Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Economic Performance Of the Arabic Book Translation Industry in Arab Countries

Contents:

Author Info

  • Harabi, Najib

Abstract

Knowledge has always been at the heart of economic growth and development. It is disseminated chiefly through the different stages of education, R&D, the mass media and the translation industry. In Arab countries there has been a widespread impression that there is a low level of translation activities, which in turn has led to a low output of the translation industry in those countries. This paper addresses this issue; its overall objectives are (1) to describe the economic performance of the Arabic book translation industry in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Syria; (2) to understand empirically the economic performance of that industry, the focus here being on qualitatively analyzing the major determinants (positive and negative factors) affecting the growth process of that industry; and (3) to provide policy makers and business leaders in the Arab region with theoretically sound and evidence-based advice on the issues analyzed in the project. To provide an empirical base for answering those questions, both published data and fresh new data have been used. For the latter purpose, a questionnaire-based survey was conducted in the year 2005 among 190 experts, covering firm representatives and experts in industry and government. The Porter (Diamond) model has been used as a theoretical background. The empirical results were incorporated in five national case studies. This paper synthesizes the results of the national reports, giving a comparative account of the performance of the Arabic book translation industry in the five Arab countries. The overall results suggest that the Arabic book translation industry in these Arab countries has not yet achieved the level of development of other developing and developed countries. Underperformance of the Arabic book translation industry is attributable to (among other factors) severe coordination failures. This is a state of affairs in which the inability of the different agents (translators, book publishers, suppliers, customers, and supporting organizations, state, and so forth) to coordinate their behavior (choices) leads to suboptimal outcomes. Since the economic performance of the translation industry often involves complementary investments whose return depends on other investments being made by other agents, coordination is crucial. Obviously, neither market forces nor the state have undertaken this coordination activity sufficiently. The Arabic book translation industry seems to suffer from both market failure and government failure. In light of these results the Arabic book translation industry offers great economic potential that should be mobilized systematically in the future. This paper discusses how this can be achieved, based on a well-designed and implemented process of upgrading and innovation in companies, industries, and clusters related to translation activities. Public policy, properly understood and adequately implemented, can play an important role in this process. To overcome, or at least to mitigate, some of the major coordination failures in the Arabic translation industry, it is necessary to select an existing pan-Arab nongovernmental organization (NGO) or to create a new one, whose mission would include two major groups of activities: The first action would involve the coordination of activities on the supply side of the Arabic translation industry. This group of activities would encompass the following: 1. Improving the documentation of Arabic translation needs. This can be achieved by creating a regional Internet-based database that would constitute an information base on what has been translated, what is being translated, and what will be translated from foreign languages into Arabic. 2. Designing and implementing translation support programs (including providing financial means) on a sustainable basis. This would create and maintain a critical mass of translators and publishing companies. 3. Promoting translation quality assessment programs. This would mitigate the widely known problem of poor quality translation. 4. Designing and implementing training programs for translators and publishing companies involved in the translation business. This would increase the number of translators and improve the quality of translation activities. 5. Promoting networks among writers, translators, and publishers that facilitate contacts and create opportunities for new translation projects. Such additional communication channels would spur new project development. All these measures are intended to strengthen the supply side of the translation industry in Arab countries. The second action would involve the coordination of activities on the demand side of the Arabic translation industry. The suggested NGO should support readership surveys and promote reading programs. This can be done in collaboration with radio and television stations, print media, schools and universities, and so forth. These measures would help to identify the real needs of the reading public and enhance the culture of reading, especially among young people.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/4385/
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/5182/
File Function: revised version
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 4385.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 27 Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4385

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Arabic Book market; economics of translation; transaltion industry; Arab world; Egypt; Morocco; Saudi-Arabia; Lebanon; Syria;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4385. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.