The King Abdul Aziz Public Library launched its international translation prize in the name of its founder the late King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, in connection with his efforts to conduct a global dialogue between the followers of the various religions and to extend the bridges of civilisational communication between peoples and to encourage the communication of knowledge between cultures and civilizations in order to consolidate the positions of Saudi Arabia and its leadership through stressing the importance of knowledge in achieving rapprochement and understanding between states and peoples, and to come together on the basis of the common denominators that foster cooperation among them.
Reading the prize curriculum reveals the progress and flowering of cultural development and the roles of translation in achieving this desired development in many historical periods. The most obvious example was the contribution of Arab and Muslim scholars to the rise of human societies, especially Western ones, within a broader awareness that language difference should not be a serious obstacle to cooperation between followers of different religions and cultures, or prevent people from benefiting from the scientific and intellectual production of scientists and thinkers where it benefits humanity and a better future for future generations. This is confirmed by the diversity of fields the prize covers, covering the humanities and the natural sciences, in six branches, which candidates compete for.
How it Developed
The Board of Directors of the King Abdul-Aziz Public Library approved the establishment of a Global Translation Award bearing the name the King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz International Translation Award on 31 October 2006 AD (9 Shawwal 1427 AH). Its seat is in the Riyadh Library, and it is a tribute to excellence in translating from and into Arabic, celebrating translators and encouraging the efforts made in the service of translation.
The award calls for the communication of ideas, intellectual and cultural dialogue among Nations, and bringing peoples closer together, since translation is a key tool in achieving communication and knowledge transfer, enriching intellectual exchange, thus creating a culture of dialogue, establishing the principles of understanding and common life, and providing a better understanding of and greater benefit from human experiences. The award, in its universality, transcends all language barriers and geographical boundaries, conveying a message of knowledge and humanity, contributing to the achievement of lofty goals, and translating Saudi Arabia's efforts and initiatives for the sake of peace, dialogue and brotherhood among the nations.
The Objectives of the Prize
1. To contribute to the transfer of knowledge from other languages into Arabic, and from Arabic into other languages;
2. To encourage scientific translation into Arabic;
3. To enrich Arabic literature by publishing distinguished translation works;
4. To honour the institutions, bodies and individuals who have made outstanding efforts to translate scientific works to and from Arabic;
5. To improve the level of translation on the basis of authenticity, scientific value, and text quality.
Branches of the Award
The award consists of six branches:
1. A translation award for the efforts of organizations and bodies;
2. A translation award for individual efforts;
3. The Award for Translation in the Humanities from other Languages into Arabic;
4. The Award for translation in the humanities from Arabic into other languages;
5. The Prize for Translation in the Natural Sciences from other Languages into Arabic;
6. The Prize for Translation in the Natural Sciences from Arabic into other Languages.
Prize components, for each field:
The Prize Winner is awarded the following:
- A certificate of appreciation that includes the reasons for the award;
- A souvenir medal;
- For non-governmental institutions and organizations: 750,000 Saudi Riyals, equivalent to $200,000.
- For individuals: 500,000 Saudi Riyals, equivalent to $133,000.
The award is unique in its respect for cultural diversity, intellectual difference, the specificity of the cultural and civilizational identity of states and societies, and its awareness that this diversity is a universal law and part of our innate nature, linked to the diversity of religions, traditions, and the history of community creation and development, as a rich and enriching factor in international cooperation efforts, not as a motive for division, exclusion, marginalization of the other, or as a justification for attempts to dominate.
The success of this international award reflects the vision of the King Abdul-Aziz Public Library to strengthen the mechanisms of cultural communication among the countries and peoples of the world, and to raise awareness that such communication is a necessity for understanding, peaceful coexistence, and cooperation, and will benefit human beings wherever they are. The award gives opportunities for international competition only to individuals and non-governmental organisations and institutions. However, its benefit goes beyond that to the reader, the researcher and the scholar, who is able to benefit from these translated works. This is what makes these translated works so valuable in terms of the critical contribution that they make to science and knowledge. This point can be made no more strongly than by the diversity of the works that have competed for the award in its various categories.