Arabic Translation from Bait Al-Hikma to Toledo School of Translators: Key Players, Theorization and Major Strategies
Keywords:Al-Andalus, Baghdad, Bait Al-Hikma, Free Translation, Literal Translation, Strategies, Source Text, Target Text, Toledo School of Translators
Throughout history, Arab scholars have produced a number of important works in different fields, which helped boost human civilization. This was achieved thanks to the utmost efforts made by a panel of prominent translators working in Bait Al-Hikma (Lit. House of Wisdom) in Baghdad. These translators transmitted Greek, Persian and Indian works into Arabic during the ‘Golden Arabic Era of translation’ which goes back to the Abbassid Caliphate (750 CE- 1258 CE). Likewise, translation movement in Al-Andalus took its systematic and intensive shape at the beginning of 12th century CE with the establishment of Toledo School of Translators in the city of Toledo. However, translations produced in Al-Andalus were chiefly rendered from Arabic into Latin and Old Spanish, mainly by non-Arab translators. The present paper explores the schools of translation in Baghdad and Toledo and the main strategies or methods used by each of these schools. This overview will demonstrate the importance of taking into consideration Arabs’ translation theorization in line with western theories of translation. The paper also reveals that Arab translators were not mere transmitters of Greek philosophy and ancient knowledge, but great thinkers who adapted Greek, Indian and Persian ideas to their own thought.
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