Thursday, 12 February 2015

Book Marks: Watchdog, Books On Fire, And Apa Lagi Mau?

So this online translation service got the attention of Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware and they don't like it. The quality of some sample translations as well as the language in the replies Strauss received to her queries ("...your 'watchdog' is the more stupid thing I have ever seen in my life. Go away you and your dog.") should've been a huge red flag.

Start-up or not, when you launch a translation agency, your people should already be sufficiently competent in the original language (Spanish, from the looks of it) and the language to be translated into. People expect a certain degree of quality in your work almost as soon as you open up shop. The market will not allow you to grow into your role with time.

But going after Strauss because she had reservations about their translation service? Talk about barking up the wrong tree.

"Apa lagi yang JAWI mau?" asks Azrul Mohd Khalib, after hearing that the Federal Territories religious department is seeking an appeal against a court ruling that says its arrest of a bookstore manager was unlawful.

A brief recap: Borders bookstore manager Nik Raina was detained by religious officials for selling the Malay-language edition of Irshad Manji's Allah, Liberty and Love - which was not banned (I think) until several weeks later.

But it seems that ban was eventually set aside after the Court of Appeal ruled that "a ban on the Bahasa Malaysia translation was illogical" since the English version was being sold. Also, she is not the owner of the store and has no control over what goes on the shelves. Borders does, but JAWI can't charge it under syariah law.

It's not just Azrul; many here are probably wondering why as well. "After all," he writes, "not only is the right to be protected from retrospective criminal law a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 7 of the Federal Constitution, it is also a basic understanding of justice that you cannot be charged for an offence that was not yet deemed an offence at that point of time."


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