AWEJ. Special Issue on Translation No.3 May, 2014                                                                     Pp. 155-172

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 Conducting Research on Translation in and about the UAE


Sattar Izwaini
Department of Arabic and Translation Studies
American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

In the last four decades the United Arab Emirates has become one of the emerging hubs of international business and trade. With the bilingual situation in the UAE, the need has arisen to have translators to play the role of linguistic and cultural mediators. Translation industry has flourished and translation activity has gained a momentum in the economic and education sectors. Given this activity setting and the creation of translation degrees in UAE universities, this paper provides an overview of areas of research on translation with regard to the UAE. It is designed to function as a research guide to students and researchers who plan to conduct research on translation in, and of the UAE. A systematic coverage of research areas in translation studies is presented by linking them to the Emirati context. The paper outlines those research areas and offers questions that need to be answered in doing research on translation activity in the economic and socio-cultural system of the UAE. Main areas of research are introduced in the form of indicators for researchers who would like to embark on a research related to translation activity in the UAE. The areas of research are discussed first within Holmes’s map of translation studies. They are divided broadly into the traditional fields of investigation with determining parameters whether they are linguistic or extra-linguistic topics of research. A special discussion of translation as inter-cultural communication within the history of the UAE is also provided. Corpus-based translation studies as a research methodology is addressed as well.
Keywords: translation studies, UAE, translation industry, translation history, corpus-based translation studies


Sattar Izwaini earned his PhD in Translation Studies from the University of Manchester
Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), UK. He is an assistant professor at the American
University of Sharjah, UAE where he is the coordinator of the MA program in translation. He
teaches translation at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has taught languages,
linguistics and translation in Britain and the Arab World. His research interests include corpusbased translation studies, audiovisual translation, localization, terminology, machine translation,
and contrastive linguistics & translation.