Translators Associations Eurasia: SAOLT

Raising professional and scholarly standards

Translation Association Eurasia: SAOLTThe Saudi Association of Languages and Translation (SAOLT), was created on the 6th October 2003. It is based in Riyadh, at the College of Languages and Translation of the Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University.

Since its foundation, SAOLT has defined a list of goals it wishes to accomplish. The founders of this translators association wish to encourage and prompt “intellectual engagement in the fields of languages and translation”. It is also their wish to foster and support research in all fields related to languages and translation. Making use of those investigation programmes, SAOLT wants to make easier the exchange of “scholarly and intellectual output in the fields of language and translation among concerned agencies and institutes both inside and outside Saudi Arabia”. Scholarly consultation is to be provided.

One of the most important aims defined by SAOLT is the promotion of communication at scholarly and professional levels between its members. Networking is stressed as being extremely relevant to the development of the profession.

Only with the above-mentioned objectives accomplished can the Saudi organisation achieve another of its goals: to raise the professional and scholarly standards of its members. The people in charge of the translation association also wish to actively take “part in introducing to the wider scholarly community specialists in the fields of language and translation”.

Amongst the services provided by SAOLT, there is the providing of scholarly consultation, the publication of “ensuing research” and the distribution of the results among the members, as well as its exchange “with scholarly bodies inside and outside Saudi Arabia”. Moreover, SAOLT wishes to translate – as well as create – scholarly publications in the fields the association is specialised in, just like disciplines that relate with them.

In order to enhance professional practice, the Saudi association wishes to carry out studies, as well as to organise forums, workshops and training courses. Other than that, it issues bulletins, occasional papers, periodicals and journals that deal with languages and translation. The journal of SAOLT is called Ayn, a word with an estimated 100 different meanings in Arabic.

SAOLT also takes part in exhibitions and fairs both nationally and abroad. It is committed to having prominent scholars and specialists taking part in the association’s activities. It also organises “trips and competitions” for its members.

To be a member of SAOLT, you have to be a specialist in linguistics, literature or translation or to have an interest in the study of languages and translation. Membership is also available to organisations, associations and institutions interested in it.

There are two different types of membership at SAOLT. Active membership is aimed at those “holding a diploma or higher degree in one of the specialisations of the association”. As for Associate membership, it is for university students in languages and translation or people working – or who have an interest – in one of the association’s specialisations and do not meet the requirements to be an Active member.

Associate members have a 50% discount off annual membership subscription fee. They are allowed to attend the General Assembly’s meetings, the various committees, and to participate in discussions. However, they do not have “the right to vote or nominate themselves or others for membership or the Board of Directors”.

Keep in mind that Arabic, the official language of Saudi Arabia, is spoken by 221 million people. Most often identified with the Middle East and North Africa, Arabic is the official language of 26 countries.

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