Language Translation and Identity
in the Age of the Internet, Satellite Television
and Directed Media

Ali Darwish

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This book contains interconnected articles and research papers in Arabic on issues relating to language, translation, cross-cultural translation-mediated communication, and knowledge transfer.  It explores the crisis of language, translation and identity in the Arabic language media in the age of the Internet and Satellite television.


The book has grown out of a serious interest in examining a curious phenomenon that is today sweeping the Arab world, where mass media is once again playing a critical role not only in reporting the news but also in shaping events and influencing public opinion, and where reporting and news manipulation sometimes overlap.


As Arabic satellite television gains ever-increasing prominence in the Arab region and internationally, its role as a controversial catalyst in the process of democratization and influential agent of social, cultural and political change in the region becomes all the more important in a rapidly changing world of democracy, globalization and shifting allegiances. Relying primarily on translation of news and other program contents from English and conducting program production in English and or French, Arabic satellite television stations are causing a cataclysmic change in Arabic language patterns and cultural representation.


This book attempts to develop a critical awareness of the interplay of language, translation and identity in Arabic media and the accelerated superficialization of human expression and experience. It touches upon important linguistic and sociocultural aspects of this phenomenon and seeks to explain the reasons for the strong tendency to imitate foreign linguistic patterns. It examines the role of Arabic satellite television and the Internet in reinforcing specific usages and in accelerating the process of change, linguistically, culturally and socially.


The book takes a swipe at the post-colonial educational systems in the Arab world that have been designed for the elite.  It delivers a damning criticism of these systems which have wasted the human resources of the region, destroyed the aspirations and potential of several generations, and seriously contributed to the problem of illiteracy and social and cultural alienation.


Fragmentation of reality, reporting that adopts the viewpoint of the source, which is largely in English, and translated documentaries that retain the format, discourse and perspectives of the original are contributing to language displacement in various areas of social life in the Arab world, which is now flooded with foreign and franchised programs targeting the young and disfranchised generations—with more that 15 satellite television channels bombarding the viewers. In some quarters of the Arab world long-standing traditions are being eroded and roof-top satellite dishes have replaced the dishdasha (the traditional Arabian wear).


This book examines the role of language and translation in shaping culture and tackles head on the way Arabic satellite television is reshaping both the Arab individual and society in the “Greater Middle West”, colonially known as the Middle East.  


Translation, Language and Identity
in the Age of the Internet, Satellite Television and Directed Media

By Ali Darwish


Writescope Pty Ltd

Publication date: 15 April 2005

450 pp /$45.00

ISBN 0-957-751-141

For information please contact, or the Publicity Manager,
Writescope Pty Ltd, P. O. Box 418 Patterson Lakes, Victoria 3197, AUSTRALIA.
Release Contents Copyright © 2005 Writescope Pty Ltd


© 2005 Ali Darwish
All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this document may be copied, reproduced, or stored in any retrieval system, without the express permission of the author.

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