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Masters Translation, Literature, Saudi Applicant

I won first place in a competition that involved the translation of a short story from Arabic into English when I was a student at middle school. It was at that point that I made my career choice and since then I have become increasingly fascinated by the contrasts and similarities between the two languages and have delighted in pursuing an understanding of the cultures from which the English language springs and in spreading interest in my own language and culture among English speakers, especially in the United States where Arab cultures and their language are still not very widely known or appreciated.

The study of English has provided me with the key to many beautiful literary works that have never been translated into Arabic and its study has therefore ‘broadened my horizons’ considerably by teaching me about the culture, traditions, lifestyles and institutions of the US especially. I have also greatly enjoyed many of the classic English language films that have never been dubbed or subtitled into Arabic. It is my hope to assist in translating some of those works and films for the enjoyment and illumination of Arabic speaking audiences and also to translate some equally beautiful works, which are available only in Arabic, into English, to promote and share the, currently hidden, gifts that my culture holds for English speakers.

I am aware that the translation of literature, especially classic works, carries with it significant responsibility as the translator necessarily becomes, to some degree, an author especially where linguistic roots and literary conventions may differ considerably. English and Arabic have evolved from very different roots and so the translation of one to the other requires perhaps more subtle skills, finesse and judgement than are usually required of those, for instance, translating from one European language to another. I am aware that this will call for an unusual level of commitment and diligence on my part to succeed within the program.

I intend to complete my M.A. and then pursue a doctorate, also at XXXX, to fit me to teach English translation at a Saudi university and share my love and enthusiasm for this vital field of work with others. My ultimate ambition is to work for the Saudi Foreign Ministry as director of translation services.

I hold a bachelor degree in English awarded by the King Khalid University with a grade of 3.5. The main elements of the program were: literature, linguistics and translation and I my interest in the latter was confirmed to me as the specialism for my future career. I have undertaken translation, technical translation, editorial work and interpretive translation and the use of translation computer programs both within in my degree program and in substantial voluntary extracurricular work and competitions for which I willingly surrendered much of my spare time.

I worked as a volunteer on courses to teach foreign faculty students about the Arabic language and culture in the medium of both languages. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and the opportunity to meet students from several different cultures and to introduce them to my language and culture. Sharing an enthusiasm for a subject that I love hardly seemed like work and I also learned much from my students during that time. My efforts were appreciated by the students and the faculty. I was presented with certificates of appreciation for my work by both the faculty and, to my delight, from the Dean. I greatly look forward to the opportunity to resume teaching in the future and look to the program to supplement and extend my skills in this respect.

I know that research is an essential element of the program. I excited at the prospect of assisting in research and feel that my enthusiasm and curiosity will enable me to assist in advancing the art of translation. I would be particularly interested in assisting in research in one or more of: modern literature, visual arts and/or in the field of intergovernmental communications.  I am also looking forward to learning more about advances in the use of computer programs and in their optimum applications.

I am aware that the program will attract many, well-qualified candidates, however I do believe that my academic career and voluntary work to date together with my considerable skills and enthusiasm for this field of study will enable me to ‘add value’ to the program. I am looking forward with great pleasure to sharing the fruits of my knowledge, background and experiences with fellow students and benefiting from their own and in co-operating with them for our mutual educational benefit and the advancement of our chosen field of study.

Thank you for considering my application.

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