In January 2018, at the Third International Gibran Conference, Australian filmmaker Glenn Kalem and Italian scholar Francesco Medici announced that the official number of translations of Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet (1923) was translated into 104 translations. As of September 2018, Kalem announced that the number had increased to 108. These translations were made from the original English into various other languages such as Berber (Morocco), Basque (Spain), and Papiamentu (Caribbean Islands). The growing number of translations attests to the enduring nature and global appeal of Gibran's writing and the relevance of the message of Peace today.
A new book by Dr. Najwa Salim Nasr focuses on the Arabic and French translations of The Prophet.
Dr. Nasr's book, titled, THE PROPHET: Arabic and French Translations: A Comparative Linguistic Analysis includes nine chapters in which Professor Nasr expertly compares the lexical items and the syntactic structures in a selection from the counsel "On Love” in The Prophet chosen from nine translations into Arabic and ten translations into French.
The book's foreword is written by Alexandre Najjar, an award-winning Lebanese novelist, and literary critic. On this book, he writes:
"Najwa Nasr, in her remarkable study, was able to compare the different translations of the same extract from the sermon On Love of The Prophet and to demonstrate through the established parallelisms, nuances, and disparities the incoherence that characterize the translations. She puts under the microscope each translator’s structure, syntax, and choice of words examining them with intense scrutiny. The result of her research is enlightening: By uncovering the different layers of the variants in question, she makes us penetrate into the core of the translation process revealing its secrets, its complications, as well as its limits. Nasr gets credit for having confronted a challenge of triple importance: Her book sets a standard for all those who study or practice translation, it complements the academic studies of Gibran’s works, and finally, puts us on the alert against poor translations of The Prophet by calling on the translators to be more intellectually vigilant, rigorous, and honest. After all, translation is recreation not treason!"
Biography of Dr. Najwa Nasr