored literary translation.  Here are the discussion we hosted during the second half of the year:

–          “Growing with Professional Associations” with Ms. Manar Kodama, District Liaison, Dearborn Public Schools, interpreter.

–          “CAT Tools” with Ms. Marwa Gooda, subtitler, Dr. Wael Doukmak, and Dr. Mohammed al-Zahrani, Associate Professor of French.

–          “How to Start as a Literary Translator” with Ms. Eman Assad, literary translator. Eman translated “To the Lighthouse,” “A Death in the Family,” and other novels and short poems from English into Arabic.

–          “Introduction to Subtitling” with Maysa Abed.

–          “Vacation: A Translator’s Dream” with Maysa Abed.

–          “International Translation Day: Spreading Awareness about Professionalism” with Dr. Faisal al-Thafeeri, Kuwait Translators Society and Ibrahim Alkhaldi.

–           “Planning for 2022:  Trainings and Translation Conferences” with Ms. Zenab Khouder, certified Arabic interpreter and recipient of ATA Dynamo Award 2020.

What more could I wish than starting the club and growing it with a truly supportive network! It’s been a great year for learning and sharing knowledge, thanks to social media and our generous guests. With that, I was able to learn more. I listened, took notes, and I’m ready to challenge myself with CAT, finally!

If you have been part of these discussions, what was the most useful session for you?

If you are a translator or a student and you want to join the Arabic Translators CH, please remember to fill in your CH bio so that we get to know you and admit you to the club.

Already in the club? Why not share your expertise or inspiring story? Reach out to me with your proposed topic, and I will be in touch soon!

Have a happy 2022!