Laura Kfoury: What languages do you translate into and from?
Abier Megahed: I translate only from German to Arabic.
Kfoury: What do you like most about translating? Least?
Megahed: I like the challenge most when it comes to using simple language for children and yet not losing the spirit of the original text. I do not like typing very much, though it is less of a problem when it comes to children's books.
Kfoury: What is a translation-related lesson you've learned on the job?
Megahed: You have always many options for one translation.
Kfoury: What are some criteria for evaluating the quality of a translation?
Megahed: It has to be accurate, flawless, mirroring the original text in its spirit.
Kfoury: Should a good translation faithfully capture the original text, or add something to the original?
Megahed: It should faithfully capture the original text if possible, and add something to the original if necessary. But most of all, it should capture the spirit of the text.
Kfoury: What linguistic qualities are the hardest to translate from German, into Arabic?
Megahed: Cultural differences with a certain inherent vocabulary that does not exist in the target language are a major challenge. For example, snow and all that’s associated with it, or festivals, customs and traditions. Also idioms and figures of speech can be a challenge. But a good translator always finds a solution; therein lies the art of translation .
Kfoury: What are the online tools that you find the most useful in translating?
Megahed: There is a website called arabdict
http://www.arabdict.com/. It is a kind of online dictionary.