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!"

We at the Gibran Chair could not agree more.
Translations, detailed:
The Arabic texts compared are by Antonios Beshir (1923), Mikhail Naimy (1956), Tharwat Okasha (1959, 5th ed. 1980), Yusuf Al-Khal (1968), Noel Abdulahad (1992), Georges Shakkour and Alfred Murr (1996), Yuhanna Qomeir (1997), Jamil Al-’Abed (1998), and Sarkon Boulos (2008).
The French translations are by the following authors in chronological order: Camille Aboussouan (1956), Mansour Shallita (ca.1969), Marc De Smedt (1990), Anne Wade Minkowski (1992 with an introduction by Adonis March 1991), Salah Stétié (1992), (2012 2nd ed.), Janine Levy (1993 with an introduction by Amin Maalouf), Paul-Jean Franceschini (1995), Cécile Brunet-Mansour and Rania Mansour (1999), Guillaume Villeneuve (2000 with a postface by Sélim Nassib), and Omayma Arnouk El-Ayoubi (2008) entitled Nouvelle traduction-adaptation, with a Préface by Abdallah Naaman.

Biography of Dr. Najwa Nasr

Dr. Najwa Nasr is a Professor of English Linguistics at the Lebanese University Doctoral College. She is a Senior Fulbright Scholar and a Salzburg Seminar alumnus with over 50 publications in Linguistics, Linguistics and Poetry, Phonology, TEFL, Translation, Lebanese Immigration Heritage, art critique, and Early Lebanese Immigrant Women. She holds a Ph. D. from Georgetown University.
Dr. Nasr pioneered the first photo exhibition on Early Lebanese Immigrants to the USA “A Journey of Survival” - Beirut 1996. Participated in the New Lebanese National Curriculum—framework set-up and textbooks authorship, and in several local, regional, and international conferences on Linguistics, TEFL, Immigration, Translation, and Women’s issues.
Dr. Nasr is a member of several local, regional and international academic and cultural associations, academic boards committees, and was a member of the National Commission for Lebanese Women (2008-2017). 
Najwa Nasr Book Cover