Translation From Arabic In Spain: A Historical Review

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Translation From Arabic In Spain: A Historical Review The aim of this article is to examine the role played by translation from Arabic throughout Spanish History, from its beginnings in the early centuries of the Middle Ages, until nowadays. In a diachronic review that takes Arabic translation as its common thread, five main periods have been identified. In the first period, which spans many centuries during the Middle Ages on the Iberian Peninsula, the main contributions have been collected, from the Ripoll scriptorium to the task carried out by the translators at Alfonso X's court. The second period (16th and 17th centuries) is one of decline for Arabic translation and embodies a transition towards a new way of dealing with Arabic culture. The third period, influenced by the Spanish Enlightenment and the attraction of the «Orient» inherited from European Romanticism, is characterized by a renewed interest in analyzing and translating the Andalusian heritage. The fourth period (19th to mid-20th century) starts with the foundation of the New School of Spanish Arabists and the active role played by its five generations of academics, from Francisco Codera y Zaydín to Emilio García Gómez. Finally, the last period (from the second half of the twentieth century to the beginning of the twenty-first) is marked by the openness and multiplicity of Arabic translation from both the academic and professional points of view.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-78
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Arabic
  • Arabism
  • History
  • Panorama
  • Translation


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