DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Salma Yehia

Due: October 16, 2013

Arabic Translation Midterm


Egyptian President, Mohammed Morsi’s Last Speech :




…And this is not an easy operation. For it’s success, it requires motivation, collaboration, and chiefly, time. Nonetheless, as the world and yourselves have recognized, the current circumstances endure for copious reasons.


1. The current situation that we have inherited, this new trial of democracy with its distinct challenges, does not seem to please those who want corruption and outwardly reject the possibility of Egypt to have its will –they are those who belonged to the former order that supported heavy government involvement and exploitation. Rather than facing these challenges, it is considerably easier to follow the convoy and simply listen to directions.



No, the revolution of the Egyptians wasn’t a revolution of hunger. Rather, it was the revolution of will ownership and freedom. It was an uprising for justice in a country of law. 2. Social justice and true wealth distribution among people were the reasons behind this revolution. Parallel, are frequent challenges and abundant achievements. I have previously explained to you, in everyway, what we are doing. There exist immense challenges that will take time.


However, these challenges—of corruption, heavy government involvement in the lives of people, the followers of the previous regime, who in statistics were composed of thirty-two families controlling the state and exhausting people’s resources—will ensue. We carry the heavy burdens of the past. And now has crippled the youth of Egypt, my true children, who have issues.


As I explained beforehand, these youth have innumerable rights. The thought of keeping ideas from the old regime—that of corruption, the challenges of corruption, remnants of the regime—should be rejected. We strive to get away from and eliminate the inadequate elements. Yet, the volume of challenges is substantial. 3. With your help, of the Egyptians, we wont ever let those that want to return back into power. The current existing problems are the shortcomings from our movement and me. But this is a regular occurrence after a revolution, and both opposition and support endure. So as we enter a democracy, for the time being, let us respect it.


We created a constitution, a great one undeniably. 4. Took out “big challenges” People customarily take years to establish constitutions. We, thank God, were able to create a constitution on Dec 25th ,that passed in 2012, and was decreed by a majority of roughly 64/100 or close to two-third vote with an appropriate equilibrium.  The people of Egypt went to the polls and voted yes to this constitution. 5. We have awakened to a reference by which to live. We have awakened to legitimacy. With our willingness, a president was elected and a constitution with the consent of the people was created. Therefore, we must now work according to it.



This legitimacy is the only thing that guaranteed to all of us. So we must respect it, so that no fighting or killing between us occurs at any point.


 What we have seen, that currently exists, is that there are those who take advantage of the youth’s anger. It is tolerable for the youth to be angry, since it is only natural in the shadow of democracy and legitimacy. Don’t be afraid [added] to gather around it, move towards it, I want it to exist. Still, some people are symbolic of the criminality of the old regime, who don’t want democracy. If they went to the people, they would be “chewed up and spat out” taken out unwelcomed. These are the people who got used to fabrication and marginalizing groups of people.  They are the ones who strained the people and collected money with every occasion to send out of the country.


Hence, they are not able to understand the definition of neither democracy nor what freedom of opinion is. They take advantage of the permissible youth anger and the nobles of Egypt who have grievances towards the deep economic problems of the country. I truly value the criticisms of the youth and noble. Yet, there are others who exploit these grievances and anger so that they can employ followers to create chaos, aggressions, kill people, and instigate turmoil that looks like it is intertwined. But, why does this aggressiveness only show up at times they plan and a time that they choose. Why does the aggressiveness only show when they advertise that they want to change the order, cancel the democracy, and deny legitimacy.


Then what do you want? This legitimacy is the only certainty so that we can protect our country, prevent bloodshed, and enter a new stage. This stance is very clear.  This is why I am telling you, for the children of Egypt, the oppositionists. But in truth, I cant say the same for the blood shedder or the aggressor. No, this talk is to the honest opposition who respect the democracy, that know what legitimacy means, and who respect that legitimacy. I say to them, Egypt belongs to every one of us.


You all know, the whole world knows, that I, Mohammed Morsi, am not careful of following through with the responsibilities of my I don’t have esteem. God knows, this order between me and him, and with all of you. However, the people chose me and bestowed this position upon me. The people have created a constitution that puts responsibility on me. I respect this constitution and must defend it. I didn’t have a choice to carry the responsibility. I am holding on to the responsibility—I was, still am, and will always carry this responsibility.


 The blood of the Egyptians is dear to my heart. I stand here—with all my strength, with my tools, capabilities, and will—against those who try, in any way, to create bloodshed, turmoil, commit aggression, or create error that leads to aggression…





What kind of speech is this?

This was meant to be a persuasive speech that played to the ethos, logos, and pathos of the audience. Morsi was trying to convince the people of Egypt to keep him in power and that the problems Egypt is facing are natural occurrences—that together they can overcome the challenges because of successfully creating a constitution and establishing a democracy. He was trying to convince people that the old regime was a corrupt and evil one that we cannot return to through the imagery and words he chose in his description.  


What were some of the difficulties?

The most challenging part of translating Morsi’s speech was taking the complex Arabic sentence structure ( that contains few periods) and creating more simplistic, cohesive, yet sophisticated English sentences. The second most difficult part was the many “lists” that were contained within his speech. He would repeat similar ideas to emphasis a certain point through the use of the و conjunction. I would then have to try to distinguish between words that should be kept, how to emphasize without repeating, and making sure not to create a run-on sentence. The third difficulty for me was deciding whether or not I should keep the descriptive imagery that Morsi was portraying such as the “blood of the people” and different ways of saying “fight”.



How did you translate and why?

(For anything in a different color, please refer back to the matching color in the text)


  1. I had to change around/reorder whole sentences because doesn’t make sense when translated literally into English. The way it was structured in Arabic is acceptable because of the way a speech can be read out loud. Yet, when in writing, it is difficult to portray the pauses and the tone in which the speech was read.


  1. In this location, I had to change the sentence structure in order to create variety rather than the repetition that is often used in Arabic.



  1. I had difficulty trying not to list things and keep the emphasis he was trying to portray. Therefore, I made sure to keep my sentences short and divide sentences rather than using too many commas.


  1. Anything in read is either addition or loss


  1. I decided to keep the repetition because it added to the emphasis while keeping the sentence structure simple.


  1. In Arabic it was said (in the speech) as a double negative so I changed it to a positive sentence in English



Cultural transposition be seen in the phrase“ sucked the blood of the people” (2:20-2:22) this is because when translating from one language to another its meaning may not be understood. It is a saying in Arabic that has no direct equivalent in English. Therefore, I had to compensate, and translate by idiomizing and using connotative meaning.


Since this is a speech, I decided that some sentences can be fragmented (with some limits) in order to emphasize certain points without repeating the same words.


Morsi is extremely vague in his sentence structure and uses “it” a lot. This is  because he is usually referring to something that is understood by the audience who is listening. However, when written translation differs from speech translation because you have to be more grammatically formal and specific so that you wont lose the reader.


Also, when I was translating I thought about the audience that would most likely be reading this text. They were most likely a global citizen ( either Egyptian or another country) who mildly knew the background of the speech. So, I tried to make sure I encompassed a broader audience who understand English and might not understand the cultural references.


A solution to the lexical and phrase repetition that takes place often in Arabic was to find synonyms for words that show up often in the text to create variety in English sentence structures. In Arabic it may work to repeat the same word for emphasis but in English it doesn’t flow well. Also when translating, I had to keep an eye out for the tenses within the sentences. Many times, I had to change the present tense (in Arabic) to past perfect in English so that it was grammatically correct and could be read with more ease. Lastly, if words were similar enough, I decided to take them out to simplify the sentence structures more.





DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.